Thursday 24 November 2022

The Sporting Art of Diving

 First published in February 1966 by Odham's Press, Smash! was a sister paper to Wham! and became part of the "Power Comics" line which featured reprints of various Marvel Comics characters. Odham's had been acquired by Fleetway Publications (formerly the Amalgamated Press) in 1961 and in 1963 became a subsidiary of the newly formed International Publishing Company (IPC). In 1969 IPC revamped their comics line and Smash! was relaunched as a more traditional boys' paper in the same vein as the likes of Valiant and Lion.

One of the strips created for the new Smash! was His Sporting Lordship drawn by Doug Maxted (1914-1999). Labourer Henry Nobbins was the heir to the title of the Earl of Ranworth but before he could inherit the family fortune he had to follow in the footsteps of his ancestors and become a champion sportsman. If he failed the family home, Castle Plonkton, would be sold to Mr. Parkinson who wanted to turn it into a glue factory. One of Henry's tasks was to swim the English Channel and, in this sequence, Parkinson attempts to stop him with the aid of his henchman Fred Bloggs.

Douglas Francis Maxted was born in London in 1914. Aged 11 he emigrated to Australia with his family. He began drawing comics in the 1940s and had his own publishing company for a time. In 1962 he returned to the UK and began drawing for various IPC comics. Most of the strips he drew had a humorous, sporting theme and included Legge's Eleven and Yellowknife of the Yard for Valiant and Nutty Slack and the Sludgemouth Sloggers in Buster. in 1983 he returned to Australia where he painted as a hobby  in his retirement.

Sunday 13 November 2022

The Seamless Art of Diving

Nemrod were a pioneering Spanish manufacturer of diving equipment. They originally made spear-guns but soon expanded to produce a wide range of products. Their Snark III regulator remains the only three-stage regulator ever made. In the United States they were marketed by the Seamless Rubber Company who produced this lavishly illustrated catalogue for 1970. They used the cover again the following year and I'm assuming this also applies to the interior artwork. I'm afraid I don't know who the artist was but I really like the style they employed here.

Thursday 3 November 2022

The Boys' Art of Diving

Today I'm presenting a double treat from the Collins Boys' Annual  that was published in 1960. The cover features a classic "diver and shark" illustration while the endpapers depict an equally classic scene.