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Thursday, 4 December 2008

Dark Inheritance by Roberta Leigh

Over on Bear Alley Steve Holland has put up two previously unrecorded dust jacket illustrations by Frank Bellamy. These are for romance novels, My True Love by Denise Robins and Dark Inheritance by Roberta Leigh, both published by the Valentine Romance Book Club in 1954.

Frank Bellamy of course is one of the best comic artists that Britain has ever produced having worked on Dan Dare in original Eagle, Thunderbirds in TV Century 21 and Garth in the Daily Mirror. His work has appeared in many more places that those publications and Norman Boyd's Frank Bellamy Checklist Blog is well worth reading for the more obscure items that Bellamy has produced.

Roberta Leigh is the professional name of Janey Scott, a novelist and painter who is perhaps best known to us here on downthetubes as the creator of two of the Gerry Anderson puppet series, The Adventures Of Twizzle and Torchy The Battery Boy, and the non-Anderson science fiction puppet series Space Patrol. Comic strips based on all three of these series appeared in various British comics in the 1960s. Twizzle appeared in TV Land, Torchy in Harold Hare's Own Paper and Space Patrol in both TV Comic and The Beezer plus two issues of Super Mag.

As well as writing novels Robert Leigh also wrote storybooks, both softcover and annual style, for children based on her TV series with at least four appearing for Twizzle and nine for Torchy. Due to their age, their intended audience and presumably low print runs, these are amongst the scarcest Gerry Anderson related books and pose a real challenge for collectors to find.

Roberta Leigh's website, which covers her paintings, can be found here while her novels, written under various pseudonyms, can be found here.

1 comment:

Mike Cane said...

Good God. I didn't know til know that Roberta Leigh wasn't her real name. The biggest shock was learning Barry Gray wasn't *his* real name. (And, yes, I already know about Gerry Anderson!) But who's next?!

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