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.
OBITUARIES for Mike Noble (with lots of links)
- A True Inspiration: artist Lee Sullivan pays tribute to Mike Noble
- Lew Stringer’s blog
- John Stewart who runs the Look-In site
- John Freeman’s tribute
- Steve Holland
- Jaimie Anderson
- 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