Cartoonist John Ryan is perhaps most famous for his creation Captain Pugwash, a fictional pirate who appeared in a number of children's books, comic strips and television series.
Captain Pugwash first appeared in Eagle in 1950 and also appeared regularly in the Radio Times magazine.
Captain Pugwash made his television debut in 1957 in a series of short, animated films commissioned by the BBC. During these early episodes, Ryan employed a real-time technique whereby cardboard cut-outs of the characters were moved around on painted backgrounds using levers. The show was broadcast regularly until 1975.
In 1998 the pirate returned to children's television in a new series called The Adventures of Captain Pugwash, which used traditional animation methods whereby each frame is hand drawn.
This 9½" x 6½" sketch was hand drawn by John Ryan. It shows the head and shoulders of Captain Pugwash and his trusty crew-member Tom the Cabin Boy. The sketch also shows another of Ryan's creations, Harris Tweed, a character in the comic strip Harris Tweed: Special Agent, which appeared regularly in the comic book Eagle.
Ryan has handwritten each character's name next to the corresponding sketch. In the lower left corner he has added the notation "P.T.O."
On the reverse of the sheet, Ryan has written the following note:
"Dear Sarah, Not very good I'm afraid but I am getting OLD! Sincerely, John (Ryan)". Ryan has dated the piece 2008, just a year before he died.
This delightful piece is in excellent condition.