Tuesday, 9 November 2021

Alfred Bestall and the enduring life of Rupert - Garry Parsons

Alfred Bestall's illustrations for Rupert Bear have had a huge influence on my work as an illustrator and this blog post is a little visual celebration to honour his work.

 


Rupert Bear was originally created for The Daily Express in 1920 by Mary Tourtel, an established artist and children's book illustrator. Mary's husband, Herbert Tourtel was a news editor at the paper. 

At that time, The Express needed a comic strip character that could rival the Daily Mail's popular 'Teddy Tail'  strip series for children, and so Herbert turned to his wife to create one. The early Rupert strips were written by Herbert and drawn by Mary, as two cartoons each day and often in rhyme. 

Mary stopped drawing Rupert in 1935 when her eyesight deteriorated and Alfred Bestall was selected to take over. Mary's last published cartoon was Rupert and Bill's Seaside Holiday, appearing in the paper on June 27th and Alfred Bestall's first strip, Rupert, Algy and the Smugglers ran the next day. Unlike Mary, who relied on her husband for the words, Alfred agreed to take on Rupert on his own.  This became a life long dedication, though incredibly, Bestall didn't sign his work for the first 12 years out of respect for Mary until her death in 1948.



Bestall had studied at the Central School of Art in London and was an accomplished artist, exhibiting pictures in the Royal Academy and forging a career as a commercial artist making regular illustrated contributions to Punch and Tatler before taking on Rupert as a way to secure more regular work. 

 


He also served in World War 1 as a motor transport driver in the British Army where he transported troops and ammunition, often under enemy fire.

 


Bestall developed the classic Rupert story format: the story is told in picture form (generally two panels each day in the newspaper and four panels to a page in the annuals), in simple page-headers, in rhyming two-line-per-image verse, and as running prose at the foot. Rupert Annuals can therefore be "read" on four levels. 


 

Alfred retired from drawing the Daily Express strips in 1965 at the age of 73 creating 273 Rupert stories in all. He continued to draw for the Annuals until 1983.

 


I adored the Rupert books as a child and like many children, I was given a Rupert annual as a Christmas present each year. 

I would practice my signature a few times before I scrawled my name inside and then I’d read them cover to cover. I loved the illustrations and the myriad of characters and that you were given the choice of how you read the stories but even then I'd often skip the reading altogether and make up my own narrative from the illustrations.

One of the most absorbing parts about the books for me then, as now, is getting lost in the end papers.



If you are interested in Alfred Bestall's life and work, read Caroline G. Bott's 'The Life and Works of Alfred Bestall' (Bloomsbury, London, 2003). For a shorter read online, try Lambiek Comiclopedia here.

 


Garry Parsons is an illustrator of children's books. You can find him here and follow him @icandrawdinos on instagram and twitter.


                                                                                     ***


4 comments:

Jane Clarke said...

Thanks Garry, very interesting read. Those illustrations are so instantly recognisable - and instantly transported me back in time.

Pippa Goodhart said...

They really are beautiful, aren't they. I'd never seen the books, so had missed those glorious endpapers. Thank you, Garry.

Andrew Preston said...

And of course, who could forget the contribution that Rupert, and his large sized organ, made to the rich graphic culture of the later 1960's.

Haji Abdul Salam said...

Rawatan Sihir, Saka, Santau, Rawatan Islam, Rawatan Bomoh Pengasih Asli, Rawatan Bomoh Penunduk, Rawatan Bomoh Pemisah, Rawatan Bomoh Pukau, Rawatan Bomoh Pembenci, Rawatan Bomoh Pendinding, Rawatan Bomoh Sihir, Rawatan Bomoh Saka, Rawatan Bomoh Santau, Rawatan Bomoh Siam, Rawatan Bomoh Pemikat, Rawatan Bomoh Pelalau.

ADAKAH PUNYA MASALAH MACAM INI...??

1.👉 Di Tinggal Suami/Istri
2.👉 Di Tinggal Tunang
3.👉 Di Tinggal girlfriend/boyfriend
4.👉 Ada Suka Kat Orang Tapi Orang Tu Tak Respon
5.👉 Pasangan Suka Berlaku Curang
6.👉 Cakap Serius Tapi Tak Nak Langsungkan Perkawinan
7.👉 Sikap Berubah-ubah Tak Menentu
8.👉 Pasangan Kena Sihir, Santau, Saka Nak Pulihkan Balik
9.👉 Pasangan Nak Minta Lepas Hubungan
10.👉 Dahulu Ambil Berat Tapi Sekarang Macam Pingin Menjauh
11.👉 Pasangan Tidak Bertanggung Jawab
12.👉 Pasangan Bersikap Endah Tak Endah
13.👉 Perasaan Sayang Sangat Tapi Sering Begaduh
14.👉 Pasangan Bermain Kayu 3
15.👉 Pasangan Berpaling Tadah

Pasti anda sudah putus asa (harapan), sebut sahaja ramai tempat rawatan anda sudah pergi tapi hasil tidak memuaskan. Walau bagaimana pun, saya amat Bersyukur kerana anda masih berusaha dalam menyelesaikan masalah yang anda hadapi Insyallah. Suka saya mudahkan pemahaman anda, supaya anda lebih jelas dan faham tentang perkara.

Anda perlu tahu semua Jin dan Iblis boleh menyerupai apa2 yang mereka nak, apa yang kita lihat adalah jelmaan mereka sahaja. Hakikatnya diri mereka itu tetap benda yang sama. Selama hampir 10 tahun didalam bidang rawatan telah banyak membuka rahsia-rahsia kelemahan mereka dan insyallah selagi hayat dikandung badan, Saya sedia membantu bagi yang memerlukan.

MACAM MANA NAK BERUBAT.. ? ?

1. Anda perlu call saya whatsapp atau perbualan phone. Ceritakan puncak masalah yang anda hadapi Dan nak buat macam mana.

2. Untuk scan saya memerlukan gambar dan beberapa maklumat peribadi. Jangan risau maklumat anda rahsia dan sulit tidak akan didedahkan sama sekali.

3. Setelah scan saya akan detailkan kaedah Rawatan untuk selesaikan masalah anda secara detail

" SOALAN DAN JAWAPAN "

1. Adakah ini rawatan Islam?
Ya. Kita gabungkan rawatan Islam dan Tradisional.

2. Berapakah Kos Rawatan?
Kami tidak namakan Kos rawatan, Tapi kami panggil ia Fidiah rawatan. Fidiah rawatan bergantung pada masalah dan kesukaran dalam menyelesaikan sesuatu kes . Ada masalah yang dikenakan fidiah dan ada yang ikhlas hati.

3. Bolehkan anda memberi jaminan 100% berkesan?
Jika anda melafaskan sahadah dan fahami dengan betul. Soalan ini tidak patut ditanya sama sekali. Setiap kuasa datangnya dari Allah, kita hanya merancang. Tahukah anda dengan soalan ini mampu membawa anda kelembah syirik?

4. Adakah rawatan ini boleh dibuat cara jarak jauh?
Ada kes yang boleh diselsaikan jarak jauh dan ada yang perlu hadir sendiri ke pusat rawatan.

5. Berapa lama masa diambil untuk rawatan?
Bergantung kepada keadaan, kebiasaannya dalam 3 atau 5 hari kesan nampak.

6. Adakah kaedah rawatan ini akan membawa mudarat dimasa akan datang?
Tidak sama sekali, kerna rawatan kita menggunakan ilmu putih. Ilmu Putih bermaksud ilmu dari Aya- ayat Al-Quran

7. Adakah kaedah rawatan ini boleh untuk agama lain selain islam?
Semua Suku, Adat, Budaya dan Agama Boleh.

SEKIRANYA ANDA MEMPUNYAI BEBERAPA SOALAN ATAU PERTANYAAN BOLEH TERUS CALL ATAU WHATSAPP SAYA DI ;

KYAI HAJI ABDUL SALAM,SH
+6285 298 892 338
085 298 892 338