Sunday, June 23, 2013

Three Men in a Boat part 1

I'd intended this as a nice way to celebrate the arrival of summer. We've just had the summer solstice and when the notion of running this strip popped into my brain, it was actually a nice, bright, sunny day. Cleaning up the artwork this morning was to the patter of rain on the roof and the clouds are still black and threatening.

So maybe I should say that rather than celebrating summer, I hope you'll enjoy this adaptation of 'Three Men In a Boat (Not Forgetting the Dog)' to make up for not having a summer. This is what summers used to be like in the old days before we managed to clog the atmosphere up with CO2 at 400 parts per million; cold water from melting ice is pushing through the North Sea, the Jet Stream is now funnelling through the Mediterranean, which is why we're getting really unpredictable weather. The summer of 2012 was the wettest summer on record and, despite the predictions of the Daily Express, it was not the "Coldest winter in 100 years" but the 43rd coldest... which means it was pretty average.

This adaptation originally appeared in Look and Learn in 1979, part of a run of very good adaptations of classics often drawn by Bill Baker or, as in this case, by C. L. Doughty. I make no bones about being a fan of Doughty – I even edited a book about him last year – but I think that, by the time you've had the pleasure of sailing down the Thames in his company, you'll be a fan, too.

(* artwork © Look and Learn Ltd. Reprinted by permission.)


  1. He draws really well but I wish his layouts were more open and light hearted. Especially adapting this novel.
    Frank Bellamy was a great draughtsman but it's his sparkling layouts and storytelling that carry the day.

    By the way, have you read "To Say Nothing of the Dog: How We Found the Bishop's Bird Stump at Last" by Connie Willis? Great fun. And really clever.

  2. For sheer light hearted fun it's worth checking out Peter Woodcock's illustrations to Look & Learn's earlier serialization of the text version of Three Men in a Boat.

  3. ...Or even better, Peter Woolcock's illustrations! :-/

  4. Nice to see this again, I remeber it well. Three men in A boat has always been one of my favourite books, and I thought the illustrations for this adaptation were great.



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