Saturday 25 September 2010

Apropos of Wulfie

Just one image from the original artwork which I think proves beyond any doubt that Ron Embleton's Wulf the Briton strip was in a league of it's own. When this image appeared in late 1959  a succession of truly awesome Wulf covers had eclipsed even the best output of the Hampson studio. Never had artwork of this caliber been seen in a UK comic and for comic creatives such as Frank Bellamy, Don Lawrence, Mike Noble and John Burns, Embleton had yet again raised the bar.

Unbelievable that this strip has fallen out of the collective comic consciousness for so long.

But not for much longer; all the work (including several eleventh hour additions!) for the Wulf book published by Book Palace Books has now been completed and the approved files will heading off to the printers by the end of the week. Two editions including a luxury limited signed and numbered red leather, slipcased edition with 24 extra pages devoted to reproductions of some truly stunning Wulf original artwork will at last collect together all of Ron Embleton's Wulf The Briton, with some truly insightful contributions from friends and associates of this remarkable artist.


  1. What a fabulous cover! (And one I only viewed briefly many years ago when I used to drool over the stack of Express Weeklys offered for sale at the old Westminster Comic Marts, cursing the fact that I couldn't afford to buy more than a couple at a time!) I love the little details, like the line of horses seen swimming ashore in the distance.

    Funnily enough Embleton's approach to the Romans in 'Wulf' rather reminds me of Milton's depiction of Satan in Paradise Lost: i.e. they may be the villains but they somehow manage to get all the best scenes! Of course, he returned to them again and again in later years, long after he'd left poor old Wulf and his rag-tag rebels far behind...! :-)

  2. Yes, I very much echo your thoughts Phil. I remember when I saw this for the first time as a lad and I was just knocked out by the power and majesty of this page. Being able to view the original artwork after all these years is just the icing on the cake.

    Love the way that Embleton changes the mood by drawing in clouds, thereby darkening the successive panels and adding a real hint of unease which really pivots on that last panel.

    For me the best UK comics artist of his generation - and he had some pretty stiff competition!

  3. At least when he was doing Wulf, Wrath of the Gods and his TV Express work.

  4. Hmmm...!

    I'd be hard pressed say he was actually 'better' than Frank Bellamy, who was also hitting an incredible creative high at the same time. More likely they were a bit like Michelangelo and Leonardo during those years - constantly trying to outdo one another, yet each being so good at what they did as to make comparison completely irrelevant!

  5. ...By the way, I completely agree about the clouds which almost provide the equivalent of a musical backtrack by subtly changing the mood of the narrative: especially when added to the impressionistic red of the final panel!

  6. An extra special thrill to see that page in the original yesterday! Thanks, Peter.

  7. Great seeing you and Roz Dave - alas all too brief - must get together again soon!

  8. Bonjour,
    Je vous écris en français parce que mon anglais est très mauvais.
    J'ai découvert les pages de Wulf the Briton grâce à votre blog. Je les trouve absolument magnifiques !
    J'ai remarqué qu'il manque plusieurs pages. Est-ce normal ?
    Dommage que je ne sois pas assez fortuné pour m'acheter l'album.
    J'espère qu'un jour nous autres français auront droit nous-aussi à une édition de Wulf le Britannique ! :-)
    Très amicalement.