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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Michael Codd Mayfair illustrations 1

A run of Mayfair arrived yesterday. They're for a friend (which sounds like a lame excuse but it's true) so I've got them for one evening only: what better way to spend a few hours than indexing the stories that appeared in them for the Fictionmags Index. So that's what I did... and I looked at all the pictures of naked ladies... and I stumbled across a couple of really interesting things that I think you'll also like (and I'm not talking about Penny Irving, who is a minor legend for middle-aged blokes: one-time hostess on Mr & Mrs, Mr Grace's secretary on Are You Being Served?, star of House of Whipcord and once the star of my desktop background, much to the amusement of anyone who saw it).

Like all men's magazines, Mayfair padded out its pages with general articles, fiction, articles about cars, book reviews and much more. Some of the padding was very good (most British men's mags were modeled on Playboy in that respect); when you had a circulation like Mayfair (which rose during the period of the run I've seen from 183,614 in early 1972 to 271,042 (Nov 1972), 311,713 (May 1973), 409,442 (Nov 1972), 449,643 (May 1974), 462,841 (Nov 1974), 472,208 (May 1975)) you could afford good writers and artists.

Michael Codd illustrated quite a few articles in Mayfair: I know nothing about him other than that he was very good. From what little I've been able to glean, he was born in 1938 and illustrated subjects as diverse as Bible stories for children and Mickey Spillane. Anyone know anything more about him?

(* illustrations probably © Fisk Publishing Co., Ltd.)

5 comments:

paulhd said...

Lovely artwork, but does look like it came from Boys Adventure rather than a *ahem* grown up mag. More innocent times and a very different market I guess.

Helen said...

I don't know more about him but have been looking for info! (Where did you even find out his birth date etc?)
Among the books he illustrated were the covers of the first Modesty Blaise hardcover run (Souvenir Press UK); you can see them at http://www.modestyblaisebooks.com/images/allcovers/overview.html (the first row)
If you do find out any more about him, please let me know! thanks

Greg said...

I studied Graphic Design at Southampton Faculty of Art in 1987/88 and for a short time we had some drawing classes with Mike Codd.

Being young and foolish I didn't take much notice until I visited a small exhibition of his work in Eastleigh. I was totally captivated when I discovered he had illustrated a book on ghosts that had scarred me so much as a child. I loved looking at the book and would take it out from the library many times over.

I wanted to speak to Mike about the affect of his illustrations but never had a class with him after his exhibition. I remember him as a large friendly man with a white beard and would love to see an exhibition of his work again.

sarah m said...

MIKE CODD WAS BORN IN WEMBLY 1938 BUT NOW LIVES AND WORKS NEAR ALRESFORD IN HAMPSHIRE.HE IS MARRIED TO SCULPTOR CHRIS CODD AND HAS TWO CHILDREN . HIS SON MATT CODD WORKS IN THE MOVIES AND HAS SITES OF HIS OWN WORTH CHECKING OUT. MIKE SPENDS AS MUCH TIME AS POSSIBLE WORKING ON HIS OTHER PAINTINGS WHICH INCLUDE SOME OF THE MOST WONDERFUL WESTERNS AND LANDSCAPES WHICH ARE A MUST SEE .I AM TRYING TO ARRANGE WITH MIKE A WEBSITE TO SHOWCASE HIS WORK AND WILL KEEP MY PROGRESS UP TO DATE THROUGH BEAR ALLEY .

Steve said...

Sarah,

I hope you'll give us the heads up on any website you set up featuring Michael's work. I see from imdb that his son has worked on quite a few excellent movies, including one of my favourites from recent years, Serenity. And, giving him a comics connection, he was one of the concept artists who worked on Judge Dredd which, from a design point of view, was superb.