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).

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

The Weekly Art of Diving - S.N.O.R.K.E.L. Part 7

Here it is! The exciting conclusion!

That's all from Johnnie and the S.N.O.R.K.E.L. team for now but they'll return to The Art of Diving soon.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

The Commercial Art of Diving

Diving was often a popular subject matter for print ads back in the '50s and '60s. These three were all done in a cartoon style.

1956. Drawn by Ted Key (Theodore Keyser, 1912-2008). Key is best known as the creator of Hazel, a single-panel cartoon that appeared in the Saturday Evening Post and was later syndicated in newspapers. He also created the Peabody's Improbable History segment for the animated series The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show.

This 1958 ad for Crane Valves is by Stan Ekman (1913-1998) who more commonly worked in full colour. He painted covers for magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post and Colliers and produced a number of ads for RCA Whirlpool fridges and washing machines. His most widely seen work is undoubtedly the American Airlines logo.

This ad from 1960 announces the attendance of the R.D. Wood Company at the American Water Works Association's annual conference. I'm afraid I don't know the identity of the artist but I'm sure you'll be delighted to learn that the company were manufacturers of the Matthews Fire Hydrant.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

The Weekly Art of Diving - S.N.O.R.K.E.L. Part 6

It's that time again! More undersea action with Johnnie Webb and S.N.O.R.K.E.L.

Come back next Wednesday for the exciting conclusion!

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

The Weekly Art of Diving - S.N.O.R.K.E.L. Part 4

Johnnie and Slim were in trouble when we left them last week...

The excitement continues next Wednesday!

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Two of a Kind - Peter Arno

Peter Arno (Curtis Arnoux Peters Jr. 1904-1968) was a cartoonist famed for his work on the New Yorker magazine. He produced 99 covers and many interior illustrations. One 1941 cartoon by Arno and one of his gag writers coined the phrase "back to the drawing board".

This cover is from 1956. (Click for larger image).

I know this 1943 cartoon doesn't feature diving per se but it's a great image so I'm sure you'll indulge me. It was one of Arno's most celebrated cartons and Man in a Shower was the title of one of the many collections of his work.