Illustration Art Gallery

The very best from the wide, sometimes overlooked, world of illustration art, including original artwork for book illustrations and covers, comic books and comic strips, graphic novels, magazines, film animation cels, newspaper strips, poster art, album covers, plus superb fine art reproductions and high quality art prints.

Our gallery brings together artists from all over the world and from many backgrounds, including fantasy, horror, romance, science fiction, education, sport, history, nature, technology, humour, glamour, architecture, film & tv, whimsy, even political satire and caricature.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Maureen & Gordon Gray

For such prolific illustrators and strip artists, almost nothing is known about Maureen and Gordon Gray. Some library sources give their years of birth as 1932 (Gordon) and 1940 (Maureen), but that information should be treated with care.

Usually signing their work 'Gray', they were regular contributors to comics in the 1980s, producing  "Kid's Army", a Second World War strip loosely based on the TV sitcom Dad's Army, "Fame", based on the TV show, and "The Fantastic Adventures of Adam Ant", about pop-star Adam traveling through time to pop up at various points in history. These strips all appeared in  DC Thomson's TV Tops comic in around 1982.

The Grays then began appearing in Look-In, contributing "Bucks Fizz" (1983-84), "The Story So Far" featuring Shaking Stevens (1985), "A-Ha" (1986) and Michael Jackson (1986), "Airwolf" (1986), "The A-Team" (1986-87) and "Five Star Life" (1987).

A later graphic novel is credited to Maureen Gray only: The Haunting of Julia (2007) is based on Mary Hooper's children's novel Thirteen Candles, described thus: "When Julia watches Dad's video of herself preparing to blow out the candles, she notices something weird and mysterious, a dark hazy shape, leaning over her shoulder. She's sure it blew out the candles, but what is it?"

PUBLICATIONS

Illustrated Books
The Marriage Scene by Cliff Parfit. London, Collins, 1974.Jim Hunter Books series by Ben Butterworth & Bill Stockdale, 14 vols., 1975-80.
__Jim in Training. London, Methuen, Sep 1975. 
__Jim and the Dolphin. London, Methuen, Sep 1975.
__Jim and the Sun Goddess. London, Methuen, Sep 1975.
__The Missing Aircraft. London, Methuen, Sep 1975.
__The Desert Chase. London, Methuen, 1976.
__The Shipwreckers. London, Methuen, Feb 1976.
__The Island of Helos. London, Methuen, Jun 1976.
__The Temple of Mantos. London, Methuen, Jun 1976.
__Danger in the Mountains. London, Methuen, Aug 1977.
__The Diamond Smugglers. London, Methuen, Aug 1977.
__The Sniper of Zimba. London, Methuen, Feb 1978.
__Prisoner of Pedro Cay. London, Methuen, Feb 1978.
__The Killer Rocket. London, Methuen, Apr 1980.
__Sabotage in the Arctic. London, Methuen, Apr 1980.
Escape to London by Kathleen Wood. Edinburgh, Holmes McDougall, 1977.
Go and Get Him by Michael Hardcastle. London, Collins, 1977.
Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak. London, Collins & Harvill Press, 1978.
The Bridge by John Tully (Inspector Holt). Collins, 1979.
The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy, adapted by Lewis Jones. London, Collins, 1979.
The Amulet by David Sweetman. London, Longman Publishing Group, 1980.
Oketcho and the Smugglers by Ebou Dibba. Harlow, Longman, 1980. #
Under the Mango Tree: Songs and Poems for Primary Schools, edited by Mabel Segun and Neville Grant. Harlow, Longman, 1980.
The Big Radio Mystery by Jefurio Chisungo. Harlow, Longman, 1981.
Call Mr. Africa by Jefurio Chisungo. Harlow, Longman, 1981.
The Story of Glasgow by Eileen Dunlop & Antony Kamm. Glasgow, Richard Drew Publishing, 1983.
Kings and Queens by Eileen Dunlop & Antony Kamm. Glasgow, Richard Drew Publishing, 1984.
Scottish Heroes and Heroines of Long Ago by Eileen Dunlop & Antony Kamm. Glasgow, Richard Drew Publishing, 1984.
Scottish Traditional Rhymes by Eileen Dunlop & Antony Kamm. Glasgow, Richard Drew Publishing, 1985.
Costume in Scotland Through the Ages by Naomi E. A. Tarrant. Glasgow, Richard Drew Publishing, 1986.
Counting by Bill Hawthorne. London, Evans, 1986. 
The Rubbish Dumpers by Audrey Fletcher. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1987.
Allsorts: Stories from School by Audrey Fletcher. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1987.
The Wedding by Audrey Fletcher. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1989.
Joseph and his Jointed Camel by Audrey Fletcher. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1989.
Thirteen Candles by Mary Hooper. London, A. & C. Black Publishers, 1998.
Caribbbean Password by Shelley Davidow, Macmillan Education, 1999.
Where Is the Baby? by Shelley Davidow. London, Macmillan Education, 2001.
Sabretooth by Rupert Matthews. Oxford, Heinemann Library, 2003.
Woolly Mammoth by Rupert Matthews. Oxford, Heinemann Library, 2003.
Diplodocus by Rupert Matthews. Oxford, Heinemann Library, 2003.

Graphic Novel (Maureen Gray)
The Haunting of Julia by Mary Hooper. Stone Arch Books, Sep 2007.

3 comments:

  1. Sadly, both artists are no longer with us, according to writer and editor Tim Quinn, who worked with them on numerous occasions. Their work featured in his short-lived fairy tale magazine 'Blue Moon' and they also created some Coronation Street strips as a proposed project for TV Times, while he was an editor at Marvel UK (samplehere - http://downthetubes.net/?p=12255)

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  2. A few biographical details I've been able to dig up. This interview with Colin Shelbourn, editor of Look-In, said the Grays were from Dunoon in Scotland, and John tells us they're no longer with us. Gordon Gray and Maureen Anne Lusk, who married in Glasgow in 1967, both died in Dunoon - Maureen in 2005, aged 64, and Gordon in 2008, aged 68. So they were both born c. 1940 (Maureen's birth is recorded in Pollok, Glasgow, in 1940; there are too many Gordon Grays born around the right time to be able to pick one without ordering marriage and birth certificates) and "The Haunting of Julia" would appear to have been published posthumously.

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  3. I took over from Colin Shelbourn as editor of Look In in 1992 and the Grays were always a pleasure to work with. As far as I can remember Maureen drew and Gordon coloured. She was a fantastic artist and opening up the big package of artwork sent from Dunoon every week was always a pleasure. They were our regular Scooby Doo artists and also produced some episodes of 'Chuck Rock' the vintage arcade game which we turned into a strip. The connection with Mary Hooper is probably that Richard, the Look In! features editor was going out with Mary. Without the free TV adverts that Look in! got when it was owned by the ITV companies, it couldn't survive, but in their time the Grays produced some brilliant work for it.

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