Saturday, July 7, 2007

Campbell Grant

Earlier I had posted some drawings by Henry Syverson from books by Richard Armour, who wrote a number of humor books from the fifties into the late seventies. Armour was initially known for funny poems, but in the 1950's he began writing satirical history and literature essays in the style of humorist Will Cuppy (author of the posthumously published THE DECLINE AND FALL OF PRACTICALLY EVERYBODY, 1948). Most of Armour's books from this era were illustrated by Campbell Grant, a former Disney story artist who was patterning his style after William Stieg, who had illustrated Cuppy's book. I will scan some of these at a later date for people who are only familiar with Stieg's SHREK-era drawings. They're very amusing.

Here are some of Campbell Grant's illustrations for Armour's dissertation on IVANHOE from THE CLASSICS RE-CLASSIFIED, (1960). Does his take on "King John" (directly above) look vaguely familiar to anyone?


Pete Emslie said...

That last sketch of the king with the oversized crown really looked familiar. Then it hit me - it looked uncannily like what I recalled of that concept sketch of Prince John by Ken Anderson that's included in the line-up of rough character designs from "Robin Hood" in Christopher Finch's "The Art of Walt Disney". Sure enough, if you go to page 322 you'll see that it's adapted directly from this Campbell grant drawing, props and all!

Will Finn said...

Wow, Peter, that was fast!

I hope this doesn't detract to much attention to Cambell Grant's illustrations, which are delightful in themselves. I plan to post many more. I just couldn't resist revealing the swipe on this one, which I discovered while still in high school.

Jenny said...


Um, obviously BOTH men are terrific artists, but...I wonder what Grant made of this? Having done his first? One can only surmise!

Amy said...

I notice Grant's style also has some similarities to Ronald Searle, who would have been illustrating for Punch, St Trinians, Nigel Molesworth etc. at pretty much the same time.