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Monday, July 16, 2007

Geoff Squire

Geoffrey Squire (1896-1989) is another artist about whom I've discovered very little. Educated at Regent Street Polytechnic, his work dates back to before the Second World War when he was a publicity illustrator and member of the Society of Artists in Commerce. I believe he was living at 28 Newman Street, London W.1 in 1935/37 but then moved to 16 Lion Terrace, Portsmouth (he is listed at this address in The Advertising Art Annual and Buyers' Guide for 1939).

After the war, he seems to have moved to 46 The Ridings, Surbiton, at which address he remained until around 1950. After that I'm not sure.

Squire was an illustrator and comic strip artist in the 1950s, contributing covers to Thriller Picture Library between 1954-58 as well as various strips to the nursery comics. He was one of the main artists on 'Wink and Blink the Playful Puppies' in 1956-58 but my favourites of his strips are the three stories he drew featuring Norman Gnome. The first, 'The Story of Father Christmas', appeared in 1957, followed by 'Norman Gnome Gets Rich' in 1959 and 'When Norman Gnome Became a King' in 1960. These were fully painted, funny and filled with little details that make them worth going back to a second and third time. Fortunately, the original artwork for most of the latter two stories has survived, albeit broken up into individual panels, many of which can be seen in the Look and Learn Picture Gallery. There are also a few stray examples of strips he produced for Annuals.

Below are a couple of the covers he produced for Thriller Picture Library.

Update: Paul Strickland has now launched a site dedicated to his grandfather.

(* Norman Gnome © Look and Learn Magazine Ltd.; Thriller Picture Library covers © IPC Media.)

2 comments:

PaulStickland said...

Geoffrey Squire was my Grandfather. Do get in contact, via http://paulstickland.co.uk

Irmantas said...

There was one more Gnome story in Playhour in 1960 - it was called Norman the Very Important Gnome and started in the issue dated 20th Feb.