Saturday, October 27, 2012

Little known artists: A. Forbes

Thanks to a lot of research over the years, a great many artists who contributed to British comics have been identified in spite of the fact that throughout their 100+ year history the vast bulk of comics have carried no credits. In the early-1950s, titles like Lion and Tiger included the  names of the author – often disguised through the use of a pseudonym – but not of the artist.

In a number of cases, even when the names of the artists can be discovered, they mean little. They can be credited with a single strip or a cluster of strips from one title... but what they did before or after is unknown.

Here's a perfect example. A. Forbes has a handful of credits in Lion between 1956 and 1958, beginning with an adventures outing called 'The Desert Speedsters'.

But who was A. Forbes? Was (s)he Alison Forbes, a contemporary illustrator who may or may not have been from Australia? Her first known work (known to me, that is) is Animal Talk, illustrating a collection of stories by Neville Smith for Melbourne-based published F. W. Cheshire in 1955. She was then active in the UK in the late 1950s. Then she disappears from sight.

Here are a few examples of work by A. Forbes, whoever he or she may be. Why (s)he has an important place in the history of Lion is something that I'll reveal in the upcoming revision of the Lion index. In the meantime, if you know anything about this mysterious artist, let me know.

Next... who the hell was F. A. Williams?

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