Friday 22 October 2010

The Cloud 109 Blog Goes on Holiday!!!

I'm off to New York from tomorrow for a week's R and R hooking up with the eldest of our two runaway sons and his lovely missus. There is probably no better introduction to New York than to hang out with young people who actually live there and know all the best bars and clubs to visit, have a beer or three and generally socialize and get to meet the natives. The fact that I'm going over there with my little brother makes it even more fun.

However there are implications for this dear old blog and the number one implication is that nothing is going to happen in terms of postings for a week. I know I could have devised a whole series of postings and stored them on blogger to automatically run on the appropriate days, but I don't like doing that, for me this blog despite it's shortcomings has to be a living breathing entity as I need to post on the day and as the mood takes me.

Which means that there's going to be a ten day hiatus on this space until November 2nd when normal service will be resumed.

Alessandro Biffignandi's Pocket Library Paintings

Hell! I'm skimping ever so slightly blogwise and am just going to go with the easy option of running some more stupendous War and Battle Picture Library artwork from the 1960's. This time the artist in question is Alessandro Biffignandi, who we've looked at before but is definitely worth a revisit.

His earlier work seemed close in style to that of Giorgio D' Gaspari. who was the premier cover artist for the first couple of years of War Picture Library but by 1961 Biffignandi's artwork was becoming more ubiquitous as the output of these amazing little comics increased to satisfy demand.

These comics were familiar to many U.S. comic artists, in fact John Severin even illustrated one ("Crack Up" Battle Picture Library No. 9) and when Wood Studio associate the U.K. artist Tony Coleman was trying to save up for his return passage he brought several of them to the studio which provided Wood and Adkins with riich pickings for some of their Blazing Combat artwork.

Here then are some more of those fabulous covers from yesteryear!

Thursday 21 October 2010

P.S. Hot News From The Creators of Mirabilis!

I won't say too much more than that other than to recommend that you check this link now to find out more about one of the most exciting new UK graphic novels to catapult itself onto an app near you!

More War - The Art Of Nino Caroselli

I can remember the first time I saw these originals stacked in mounds on palettes in some warehouse in a God forsaken part of London called Canning town. It was a grey and miserable day and there I was with Geoff West comic dealer and publishing Svengali of Book Palace Books fame, with our packed lunches and a camera.

It was going to be a long day as we really had to photograph all the covers we could possibly squeeze into the day available as the artwork and much of the rest of the contents of the warehouses had been bought by a collector of seemingly limitless means and the whole collection of astonishing artwork which represented much of the golden age of children's periodical publishing was soon going to be disappearing.

Here then are some samples of the work of Nino Caroselli - one of the mainstays of Fleetway's War and Air Ace Picture Libraries.

Tuesday 19 October 2010

Jordi Penalva's War Pocket Library Artwork Revisited

A little while ago I made a posting about the Catalan artist Jordi Penalva's war pocket library artwork. He was one of a group of European artists, including Alessandro Biffignandi, Pino Delorco, Nino Caroselli and of course Giorgio D'Gaspari whose work graced the covers of publications such as Fleetway's  War Picture Library, Battle Picture Library before he then went on to work rival publisher DC Thomson's Commando.

Penalva's work is characterized by the ruggedly good looking blokes that hold center stage on his covers, some of whom as in the first of these examples seem straight out of the Norman Saunders pulp art mould. His brush work is also very distinctive. He usually worked in oils on a rough gesso surface so that even the way the paint was applied spelled R U G G E D.

He ultimately went Stateside to work for Warren in the mid seventies on publications such as Creepy, Eerie and The Rook.

Here the as further testimony to Penalva's bravura artistry are some more of his War Picture Library covers.

Monday 18 October 2010

Day Of Reckoning - Part 4

The final portion of Ian Kennedy's "Day of Reckoning". This story would have been scripted a mere eighteen years after the conflict it so vividly revisits and the final paragraph is one of the indicators that the unknown writer did have some first hand knowledge or at the very least a very genuine affinity with his subject matter.

All in all brilliant stuff and in a way I'm glad that it hasn't been reprinted as it gives me the pleasure of introducing you all to this classic tale.

Definitely one of the very best Fleetway war comics ever produced and my favorite of all the Air Ace series - there's some other absolute stonkers though and I'll run a couple more that slipped through the Prion net.

Artwork  © IPC Media 2010

For more Kennedy artistry check out "Aces High" edited by Steve Holland.

Sunday 17 October 2010

Day Of Reckoning - Part 3

 The third part of Ian Kennedy's masterpiece "Day of Reckoning" for Air Ace Picture Library. The story was published in June of 1961 and was part of what the artist refers to as, " The Golden Times, the ‘60’s and ‘70’s when there was always something on the go. The phone never stopped ringing, which was marvellous ...wonderful."

Artwork  © IPC Media 2010

For more Kennedy artistry check out "Aces High" edited by Steve Holland.