New Thelwell “Menagerie” Prints Released

Screen printer John Patrick Reynolds – perhaps best known to downthetubes readers for his Beano-inspired prints -has produced six new screenprints based on the drawings of cartoonist Norman Thelwell.

These “Thelwell Menagerie” prints show the range of Thelwell’s interests, from one of his famous ponies (hugging its chubby little owner) to a dog (also hugging its master, but overpowering it in the process), a cat (asleep but happily plotting something), a race horse in front of a setting sun and two portraits of anglers, one kitted up for a serious assault on the enemy, the other peacefully whiling away a quiet afternoon on a river bank.

“I selected them in collaboration with Norman’s son David, himself an artist,” says John, “and the screenprint treatment has been approved by him.

“These screenprints are coloured in a different palette from my usual vibrant primary reds, yellows and blues; they’re in more subtle shades and pastels which I hope are in tune with the country themes.”

The prints had their debut earlier today at London’s Spitalfields Arts Market.

Norman Thelwell is the unofficial chronicler of the British countryside. He is especially well known and loved for his drawings of little girls on pony-back and of members of the Pony Club, the international youth organization devoted to educating young people about horses and riding which operates in more than 30 countries.

According to his obituary in the Telegraph, “He created some of the most recognisable images in equine art with his cartoons of freckled girls being bounced along on their recalcitrant spherical ponies.” But he also produced thousands of drawings of dogs and cats, anglers and sailors, indeed pretty much every facet of British country life and interests.

Thelwell, who died in 2004, published his first collection, Angels On Horseback, in 1957. After that he published about 30 books and drew for publications such as the humorous magazine Punch and the Sunday Express.

• To buy these prints signed and numbered out of 200 in pencil by the printer, John Patrick Reynolds, vist: 

If you like John’s work, you may be interested to know he’s mounting a pre-Christmas show within a stones throw of the Louvre, from Thursday 1st December until Sunday 4th December. The Galerie Jean-Baptiste Jacquart – on the Rive Gauche, very near to the Pont Neuf – will be exhibiting his Asterix screenprints. The address is 27 Rue de Seine, 75006 Paris, France (Web:

He’ll also be holding a solo Christmas show at the renowned print gallery, The Brook Gallery in Budleigh Salterton, Devon. 

The show will open on Wednesday 7th December and run through to January. All his new material will be on show, as well as some old favourites. The address is: Fore St, Budleigh Salterton EX9 6NH. web:

© The Thelwell Estate 2016

The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Explorer (previously known as Star Trek Magazine) and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of "Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies" for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.

Categories: Art and Illustration, British Comics, downthetubes News

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