Last week I mentioned I thought I’d found the artist who did at least 12 covers for Leslie Thomas titles, well I had and Paul Davies kindly emailed back;
It was indeed me, I have not seen these for many years and the artwork is ‘no more’. I think I probably binned it some years ago.
For your information the covers were designed by Gary Day Elison, Pan’s then art director and at the time I was working more as a visualiser than an illustrator/cartoonist ( I prefer cartoonist as we take ourselves a little less seriously ) Gary asked me to visualise a book called ” That old gang of mine” by Leslie Thomas which was due to be a photograph in the final version. Leslie Thomas liked the visual so much he asked for me to do all his books. I can’t for the life of me reason why as I think the drawings are awful, the best one being the first one, but they go down hill from there! I like to think that I’ve improved since.
People ask if artists ever read the books that they illustrate the jackets for, well in this instance my wife read them for me and picked out the best bits for me to illustrate! On “Come to the War” I was asked to drop in a bra, so decided to patch it in on the piano. I did protest at the time and said that there was no sex in this book and it was not relevant…which made a change for Leslie Thomas’s books. But they insisted.
The books were the sort of start to my illustration career, and the credibility it gave me was a great help to me, so I have much to thank them for. However as you will gather from my thoughts on them, they were not a high point personally! I’ve drawn better since and before.
I’ve had a quick look at the site and found it very interesting with some very familiar names there, and some incredibly talented artists, which is why I refer to myself as a cartoonist! This despite being in those days the Chairman of the Association of Illustrators for two years with a lot of involvement from Brian Sanders. I’m not quite sure how I ever got voted in, perhaps being a bit mouthy helped.
For your information I made a living from daring for 30 years then got a new career aged 58 when I got what my Mum would have called a proper job, working as a print rep for a local Gloucester company. I’m retired from there and have gone back to the drawing board. Unlike proper jobs drawing is something one does not retire from, but I’m sure you know that.
Kind regards, Paul Davies
PS If you put the drawings on the site, please tell everyone that I have improved and point them to my website www.pauldaviescartoons.co.uk“
I found PAN had a sticker printed to cover over the original circle on the cover of ‘Dangerous Davies – The Last Detective’ to plug the TV series. I’ve not managed to find a copy so the image is off a website I found once – thanks to whoever put it on.
Finally I am hoping to speak to Paul Davies on the phone this week so may be able to add more later.