Giles Annual Number 7 Artwork
17 March 2006
A short while ago I was looking on eBay for Giles related items, and I happened across an auction with many Giles annuals. As the seller was local to my work I decided to buy the said annuals.
I went to the seller's house to pick the annuals up and we had a brief chat about all things Giles, during the conversation the seller mentioned that he had a friend that had the artwork for the series 7 Giles annual.
Not a print or a framed copy, but the actual artwork that was used to produce the annual. The scan of this album cover can be seen here
So I mentioned this website and said that if possible I would like to view the pictures, partly from a personal desire to see them, and partly with an article on the website in mind.
So about a week later I received an email to say that this could all be arranged.
I arrived at the sellers house again and the owner of the artwork was there with the framed pictures. The photographs of which are presented below.
The first thing that is striking about the two pictures is that the background on the rear cover picture is presented as being black and white. This is because the artwork is made up of two elements.
The first is the background which is exactly the same on the front and rear cover. The second element is a celluloid film in front of the background with the lady, dog, officer, and superior officer painted on it.
However the other two soldiers are painted on the background. This technique is exactly like animated cartoons that are drawn by hand use.
On the back cover image, the officer and dog on the bench and the lady and superior officer are again painted on a celluloid film.
Also the other two soldiers faces are painted on the film to replace the original expressions. This is why the artwork for the back cover looks black and white, as it is merely a photocopy of the front background to provide a suitable backdrop for the celluloid film.
The lady, dog and officer.
The privates and superior officer
The painted officer and dog
The privates faces
The next thing that I noticed and the owner pointed out is that there is a crossed out signature on the celluloid film. You can just see the distinctive 'S' poking out from behind the crossing out marks.
This signature does not appear on the annual cover, so is a bit of a mystery. Giles could have signed the artwork before it was used, but the people producing the annual didn't want it. He could have signed it after the annual was produced, but someone deliberately crossed it out.
It could even have been a signature on the background artwork before it was chosen for the annual, and the crossing out is just on the film.
Whatever the reason it does lead me on to the next point which is that the owner has never taken the artwork apart. This is mainly because some of the ink on the celluloid film appears to be sticking to the glass that the artwork is mounted on.
Well after studying the artwork, photographing it and discussing Giles for a while it was time for me to go, but now I know that there is a house somewhere in the UK with this hanging on the landing wall, giving at least one person a reminder of the great art of Giles.