Friday 6 August 2010

Wulf The Briton - A Book in the Making

As I hinted somewhat obliquely a couple or so weeks ago, there is a very exciting publishing project which I'm currently engaged in with the good people at BookPalace Books. To cut to the chase as a result of my weekly blog postings earlier in the year I had an approach from Geoff West CEO of Book Palace Books to enquire whether I would be interested in editing a collection of all Ron Embleton's Wulf the Briton stories. As this was the comic above all others that totally captured my imagination as a child and as no one has ever attempted to do this before, I jumped at the chance.

The intervening months have been a whirlwind of Wulf activity, involving meetings with the people at Express Newspapers, talking to people who were close to Ron, seeking out material which would help shed light on the creation of this epic strip and uncovering hitherto unseen by all but a few, original Wulf boards.

And then there's been the scanning and careful and lightly applied restoration of the comic page we're sourcing this epic story from. It sounds like a gargantuan project and it really is a gargantuan project. We're talking 300 plus pages of Wulf the Briton, plus all the annuals, plus any other piece of Wulf artwork generated by Ron - epic!

The book will come in two different editions, a regular edition and a very limited (100 copies leather bound and slip cased edition). The slipcased edition will feature some absolutely stonking pages shot from the original artwork, much of it only recently unearthed and not having done the rounds of the collector' s circuit and in absolutely pristine condition. The pages will be printed at the same size the comic was published so there has been very careful work done to ensure that there is no loss of Embleton's brushwork, we want owning this book to be as pleasurable as having an entire run of  the original comics but with the added convenience of being all bound together in a durable format.

All in all something to get very excited about if you're in any way a fan of Ron Embleton's artwork and much of this work represents him at the top of his game. A word of warning though and that is the book is going to be expensive as even the regular edition is going to be limited to 400 copies.

But everyone concerned is working long hours to ensure that we get this right, down to paper type and weight in relation to the scans that we supply to the printers - no effort is being spared to ensure that this book is something that everyone involved with can feel proud of putting into the hands of you the reader.

So here as an appetizer are some scans of the work in progress. We'll keep you posted on the book's progress, but we're getting there much quicker than I had originally anticipated.


  1. Fantastic! (I just hope my wallet will be able to cope with the price tag!)

    Incidentally, it's great to see a photo of Ron Neilson whose strips for Mickey Mouse Weekly regularly featured some of the best Disney artwork ever produced outside the US!

  2. Phil, you're an absolute goldmine of information. All I had on Ron Neilson was that he was an AP staffer, I will adjust the text box accordingly.

    Many thanks!!!

    Now off to see if I can unearth any of Ron Neilson's Mickey Mouse work.

  3. BTW Peter, if you don't already have a copy I thought you might be interested in this Ron Embleton illustration from Denis Gifford's 1976 'Comics 101' Convention Booklet (assuming you can access the URL):

    ...It might not actually feature Wulf in person but it does show that he remained as a fond memory in Ron's mind - even after he'd gone on to draw more 'grown-up' subjects!

  4. Wow! Many thanks Phil. I haven't seen that drawing of Ron's since it appeared on the brochure of "Comics 101".

    He did something very similar with Harold Wilson for the cover of Andrew Skilleter's "Ultima Thule" in 1969. Andrew was rather hoping that Ron would come up with a new image of Wulf, but Ron always looking forward opted for a spot of political caricature instead. He also did an amazing self portrait for the same fanzine.

  5. Is that Wicked Wanda nestled between Ted and Harold on that brochure?

    Looks like it's going to be a great book, Peter - can't wait to see it!

  6. Many thanks bristle, just had the pleasure of checking out your blog - totally other!

    As in amazing, thought provoking, a place you could lose yourself in.

    And yes it's Wicked Wanda alrighty!