This alphabetical listing represents only a small selection of the illustrators who worked on Look and Learn and the associated magazines. Click on the buttons to see more images by each artist.
Severino Baraldi (1930- ). Italian artist who contributed dozens of historical illustrations to Look and Learn and World of Knowledge in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Born on 10 December 1930 in Sermide, Baraldi entertained customers of the local barber with chalk pavement drawings. He began working as a carpenter but continued to draw cartoons for the local newspaper before moving to Milan where he worked for an advertising agency while attending the Scuola d’Arte Castello di Milano. After producing two volumes of Bible illustrations for Il Messaggero di Sant’Antonio, Baraldi began illustrating educational books and books for boys and contributing to many magazines. In the early 1960s he adapted the Odyssey (Ulisse) and Peer Gynt (Ciuffo Biondo) for children. As well as his seven-year association with Look and Learn, he was associated with the Italian weekly Famiglia Cristiana and his historical illustrations also became popular in Greece and Japan. In 1994, he produced over 100 illustrations for La Bibbia: storie dell’antico e del nuovo te which was translated around the world (in Britain as The Bible for Children). In all, Baraldi has contributed to over 220 books and produced over 7,500 illustrations. He retired a few years ago.
Ralph Bruce (na). British artist who contributed to The Children’s Newspaper and Look and Learn. He was one of the artists, alongside Graham Coton, who provided large illustrations for the cover of The Children’s Newspaper in the early 1960s. He was also a paperback coverartist and later contributed illustrations to a number of books published by Beckenham-based Patterson Blick, including Ancient Egypt (1970) and Football (1970).
Graham Coton (1926-2003). Graham Coton was one of Look and Learn’s leading artists in the late 1960s and 1970s. Coton’s love of cars, planes and anything that involved action and speed made him the perfect choice for a wide range of features. Born in Woolwich on 1 November 1926, Coton was trained at Shooter’s Hill School where he achieved the highest marks for Art the school had ever seen. He entered Goldsmith’s College School of Art but his education was interrupted when he volunteered for the RAF in 1944. He returned to Goldsmith’s but was “obliged to leave early and earn a living quickly,” and submitted samples to Amalgamated Press which earned him a job illustrating ‘Kit Carson’ on Cowboy Comics in 1950.
Over the next twenty years, Coton produced strips for Knockout (including the long-running ‘Space Family Rollinson’), Thriller Comics, Comet, Super Detective Library, Tiger, Express Weekly, War Picture Library, Film Fun, Valiant, Lion and TV Century 21. He also had a long association with Air Ace Picture Library and became one of the leading cover artists for the library group. In later life, Coton was able to concentrate on painting, subsidised by advertising work and book jackets. He lived in Hastings, East Sussex, where he died in the autumn of 2003.
R(eginald) B(en) Davis (1907-1998). A regular illustrator of nature subjects and animals for Look and Learn and Treasure. Some of his Look and Learn illustrations were collected in Animal Partnerships by Maurice Burton (1969). Born on 10 December 1907, Davis was a commercial artist before the Second World War working for Byron Studios. After the war he became a regular artist for School Friend, drawing the adventures of castaway schoolgirl ‘Jill Crusoe’. Amongst his other strips for the same paper were ‘Jon of the Jungle’, ‘Kay of Cedar Creek’, ‘Phantom Ballerina’ and ‘Penny of Maywood Stables’. Davis was also a regular cover artist for Schoolgirls’ Picture Library from its debut in June 1957 and later illustrated text stories for Girls’ Crystal in the early 1960s. From 1962 he concentrated on colour illustration work and only occasionally returned to comic strips. In the 1970s he concentrated on illustrating wildlife books. Davis lived in Liphook, Hampshire, where he died in late 1998, aged 90.
Neville Dear (na). Prolific artist for Look and Learn, illustrating a wide variety of historical subjects and various series including ‘Disasters That Shook the World’ (1963), ‘By the Rivers of Babylon’ (1964), ‘They Made Headlines’ (1964), ‘Epic Stories of the Iron Road’ (1965) and others. In 1949, Dear and two other students from the Royal College of Art were commissioned to decorate the walls of the children’s section of the Chelsea Public Library. In the 1950s he began producing illustrations for William Collins, including work for Collins’ Magazine, Collins Boys’ Annual and books, including Showell Styles’ ‘Tiger Patrol’ series. As well as his magazine illustrations for Look and Learn, Ranger, Argosy, Picture Post and others, Dear also worked for Oxford University Press, Wheaton, Hodder & Stoughton, Corgi, and Eyre Methuen. With others he illustrated The Hamlyn Bible for Children (1974) and he was a regular illustrator for Reader’s Digest’s condensed books.
C(ecil) L(angley) Doughty (1913-1985). Doughty was one of the most prolific and successful historical illustrators on Look and Learn, his work appearing over the full twenty year history of the magazine. In early issues he contributed colour cut-away diagrams of famous buildings such as Hampton Court and Windsor Castle before switching to illustrating articles ranging from ‘They Made Music’ to ‘Famous Faces from Famous Books’. Born in Withernsea, Yorkshire, on 7 November 1913, Doughty was trained at Battersea Polytechnic and began drawing comic strips in 1948, his first strip, featuring ‘Buffalo Bill’, appearing in Knockout. After drawing the detective series ‘Terry Brent’ for School Friend, he began specialising in historical strips, his best work featuring Robin Hood and Dick Turpin in the 1950s. When Look and Learn came to an end, Doughty continued to paint landscapes until his death, on 26 October 1985, aged 71.
Gerry A. Embleton (1941- ). When 21-year-old artist Gerry Embleton began contributing centre-page illustrations to Look and Learn in 1962, he was already an 11-year veteran of the comic industry, his artistic career having begun at the age of nine inking pages for his older brother, Ron (qv). He worked with Ron regularly throughout the 1950s, inking ‘Strongbow the Mohawk’ for Zip and colouring ‘Wulf the Briton’ for Express Weekly. His first solo work, an illustration, was published in Mickey Mouse Weekly when he was 14 and he began working freelance at the age of 15. Some of his best early work appeared in Zip, where he took over the ‘Strongbow the Mighty’ strip in 1958, and Cowboy Picture Library where he drew Davy Crockett, Kit Carson and Kansas Kid (1959-62). From 1961, he became better known for colour strips, producing fill-in episodes of ‘Riders of the Range’ for Eagle and taking over ‘Colonel Pinto’ for TV Express. Embleton contributed strips to Boys’ World, Robin, Tiger and illustrations to Look and Learn in the 1960s, although his best-known work was ‘Stingray’ for TV Century 21 (1966-67). In the 1970s, Embleton concentrated on illustrating books and became noted for the historical accuracy of his military illustrations, although he also illustrated fairy tales and histories of the American West. He briefly returned to comics to draw ‘Dan Dare’ for the revived Eagle in 1982. In 1988, he co-founded Tima Machine AG, a company based in Switzerland involved in creating life-size historical figures for museums and exhibitions. Embleton wrote and photographed The Medieval Soldier: 15th Century Campaign Life Recreated in Colour Photographs (1994).
Ron(ald Sydney) Embleton (1930-1988). Meticulous artist whose work appeared in Look and Learn for many years. His best work included the colour rear cover feature, ‘The Bath Road’, dozens of covers and the historical series ‘Roger’s Rangers’. Born in London on 6 October 1930, Embleton began drawing as a young boy, submitting a cartoon to the News of the World at the age of 9 and, at 12, winning a national poster competition. At 17 he earned himself a place in a commercial studio but soon left to work freelance, drawing comic strips for many of the small publishers who sprang up shortly after the war. He was soon drawing for the major publishers. His most fondly remembered strips include ‘Strongbow the Mighty’ in Mickey Mouse Weekly, ‘Wulf the Briton’ in Express Weekly, ‘Wrath of the Gods’ in Boys’ World, ‘Johnny Frog’ in Eagle and ‘Stingray’ in TV Century 21. Embleton also provided the illustrations that appeared in the title credits for the Captain Scarlet TV series, and dozens of paintings for prints and newspaper strips. Embleton died on 13 February 1988 at the age of 57.
Dan Escott (1928-1987). Escott wrote and drew many features which played to his strength and interest in heraldry and medieval history. He was a regular contributor to the ‘From Then Till Now’ feature in Look and Learn as well as creating back cover series on flags of the world, national symbols of Britain, and the Guilds of London amongst many others. Escott was born in Surrey on 3 December 1928. He studied at Croydon School of Art where he first came in contact with the subject of heraldry. Discovering that he had a flair for heraldic illustration, he joined the College of Arms as a trainee heraldic painter, developing a strong, bold style which stood him well when he began producing illustrations for advertising, books and magazines. Escott later emigrated to Australia where he worked for the Australian Geographic. He died in Sydney on 7 May 1987, aged 58.
Oliver Frey (na). Prolific artist in Look
and Learn in the 1970s, usually assigned to full-colour double-page spreads
for series like ‘The Oregon Trail’ in 1976. Born in Switzerland, Frey was a fan
of Eagle and Look and Learn as a boy. He studied film at the
London School of Film Technique and began drawing comic strips to support
himself, working for Fleetway’s War and Battle picture libraries.
After briefly running a film company in Switzerland, Frey returned to the UK and
worked as a full-time comic strip artist and illustrator, working on two of his
favourite boyhood comic strips, ‘The Trigan Empire’ and ‘Dan Dare’. With his
brother, Franco, he was a co-founder of Newsfield Publications, providing
hundreds of covers and illustrations for their many computer and horror
magazines. He later co-founded Thalamus Publishing.
Wilf(red) Hardy (na). Began working for Treasure in its early days after working as a commercial artist. Some of his earliest illustrations were designed to help youngsters understand subjects ranging from building a motorway to the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race. Hardy became one of the mainstays of Fleetway’s educational titles, working for Look and Learn, Ranger, Speed & Power and World of Knowledge. His best known series was the long running ‘Into the Blue’ which helped establish him as an aviation artist of renown, an area he has continued working in - nowadays in oil and other media - for posters and private commissions. Producing the series ‘Into the Blue’ in Ranger and Look and Learn for some years helped Hardy develop an ability to depict aircraft of every description, from the days of stick and string to futuristic zeppelins. Hardy often picked the subject matter himself, although the text was usually editorially written, and designed the layouts for his pages. ‘Hardy’s Drawing Board’ was a popular feature in later issues of Look and Learn. Hardy is a member of the Guild of Aviation Artists.
Jack Hayes (na). Artist who contributed a number of superb illustrations to The Bible Story. Almost nothing is known about Hayes’ career. His known works include the illustrations for The New Oxford Illustrated Bible (Oxford University Press, n.d.), Flags of the World by I. O. Evans (Hamlyn, 1970). In the early 1970s he illustrated paperback covers for Corgi and Fontana on titles as wide-ranging as The Long Wait and Kiss Me, Deadly by Mickey Spillane (both 1970), Too Few For Drums by R. F. Delderfield and Only the Valiant. Great Legends of the West by Charles Marquis Warren (both 1972) and The Gallows Herd by Maureen Peters and Steamboat Gothic by Frances Parkinson Keyes (both 1973).
Andrew Howat (na) . Artist who contributed a
wide variety of work to Look and Learn. In the late 1970s, he was one of
the main artists providing features on the rear cover, including the miscellaneous strip
‘Strange Facts’ and episodes of the ‘Land of Legend’ and
‘Crowning Glory’ series. Born in Hale, Cheshire, Howat studied life drawing,
anatomy and painting at Manchester School of Art. He moved to London where he
worked at a commercial studio before linking up with fellow artists Bob Robins
and Gordon Davidson to produce illustrations for magazines and books. The trio
often signed their work ‘RDH’. Howat later worked for various London
advertising agencies as well as freelancing as a designer of greetings cards. He
continues to design cards featuring landscapes and views of London as well as to
paint landscapes in watercolour and pastel around London and Hertfordshire. One
of his paintings of the Palace of Westminster was used as a Christmas card by
the House of Commons in 1999. He currently lives in north London.
Peter (Charles Geoffrey) Jackson (1922-2003). Jackson, perhaps above all others, exemplifies the skill of the Look and Learn artists. His knowledge of the history of London and his talent for illustrating it was honed through newspaper strips for the Evening News such as ‘London Is Stranger Than Fiction’, ‘London Explorer’ and ‘Somewhere to Go’. He was amongst the first artists invited to contribute to Look and Learn and his centre page spread for the first issue, a birds-eye view of the Houses of Parliament surrounded by vignettes depicting various memorable images from their history set the tone for the paper. Jackson also provided Look and Learn with its first back cover feature, ‘The Dover Road’, followed by many others. Over the years Jackson illustrated dozens of series, including a memorable history of British civilisation for Look and Learn’s youthful companion, Treasure. Jackson, born in Brighton on 4 March 1922, began his career adapting classics into comic strips for newspapers in the late 1940s. This led to his long association with the Evening News. His collection of maps, prints and artefacts from all ages of London formed the basis of a number of books, including London: 2000 Years of a City and Its People, The History of London in Maps and Walks in Old London. Jackson was chairman of the London Topographical Society, a founder member and chairman of the Ephemera Society and was to have been the recipient of an OBE. The announcement of this honour arrived a day after his death on 2 May 2003, aged 81.
Jack [John] (Edwin) Keay (1907-1999). Artist who contributed a variety of illustrations and covers to Look and Learn. Whe he signed his work, it was usually as “Jack Keay”. Jack Keay was born in King’s Norton, Worcestershire, on 10 May 1907. Little is known about Keay’s career, but he was a popular book cover artist who worked for Pan, Panther, Hutchinson, Fontana and Four Square in the 1957-62 period. Keay illustrated a number of books in the 1970s and 1980s, including The Change of Life by Muriel E. Landau (1971), Gunfighters of the Wild West by Eric Inglefield (1978), American Civil War by Philip Clark (1988), American War of Independence by Philip Clark (1988) and Viking Explorers by Rupert Matthews (1989). He died in Hounslow, London, in 1999, aged 92. Jack Keay is not to be mistaken for John R. Keay (qv) who also contributed to Look and Learn.
John (R.) Keay (na). Artist who contributed to the ‘This Made Headlines’ and ‘Dateline’ series which appeared on the inside front cover of Look and Learn in the late 1970s. Keay had a highly distinctive style, achieving an unusual smoothness of texture in his illustrations, both in colour and black and white. He usually signed his pictures “Keay”. Keay was represented by John Martin & Artists and also illustrated books, including Kings of Israel by David Kent (1981). John Keay is not to be mistaken for Jack Keay (qv) who also contributed to Look and Learn.
Don(ald Southam) Lawrence (1928-2003). From 1965 to 1975, Lawrence was the artist on ‘The Rise and Fall of the Trigan Empire’, one of the longest-running comic strips published in Britain. The strip was created by scriptwriter Michael Butterworth, inspired by the author’s fascination with history. The strip fused science fiction with Roman and Greek history to relate the history of the feudal societies found on the planet Elekton. The leader of a wandering tribe sets out to found a magnificent city which he must defend against empire-building rivals and Trigan City becomes the centre of an empire forever fighting to protect its borders and peoples. Lawrence, born in East Sheen, London, on 17 November 1928, used his gratuity from National Service to attend Borough Polytechnic to study art. He became a regular contributor to the superheroic adventures of ‘Marvelman’ in 1954 before producing the western strip ‘Wells Fargo’ for Zip and Swift. He found work with Fleetway, drawing ‘Billy the Kid’ before finding his niche drawing historical strips ‘Karl the Viking’ and ‘Maroc the Mighty’. Memorable as these strips were, it is for his colour work that Lawrence is now famous. After 11 years on ‘Trigan Empire’, Lawrence helped create ‘Storm’, the story of a man catapulted into the distant future, for the Dutch weekly comic Eppo. Lawrence painted 22 volumes of Storm’s adventures between 1976 and 1995. That year, Lawrence lost the sight in one eye and a final volume was completed with the assistance of Liam McCormack-Sharp in 2001. Lawrence was widely respected in continental Europe (he was made a Knight of the order of Oranje-Nassau by Queen Beatrix of Holland) and won many awards. He died on 29 December 2003, aged 75.
Kenneth (Norman) Lilly (1929-1996). Wildlife artist who contributed many
illustrations and covers to Look and Learn and Treasure, his notable series
including Maxwell Knight’s ‘This Month in the Country’ (1967) and Ken
Denham’s series on ‘Animal Families’ (1968). Lilly was also a regular
illustrator of books in the 1970s and 1980s and was especially noted for his studies of birds,
although he turned his brush to most forms of wildlife. Some of the best illustrations can be found
in Kenneth Lilly’s Animals (1988). As well as books, Lilly also illustrated a set of
stamps entitled ‘Friends of the Earth’, released in 1986. Lilly, who was born on 30
December 1929, lived in Devon, where he died in 1996, aged 66.
Barrie R. Linklater (1931- ). Contributed illustrations to Look and Learn’s
adaptation of H G Wells’ ‘The First Men in the Moon’ in 1963 and later, in 1967,
began producing covers and illustrations on a semi-regular basis. Linklater studied at
Woolwich Polytechnic School of Art and began his artistic career working in a London studio but left
for Australia where he worked as a freelance for four years. Returning to London, Linklater forged a
reputation as a portrait artist and subsequently as an equestrian artist, his first commission in
the latter area coming from HRH the Duke of Edinburgh during a sitting for a portrait in 1975.
Equestrian work has since been commissioned by Her Majesty The Queen and the City of London amongst
many others. In all he has 13 paintings in the Royal Collection and his work has been exhibited at
the National Portrait Gallery. Linklater lives and works in Berkshire.
Angus McBride (1931-2007). Artist who contributed heavily to The Bible Story and Look and Learn, often signing his work ‘McB’. Angus McBride became one of Look and Learn’s most popular artists, usually working in colour, his work taking in the regular series: ‘From Then Till Now’, rear cover features (‘Famous Rivers’), illustrations for serial stories (‘Smith, Pickpocket’) and features (‘Mankind in the Making’, ‘How the News Broke’, ‘Great Events in the World’s History’, etc.). McBride was educated at Canterbury Cathedral Choir School and taught himself illustration. At the age of 16 he joined an advertising agency, his career interrupted by National Service two years later. He subsequently emigrated to South Africa where he was to work for the next ten years. He returned to England in 1961 and freelanced for various magazines, specialising in historical illustrations. In the 1970s he began producing illustrations for Osprey, who specialise in military books, and over a period of three decades has produced over 90 titles. His artwork was recently celebrated in the volume Warriors and Warlords: The Art of Angus McBride (2002). He died in Ireland on 15 May 2007, aged 76. You can read a tribute to Angus McBride in our blog.
James E(dwin) McConnell (1903-1995). Artist Jas. E. McConnell (as he usually signed his work) was one of the more prolific of Look and Learn’s cover artists in its early years, although he also provided illustrations for such series as ‘The Golden Age of Greece’ (1962) and episodes of ‘What Really Happened?’ and ‘The World’s Thinkers’. Born in Durham on 13 July 1903, McConnell began working for a local block maker at the age of 18, later moving to London to attend St. Martin’s School. He went freelance in 1933 and became a hugely prolific book cover artist. He is best remembered for his Western covers which appeared on dozens of paperbacks in the 1950s and 1960s, although he had a far broader range, producing everything from animal studies to historical scenes. McConnell eventually retired to Godalming, Surrey, where he died on 4 May 1995.
(Montague) Philip Mendoza (1898-1973). Mendoza was an illustrator with an adaptable style that served him well for many years drawing everything from covers for thriller novels to cute animal strips in nursery papers. For Treasure, Mendoza produced delicate, amusing illustrations for most of the early serial stories, ‘The Borrowers’, ‘The Wind in the Willows’ and ‘The Water Babies’ amongst them. Born in Hackney on 14 October 1898, Mendoza began his career as a pavement artist at the age of 14. His talent was prodigious and he later became a popular poster designer, advertising artist, newspaper strip artist, political cartoonist and painter, exhibiting at the Royal Academy in 1939. In 1951, he began working for Amalgamated Press and other comic strip publishers, usually drawing westerns and adventure series; his talent for illustrating tales for young children became evident when he began working for Playhour Pictures in 1954. Some of his most enduring characters were ‘Gulliver Guinea Pig’ and ‘Katie Country Mouse’. He continued to draw for nursery comics until his death in 1973.
Pat(rick) Nicolle (1907-1995). Artist. Contributed to The Bible Story, Look and Learn and Treasure. Nicolle’s expertise on medieval history, his eye for detail and his willingness to spend many hours researching his subjects helped make him one of the finest and longest-serving artists to grace the pages of Look and Learn, his association lasting the full twenty years it ran. From cut-away centre spreads of ancient buildings and the history of armour to the comic strip ‘Sir Nigel’, Nicolle never failed to impress. Born in Hampstead, London, on 15 November 1907, Nicolle was educated in Birmingham and London. Artistic talent was in the family (his older brother Jack was also an illustrator). After working in the book trade for some years he began freelancing illustrations for catalogues, magazines and books. He returned to illustration after serving for six years with the Royal Engineers and was spotted by Leonard Matthews, who invited him to draw comic strips for Amalgamated Press, his first appearing in 1950. Over the next decade he drew ‘Robin Hood’, ‘The Three Musketeers’, ‘Ivanhoe’, ‘The Prisoner of Zenda’, ‘Under the Golden Dragon’ (later reprinted in Eagle as ‘The Last of the Saxon Kings’), and his longest-running strip, featuring Ginger Tom, a young squire, which ran for nearly four years in Knockout (1956-60). Nicolle, who was a founder member of the Arms and Armour Society, retired when Look and Learn folded. He died in November 1996, aged 87.
David Nockels (na). Artist who contributed wildlife illustrations to Look and Learn in around 1967. David Nockels contributed illustrations to many books on animals and nature for Young World Productions, Muller, Hamlyn, Heinemann, Bodley Head, Salamandar and Ward Lock between 1967 and 1979. In 1980 he began working for Methuen Children’s Books and wrote and illustrated a series of pop-up books entitled ‘Animals in Action’ (1981) as well as two children’s story books, Hungry Little Chimpanzee and Little Lost Duckling, both published in 1982. Nockels also wrote and illustrated the ‘Naughty Pets Board Book’ series for Deans International (1985).
John Millar Watt (1895-1975). One of the mainstays in the early years of Look and Learn, Millar Watt often provided full-page colour paintings to illustrate the work of famous authors as well as illustrating some of the paper’s most prestigious features (‘The Story of Egypt’, ‘The Story of France’), religious subjects (‘The Holy Land Today’, ‘The Christmas Story’), serial stories (‘Twenty Years After’ by Alexandre Dumas) and numerous covers. John Millar Watt was born in Gourock on the Clyde on 14 October 1895, and grew up in Ilford, Essex, where he first showed his artistic promise by filling his school exercise books with doodles. After working for an advertising agency and studying art at evening classes and the Slade School he became a leading poster artist, supplementing his wages by drawing cartoons and illustrations for newspapers. In 1921, he created the four-panel strip ‘Pop’ for the Daily Sketch which was to run until continuously until 1960. A ‘Pop Annual’ appeared between 1925 and 1950 and the strip was one of the few British strips to be successfully syndicated to American newspapers. Millar Watt retired from the strip in 1949 in order to concentrate on advertising and illustration work. He had begun drawing for the Amalgamated Press in the mid-1950s, notably producing covers for the company’s Robin Hood adventures published in Thriller Comics Library. As well as his work for Look and Learn, he also contributed to Ranger (adapting Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘Treasure Island’), The Bible Story, Princess (adapting ‘The Scarlet Pimpernel’) and features for Once Upon a Time. Watt died on 13 December 1975 at the age of 80.