Bill Peckmann &Books &Illustration 25 May 2012 07:03 am

Keith Ward Sampler – II

- Bill Peckmann has plugged me into some artwork and illustration by the very talented artist, Keith Ward. I’ve already featured a number of his pieces on several different posts. Last week, I featured a sampler of his illustration work. Here, I’d like to continue that.

Today we feature three separate books by Mr. Ward. These were sent to me by Bill, and from here on, I’ll let Bill do the tellng:

    It’s with many thanks again to collector/fan Denis Wheary, that we are able to sample more of illustrator Keith Ward’s early children’s book art. This time around we get to see how Mr.Ward handled ‘black and white’ and three color illustration back then.
    Because of his very beautiful color art for books and magazines (his covers for ‘Child Life’ magazine are outstanding!) in the 1930′s, these first excerpts might not even look like the hand of KW. They are taken from a non fiction, ‘National Geographic’ type book titled ‘Termite City’, published in 1937. The ‘serious’ subject matter drawings are very successfully designed and executed in scratchboard.





Ah, finally a humorous subject matter and
Keith Ward does what he does best!



Side note: After seeing the previous drawing, I thought of
Chris Van Allsburg’s beautifully rendered 1988 book,
‘Two Bad Ants’. Was there any inspiration there from
‘Termite City’, hmmm?

Here are a few pages from Keith Ward’s ‘Ray Racoon to the Rescue’,
all black and white art and published in 1938.







Front cover.
Published in 1943, here are some pages from KW’s three color book
and they show how to handle a ‘gimmick’ die-cut problem very successfully.
The last few pages of tiger art are beautiful.













Here is the end cover with an end note.

Thanks to Denis, I’ve become reacquainted with a book,
which it turns out, might be my first remembered book from childhood.
It was the ‘glow in the dark eyes’ that hooked me then, but now I’m
very grateful to rectify that by being able to understand the terrific art.

3 Responses to “Keith Ward Sampler – II”

  1. on 25 May 2012 at 2:20 pm 1.The Gee said …

    The Timothy the Tiger book is crazy looking. The art looks really good but I don’t quite get the gimmicks.

    So that I’m understanding it correctly:

    There is a die-cut hole that goes through all of the pages and the image on the last page or inside back cover has the image?

    And, the eyes glow-in-the-dark?

    I can see the gimmick angle but I don’t understand the reasons for it.

    Some illustrated books were printed on heavier, thicker stock, some kind of board. Is this one of those books? Or, was it just a basic paper?

    The point of having anything which glowed in the dark: was that worthwhile?

    Since this was done in 1943, were these gimmicks groundbreaking? I’m surprised that prior to 1946 the industry would do something like this.

  2. on 26 May 2012 at 8:00 am 2.Bill said …

    The Gee, in those long ago days before there was even a black and white TV a household, let alone a computer screen, for a little tyke, eyes that you could make glow in the dark, was where it was at!
    You’re right, the die-cut did go all the way through the book, every page. Timothy’s face, a material button, was pasted on the back inside cover. It’s a little over an 1/8″ thick. The pages were just basic paper. I guess by turning the pages, a very young child might feel inter active with the book by bringing Timothy into a new scene.

    It would be neat to know what other books were on the market at that time that used the same “gimmicks”.

  3. on 26 May 2012 at 1:07 pm 3.The Gee said …

    I don’t have a problem with the gimmicks used or with gimmicks in general. Whatever works should be tried at least once. If it isn’t tried, how would we know if it works?

    I guess it is obvious to say, but for a lot of books, making them engaging is very important. Thanks for explaining it further.

    And, like you, I am always interested in things which were published that were different than the rest of the pack.

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