|THOR the Mighty - from the cover of FANTASTIC|
Annual 1968. Image copyright MARVEL COMICS
stick for this, but believe it
or not, when I was a young
lad at primary school, I was
regarded as the best artist in
my class, if not the whole
school. Now before you fall
about laughing, that wasn't
(and isn't) a figment of my
imagination - it just happen-
ed to be the consensus of
opinion amongst teachers
and pupils alike.
Naturally, there must've
been a few artistically
inclined individuals who
resented and disagreed
with this generous assess-
ment of my abilities, but -
if so - they remained
the (silent) minority.
However, I couldn't really take credit for my place atop the heap. After
all, I was merely regurgitating the styles of artists of the calibre of KIRBY,
BUSCEMA, DITKO, COLAN, SWAN, ANDERSON - and a whole host
of others. Because of that, my drawings tended to have more impact and
therefore made a lasting impression. What follows is an example of
what I'm talking about.
BILLY McCLUSKEY) each produced a drawing or painting which
were regarded as so good that we were taken around the school to show
them to the other classes. Billy had drawn (in pencil) a scene of two boxers
pounding it out in the ring (he was a big fan of, and maybe even related, I
think, to a famous boxer of the same surname), and Julie had drawn (also
in pencil) a lake scene with swans gliding over the surface. Both were very
nicely done, if I remember correctly after 40-odd years. As for myself,
I had painted a picture of THOR, standing on a mountain top
and holding aloft his hammer to the heavens.
row whilst the teacher indulged in a bit of preamble, and then raise our
pictures for the class to see - only to be met with cries of "Look - it's Thor -
Wow!" and similar exclamations of awe and wonder. Now, truth to tell, my
picture was probably not much better-rendered than Julie's or Billy's - but
the subject was more dynamic (and in colour) and, consequently, almost
guaranteed to draw the attention of everyone in the room. Hardly any-
body took a second look at the the pictures of my two despondent
classmates - some never even took a first.
on those days and wish that I was as good an artist now for my age as I
was then. For a 9 or 10 year old I was "hot" - as an adult I barely qualify
as lukewarm. What's the old saying? Ah, yes, I remember.