Monday, 9 March 2020

Raymond Sheppard and the Crusader series - Part Three

"And that's the Giant's Finger, the peak that's never covered"
Frontispiece for p.9

I have finally acquired two of the Crusader series for schools that are illustrated by Raymond Sheppard. I must thank the Cotswolds Dogs and Cats Homes for selling them to me via eBay They had some others at the time of writing - check their shop and search for "Crusader"

The Men o' the Mists was written by John Hornby in 1951 (and published by Blackie and Son). It is number 5 in the Crusader Series. I've previously covered others in Part One and Part Two

"That will stop anyone getting in" said Neil
p.14 for p.15
In a minute the boys had pulled out into the darkness
p.31 for p.37
"There's a boat on the horizon!" called Neil
p.49 for p.45
The story is a lovely spooky tale of three men who visit the island looking for a missing man. They encounter difficulties but finally triumph.

John Hornby - bibliography

The church came into view
Frontispiece for p.7

The next one I obtained is called The Riddle of Monk's Island by T[homas] F[rancis] Maher. He appears to have been active around 1935-1965 but he's a bit of a mystery.

The story is about  Jim and Dick and their Uncle Victor who takes them out to explore the small islands off "Perros". There is a Perros-Guirec on the Cotes-d'Armor which is described as having pink granite rock along the coast, and looks to be a great hiking area. But the coastline only slightly matches the map in the book and does not have lots of islands as drawn in the book. But i suspect this is where the book is based. The three find an underwater way through one of the islands and this helps them later during World War Two, but I can't find any proof this incident actually occurred. It looks like inspiration might have come from Keroman Submarine Base which was a German U-boat base located in Lorient during World War II - Lorient being on the same peninsula. Anyway enjoy Sheppard's artwork from this book

The beams form the torch made rings of light on the water ahead
p.12 for p.20
"Lieutentant Kurth" he announced
p.29 for p.36

There was a blinding flash
p.47 for p.45

Thomas Francis Maher select bibliography

Novels (for children)

Echoes from Long Ago. Cardiff; Wrexham: Educational Publishing Co, [1940]
Brave Days of Old. Cardiff: Educational Publishing Co, [1948]
The Riddle of Monk's Island, illus. Raymond Sheppard. London & Glasgow: Blackie, (Crusader Series. no. 4.), 1952.
The Smugglers of Loch Shee. illus. R. G. Campbell. London & Glasgow: Blackie (Kingfisher Books), 1952
The Valley of Lost Footprints, illus. L. M. Woy. Leeds: E. J. Arnold & Son, (Adventure Stories. no. 24.), 1952
Whispering Island, illus. A. R. Clark. Leeds: E. J. Arnold & Son, (Adventure Stories. no. 20.), 1952
The Swoop of the Falcon, illus.Ellis Silas. London: J. M. Dent & Sons, 1953.
The Secret of the Screes, illus. Gilbert Dunlop. London & Glasgow: Blackie & Son, (Kingfisher Books) 1954

There are lots of educational textbooks for children written under this name and in the same time period from 1940s to the 1970s but whether this is the same man, I have no idea

Sunday, 16 February 2020

Raymond Sheppard and chimpanzees

Chimpanzees - watercolour by Raymond Sheppard
In the previous article (on Q-Ships) I glossed over another story illustrated by Sheppard in Lilliput of September 1957, "Ape for murder" by Pat Campbell.

In the introduction to this issue of Lilliput we are told "Pat Campbell, who writes the opening story in this issue, "Ape for murder" is a new name coming up fast both on paper and TV. He's a newspaperman and quite an expert on animals and animal-training."

I tried tracking down more about Pat but got stuck, especially as I kept thinking this might be Patrick Campbell, who was an Assistant Editor on Lilliput at some point! But he did another story in Lilliput
(December 1957) called "Claw for courage" (illustrated this time by Michael Leonard) about a tiger trainer, but other than that I don't know anything about him.

Lilliput Sept 1957, p2

Lilliput Sept 1957, p.11

The image above shows the opening page of the short story in which  some friends are chatting about the chimpanzee trainer when they hear panic as the chimp escapes. However everything is not all it seems. I'll say no more as you may want to track it down - Lilliput that is!

Original art for "Ape for murder"

The original art shows how Sheppard had to imagine the spaces to leave for headings and blurb as well as the initial part of the story. So easy to do these days with desktop publishing available to anyone with a computer but back then it was for the artist to do. The publisher would then typeset in the gaps. However, I do have instances where the Art Editor knew better than Sheppard and wrote over some of his artwork.
Lilliput Sept 1957, p.13

Original art for 2nd illustration
The original art of the second illustration shows the chimpanzee unlocking its cage. Notice the notations scribbled on the art board state this is "illustration no.3" but there are only 2 illustrations in the published version. 


The troop of chimpanzees illustrated at the top of this page was displayed at the Cooling Galleries exhibition which ran from 6 July to 24 July 1953 and was reported on (and shown) in The Sketch 29 July 1953. For a history of the Cooling Galleries see the wonderful Artist Biographies.

To finish off here are some studies by Raymond Sheppard of chimpanzees

Drawing at the Zoo p.43

Drawing at the Zoo p.43 Original art

Drawing at the Zoo p.17 Original art
 Please forgive the quality of some of the following but I think they're worth reproducing as they are sketches and may assist studies on how to draw chimpanzees

Chimp lying down

Chimp reaches out

Chimp swinging

Looking up at chimp / arm and hand

Squatting chimp

Chimp standing and reaching

Shape of chimp standing

Outline of chimp

Chimp eating
And finally some studies of chimpanzee faces

With thanks to Christine Sheppard for permission to show these wonderful sketches and original artwork

Friday, 10 January 2020

Raymond Sheppard and the Q-Ships

Some of the Sheppard artwork on sale

This is just a quick note to say that Paul Liss has another sale of original Raymond Sheppard artwork. Here's the link to his website so you can also sign up for a newsletter - then you don't need me to tell you it's on! 19 of the 27 Sheppards that are for sale are reduced in price.

And my favourite, if anyone wants to buy me a late Christmas present, is the group of 6 pen and ink drawings from a story in Lilliput magazine. Allow me to tell you more...

Cover of Lilliput September 1957
The September 1957 issue of Lilliput has the 'reconstructed' story by John Prebble called "Q-ships were expendable".  In the First World War the Atlantic passage via southern Ireland was a dangerous one for British vessels as German U-Boats lay mines and attacked all shipping. The problem was depth charges were crude at this time and the only chance of stopping a U-Boat was to ram it or fire at it when surfaced. Wikipedia explains:

The problem was how to lure the U-boat to the surface. A solution to this was the creation of the Q-ship, one of the most closely guarded secrets of the war. Their codename referred to the vessels' home port, Queenstown, in Ireland.These became known by the Germans as a U-Boot-Falle ("U-boat trap"). A Q-ship would appear to be an easy target, but in fact carried hidden armaments. A typical Q-ship might resemble a tramp steamer sailing alone in an area where a U-boat was reported to be operating. By seeming to be a suitable target for the U-boat's deck gun, a Q-ship might encourage the U-boat captain to make a surface attack rather than use one of his limited number of torpedoes. The Q-ships' cargoes were light wood (balsa or cork) or wooden casks, so that even if torpedoed they would remain afloat, encouraging the U-boat to surface to sink them with a deck gun. There might also be pretence of "abandoning ship" with some crew dressed as civilian mariners taking to a boat. Once the U-boat was vulnerable, the Q-ship's panels would drop to reveal the deck guns, which would immediately open fire.
Lilliput Sept 1957, p.20
 Prebble's story concentrates on the name most associated with Q-Ships - Gordon Campbell who was awarded a Victoria Cross for his bravery. As he admitted himself Campbell's decoy ships were not his idea but as old as the Navy. But Campbell was the one who added theatrical trimmings to the 'panic party' that evacuated the smitten ship

The 'panic party' p.22 - Original art
 He insisted a stuffed parrot in a cage was carried by one member of the crew and that one dressed as a woman. He also had people squabbling as they left the ship in order to delay the evacuation and exasperate the U-Boat captain into moving closer and surfacing, only to be surprised by guns firing at his boat!

p.24 - Original art

Gun crew laying motionless p. 25 - Original art

Periscope up p. 26 - Original art
 On the original art, with 6 illustrations on one board, one can see that instructions were given to the art department to shrink these to one and 3/8 inches and to illustrate what that looked like here's the final page - on which an advert appears which takes up half a page!

Lilliput Sept 1957 p. 28 as published

Crew of the U-Boat trying to escape from the flooded vessel
p.28 - Original art
Christine Sheppard shared the board below which has the other two illustrations that were published in Lilliput at 3 and 1/4 inches.

p.23 shows the Q-Ship being hit
p.27 shows the conning tower being fired on
Lastly, the reason I like the 6 image board is because there's one image that was not published

Unpublished - Firing at the U-Boat - Original art
Gordon Campbell wrote a book which was reprinted many times called "My Mystery Ships" and is easy to find on Abebooks

Many thanks to Paul Liss for his kindness in allowing me to use the original art images and of course Christine Sheppard.

Monday, 23 December 2019

Raymond Sheppard and Elizabeth Cruft (Part 2)

Girl 10 Sep 1952
Pets Corner No.15 “Canaries”
The previous 14 episodes of "Pets Corner" can be found here. Today we are looking at episodes from #15 to #26, the end of the series. Drawn by Raymond Sheppard in Girl comic in 1952 - thanks again to David Slinn - these delightful episodes may appear a bit dated but still read well.

Girl 17 Sep 1952
Pets Corner No.16 “White mice”

Girl 24 Sep 1952
Pets Corner No.17 “Guinea-pigs”

Girl 1 Oct 1952
Pets Corner No.18 “Pigeons”

Girl 8 Oct 1952
Pets Corner No.19 “If your dog is lost”

Girl 15 Oct 1952
Pets Corner No.20 “Tropical fish”

Girl 22 Oct 1952
Pets Corner No.21 “Your dog and visitors”

Girl 29 Oct 1952
Pets Corner No.22 “Hedgehogs”

Girl 5 Nov 1952
Pets Corner No.23 “Your dog's health”

Girl 12 Nov 1952
Pets Corner No.24 “Your dog when winter comes”

Girl 19 Nov 1952
Pets Corner No.25 “Ferrets”

Girl 26 Nov 1952
Pets Corner No.26 “Showing your dog”