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These are some suggestions of print combinations which it seems to me work well:
- Two wheels good: Oor Wullie on his bike. More and more of us are cycling - for environmental, physical fitness and fun reasons. It's enjoyable to travel pacily under your own steam. And these screenprints show the joy he and his friends take in the activity.
- The right profile: Dennis the Menace, Asterix and Alf Tupper. I love these portraits. The screenprints show off the medium's strengths. I reckon it's very good a bold outlines and strong colours (so long as you use good inks). And these simple images are so strong in both those areas. Here's a link to a site which discusses the ligne claire (or clear line) drawing style, which I think applies here. And here's another.
- The best of beasts: Thelwell's ponies, dogs and horses. The master of drawing animals, Norman Thelwell imbues his drawings with such fondness for his subjects. And that affection is being acted out here. You can't help but smile. Go here to find out more about the artist.
- United by design: Asterix, Dennis the Menace and Popeye. I'm quite proud of this graphic design - it allows me to hang the disparate characters of my ranges side by side and let them seem part of a series. And it plays to one of the strengths of the screenprinting medium: to print vibrant colour. Here's the Tate on the medium of screenprinting.
- The national game: Oor Wullie plays football. The Scottish favourite – I've learned that Oor Wullie is close so many Scots' heart – plays the national game. Of course he does. Oor Wullie's draughtsman, Dudley D Watkins, was in fact an Englishman (born in Lancashire and grew up in Nottingham) and drew Oor Wullie in all life's activities, including sport. There are quite a few stories which involve him playing cricket – I wonder how popular that game is north of the border, or if this was a throwback to the artist's origins.
- The most beautiful fighter aircraft: - The Spitfire silhouetted. I've worked hard to do justice to the spitfire. It's a lovely shape, and I've played around with the silhouette. These three versions seem to pop, to my eyes. Learn more about the Spitfire here.
- The runners' runner: Alf Tupper, the Tough of the Track. Alf was a hero to generations of boys, from his introduction in the Rover comic in the 1950s, to the demise of The Victor comic in the 1990s. For most of those four decades he was the flagship character in The Victor, DC Thomson's main adventure comic. I loved it and had a subscription for years in the 1970s. If it was a Tupper week, I was happy. Read more here: Alf Tupper and here
- A Beano trio: Dennis, Gnasher and Minnie in closeup. The Beano is one of the mainstays of British childhood and has been for many decades. The comic started in the late 1930s and is still going, although the matte newsprint feel of the early days (that I enjoyed) is long gone. These characters are long-standing and I think these closeups convey their energy and impact.