Monday, 9 December 2019

Ramond Sheppard and Elizabeth Cruft (Part 1)

Girl 23 April 1952
Pets Corner No.1 “Choosing a puppy"
A children's 'magazine' programme, Telescope, ran from 1950-1951 on BBC TV (the only TV channel at the time) and, as Nostalgia Central tells was hosted by Cliff Michelmore and alternated every Saturday with Whirligig.

How does this relate to Raymond Sheppard? Well, he illustrated a half page in colour called "Elizabeth Cruft's Pet Corner" for 26 issues in Girl during 1952. Girl, of course, was the second comic produced by Marcus Morris and team to accompany their bestselling Eagle.

Elizabeth Cruft and Cliff Michelmore c.1955 in All your own

Elizabeth Cruft (born c.1938) presented  a slot called "Your puppy" on the above-mentioned Telescope programme. She was the great-granddaughter of Charles Cruft, the founder of the eponymous Dog Show. In 1957 Elizabeth Cruft appeared in a programme narrated by Doris Langley Moore called "Men, Women and Clothes: How Fashions Come and Go" which was broadcast on 21 April 1957.  Incredibly the BBC have saved it and made it available online - all 15 minutes that were first broadcast at 22.00! It also starred Ron Moody - easy to spot, and Vanessa Redgrave - not so easy. The series is on YouTube and this episode has, I think Elizabeth Cruft appearing in the crinoline (around 5.00 minutes in). Later 1950s photos exist of Elizabeth in fashion shoots.She married John Moore and had 2 children 'Alexa' Alexandra Elizabeth Moore, and 'Tiggy' Catherine Louise Moore.

Thanks to the generosity of David Slinn we have a complete set of scans of all 26 episodes. 

Girl 30 Apr 1952
Pets Corner No.2 “Care of your cat”

Girl 7 May 1952
Pets Corner No.3 “Where your dog sleeps”

Girl 14 May 1952
Pets Corner No.4 “Care of your budgerigar”

Girl 28 May 1952
Pets Corner No.5 “Angora rabbits”

Girl 4 Jun 1952
Pets Corner No.6 “Feeding your dog”

Girl 11 Jun 1952
Pets Corner No.7 “Train your dog to walk to heel”

Girl 9 Jul 1952
Pets Corner No.8 “How to look after your tortoise”

Girl 16 Jul 1952
Pets Corner No.9 “Travelling with your dog”

Girl 23 Jul 1952
Pets Corner No.10 “Goldfish”

Girl 30 Jul 1952
Pets Corner No.11 “Bathing and grooming”

Girl 13 Aug 1952
Pets Corner No.12 “Dogs at holiday time”

Girl 20 Aug 1952
Pets Corner No.13 “Golden hamsters”

Girl 27 Aug 1952
Pets Corner No.14 “Teaching your dog to sit and stay”

Part Two to follow soon

Thursday, 28 November 2019

Raymond Sheppard and Star Weekly (Toronto)

Art by Raymond Sheppard

The 1 October 1949 edition of the Star Weekly (Toronto) has a statement showing the Star Weekly was 'bequeathed' - which after a minute's research turns out was because the paper was put into a Trust in order to preserve the liberal editorial stance. The circulation figure of 900,00 for the holiday month of August shows how national and popular this paper and magazine were.

Raymond Sheppard illustrated a few stories in the Star Weekly which I've yet to track down. But before sharing the few I've found, a small introduction.

If you imagine a UK Sunday newspaper with its glossy magazine, a newspaper, a section containing comics (yes I know I'm going a long way back!) this is similar to the Star Weekly, but published on a Saturday. I've been dependent on the microfilm available at the British Library, which is a commercial product they bought in, rather than scanned themselves. The quality therefore is not very good, but we'll come to that. Let's look at the 4 sections  - I've taken images from eBay as they are in colour and illustrate what I saw when looking through the microfilms.

MAGAZINE - sepia and colour

The 24 page magazine features royalty, film stars, events and novelty stories all illustrated by photographs and I'm guessing printed photogravure

Star Weekly 27 May 1939

Star Weekly 27 May 1939
COMICS - in colour

Star Weekly 2 September1944
This section carried on for many years in the Weekly and had many of the King Features and McClure Syndicated strips such as Tarzan, The Phantom, Flash Gordon, Terry and the Pirates, Joe Palooka, Napoleon (by Clifford McBride) and Superman (where uniquely Wayne Boring, the artist, gets a credit he never got in the actual DC Comics till decades later!).

COMPLETE NOVEL - B&W with colour illustrations, 15 pages

Browsing the complete novel sections, I saw a range of authors and illustrators. The first novel I found was Erle Stanley Gardner's "The Case of the Dubious Bridegroom". These are printed separately in a section like the above, but on newsprint and always feature a quarter page advert for the following week's novel on the back page. Interestingly, compared to the rest of the Star Weekly, the illustrator (on page 1 and in the centre pages) rarely gets a credit! 
Star Weekly 11 April 1942

Star Weekly 11 April 1942
GENERAL SECTIONS 1&2 - Newsprint in black and white of 24 pages

Because my primary interest is in illustrations I'm going to list a few illustrators (to help researchers who want to go further). In 1949 and 1950 I saw the following among many others:
Lu Kimmel, Elmore Brown, Marshall Frantz, Elizabeth cutler, Percy Lenson, Vincent Guise, George Glaser, Eileen Segner, George Garland, John Pike, Emmett Watson, Carl Bobertz, Arthur Sarnoff (3 Sep. 1949), Clyde Ross. Many are well known 'pulp artists' but quite a few were unknown to me at all.

Star Weekly 8 August 1936
The articles are very assorted and include short stories. The back page was taken up with Kemp Starrett's "Vignettes of life", a cartoon collection - see examples here.

Well, let's go to Sheppard's illustrations.The three I've found so far are from the General section of the Star Weekly

First we have Star Weekly of the 24 September 1949 - "The big game I fear most" written by Edison Marshall (p.4) shows a lion pouncing on a group of six antelope  (as described in the text).

Star Weekly 24 September 1949 p.4
I apologise for the scan (from a microfilm of the original paper!) but fortunately Christine Sheppard has in her collection the following original

Raymond Sheppard original
The second one I've found is in the issue of 15 October 1949 "He watched a wilderness battle" is written by Frank DuFresne (a former director of the Alaska Game Commission) and shows a bear fighting a pack of wolves.

Star Weekly 15 October 1949 p.8
 Christine has a cutting which shows the newsprint paper on which the image is printed

Cutting from Star Weekly
And once again we are extremely lucky to have the original but strangely, in this case, in full colour!

Original colour art for Star Weekly by Raymond Sheppard

Finally, for now, I also found Star Weekly published in 1950 (January 7) "Strange foods for the zoo" by John Fleetwood (p.11). The scan is a bit faded and I've tried to darken and sharpen it a bit. If you look closely you might spot a peacock - under the tiger's paws!

Star Weekly 7 January 1950 P.11

As the caption explains:
Wild animal tastes don't change when they are transferred from the jungle to a cage. They can't make their kills any longer, but they still must be provided with the food they're accustomed to in the wild state. And that calls for a most extraordinary and varied menu
Once again thanks to Christine we have the original artwork too!

Detail from the original art

Original art by Raymond Sheppard

Monday, 23 September 2019

Raymond Sheppard and Country Life and the Langham Sketch Club

Monkey Hill by Raymond Sheppard
For this short article I wanted to share an image published in a recent acquisition which touches on Sheppard in some way.

Country Life 13 November 1980 cover
Country Life began life in 1897 and is still being published. The 13 November 1980 issue has a two page article on "150 years of "The Langham": an artists' club and its past" written by A. H. Bear (on pp.1832-1835) with the above painting by Sheppard displayed.

Interestingly James Taylor in his book "Your Country Needs You: The secret history of the propaganda poster" (pp90-91) mentions that a "ridiculous argument broke out amongst its members as to whether the suppers should be hot or cold" and the subsequent split led to the formation of the London Sketch Club (who voted for hot suppers!). 

"Monkey Hill" that is shown in the article refers to the building in London Zoo. Malcolm Peaker has an overview of 'Monkey Hill' installation and the terrible story of how the baboon population diminished alarmingly quickly! If you want more details try here.

Iris Sheppard was sent a 150th anniversary invitation to a celebratory dinner

150th Anniversary dinner menu (21 Nov 1980)
  An exhibition took place in which one could see "Macaws" on loan from Mrs Sheppard.

150th Anniversary exhibition
Mrs Iris Sheppard is thanked

#148 in the exhibition is Sheppard

It can be reasonably deduced (as Christine Sheppard still owns this work) this is the actual image used in the exhibition

Macaws by Raymond Sheppard

For your added pleasure here are some sketches by Sheppard of macaws.

Macaw on perch in colour
Macaw in flight

Study of a Macaw late 1940's
Thanks to Paul Liss of Modern British Gallery

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Raymond Sheppard and Fifty...stories by Odhams

Fifty Great Sea Stories p547
I own three 700 page hardbacks published by Odhams Press Limited with no dustjackets and no publication dates. Both have one Sheppard illustration each. Part of the fun of doing this and other blogs is the help tiny corners of research can give to people, so I've gone down another 'rabbit hole' looking at this Odhams series... which I've put on my Visual Rants blog

But first the three I own with Sheppard illustrations...


Here's the page listing the illustrators - really unusual for such a book to go to this trouble!:
Fifty Great Sea Stories p12
 As you can see at the top of this article Sheppard did one illustration for a story called "The First Shot" by J. J. Bell As Wikipedia has a better listing than I could do I've linked to his biography and works here

Fifty enthralling stories of the mysterious east is edited by Sheik A. Abdulla and contains 17 full page black and white illustrations. The copyright information on the contents page says "Copyright G737" which I can't decode - does anyone know how this was constructed? The first story is titled "The man with the shaven skull" by the Fu Manchu creator Sax Rohmer.

Here's the contents pages for collectors to peruse

Unusually the illustrators are all credited here. They are:

E. S. Annison, Dudley Cowes, J. Harris, Cyril Holloway, T. Grainger Jeffrey, Ronald Lampitt, H. Charles Paine, Eric Parker, Pisani, Tony Royle, James Short, A. Sindall, E. B. Thurston (x 2), S. Tresilian, Gilbert Wilkinson

The story that Sheppard does an illustration for is "Out of the jungle" by Hubert S. Banner. The image below appears on page 39

Fifty enthralling stories of the mysterious east p.39
The story is of a British couple and how the wife does not believe the Malay superstitions. A man from Kominchi in Sumatra (a town well-known by Malays to have men who turn into tigers comes to them selling his wares. he tells the story of the 'were-tigers'  and is scoffed at. he is so angry that this woman does not believe he says he will bring proof in a week's time. Sudrono leaves to sell his wares praying for Allah to help him prove to her that such things happen in the jungle. He comes upon a woman who tells him that a local saw just nights ago the tiger attacking a heifer and that he saw the change take place before the man took to the shadows. Sudrono is told to get a bone from the heifer from the village chief with writing on it to prove it happened.On his way to the village, Sudrono is chased by the tiger and finds himself in a tiger-trap. I'll keep the ending to myself so you can be surprised when you might read it!

The author Hubert Stewart Banner appears to have written about the Malay Peninsula and Archipelago as well as Indonesia. He lived from 1891-1964.
"Known for his travel books and romances with a Dutch East India setting, [Kentish Fire] was written in his capacity as the Ministry of Information's Chief Regional Officer for the South East region. In it he writes of his experiences in Kent and Sussex (known as 'Hell's Corner' by the Nazi airmen), observing the impact of the Battle of Britain and afterwards, of the spirit in which the men and women of South East Britain met them"

Here's a short bibliography:
  • Romantic Java as it was and is: A Description Of The Diversified Peoples.  London: Seeley, Service & Co, 1927.
  • The Mountain of Terror. London: Thornton Butterworth, 1928.
  • Red Cobra. London: Thornton Butterworth, 1929.
  • A Tropical Tapestry: Sketches of the Malay Peninsula and Archipelago. London: Thornton Butterworth, 1929. [Banner, a prolific fiction and non-fiction writer of the pre World War II era, takes his readers on a tour of the Malay Archipelago. The tour is not meant to be comprehensive, but rather a series of sketches to evoke further interest.]
  • The Clean Wind. London: Hurst & Blackett, [1931]
  • Great Disasters of the World London: Hurst & Blackett, 1931.
  • Flamboyante. London: Hurst & Blackett, [1932]
  • Calamities of the World London: Hurst & Blackett, 1932. [ Includes The Paris charity bazaar affair; the tragic fate of H.M.S. Captain; the Silvertown munition-works explosion; the 'Black Hole' of Paris; London's second biggest blaze; the great Kingston earthquake; the catastrophic storms of 1881; the Paisley cinema tragedy; the French floods of 1875; the 1906 Vesuvius eruption; Hell loose on the Hooghly; the Albion Colliery disaster; the Chatsworth railway horror; the Iroquois Theatre calamity; the Hook of Holland catastrophe of 1907; the Valparaiso earthquake terror, and R.38's last voyage]
  • Amy Johnson. London: Rich & Cowan, 1933.
  • Wanted on Voyage London: Hurst & Blackett, [1933]
  • These Men Were Masons. A series of biographies of Masonic significance London: Chapman & Hall, 1934. [It includes: Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Sir Walter Scott, Lord Kitchener, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Johann Goethe among other notables]
  • Hell's Harvest.London: Hurst & Blackett, [1934]
  • Terror Wave. London: Hurst & Blackett, [1935]
  • Kentish Fire: A Tribute to the Men and Women of Kent and Sussex - Their Courage and Humour - Under Fire.  London: Hurst & Blackett, [1944]
  • Thus my Orient: 12 short stories. London: Dorothy Crisp & Co, [1946]
and I have found 2 short stories at Phil's Fictionmags Index:

  •     Out of the Jungle (ss) The Story-teller May 1933
  •     Old Sugar Bags (ss) The 20-Story Magazine Jul 1935

The second book of 704 pages, is Fifty world famous heroic deeds again by Odhams with no date except "Copyright S638". This time the artists are not listed and they drew the 17 black and white images and very strangely the images are all grouped after the contents pages! They are, as far as I can make out from the signatures:
S. van Abbe(?), Norman Howard, ?, ?, Holland(?), ?, ?, Clive Uptton, double page spread by Dudley S. Cowes, De Mornay, ?, Ronald Lampitt, Yates Wilson(?), ?, ?, 
Here are the contents:

As can be seen "Charlotte Corday, Tyrannicide" is the first story and the Sheppard illustration - which is the frontispiece, is titled "The Hero of “King Solomon's Mines”" referring to the story by Denis Clark.

The story makes tough reading as the mass killing of elephants and other animals grates an awful lot now, knowing about the extinction of some species. This is so different from reading about Jim Corbett, who only killed man-eaters. The story title is based on the person of Frederick Courteney Selous, DSO (31 December 1851 – 4 January 1917), who apparently was the real-life inspiration for Alan Quatermain in King Solomon's Mine and to be fair to Selous he was an early conservationist and indeed has a game reserve named after him

Denis Clark, the story's author contributed 6 stories to this particular book as can be seen above in the Contents page.

I've created a partial bibliography of his books below:

  • Golden Island. London: T. Nelson & Sons, 1939.
  • Tail End Charlie. London: Lutterworth Press, 1946.
  • Bandit's Bay. A story about Corsica. London: Lutterworth Press, 1946.
  • The Sea Kingdom of Corsica. London: Jarrolds, [1949]
  • Neptune laughed. London: Lutterworth Press, 1949.
  • Ships and Seamen. London, Longmans 1950.
  • Swordfish and Stromboli. Beachcombing round Sicily. London: Jarrolds, 1951.
  • In Search of Food. The story of man's quest for food. London: Longmans, 1951.
  • Explorers and discoverers. London: Longmans,Green, 1951.
  • Black Lightning. The story of a leopard. London: Hutchinson & Co, 1951.
  • Boomer: The life of a kangaroo. London: Hutchinson & Co, 1954.
  • The Jungle Monster. London: Lutterworth Press, 1959.
    CLARK, DENIS (fl. 1940s-1970s) (stories)
    • Last Round-up in Corsica (ar) Courier Jun 1949
    • Bontekoe’s Desperate Voyage (ar) Argosy (UK) Jun 1973
    • The Slave Who Defied Napoleon (ar) Argosy (UK) Jul 1973

"Undersea Hunting in Corsica" article from the Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, 1947

Fifty world famous heroic deeds Frontispiece
Thanks to Steve Holland for informing me Sheppard has no illustrations in 2 of these -Fifty Adventures and Fifty Masterpieces of Mystery and to all the booksellers who put up with my question regarding Sheppard illos!