Tuesday, 10 October 2017


Images copyright LOOK And LEARN MAGAZINE Ltd

LOOK And LEARN was created by LEONARD MATTHEWS, editorial director of the juvenile department of FLEETWAY PUBLICATIONS, and was a weekly educational periodical designed for children.  It ran from 1962 until 1982, which means that it's now been gone from newsagents' shelves for 35 years - almost twice as long as it's 20 year run.  I never bought it back in the day, though I was aware of the magazine as it always seemed to lie around in doctors' and dentists' waiting rooms, and I'm sure the schools I attended also used to have issues of it dotted around the classrooms from time to time.  (I did start buying it around 1977 for a few months, and I still have those issues tucked away in a drawer somewhere.)

Probably Look And Learn's most famous strip was one that originated in RANGER, jumping over to the former publication when the two titles merged in 1966 - namely The TRIGAN EMPIRE by MIKE BUTTERWORTH and DON LAWRENCE.  The magazine featured the cream of the crop of British artists, names such as RON and GERRY EMBLETON, ERIC PARKER, OLIVER FREY, and far too many others to mention.  (There were also some foreign artists whose work appeared in its pages I believe.)

Look And Learn eventually became too expensive to produce for the declining number of readers who bought the magazine, and it ceased publication with issue #1049, cover-dated April 17th 1982.  Enjoy looking at the following select pages from the very first issue, cover-dated January 20th 1962, and I've even included the cover of the free gift, which you can see at the bottom of the post.  Did any of you Criv-ites buy Look And Learn in the '60s and '70s?  If so, feel free to share any reminiscences you may have of this quality magazine in our cultured comments section.


(I don't believe it - I originally said Bernard Matthews instead of Leonard, even though I had 'Leonard' in my mind as I typed.  The decay has definitely set in.  No comments on it however, so perhaps no one noticed.)        


Anonymous said...

I never actually bought Look & Learn but I definitely read it. I think one of my neighbours, John Williams, got L&L but I'm not sure. I remember being in school circa 1981 and there was an issue of L&L featuring an article about the ancient Olympics in which the athletes, all male, supposedly competed naked - there was accompanying artwork showing a group of men in a race and let's just say the artist left nothing to the imagination...and this was a children's magazine ?!!

Kid said...

What? No shadows discreetly hiding the 'naughty' bits? Disgraceful, CJ. No wonder we're all a bunch of pervs now.

Anonymous said...

Not sure on the mag but had the annuals every year for Christmas from about 1965-1970. The covers when I see them always take me back to those times, of lots of annuals wrapped up in Christmas paper!


Kid said...

I don't have any of the Annuals, T, but I've got the big bumper book of the best of L&L from a few years back. It's like an Annual, but bigger.

Phil S said...

I remember Look and Learn. We got it at our school. Unfortunately that meant I didn't buy any so I only remember reading it vaguely. Gad I'm getting old.

Kid said...

None of us getting any younger, PS, that's for sure.

-3- said...

I just ran into this very recently while pulling old Look-In issues from the bin, and grabbed a bunch to check it out. They're still unread, but they looked like an interesting mix of strips & stories with 'snapshots' of the time period.
Most of the issues i grabbed were early 60s and early 70s. Unfortunately there were very few from 50 years back in '67 when i was digging. But the few issues from that year had a subheading reflecting your remarks: "Incorporating RANGER Magazine"
Oddly, the few issues from that year all seem to have ships on the cover.
Anyway - these look like a cool read with a side order of time travel. Looking forward to immersing myself in it.

Kid said...

That's interesting. Looking at one of your blogs, I thought you were in America, where I wouldn't have thought either Look-In or Look And Learn would be known, never mind actually reaching its shores. Feel free to reveal some of your back story if you like, and enjoy the issues when you get around to reading them.

-3- said...

Right you are. Well spotted.
Don't hate me.

You are, of course, quite correct in your assessment of the distribution & availability of UK magazines, but that's never stopped me. Check my closet and you'll find old issues of Eagle, Warrior, 2000AD, Viz, Look-In, Lion, Cheeky, Dan Dare, and - yeah, TV Century 21, among many others. You may have noted when peeking at the blog that this past weekend's Sunday Morning Funnies were pulled from an old issue of Triffik!
Not just UK, mind - my taste in art & entertainment is fairly global.
I know most Americans tend to be very provincial, operating under the belief that the best of everything comes from right here, and - to put it in old American terms - "I been to the county seat. Ain't nothin' more in the big city."
Never been able to shackle the mind like that. It helps that my early days were spent growing up in different places & cultures, so those illusions were shattered early on.

I, like you, am a creator - Illustrator, animator, poet, painter, game-maker and hermit beardo. My work has been primarily in computer & video games, and a few comics/graphic novels. These days i just hide in my hermit cave and paint.
I habitually foraged far & wide for fresh wood for the fire, so to speak. Books, comics, movies & tv shows from everywhere i can find them. And not just for the art, but also for the mind.

But for the UK comics & magazines, what really drew me in and created a strong interest was the fabulous hard cover annuals. I haven't encountered anything quite like them anywhere else in the world, and i loved them. They started me hunting for UK pubs (not Pubs) early on. By the time Mills & Wagner were launching 2000AD, and a few years later Dez Skinn's Warrior dropped, i was a fairly hardcore addict.

With the state of comics in general these days, i've been digging more into the past for good reads. So now i'm finding lots of things i missed before. And here we are at Look And Learn.

If you want a bit more specifics on background and career, you can check this post at The Voice Of ODD!:

...and this link will take you to some posts with my artwork:

I read through the first issue of Look And Learn last night and was quite impressed. They're really working to put together a book i wish i'd found when it was first published. The range of what's covered in that premiere is fairly amazing given only a couple dozen pages. Their World Wildlife Fund article appears only a year after the organization's founding; Art from Van Gogh; articles ranging from Tokio to the Grand Canyon, Sinbad and Sir Richard Burton, even balancing the Houses Of Parliament spread with Prince Charles' lineage. But i think my favorite bit is the cultural evolution feature, From Then Till Now. This time it shows the development of houses from AD200 to 1960s, next time they promise us the Changing Fashion in Living Rooms. I hope this feature stuck around for a long while and am looking forward to seeing what else they covered.
And who knew that Peter Jackson was writing & drawing comics like The Dover Road over 50 years ago? Looking damn good for his years, eh?


Kid said...

I think there are some people who'd give you an argument over your use of the word 'creator' in regard to myself, but thanks for the compliment. Do you have an original Look And Learn #1, or is it the facsimile that was issued a few years back? (I've got an original and two facsimiles.) Liked your 'women' artwork, how did you achieve it? Are computers involved? Regarding Triffik!, I've got the first ish, but I have to be honest and say I thought it was awful. Pretty amateurish in most instances, with terrible lettering. I'll be adding your blogs to my bloglist before the night is through - feel free to reciprocate. And thanks for commenting. A lot of once-regular commenters seem to be absent these days - must've discovered something better to do with their time. Surely such a thing doesn't exist?

-3- said...

It's way too ripped & beaten to be the reprint - cover dated January 20th, 1962, priced at One Shilling.

I switched over to doing my art completely on computers a bit over 25 years back. Most of my artwork these days is digital oil painting (with the physics skewed so that i can paint with a bamboo brush), and the 'tight' paintings like the Blue Monday feature to which you're referring are done from photographs. Of course, since i paint things that don't exist, and people are annoying to work with, those photos tend to be taken in cyberspace. I'll do my set-ups and render in 3D, then go to photoshop for post processing to create the look of the photo i want as my base. Then it's off to Painter with that photo as my base for all the nice lighting and interactions.

Oh - and Triffik! was weak. At best.
But this was a down week for me as my hermit instincts were in overdrive trying to make me ignore the outer world. Triffik! was on the stack and had a few 2-page shorts sitting ready. Otherwise it never would have made the cut. If you look at this past week on the blog, you'll find it all pretty weak and Thursday had no post at all. But, as you might suspect from the vast amount of ramblings here, i believe i've managed to suppress that urge for now and have rallied back to (ab)normal posting.

Kid said...

There's a Look And Learn link in my bloglist which now doesn't seem to work (but used to), but if you Google it, you can get through that way. You might be interested, because you can buy a 48 (or is it 50?) part reissue of Look And Learn, which contains the best bits, including The Trigan Empire from the beginning (though it first appeared in Ranger), along with a facsimile of L&L #1 with its free gift. If you're interested in L&L, I can't recommend it highly enough.

What other British comics are you into?

-3- said...

As noted previously, i'm mining the past at present, so not a lot of current books. I just finished editing images from TV21 for tomorrow's post (1973 - Jim Baikie's What Is This Thing Called Spock? Can Kirk survive wearing a red shirt?) and i've got a Champions (THERE's a show that should get a modern comicbook/superhero movie) comic coming up from Joe 90.
A lot of TV oriented stuff currently. TV Comics annuals, with old Avengers & Doctor Who mixed with other oddities, like Adam Adamant (and his old annual, too). A bunch of old Dalek annuals, no surprise there.
And some of my current Comic Archeology digging has been older - TV Fun and Radio Fun from the 40s & 50s.

That's were the current focus of my wandering mind has been. That doesn't begin to touch most of it, of course.
hmm... My favorite 2000AD hero was Zenith.
That help?

Kid said...

Funnily enough, I used to help out letterer Mark King with the sound effects on the Zenith strip. I could never quite get into the strip though. That might be because reading the script beforehand is like being a magician's assistant who knows how the tricks are done; one can admire the technique, but the finished result doesn't produce the 'wow' factor that the audience experiences.

Are you American by birth, or are you British-born and moved out there at some point?

-3- said...

Like Paradax, Zenith tapped that 80s vibe very well, and it also had some personal connections, as well as parallels to some of my old gaming worlds & tales. (I called them the G'Lor'ln, though)

American born. Spellings like flavour and theatre that show up in my writing are holdovers from childhood education abroad.

Kid said...

Ah, I see. Well, thanks for indulging my inquisitiveness, and feel free to comment at any time. I'll take a look through your blogs and leave a few comments, just so you know I've dropped by. Might not be right away though, as I've got a few things to get done first.

-3- said...

It was a good day for it. Helpful, even, for pulling my head out of the cave.
And, yes - didn't mention it previous, but CRIVENS! is in the stack now.

Kid said...

And yours will be added to my list pretty soon. Just clearing some stuff out of the way first.

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