Friday, 26 January 2018

Raymond Sheppard and Look and Learn

Everbody's 16 June 1956 p.19
Raymond Sheppard passed away in 1958. In the first issue of Look and Learn, that famous children's educational magazine/comic, published from Monday, 15 January 1962 to 17 April 1982, there were two pieces of art by Sheppard, that I know of!

Look and Learn #1
© 2005-2018 Look and Learn - All rights reserved
In Steve Holland's fascinating Look and Learn A History of the Classic Children's Magazine (2006 - available via the Look and Learn site), he says:
This opening spread included the first illustration to appear in the paper, drawn by the renowned wildlife artist Raymond Sheppard. 

© 2005-2018 Look and Learn - All rights reserved

Not really being aware of Look and Learn until I was a bit older, I missed this, until recently when some nice person scanned the comic so I can show you the artwork in question. But this led me to asking myself some questions! Some of this looks familiar, where was it I saw these images?

Cover of Everbody's 29 October 1955
Jennifer Jones adorns the cover of the Everbody's magazine of 29 October, 1955  which also contains a feature on "The Lion Man" by Philip Street, (pages 16-17)

Everbody's October 29 1955 pp16-17
The caption below the lion reads "Contrary to common belief lions do climb trees and have been seen high up in an oak"  and what's interesting is that the picture in Look and Learn appears complete, so one assumes the image was available to Leonard Matthews, the Editor, back then. The mergers that occurred over a 3 year period over 1958-1961 were amazingly speedy and engulfed a lot of magazine/comic publishers. Amalgamated Press bought Everybody's in 1950 and were themselves taken over by The Mirror (with Cecil Harmsworth King at the helm) who then went on to bid for and succeed in taking over Odhams (which included Hulton and George Newnes). I would imagine therefore the archives contain(ed) these originals - Christine Sheppard appears to have Lilliput artwork (Hulton) but not Everybody's (Amalgmated Press).

Overlapping the lion image in Look and Learn is "In the coldest weather, Charlie has to break the ice before he can have his morning dip in the drinking pond" showing a tiger against a snowy background. I knew I'd seen this somewhere before and checking, I find my short term memory is declining! It was on this blog in last October - unfortunately the eBay seller appears to have disappeared! So some of the archive art, not unusually, has made its way onto the open market.

A tiger dips its paw in icy water
The second page of this Everbody's shows a lioness with cubs. "After being handled by the keepers each cub is given a thorough washing to remove the odours". Below are some of the sketches that Sheppard did whilst in London Zoo. The practice of drawing live gave him many opportunities to capture movement as well as stationery animals and these two images show the latter very well.
Sketch of a lioness and cub asleep

Sketch of lioness and two cubs
The last image in this group is a delightful drawing of three tiger cubs playing with each other. I do have copies of other sketches of tiger cubs (thanks to Christine Sheppard's kindness) and in the Everybody's (shown above) it states "Tigers that have grown up tame usually remain quite playful until about three years of age".

Various sketches of tiger cubs at play and rest

ketch of two tiger cubs resting together
Well, that covers one of the two images from the Look and Learn and the other, the zebra running from hunters (look closely top-left) comes from Everybody's again.

Everybody's 16 June 1956
Katie Boyle appears on the cover
The image (at the top of this article) comes from Everybody's 16 June 1956 (page 19) and shows at least 12 zebra with two foals being hunted in an article called "Big Shots meet Big Game" by Anthony Cullen. He writes about a young professional hunter called Mike Rowbotham who went on after this to become legendary in that field. Here's the whole page for your enjoyment!

Everybody's 16 June 1956, p.19


  1. I've got the first issue of Look And Learn, so I'll dig it out and have a closer look. You'll probably know that the L&L site sells (through The Book Palace) a 48 issue collection of the mag, which includes The Trigan Empire from the very beginning, as well as a facsimile of the first issue (and free gift). I got them a few years back and they're excellent. (I've also got an original first issue.)

  2. Hi Kid
    Good point, I ought to link to Geoff West's site more often, so here's the place that you mentioned. I've had so many L&Ls over the years and given away so many! And just in case anyone has no idea I also write the Bellamy blog and was published by Geoff here's the Bellamy "Story of World War" too!
    Thanks Kid