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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Gerry Wood

Although his name is recognised amongst British comic fans, little is known about Gerry Wood. He is probably best known as an illustrator, working in the 1970s in World of Wonder, Look and Learn and Speed and Power, which culminated in 1977 with his taking over the artwork for what was, by then, entitled 'More Adventures of the Trigan Empire'.

Wood, born in 1938, shares his name with another artist who drew recruitment posters during the Great War and advertising illustrations in the 1930s for Dunlop tyres.

Wood seems to have begun working in the early 1960s for Battle Picture Library, then drawing for Air Ace and Micron's Combat Picture Library. His book illustrations include Sky Carnival by W. F. Hallstead (1969), and a number of fantasy covers for Tandem, including The Wizard of Lemuria and the Thongor series by Lin Carter (1970-73) and six Gor novels by John Norman (1972-75). He returned to Air Ace in 1970 before producing his first comic strip in colour, 'A Leap Into the Future' for the early issues of World of Wonder.

Later work included a pull-out poster for Battle Picture Weekly in 1976 and the cover for Trillions by Nicholas Fisk (1983). There is probably a great deal of unknown work by Wood; where he signed work it was with a small and easily missed 'G. WOOD' in caps and work is credited to Gerald Wood.

He continued to illustrate educational books following the demise of Look and Learn, including In Communication by Malcolm Dixon (1983), Elizabeth I and Tudor England by Stephen White-Thomson (1984), Canute and the Vikings by Robin May (1984), William the Conqueror and the Normans by Robin May (1984), Julius Caesar and the Romans by Robin May (1985), Montezuma and the Aztecs by Nathaniel Harris (1985), Alexander the Great and the Greeks by Nathaniel Harris (1985), Richard the Lionheart and the Crusades by Christopher Gibb (1985), Cleopatra and the Egyptians by Andrew Langley (1985), Atahuallpa and the Incas by Marion Morrison (1986), The Crusades by Miriam Moss (1986), Confucius and Ancient China by Theodore Rowland-Entwistle (1986), The American West by Mirian Moss (1986), Pyramids by Anne Millard (1989), The Story of Money by Carolyn Kain (1993), Roman Fort by Fiona Macdonald (1993), Ancient African Towns by Fiona Macdonald (1998), Mesa Verde by Jane Shuter (1999), Medieval World by Fiona Chandler & Jane Bingham (1999), Medieval Towns by Daisy Kerr (2001), Who Were the First Poeple by Phil Roxbee Cox & Struan Reid (2003), Music Theory for Beginners by Emma Danes (2003) and Romans by Alan Marks & Graham Tingay (2005).

Recently, Wood's artwork was used for the backing of a set of ten stamps celebrating the 75th anniversary of the first flight of the Spitfire.

(* artwork © Look & Learn Ltd.)

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