Woolcock, Turnbull & Lupatelli: the three Good Frog Artists.

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philcom55
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Woolcock, Turnbull & Lupatelli: the three Good Frog Artists.

Post by philcom55 » 22 Feb 2011, 17:00

While original art by the likes of Frank Bellamy, Don Lawrence and Frank Hampson can fetch hundreds - if not thousands - of pounds, it's quite astonishing that classic pages from British nursery comics are still easy enough to acquire for single figure sums. This weekend, for example, I bought some lovely artwork by Peter Woolcock who was the quintessential 'Good Frog Artist' (in the same way that American fans famously used to call Carl Barks the 'Good Duck Artist'), and I simply couldn't resist showing some of it off here...

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...The amazing thing is that, after working in British comics from the 1950s right through to the 1980s, this Argentinean-born artist then went on to start a whole new career in Bermuda as a successful political cartoonist. For anyone who's interested he can be seen in this recent Youtube clip, talking about his illustrations for a new children's book - as well as making some fascinating observations about the comic artist's need to double as a part-time actor:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tPY4bKDcRI

- Phil Rushton

(NB - Thanks to Comics UK member Matrix I've since discovered that the above panels weren't drawn by Peter Woolcock after all, but by his fellow 'Good Frog Artist' Douglas Turnbull. Read on for more details...!)
Last edited by philcom55 on 03 May 2013, 14:54, edited 5 times in total.

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Peter Gray
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Re: Peter Woolcock: the Good Frog Artist.

Post by Peter Gray » 22 Feb 2011, 18:09

They are lovely to see..

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suebutcher
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Re: Peter Woolcock: the Good Frog Artist.

Post by suebutcher » 24 Feb 2013, 09:17

Peter Woolcock is my favourite funny animal artist bar none. Here's "Wally, Sammy and Harry", the Goons recreated as a weasel, a stoat, and a hamster, from the 1961 Playhour Annual. As usual with Woolcock characters, a mad scheme is tackled with innocent enthusiasm.
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I'd like some of Woolcock's art, I'm just waiting for something with these guys in to turn up. And Sixties copies of "Playhour" are really hard to find in Australia; I haven't got a single issue, just this annual and a summer special.

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ISPYSHHHGUY
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Re: Peter Woolcock: the Good Frog Artist.

Post by ISPYSHHHGUY » 24 Feb 2013, 10:15

I recognize this artists' style---it was huge was I was very small. This stuff is as good as Disney.

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philcom55
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Re: Peter Woolcock: the Good Frog Artist.

Post by philcom55 » 24 Feb 2013, 17:18

If anything the Summer Specials tend to be rarer than the comics, so you're doing well to have that one Sue! Phil Clarke used to have loads of original art from Playhour and Jack & Jill but he generally tended to let it go quite cheaply at marts instead of putting it up on Ebay along with the more expensive pages from Lion, Valiant, Eagle, etc. Most collectors just weren't interested apparently. :shock:

Peter Woolcock certainly had some stiff opposition from the likes of Felstead, Mendoza, McNeill, Blasco, etc. on the nursery titles but I must admit that he's my favourite too. Here are a few more panels of his peerless version of Mr Toad taken from the original art:

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To my mind this kind of work requires the same level of comic timing as a top actor or comedian. And aren't those washes gorgeous?

Phil Rushton

(NB - Now these are by Woolcock!)
Last edited by philcom55 on 25 Apr 2013, 18:05, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Peter Woolcock: the Good Frog Artist.

Post by ISPYSHHHGUY » 24 Feb 2013, 18:40

These images rank along any quality comics work of any genre---all all the above scanned from originals you own, Phil?

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philcom55
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Re: Peter Woolcock: the Good Frog Artist.

Post by philcom55 » 24 Feb 2013, 18:48

ISPYSHHHGUY wrote:...are all the above scanned from originals you own, Phil?
Yep! I've got quite a few Woolcock pages as well as a number of loose panels. The nice thing about the latter is that the lack of word balloons and captions makes them into individual works of art suitable for framing...and yet each one cost me less than a mass-produced birthday card! :)

Compare that with the sort of prices asked for Carl Barks originals!

- Phil R.

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Re: Peter Woolcock: the Good Frog Artist.

Post by ISPYSHHHGUY » 24 Feb 2013, 19:10

In a way it's a shame that this work has not got the recognition it deserves [financially] but I am sure that Peter Woolcock would appreciate the fact that someone appreciated his work decades later, Phil-----also great that you got a real bargain joblot.

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philcom55
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Re: Peter Woolcock: the Good Frog Artist.

Post by philcom55 » 24 Feb 2013, 19:14

The nice thing is that, according to the YouTube link at the top of this thread, Peter seems to be one of the very few British comics artists who really did go on to live happily ever after...!

- Phil R.

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Peter Gray
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Re: Peter Woolcock: the Good Frog Artist.

Post by Peter Gray » 24 Feb 2013, 20:10

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/TOAD-HALL-JAC ... 53f5091e11

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Found one on ebay..."20...looks great to own..

done a blog post on this topic..


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Re: Peter Woolcock: the Good Frog Artist.

Post by ISPYSHHHGUY » 24 Feb 2013, 20:34

these are going for a song!

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philcom55
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Re: Peter Woolcock: the Good Frog Artist.

Post by philcom55 » 25 Feb 2013, 01:04

Though these illustrations to 'The 101 Dalmations' and 'Worzel Gummidge' in Treasure aren't taken from Peter's original art it seems to me that they do show something of his remarkable versatility:

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- Phil R.

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Re: Peter Woolcock: the Good Frog Artist.

Post by suebutcher » 25 Feb 2013, 02:47

Those "Mr Toad" panels are brilliant! The expressions, the gestures, and the movements are so perfect words aren't needed. That's the clever thing about nursery comic art.

The "Freddie Frog" art has looser lines than the signed work. Could they have been inked by another artist?

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Re: Peter Woolcock: the Good Frog Artist.

Post by matrix » 23 Apr 2013, 10:18

A nice Willow wood in colour, love the bathing costume! Not signed?
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