Monday 21 March 2011

Sexton Blake and Some Fabulous Eric Parker artwork.

Eric R Parker first crossed the portals of the Amalgamated Press in 1921 and soon found himself working flat out for what in those days was every illustrator's wish dream come true, a client with an insatiable appetite for commissioning artwork and as Parker's style was fresh and distinctive he rapidly came to the attention of the new editor of AP's Sexton Blake publications.

His career with AP was to last over fifty years and his work still looks as fresh today as it did then, as these originals sent to me by my dear friend Malcolm Norton attest.

Images  © IPC Media 2011

More on Eric Parker and those amazing days can be read in an account of his life written in 1983 by W.O.G. Lofts here.


  1. A fantastic artist whose superficially sketchy technique concealed a supremely sure-footed sense of design and draughtsmanship; and because he was on staff at Fleetway during the 1960s his influence is apt to turn up in the unlikeliest places, providing countless spot-illustrations and touch-ups throughout their line of comics. Also, I've often wondered how much he collaborated behind the scenes with other artists in Look & Learn: for example it's interesting that when the excellent Robert Forrest proved unable to complete the final installment of his colour adaptation of Shakespeare's Richard III (apparently his last ever assignment) Eric himself was on hand to replace him at the eleventh hour with a marvelously vibrant page - now in my possession.

  2. That pages sounds amazing Phil. I haven't seen any of the work you are referring to, but I still count as one of my favorite TPL's Robert Forrest's incredibly sinister and atmospheric artwork for "The Picture of Dorian Gray".

    His "Mystery of the Red Barn" for the same series is also pretty intense.

  3. Actually (ahem!) I do have a couple of pages from Dorian Gray as well - though sadly not that stunning aerial shot of London that everyone remembers!

    Robert Forrest was a wonderful artist. Apart from the strips you mention two of my all-time favourites would have to be 'The Martian' (an adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs' 'A Princess of Mars') from Sun and 'The Mad Emperor' (an astonishingly expressionistic vision of eighteenth century Russia). from Knockout.