Paddington cartoons in colour

After last weeks post on Ivor Wood’s black and white Paddington cartoons in the Evening News I thought I’d follow up with the colour versions. Karen Jankel at The Paddington Company, and daughter of Michael Bond, has very kindly let us share with you all some images from the collection.

Paddington digging illustrated by Ivor Wood. Image courtesy of The Paddington Company

Paddington digging illustrated by Ivor Wood. Image courtesy of The Paddington Company

Whilst all the cartoons that featured in the Evening News were black and white, Ivor actually produced them in colour and in a very interesting way. Even though they were only used for print Ivor decided to adopt a process that was similar to that of traditional animation. Myself and fellow researcher Joseph Wallace were surprised to see that Ivor had illustrated the black line with ink onto an acetate cell then on a separate piece of card coloured in the solid fills (as above). It looks laborious and quite unnecessary until I was lucky enough to talk to fellow illustrator of Paddington, Barry Macey, on the subject. He went onto explain:

First you’d do a pencil drawing and then get a PMT, photo mechanical transfer, from another artwork studio who would print the drawing onto quite a thick acetate. Then you’ve got your image on your PMT, with all your shadows and nuances. You’d then get a lightbox and put your clear acetate on your lightbox, then cartridge paper on the top that and you did your colour through your lightbox [using the black line shining through as you’re guide].

Now you have your black lines on one layer and your colour on another. Because what printers had trouble with in those days was getting your blacks black, as the blacks were made up of colours, they weren’t pure black. So the printers wanted the black lines on one layer and the colour on the other to make it easier.

And that was how we did it.

Paddingtons Cartoon Book front cover, Picture Lions 1979

Paddingtons Cartoon Book front cover, Picture Lions 1979

For each square Ivor produced a single drawing on cell with a counterpart colour fill behind. They were all around 15 x 15cm and total a number of approx. 220 different illustrations. This doesn’t include all the others that he went onto produce. Many of them after being in the Evening News went into the compendium ‘Paddington’s Cartoon Book’, published in 1979 and later in the bigger ‘Great Big Paddington Book’ published again in 1979. These later cartoons were in full colour and were the tamed down ones for children. It didn’t include the rather suggestive cartoon about Paddington playing strip poker (a post for another time maybe). I’ve included below one of my favourites of Paddington frantically digging for his beloved Marmalade. Thanks again to Karen for letting us share this with you.

Paddington digs up a vintage illustrated by Ivor Wood. Image courtesy of The Paddington Company

Paddington digs up a vintage, illustrated by Ivor Wood.
Image courtesy of The Paddington Company

We’re now halfway through our Paddington 2 month special but it’s looking like we may have to extend it! There’s just so much great stuff!

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