Friday, June 16, 2006

"I really liked him."

Those were Vic Dowd's concluding words about his long-lost friend, illustrator Jack Hearne, when Dowd was being interviewed for issue #55 of Alter Ego magazine by Jim Amash.

I didn't realize it at the time, but I had really liked Jack Hearne's art as a 10-year old kid back in 1974. It was only after I started researching the illustrator on-line that I discovered Hearne had taken over the art chores on what was then my favourite book series, Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators, with volume 18, "The Mystery of the Shrinking House".

Hearne was the third artist to do cover and interior art for the series, following Ed Vebell and Harry Kane .
I had been devouring the series from the first volume and at that age was completely unaware that the art chores had changed hands - infact, I was completely oblivious to the concept that someone had the job of illustrating (or writing, for that matter), the books just "were" - and I just loved 'em!

Its nice to know that one of the first "real" illustrators I was ever exposed to and who's work I admired was also someone Vic Dowd describes as "a very good illustrator" and "a very nice guy."

*All of this week's images can be seen at full size in my Jack Hearne Flickr set.


  1. Anonymous3:55 PM

    Geez... I've got a couple of those 3 Investigators books (or at least, I did the last time I checked) - I'll have to take a look and see who illustrated them.

    I'm sure my editions are later than whay you showed today - my covers definately have a more... late 70s/early 80s feel to them.

    Bill Angus

  2. I was quite surprised to find there are websites devoted to this series, Bill. I thought I was the only kid who read them!

  3. I used to love this stuff. had completely forgotten about them. Thanks for the reminder

  4. I loved those books so much!

  5. Thank you all for the kind words regarding my father's illustrations. Sadly, Jack passed away in 1985, but I know he would appreciate that his work brought some youngsters joy. If anyone can provide info on where to secure copies of Three Investigators series books that my father illustrated, please pass it on as they are hard to come by.

    John Hearne

  6. John;

    Thanks very much for commenting - I'm sorry to hear your dad is no longer with us.

    I'd love to learn more about Jack Hearne so I can write about his career in greater detail. If you are willing, I can be reached at

    Incidentally, I found 50 pages of Three Investigators books for sale (used) at

    Hope to hear back from you!

    Sincerely, Leif Peng

  7. Leif,

    I sent you an email, so post again if you did not receive. Thank you again.

  8. Anonymous6:49 PM

    Wow, a kid's series that I knew nothing about. I read all the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books from the 1960s, but as I grew, they were given away. Is there a website or a complete list of all the volumes in this series, "Alfred Hitchcock and the 3 Investigators"? Where can I find it, and is the entire list good... or just a few good entries?

  9. Kirk;

    go to
    for a complete list of all 3 Investigator stories.

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