Monday 11 September 2023

The Humorous Art of Diving - Bonus Boltinoff!

 When I posted the third of my three selections of Henry Boltinoff''s humour strips from the 1960s, I thought I'd included all those that featured diving. Well, as Sean Connery might have said, "Never say never again!" Here are two more Homer strips that I found lurking in a couple of Sea Devils comics.

Thursday 7 September 2023

The Elderly Art of Diving

Miss Lavinia Pickerell, Ellen MacGregor's unlikely heroine, first appeared in the short story Swept Her Into Space, published in 1950. The following year, MacGregor expanded it into Miss Pickerell Goes to Mars and launched(!) a new series. Her aim was to write fantasy stories that contained accurate scientific information and would appeal to children. She completed fours books about Miss Pickerell, the last of which was published posthumously in 1954. MacGregor left behind lots notes and ideas for further books and the series was continued by Dora Pantell.

Miss Pickerell Goes Undersea was the third book in the series. All four of the original series were illustrated by Paul Galdone (1907-1986).

Here's the original cover:

This paperback edition was first published in 1961 but this copy dates from 1973.

This rather battered copy dates from 19767.

Here are some of Galdone's interior illustrations:

Paul Galdone was born in Budapest but moved to the USA in 1921 where he studied at the Art Student's League and New York School for Industrial Design. He served in the United States Army during World War 2. He was an author as well as an artist and wrote many of the almost 300 books that he illustrated. Fables and fairy tales were popular subjects and he illustrated the adventures of Eve Titus' mouse heroes, Anatole and Basil of Baker Street. 10 years after his death he was awarded the 1996 Kerlan Award for his contributions to children's literature.

This French edition dates from 1974...

and finally, this one dates from 1981:

Friday 1 September 2023

The Marvellous Art of Diving

Today we have two covers from Pierre Labat's Le Merveilleux Royaume (The Marvellous Kingdom). 


Labat had earlier served in the French army during World War II, earning the Croix de Guerre for acts of bravery. He also worked with Cousteau who wrote the following about him: "Labat is one of those men who have to fulfill the most beautiful mission: that of dazzling youth by leading them to conquer the splendours of Nature, to reveal to them the deep joys of effort." His death occurred while diving the wreck of the Arroyo near Toulon. He was just 29 years old.

The French cover is by Pierre Joubert (1910-2002) who also had a long association with the scouts. You can read a bit more about him here.

The cover to the English edition was painted by Desmond Knight. Unfortunately, apart from a few more credits, I haven't been able to find out anything about him.