Sunday 22 August 2010

Wulf the Briton - An Update

Unbelievably the project that started as a result of postings on this blog has now pretty nearly come to fruition. Bar resolving a couple of additional scans for the limited edition, work on "Ron Embleton's Wulf the Briton - The Complete Adventures" is...


At the start of the exercise, I thought I knew a lot about this amazing strip. At the end of the project I now realize I knew next to nothing, I've since learned a tremendous amount and through the unstinting help of people such as Andrew Skilleter  and Alan Vince who both were close friends of the artist and comics historians Norman Wright and David Ashford and the ever resourceful David Roach, who unbelievably was able to put me in contact with David Slinn, an artist who was working at Express Weekly in the late fifties and early sixties, I have managed to piece together a much more fulsome account of just how this incredible strip was created.

I've also come to appreciate just what an incredibly vital and life enhancing human being Ron Embleton was, everyone I've spoken to who had the privilege of knowing him says the same, he was one of the warmest and most generous people you could ever hope to meet. He was also unbelievably driven, to the point I suspect that he literally worked himself into the ground which was a factor in his sadly all to early death at the relatively young age of 57.

Here are some low res jpegs of some of the scans that went into the production of this book which is going to be a hefty read at 352 pages. We're very privileged to have been able to secure the services of fellow Embleton fanatic, Dave Gibbons to write a foreword to this epic book.


  1. Mouth watering stuff Peter! It's really amazing how often during his career Ron seemed to return to his favoured subjects of Ancient Romans and the American West. He even wrote one early SF strip in which an alien space-traveller landed on Earth only to be ambushed by 'Red Indians' (he'd somehow got the date wrong!). It's curiously suggestive that DC Thomson anticipated these lifelong interests so well by first assigning him to draw a Western strip for Hotspur in 1952 and then immediately following this up with a Roman adventure in 1953 ('The Long Gun' and 'The Singing Sword'); could it be that the research for these stories actually sparked off his imagination in the first place?

    Incidentally, there's one small correction I'd make to your text regarding the Comics 101 illustration - the fact is that it appeared *inside* the booklet (alongside pages donated by fellow veterans such as Frank Hampson, Frank Bellamy, Don Lawrence, Dennis McLoughlin, John Burns, Tony Weare, etc.) rather than on the cover.

  2. Many thanks for the tip off Phil.

    Will correct accordingly.

  3. P.S. You couldn't send me your email address could you Phil?

    I'd like to chase you for a scan of The Singing Sword if poss.

    Might just be able to squeeze that in.

  4. Doh! I've only got one episode of 'The Singing Sword' and I'm afraid it seems to have disappeared into a black hole at the heart of my filing system! I'll get back to you if it does reappear anytime soon, but if you know of anyone else who might have copies of Hotspur from that period the story ran from no.875 (August 15th 1953) to no.883.

  5. Many thanks Phil, nostrils dilated like "Old Trusty" the bloodhound, I'm on the trail.