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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Comics Firsts: C. L. Doughty

Something a bit special today. C. L. Doughty has become one of my favourite comics artists and illustrators. I have to confess that I knew little about his work (beyond reassurances from David Ashford and Norman Wright that it was great) until I started working for Look and Learn. Studying the pages of Look and Learn, it seemed that Doughty illustrated every other feature and the more I saw of his work the more impressed I was. His colour covers and illustrations were gorgeous and his black & white comic strips for the paper were almost without peer.

Given the high quality of his work in the 1960s, it may seem a little odd to travel right back to the beginning of his career. In 1948, Doughty was already in his mid-thirties but fresh to comics. His first known comic strip was the following Buffalo Bill yarn published in Knockout Comic #489, dated 10 July 1948. Over the next two days we'll follow his next strip, an adaptation of part of Gulliver's Travels drawn for The Children's Newspaper and published in weekly parts in 24 July to 11 September 1948.

I'll be reprinting one of Doughty's later strips in the near future. But, to see how far he had come, I thought it useful to have something to compare it to and these early strips are almost impossible to find. And definitely of historical interest, being Doughty's first, so I hope you'll indulge me.

(* Buffalo Bill artwork © IPC Media; illustration at top © Look and Learn Ltd.)

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Don't know if you know this, but the 1st volume of the Complete Hugo Pratt UK strips in Spanish is out, and your name is mentioned in the foreword of the book as "the expert who identified the writers of the stories".

http://akiba-keimilyunahistorias.blogspot.com/2009/05/diario-de-guerra-hugo-pratt.html

Steve said...

I'm waiting on a copy of the book at the moment. Good to know that the writers are getting a credit. While artists have recognisable styles, it's almost impossible to nail down with 100% accuracy who wrote a particular story. By crediting authors where known, Panini Espana are doing a better job than most of the British publishers have managed on their reprints.