Neigh, Neigh and thrice Neigh!

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Kashgar
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Neigh, Neigh and thrice Neigh!

Post by Kashgar »

As its Grand National day today I thought it appropriate to start a modest strand devoted to that noblest of four-hoofed creatures, the horse, and it's place in comic and adventure strips over the years.
Going back to the 1936 there was Roland Davies crafty cart-horse Steve in the Sunday Express strip 'Come on, Steve' and in 1938 when the Amalgamated Press launched Radio Fun and where initially too scared to put a particular radio star on the cover for fear of putting other radio stars noses out of joint, they came up with 'George the Jolly Gee-Gee' drawn by Roy Wilson and then John Jukes. And, even when Arthur Askey did take over on the cover, George continued to be popular in Radio Fun and also in a variety of other AP comic titles for most of the war years before he was then revived in the 1950's in T V Fun as 'Hoofer the TV Gee-Gee'.
Also, who can forget Pedro Don Key the steed of Figaro the bandit in the DCT's Topper and drawn by Tom Bannister, always willing to give you his jaundiced opinion of his masters banditing ability, or lack of same, via the odd, pithy, thought balloon.
And just to round off for the moment there was also Reg Parlett's ghostly 'Nightmare' an ethereal, but helpful, haybag of a nag who haunted the pages of Cor.

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Re: Neigh, Neigh and thrice Neigh!

Post by Raven »

There was also the rather sexist Hee Gee and His Nag in Whoopee; a horse husband with a nagging wife.

And Mike Noble's beautifully drawn Follyfoot and Adventures of Black Beauty strips in Look-In.

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ISPYSHHHGUY
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Re: Neigh, Neigh and thrice Neigh!

Post by ISPYSHHHGUY »

I always felt that RON SPENCER [mid-period 'LITTLE PLUM', WHACKO!', etc.] was the best cartoonist of HORSES in his own time........ he made them LOOK funny and appealling, as well as 'correct'-looking; even in cartoon terms, effectively drawing horses is one of the most difficult tasks for any artist........MIKE LACEY was also pretty good , on 'RUDOLF the RED-COAT MOUNTIE.' ---[with it's wise-cracking, 'thinking-aloud' hoss.].

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Re: Neigh, Neigh and thrice Neigh!

Post by Steve Bright »

ISPYSHHHGUY wrote:I always felt that RON SPENCER [mid-period 'LITTLE PLUM', WHACKO!', etc.] was the best cartoonist of HORSES in his own time........
Agreed, he was right up there, with his wonderfully knock-kneed nags. Best of all was Norman Thelwell, of course, although I don't know if he ever drew his horses for comics. I used to love copying his drawings as a kid - they were always full of life and very funny.

Image


I don't know if you count unicorns, but there was a certain horny beast in the Funday Times, name of Tex... :wink:
Wake up, smell the coffee, put on some toast...

http://www.stevebrightcartoons.co.uk

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ISPYSHHHGUY
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Re: Neigh, Neigh and thrice Neigh!

Post by ISPYSHHHGUY »

RON SPENCER done a very 'THELWELLIAN' 'BEANO' strip in the mid-80s, STEVE: 'PEPPER and her PONY', which I'm sure you will recall.

---DAVID MOSTYN also done some very dynamic, energetic horse artwork in a 'comic library'; 'D' YE KEN JOHN SQUEAL?'-----which I am sure he enjoyed working on.

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Re: Neigh, Neigh and thrice Neigh!

Post by Phoenix »

I have been aware of the existence of this great race since Russian Hero won it in 1949, and I can assure Kashgar that at no time since then would the race have been won by a cart-horse, a jolly gee-gee, a Don Key, a haybag of a nag or even Arthur Askey. I've just opened my study window and in the quiet stillness of the evening I can just hear some slow, faint hoofbeats and a high-pitched, choking chuckle that sounds rather like 'Whoa there Playmates, I've got a stitch!' Yes, it's just as I thought, Kashgar, they're all still running.

Kashgar
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Re: Neigh, Neigh and thrice Neigh!

Post by Kashgar »

I know he hated drawing them but, nevertheless, the comic artist who drew the best horses for me was Davy Law. He was the master of drawing the comic nag.

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Peter Gray
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Re: Neigh, Neigh and thrice Neigh!

Post by Peter Gray »

Image

Image This springs to mind when Kashgar mentioned Davy Law and horses...
Last edited by Peter Gray on 07 Apr 2008, 14:55, edited 1 time in total.

Kashgar
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Re: Neigh, Neigh and thrice Neigh!

Post by Kashgar »

A fine example of what I meant Peter. Come to think of it Davy Law drew great cartoon animals full stop whatever species they sprang from. Dogs and one in particular obviously, cats particularly the large, jungle variety and if you ever needed someone to draw you a disgruntled bull then Mr Law was your man.

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Re: Neigh, Neigh and thrice Neigh!

Post by Kashgar »

Back to the equine theme and on a slightly more serious note the D C Thomson girl's picture paper Bunty began it's long association with 'the horsey set' with a prose story in it's first 15 issues titled 'Kay of the 5 Horse-shoes' about a young girl's time as a stable-girl at a famous riding establishment. Kay Hamilton, the heroine of this story, then progressing to show-jumper and picture strip star in the aptly titled 'Kay Hamilton - Show Jumper' (No's 51-64) drawn quite beautifully by Ian Kennedy.
More to follow.

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Re: Neigh, Neigh and thrice Neigh!

Post by philcom55 »

Couldn't resist making one last comeback to agree with Kashgar about Dave Law's horses. In fact I'd say that he was a master at depicting all kinds of animals, including elephants, tigers and (needless to say) tripehounds! :)

As for Thelwell I can't remember if he drew any strips offhand but he certainly made numerous contributions to titles like Eagle over the years; in particular a sequence of stunning endpapers for the Annuals. He also produced some excellent work for the Princess Pony Annual - which was an especially high-class production during it's early years and featured some beautiful art by the best horse artists in the IPC 'stable' such as D C Eyles. Definitely worth seeking out for hippophiles everywhere (unlike the Ballet Annuals which very definitely aren't!!! :roll: ).

Oh Well, Hi Ho Silver, and awaaaayy... (again!) - Phil R

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ISPYSHHHGUY
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Re: Neigh, Neigh and thrice Neigh!

Post by ISPYSHHHGUY »

here is a list of artists, and corresponding ANIMALS I thought that these respective cartoonists excelled in: contrary to rumour, cartoonists are only human, and have strengths and weaknesses just like anyone else!

[even the DISNEY studio in ANIMATION'S 'GOLDEN ERA' had different artists with different suited material; FRED MOORE was best for appeal; BILL TYTLA was top for dramatics, etc.]


okay, here goes, for what it's worth:


HORSES: the most controversial entry: I still say RON SPENCER nailed it; but DAVID LAW has cast most votes.


BULLS: CHARLIE GRIGG.....NO contest!

VULTURES: LEO BAXENDALE/FRANK Mc DIARMID [yes, I KNOW they are associated with VULTURE strips.]

EAGLES; RON SPENCER.

COWS: DUDLEY WATKINS, D. SUTHERLAND.

PIGS: ROY WILSON.

TIGERS; LES BARTON.

BEARS; ----these have been exceptionally well-served in BRITISH comics: LEO B., BOB Mc GRATH, BOB NIXON, RON

SPENCER, KEN HARRISON,and DUDLEY D. WATKINS all exceled in this field.

OCTOPI; TOM BANNISTER [obviously], CHARLIE GRIGG.

LIONS: CHARLIE GRIGG.

MONKEYS: CHARLIE GRIGG, BOB NIXON.

ELEPHANTS; DUDLEY D. WATKINS, RON SPENCER.

FROGS: BOB NIXON, DAVEY LAW.

FARMYARD ANIMALS in GENERAL: ROY WILSON.


ALIENS [!]: BILL RITCHIE'S 'MOONSTERS!'

'HUMANS': KEN REID...........[!]




-------interesting what KASHGAR wrote earlier about DAVEY LAW disliking drawing HORSES....there's a very well-known anecdote involving DAVEY: as well as disliking drawing hosses, he also intensely disliked working on BRASS BANDS, STAIRS and ELEPHANTS.

-------in an supreme 'wind-up' that has rightfully entered 'BEANO' folklore, a scriptwriter once dutifully concocted a script containing ALL these elements...........and DAVE never tumbled 'til later. I have a visual image of this finished artwork [I can't actually recall it, but it sure sounds amusing].

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Peter Gray
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Re: Neigh, Neigh and thrice Neigh!

Post by Peter Gray »

Image

Must have a look at Corporal Clott next as there must be some good tigers in that one..

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Re: Neigh, Neigh and thrice Neigh!

Post by Kashgar »

Just a few other runners and riders from the DC Thomson 'stable'.
Hungry Hoss - Bill Ritchie (Beezer 1981-1986)
Showjumping entries - Over the Top and the best of Luck (text New Hotspur)
Kubal the Great (Victor)
Horse racing - The Gallops of the Big Galoot (Victor)
The Boy who sings to Horses (New Hotspur)
When he was a boy - Lester Piggott (Victor No1)
Horses of a different colour - Mulligan's Mules (New Hotspur)
Battling Pete of the Pit Ponies (New Hotspur)
Snip - New Forest Pony ( New Hotspur).
And there we are, a small nosegay , or should that be nosebag, of equine outings in the Thomson papers.

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Re: Neigh, Neigh and thrice Neigh!

Post by Kashgar »

Go for it Peter! David Law did some great jungle cat illustrations for the Corporal Clott strips. Not only cats though, my mention of a disgruntled bull in an earlier post stems from the fact that, on my study wall, I've the framed original artwork of a Corporal Clott strip which contains the most comically angry looking, bovine beast you'd ever wish to see.

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