Newly discovered reference material
These concept sketches were given to Pip Warwick (the sculptor who created the ceramic Mekon heads) by my
father in the 1970's, and came to light only recently. His wife, Catherine, has kindly agreed to allow me to
reproduce them here on the website.
They refer to various bits of hardware for use in Reign of the Robots. The first three sheets were, I think,
produced by Eric Eden. I'm not sure about the last three - they seem to be by a different hand.
The drawings demonstrate yet again the extraordinary level of thought and care that went into the production of
the strip. None of these items were major parts of the story. As far as I'm aware, despite the time and trouble it
must have taken to create Sondar's 'tent', it only made it into a couple of frames, and then only as background.
(The cab on the sketch for the '20 tonner' in the third sheet bears a remarkable resemblance to the cab on a
Class 44 diesel locomotive!)
Fascinating though the drawings are, some of the annotations are even more intesting. For example, Digby's
menu, and the mention of the container beneath the 'couch' in the tent as the repository for Alan Stranks' unknown
future requirements - evidence of something which rarely gets a mention in descriptions of life in the studio - the
sense of fun which went side by side with all the hard work.
A note of interest - The author and photograper John Wade is currently putting together a book on 1950's Sci Fi,
'The Golden Age of Science Fiction', which is scheduled for publication in Autumn 2018. He will be including
some of these images in his book, together with others relevant to the Dan Dare story.