Slingsby Bros, Ink! has released the first volume in their Carol Day art book series, a stunning collection of “Lance Hallam”, one of the much-acclaimed Daily Mail newspaper strips by David Wright, widely admired by a range of comic artists.
“Carol Day”, the creation of artist David Wright, was published in the Daily Mail between 10th September 1956 and 25th May 1967. The beautifully-realised strip featured the every-day adventures of a young blonde model, Carol Day, who had a wealthy uncle in the Caribbean, Marcus, who serves as her guardian and help.
A wonderful comic strip, drawn by a great artist, with its combination of sophisticated themes and stories, multi-dimensional characters and always magnificent art, the series transcends even the best American strips of the time, and yet, strangely, despite being sold internationally, was never syndicated in the United States.
According to Patrick Wright, David’s son, “even though the Hearst Newspaper did attempt to head-hunt my father in the early 1950s, it was felt ‘Carol Day’ was too sophisticated for the American market!”
Over the course of 2021 and 2022, the official Carol Day website focused on highlighting “Lance Hallam”, one of the most popular stories of the strip’s run, and generally recognised as a masterpiece of the medium both in story and art.
With a cover by comics great and “Carol Day” fan Brian Bolland, assembled by Roger Clark, Chris Killackey and Guy Mills, David Wright’s Carol Day – Lance Hallam features the complete story, almost all scanned from original art, in the full size of the originals.
As a result, the book is a whopping 19.25 x 14.25 inches in size, featuring the strip, a fascinating background article on its creator David Wright’s life and career, a critical analysis, and, as we previously highlighted, a portfolio of contemporary interpretations of Carol Day by a suite of today’s top comic artists.
“The culmination of a two and a half year effort, we are very proud to honour and celebrate David Wright’s superb comic strip with a deluxe art book presentation, and to deliver one of his masterpieces to Carol Day fans in the format it deserves,” say the publishers.
North American fans can order a copy now direct from the Carol Day website. (British fans should order copies through Book Palace Books here). Be aware this is a prestige format, limited edition release, and the high price reflects the huge amount of production work that’s gone into this book, and a low print run.
“Our print run was 500 copies,” say the publishers. “Prior to publication we had reservations for about half the run, and fans shouldn’t hesitate to order if they are interested in the book.”
If you buy a copy by 10th June 2023, you will be automatically entered into a drawing for a signed print of Brian Bolland’s cover to Lance Hallam. This is the only physical art existing for the cover. Full details can be found here.
Despite the eye-watering price, the book is fully expected to sell out very quickly, such is the enthusiasm for the strip and quality of its art.
“It is truly a magnificent art book,” enthused one early buyer, sentiments I can echo having now received a copy. “Well worth the price and with a print run of only 500, I can’t recommend getting a copy reserved soon any stronger. Get this book or this omission will haunt you the rest of your days.” (Yes, I can agree with that view, too!).
This is the first of Slingsby Bros, Ink!’s planned Carol Day series, and they need help to continue the project, securing scans of more original art. To find out how you can help, go to their Project Dashboard to see what they are working on, and how to contact them.
• North American fans can order a copy of Carol Day – Lance Hallam now, direct from the Carol Day website
• British fans should order copies through Book Palace Books here
• Check out the Carol Day web site at carol-day.com
• “The Hauntingly Beautiful Carol Day”, by Christopher Killackey (PDF)
For the Winter 2015 issue of the CFA APA, Chris Killackey wrote an excellent, informative article on the rediscovery of the Carol Day art and how it made its way to the US. The CFA APA has a limited circulation, so most Carol Day fans probably haven’t seen it
• Felix Lu previews Lance Hallam on the Felix Comic Art YouTube channel
downthetubes received a copy of this book for our coverage of appeals for original art
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