Monday, March 24, 2008

Comic Cuts

The BBC are reporting on the discovery of a painting of the crucifixion by comics' artist Dudley D. Watkins. The ink and watercolour painting, which measures about 2 ft x 3 ft, was discovered by change when a visitor spotted it in the house of Mrs. Jean Kinnell in Lochgelly, Fife. Watkins was a family friend and gave Mrs. Kinnell the painting in 1951. Mrs. Kinnell's late husband, Jack, was also a painter whose work is to be exhibited at the Lochgelly Arts Centre. The story has a twist that the BBC have not included: apparently Mrs. Kinnell contacted the Sunday Post--published by D. C. Thomson for whom Watkins drew his most famous characters, Oor Wullie and The Broons--about the painting some years ago when it published a piece about Watkins' artwork fetching high prices at auction. She said: "When they heard it was a religious picture, they weren't interested."

* Alan Moore was interviewed on the BBC Inside Out East programme recently. The show is available on the BBC's iPlayer for another couple of days if you want to see what they made of Moore. The interview begins about 19 minutes in. Further information from the BBC News website.

* Raymond Leblanc, publisher of Tintin magazine in Belgium, died on 21 March. Leblanc launched Tintin in September 1946 with the serialisation of 'The Seven Crystal Balls' following Hergé's troubled war. Leblanc was also responsible for rescuing the ailing Pilote in 1962. Fleetway Publications made use of reprints from both magazines. Full obituaries have appeared in The Independent (24 March), The Guardian (28 March) and The Times (5 April). It hasn't been a good week for Belgian comics as Maurice Maréchal, creator of 'Prudence Petitpas' also died on 21 March. As far as I'm aware, none of Maréchal's work was ever reprinted in the UK.

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