Saturday 27 July 2019

Know the Art of Diving

The Know the Game series of books first appeared in the 1950s. They were originally published by Educational Productions Ltd with modern editions still available from the publisher Bloomsbury. They were usually produced in association with an official body as in the case of Underwater Swimming where it was the British Sub-Aqua Club.

The author was BSAC First Class Diver George F. Brookes with R.B. Matkin providing the artwork. My edition is from the mid-70s but the book was originally published in 1962. Here's a selection of Mr. Matkin's illustrations:

I'm sure most people could imagine what a check-up with a doctor would be like but Messrs Brookes and Matkin weren't taking any chances!

As it was the 60s of course they used a female to model a wetsuit! I'd imagine it was probably copied from a photo. I like the completely natural pose!

You can see a selection of 60s and 70s covers from the Know the Game series here.

Monday 22 July 2019

Fauna Marina

This lovely box artwork is from a set of figures made by the Spanish company Jecsan. Originally issued in the 1950s, they were initially made of rubber and then later of plastic. (Click for larger images)

Thursday 18 July 2019

The Humorous Art of Diving - Homer

I was tempted to call this "The Homerous Art of Diving" which would have been bad even for me.

From the 40s through to the 60s, Henry Boltinoff produced numerous short filler strips for DC featuring the likes of Casey the CopVarsity Vic, Super-Turtle, Slim, and Shorty. Cap's Hobby Hints was his final strip. Sometimes it seems like they came up with a new character for every strip but many of them did in fact feature more than once. These five Homer strips all appeared, appropriately enough, in various issues of Aquaman  published in 1962-3. (Click for larger images).

Look out for more Homer and other Boltinoff characters, coming soon to The Art of Diving!

Henry Boltinoff (1914-2001), brother of writer and editor Murray, began working as a cartoonist in his teens with his work appearing in The New York American. He also worked on longer strips for DC in the 40s including Leave it to Binky, Buzzy and Dover & Clover. In 1969 he became the writer on teen-humour comics Date with Debbi and Swing with Scooter. He also worked for Harvey Comics and Fawcett Publications as well as drawing several newspaper strips over the years. From 1960 - 1985 he drew the single-panel cartoon Stoker the Broker which appeared in various financial publications. In 1981 this won him an award from the National Cartoonists Society.

Monday 15 July 2019

The Art of Diving for Fun

I really like this cover and wish I knew the name of the artist.

Diving for Fun was billed as a "a complete textbook for students, instructors and advanced divers" and was widely used in the 60s and 70s. The book was published by equipment manufacturer Dacor who also used the artwork for promotional purposes.

Wednesday 10 July 2019

The Explanatory Art of Diving

One of the most famous boys' comics published in the UK was the Eagle which first appeared in April 1950. Part of its mission was to educate as well as entertain and one early feature was Professor Brittain Explains which debuted in the first issue (this example from issue five). The artist was John Spencer Croft but I'm afraid I haven't been able to find out anything about him.

(Click for larger image)