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Celebrating Illustration, Design, Cartoon and Comic Art of the Mid-20th Century

Children's Books by Famous Illustrators: Harry Devlin

Friday, October 07, 2011


I've own just one children's book illustrated by Harry Devlin; his 1971 collaboration with wife, Wende, "Cranberry Thanksgiving." Since this weekend is Thanksgiving here in Canada, I thought it would be an ideal time to share this with you.

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The atmospheric quality Devlin achieves in his illustrations is really quite stunning.

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I'm under the impression this book is still in print, so I won't post too many pages here today...

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... but I did want to present enough to demonstrate once more what a skilled picture maker Harry Devlin was.

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When I first saw Devlin's character designs for "Cranberry Thanksgiving" I was very much reminded of the characters from Rankin-Bass' 1969 animated cartoon special "Frosty the Snowman."

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... but in fact it was Mad magazine artist Paul Coker Jr. who is credited with designing those characters.

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Harry and Wende Devlin collaborated on nearly 30 children's books over the later years of their careers - which combined sold in the millions of copies. Here are covers from a few others I found online.

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* My Harry Devlin Flickr set.

* Harry and Wende Devlin's official website

7 comments

  1. Beautiful stuff -- great insights! thanks

    Wes

    ReplyDelete
  2. I remember pouring over these books as a kid- especially the Old Witch one! Thanks for the memory!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Not familiar with this artist, thanks for sharing. I just did a post on a book illustrated by Haig and Regina Shekerjian, who don't seem to be well known and I think their work is just great. If you'd care to check it out go to: http://theartofchildrenspicturebooks.blogspot.com/2011/10/haig-and-regina-shekerjian.html

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  4. cipheroid12:19 PM

    The sketches attributed to Paul Coker Jr. are too similar to Devlin's characters to be mere coincidence, no? I could accept a coincidence if only one character were similar, but not four! It appears either some blatant plagiarism took place, or perhaps the commonly-held attribution is incorrect.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I wondered about that too, cipheroid... but the
    Devlin's make no mention of the Frosty cartoon on their own website. That struck me as something one would certainly want to take credit for, considering how well known it is.

    ReplyDelete
  6. awesome sauce. read me a story.

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  7. How Fletcher Was Hatched! I remember that one!

    Thanks for the nostalgia trip!

    ReplyDelete

 

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