Sunday 15 December 2013

Frank Bellamy and Boy's Own Paper 1952

It's Christmas! Here's your present which, unusually, you may open before the 25th December

From 18 January 1879 to February 1967 there were 2,511 issues of the Boy's Own Paper  which went from being a weekly to a monthly in 1913 until its demise. I would think, from those I've seen, it played a large role in youth propaganda during the Second World War. In its heyday - in my opinion 1940s to 1960 - it featured many illustrators that have mostly been forgotten. My other interest, Raymond Sheppard appeared in 34 issues from the 1930s to 1958 and Frank Bellamy produced work for 27 issues during the period March 1952 to March 1956. By 1956 he was in the thick of a weekly strip and about to, in October 1957, move onto his first continuous colour comic strip "The Happy Warrior", the life of Churchill in the Eagle comic.

December 1952 Cover Boy's Own Paper

I have previously written about C. T. Stoneham and Bellamy's illustrations of some of his work in Boy's Own Paper. I thought it was time to show, those who have never seen them, some of Frank Bellamy's lovely and interesting illustrations during the 1950s for this magazine and having finished all my Christmas shopping I had a moment free. I decided to share some pictures and also tidy up details - that only the most anally-retentive amongst you care about.

Firstly here's the content of the December issue - no Christmas theme here!

Boy's Own Paper December 1952
"River to nowhere" by Hugh B. Cave
"Suddenly the chief's son screamed a warning…"
The author Hugh Barnett Cave (1910-2004) was prolific to say the least.  His life story can be read on Wikipedia

As we have started with the December issue (a flimsy excuse indeed!) let's travel backwards in time...

BOY'S OWN PAPER Vol. 75:2 (Nov 1952)
"Whitey" by William MacMillan
William MacMillan is, like a lot of the BOP authors, a mystery. The name is too common - even among authors - for me to take a guess and confuse everyone. If the FictionMags Index has it right he wrote quite a few articles and stories from 1923-1952

BOY'S OWN PAPER Vol. 75:1 (Oct 1952)
"Man eater" by Tom Roan
Cover by Frank Bellamy

BOY'S OWN PAPER Vol. 75:1 (Oct 1952)
"Man eater" by Tom Roan
pp. 24-25
"Congo the great was billed as the most vicious man-eating lion in the world.
But his real enemies were the circus "cats" and a typhoon gave him his chance."
Tom Roan (1898-1958) wrote many pulp stories for American magazines including Bluebook, May 1952, where Bill Lohse illustrated the story when it was first published.Interesting to see how fast the UK used it.

BOY'S OWN PAPER Vol. 74:12 (Sept 1952)
"Devil-Lion" by C.T. Stoneham
pp.24-25 "A tall shaggy form came out of the leaves 
behind him…monstrous, terrible."
I've said a bit about Charles Thurley Stoneham (1895-1965) before so won't repeat it here.

BOY'S OWN PAPER Vol. 74:11 (August 1952) "No welcome" by Geoffrey Morgan
"...I pressed the other end of the spanner in his back"

Geoffrey Morgan (1916-1995) wrote extensively for the Children's Newspaper (where you can register for free and read more of his stories by searching for his name). His series about the Conway family's journeys aboard the Mirelda yacht were published by Lutterworth Press in the 1950s

BOY'S OWN PAPER Vol. 74:10 (July 1952)   
"Phantom buffalo" by Gerald Wyatt
Gerald Wyatt, is here, writing about the Wild West and another few stories I have seen (for example this one) are on the same subject. I can't find any books authored by him, here or in the States.  His name appears in reprint collections that Jack Cox (the editor of BOP from 1946-1967) put together in the 1960s.

BOY'S OWN PAPER Vol. 74:8 (May 1952)
 p.24-25 "Elephant hunter" by C.T. Stoneham
"He saw the long yellow tusks thrusting at him and dived sideways..."
BOY'S OWN PAPER Vol. 74:7 (April 1952)  
"Mr. Quills wakes up" by David Stephen
"The vixen reached down. 
Mr Quills felt her hot breath through a chink in his armour"
David Stephen was born in 1910 and after that I know nothing!

BOY'S OWN PAPER Vol. 74:6 (March 1952)
"There's a jungle on your doorstep!" by Alan C. Jenkins
Alan Charles Jenkins wrote a wealth of books and articles on subjects ranging from animal care, archaeology to Holland's sea defences. He appears to have been born in 1912 and I can't find a source that tells us whether he is still with us. Bellamy illustrated 3 of his works in Boy's Own Paper