EXTRACTS: The Don Lawrence Westerns © 2011 The Book Palace (208 PAGES in Full edition)

203 Kelman D. Frost Although his name may not spark much recognition amongst even the most avid collector, Kelman Frost was one of the mainstays of the children’s fiction market for over fifty years. He began contributing to D. C. Thomson’s boys’ papers in 1922 and was one of their most prolific authors for the next four decades. It was not unusual for a paper to carry two of his serials simultaneously and many of his adventure stories also appeared in American pulp magazines in the 1920s. In all he claimed to have published nearly 70 million words, in his heyday writing as many as 18,000 words a day. Christopher Kelman Delgity Frost, born in Plumstead, Kent, on 24 January 1899, was named after his father, a Newcastle-born engineer then working in Arsenal, London. Christopher Frost senior had married Florence Kate Rogers in 1898 and they had a second son in 1903, Claude Vernon Frost, who also went on to become a writer. Kelman Frost started his career as a junior reporter on the North Wilts Herald at the age of 16. During the First World War he fought with the London Rifle Brigade at Mons and on the Somme, his earliest stories written in the trenches and published in Titbits . After leaving the army he became a full time writer, penning some of D. C. Thomson’s most famous characters, including ‘Morgyn the Mighty’, ‘Strang the Terrible’, ‘Black Bob’, ‘Red Magregor’ as well as several stories for the Red Circle School and Dixon Hawke series. His stories were read by as many as five million readers a week and, as one obituarist opined, “It is probably true to suggest that he kept more boys quietly absorbed … than any other parent of his generation.” Frost fuelled his imagination by travelling extensively throughout Europe and north Africa, gathering material for his stories. Africa was the setting for many of the stirring tales of tribal feuds and adventure he wrote for Thomas Nelson and Abelard- Schuman in the 1960s. His novel Son of the Sahara was adapted for television in 1966 as an 8-part serial by the Children’s Film Foundation. Frost, who had lived at various addresses in Sussex, Wiltshire and South Devon, moved to Bournemouth in the mid-1950s. He had married his wife, Patricia, in 1924; their son, Terence, was born in 1927. Frost died at his home in Denewood Road, Bournemouth, on 4 November 1972, aged 73. Don Lawrence Don Lawrence ranks amongst the most widely known of British comic strip artists, his fan base spread widely across Europe, thanks to translations of his epic science fiction strip ‘The Rise and Fall of the Trigan Empire’, which he drew from 1965 to 1976. His work was especially appreciated in Holland, where the series Storm was created for the Dutch comic Eppo in 1977. In celebration of the artist’s 75th birthday in 2003, Queen Beatrix gave permission for Lawrence to be made a Knight in the order of Oranje-Nassau. Donald Southam Lawrence was born in East Sheen, London, on 17 November 1928, the third child of Herbert and Nellie Lawrence. He was educated at St. Paul’s boarding school in Hammersmith, where he took refuge from academic studies by doing art. After National Service with the Army, he used his gratuity to study at Borough Polytechnic, where he met his wife- to-be, Julia Wilson. With a child soon on the way, there was an urgent need for steady employment, which Lawrence found with Mick Anglo’s studio, an agency which packaged Western and superhero comics for distributor Len Miller. Lawrence worked for the Gower Street studio for four years before arguments over pay led him to find work elsewhere. After drawing Westerns for Zip , Swift and Sun for three years, Lawrence found his niche in historical adventures strips, drawing ‘Olac the Gladiator’, ‘Karl the Viking’, ‘Maroc the Mighty’ in 1959- 65. Memorable as these were, it was in fully painted colour that Lawrence was to find his forte. Strips for Lion Annual and Bible Story led to him being offered ‘The Trigan Empire’, which debuted in the short-lived Ranger before finding a regular home in the educational weekly Look and Learn . Lawrence was to draw the strip for 11 years. Quitting in 1976, he was immediately offered work in Holland, co-creating the character of Storm, a spaceman hurled into the distant future and then to the far reaches of the universe when the series was revamped in 1981. Although the strip was little known in his native country, Lawrence’s achievements continued to be recognised by his peers, winning the Society of Strip Illustration’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 1980. He won multiple awards in Europe, including the prestigious Pantera di Lucca Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998. After losing the sight in one eye in 1995, Lawrence completed only one more album and left a second incomplete. A heavy smoker, he was hospitalised with pneumonia and died on 29 December 2003, survived by his second wife and children. Biographies