Thursday, 13 July 2017

The Art of Diving (Pat. Pending) Part One.

This post features something a little different; a selection of submissions made to the United States Patent Office.

I can't think of a better place to start than with the inventors of the aqualung! The dates here are for submission to the U.S. office. Cousteau and Gagnan would have already applied for patents in other territories when these were made.

The first two illustrations show the three cylinder rig worn by Cousteau and his team in The Silent World. (Click for larger images).

Cylinders A and B contained the main supply of air with cylinder C acting as a reserve. When the diver turned on the supply from C he knew it was time to begin his ascent. The application mentions that this system does away with the need for a pressure gauge!

The next set of drawings are for a fin that resembles many seen today where the blade section is designed to flex independently and improve thrust.

Finally we have Cousteau's iconic "Diving Saucer" aka the SP-350 Denise.

In my next entry I'll be looking at applications for slightly more unusual designs.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

The Art of Yabba-Dabba-Diving!

Dell's Comic Album had a rotating cast of characters including Bugs Bunny, Woody Woodpecker and Tom & Jerry. Issue 16 featured The Flinstones who, at the time of publication, had recently begun their second season on ABC Televison. (Click for larger images).

Monday, 3 July 2017

The Humorous Art of Diving - Single Panel Cartoons

Here's a selection of single panel gags from various comics, magazines and newspapers. Some were from ideas sent in by readers.

At its peak, Glamor Girls by Don Flowers (1908-1968) appeared in 300 newspapers.

I can't find out anything about Sally's Sallies but King Features are a major syndicate so it must have been quite successful.

Sergio Aragonés (b.1937) is possibly best known for his work in Mad but has also worked extensively for the likes of Marvel, DC and Dark Horse to name but a few.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

The Art of Wall Diving

Kerbisher and Malt are a small chain of Fish and Chip shops in London and their logo includes an old-fashioned brass diving helmet. Driving past their East Sheen branch the other day I noticed they've painted the logo on the side wall of the building.

This reminded me of a post I had on street art on the original Art of Diving blog and I thought I'd share some of those images again.

This picture was painted in Waterloo by the artist Mr. Shiz and was photographed in 2010 by Duncan C.

This stencil art was photographed by Esther Moliné in Dublin, 2009.

A favourite technique of underwater photographers is to silhouette their subject against the light. This striking mural uses the same idea to great effect. Photographed by Christian in 2011.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

The Ape of Diving

Long-time Art of Diving  readers will remember when I featured the thrilling exploits of  Rex the Wonder Dog. Well, Rex wasn't the only member of the animal kingdom to have an aquatic adventure as you'll see below. Detective Chimp was a regular back-up feature in The Adventures of Rex the Wonder Dog and in this 1954 story by writer John Broome and artist Carmine Infantino, it's the turn of Bobo the crime-solving chimp to don some scuba gear! (Click for larger images).

Saturday, 20 May 2017

The Random Art of Diving

I'm aware that I've been neglecting this blog somewhat but in my defence I've been quite busy in sunny Azerbaijan for the last seven weeks working on the Islamic Solidarity Games! Anyway, I've picked a random selection of images to share with you. Unfortunately I can't give much information about most of them but I hope you'll just enjoy the pictures!

Butler Parker was created by Günther Dönges and appeared in over 600 novels between 1953 and 1992. When not busy buttling, Joshua Parker would use his steel-lined bowler hat, arrow-firing umbrella and London taxi to solve crimes. The character also made the transition to German television in 1972 with 26 episodes being made.

"They sure do like their privacy!"

I tried to translate the caption on this Russian postcard from 1961 but to no avail. If you know what it says please leave a comment to let me know!

This illustration from a 1961 issue of the Australian magazine Adam is courtesy of the wonderful Pulp International website. Check it out. The art is from a story called Appointment in Tangier. Anyone read it?


1959. This cover makes me think the diver is a contortionist in his spare time! I'm not sure why the artist didn't just draw him slightly smaller.

1954. Based on the signature I believe this is by Peurto Rican artist Rafael Desoto (1904-1992). It's very nicely done but, as ever, The Art of Diving cannot condone actions such as shark-riding!

And now this fella's at it!

I bet Sally Baxter didn't go around molesting sharks! 

Friday, 28 April 2017

Leo Baxendale 1930-2017

I was saddened to hear of the death a few days ago of British comics legend Leo Baxendale. At DC Thomson he was the original artist on Little Plum, Minnie the Minx, The Bash Street Kids and The Three Bears. He left Thomson's to start Wham! for Odhams where his work included Eagle Eye Junior Spy, a strip that introduced the wonderfully named Grimly Feendish. Grimly got his own strip in Smash! where Leo also drew Bad Penny. He later took over The Swots and the Blots which I read every week when Smash! merged with Valiant. Later IPC work included Clever Dick in Buster and Sweeny Toddler in Shiver and Shake. He was a pioneer of creator-owned characters with Willy the Kid in the late 70s.

You can read Lew Stringer's tribute on his wonderful Blimey! blog, which also contains further links.

Leo was interviewed for the first episode of Comics Britannia in 2007.

In June 1975, IPC launched a new, themed comic called Monster Fun. The four centre pages could be removed, cut and folded to make a mini, eight page comic called the Badtime Bedtime Book. Baxendale worked on these until the end of 1975 at which point he stopped working in weekly comics to devote his time to writing and drawing his new character Willy the Kid in album form.

Now, here for your enjoyment, from November 1975, is The Underwater World of Jacques Custard. (Click for larger images).