Monday 27 April 2020

The Art of Diving with Dolphins - Double Dolphins!

I was astonished to see that it's been almost four years since I last featured Lucky Dicky Dolphin and his family. Where does the time go?! Anyway, here's a double helping featuring lovely colour artwork from Ron Smith. They come from The Topper Book for 1963 and 1966 respectively. Smith had previously drawn them in the 1962 book.

I can't say I approve of Dicky's method for re-floating the Otter but as a lover of bad puns I enjoyed Sue's effort in the last panel!

Friday 24 April 2020

Look and Learn with the Art of Diving - How Man Breathes Under the Sea

Despite only taking up a single page inside issue 94 of Look and Learn (November 1963), the editor decided this look at how an aqualung works also warranted a cover illustration and I for one am glad that he did! (Click for larger images)

I was interested to see the manifold depicted here with a yoke/A-clamp on each cylinder valve as I've never seen one like that before, although I have seen pictures of that style of valve with the knob on the top. Here's a modern manifold as a comparison:

I'm not sure who provided the interior art but the cover was by Barrie Linklater (1931-2017). Born in Birmingham, he attended Woolwich Polytechnic School of Art and began his career with a London studio. I think this must have been the period when he produced work for Look and Learn. Following a four-year spell in Australia working as a freelancer he returned to London where he worked as a portrait artist.

In 1975 he was commissioned by the Welsh Guards to paint a portrait of HRH the Duke of Edinburgh. Prince Philip himself suggested that Linklater include his ceremonial horse in the portrait and then commissioned him to produce a painting of the Queen's favourite mares and foals as a gift for her Silver Jubilee. This commission immediately lifted him into the top tier of equestrian artists and 13 of his paintings are in the Royal Collection. His website is currently still active if you'd like to see more of his work.

Monday 20 April 2020

The Pocket-sized Art of Diving

Pocket Detective Library was published by Top Sellers beginning in 1971 and running for 67 issues.

Issue 10 was Island of Terror which was also reprinted as issue 67. By the time that last issue was published the price had doubled to a whopping 12p!

No disrespect to those involved but the art could probably best be described as functional. Here's how the cover scene played out in the story.

Issue 55 was called French Chance and not Frencx Cxance as the font suggests!

I'm really not sure about the diver's entry technique depicted here. There's a reason the backward roll is usually used for entering the water from a rubber dinghy.

Sunday 19 April 2020

The Familiar Art of Diving - It's That Girl Again

Michael Hawk was an investigative reporter with access to a criminal fortune who appeared in appeared in 14 books published during 1980-81. I can only assume author Dan Streib didn't need to eat or sleep! The final book in the series was called The Treasure Divers but didn't feature any diving action on the cover. Book three, The Power Barons, did however. Thanks to Chris for the cover scan. (Click for larger image).

Long time Art of Diving followers might find the girl on the cover looks familiar.

Tuesday 7 April 2020

The Art of Invention

Clyde Crashcup was a character in the 1961-2 animated series The Alvin Show. The cartoons were originally made in black and white but were colourized in 1965. Each week Clyde would "invent" something that had already been invented! He would sketch a design in the air which would then become real. His assistant Leonardo never spoke but only whispered in Clyde's ear. In 1963-4 he appeared in five issues of his own comic published by Dell.

Clyde Crashcup invents Deep Sea Diving appeared in issue three and was written by John Stanley with art by Irving Tripp. (Click for larger images)

Irving Tripp (1921-2009) was born in Poughkeepsie, New York. In 1941 he joined the Dell Publishing Co. but his career was almost immediately interrupted when he joined the US Army, serving in the Philipinnes. In 1946 he re-joined Dell where he remained as a staff artist until his retirement in 1982. He is probably best known for his work with John Stanley on Little Lulu in Dell's Marge's Little Lulu.

Saturday 4 April 2020

The Commercial Art of Diving - Four from the Fifties

Just a quick one today featuring four ads from the 1950s.Unfortunately I don't have any information about the artists involved.