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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Comic Firsts: Joe Colquhoun

Actually not quite a first as this was the third adventure to feature Doc Carver. It was published in 1951 in Conqueror Comic, published by Scion Ltd., and later reprinted in a cheap album called High Seas Adventure Comic published by G.T. Ltd. in around 1959.

Joe Colquhoun is the subject of an article from David Ashford and Norman Wright in the current Book and Magazine Collector so there's no need to go too deeply into his career here. Later he was to draw the magnificent "Charley's War" in Battle Picture Weekly, which is currently being reprinted by Titan Books -- and a finer set of books you couldn't want for your shelves! If you don't have them already, just follow these links and order them now:Don't let the crudity of this very early strip put you off. Colquhoun began his career working for a little post-war studio called King-Ganteaume who supplied loads of strips to small publishers, usually filling complete 24 page comics with a variety of features. Doctor Dave Carver made his first appearance in two issues of Jungle Trails Colour Comic which were printed in France with alternate pages printed in colour.

Not long after this strip saw print, Colquhoun tried to find work with the Eagle but was turned down by the Rev. Marcus Morris. Morris, however, advised him to try his samples at the Amalgamated Press who had just launched a new title, Lion. He was interviewed by Stan Boddington who worked on Lion and Champion and, before long, Colquhoun was supplying strips to both papers -- beginning an association with A.P./Fleetway/IPC that was to last thirty-five years, only coming to an end when Colquhoun died in 1987.


Dave Gibbons said...

Very interesting to see these early works, particularly for me in the case of Joe, since my first work for IPC was ghosting him on Zarga, in the Buster.

I'll see if I can dig a sample of that up!

Steve said...

Hi Dave,

Would be very interested if you could. I thought myself too old for reading Buster when you were drawing Zarga (at the tail end of 1973, I believe). Now I'm young enough again to want to catch up on everything I missed first time round.


Captain Storm said...

Hi Steve and Dave,it's very interesting to actually "hear" an artist state he ghosted a certain strip rather than hear somebody else say it.Was this a standard practice and if so how hard was it to copy another's style and more importantly how good was it.Also to then go back to your own style must have been difficult.Did this ghosting have an effect on your style or were you able to brush it off?(no pun intended).Finally,the whole subject of ghosting intrigues me-was it done to cover an artist on holidays or because of a heavy workload?

Dave Gibbons said...

Joe was going on holiday for 6 weeks and Dez Skinn, then the sub-editor of Buster tipped me off to get a sample ready. That looked very much like Joe's work but, as I came to draw the strip, I pretty much ended up doing it my own way.

I vividly remember my hear sinking as I read the panel description of the first panel where I had to draw Inspector Gumble(?) climpbing out of a London taxicab outside Scotland Yard. I realized there and then that there was more to drawing comics than rendering invented musclemen against made-up science fiction backgrounds!

Captain Storm said...

Thanks for sharing your working process(I suppose the same could be said of many other budding artists who were called on to ghost popular strips).Also,Lew Stringer tells me you lettered some Adam Eterno strips,back in the day!Could you elaborate?Sorry to use this medium to contact you,but needs must...:-)If you wish you can contact me via my forum by clicking on my name.Thanks anyway if you are too busy.