Yesterday proved to be quite a day of elation for me. I have finally found out the name of the first artist that fanned my creative spark within and led me on my artistic venture.
All those years ago...when I was a wee lad...I was always reading comics (as most boys and girls were), but there was one artist whose work seemed to stick in my mind when I started drawing my own characters and comics.
As time went by and I grew up and followed the path into adulthood, I forgot about those comics of old. Only recently (well, a few years ago now), when my creative spark was re-ignited, I started thinking back to those great comics, and particularly those same strips that had stuck in my mind when I was a nipper..."Send For Kelly", "Greedy Pigg", "Desperate Dawg", "Young Sid, the Copper's Kid"...
My sister had found a pile of old comics last year and gave them to me ("Whizzer and Chips" and the like), and I flicked through them, happily strolling down memory lane, but also secretly hoping I'd come across one of my favourite strips and maybe get a clue as to who my #1 artist was. Although I found some of the strips listed above, none of them gave me a clue as to the artist's identity. You see, in those days of Fleetway Street comics and such, the artists were never allowed to put their name on their creations! What a shame.
So, I still had no clue how to find out more information...until yesterday. I contacted the owner of the Toonhound website and tried to describe some of the strips (probably the most famous one, I think, was "Send For Kelly", about a bumbling secret agent and his sidekick, Cedric). He pointed me in the direction of this blog ---> Peter Gray Cartoons and Comics <--- and voila...I finally found him...George Martin!!
Here are some links to some of his work, on Peter Gray's site:
Now...my next quest in this adventure is to see if I can locate some of the newspaper strips he did. One in particular was called Bunion, and I think it used to be published in the Birmingham Mail...but I'm not sure. I remember it was a paper we had on a regular basis, but being a kid, I didn't take notice of such trivialities! I need to ask my parents if I've got my facts right!