Saturday, December 15, 2012


Whenever I am in the MG Road vicinity, tea at Koshy's and then strolling down to Blossom's on Church Street has become an old habit. At Blossom's I would drop my bag at the counter and climb the stairs up to look for new graphic novels and hunt for old editions of classics. During one of such activities, I came across the P. G. Wodehouse series published by Penguin with covers done by an illustrator who signed off as 'Ionicus'. The cover had crumpled edges, but the artwork it embodied had crisp, clean lines demarcating the skilled use of watercolours. It had a simplicity and beauty one would like to belong to, and the pictures told the reader what awkwardness was stored in the book. From that day onwards, I have often spent a lot of time excruciating my eye filtering such publications out of huge stacks lying in the back shelves of Blossom's. With luck, I have found four so far. I believe, the staff only shell out a few copies out to keep luring me in time after time. And like a cat, I know the precious bait too well to surrender. If any of you lucky ones have got a copy of Ionicus's illustrated cover, please do mail me a scan of it on I will be extremely grateful to you for this. 

Ionicus was the pen name of Joshua Armitage (26 September 1913 – 1998), an English illustrator.
He is best known for drawing the covers for a wide range of Penguin editions of P. G. Wodehouse, though he also contributed cartoons and drawings to Punch for more than 40 years, and provided cover designs and text illustrations for nearly 400 books in total.
- Wikipedia


  1. These are the illustrations that I always associate PG Wodehouse stories with. Years ago, during school holidays, I used to walk to Regal library near Richmond road and comeback laden with Wodehouse which I then devoured. They all had covers by Ionicus and I remember wondering about the unusual name who did these elegant illustrations. It is good to see these covers again and know more about the illustrator.

  2. I have the entire (almost) collection of these editions of the P.G Wodehouse books. They belonged to my grandfather (My family is full of Wodehouse fans) Sadly, they're back at home but I'll scan and send them to you when I get back.

    1. Thank you so much Urmila. I will be very grateful for the scans.

  3. I have a few. Are you still looking?