The Three Musketeers

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Book Palace’s brilliant reprint of Arturo del Castillo’s artwork

There are so many versions of this story that one more, I thought, seemed a bit superfluous, but I was wrong! And before we gone on, in case you need this, this article contains spoilers!

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Arturo del Castillo’s superb artwork as reproduced in this book. Just look at that figure work!

SUMMARY

The artwork, which first appeared weekly in the UK’s children’s comic Film Fun and Lion, is of exceptional quality. The publisher has done a fantastic job considering the bleed through that occurred in children’s comics of the late 50s early 60s. The scans are great but the highlight of this paperback is the reproduction of Castillo’s original art. 14 pages of extraordinary beauty! Steve Holland provides a ‘stripography’ of Castillo’s work and an introduction to the lore of the Three or four Musketeers! A book that is very unlikely to be reprinted and well worth obtaining.

REVIEW

The three stories first appeared in

  1. Film Fun: 7 Jan 1961 – 27 May 1961 as “Three Musketeers”
  2. Lion: 28 Sept 1963 – 2 Nov 1963 as “The King’s Musketeers”
  3. Lion: 9 Nov 1963 – 22 Feb 1964 as “The Man in the Iron mask”

Steve Holland’s introduction of 5 two-columned pages covers the history of Dumas’ work and the Musketeers in particular. I love Steve’s work as he is a fan and writes for fans, knowing just how much to put in the introduction.

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D’Artagnan portrayed by Walter Abel adorns this gorgeous page.

The first story has headers of photographs from the two films that appeared in 1935 (with Walter Abel as D’Artagnan) and 1948 with Gene Kelly. I thought that Errol Flynn appeared as D’Artagnan, but I’m wrong! He did star in “The Adventures of Robin Hood” in 1938 where he performed some brilliant fencing, so I expect I’ve mixed that up in my mind! The story tells of how D’Artagnan travels to Paris to join the Musketeers and how a gift to the Queen from the Duke of Buckingham might cause a war!

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Wonderful detail in the Sea Captain’s face and beard!

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A beautiful scene showing horses close up as well in silhouette. Stop for a moment and look at the rocks and trees. Gorgeous work!

The second story has a tragic event which is very touching and we learn of the Queen’s twin sons and how Richelieu must separate them before they cause division in France.

D'Artagnan tries to rescue his love

D’Artagnan’s adventure reminiscent of Alex Raymond’s work.

D'Artagnan is too late

Lady Constance slips away from D’Artagnan. Castillo leaves the panel with the central characters commanding the space. D’Artagnan’s simple words tell us the bad news and hurt as we read.

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The coach is ambushed on a valley road.

The third story carries on from the birth and separation of the two Dauphins and tells the story of “the Man in the Iron Mask”

Steve Holland writes a two page biography of Arturo del Castillo and gives us a ‘stripography’ of his work in the UK. The book is rounded off with such a highlight – 14 pages of fantastic original artwork reproduced as they are today.

I can’t recommend this book enough and for all this you pay £20!

DETAILS

The Complete Adventures of The Three Musketeers

Author: Alexandre Dumas; edited by Steve Holland
Artist: Arturo del Castillo
Publisher: Book Palace Books, 30 April 2018
Number of pages: 112
Format: Flexi Cover; Black & White illustrations
Size: 9″ x 11″ (216mm x 280mm)
ISBN: 9780955159688

PRICE: £20.00

 

 

 

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Brian Lewis: All About Science #12 – Mendel

The thing that always hits me when looking at Lewis’ art is his references must have been hard to come by. He could easily get children to pose for him, but Czech architecture? National dress? Mendel himself? You might be surprised to learn a photo exists of Mendel. Have a look at this old video on YouTube for an interesting documentary.

Brian Lewis: All About Science #09 – Bernoulli

Have you ever used a spraygun? What about that toy from childhood, Blopens? Bernoulli’s Principle states that as the speed of a moving fluid increases, the pressure within the fluid decreases.

Lewis again demonstrates, using a silhouette against the other panels of full colour. I particularly like the illusion of depth in the mountain panel. The village is inked in outline; the mountains have no outlines

Brian Lewis: All About Science #08 – Archimedes

Again I don’t have Number 7 so can’t tell you what appears there, but on the basis that Archimedes features again, I’m guessing Archimedes. This episode relates very quickly how his invention (since lost to posterity) of the “huge burning glass” was set againt the Roman fleet. at Syracuse and how Archimedes worked on the mathematical model of PI when he was killed. An interesting article on Wikipedia mentions:

Archimedes may have used mirrors acting collectively as a parabolic reflector to burn ships attacking Syracuse.

A quick search on Google shows many references to “huge burning glass” in history – none connected to this as such, but once again Lewis’s strip has inspired me to look further – surely the purpose of the comic strip in “All about science”.

The panel showing the ships burning is beautifully drawn and the last but one panel of Archimedes shows the shadowy figure of a Roamn soldier about to kill him.