Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Little seems to have been published about Wood. He was a keen falconer and member of the British Falconers' Club and is remembered fondly by many in those circles. At some point in his career he lived in a caravan near Findon, West Sussex. He was the Hon Secretary of the Society of Wildlife Artists from 1983 until the 1990s. He died suddenly whilst still young: taken ill whilst hawking, he was diagnosed with cancer.
Examples of original art by Kenneth J. Wood can be found at the Illustration Art Gallery.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Wood seems to have begun working in the early 1960s for Battle Picture Library, then drawing for Air Ace and Micron's Combat Picture Library. His book illustrations include Sky Carnival by W. F. Hallstead (1969). He returned to Air Ace in 1970 before producing his first comic strip in colour, 'A Leap Into the Future' for the early issues of World of Wonder.
Examples of original artwork by Gerry Wood can be found at the Illustration Art Gallery.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Born in London on 15 March 1914, Maurice Charles John Wilson was best known as a wildlife artist whose work appeared in dozens of books and on cards given away with Brooke Bond tea. He was educated at the Hastings School of Art (under Philip Cole) and the Royal Academy Schools (under Malcolm Osborne and Robert Austin) and later taught anatomical and plant drawing. He worked with members of the Natural History Museum in reconstructing the look of dinosaurs from fossils and his work in this area was much respected, inspiring books such as A History of Primates (1949), Fossil Amphibian and Reptiles (1954), Fossil Birds (1958) and Human Evolution: An Illustrated Guide (1989).
Wilson wrote and illustrated Just Monkeys (1937). After the war he illustrated dozens of books, including Dogs (1946), Coastal Craft (1947), Zoo Animals (1948), A Guide to Earth History (1956), Birds and Beasts (1956), Mermaids and Mastadons: A Book of Unnatural History (1957), Elephants (1958), Animals We Know (1959), Fables from Aesop (1961), Donkey Work (1962), A World of Animals (1962), Animals (1964), Animals of the Arctic (1964), Birds (1965), The Origins of Man (1968), First Interest on the Farm (1969), A Long Time Ago (1969-70), Patch by Helen Griffiths (1970), Man, Civilzation and Conquest (1971), China Long Ago (1972), First Interest in the Wider World (1972), Double Trouble by Doreen Tovey (1972), Making the Horse Laugh by Doreen Tovey (1974), The Earliest Farmers and the First Cities (1974), The Quzzer Book About People (1975), Oh Those Cats by Frances Mann (1975), A Quorum of Cats: An Anthology ed. Elizabeth Lee (1976), Bambi by Felix Salten (1976), Prehistoric Animals (1976), A Closer Look at Arctic Lands (1976), Prehistoric Animals (1976), A Closer Look at Plains Indians (1977), A Closer Look at Eskimos (1977), Ponies (1977), Birds of Prey (1978), A Closer Look at Amazonian Indians (1978), A Closer Look at the Bedouin (1978), Cats in the Belfry by Doreen Tovey (1978), Horses (1979), Lions and Tigers (1979), A Closer Look at Aboriginies (1979), Birds (1979), A Comfort of Cats by Doreen Tovey (1979), A Closer Look at Grasslands (1979), Lifeclass (1980), The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling (1983), The Second Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling (1984), All the Mowgli Stories by Rudyard Kipling (1984), Lions and Tigers (1985) and Deserts (1986).
Wilson lived in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, where he died in November 1987.
Wilson's autobiography, The Wartime Adventures of B Squadron 'Corpse' (1997), was publishing posthumously, relating how he joined the 11th Battalion Royal Tank Regiment in 1941 and spent much of the war in a Matilda tank, weathering sandstorms in the Middle East, taking part in the landings at Walcheren and in the 'CDL' experiment which involved placing blindingly bright carbon arc lamps in the turrets of tanks to create a wall of light when the tanks were lined up—an idea that was never used in battle.
Many of his illustrations were produced to accompany displays at the Natural History Museum and many can be found in the Natural History Museum's Collection.
Examples of Maurice Wilson's original artwork can be found at the Illustration Art Gallery.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Born in Evanston, Illinois on 18 February 1930, Wilson was the only child of a successful executive in a steel company and a talented artist in a Chicago advertising firm. He has described his upbringing as dysfunctional due to his partents' alcoholism, although he was also encouraged to draw. From an early age his drawings featured elements of horror and he became a fan of Chester Gould's 'Dick Tracy', with its many grotesque characters, and 'Little Orphan Annie' by Harold Gray. Radio also played an important part in his childhood love of the mysterious and macabre, as did Hollywood. Through a family friend he was able to visit Hollywood studios in the 1940s.
Wilson attended a number of commercial art studios whilst in High School and studied fine art at the Art Institute of Chicago. He was briefly in the Air Force but a bad leg excluded him from active duty. He then moved to Greenwich Village, selling cartoons to the major weekly magazines Collier's and Look.
Wilson attempted approach to Harvey Kurtzman following the launch of Trump resulted accidentally in his introduction to Hugh Hefner. He had spotted a Chicago address in Trump and visited the offices when he returned to Chicago to visit his parents over Christmas. Trump was, in fact, edited in New York, but Wilson found himself introduced to Hefner who began running his colour cartoons in Playboy in the mid-1950s.
Wilson's first collection of cartoons appeared in 1965 as Gahan Wilson's Graveside Manner and was followed by many other books, including collections of short stories and novels for both adults and children. He was also a film reviewer for The Twilight Zone Magazine, a book reviewer for Realms of Fantasy and designed a computer game, Gahan Wilson's The Ultimate Haunted House.
Wilson's cartoons have earned him a number of awards, including World Fantasy Convention Award in 1981, the World Fantasy Lifetime Achievement award in 2005 and the Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005 from the National Cartoonists Society. He has also been President of the Cartoonist Guild. He was the subject of a documentary directed by Steven-Charles Jaffe entitled Gahan Wilson: Born Dead, Still Weird.
Examples of Gahan Wilson's original artwork can be found for sale at the Illustration Art Gallery.