Monday, 3 May 2021

Raymond Sheppard and Swift Comic: Birds and their nests (Part Two)

Last time started on the Birds and their nests series from the Swift comic, so here are last images drawn by Raymond Sheppard from that book and the missing one.

p.41 Kingfisher

p.43 Lapwing - or Pee-wit

p.45 Long-tailed Tit

p.47 Magpie

p.55 Mute Swan

p.63 Reed Warbler

p.65 Rook

Because I always have trouble telling my crows, ravens, rooks, jackdaws apart, I'm adding the Swift presentation for the above too. So far I have grasped that rooks have lighter beaks than the others mentioned!

Swift 4 January 1958

p.71 Song Thrush

p.79 Wren

The one that did not appear in this title when reprinting the series was the Kestrel

Swift 15 March 1958 The Kestrel

Now as an extra special treat are two more that I haven't mentioned yet as they appeared at the start of the series - the first on 21 December 1957

Swift 21 December 1957 Christmas dinner for the birds

Swift 28 December 1957 A Christmas card for your shelf

There are couple of other similar images by Sheppard but I'll save them for another day. Meanwhile I should say, similar to Animals and their young, there are images in the Birds and their nests book that are not drawn by Sheppard. Tom Adams' run began on 24 May 1958 with the Skylark and went through to 11 November 1958 with the Ruff. The others in the book not by Sheppard are:

  • Avocet
  • Common Tern
  • Cormorant
  • Crossbill
  • Cuckoo
  • Dartford Warbler
  • Eider Duck
  • Goldcrest
  • Golden Oriole
  • Goldfinch
  • Mallard
  • Mandarin Duck
  • Moorhen
  • Nightingale
  • Peregrine Falcon
  • Redstart
  • Ruff
  • Skylark
  • Swallow
  • Swift
  • Tawny Owl

Monday, 5 April 2021

Raymond Sheppard and Swift Comic: Birds and their nests (Part One)

Cover for Birds and their nests

Back in 2014, David Slinn helped me with first-hand information on the two series in the comic, Swift which Raymond Sheppard illustrated. The first I presented was "Animals and their young", now it's time for "Birds and their nests"

I've scanned the following from this reprint title from 1962 by Longacre Press. It matches the Animals book in size and colour but interestingly the title of the series is different

Here's the index to show you what appears and just like the previous book there are one or two images missed out - for what reason, we have no idea. Each image appeared on the right hand page with a description of the bird on the left hand page - thus the cover image's description appears at the back - here.

Birds and their nests p.80

Below are the issue dates for which Sheppard images appeared in the original comic with the 'missing' image highlighted which you'll find at the end :

4 Jan 1958The Rook
11 Jan 1958The Song Thrush
18 Jan 1958The Mute Swan
25 Jan 1958The Blue Tit
1 Feb 1958The Lapwing
8 Feb 1958The Green Woodpecker
15 Feb 1958The Magpie
22 Feb 1958The Wren
1 Mar 1958The Heron
8 Mar 1958The Blackbird
15 Mar 1958The Kestrel
22 Mar 1958The Chaffinch
29 Mar 1958The Jay
5 Apr 1958Long-tailed Tit
12 Apr 1958The Kingfisher
19 Apr 1958The Golden Eagle
26 Apr 1958The Black-headed Gull
3 May 1958The Great Crested Grebe
10 May 1958The Reed Warbler
17 May 1958The Barn Owl

p.5 Barn Owl

p.7 Blackbird

To illustrate how these appeared with some text, here's the example from Swift 8 March 1958

Swift 8 March 1958

p.9 Black-headed gull

p.11 Chaffinch

p.27 Golden Eagle

p.33 Great Crested Grebe

p.35 Green Woodpecker

p.37 Heron

p.39 Jay
Part Two to follow soon

Monday, 8 March 2021

Raymond Sheppard and Enid Blyton's 5th Holiday Book (PART TWO)


Part One here

The Whispering Pool (reprinted from Sunny Stories No.341 Nov 17, 1944), pp.149-154

Fifth Holiday Book p.149

 George desperately wants his wishes to come true. He's thought long and hard about this and knows his wish will be for a hundred wishes! He meets a brownie in the wood who shows him the path to the Whispering Pool where George must listen top the Pool and do what it says. He manages very well until told to dance around the pool seven times seven! The moral, know your times tables children!

Fifth Holiday Book p.150

"He stopped in surprise for he knew quite well that the little man was a real live brownie"

Fifth Holiday Book p.151

"He took a stick and carefully stirred the brown waters round and round"

Fifth Holiday Book p.152

"The Whispering Pool blew up into a kind of little storm and a low, thundery sound came from it"

Fifth Holiday Book p.153

"So George danced carefully round the pool fifty-two times counting out loud as he went"

Fifth Holiday Book p.154

"He dipped his curved hand into the pool, lifted the brown water to his mouth and drank

The interesting bit for me in this particular book is that Sheppard provides 8 colour plates which stand alone from any stories - but do tell a story of their own. They are all opposite the following page numbers: 64, 65, 96, 97, 128, 129, 160, 161 and none have his usual signature! Some artists have signatures in this book, but why not Sheppard, who usually signs so much!

Children on the farm

Punch and Judy on the beach

Playing Red Indians

Policeman controlling traffic

Building a bonfire with a Guy on top

At the circus

Father Christmas delivers presents

Tobogganing in the snow

Monday, 1 March 2021

Raymond Sheppard and Enid Blyton's 5th Holiday Book (PART ONE)

 Back in 2013 I shared the contents of Enid Blyton's Fourth Holiday book; today is the turn of the Fifth. It was nice to see these images shared around the Internet proving how Sheppard's work is still enjoyed 70 years after being published.

Artwork by Hilda Boswell

Raymond Sheppard did quite a few pictures for this particular edition from the "Holiday Book" series which was published in 1950 by Sampson, Low & Marston.  The invaluable resource The Enid Blyton Society website  concentrates on stories and the author - obviously - where my focus is on the artist. Let's get the endpapers out of the way as I notice that they look very much like Sheppard. They feature a panda, charging knight, dragon pleading, deer, princess with brownies holding her train, cow jumping over the moon, owl, stork, lion cub, squirrel, bear, tortoise, and an elephant - there are no signatures in the book at all, so you'll have to disagree with me!

Fifth Holiday Book - Endpapers

The Sneezing Dog (reprinted from Sunny Stories No.343 Dec 15, 1944), pp26-32

Fifth Holiday Book p.26
Collie the dog lives with Mr Snoot the miser. One day, the poor dog got so cold that he began to sneeze, and then something very extraordinary happened!he blew Dr. Help-a-bit off his little Brownie feet! The helpful Brownie heads into the house and relieves Mr. Snoot of his warm covers and also a warm flask of milk and some biscuits. The following night the same happens but after a reprimand Mr. Snoot fills Collie's kennel with more straw and turns the entrance of the kennel so it does not face the north wind.
Fifth Holiday Book p.27
"But alas the water had frozen hard. His dinner-bowl was quite empty"

Fifth Holiday Book p.28
"Tucked them round his shoulder to carry, and went downstairs again"

Fifth Holiday Book p.29
"Collie let go. Mr Snoot bent to snatch them but the brownie took them first"

Fifth Holiday Book p.30
"He shivered so much that the kennel creaked all night long"
Fifth Holiday Book p.31
"But collie slept well, tucked up in Mr. Snoot's comfortable bed"


Fifth Holiday Book p.32
“I beg your pardon. Forgive me. I have had a most dreadful night.”    

Tippy's Trick (reprinted from Sunny Stories No.311 Sep 24, 1943) pp.58-64

Tippy is a naughty elf, who thought it was very funny to take things away from people and hide them. Then he'd enjoy himself watching them hunting all over the place for what they had lost. He took Dame Tinky's blue tablecloth off the line and pushed it down a worm hole. Then he hid himself behind a daisy and watched the little old lady hunting everywhere for it. He promises to find the tablecloth - and doesn't take long to find it! He gets a penny as a reward and decides to do this again with Mr. Dumby's umbrella, and Mother Mickle's red shawl.  But people began to get suspicious until one day Princess of-Faraway came to stay and her jewels were stolen. A toadstool spore flies into the worm hole in which Tippy hides things and the townsfolk find the treasures pushed up by the toadstool. They leave them where they are and await the thief's return and sure enough it's Tippy who is sent to prison and spanked!

Fifth Holiday Book p.59
"He pulled it out of the worm hole and went to Dame Tinky's with it. She gave him a penny at once"

Fifth Holiday Book p.60
"When he saw Tippy passing by he called to him “I've lost my umbrella. See if you can find it anywhere for me. I'll give you a penny if you do.”"
Fifth Holiday Book p.61
"People began to say how queer it was that so many things vanished, and that Tippy always seemed to know where they were."
Fifth Holiday Book p.62
"So he waited outside the house where the pretty little princess was staying. He saw a light go on in her bedroom"
Fifth Holiday Book p.63

"The princess put out her hand to take them, but Jinky stopped her"

Fifth Holiday Book p.64

"“We'll do a bit of hiding ourselves now. We'll leave everything on the toadstool, and we'll all go and hide behind the daisies and dandelions.”"

PART TWO to follow shortly