Tuesday, 31 October 2017

The Spooky Art of Diving

The Art of Diving is back for Halloween! Here's a few spooky offerings for your enjoyment.

The first example is from a 1976 issue of Wizardand features some early work from British comics great Dave Gibbons (b1949). The self-taught artist began work as a surveyor but then started working for IPC as a letterer. He also did some work on the Marvel UK reprints, anglicising the spellings where necessary. His art appeared in various D.C. Thomson titles and in 1977 he was one of the original artists on IPC's 2000AD where his work included Dan Dare, Harlem Heroes, Ro-Busters and Rogue Trooper. In 1979 he moved to Marvel's Doctor Who Weekly/Monthly, depicting the adventures of the fourth and fifth Doctors.

In 1982 Gibbons began working for DC, drawing the monthly Green Lantern series. A variety of other work followed until 1986 when he began working with writer Alan Moore on the acclaimed 12-part series Watchmen. He later worked with Frank Miller on a number of works featuring Martha Washington and began writing stories for other artists to illustrate. In 2004 he wrote and drew the graphic novel The Originals and in 2012 worked with Mark Millar on a mini-series called The Secret Service which was adapted into the film Kingsman: The Secret Service.

I hope you enjoy this early example of his work (click for larger images).

1976. Painting by George Wilson.

In this 1974 film, treasure hunters find a sunken Spanish galleon in the Phillipines. Unfortunately for them, the wreck is guarded by the ancient spirit of a Moro princess.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

The Archie of Diving

Here's another selection from various Archie comics. I don't know who the drew the first example but the rest are by Dan DeCarlo. (Click for larger images).




Thursday, 14 September 2017

What Would You Do?!

Boys' World was a weekly magazine published by Longacre Press (Odhams) in the style of the Eagle, containing a mixture of comic strips and features. It ran for 89 issues in 1963/4 before merging into Eagle which had been acquired by Odhams.

What Would You Do? was the regular cover feature and here are three examples with underwater dilemmas. The solutions are at the bottom of this post. Unfortunately I don't have any artist details.(Click for larger images).

Let's see if your solutions match those of the editors:

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Live and Let Dive

In 1958 the Daily Express began publishing a long-running daily strip featuring James Bond. In its early years the strip adapted the Bond novels in order and so Live and Let Die was the second story, appearing from December 1958 until the end of March the following year.

The story features a scuba-diving sequence which I'm presenting here. (Click for larger images).

The strip's illustrator for the first seven and a half years was John McLusky (1923-2006), an artist for Bomber Command during the war. The paper stopped publishing the Bond strip from February 1962 until June 1964 due to a dispute with Ian Fleming. During this period McLusky drew The Beast of Loch Craggon for Eagle. In 1966 he quit the strip and drew Secret Agent 13 for Fleetway's June. He later worked for Look and Learn and spent 15 years working for TV Comic where he drew Orlando and the humour strips Laurel and Hardy and The Pink Panther.

In addition to his work in comics, McLusky worked as a supply teacher, a puppeteer on Bournemouth Pier(!) and, with his wife, ran a theatre company called The Elizabethans.

As a bonus, here's look at three examples of his original art for Live and Let Die.

The Art of Diving (Pat. Pending) Part Two

This post has been pending a bit longer than intended for which I must apologise!

Here's a mixed bag of designs submitted to the US Patent Office over the years.

This first design is for those dog lovers who don't wish to simply leave their pet on the surface. I'm sure you've all seen clips of dogs and cats diving in similar gear so, although I don't know if this particular example was ever made, the inventor was obviously onto something! (Click for larger images).

The next design is for divers who get thirsty during a dive . I remember seeing something like this in a dive magazine when I first started diving and at least one device, the SCUDA (I'm sure you can work it out!), made it onto the market. The inventor uses the same acronym so it might be this very design.

Can't be bothered with prescription lenses for your mask? Then you need this device which would enable you to wear your actual glasses during a dive, albeit with the arms removed. I was once on a trip when a rather short-sighted couple actually tired something very similar using their glasses, their masks and some sellotape!

If you have better air consumption than your buddy then you get used to ending your dive with plenty of gas left. This device was specifically designed to allow you both to become low on air! You each have a connector on your high pressure hoses and, when your buddy gets low on air, you attach a hose between the two systems and decant air from one tank to the other. Hmm, I think I'll just stick to having a bit more air left!

Don't want to waste air from your cylinder to inflate your drysuit? Then this orally inflated suit is for you! I'm going to include some of the actual text from the patent application here to avoid me making a rather obvious joke about item 14...

The diving suit 10 shown in FIGURE 1 includes a hood 11 which is connected by breathing tubes 12 to an air bottle 13. By turning a cock 14 the diver can draw air from a surface breathing tube 15 instead from the bottle 13, so enabling the diver to conserve his air when swimming near the surface. The diver is also able to exhale air through a tube 16 into the interior of the suit 10 in order to inflate it. Relief valves 17 are provided in the hood and also near each ankle of the suit.

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).