Oh yes Ladybird books.Here's just a few I remember from my childhood:www.ladybirdprints.com/category.php?catid=6158www.ladybirdprints.com/category.php?catid=6362www.ladybirdprints.com/category.php?catid=6165Between them and IPC's 'Look and Learn" and "World Of Wonder" titles, they kept several generations of Brit graphic artists in work.And kept a prepubescent me looking and learning and wondering about the world.Alan Moore and Kevin Campbell's latest "League of Extraordinary Gentleman" book - "The Black Dossier" does a loving pastiche of that kind of superbly visual educational panel by panel storytelling... in one case about Orlando with plot twists that'd seriously arch Ms Woolf's eyebrows..like Orlando as a Battle of Britain Spitfire pilot flying along aside a very AC/DC Biggles - all rendered in classic framed and coloured and very evocative "Look And Learn" style.Then the "Black Dossier" gets really wild with Rupert Bear, James Bond, Fanny Hill, Bulldog Drummond, the Psammead, Fireball XL5, Jeeves and Wooster, Big Brother, Billy Bunter, Sheela-Na-Gig, Guilliver, the hellcats of St Trinians, Dr Syn, Raffles, Jeff Hawke, Alisteir Crowley, Professors Moriaty and Branestrawm, Dan Dare and many more legendary elements of mythological Albion - and with Prospero presiding over this blazing world. In 3D too. Seriously. It comes with the red and green glasses. The Isle is really is full of evocative and haunting voices with this masterwork by a great English artist. I'd put it up there with Swift, Sterne, Blackwood, Dickens, Peake, Lewis, Tolkien, Conan Doyle, Orwell, Huxley, Pratchett, Adams, Moorcock, Sinclair, Ackroyd and even Shakespeare as a classic example of Albion's imagination at its most inimitable.The illustrated short story in "The Black Dossier" where HP Lovecraft's Cthulhu eats the brain of PG Wodehouse's Gussie Nott-Finkle and no one can tell the difference afterwards is alone worth the price of purchase. Not to mention towards the end, Bulldog Drummond beating the shit out of James Bond for selling Emma Peel's father out to an American arms company. This is about when the original Golliwog appears, capitaining a balloon ship designed by Odilion Redon, with two sexy wooden dutch puppets onboard.As you have gathered, this is one seriously mindbending piece of work. But with constant visual and narrative homages to the work of Ladybird, Look and Learn, Playhour and Robin and all our Anglo fantasy storybook heritage.Except for Neddy Seagoon, Bluebottle, Minnie and Henry, Hercules Grytpype-Thynne and co. Even Alan Moore realises some great mythical beasts should remain untouched in the wild.
And throughout the graphic novel sections of "The Black Dossier", half seen newspaper headlines hint at the career of Richmal Compton's "Just William" as an anarchist provocateur terrorist in post-Big Brother England.And it also in turns out that The 39 Steps walked by a Ms Wilhimenia Harker, still coping with the aftermath of an entanglement with a kinky Balkan Count, and a Mr Allan Quartermain, late of Africa, lead right to the doorstep of Greyfriars.
Gotta love the "catid=6362"Fab comment nab, will definitely seek out the BD.(And I was reminded of the homage/pastiche happening in The Life Aquatic in Underwater Exploration etc)As for me, I was more of a Party girl.I used to think those Ladybird-blue socks and shoes chosen by Susan were things of great beauty. Today I merely covet all of the prints in the Peter and Jane.series.(Or the Ladybird book for girls and boys at the very least)
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