Neville Colvin & Modesty Blaise

I attended an interesting presentation this morning at the National Library. Illustrator Claire Colvin presented the National Archives with a selection of her father Neville Colvin’s work from The Evening Post and The Sports Post. He was The Evening Post’s editorial cartoonist from 1946 to 1956, before Nevile Lodge (who I met in the early ’80s), so there was a table’s worth of yellowing originals in pretty good condition, being handled with cotton gloves by the NZ Cartoon Archives staff and Tom Scott.

Scott (for it was he) posed for photographs and stayed for the canapes but didn’t stay for the short lecture Ian F. Grant gave in the National Library auditorium. After years at university, it was great for me to see a number of people in a room listening by their own free will to an expert talk on a specific subject. I would’ve invited along other Wellington cartoonists if I’d thought anyone I know was the slightest bit interested in editorial cartoons.

Among the A3 originals was one of Colvin’s Modesty Blaise strips, which he drew from 1980 to 1986. The originals are quite valuable. I noted the serial number (5544, from mid-1982) and then trotted to Central Library – and the very first Modesty Blaise book I pulled off the shelf had that cartoon reproduced in it.

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