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Monday, December 11, 2006

Serge Drigin

Serge Drigin, sometimes spelled Sergie, Sergey or Serge R. Drigin, was a Russian artist, born on 8 October 1894, who, without formal training, became a successful illustrator in the UK in the 1920s. Formerly a sailor, he illustrated dozens of stories for The Detective Magazine, Modern Boy and Chums and produced many startling covers for various magazines published by George Newnes in the 1930s, including Scoops, Air Stories, War Stories, Fantasy, and others. In around 1941, he was working for War Artists & Illustrators, based in central London, who supplied material to War Illustrated and Sphere amongst others.

In around 1934-35, he briefly turned to comics and drew varioius episodes for Film Picture Stories and the serial 'The Flying Fish' in Sparkler. He returned after the war, when paper shortages meant that illustrators were finding work thin on the ground. He produced numerous one-off strips in 1947-48, mostly for Scion Ltd. In 1948, Drigin began drawing strips for Manchester-based J. B. Allen, producing a number of series for Allen's Comet, Sun and Merry-Go-Round comics until 1949.

In the 1950s, he was still very active, contributing features and artwork to various annuals, including Swift and Eagle, but seems to have grown inactive around the mid-1950s.

Drigin lived at various addresses in south London, at 82 Christchurch Road, S.W.2 [1930/32], 99 Holmdene Avenue, Brixton, S.E.24 [1932/33], 26 Elmcourt Road, Gipsy Hill, S.E.27 [1933/39], 36 Palace Road, Tulse Hill, S.W.2 [1940/53].

Drigin was married three times, firstly to Ruth Evelene Baker at Totnes, Devon, in 1923, with whom he had a daughter Shirley N., born 1927 (who later became a veterinary assistant in South Africa). Ruth Drigin was living at 2 Avenue House, Walton Street, Chelsea, S.W.3 [1928-29] and remarried in 1929 to William Jewell.

Serge Drigin was subsequently married at Lambeth in 1931 to Eva Walker (1905-1993) and, at Fulham in 1954, to Joan Octavia A. Nicholle (1916-1992).

Drigin, who was naturalised in 1932, died in Lambeth, his death registered in 2Q 1977 under the name Sergie Drigin.

Illustrated Books
Skazka o rybakie i rybkie by E. Venskii. Rostov na Donu, 1919.
Heroes of Old India
by Percy Pigott. London, Theosophical Publishing House, 1926.
At School on the Ocean by Alfred Judd. London, Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1928.
The Mystery of the Gap by C. W. C. Drury. London, Sheldon Press, 1929.
The Sky Trackers by J. E. Gurdon. London & New York, Frederick Warne & Co., 1931.
The Boys' World of Adventure. London, C. Arthur Pearson, 1937.
Vanished Whaler by Arthur Catherall. London, Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1939.
A25 Speaks: The Adventures of a Ten-shilling Note. Bickley, University of London, 1942.
Action on the Rolling Road by Norman Lee. London, Oxford University Press/Humphrey Milford, 1945.
Men of the Ice-Breaker Sedov by K. S. Badigin (Hero of the Soviet Union), translated by F. Smitham. London, Hutchinson's Books for Young People, 1945.
"Operations Successfully Executed" by Percy F. Westerman. London & Glasgow, Blackie & Son, 1945.
The Lost Gold Bars by Wilfred Robertson. London, Oxford University Press, 1946.
The King's Highway by Commander J. G. Bower. London, University of London, 1948.
Space Ship to Venus by John Nicholson. Bath, Venturebooks Ltd., 1948.
Cloud Island. A mystery of the sky by Vernon Noble. London, Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1949.
Behind the Wall by Monica Marsden. Leeds, E. J. Arnold & Son (Adventure Series 1), 1950.
The Boy from B'Gomi by Leslie T. Barnard. Leeds, E. J. Arnold & Son (Adventure Series 11), 1950.
Four in the Half-Deck by Francis Knight. London, Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1950.
The Spanish Main by Bernard Buley. Edinburgh & London, W. & R. Chambers, 1950.
Caravan Adventure by Monica Marsden. Leeds, E. J. Arnold & Son (Adventure Series 13), 1951.
Happy Adventurer. An autobiography by Admiral Lord Mountevans (E. R. G. R. Evans). London, Lutterworth Press, 1951; New York, Wilfred Funk, 1951.
"On My Right" by James W. Kenyon. London, Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1951.
Lost With All Hands by Arthur Catherall. London, Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1955.
Air, Land and Sea: A Cavalcade of Transport. London & Glasgow, Collins, n.d. (1950s?)

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