Friday, 14 April 2017

PARCELS IN THE POST...



One big highlight of my career as a comics
contributor was lettering the art of comics legend
TERRY BAVE.  I lettered quite a few of his strips,
but it was a particular thrill one day when I was given
a SAMMY SHRINK page of Terry's to letter, as I'd en-
joyed the strip in WHAM! in the '60s.  DAVE JENNER
had been the original artist, but Terry took over, ghost-
ing Jenner's style remarkably effectively until he was
allowed to gradually introduce his own artistic look.
(Sammy went on to feature in KNOCKOUT,
and then WHIZZER & CHIPS.)

Quite a few years ago, I was able to supply
Terry with a copy of the Wham! issue in which
his very first Sammy strip had appeared.  He kindly
sent me some autographed comics he'd worked on as a
thank you, each and every one of which I still retain to
this day.  He even graciously supplied art and articles to
The Illustrated COMIC JOURNAL when I was the
depute editor of the magazine for a while in the '90s.
I've got huge respect for Terry, both as a car-
toonist and the gentleman he is.
  
I hadn't heard from him in a while, so you
can imagine my surprise and delight when I got
a 'phone call from Terry out of the blue a couple of
weeks or so back.  We talked about the old days, and
have chatted another couple of times since.  I was also
delighted today when a pair of cardboard tubes arrived
from Terry, containing several comics as well as a page
of Sammy Shrink art, all personally autographed by
his good self.  (His wife Shiela kindly signed the
Sammy artwork as well.)  That's a scan of the
published page at the top of this post.

I was surprised to see Terry's name was
removed from the middle picture of the central
tier, as I thought that editors at IPC/FLEETWAY
had abandoned the practice of deleting artists' signa-
tures by this time.  (It remains on the original art.)  I'm
bowled over by Terry's generosity, because among the
treasures he sent to me are MONSTER FUN #1 (with
BADTIME BEDTIME STORYBOOK), COR!! #1,
and KNOCKOUT #1, along with a few other first
issues.  No, none of them will be going on eBay,
'cos I'm keeping them forever.  After all, our
man Terry's one of comics' finest.

There are some good (and even great) car-
toonists working in today's comics, but unfortu-
nately, there are also far too many mediocre ones,
who've reduced comics to the level of stick drawings
on cave walls.  However, although he has a seemingly
simple art style, Terry is a superlative storyteller and
consummate cartoonist, and it's just a shame that he
no longer draws for comics today.  He deserves his
retirement sure enough, but comics would cer-
tainly benefit from his artistic talents.

So here's to Terry - one of nature's finest
gentlemen.  U.K. comics would've been so much
the poorer for his absence, as they'd also have been
without his devoted wife Shiela helping him over the
decades.  A few years ago, Terry wrote about his ca-
reer in British weekly comics, and if you don't have
a copy of his fascinating volume, you should add
one to your collection as soon as you possibly
can.  (Available now at this link.)

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...