Tuesday 2 June 2015

The Art of Diving with Dolphins - 60th Anniversary

I've previously featured the Dolphin family in a colour strip from one of the Topper annuals. This time we're going back to 1955 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of their first appearance. The strip was originally called Lucky Dicky Dolphin and ran from issue 109 to 128 of The Topper. These examples appeared 60 years ago this month, in issues 122 (4th June 1955) and 125 (25th June 1955) respectively. (Click for larger images).

The artwork is by George Ramsbottom (1903-1989). At 17 he joined the Manchester Evening News as a copy boy but soon started providing illustrations for a humorous travelogue series, Percy Phlage. In 1936 he moved to Dundee and joined D.C. Thomson as a staff artist. After serving with the Royal Signals in India, he resumed his career at DCT and worked on a wide range of strips in various publications. A few examples include Invisible Dick and Charlie the Chimp (The Dandy), Black Bob (The Weekly News), Scrappy: A Boy All Alone (The Wizard), Peg o' the Peaks and Leap Along Lesley (Bunty) and Everybody Wants Nancy (Judy).

In 1958/59 the Dolphins returned in issues 283-313 of The Topper although the strip was now called Dive with the Dolphins. They subsequently featured in a number of annuals during the 1960s.


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