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.