Monday 21 February 2011

Carol Day - Fitzrovia Revisited Part 3

Well having  taken you this far I thought it would be good to end our look at one of the most exquisite comic strips to fall under the  radar of comic historians with the conclusion (semi) of Carol Day's flingette with Lance Hallam.

This sequence is one of many featured in the online archive over at Roger Clark's excellent Carol Day dedicated website.

All images © Patrick Wright 2011.


  1. I've read this sequence quite a few times on Roger Clark's website and it always amazes me. The combination of art and story is amazing! David Wright was a true master!

  2. Exquisite!!!

    More even than the brushwork I love the way that Wright could 'paint' with his pen, producing swirling textures that reek of atmosphere and dynamism. As effective as mechanical shading by computer or zipatone can be it'll never match the sheer dramatic impact of such hand-drawn wizardry in my opinion.

    In the same way, as good as Roger's website is I long to see these strips reproduced in real ink on real paper as was originally intended. Maybe I'm just a bit of a dinosaur but I never really feel as though I 'own' virtual artwork in quite the same way!

    I do agree about the criminal way in which some of these British newspaper strips have been airbrushed out of history. Carol Day wasn't even mentioned in Maurice Horn's supposedly comprehensive 'World Encyclopedia of Comics', and in spite of the efforts of a few champions like Alan Aldridge and Paul Gravett there are still countless other such gems that languish in obscurity, particularly from such supposedly lightweight papers as Tit-Bits, Reveille! and Answers. Who today remembers the similarly atmospheric artwork of Jenny Trent, for example, who briefly replaced Wright's Judy in the pages of Tit-Bits after he defected to the Daily Mail?

  3. Jenny Trent Phil - never even heard of her!

    There you go another example.

    I'll have to dig and delve a bit deeper.

  4. Sadly this is my only example of Jenny Trent from a 1958 issue of Tit-Bits:

    Clearly it's intended to be rather more 'ADULT' (to the extent that anything in the 1950s could be) - and somewhat less adult - than Carol Day, but I think the uncredited artist must have been asked to produce a similar look...and succeeded surprisingly well in my opinion! I'd certainly be interested in any further information you can dig up on this strip Peter - though, of course, key-words like 'Jenny', 'Trent' and 'Tit-Bits' don't give one much to work with for an internet search! :-/

  5. These are fantastic! Thanks for turning me on to this work.

  6. Wow! Amazing Phil. It's nearly Wright but the sense of draftsmanship evident in Wright's work isn't there. And without that the artist is having to lean on photo sources and bridge the inevitable source material gaps with some pretty unconvincing drawing.

    But a worthy effort nonetheless.

    Bliss - it's a real pleasure!!!

  7. To be honest I'm beginning to wonder whether it might not be Wright himself - giving the Tit-Bits readers just what they wanted as a full-on cheesecake artist while reserving his more refined style for Carol Day. If so it'd only emphasize your point about the way in which his work has been seriously overlooked by most comic strip fans.

    In spite of it's later reputation as a vehicle for soft-core porn Thomas Newnes' Tit-Bits carried some interesting features over the years: for example how many people are aware that it printed the first week of Hal Foster's Tarzan in October 1928, even though that strip didn't debut in America until the following year? In my opinion somebody really ought to spend a bit of time researching its back-numbers in the British Library.