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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Rebellion Releases (2000AD)

Rebellion releases for 20 February 2019.

2000AD Prog 2119
Cover: Luke Preece
JUDGE DREDD: MACHINE LAW by John Wagner (w) Colin MacNeil (a) Chris Blythe (c) Annie Parkhouse (l)
BRINK: HIGH SOCIETY by Dan Abnett (w) INJ Culbard (a) Simon Bowland (l)
SKIP TRACER: LOUDER THAN BOMBS by James Peaty (w) Paul Marshall (a) Quinto Winter (c) (a) Ellie De Ville (l)
GREY AREA: WHISTLEBLOWER by Dan Abnett (w) Mark Harrison (a) Ellie De Ville (l)
JAEGIR: BONEGRINDER by Gordon Rennie (w) Simon Coleby (a) Len O'Grady (c) Annie Parkhouse

Judge Dredd Megazine 405
Cover: Nick Percival
JUDGE DREDD: PLANTED by Rory McConville (w) Jake Lynch (a) Jim Boswell (c) Annie Parkhouse (l)
LAWLESS: ASHES TO ASHES by Dan Abnett (w) Phil Winslade (a) Ellie De Ville (l)
STORM WARNING: GREEN & PLEASANT LAND by John Reppion, Leah Moore (w) Tom Foster (a) Eva De La Cruz (c) Simon Bowland  (l)
BLUNT II by TC Eglington (w) Boo Cook (a) Simon Bowland (l)
THE DARK JUDGES: THE TORTURE GARDEN by John Wagner (w) Nick Percival (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)
Features: Ron Smith obituary, new games, Paul Jenkins interview
Bagged reprint: Operation: Overlord Vol.2.

Caballistics Inc.: The Complete Collection by Gordon Rennie & Dom Reardon
Rebellion ISBN 978-1781-08695-7, 21 February 2019, 354pp, £19.99 / $24.99. Available via Amazon.
The complete Caballistic.Inc series by Gordon Rennie and Dom Reardon – collected for the first time! During the Second World War a department was formed within the Ministry of Defence to combat Nazi occult warfare. In the 21st century, however, it has long outlived its usefulness and its funding is scrapped. Enter reclusive millionaire rock star Ethan Kostabi, who has brought up its employees and, together with a handful of freelance ghosthunters, constructed a brand new outfit – Caballistics Inc. But the forces of the supernatural are not the only enemies that this disparate group have to tackle, for within the heart of Caballistics Inc. are dangerous secrets that threaten to tear the organisation apart…

Judges Volume One by Michael Carroll, Charles J. Eskew and George Mann
Abaddon Books ISBN 978-1781-08639-1, 21 February 2019, 478pp, £8.99. Available via Amazon. Also available as an e-book, ISNM 978-1786-18122-0, £4.99.
The first three stories in the new prose series exploring the (very) near-future origins of Judge Dredd’s Department of Justice. In a time of widespread poverty, inequality and political unrest, Special Prosecutor Eustace Fargo’s controversial new justice laws have come into effect. Protests and violence meet the first Judges as they hit the street to enforce the Law; the cure, it’s clear, is far worse than the disease. Is this a sign of things to come?
    Contains:  'The Avalanche' by Michael Carroll, 'Lone Wolf' by Charles J. Eskew and 'When the Light Lay Still' by George Mann.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Ralph Peacock

Robert J. Kirkpatrick

Ralph Peacock was briefly well-known for his cover designs and illustrations for several of G.A. Henty’s novels in the 1890s. However, his main interest was painting, and he went on to have a long and successful career as a portrait painter, although he is more or less forgotten today.

He was born on 14 August 1868 in Wood Green, north London, and baptized at St. Michael’s Church, Wood Green, on 13 September 1868. His father, Thomas Peacock (1828-1905) was a Superintendent at the Inland Revenue at Somerset House (having begun his working life as an assistant to a chandelier maker). His mother, Josephine Henrietta, neé Miles (1842-1921) was the daughter of a dentist. They had married in St. Pancras Old Church on 27 June 1863, and Ralph was the second of their eight children. (Two of his brothers died, both aged 8, in 1878 and 1882.)

At the time of the 1871 census the family was living in Bounds Green Road, Tottenham. Ten years later, they had moved south of the river, to 10 Church Terrace, Battersea.

Ralph was educated at the City of London School, which was then on the Victoria Embankment in Blackfriars. In 1882, aged just 14, he also began studying for two evenings a week at the South London Technical School of Art in Kennington Park Road, (formerly the Lambeth School of Art), encouraged by his father, who studied in the same class. Ralph was actually being prepared for a career in the Civil Service, to follow in his father’s footsteps, but in 1886 the Scottish painter John Pettie, who had seen one of his portraits, persuaded his father that he should aim to be a professional artist. He subsequently spent a year at the St. John’s Wood School of Art (at which he later taught for several years), and then, in 1887, he became a student at the Royal Academy Schools, exhibiting his first painting at the Royal Academy a year later (and his second in 1889). In 1890, by which time he and his parents had moved to 6 Park Road, Forest Hill, he was awarded the Creswick Prize for landscape painting and a silver medal for life drawing. The following year he was awarded a British Institute Scholarship worth £50 a year for two years, and in 1891, while he was still living with his family at 6 Park Road, Sydenham, Kent, he was awarded a Royal Academy Gold Medal and a travelling scholarship worth £200 for his historical painting “Victory,” which showed a woman pleading to a Gaul on behalf of a captured Roman soldier.

He then travelled extensively abroad for around a year, visiting Tangier, Spain, Italy and Switzerland, and on his return to England he began his brief career as an illustrator while at the same time working as a painter.

One of his early interests was historical subjects, and his first black and white illustrations appeared in Robert Leighton’s Olaf the Glorious: A Historical Story of the Viking Age, published by Blackie and Son in 1894, and in G.A. Henty’s Wulf the Saxon: A Story of the Norman Conquest, also published by Blackie in 1894 (although the first UK edition is dated 1895). He also designed the cover for this, along with the cover for a re-issue of Henty’s Under Drake’s Flag: A Tale of the Spanish Main (Blackie, 1894). He went on to design the covers for Henty’s At Agincourt: A Tale of the White Hoods of Paris (1897), A March on London: Being a Story of Wat Tyler’s Insurrection (1898), On the Irrawaddy: A Story of the First Burmese War (1898), and Under Wellington’s Command: A Tale of the Peninsular War (1899) – becoming one of the few illustrators at this time to be recognised for their cover designs. He also designed the cover and provided black and white illustrations for Henty’s A Knight of the White Cross: A Tale of the Siege of Rhodes (1896) and Both Sides the Border: A Tale of Hotspur and Glendower (1899). He also illustrated two other historical adventure stories for boys – The Paladins of Edwin the Great by Clements R. Markham (A. & C. Black, 1896), and Lords of the World: A Story of the Fall of Carthage and Corinth by Alfred John Church (Blackie, 1899).

His work also appeared in a number of periodicals during the 1890s – some of his paintings were reproduced in The Graphic, The Illustrated London News, Black and White, The Art Journal and The Sketch, and he also contributed original drawings to Cassell’s Family Magazine, Ally Sloper’s Half Holiday, the English Illustrated Magazine and The London Magazine. Some of his work was signed “Ralph Peacock,” while other work was signed simple “R. P.”

In the meantime he was also exhibiting regularly. His work appeared in the Royal Academy every year between 1892 and 1929, although, despite his technical abilities and his popularity as a painter, he was never made an associate of the Royal Academy, let alone a member. In 1898, he won a gold medal at the International Art Exhibition in Vienna, and he also exhibited with the British Institution, the Royal Institute of Portrait Painters, the Royal Society of British Artists, The Royal Institute of Painters in Oils, and in public and commercial galleries throughout the UK.

By 1893 Ralph had moved out of his parents’ home and was living at 11 Holland Park Road, Kensington. In 1901, he briefly lived as a boarder with Frederick Cooper, a clerk in the local Education Department, and his wife Eva, at 37 Holland Road, Kenisngton, before moving to 1A Holland Park Road. Later that year, on 10 August 1901, he married Edith Emma Brignall, at St. Mary’s Church, Beddington, Surrey. Born on 20 February 1873 in Upper Norwood, South London, she was the daughter of James Brignall, a corn merchant, and his wife Emma. In 1900, Ralph had painted Edith, along with her younger sister Ethel, in what became one of his best-known portraits, “The Sisters”, which is now owned by the Tate.

Ralph and Ethel remained at 1A Holland Park Road until 1909, when they moved to 32 Holland Park Road, where they remained until 1930. By then they had had four children: John Roydon (born in September 1902), Devis Ives (July 1906), and Graham Everett and Bingham Everett (July 1911).

His work continued to occasionally appear in periodicals – articles about him and examples of his work appeared in The Studio in 1901 and The Windsor Magazine in 1907, and his work also featured in The Strand Magazine, The Sphere and The Sketch.

In 1905, he contributed an essay on modern British Painters to Women Painters of the World, published by Hodder & Stoughton, and his work also appeared in an edition of Cassell’s History of England (1905).

By 1911, he was sufficiently well-off to afford three servants. He travelled to Amerca at least four times between 1921 and 1930, and on his return after his last journey moved to 1A Palace Gate, Kensington. A year or so later, he moved to The Gate House, Ellerton Road, Wimbledon. He was still working at the time of the 1939 Register, when he was recorded simply as a portrait painter, and employing a chauffeur and a cook.

In an essay accompanying an exhibition, “Forgotten Faces,” at the Tate Gallery in 2014, it was noted that while Ralph Peacock was “the darling of art critics at the onset of his career,” after the First World War his “inspiration seems to have dried up, and appreciation of his work declined” after the First World War.

His wife died, at St. Andrew’s Hospital, Northampton, on 21 July 1945, leaving a personal estate valued at £6,348. Ralph Peacock himself died, at his home in Ellerton Road, on 17 January 1946, leaving an estate valued at just under £29,000 (just over £1 million in today’s terms), suggesting that while he may have been forgotten by art critics, his work had remained popular with the art-buying public.


Books illustrated by Ralph Peacock
Olaf the Glorious: A Historical Story of the Viking Age by Robert Leighton, Blackie & Son, 1894
Wulf the Saxon: A Story of the Norman Conquest by G.A. Henty, Blackie & Son, 1895
A Knight of the White Cross: A Tale of the Siege of Rhodes by G.A. Henty, Blackie & Son, 1896
The Paladins of Edwin the Great by Clements R. Markham, A. & C. Black, 1896
Lords of the World: A Story of the Fall of Carthage and Corinth by Alfred John Church., Blackie & Son, 1898
Both Sides the Border: A Tale of Hotspur and Glendower by G.A. Henty, Blackie & Son, 1899
Cassell’s History of England, Cassell & Co., 1905 (with other artists)
Growing Up: The Story of How We Become Alive, Are Born and Grow Up by Karl de Schweinitz, Macmillan & Co., 1928
Profile Portraits and Children’s Pictures, Barbozon House, 1930 (exhibition catalogue)

Friday, February 15, 2019

Comic Cuts - 15 February 2019

After last week's excitement, this week has been relatively quiet, although I've enjoyed having a couple of guests over at the house (Hi Norman, Hi Mum!). I'm back to writing at my old computer and I'm finding my eyes have slowly but surely settled into the new glasses. I'm still not sure that they're strong enough, but they're definitely an improvement... I'm taking longer breaks from the computer, so the eye strain that I was suffering from in January seems to have improved.

I'm also surprised to say that I've actually lost a few pounds. I'm still very overweight, but I'm normally carrying a few extra pounds following Christmas through January and February. Well, I'm currently four pounds lighter than I was six weeks ago. I'm eating a little healthier – more wholemeal rolls and less processed meat – and trying to get in an extra walk during the day, often down to the post office to ship out something that has sold on Ebay. I really must get more of my old annuals up on Ebay... thanks to them I'm losing pounds while I'm making a few pounds in sales!

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that Rebellion were planning to release two specials during the spring based around the former IPC humour titles that they now owned, namely the Cor!! and Buster Special released on 17 April and a Free Comic Day release. Well, Rebellion have announced a slew of other specials that they will be releasing between April and October.

The run of specials begins with an American-format 32-page special on 4 May when the 2000AD Villains Takeover Special is released, featuring the bad guys from Judge Dredd, Strontium Dog and Slaine. This will be available in comic book stores for 99p (in the US for 99c).

Inside, the lawman of the future faces a familiar rictus grin in 'Judge Death: The Judge Who Laughs' by Rob Williams and Henrik Sahlstrom, and there’s fiendish fantasy with 'Lord Weird Slough Feg: Lord of the Hunt' by Pat Mills and Kyle Hotz. There’s chem-wreathed criminality in the world of Rogue Trooper in 'Brass and Bland: The Professionals' by Karl Stock and Kael Ngu while  malefactory mutant-bountyhunters-turned-bad-guys, The Stix, from Strontium Dog cause trouble in 'Stix: Sleeping Dogs Lie' by Matt Smith and Chris Weston. And this issue is all rounded off by 'Terror Tale: Last of the Hellphibians' by that master of the mendacious Henry Flint!

Here are a few pages for you to feast your eyes on...

On 8 May, 2000AD Prog 2130 gives way to 2000AD Regened, following the hugely successful 2018 giveaway. The pint-sized anti-heroes return for another bumper prog for kids of all ages, The issue will be 100 pages and retail at £4.99.

This year's 2000AD Sci-Fi Special pays tribute to Carlos Ezquerra by focusing on some of his greatest hits, including Judge Dredd and Strontium Dog. This 48-pager will also debut his unpublished work on 'Specter', the strip he was working on with John Wagner when he died. Priced £4.99, it will be released on 19 June.

A few days later, on 27 June, The Tammy and Jinty Special revamps some old favourites from the pages of those classic seventies comics for the 21st century, with a host of new creators on strips that pay tribute to the legacy of the two trail-blazing comics. This is also 48 pages.

August 14 sees the return of The Vigilant in a 64-page special, priced £4.99, bringing together the team of homegrown British superheroes from the IPC stable alongside one or two newcomers from the pages of the last special.

Roy of the Rovers gets his own special in time for his 65th birthday and following the release of novels and graphic novels featuring the new Roy. The 100-page, £9.99 special kicks off on 11 September in time for the new football season.

And, finally, we have Scream & Misty Presents The Thirteenth Floor, which is released on 16 October. The thirteenth floor is where homicidal computer Max sends invaders, crooks and other offenders as he protects the inhabitants of the tower block he controls. He was one of the stars of previous Hallowe'en specials and a collection from Rebellion last year. 48 pages for $4.99.

A quick change of pace. I haven't had much of a chance to watch a lot of TV over the last couple of months, but we're slowly catching up on a few things. I've finally watched the first season of The Good Place, which friends have been recommending for months (they're on the third season already!). I have to admit I'm a convert of this smart, funny comedy. The characters are horribly flawed, which makes them interesting and appealing, and the show has not once failed to surprise. The plot turns one way and another and ends on a corkscrew of a twist.

Hurry up, E4... we want season two.

The other thing we managed to watch was Ascension, which appeared on the SyFy channel in the US in 2014, but made its UK debut on Pick over this recent Christmas.

A lengthy three-parter, it begins with a murder on a generation starship. The ship has a retro feel to it and before long it is revealed that Earth had the technology in the 1960s to launch a mission to Proxima Centauri. It is now fifty-one years on and the mission has passed the halfway point. To avoid a population explosion, only a handful of couples out of the 600 crew are selected to have children. Some of the children are suffering from depression, believing that they were born into a situation chosen by their parents or grandparents which has left them with no future other than life and death on the ship. Sabotage has been attempted.

With political and class turmoil between the Captain, the council and the crew working in the lower levels of the ship, beginning to spill over, a fight breaks out between investigating officer Aaron Gault and one of the stockyard crew, Stokes, who has been set-up as the murderer. Stokes is sucked out of the ship's airlock into space... but that might not be the end of him.

This show also took some unexpected turns and it seemed to be developing into a rather ordinary murder-mystery set on a generation ship – lots of suspects but an enclosed location. Imagine Agatha Christie shaving Poirot investigate a murder at Buckingham Palace (which has 775 rooms) and you'll get the idea. But the writers took the story in different directions: the selective breeding programme may have an endgame in the mind of the project director.

I don't want to give too much away. It was better than I expected, remembering the mixed reviews it got at the time of its release, but it still had a few faults... which, I guess, makes this one of those mixed reviews. We'd already guessed the major plot twist that ended the first part and, after that, nothing really came as a surprise.

But it inspired me to go and watch Capricorn One, which was as daft as I remember it being and thoroughly enjoyable at the same time. I miss old-fashioned thrillers.  You seem to have to wade through a lot of dross these days to find good ones. If anyone has any suggestions for recent, decent thrillers, let me know.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Rebellion Releases (2000AD)

Rebellion releases for 13 February 2019.

2000AD Prog 2118
Cover: Cliff Robinson/Dylan Teague (col).
JUDGE DREDD: MACHINE LAW by John Wagner (w) Colin MacNeil (a) Chris Blythe (c) Annie Parkhouse (l)
BRINK: HIGH SOCIETY by Dan Abnett (w) INJ Culbard (a) Simon Bowland (l)
SKIP TRACER: LOUDER THAN BOMBS by James Peaty (w) Paul Marshall (a) Quinto Winter (c) (a) Ellie De Ville (l)
GREY AREA: WHISTLEBLOWER by Dan Abnett (w) Mark Harrison (a) Ellie De Ville (l)
JAEGIR: BONEGRINDER by Gordon Rennie (w) Simon Coleby (a) Len O'Grady (c) Annie Parkhouse

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Horace Petherick

Robert J. Kirkpatrick

H. Petherick was a prolific illustrator of children’s books between around 1860 and 1900, who then had a second career as an expert on violins – their history, makers, and their restoration and repair.

He was born on 4 December 1838 at 18 Frederick Street, St. Pancras, London (and not in 1839 in Croydon, Surrey, as most other sources suggest), and named Horace William Petherick. He was the third of eight children (two of whom died in early childhood) born to William Richard Petherick (born in Helston, Cornwall, in 1813, died in Brighton in 1899), a tailor, and his wife Phoebe Mary Ann, née Cooper (born in Newington, Surrey, in 1810, died in Brighton in 1898), who had married in St. Pancras on 12 April 1835.

At the time of the 1841 census the family was living at 18 Seymour Place. St. Marylebone. Ten years later, they were recorded at 80 Park Street, St. Pancras.

It is not known where Horace was educated or where he received his artistic training, but by the time of the 1861 census he had left home and was working as an artist, lodging at 1 Houston Terrace, Kensington, with 68 year-old Maria Blee and her family. (His family, meanwhile, were living at 2 Rosa Villas, Richmond Road, Fulham). Horace subsequently moved to Fulham (probably back with his parents) where, in All Saints Church on 25 June 1864, he married Clementina Augusta Bewley Bonney, born in London in around 1837 and the daughter of William Wolfe Bonney, a wine merchant who later became a manufacturing chemist.

Horace and Clementina immediately moved to Maple Lodge, 25 Havelock Road, Addiscombe, Surry, where they remained for the rest of their lives, and where they went on to have seven children: Horace Claude (1867-1869), Adeline Maude (1869-1872), Rosa Clementina (1872-1931), Ada Flora (1874-1924), Leila Helena (1876-1951), Eveline May (1880-1936), and Dora Valentine (1881-1946).

Horace’s earliest-known work as an illustrator appeared in 1858, in a historical novel about the French Revolution. Three years later, he illustrated a translation of a French novel, and he went on to illustrate a handful of children’s stories for Frederick Warne & Co, until his career took off in the early 1870s. Between 1870 and 1900 he illustrated well over 100 books – these were all children’s books, ranging from picture books, fairy stories and legends for younger children to historical, adventure, family and school stories for older children. Among the authors whose books he illustrated were Emily Sarah Holt, George E. Sargent, L.T. Meade, Stella Austin, Grace Stebbing, Georgiana Marion Craik, M.L. Ridley, Evelyn Everett Green, Phoebe Allen and Emma Leslie. Most notably, perhaps, he illustrated two of G.A. Henty’s boys’ novels, The Cornet of Horse: A Tale of Marlborough’s Wars and Winning His Spurs: A Tale of the Crusades, both published by Sampson Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington in 1881 and 1882 respectively (after having been serialized with Petherick’s illustrations in The Union Jack). Three other notable boys’ adventure stories which contained Petherick illustrations were George Manville Fenn’s Middy and Ensign, or The Jungle Station: A Tale of the Malay Peninsula, published by Griffith & Farran in 1882; and W.H.G;. Kingston’s The Heroic Wife, or The Wanderers on the Amazon and The Child of the Wreck, or The Loss of the “Royal George” published by Griffith & Farran in 1874 and 1876.

Another notable collaboration was with Laura Valentine, who wrote under the pseudonym “Aunt Louisa.” One of their best-known books was London Characters, published in the series “Aunt Louisa’s Toy Books” by Frederick Warne & Co. in 1875 – this had 12 coloured prints of London workers such as a milkman, baker, waterman, chimney sweep, lamplighter and fireman. He also illustrated a few others, which were later re-issued in a complete volume.

Amongst the other publishers he worked for were Frederick Warne & Co., John F. Shaw & Co., J. Masters & Co., Marcus Ward & Co., Blackie & Son, John Hogg, the Religious Tract Society and the Sunday School Union.

He also contributed to a small number of periodicals, most notably The Illustrated London News between 1870 and 1890. His work also appeared in Life, The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News, The Children’s Treasury and The Penny Illustrated Paper, and in the children’s periodicals  The Union Jack, The Boy’s Own Paper, Little Folks and Aunt Judy’s Christmas Volume.

He was one of the first illustrators to extol the virtues of graphotyping, as being far superior to wood engraving, in the late 1860s. In 1875, he was giving evening classes in life drawing at his home in Addiscombe.

He also exhibited his paintings, including at the Royal Academy (1877, 1891, 1901 and 1913) and with the Royal Society of British Artists.

He sometimes signed his work “H P” or “H W P”, as well as with his full name.

During the 1890s his output diminished substantially, with his last-known illustrations appearing in 1900. By then, he had established himself as an expert on violins. He had had a lifelong interest in the subject, which culminated in him in describing himself in the 1901 census as an “expert on musical instruments.” He was a regular contributor to The Strad, a magazine devoted to string instruments launched in 1890, and in 1900 he published a biography of the violin maker Antonio Stradivari, followed by a book on the repair and restoration of violins in 1903, and a biography of another violin maker, Joseph Guarnerius, in 1906. He was also regularly asked to certify and value violins, and he became President of the Cremona Society (named after the city in Italy where Stradivari lived and worked). Earlier, he had been a member of the Savage Club, and had even joined the Savage Club Freemasons Lodge in 1889, only to be excluded in 1897 after failing to pay his membership fee.

His wife died on 23 March 1909. Horace himself died at his home in Addiscombe on 8 March 1919, and was buried four days later in the family plot in the churchyard of St. John’s Church, Shirley, Surrey. He left an estate valued at £1,940 (around £85,000 in today’s terms), with probate granted to his daughter Rosa.

Petherick’s five daughters, all but one of whom remained unmarried, became musicians, with Rosa Clementina (known as Rosa C. Petherick) also becoming an illustrator of children’s books, specializing in picture books and other books for very young children. She also illustrated some books for older children, including a couple of boys’ stories by Harold Avery, several girls’ school stories (including Elsie Jeanette Oxenham’s The Abbey Girls in Town and Josephine Elder’s That Scholarship Girl), and an edition of Charles Dickens’s The Old Curiosity Shop, published by Andrew Melrose in 1906. She was a member of the Croydon Art Society and she became Secretary of the Croydon Sketch Club, and was briefly a member of the Streatham Symphony Orchestra. She died suddenly in Brighton in 1931.

Ada Flora studied at the London Academy of Music, playing the violin and piano, and for a while was a deputy organist at Addiscombe Parish Church, and a member of the Croydon Orchestral Society. She also composed a number of musical works and painted. She died of diphtheria at the Borough Isolation Hospital in Waddon Surrey, in March 1924.

Leila Helena (who also studied at the London Academy, specializing in the viola) established her own business teaching singing, as well as performing regularly. She died in Croydon in 1951. Eveline May trained at the Royal Academy of Music, and became both a musician and a conductor, as well as a music teacher. During the First World War she formed the Island Orchestra on the Isle of Wight. She died in Brighton in 1936. Dora Valentine also trained at the London Academy, and played with various orchestras including the Redhill Society of Instrumentalists and the Streatham Symphony Orchestra. She also taught music. She married Albert H. Gilson, a violin and cello repairer, in 1922, and died in Torbay in March 1946.

The four sisters also performed as together as the Petherick Quartet from around 1905 onwards, and they were all also members of the Addiscombe String Orchestra, and played with the local all-female Bach Choir.


Written by H. Petherick
Antonia Stradivari, “The Strad” Office, 1900
The Repairing and Restoration of Violins, “The Strad” Office, 1903
Joseph Guarnerius: His Work and His Master, “The Strad” Office, 1906

Illustrated by H. Petherick
The Young Middy, or The Perilous Adventures of a Boy-Officer Among the Royalists and Republicans of the First French Revolution by F.C. Armstrong, Marlborough & Co., 1858
The Four Homes, adapted from the French of Madame de Gasparin by Mrs Gother Mann, Ward, Lock & Tyler, 1861
The Robin’s Christmas Eve by C.E. Bowen, Frederick Warne & Co., 1865
Hector the Dog by L. Valentine, Frederick Warne & Co., 1868
Tom Thumb, George Routledge & Sons, 1870(?)
The King, Queen and Knave of Hearts, Frederick Warne, 1871(?)
Blue-Beard, F. Warne & Co., 1871(?)
Lili, The Doctor’s Daughter, or The Bunch of Violets, and What Became of Them by Charles Bruce, Jarrold & Sons, 1871
Hanbury Mills: A Study of Contrasts by Christabel R. Coleridge, Frederick Warne & Co., 1872
Home for the Holidays by L. Jewry, Frederick Warne & Co., 1872
The Well in the Desert: An Old Legend of the House of Arundel by Emily Sarah Holt, John F. Shaw & Co., 1872
Father Time’s Story Book: For the Little Ones by Kathleen Knox, Griffith & Farran, 1873
The Heroic Wife, or The Wanderers on the Amazon by W.H.G. Kingston, Griffith & Farran, 1874
Nettie’s Mission by Julia A. Matthews, James Nisbet & Co., 1874
The Birthday Present: Tales, Amusing and Instructive, Frederick Warne & Co., 1874(?)
Rover’s Dinner Party by L. Valentine, Frederick Warne & Co., 1875
London Characters by L. Valentine, Frederick Warne & Co., 1875
Little Prescription and Other Tales by Mrs Robert O’Reilly, George Bell & Sons, 1875 (with other artists)
The Child of the Wreck, or The Loss of the “Royal George” by W.H.G. Kingston, Griffith & Farran, 1876
Our Boys and Girls by L. Valentine, Frederick Warne & Co., 1876
The Little Sea-Bird by George E. Sargent, Religious Tract Society, 1876 (re-issue)
David’s Little Lad by L.T. Meade, John F. Shaw & Co., 1877
The Earl-Printer: A Tale of the Time of Caxton by Catherine Mary MacSorley, John F. Shaw & Co., 1877
Harold, or Following the Footprints by A.S.O.C., John F. Shaw & Co., 1877
Lotty’s Visit to Grandma by “Brenda”, John F. Shaw & Co., 1877
The House in the Glen and the Boys Who Built It by anon, John F. Shaw & Co., 1877
For the Master’s Sake: A Story of the Days of Queen Mary by Emily Sarah Holt, John F. Shaw & Co., 1877
Tales and Legends of Saxony and Lusatia by William Bury Westall, Griffith & Farran, 1877
The Home of Fiesole, with a Sketch of the Life and Times of Savonarala by anon., John F. Shaw & Co., 1877
White Lilies and Other Tales by L.T. Meade, John F. Shaw, 1878
The Gabled Farm, or Young Workers for the King by Catharine Shaw, John F. Shaw & Co., 1878
Uncle Philip: A Tale for Boys and Girls by Stella Auston, J. Masters & Co., 1878
Outcast Robin, or Your Brother and Mine by L.T. Meade, John F. Shaw & Co., 1878
Winifred, or An English Maiden in the Seventeenth Century by Lucy Ellen Guernsy, John F. Shaw & Co., 1878
Margery’s Son, or “Until He Find It”: A Fifteeneth Century Tale of the Court of Scotland by Emily Sarah Holt, John F. Shaw & Co., 1878
Willow Bank, or Only a Week by C.H., John F. Shaw & Co., 1879
The Two Castaways, or Adventures in Patagonia by Lady Florence Dixie, John F. Shaw & Co., 1879
Brave Geordie: The Story of an English Boy by Grace Stebbing, John F. Shaw & Co., 1879
Dot and Her Treasures by L.T. Meade, John F. Shaw & Co., 1879
Friends Only by Emily Marion Harris, Marcus Ward & Co., 1879
The Maiden’s Lodge, or None of Self and All of Thee: A Tale of the Reign of Quen Anne by Emily Sarah Holt, John F. Shaw & Co., 1880
The Browning Boys by “Pansy,” Sunday School Union, 1880
Prairie Days, or Our Home in the Far West by Mary B. Sleight, John F. Shaw & Co., 1880
Hilary’s Love Story by Georgiana Marion Craik, Marcus Ward & Co., 1880
Jack: A Chapter in a Boy’s Life by Yotty Osborn, John F. Shaw & Co., 1880
Childhood’s Playtime, Frederick Warne & Co., 1880
Lady Rosamond’s Book, or Dawnings of Light by Lucy Ellen Guernsey, John F. Shaw & Co., 1880
Nobody’s Lad by Leslie Keith, John F. Shaw & Co., 1880
My Dog Tray, Frederick Warne & Co., 1880
Dick Whittington, Frederick Warne & Co., 1880
Lady Sibyl’s Choice: A Tale of the Crusades by Emily Sarah Holt, John F. Shaw & Co., 1880
Our Captain: The Heroes of Barton School by M.L. Ridley, John F. Shaw & Co., 1881
The Cornet of Horse: A Tale of Marlborough’s Wars by G.A. Henty, Sampson Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington, 1881
Uncle Fred’s Shilling: Its Travels and Adventures by Emily Brodie, John F. Shaw & Co., 1881
Silent Highways: A Story of Barge Life by Frances Palmer, John F. Shaw & Co., 1881
Hilda, or Seeketh Not Her Own by Catharine Shaw, John F. Shaw & Co, 1881
Winning His Spurs: A Tale of the Crusades by G.A. Henty, Sampson Low, Marston, Searle and Rivington, 1882 (published in the USA as Fighting the Saracens, or The Boy Knight)
Hubert D’Arcy, the Young Crusader by N. Payne Gallwey, John F. Shaw & Co., 1882
Red Cloud, the Solitary Sioux: A Story of the Great Prairie by William Francis Butler, Sampson Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington, 1882
Middy and Ensign, or The Jungle Station: A Tale of the Malay Peninsula by George Manville Fenn, Griffith, Farran & Co., 1882
Wings: A Tale by Stella Austin, J. Masters & Co., 1882
Red and White: A Tale of the Wars of the Roses by Emily Sarah Holt, John F. Shaw & Co., 1882
Gold and Glory, or Wild Ways of Other Days: A Tale of Early American Discovery by Grace Stebbing, John F. Shaw & Co., 1882
Among the Gibjigs: A Child’s Romance by Sydney Hodges, Remington & Co., 1882
The Nursery Alphabet, Frederick Warne & Co., 1882
The Three Chums: A Story of School Life by M.L. Ridley, John F. Shaw, 1882 (with other artists)
Norway in June by Olivia M. Stone, Marcus Ward & Co., 1882 (with other artists)
Among the Woblins: A Child’s Romance by Sydney Hodges, Remington & Co., 1883
Walter Alison: His Friends and Foes by M.L. Ridley, John F. Shaw & Co., 1883 (with other artists)”
His Mother’s Book by Evelyn Everett Green, John F. Shaw & Co., 1883
Not for Him: The Story of a Forgotten Hero by Emily Sarah Holt, John F. Shaw & Co., 1883
Winning an Empire, or The Story of Clive by Grace Stebbing, John F. Shaw & Co., 1883
Alick’s Hero by Catharine Shaw, John F. Shaw & Co., 1883
Wearyholme, or Seeding and Harvest: A Tale of the Restoration of Charles the Second by Emily Sarah Holt, John F. Shaw & Co., 1883
Water Gipsies, or The Adventures of Tag, Rag, and Bobtail by L.T. Meade, John F. Shaw & Co., 1883
The Three Little Doggies, Frederick Warne & Co., 1883
Phoebe’s Pool: A Story for Children by Katharine D. Cornish, J. Masters & Co., 1883
Kenneth’s Children: A Story for Boys and Girls by Stella Austin, J. Masters & Co., 1884
Sister Sue by Ismay Thorn, J. Masters & Co., 1884
Mother Bunch: A Story for Boys and Girls by Stella Austin, J. Masters & Co., 1885
Aunt Louisa’s Welcome Gift by L. Valentine, Frederick Warne & Co., 1885 (with other artists)
“Worth a Threepenny Bit,” or General Weissel’s Grandchildren, by “Yvonne”, John F. Shaw & Co., 1886
Silverdale Rectory, or The Golden Links by Grace Stebbing, John F. Shaw & Co., 1886
A Professional Secret, and Other Tales by William Wilthew Fenn, John Hogg, 1887
Aunt Louisa’s Home Companion by L. Valentine, Frederick Warne & Co., 1887 (with other artists)
Stories Told By My Cat Timothy by Felicia Melancthon, Blackie & Son, 1888
Dorothy’s Clock by Aimée de Venoix Dawson, Blackie & Son, 1888
Brave Little Women: Tales of the Heroism of Girls, Founded on Fact by Marie Trevelyan, John Hogg, 1888
Stories About My Dolls by Felicia Melancthon, Blackie & Son, 1888
Linda and the Boys by Cecilia Selby Lowndes, Blackie & Son, 1888
The Wondrous Tale of Cocky, Clucky and Cackle by Charles William Heckethorn, John Hogg, 1888
A Pair of Clogs, and Other Stories for Children by Amy Walton, Blackie & Son, 1888
A Strange Exhibition, and Other Tales for the Young by E.C. Rickards, John Hogg, 1888
Swiss Stories: For Children and Those Who Love Children by Lucy Wheelock, Blackie & Son, 1889
Joan’s Adventures at the North Pole and Elsewhere by Alice Corkran, Blackie & Son, 1889
Nöel and Geoff, or Three Christmas Days: a Story for Children by Frances Armstrong, John Hogg, 1889
Under the Walnut-Tree: Stories Told by the Birds by Frances Armstrong, John Hogg, 1890 (with other artists)
The Truth About the Dead Heart, With Reminiscences of the Author and the Actors by John Coleman, Henry J. Drane, 1890
Nobody’s Neighbour, or Jack’s Experiment by Catharine Shaw, John F. Shaw & Co., 1891
In the Enemy’s Country, or The Raven of Steinbruck: A Story of 1813 by Anna Harriet Drury, Griffith, Farran, Okeden & Welsh, 1891
The Boys of Prior’s Dean by Phoebe Allen, John Hogg, 1891
Merchant and Mountebank by “Brenda,” John F. Shaw & Co., 1891
Little Pets, John F. Shaw & Co., 1891(?)
Popular Stories by various authors, John F. Shaw & Co., 1894
Vulcan’s Revenge by anon., Sunday School Union, 1894
Up in the Old Pear Tree: A Holiday Story by S.P. Armstrong, John Hogg, 1895
The Stolen Roses by Emma Leslie, Sunday School Union, 1896
Stories Told to a Child by Jean Ingelow, Wells Gardner, Darton & Co., 1896 (re-issue)
For Old Sake’s Sake by Stella Austin, Wells Gardner, Darton & Co., 1898 (re-issue)
Schooldays at Highfield House by A.N. Malan, Religious Tract Society, 1898 (with other artists)
Mother Bunch: A Story for Boys and Girls by Stella Austin, Charles Taylor, 1899
The Slave Girl of Pompeii, or By a Way They Knew Not: A Tale of the First Century by Emily Sarah Holt, John F. Shaw & Co., 1899 (re-issue)
The Princess and the Goblin by George Macdonald, Blackie & Son, 1900 (with Arthur Hughes) (re-issue)

Friday, February 08, 2019

Comic Cuts - 8 February 2019

Today's Comic Cuts column is going up a little later than usual because I was in London on Thursday helping to film a segment for The One Show. I was contacted last month by a BBC production office who were tasked with putting together four and a half minutes on the subject of Harry Bensley, the man who claimed that he walked around the world in an Iron Mask.

I first wrote about Harry here on Bear Alley way back in 2014, turning it into a slim book in 2016. The text was expanded for the current version of the book that was first published in the summer of 2018. There's a new draft of the book available at the moment where I've tidied up a couple of things for clarity. It's a complicated story and The One Show can only give the subject a few minutes, a stripped back version covering the main facts. If you want to explore further, well... there's a book...

So how did I end up wandering around in front of a camera in Trafalgar Square with social historian and author Ruth Goodman watching a K-Pop video being shot and then going to watch some shoes rising and falling... rising and falling... rising and falling... like breathing... at a shoe museum?

As these things usually do, it began with an e-mail from a guy called Paul from the BBC in Belfast asking whether I'd be willing to chat about Harry Bensley with a view to maybe being interviewed for a segment on The One Show. Why, yes, I would like to chat about Harry Bensley, I thought.

After a couple of interviews with a researcher (Hi, Siobhan!) trying to straighten out and simplify the storyline until a rough script could be prepared. I was due to travel up to London on the Thursday for filming at Galeria Melissa in Covent Garden at around 3:30pm. This is the aforementioned shoe museum, based at 43 King Street, which used to be the location of the National Sporting Club, where the wager between the Earl of Lonsdale and J. P. Morgan was laid down that set Harry Bensley on his way around the world in a mask. Well, that's the story, anyway.

On Wednesday, the plan changed... could I be in Trafalgar Square for 2.00pm. As I'd planned a little redundancy into the train times, I could, and easily.

I'd planned to do a little exploring of old haunts and wander down Charing Cross Road looking in some of the old book shops. But London is changing and the area where Tottenham Court Road meets New Oxford Street is just one huge building site. Denmark Street (the site of the original Forbidden Planet) is all scaffolding and the bar where FP and Titan did all their signings has gone, replaced with a rather boxy looking. The Forbidden Planet that was in New Oxford Street is now a Korean and Japanese supermarket.

There were only two secondhand bookshops down Charing Cross Road, neither of which had a particularly good SF section, so I headed off to Trafalgar Square early.

The first thing I noticed was another change. When I was a kid and we were taken to Trafalgar Square by my Mum on Nan, it was packed out with pigeons. One of the attractions was feeding them and then scrambling around on the sticky back of a lion that was covered in pigeon poop.

Well, there are only one or two pigeons these days thanks to the banning of bird seed sellers in 2001 and the 2003 ban on feeding the birds. You could still feed them on the North Terrace (outside the National Art Gallery), but that was banned in 2007. And if that wasn't enough, Ken Livingstone (who must have really hated pigeons) brought in hawks to scare off the stubborn ones who liked hanging out in central London, spending over £350,000 to kill 130 pigeons (just £2,729 per dead bird) between 2003-09.

It has definitely reduced the number of pigeons, but there's still a gull on the head of every statue.

At precisely two o'clock the phone rang and Paul tells me they are about to arrive at Trafalgar Square. We met up and he introduced me to cameraman Austin and to Ruth Goodman who will be interviewing me. We find a corner of a fountain where we begin filming. You'll be able to see some of these bits when the piece goes out, so I'll just say here that it involved answering a few questions, usually a couple of times so I could get the answers straight and get the information across concisely (anyone reading this will realise that even my writing rambles).

Then we had to walk across Trafalgar Square, avoiding the Asian girl in the tight top who was dancing like she was under attack from ants but was almost certainly trying to film a K-pop video, avoiding the conga lines of tourists also crossing the square, and trying to remember not to stare or gurn at the camera as I passed by.

Then it was off to Covent Garden and the former home of the National Sporting Club, now the Galeria Melissa, a shoe museum. This bit will actually come ahead of the Trafalgar Square part of the interview in the finished piece, so I had to avoid actually naming Harry Bensley, as he is only revealed after the Galeria Melissa interview.

I only saw a couple of rooms of the shoe museum, the psychedelic entrance hall, the room of hanging shoes and a nicer little nook with a couple of comfy armchairs. There was a bit more chat about the Iron Mask and what the wager involved. I'd spent the morning wandering around the kitchen and living room reciting "the trip involved 160 towns and cities across 40 counties in the UK, in each of which he had to get the signature of a dignitary – the mayor or a doctor – to prove that he had been there. Then he had to visit 19 countries, Ireland, North and South America, New Zealand and Australia, Japan and China. Then Africa and through Europe, back to the UK." I think I managed to repeat this almost exactly three times, along with some additional lines about a companion and a mention that he had to find a wife.

We were finished by five. The last shot was Ruth and I walking into the room with the hanging perspex boxes of shoes. I'm no expert, but I'm guessing these were all modern classics and the rising and falling of the boxes was quite hypnotic.

And that was the filming over. Ruth headed off for her taxi, I headed off for the underground and Paul and Austin headed off to the airport. I arrived at Leicester Square tube station still buoyed by adrenaline. That lasted about two minutes. Believe me, there's nothing like being bumped and buffeted around on the Northern Line to bring you straight back down to earth.

I don't know when the film will appear, but I'll be sure to let everyone know. I'm hoping that it will give the book a little bit of a boost – it only costs £5.50, so it's not a hugely expensive item, and if you're ordering something else that's not expensive enough to get free postage, it might just nudge you over the free postage limit, which means it has only cost a couple of quid.

Thursday, February 07, 2019

Commando 5199-5202

The longest-running British war comic reaches its 5200th issue as Commando releases brand new issues 5199 – 5202! Check out the mysteries of Pyu city ruins in Burma, monuments to a minotaur in Crete, Aussie redemption in the jungle, and a prankster in the British Army!

5199: Labyrinth

Move over, Indiana jones! Writer Dominic Teague’s Lieutenant Ned Morris is here to discover ancient artefacts and save the day from the Japanese! But something slithers in the dark in Burma! Defeo and Morhain’s art will make you cry – “Snakes! Why did it have to be snakes?!”

Story: Dominic Teague
Art: Morhain & Defeo
Cover: Janek Matysiak

5200: Sky Blitz

Sky Blitz is our 5200th issue – and what an issue it is! Don’t be fooled by the dramatic cover by Scholler because inside lies a zany Eric Hebden plot! Based in the real Palace of Minos at Knossos, Captain Colbert fends off the relentless attacks from German paratroopers during the Battle of Crete. But the palace holds a secret – and it isn’t just Greek partisans.

Story: E Hebden
Art: Sostres
Cover: Scholler
Originally Commando No. 152 (February 1965).

5201: Jungle Redemption

From the writer of 2018’s best-selling Commando issue ‘Flak Run’, comes another ripper of a comic! In this issue, Brent Towns’ Sergeant Ted Jones is deep down in the jungle of a remote Indian Ocean island! But when his mission to destroy a Japanese airstrip goes pear-shaped, Ted has to leave his cobbers behind! Strewth! Now he’s determined to go back for them at any cost!

Story: Brent Towns
Art: Khato
Cover: Neil Roberts

5202: The Joker

What a cover! And what a Commando! Private Bob Dyson isn’t called “The Joker” for nothing! But Dyson and his by the book Company Sergeant Major, Alec Collins, get off to a bad start when the private’s mischievous streak strikes! Highlights includes changing the CSM’s cap badge to a sheriff’s badge and a dummy grenade!

Story: Burden
Art: Gordon C Livingstone
Cover: Dalger
Originally Commando No. 2775 (July 1994).

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Rebellion Releases (2000AD)

Rebellion releases for 6 February 2019.

2000AD Prog 2118
Cover: Raid71
JUDGE DREDD: MACHINE LAW by John Wagner (w) Colin MacNeil (a) Chris Blythe (c) Annie Parkhouse (l)
SKIP TRACER: LOUDER THAN BOMBS by James Peaty (w) Paul Marshall (a) Quinto Winter (c) (a) Ellie De Ville (l)
THARG'S 3RILLERS: KEEPER OF SECRETS by Robert Murphy (w) Steven Austin (a) Pippa Mather (c) Ellie De Ville (l)
BRINK: HIGH SOCIETY by Dan Abnett (w) INJ Culbard (a) Simon Bowland (l)
JAEGIR: BONEGRINDER by Gordon Rennie (w) Simon Coleby (a) Len O'Grady (c) Annie Parkhouse

Sunday, February 03, 2019

A S Boyd

Robert J. Kirkpatrick

A.S. Boyd was a Scottish illustrator, cartoonist and painter, who was best-known for his work with The Graphic and Punch. He also illustrated a variety of books, including many with a Scottish background, and several girls’ stories by authors such as May Baldwin and L.T. Meade.

He was born on 7 February 1854 in Glasgow, and baptised as Alexander Stuart Boyd on 26 March 1854. (His second name occasionally appears in official records as “Stewart”.) His father, Alexander Boyd, was a muslin manufacturer, who had married Janet Mathieson on 5 June 1851. Alexander Stuart was the second of their four children. At the time of the 1861 census, the family was living at 156 Crown Street, Govan, Glasgow.

His interest in art was stimulated when he was recovering from a serious illness when he was around four years old, and an aunt bought him some illustrated papers and a box of paints. He was subsequently encouraged by a neighbor, James Cowan (who later became his brother-in-law), an amateur artist who was an early member of the Glasgow Art Club. He was then taught drawing at his local day school. However, after leaving school he began working as a clerk for the Royal Bank of Scotland in Glasgow, whilst painting and sketching in his spare time. At the time of the 1871 census, he was living with his widowed mother (his father had died in 1865) and his siblings at 2 Allanton Terrace, Govan. After six years with the bank, and probably inspired by having a painting exhibited at the Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts in 1877, he decided to become a professional artist. He studied with the life class at the Glasgow Art Club, and in 1880 he spent a few months at Heatherley’s Art School in London.

In the meantime, he had begun his career as an illustrator, having been commissioned to illustrate a serial by Sarah Tyler in the periodical Good Words in 1879. In March 1881 he joined the staff of the newly-launched Quiz, a Glasgow-based loose equivalent of Punch. He stayed there for seven years, producing comic black and white sketches, and then joined The Bailie, another Glasgow periodical which had been founded in 1872. For both periodicals, he used the pseudonym “Twym.”  Many of his illustrations from these two publications were collected in book-form in Glasgow Man and Women, published in 1905 by Hodder & Stoughton. In 1884 he contributed to the Glasgow magazine Sunday Talk.

On 6 August 1880 he married Mary Rennie Wilson Kirkwood at Frankfield House, Millerston, Glasgow. Born on 15 October 1860, she was the daughter of James Dunlop Kirkwood, am accountant, and his wife Agnes, née Marshall. The couple moved to 100 Buccleuch Street, Glasgow, Boyd having previously been living in Langside Road, Govan. In 1887 they moved to 257 West George Street, Glasgow, where they had their only child, Alexander Stuart, on 7 June 1887.

By then, Boyd had illustrated at least six books, beginning with Leaves of Healing for the Bereaved, published by Houlston & Sons in 1880. He was also exhibiting his paintings regularly – he had exhibited with the Glasgow Art Club since 1879; he was also a regular exhibitor with the Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts (every year between 1882 and 1889); in 1882 he was elected a member of the Royal Scottish Watercolour Society; and throughout the remainder of the 1880s he also exhibited with the Royal Scottish Academy of Arts, the Kilmarnock Fine Art Institute, the Glasgow Society of Painters in Watercolours, and, in 1887 and 1896, at the Royal Academy of Arts in London.

In 1890 he was appointed as the Glasgow Correspondent of the newly-launched Daily Graphic. In the summer of 1891 he was invited to join the staff of The Daily Graphic’s parent paper, The Graphic, in London by its editor W.L. Thomas. He therefore left Glasgow, in October that year, and settled at “The Hut”, 17 Boundary Road, St. John’s Wood.

He subsequently more or less abandoned painting (other than having a picture exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1909, along with one by his son, who had adopted the name Stuart Boyd) in favour of illustration. In 1892 he began contributing to The Idler, which had been launched in February that year by the author Robert Barr (with Jerome K. Jerome as co-editor), and a year later he began contributing to The Pall Mall Magazine. In April 1894 he began a long association with Punch. He subsequently went on to contribute to other periodicals, including The Ludgate Monthly, Black and White, The Sunday Magazine, The Art Journal, and, in the early 1900s, The Strand Magazine, The London Magazine, The Woman at Home, The Young Man, Printers’ Pie and The Odd Volume. He often signed his early work “A.S.B.”

As a book illustrator many of his books had a Scottish background or setting – for example collections of songs and ballads, and two books by the author Ian Maclaren. Whilst he was living in Glasgow, he was used by Scottish publishers such as William Blackwood and David Bryce & Son, and after moving to London he forged relationships with publishers such as Chatto & Windus, Hodder & Stoughton and W.& R. Chambers. Amongst his best-known books were A Lowden Sabbath Morn by Robert Louis Stevenson, published in 1898, and The Cotter’s Saturday Night by Robert Burns, published in 1905. Between 1907 and 1911 he illustrated four girls’ school stories by May Baldwin and three girls’ stories by L.T. Meade. He also illustrated five books written by his wife, who wrote as Mary Stuart Boyd.

In October 1898 Boyd and his wife set out on a round-the-world trip, via Australia and New Zealand, returning to England in May 1899. Their journey was subsequently told in Mary Stuart Boyd’s book, which had 170 illustrations by her husband, Our Stolen Summer, published by Blackwood in 1900.

Boyd’s son Stuart, who had been educated at University College School, Hampstead, enlisted in the Army Service Corps in August 1914. In March 1915 he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 13th Battalion The Sherwood Foresters, and was promoted to  Lieutenant in the 3rd Battalion in January 1916. He was subsequently attached to the 1st Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment in France in August 1916. He was wounded during the Battle of the Somme in September, and died of his injuries on 7 October, being buried in the Dernancourt Communal Cemetery Extension. He had been a promising artist, exhibiting at the Royal Academy in 1909, 1913, 1914 and 1915.

Along with many other periodical illustrators, A.S. Boyd found his work in less demand after the war, with photography becoming the preferred medium for reportage. Boyd and his wife therefore decided to emigrate to New Zealand – one source suggests that Mary had relatives there. They left from Southampton on 20 November 1919, and settled in Auckland. Boyd quickly joined the Auckland Society of Art, serving as President between September 1926 and September 1928, and in 1923 was one of the founder members of the Auckland Sketch Club. From 1920 onwards he regularly gave lectures – on art, humour, authors he had known, and, one of his specialities, Robert Louis Stevenson. He had given up illustration as a career, but he continued painting.

He died on 21 August 1930 at his home at Rewhili Avenue, Takapuna, Auckland.

His wife had a long career as a journalist and author, often using the pseudonym J. Colne Dacre. Whilst living in London she wrote reviews, features and stories for periodicals such as The Woman at Home, The Lady’s World, The Morning Post, The Observer, Chambers’s Journal, The Graphic, and Black and White, and several novels. In New Zealand, she became the first President of the League of New Zealand Penwomen. She died in Auckland on 28 July 1937.


Books illustrated by A.S. Boyd
Leaves of Healing for the Bereaved ed. by Arthur Guthrie, Houlston & Sons, 1880
Martha Spreull: Being Chapters in the Life of a Single Wumman by Henry Johnson, Wilson & McCormick, 1884
Personal Recollections of Peter Stonnor, Esq. by Charles Blatherwick, Chapman & Hall, 1884 (with James Guthrie)
The Birthday Book of Solomon Grundy: His Wisdom and Humour by Will Robertson, Gowans & Gray, 1886
Sweet Briar: Songs and Sketches from “Quiz”, Houlston & Sons, 1886
Legal and Other Lyrics by George Outram, W. Blackwood & Sons, 1887 (with William Ralston)
Bute and Beauty: Tour To and Through the Island by W.M.M., John C. King, 1888
Some Old Scottish Songs, with Music, David Bryce & Son, 1889
Other Old Scotch Songs, with Music, David Bryce & Son, 1889
The Gailes of ’89 as Imprinted on the Mind of an Officer (anon), D. Robertson & Co., 1889
Childe Ronald’s Pilgrimage per S.S. “Columba”: A Souvenir of the Clyde, David Bryce & Son, 1890
Songs of Scotland: A Choice Selection ed. by William Moodie, F.A. Stokes (USA), 1890
Jeems Kaye: His Adventures and Opinions by Jeems Kaye, “The Bailie” Office, 1890 (with other artists)
One and Twenty Pages: Sketches, David Bryce & Son, 1891
Sweet Content by Mrs Molesworth,. Griffith & Farran, 1891
Told After Supper by Jerome K. Jerome. Leadenhall Press, 1891 (with other artists)
A Chronicle of Small Beer by John Reid, Isbister & Co., 1893
At the Rising of the Moon: Irish Stories and Studies by Frank James Mathew, McClure & Co., 1893 (with Fred Pegram)
Tavistock Tales by various authors, Isbister & Co., 1893 (with other artists)
Novel Notes by Jerome K. Jerome, Leadenhall Press, 1893 (with other artists)
Ghetto Tragedies by I. Zangwill, McClure & Co., 1894
John Ingerfield and Other Stories by Jerome K. Jerome, McClure & Co, 1894 (with other artists)
Greater Love and Other Stories by Alexander Gordon and other authors, Isbister & Co., 1894 (with other artists)
The Bell-Ringer of Angel’s by Bret Harte, Chatto & Windus, 1894 (with other artists)
A Protégée of Jack Hamlim’s by Bret Harte, Chatto & Windus, 1894 (with other artists)
Old English, Scotch, and Irish Songs, with Music: A Favourite Selection ed. by William Moodie, David Bryce & Son, 1895
Sketch Book of the North by George Eyre Todd, Morison Bros., 1896 (with other artists)
A Lowden Sabbath Morn by Robert Louis Stevenson, Chatto & Windus, 1898
The Days of Auld Lang Syne by Ian Maclaren, Hodder & Stoughton, 1898
Rabbi Saunderson by Ian Maclaren, Hodder & Stoughton, 1898
Gilean the Dreamer by Neil Munro, Isbister & Co., 1898
Mr Punch in Society: Being the Humours of Social Life, Amalgamated Press, 1898 (with other artists)
Mr Punch Afloat: The Humours of Boating and Sailing, Amalgamated Press, 1898
Mr Punch in the Highlands, Amalgamated Press, 1898 (with other artists)
Our Stolen Summer: The Record of a Roundabout Tour by Mary Stuart Boyd, W. Blackwood & Sons, 1900
Horace in Homespun by J. Logie Robertson, W. Blackwood & Sons, 1900 (re-issue)
A Versailles Christmas-tide by Mary Stuart Boyd, Chatto & Windus, 1901
The Shoes of Fortune: How They Brought to Manhood Love, Adventure and Content by Neil Munro, William Blackwood & Sons, 1901
When We Were Laddies at the Scüle by Kenneth Airsbil, A. Elliot, 1902
Wee Macgreegor by J.J. Bell, Scots Pictorial Publishing Co., 1903 (re-issue)
A Little Ray of Sunshine by various authors, “The Daily News” Office, 1903 (with other artists)
Jess & Co. by J.J. Bell, Hodder & Stoughton, 1904
Doctor Luke, of The Labrador by Norman Duncan, Hodder & Stoughton, 1904
Mr Lion of London, and Some Affairs of the Heart by J.J. Bell, Hodder & Stoughton, 1905
Glasgow Men and Women, Their Children and Some Strangers Within Their Gates: A Selection from the Sketches of Twym, Hodder & Stoughton, 1905
The Cotter’s Saturday Night by Robert Burns, Chatto & Windus, 1905 (re-issue)
The Lady of the Lake: A Poem in Six Cantos by Walter Scott, David Bryce & Son, 1905 (re-issue)
The Golden Astrolabe by W.A. Bryce and H. de Vere Stacpoole, Wells Gardner, Darton & Co., 1906
The Children’s Hour by various authors, George Newnes Ltd., 1906 (with other artists)
Mr Punch’s Scottish Humour, Carmelite House, 1906 (with other artists)
The Follies of Fifi by May Baldwin, W. & R. Chambers, 1907
Mysie: A Highland Lassie by May Baldwin, W. & R. Chambers, 1907
Her Besetting Virtue by Mary Stuart Boyd, Hodder & Stoughton, 1908
Golden Square High School by May Baldwin, W. & R. Chambers, 1908
Sweet Content by Mrs Molesworth, W. & R. Chambers, 1908 (re-issue)
Prince Madog, Discoverer of America: A Legendary Story by Joan Dane, Eliot Stock, 1909
The First Stone by Mary Stuart Boyd, Hodder & Stoughton, 1909
Betty Vivian: A Story of Haddo Court School by L.T. Meade, W. & R. Chambers, 1909
Muriel and Her Aunt Lu, or School and Art Life in Paris by May Baldwin, W. & R. Chambers, 1909
The Speshul: Being the Book of the Glasgow Press by various authors, Glasgow Journalists’ Institute, 1909 (with other artists)
Mr Punch’s Golf Stories: Told by his Merry Men, Educational Book Co., 1909 (with other artists)
Rosa Regina: A Story for Girls by L.T. Meade, W. & R. Chambers, 1910
The Doctor’s Children by L.T. Meade, W. & R. Chambers, 1911
The Mystery of the Castle by Mary Stuart Boyd, James Nisbet & Co., 1911
The Fortunate Isles: Life and Travel in Majorca, Minorca and Iviza by Mary Stuart Boyd, Methuen & Co., 1911
Princess Marie-José’s Children’s Book, Cassell & Co., 1916 (with other artists)
Hamewith (Verses) by Charles Murray, Constable, 1917 (re-issue)

Friday, February 01, 2019

Comic Cuts - 1 February 2019

After two months working in-house, I'm back to working from home. I'm still writing material for the same firm, and will be for another six weeks or so. Working at the firm was always temporary, but it helped keep me focused on the job. I've just got to make sure I don't let e-mails, or Facebook, or watching something good on the TV, or fancying a walk round the block, distract me.

So, of course, during my first week back at home, I'm going to be in a tearing hurry to post an update to my Iron Mask book ahead of filming a little interviewette for The One Show next Thursday. The piece will be presented by social historian Ruth Goodman, probably best known for her shows and books about historical farming and Victorian life and practices.

I'll probably be on for about thirty seconds out of four minutes thirty. Even for such a short piece they are filming in at least three locations. Would they send me to Norfolk, or to Trafalgar Square or somewhere exciting to film? No, I'm in a shoe shop.

(Actually it's a little bit more exciting than I've made it sound, but I'll hopefully be able to talk about it next week.)

So that's my "One" news... more next week.

Just enough time left to mention a couple of upcoming releases from Rebellion. I posted in the Rolling News column to your left that Rebellion were releasing some reprint material from the humour titles in their archive and also had a Cor! and Buster Special lined up for publication on 17 April. Well, here are a couple of covers for you to enjoy.

The special, on the left, has cover artwork by Neil Googe and interior artwork by Ned Hartley, Cavan Scott, Abigail Bulmer and Tanya Roberts, with a lead-off strip by Lew Stringer. Good to see Frankie Stein, Martha (of Monster Make-Up fame) and Face-ache all making an appearance.

The other title is a freebie for Free Comic Book Day on 4 May and will contain reprints from various titles. It's great to see that Rebellion are making use of the full range of titles that they've acquired.

I haven't had much time for TV of late. I haven't been watching as much as normal because I'm not watching a show at lunchtime and I'm so knackered of an evening that I've not been watching anything just before bed. You'd perhaps expect that to be good for my eyesight, but actually it has been the cause of much eyestrain of late. I now have my new glasses and my eyes are gradually getting used to them... another reason I'm happy to be back at home where I have my chair, desk and monitor all carefully positioned to make long hours of computer work as comfortable on the eyes as possible.

I did manage to finish The Little Drummer Girl, adapted from a novel by John Le Carre which I have absolutely no memory of reading. I thought I had... I know I've got a copy, but I seem to have wiped the plot from my memory – which was great as it meant I could come to the TV series fresh.

I haven't read any reviews, but I suspect it was greeted with a bit less razzmatazz than The Night Manager was a couple of years ago. I quick dip into Wikipedia reveals that the latter was nominated for 36 awards and won 11, including 2 Emmys and 3 Golden Globes. When your show has Tom Hiddleston, Hugh Laurie and Olivia Colman, it is going to get noticed.

By comparison, The Little Drummer Girl was a relatively quieter release. If you can take Mel as a typical viewer, she watched and enjoyed The Night Manager, but wasn't inspired by the trailers to watch The Little Drummer Girl.

I thought it had a slow burning storyline which occasionally exploded into action. There were some incredibly tense moments, usually moments of spycraft, such as when Charlie drives a car lined with Semtex into a town square. Who knew waiting for something to happen could be so tense? I didn't know many of the actors (Charles Dance aside, I probably only knew Alexander Skarsgard from True Blood and Generation Kill), but there were no disappointments on that front, and the whole thing was ably directed by Park Chan-wook, whose Oldboy is a classic South Korean action thriller, but whose Stoker I found unwatchable, despite it getting some excellent reviews. The Little Drummer Girl was highly watchable.

I'll leave you with some more "Ones"...