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Saturday, December 03, 2016

Illustrators #16

The latest issue of Illustrators (Autumn 2016) thumped onto the doormat the other day, reassuringly hefty in these days of lightweight Toblerones.

It's a particularly colourful issue which leads off with a nice long appreciation of Neal Adams, whose memorable run on Deadman made his name in the late 1960s. Adams went on to draw X-Men and The Avengers, before returning to DC to revive Batman,  team-up Green Lantern / Green Arrow, and Superman vs. Mohammad Ali before turning to book covers and independent comics, returning occasionally to the mainstream (e.g. Batman Odyssey, First X-Men).

Peter Stone covers his career in detail and the feature is accompanied with some great illustrations dating back to his early Sixties work on the "Ben Casey" newspaper strip and numerous comic covers. The only shame here is that the article doesn't cover much from the past 25 years.

Never mind. Here's Paul Slater to keep us amused with some of his wilful mischievousness. British-born but inspired by MAD Magazine, he is probably best known for his covers for The Listener and twenty years illustrating the "Eating Out" column for the Times Magazine and working on Saturday, the weekly Daily Express magazine, all of which has allowed him to draw and paint his absurdist illustrations in a wide variety of styles.

Canadian Will Davies worked for a wide range of America's top magazines, from The Saturday Evening Post and Ladies Home Journal to Good Housekeeping. He returned to Canada and was soon earning $500 a week (big bucks in the 1950s) and named "Canada's top illustrator".

Cecil Glossop was an English illustrator who contributed to boys' papers in the 1920s and 1930s, most notably to Chums where he was one of the paper's chief adventure story illustrators, favouring stories of pirates, highwaymen and foreign legionnaires, although he was versatile enough to draw everything from African adventure to aviation.

Little-known these days, this exploration of his work by David Ashford is especially welcome.

For more information on Illustrators and back issues, visit the Book Palace website, where you can also find details of their online editions, and news of upcoming issues. Issue 17 will feature Mort Kunsler, Gustave Dore, Zac Retz and Francisco Coching.

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