Sunday 20 March 2011

More of Embleton's Children of the New Forest.

The work speaks for itself. This man was surely one of the greatest illustrators and comic strip artists ever. His work matured and developed at an astonishing rate and by the late 1950's and early 1960's his work was (imo) at it's peak. Bellamy, Frank Hampson, Don Lawrence and John Burns hit their stride much later in their careers but Embleton who had an almost incendiary drive and restlessness was a phenomenon from the get go and by the time he was in his late twenties he was a star illustrator with a phone that never stopped ringing and an insane work ethic that compelled him to take on far more work than was ultimately good for him.

But enough of my blather - here courtesy of David Slinn, is some more of Ron's charming and beautiful work for Children of the New Forest from Princess comic sometime in 1962.

All images © IPC Media 2011


  1. Ron's art really does turn up in the most unexpected places - I recently spotted him in the Sue Day Annual of all places, and I'm pretty sure that on one occasion he even agreed to paint a lucky reader's oil portrait as the first prize in a Mickey Mouse Weekly competition (or was it Express Weekly?). It's a shame there isn't a website or forum dedicated to him so that collectors could work towards compiling a complete checklist of his work - rather like the one those clever Dutch chaps provided for Don Lawrence.

    In fact it wouldn't surprise me if, like Frank Frazetta, he were to become the subject of all sorts of academic studies by tenured art historians one of these days; a shame he couldn't have lived to see it himself!

  2. A website devoted to Ron would be really such a great idea Phil. I think what Rob Van Bavel has done in bringing Don Lawrence's work to the fore and also helping to generate projects for Don in his latter years was just phenomenal.

    I am the very lucky owner of "Don Lawrence Jubileum Boek", which was Rob's first (I believe) Don Lawrence extravaganza. One of 750 copies which were only ever published in Dutch it sold out it's entire print run years ago - God only knows how much it would go for today.

    Rob's publishing projects are superb as is his website. The difficulty with a site devoted to Ron would be getting the agreement of all interested parties and that might be tricky.

    Don Lawrence knew and trusted Rob to do a good job, their relationship was collaborative.

    Which made a hell of a difference.

    But on a more positive note, I remember Alan Vince telling me how excited and pleased Ron was when Alastair Crompton's previous biography of Fank Hampson was published and it was something of an accolade and a preserving for posterity that he looked forward to receiving in due course.He jokingly told his listeners that the one thing he wasn't prepared to do for them was to facilitate a complete overview of his output by conveniently dying. Which as we all know is precisely what did happen a couple of years later.

    So yes, it would be a wonderful project to finally see a weighty and beautiful presentation of Ron's art and the way it enriched so many people's lives.

  3. I've long regretted not being able to buy all their books - however one that I was really pleased to acquire was a slim volume filled with thumbnail (but high quality) reproductions of some of the more obscure jobs Lawrence did for newspapers and advertisers over the years, along with chapter and verse on where and when they appeared. I'd love to have something similar for Ron.