Thelwell in Lilliput continued

Thelwell drew illustrations for a series called “When the fighting was thinnest” – and as the explanation goes in episode 1 in Lilliput March 1956:

“The time has come to report on the lunatic war as experienced by 95 per cent of the nation 95 per cent of the time. In Lilliput, well-known writers will reveal what took place “When the fighting was thinnest””

The problem was that the series was not always clearly labelled so I’ve added images from several that I think should be from this series but not necessarily all of them. If you need to know more let know

Thelwell in Lilliput magazine

I’ve been scanning artwork for my other blogs from the Lilliput magazines I won and thought I’d share these Thelwell illustrations as they are not well known. rather than label them all individually I’ll say they are from 1955-1957, some accompany a long story; some a series with different authors; some individual articles. If you want more details, just ask!

Robin Jacques in Lilliput and Radio Times

We know quite a bit about Robin Jacques (brother of Hattie apparently!) so I shan’t say much just share some lovely illustrations I found while browsing some magazines. The first gallery comes from Lilliput between 1953-1955 just because I own them. If I find more I shall add them here.

The second batch come from the Radio Times – again there’s no logic to why they appear – except I like his work – and these are not ALL the images from the Radio Times!

The Watchmakers of Switzerland

I’ve scanned a lot of artwork I like in the Lilliput magazine and here are a series that appeared over a few years between 1951-1953. There were others but I love this woodcut-like appearance. The last one has a signature that looks like “Rose”. They come from:


How are these drawn and reproduced? – I’m happy to be educated!

Are you the cartoonist type?

I discovered while browsing some Eagle comics the following two page feature which I thought I’d share

Here we see photos of Terence “Larry” Parkes, Brian Blake, David Langdon, Norman Thelwell, Carl Giles, and Ronald Searle plus an image of their work. Apparently something here was ‘reproduced by permission of Punch‘ but I wonder what – the Larry joke?

Eagle 2 March 1963
Eagle Vol.14:9 (2 March 1963), p16
Eagle Vol.14:9 (2 March 1963), p17

Fifty [Stories] by Odhams



On my Raymond Sheppard blog, I’ve published two illustrations I have by Raymond Sheppard which were published in books by Odhams. Both start with the title “Fifty…”. I was intrigued and couldn’t find anywhere listing them all so here’s my attempt to bring together disparate sources in one place.

I  have only ever seen one of these books with a dustjacket – that had only text – no illustrations on the front. However most of those I have seen have embossed images on them either on the spine and/or on the front. The majority appeared around 1936-1938 as far as I can see but the hook “Fifty” was used by Odhams before these dates and in the 50s and 60s. They appear to form a series which I’ve attempted to list below. The illustrators are interesting as they feature work by Ronald Lampitt, E. S. Annison, Dudley Cowes, J. Harris, Cyril Holloway, T. Grainger Jeffrey, H. Charles Paine, Eric Parker, Pisani, Tony Royle, James Short, A. Sindall, E. B. Thurstan, S. Tresilian, Gilbert Wilkinson, S. van Abbe, Norman Howard, Clive Uptton, Dudley S. Cowes, De Mornay,  and Yates Wilson. If anyone wants me to show them these, let me know

  • Fifty Adventures into the Unknown 1938 [Starts: The Mystery of the Matto Grosso – Denis Clark. Includes: He Gave Britain a Continent – Owen Rutter. Flowers from the Roof of the World – Hugh Broadbridge. The Yukon Trail – W.G.C. Shebbeare. The Crankiest Expedition in History – Charles J. Seymour. Ends: Alone on a Pacific Island – Anon].
  • Fifty Amazing Escapes
  • Fifty Amazing Hairbreadth Escapes 1937 [The windjammer film / A.J. Villiers — When Al Capone was ambushed / J. Bilbo — The fever ship / Anonymous — Shipwreck and a stabbing / Dare Dubois-Phillips — An Afghan raid / Achmed Abdullah — Escape / Francesco Nitti — The crash in the mountains / Lowell Thomas — Called out to be shot / Prince Tuganoff — Cannibal gymnastics / F.H. Law — Gales in the hurricane zone / Alain Gerbault — Escape from the Foreign Legion / M. Donovan — Journey to the Forbidden City / M. Huc — Escape from the Soviets / T. Tchernavin — The madman in the desert / Ex-Legionnaire 1384 — Adrift in an open boat / Sir J. Barrow — The flight to Varennes / Madam Campan]
  • Fifty Amazing Secret Service Dramas [Authors include: Sir Basil Thomson, Marthe McKenna, Dr A K Graves, Lord Baden-Powell, S T Falsted, E T Woodhall, Bernard Newman, Charles Lucieto] 
  • Fifty Amazing Stories Of The Great War 1936
  • Fifty enthralling stories of the mysterious east – see contents here
  • Fifty Events that Amazed the World
  • Fifty Famous Detectives of Fiction 1948 – see Goodreads for contents
  • Fifty Famous Detective Stories 1948
  • Fifty Famous Fights in Fact and Fiction Hardback 1932
  • Fifty Great Adventures that Thrilled the World 1937
  • Fifty Great Sea Stories 1937
  • Fifty Greatest Rogues, Tyrants and Criminals
  • Fifty Great Disasters and Tragedies that shocked the world
  • Fifty Masterpieces of Mystery
  • Fifty Mutinies, Rebellions and Revolutions
  • Fifty Strangest Stories Ever Told
  • Fifty Thrilling Wild West Stories [Why the Wild West Was Wild by F E Sutton. The Borrowed Brand by Paul Evan Lehman. The Long Arm of the Mounted by Harry Sinclair Drago. Bully of The Town by Tom Roan. Blue Eyes and Blue Steel by Charles H Snow. Bill Latimers Tree by W D Hoffman. In the Mexican Quarter by Tom Gill. Without Fear or Favour by William MacLeod Raine. Battle,s End by Max Brand. Grub Delayed by Archie Joscelyn. Horseshoe Law in Misty Sink by William A Todd. Thief! by Will Jenkins. The Treasure of Iron Dome, by Charles H Snow. The Sheriff Was a Runt by Will Jenkins. Broken Courage by Charles Wesley Sanders. Reward for an Outlaw by Herbert Sullivan. The Reverend Chawles by George Goodchild. The Sheriff of Crevasse County by George Brydges Rodney. Ghosts of the Cimarron by Harry Sinclair Drago. The Killers by George Brydges Rodney. He Belonged West by Christopher Culley. The School Maam of Selwood Flats by Paul Evan Lehman. Fighting Fool by Tom Roan. A Reason for Wrath by Johnston Ma C ulley. Three Little Calves by Frank C Robertson. Change of Name by George S Surrey. Death badge by Lee Bond. The Cave of Death by James Denson Sayers. Singing Lead by Eugene Cunningham Texas Ranger by Lester Gregory. Rustled Herd by Lester Gregory. The Whip Hand by George Brydges Rodney. The Marquis and Miss Sally by O Henry. Kid Cyclone by Leo Grex. This Worm Has Fangs by James Denson Sayers. Six Gun Justice by Louis Gray. Million-dollar Burros by H C Wire. A Mounties Code by Canon Risdon. Man of Ice by Claude Rister. When the Coach Was Held up by George Thorne. El Roded by R B Cunninghame Graham. Warrior Woman by Frank Roland Conklin. A Vengeance by Proxy by G S Wallington. A Doubtful Experiment by Gerald Sussex. Vigilante Vengeance by Joseph F Hook. Two Snakes and a Man by Lloyd Eric Reeve. Maverick Water by David Lavender. Riding With the Mail by Clarence E Mulford. The Phantom of the Rio Grande by Jay Allen Dunn. Gunsmoke in Raimondo by Denver Bardwell] – For Illustrators see below
  • Fifty True Love Stories [Horace Theaker, Mrs Magdalene Roff, Mona Scanlon, Arthur Jones, Douglas Howarth, RF Gosney, Mrs Alice Ford, Mrs Mary Charles, Mary Brady, Irene Ballington]
  • Fifty True Stories: Stranger Than Fiction 1936 [Authors include P.C. Wren, Rt. Hon Winston Churchill, H. Rider Haggard, Mrs Belloc Lowndes, Lord George Sanger Twenty Four Hours in the Foreign Legion – P.C.Wren. Includes: The Circus People Take Revenge – ‘Lord’ George Sanger. The Luck of an Earthquake – Fred Walker. The Forest of Illusion – Roger Courtney. Ends: The Man Who Snatched a Throne – Amir Habibullah].
  • Fifty world famous heroic deeds see contents here
  • The Fifty Most Amazing Crimes Of The Last 100 Years 1936
Fifty Amazing Hairbreadth Escapes
Fifty Amazing Stories Of The Great War
Fifty Amazing Secret Service Dramas
Fifty Great Sea Stories
Fifty Thrilling Wild West Stories – illustrators list

William Timym

Puma by Timym

A puma drawn by William Tymym

What do the statue of Guy the Gorilla, Blue Peter and Woman magazine have in common? I expect you’ve guessed the name which connects these three things!

I used to have in my possession the TV Times Rolf Harris Safari Album from 1972 from when it was first published. I can’t remember whether it was free inside the TV Times or I sent off for it but I loved the wildlife drawings and artwork. It was a while into collecting the series of pictures, which were free in the TV Times, that I found the artist’s  name – which does not appear in the whole 30 page album! One would think Harris had done all the work  but some initials and finally a signature told me something amazing.

William Timym was that artist. While searching around I found he also illustrated something else I liked as a kid: “Bleep and Booster” on Blue Peter. But little did I know the very statue that my son climbed in London Zoo, was created by none other than William Timym in 1982! (Side note: I was sure, until I checked the date, that I saw the Guy the Gorilla statue in 1969? And I’m not thinking of the Crystal Palace Park one either as I was there for the first time only a few years ago!)

BIOGRAPHY of William Timym: Born Vienna October 5 1902; Died London May 31 1990

‘Tim’, as he signed himself was actually William Timym, born in 1902 in Austria, he moved from Vienna to England in 1938, escaping Nazi occupation and became a naturalised British citizen in April 1949. A search of the National Archives show he was a renowned portrait painter during the war, and painted royalty, Prime Ministers and military people amongst many.  His comic strip “The Boss” was seen all over Europe and Britain whilst he was still living on the continent and he was soon syndicated in the UK in the Sunday Dispatch, where he drew Caesar“, an Afghan hound who gets into all sorts of mischief. His “Humphrey” strip of black and white panels appeared in Woman magazine. Because I couldn’t find many online, for your pleasure, I looked through the four Woman magazines I own!

Humphrey strip

Humphrey by Timym (Woman 25 May 1957 p.61)


Humphrey by Timym (Woman 5 October 1957 p.57)

“Wuff, Snuff and Tuff”, can easily be found on the Internet – especially at the National Library of Australia’s Trove database, follow the link. The three puppies’ adventures were very popular and saw publication in books and annuals as well as weekly. Then Timym also illustrated “Oh Johnny!” the adventures of a down-beaten husband and his wise wife, in John Bull in the Fifties. Another children’s strip apparently appeared in the Daily Express, “Bengo the Boxer”. I say apparently because I can’t find a single reproduction of one from the Daily Express although there were books published.  Susan Brewer’s article on Bengo collectables is exhaustive. The idea was actually developed for a BBC Children’s TV programme and began on Monday 22 June 1953 as “Bengo the adventures of a boxer puppy”. In 1962 it became part of Blue Peter (according to the Guardian obituary and BBC Genome). In the Sixties I remember the “Bleep and Booster” cartoons for “Blue Peter” the children’s programme on the BBC.  Jeremy Briggs has listed all Timym’s characters’ appearances in Blue Peter books via Steve Holland’s Bear Alley blog This is also where you’ll find Briggs’ article on “Bleep and Booster”.

I made passing reference to Timym’s sculpture and he designed such famous pieces as the “TV Times Top Ten award”, Guy the Gorilla, as mentioned and Petra, the Blue Peter dog, whose statue is now at Salford Quays.

As my addition to Timym on the Internet I have transcribed some of the Chicago Sunday Tribune article on Tim which appears on the Classic comics section of a manga website of all things in Spain! Hopefully this will show up on Google and help others researching his life.

At 11 he competed with 150 other boys and girls to enter the Academy of Arts in Vienna. Most came loaded down with paintings and busts they had done. Tim brought nothing. Professor Cizek [?] asked them all to return the next day and bring nothing. They did. With a wave of his arm the Professor told them to take their choice of the great diversity of materials he had there for them and to do something out of their imagination.

“Fifty percent of them were helpless” Tim recalled. “They were bound to the model. For me it was a walkover, I sketched a trotting horse and driver in full movement and the Professor took me on”.

In 1929, Tim won a Vienna poster contest with his drawing of a group of animals. The Viennese public fell for the poster. The evening newspaper Der Abend asked Tim to do its sketches  – for theatrical stories, political cartoons, and short stories. In 1934 Tim started his first comic strip, called “The Boss.” There were some small animals in it. Vienna hailed it as a novelty, because it was a pantomime comic strip – with no balloon conversations, nor even captions, all silent. At first , the editors worried about the silence.

“But if I draw them so that people understand them, they will look at them.” Tim told them. They needn’t have worried. Within three months, people were calling at the paper’s office to buy back numbers.

 *   *  *

Another newspaper asked Tim to do a strip. By this time he owned a dog himself – a boxer. Tim created a Dalmatian hound that he called Sniff, and did the strip about him.

Sniff was a success. By 1937, both “Sniff” and “The Boss” were appearing not only in Vienna, but also in other continental newspapers and in Britain. Tim was established. In 1938, Hitler came to Vienna. Tim left.

Tim went to England, where “The Boss” was appearing in the Sunday Graphic and “Sniff” in several out-of-London papers. Tim brought with him to Britain, his boxer dog, Cito.

The continental newspapers ceased carrying his strips. Tim began living  where he does now in a house not far from Hampstead Heath. The war started. Tim was interned, as all others classified because of their nationality as enemy aliens. But he was in camp for only three months.

Upon his release Tim found himself professionally as unoccupied as he was when he, at two, was scratching the brown paper [supplied by his mother and father] spread out on the floor. The paper shortage ended both “The Boss” and “Sniff”. Tim started out all over again.

He did portraits. He went into commercial advertising and in 1943 he joined the Cooper syndicate. He did political cartoons for the weekly John Bull.

Then, in 1944, the Sunday Graphic editor asked Tim to start another comic strip. He did and called it “Uncle George.”

“I don’t like Uncle George but I do like his dog,” Tim was told. “Do a strip about the dog.”

The dog? he was something like Sniff, but different. Tim had added a few points of an English setter.

“I liked Sniff’s muzzle and his spots,” Tim explained, “but I added a setter’s long hair and big flappy ears to make a contrast to Sniff.”

Faced with making Uncle George’s dog the star of the strip and doing away with Uncle George, Tim immediately decided the dog had to be more imposing. To help, Tim sketched him larger, gave him more glorious ruffles and christened the dog “Caesar”

Ceasar now had earned his full fledged personality. In 1949 Tim became a naturalized Briton. One woman yearly buys Caesar a dog license and pays his dues at the Tailwagger’s club, the London club of British dogdom.

Citation: Gwen Morgan, (1952), “Growing up with Caesar”, Chicago Sunday Tribune, 7 December 1952, p.8

There does seem to be discrepancies about his birth date. On Stripper’s Guide Allan Holtz shows  a transcription from an article that appeared in November 1951 in which it states ” Timyn, who is 52, has been a professional cartoonist more than 27 years” which means he is likely to have been born in 1899 and began his “professional cartooning” at the age of 25.

His death is not in doubt as his family placed an announcement in the Death Notices of the Times (Friday, June 1, 1990, p.15) in which they state “On May 31st, peacefully at home in London. William Timym M.B.E., affectionately known as Tim, Artist and Sculpter [sic], in his 88th year”.  So it would appear he was born in the 20th Century not the 19th. Monday 11 June’s Guardian has a long obituary in which it states: “[…] has died at the age of 87” – and “Born Vienna October 5; died May 31 1990” so I’d say that makes his birthday 1902

I have scanned a copy I owned of the Safari Album and show here the pages that contain Timym’s line work as well as colour work.

Cover illo














Zoo Calendar by L. R. Brightwell

What inspired me to write this blog was the discovery of artwork I liked – that simple! I had some ephemera that I’d love to see preserved so any researchers who want it can at least see it here! As a result of my discovery and joy is seeing L. R. Brightwell‘s artwork in Boy’s Own Paper I had an email from Stewart Gravenor who had commented earlier:

Brightwell was a local artist (Brighton) that my parents knew (he lived in Peacehaven). We ended up with a few sketches, posters and postcards split up between the kids when my parents died. I have a couple A3-ish sketch publication proofs with his hand written comments regarding improvements for the final sketches. Good talking point with visitors!

Stewart kindly sent these photographs of two pieces he owns:

Brightwell artwork

The Arcadian calendar for April – original artwork

The Zoo's Profiteers

The Zoo’s Profiteers – original artwork

I’m not going to start obsessing about where these appeared because a quick search shows Brightwell was a prolific author and artist! If anyone knows, let me know.

Anyway this inspired me to share my copy of Zoo Calendar (which can be picked up cheaply for a 200 pages). It’s not dated except by Brightwell who says “Since first the London Zoo was founded, a hundred and six years ago…” Well, London Zoo was founded in 1826 therefore, assuming no reprints occurred for this undated book, it looks to have been published in 1932. As we are in the month of may. I’ve scanned just that month and might carry on through the book depending on time.


Cover of Zoo Calendar


Front page




Title page






























Mike Noble in Wide World 1962

Examples of Wide World painted covers by various artists

I knew Mike Noble, having first met him on 27 July 2002 and wondered how I could add anything to what others have said following his death less than 2 weeks ago (see below)

Mike was born in 1931 and will be best remembered for his black and white and colour comic strip work. But his work extended beyond that. A recent query on Facebook from Shaqui, who has done so much to pin down details of Gerry Anderson’s characters in comics, led to me thinking how I could share Mike’s work in Wide World. I, like many others, interviewed Mike and the version as it was published appeared in True Brit (ed. George Khoury, 2004) on pages 150–155. But he made no mention of Wide World, which I’d previously visited because of Frank Bellamy and Raymond Sheppard  where I have previously written about the magazine in general terms.

Wide World (began with the slogan “the magazine for everybody” but soon turned into “the true adventure magazine for men”) was launched by George Newnes in 1898, and opined how the adventures presented are examples of how truth can be stranger than fiction. In the 1950s it had superb illustrations by the likes of Langhammer, Clive Upton, Gordon Davies, A. E. Batchelor and many others. However the reproduction left a lot to be desired, with artwork being cropped and published in half-tone in B&W. The magazine, like many others of the late 50s- early 60s moved from illustration to the use of photographs, which limited the representations that could appear, and it survived until 1965.

Back to Mike Noble. I’m presenting here his artwork as it appeared in the magazine during 1962. I have made no extensive search so do not claim this as an exhaustive list and will reproduce others from as far back as I have found (May 1957) in due course. When I excitedly discovered a treasure trove of Mike’s artwork and sent him copies with a note, he replied:

“It was kind of you to unearth them – my murky past coming back to haunt me”

I wish now I’d asked what he meant, but hope you enjoy this small tribute to Mike. Rest in peace, my friend and thanks for so many happy memories.


Wide World Feb 1962 p.81: “Creeping Death at Lambarene” by Dr. Albert Schweitzer


Wide World May 1962 p244 “Toy-Gun Highwayman” by Don Whitehead


Wide World June 1962 p304-305, “The Iron Road Home” by Frank Cordner


Wide World June 1962 p306-307, “The Iron Road Home” by Frank Cordner


Wide World August 1962 p119 “Earthquake takes all” by C. Sandys


Wide World October 1962 p234-235 “Terror on the Thames” by H. J. Higgins

OBITUARIES for Mike Noble (with lots of links)


  • Wikipedia page listing most of Mike’s known work
  • Boyd, Norman, 2004, in Khoury, George, ed. True Brit: A Celebration of the Great Comic Book Artists of the UK. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing. pp. 150–155.Now only available in digital format here The e-format contains full colour and additional pages compared to the out of print version
  • Buy some original artwork at Book Palace

FAB Anniversary Extra showing Fireball XL5

Barbosa – The man who drew Flashman

I was given a gift of a book on an artist I had only noticed a few months ago! But when reading the book I realised I’d seen his work in Lilliput a long time ago where I have examined a lot of Raymond Sheppard‘s artwork.

Artur Barbosa on the far right

Artur Ernesto Teixeira de Vasconcelos Barbosa, was an artist who worked in different fields – predominantly commercial art. As Lawrence Blackmore, the author, says this meant his work was not as valued as those ‘fine artists’ who assemble piles of bricks, or unmade beds! Barbosa was very talented and is well-remembered for his focus on period costume but he also designed stage sets, costumes and as Blackmore tells us, on one occasion, the interior of a rather famous yacht!

Barbosa was born in Liverpool on 6 March 1908 and lived in Groombridge, Kent until his death on 5 October 1995.


Barbosa – the man who drew Flashman

The picture of the cover, above, shows how thick this gorgeous book is – 350 pages of reproductions, and biographies. It’s on quality paper and I can’t see there ever being another biography on Barbosa or a gathering of his materials in one place like this. The edition is limited to 500 – or as the publisher says “Available in a limited edition of just 500 copies worldwide, only four hundred and fifty of which will be for sale. It will not be reprinted”


Blackmore gives us a biography and tells us about Barbosa’s career and how he worked on book jackets, set design, costume design, and advertising. He outlines the work Barbosa did on the following authors, together with a small biography of each:

  • pp 85-102: George MacDonald Fraser
  • pp103-122: Georgette Heyer
  • pp123-130: Patrick O’Brian
  • pp 131-140: Doris Leslie

He covers Barbosa’s work in magazines of the day Lilliput, Everbody’s Weekly, Bystander and does not sniff at children’s work (a refreshing change). Other authors mentioned include C. S. Forester, Joanna Trollope, Graham Greene, Sax Rohmer, Jules Verne, Anthony Powell, and Lytton Strachey.  I had a lovely surprise when I had saw the following covers on John Christopher books – an author I love. I have never seen these before!

John Christopher covers by Barbosa

A very rare portfolio is reproduced in the book – here’s one image, demonstrating Barbosa’s detail working. Blackmore reproduces the captions which will tell you more!

A Louisiana Zouave – Sergeant c. 1862

One of Barbosa’s later commissions was for Tesco supermarket, producing designs for their fortified wines!

Tesco fortified wines range – labels designed by Barbosa

Now, time for my confession. I don’t like Barbosa’s Regency and period costume paintings. Besides the elongated figures, I find the colour paintings too 2-D without depth – even where there is a background.  I do like his dustjacket designs as they mirror the period I love, where illustrators – not photographers – were king (and queen!). However I must say I do like his linework in black and white – here’s one example from the book

One page of Barbosa’s line work

Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor (and Rex Harrison)  are just some of the names that crop up in this brilliant book.  The Hollywood couple asked Barbosa to design the interior of a yacht they bought, Burton, apparently realising it’s almost as cheap to own a yacht (and pay staff) than pay hotel bills!


The Burtons’ boat


I loved the fact that Blackmore never skirts round explaining some of the works he has found and their origins, placing art in Barbosa’s timeline. Such as the Radnorshire Fine Arts Limited pieces


I enjoyed reading this book and seeing how a researcher and fan of Barbosa put together a finished product.  Personally – and this is just me – I’d love an article on the search process which can be fascinating in itself.  The reproductions are very good – especially as Blackmore himself confesses very little of Barbosa’s orignal art exists. I would have liked to see references placed as footnotes to see Blackmore’s sources, but his notes at the end of the book cover all the queries I had, although I had to deduce some of them. I loved the fact that Blackmore appears not to held back any information he has acquired over a long time collecting said information. Where he has a lead he takes it, checks it, theorises and shares it here. A completist, if ever there was one. If not for the fact he admits that much more is likely to be out there yet to be discovered, this could be a catalog rasionée. Even so I doubt another will ever exist!

Another artist, mentioned in the book from Barbosa’s time was Reinganum, I’d love to see a book of his artwork! But I suspect I’m in a minority there too!  One thing lacking from the book was something about Barbosa’s techinique but knowledge like that must be very hard to gather if no contemporary articles exist – especially as those who knew him are few and far between now. Blackmore has done all art collectors and admirers a great service by putting this book together




Title: Barbosa: The Man who drew Flashman
Author: Lawrence Blackmore
Artist: Arthur Barbosa
Publisher: Book Palace Books, June 2018
Number of pages: 350
Format: Hard Cover with Dust Wrapper; Full Colour illustrations
Size: 9″ x 12″ (220mm x 297mm)
ISBN: 9781907081439