Monday, 13 October 2014

Animals and their young by Raymond Sheppard (Part Four)

In my previous three articles we have seen all the pictures, from the Longacre Press book, 'Animals and their Young', taken from the series first published in Swift during 1957.

Now let’s look at how the reprinted artwork differs from their appearance in the original feature. The format of the 1962 book, has a comprehensive description of the animal on the left hand side of each page-opening, with the illustration taking up the complete right hand page. The Porcupine is shown below and, where possible, an accompanying copy of other features taken from Swift is also included with the original published artwork.

Page 60 showing text on the Porcupine

Swift 21 Sept 1957 The Crested Porcupine
Page 61 Porcupine

While it’s not especially obvious in this example, another artist has completed the drawing of the baby porcupine in the foreground, also adding the rocks and earth surface, to the bottom right hand corner of the reprinted illustration. On closer examination, the treatment of the boulders and ground area does vary slightly from Raymond Sheppard’s original handling of the remainder of the artwork. Each of the pictures included in the book contains a similar reworked section somewhere..

David Slinn who, as previously mentioned, worked for Swift in the late Fifties, provided this clearer explanation:

“All the illustrations for ‘Animals and Their Young’, and also ‘Birds and Their Nests’, incorporated a panel of flat colour to accommodate the short descriptive text. This would then be lettered on a thin cartridge overlay, attached by a small taped-hinge to the adjacent margin of the artwork. During the preparation of the four-colour separations at Eric Bemrose Limited [the printers based in Liverpool], the overlay was flapped aside, leaving the artwork fully exposed. Then, with the overlay back in place, a second black negative was made of the lettering in its correct position. This procedure ensured the printed caption would be on a solid area of colour, free of any reversed-out image of the lettering. If you examine the reproductions in the books closely, although the majority of these later additions to the artwork are very skilfully executed, it is possible to see where each of the original illustrations has been extended.”  

David’s informative revelations led me to publishing another article on my other blog Visual Rants. 

And here are some other featured animals where either – thanks to the kindness of Christine Sheppard – I have cuttings or, more recently, further scans from David. Now look carefully to see where each caption panel has been replaced, with an area of additional artwork, on these pages from the Longacre Press book.

p.73 Tapir (top left filled easily!)
Swift 2 Nov 1957 The Malayan Tapir

p.37 Leopard
Swift 31 Aug 1957 The Leopard

Cover of reprint book uses The Tiger and the box is easily filled in!

Swift 27 April 1957 Tigers

p. 11 Bison

Swift 13 April 1957 Bison
And lastly, particular thanks to David Slinn for this scan of the single example that I don’t own in any form – as it doesn’t appear in the reprint book – so, that’s the whole series reproduced for the first time in 57 years! Although, for followers of my Frank Bellamy blog, this won’t be the first time a missing Lynx from Swift has been provided by David – giving me the opportunity to acknowledge his collaboration, in both putting together and writing this series of articles.

Swift 5 October 1957 The Lynx

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