Saturday, January 29, 2011

Youth Reclamation Project - Part 2

OK, here we go. Another self-indulgent trip down memory lane.

This issue, from June 1981, was apparently the train issue, as is obvious by the excellent scratchboard steam engine on the front cover by Leonard Everett Fisher.

This beautiful two-page spread is actually a standalone feature, condensing the entire fairy tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears into a single, stunning image. The idea, apparently, was to have kids tell their own stories by "reading the picture," a clever idea to both engage the young imagination and also get kids to fully immerse themselves in the detailed drawing. The illustration is by Hilary Knight (creator of the Eloise books). Unfortunately, the far right-hand side was slightly truncated by my scanner, but you get the idea.

Gail Owens provided these tight pencil drawings as spot illustrations for Eve Bunting's tale, "The Robot Birthday." From the robot design, to the careful staging of the seven children, this is a great composition.

Here's another great scratchboard drawing by Leonard Everett Fisher from the feature article on the history of railroads in the United States.

This rendering of the "Twentieth Century Limited" is one of many photo-researched train reproductions by Joe Servello, from an article on the history of various train models over the years.

This beautiful collage drawing of a train is by the husband and wife team of Leo and Diane Dillon. Having won every major children's book award, this duo was also featured in a 1981 high-end art book by occasional comics publisher, Byron Priess.

Here's another fine illustration by George Armstrong, who did the alien drawing in my last post. There's something about the texture of Armstrong's work that I find appealing.

This heavily cross-hatched portrait of the neighborhood baseball legend, posed with his trusty mop handle bat, is by Mike Eagle.

Glen Rounds provided a series of loose sketches, mostly of farm animals, for Jim Aylesworth's story, "Hush Up!" Rounds, who died in 2002, was best known for the series of "Whitey" books back in the 1940s, though personally I never read any of them.

Finally, this one-page comic strip by Quentin Blake and John Yeoman was typical of the kind of gag comics featured in Cricket. As a kid, I didn't particularly care for Blake's minimalist, jittery style, with the rushed hand lettering, but as an adult, I can appreciate the technique and rendering skill more fully.

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