I mentioned Leslie Caswell, whom Mike Noble (the comic artist) knew in the 50s in the last blog post.
Noble is quoted as saying “Caswell showed me how to design a picture within a frame” (Boyd, N. in Khoury, G. ed. 2004, p.152*).
The Net includes reference to his school background (Soham Grammar School). This is a really fascinating period piece and we learn that Caswell exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1940 and was in Burma during the war in the Royal Artillery.
My first scan from Home Notes shows a couple with the man almost looking comical! I’m not sure if my wife dressed like that I would be worrying about her ‘tidiness’.
Unfortunately I no longer have this issue to be able to tell you what ‘Linda’ did! But remember this is the early 50s. The affluent growing middle class after the Second World War is definitely the only model of family allowed at this time. Father is the sturdy solid black figure in the foreground towering in proportions over his wife and child. The lighting is interesting in this. The window is ‘in our faces’ but still is balanced by the dark suit
Again here we have the coy wife and her protector. A 1951 ideal.Notice however the strong figure work. He is looking to the right to her, and we follow his eyes to her and wonder then what she is thinking.
There is scant reference to Caswell on the Net, but interestingly:
Textbook of Operative Gynæcology
By Wilfred Shaw, M.A., M.D., F.R.C.S., Gynæcologist, St. Andrew’s Hospital, Dollis Hill, London, England. Cloth. $19. Pp. 444, with 382 illustrations. Williams & Wilkins Company, Mt. Royal and Guilford Aves., Baltimore 2; E. & S. Livingstone, Ltd., 16 and 17 Teviot Pl., Edinburgh, Scotland, 1954.
This is one of the foremost books on operative gynecology published in any language. It is a pity that Wilfred Shaw did not live to see this book completed. Even though he knew he had a fatal illness, he worked on the manuscript to the very end. Shaw acknowledged inspiration of illustrations from the textbooks of Peham-Amreich, Martius, TeLinde, and Greenhill. He borrowed some excellent original drawings, but the remainder of the illustrations were drawn by Leslie Caswell and are unsurpassed for accuracy and beauty.
Lastly for some of Caswell’s colour work take a look at “The spear thrower” from 1972, an unusual piece to be doing later in life!
So where did he continue illustrating when he moved to Cornwall and is he still alive? Get in touch if you know more
* Boyd, Norman, 2004. in G. Khoury, ed. True Brit: a celebration of the great comic book artists of the UK?, pp.150-155