Monday 3 May 2010

More Western Shennanigans from Embleton

I just thought I'd run a few more of the Krispies Embleton artwork, the giveaways were printed on the back of Kellogg's Rice Krispies throughout 1956 and were advertised in the Eagle (where the colour ad comes from) and Express Weekly (where the black and white ad appears).

These illustrations originally appeared in the Eagle Times and it's definitely worth a visit to their blog.

In addition and to continue the Western theme, I'm including a few pages from another early Embleton masterpiece; "Don O' The Drums", which ran in Mickey Mouse comic at around the same time - many thanks to Phil Rushton and John Wigmans for supplying the scans.


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  2. It's interesting that both those adverts are aimed specifically at boys, even though girls must have eaten just as many Rice Krispies for breakfast. Unlike comics I don't remember any cereals being particularly girl-friendly or giving away free broaches and necklaces, so I guess the advertisers must have calculated that boys generally outgunned their sisters when it came to sheer pester-power. It'd be nice to think that the same assumption wouldn't be made today!

    Though I had vague memories of Kellogg's Heroes of the West series I never knew there were quite so many produced; it really is fantastic to see them all together (and thank goodness somebody actually saw fit to preserve them for posterity). It's hard to believe just how popular westerns were in America and this country during the fifties (especially as they suddenly went so totally out of fashion a few years later - everywhere but in continental Europe at least!).

    In the same way that all screen actors once had to learn how to ride a horse I doubt if any adventure strip artist could have survived without drawing them in those post-war years (at one time the cover of Express Weekly actually boasted that it contained more western stories than any other British comic!). In Embleton's case, however, he seemed to develop a genuine fondness for the genre as he continued to return to it over and over again in later years, all the way from 'Don o' the Drums' in Mickey Mouse Weekly to 'Rogers' Rangers' which appeared in Look & Learn during the 1970s, by which time he could probably have picked any subject he liked. Something similar must also have happened with Wulf the Briton as he ultimately went on to become a leading illustrator of Roman History, producing highly-acclaimed reference works in collaboration with serious academics.

    Embleton was always a superb artist, but I must admit that the more I see of the work he produced between about 1955 and 1965 the more I feel that he was at his very peak then. There's no doubt that his style continued to become slicker and more polished in later years, and he probably earned far more from his victorian prints and Penthouse strips - nevertheless I still get more pleasure from a single episode of Wulf or Wrath of the Gods than the entire run of Wicked Wanda!

    (By the way Peter, if you're interested I've dug up another 'Don o' the Drums' page which you should now be able to download from John's Google Mail address!)

  3. Many thanks Phil, I'll upload it shortly hopefully post it up this week, and many thanks for sharing your thoughts on Embleton which pretty much echo mine.