Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Once upon a time magazine full-page paintings of Town Mouse and Country Mouse by Phillip Mendoza


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 Post subject: Re: Treasure: Wee Willie Winkie visits Fleetway
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 8:29 am 
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I received my joblot of Once Upon a Time magazines and I think they are brilliant. I am particularly fascinated by those full-page paintings of Town Mouse and Country Mouse by Mendoza. They have some sort of serene magic about them… Have they ever been put in a book as they so much deserve?

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 Post subject: Re: Treasure: Wee Willie Winkie visits Fleetway
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:18 pm 
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Intrigued by the discussion on this tread and the images shown here, particularly by Phil, I bought that large joblot of Treasure on eBay some time ago and am now slowly going through them discovering artists I wasn’t familiar with until now. I like Mendoza, especially his illustrations of Through the Looking Glass and Wind in the Willows.

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 Post subject: Re: Treasure: Wee Willie Winkie visits Fleetway
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 9:04 am 
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As far as I can tell Blaing's dates sound right (though I must admit I've never heard of the second series of Once Upon a Timementioned by Matrix).

When Phillip Mendoza was headhunted by Leonard Matthews in 1951 he was already in his fifties, having enjoyed a long and successful career in various aspects of commercial art. Along with the Stephen Francis (aka 'Hank Janson') he'd even found time to produce one of the most sought-after of all British comics - the legendary Mighty Atom.

Like Quinto, Mendoza's earliest assignments for AP appeared in their newly-launched picture libraries - including a number of obligatory Robin Hood shorts. With the creation of the glossy new nursery title Playhour in 1954, however, he quickly established himself as a superb visualizer of colourful picture stories aimed specifically at very young children. The first of these strips included 'The Seven Dwarfs' and 'Children of the Forest', but it was in the depiction of anthropomorphic animals such as Gulliver Guinea-Pig and Katie Countrymouse that he really excelled.

Like his human namesake, Gulliver Guinea-Pig was an intrepid explorer who travelled to increasingly fantastic destinations such as 'Fairy Tale Land', the World inside the TV Screen and (as below) a version of the Moon that was very different to the one on which Neil Armstrong eventually set foot just eight years later:

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(To be continued...)

- Phil Rushton


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 Post subject: Re: Treasure: Wee Willie Winkie visits Fleetway
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 9:48 am 
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Beautiful, I look forward to seeing and reading more, Phil. I searhced the web for details about the run of Once Upon A Time and found a link to an expired eBay auction for a near complete set. The description said the total number came to 167 issues, the last one dated 27th April, 1972, so blaing‘s info is nearly accurate (thanks, Bruce!).

This thread is responsible for my most recent purchases – 2 Once Once Upon A Time annuals on eBay this morning and a joblot of 118 weeklies in a private deal. From what I‘ve seen here so far, I have a feeling I will get an urge to complete the set. Just when I was beginnig to think my collection has reached saturation point...

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 Post subject: Re: Treasure: Wee Willie Winkie visits Fleetway
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 5:50 pm 
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What a delightful story...love the cheese being parachuted down to the mice on earth...

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 Post subject: Re: Treasure: Wee Willie Winkie visits Fleetway
PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 7:41 pm 
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On the whole I don't think you'll be disappointed with your copies of Once Upon A Time Irmantas - though Mendoza's late-period artwork might not be quite what you expected on the basis of his work on Gulliver Guinea Pig and in Treasure. Also, looking at my own copies, it occurs to me that the proportion of actual comic strips is a little lower than I suggested. Sorry if I misled you in that respect.

I've plenty more to say about Mendoza's artwork in Once Upon A Time but, meanwhile, here are some more examples of the lovely, sensitive nursery strips he produced for Fleetway during the early 1960s - this time featuring his other major children's character Katie Country Mouse (and not forgetting her somewhat posher cousin Matilda Town Mouse!).

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- Phil Rushton

http://www.comicsuk.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5412&start=45

Don't miss this forum post at comicsuk forum it is brilliant and shows how good nursery comics can be!!! Thanks to Phil Rushton and 

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