Wednesday, 30 November 2011

FOOM again...

Oh, Joy!!! While looking for something entirely different, I've accidentally discovered my first issue of FOOM and all the gifts (membership kit) were tucked inside, as good as new! I haven't seen this for years. I even found the envelope with this ridiculous sounding voucher attached. I quote... "I've no conscience! I'm willing to take advantage of you big-hearted boobs! (Yeah, don't think that meant quite the same thing in 1973) So here's my measly 50p (!!!) Rush my big bargain FOOM membership kit immediately.

Anderson Specs

Having shown a few of the Marvel character colour specifications, here's a Judge Anderson card that formed part of a pack that Fleetway would hand out to licensee's. This looks like a Cliff Robinson to me.

Marvel UK

Here's a nice bit of printed ephemera; the logo for Marvel UK, Circa 1985. This was used on letter-headed paper, compliment slips, business cards, etc. 

Green Fingers

S T E R A N K O !

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

King & Ryden

I was thrilled to find this rather large hardback tome in my local charity shop for two quid. A Viking, American edition of Desperation by Stephen King, one of my favourite authors featuring a Mark Ryden cover. A winning combination!

Kirby & Ditko #3

Another couple of panels from The Incredible Hulk #2 - July, 1962. I love scanning these high-res,
I just can't help myself! Click image for Super-Size.

Kirby & Ditko #2

Blow-up of a panel from The Incredible Hulk #2 - July, 1962. Pencilled by Jack Kirby and inked by Steve Ditko. What a great composition!

Monday, 28 November 2011

Just Ditko

Production Stat for The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1 - January, 1964. With bonus Tippex!

Kirby & Ditko

Production Stat for The Incredible Hulk #2 - July, 1962. This is an interesting piece for the reason that it was pencilled by Jack Kirby and inked by Steve Ditko. Wish I had the actual cover art for this!


I found this in the basement of an old bookshop on Charing Cross Road and bought it for the cover. The art is by someone called Kenneth Fagg and is titled The Old Spaceman's Tales. He's an artist that I'm not familiar with so a little bit of online research tells me that he was a brilliant cartographer and worked for Life, Saturday Evening Post and other national magazines. 

Apparently, Fagg was also the creator of the world's largest geophysical relief globe. I discovered this remarkable illustration (left) that he did for the United States Air Force in 1955 on the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum website.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Stark = Mark Stafford

Here's a beautiful piece of original art I bought a few months back at an Orbital Comics exhibition called Largely Unseen - An Exhibition of Obscure Artistic Endeavours, featuring the amazing work of Mark Stafford. After scanning this drawing to post on here, I googled Mark to see what he's up to lately and found a very recent article featuring more of Mark's work up on the Bleeding Cool site. The piece is written by Rich Johnston and is worth checking out here...

But the Cat came back...

Production Stat for Amazing Spider-Man #226 - March, 1982. Cover by John Romita JR & Al Milgrom. Jim Shooter's approval signature can be seen bottom right.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Here Comes...

Production Stat for Daredevil #4. Cover by Jack Kirby at his usual high standard. Classic.

Colour by Numbers

Ms. Marvel - 5' 9" Tall, 130 Pounds

Forget Starbucks...

This is where I always wanted to hang... You Dig!!!

From The Amazing Spider-Man King-Size Special #4 - Nov, 1967

Thinking Ahead

Because of the weekly deadline nature of the comic we would quite often end up with a blank space where a half page advertisement was supposed to go, but hadn't been supplied in time. With this in mind I was asked to make a few 'filler' ads like this. Tharg was always happy to give me free reign on these to try a bit of creative experimentation. It was better than a blank space after all.

This was an attempt to evoke an early 50's Festival of Britain type vibe using a fair bit of stippled Letratone and Rotring ink.


I just found this old piece of artwork in one of the drawers of my plan chest. I mentioned previously about the original version of the logo being a bit too spindly for various reasons, well this was me beefing it up a bit by the looks. Click to enlarge.

This would all have been so much easier with Adobe Illustrator... sigh!

Friday, 25 November 2011

Classic Thrill-Power

The Best of 2000AD Monthly #49 - October, 1989. Once again accessing the original film separations from the Fleetway archives, this Judge Dredd cover by Brendan McCarthy from 1983. I added white line Letratone to the background scene on the pmt to make the character in the foreground stand out more, then coloured Dredd with Photocolor - photographic dyes. Not as good as computer colouring, but that was still a few years away.

Tharg's Head Revisited

One of the best Tharg's of all time, in my opinion. This one by Mick McMahon.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

It's Atomic

More photographic dyes on pmt paper, but this time the illustration is mine. Cover for 2000AD prog #649 - Oct 1989. My version of Tharg is based on Sean Connery as Bond.

Zip it!

Here's a great cover illustration by Brett Ewins. I always loved Brett's Judge Anderson. This was for The Best of 2000AD Monthly #60 - Sept 1990.

There wasn't much of a budget for the monthly reprint titles in the Command Module back then, so I used to patch some of the covers together using the black film from the cmyk separations of the original issue. These were kept in the cavernous Fleetway archives. I'd then print up some pmt's (photo-mechanical transfers) and colour them myself.

Because a pmt is essentially photographic paper, I experimented on this by using photo retouching dyes which produced amazingly vivid colours. The only down-side was that they were particularly tricky to use and mistakes could not be easily rectified the way they can with paint. After I'd coloured her, Anderson was cut-out with a trusty scalpel and stuck onto an acetate overlay. I then specified the colours for the background image when it went to the repro house. I think the background characters were a deep maroon on the printed issue.

For more of Brett's work, check out The Art of Brett Ewins, Edited by Alan McKenzie and published by Air Pirate Press, right here... 

Clark Savage, Jr.

Clark Savage, Jr. first appeared in March 1933 in the first issue of Doc Savage Magazine. Because of the success of the Shadow, who had his own pulp magazine, the publishers Street & Smith quickly launched this pulp title. Unlike the Shadow, Clark Savage (or "Doc" to his friends), had no special powers, but was raised from birth by his father and other scientists to become one of the most perfect human beings in terms of strength, mental and physical agilities. More here...

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Tharg as Norrin Radd

I'm the very proud owner of this great tribute to Jack Kirby by Shaky Kane, featuring Tharg the Mighty as The Silver Surfer. Shaky gave this to me earlier in the year and it now hangs magnificently on my studio wall. This was originally commissioned for 2000 AD at the time of Kirby's death and in print, it was accompanied by this caption; In Memorium. Jack 'King' Kirby. 28 Aug 1917 - 6 Feb 1994. The Father of Comic Art, he taught three generations how to draw.

Soft Sell

Okay, here's another MAD Magazine and this one's from 1966. A rather captivating cover and a quick flick through reveals a rather tasteful... Not! fake advertisement on the inside back cover. Photograph by Dave (Jet-Set) McEnery. Click to enlarge.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Upside Down Year

The next one's in 6009. I wonder if MAD will still be on the magazine racks... or if they'll even have magazine racks 4,000 years from now.

How to use... a Web Shooter

An Amazing Spider-Man, production stat. This one from the Stan Lee, Steve Ditko April 1964 story; Turning Point - The Return of Doctor Octopus.

Tales to Astonish

The great Steve Ditko and a nice production stat here from 1961 "I Am The Victim Of The Sorcerer" TALES TO ASTONISH #16

Monday, 21 November 2011

More Bama

James Bama is the artist for this incredible series of covers. He did 62 of them in total, that sure is a commitment. I only wish I had more of these books than I do. There's more about Bama, here.

Romita & Rubinstein for Marvel, 1986

Sienkiewicz for Marvel, 1989

Sunday, 20 November 2011


A panel from the unpublished Billy Whisper by Mark Millar & Brett Ewins.
Letters by Steve Potter.

He's HIP!!


“The most popular Marvel hero... is the maladjusted adolescent Spider-Man, the only overtly neurotic super hero... Spider-Man has a terrible identity problem, a marked inferiority complex, and a fear of women. He is anti-social, racked with Oedipal guilt, and accident prone. Spider-Man began life as Peter Parker, a brilliant science student at Queens High School... Then he got bitten by a radioactive spider and took on the spider's climbing, jumping, and web-shooting powers... Ill luck has pursued him ever since. His shyness led him to adopt a cocky manner which so alienated the other super heroes that none of them will have anything to do with him... Spider-Man is the super-anti-hero of our time.” - The Village Voice.

“If Charlie Brown wore a skin-tight costume and fought crime, he would be Spider-Man” - The Colgate Maroon." (Whatever that is!)


This pmt (photo-mechanical transfer) has yellowed with age somewhat. It probably wasn't fixed for long enough. Anyway, Brian Bolland does Dredd - and how!

Going Underground

Back to the amusing postcards... This is a change of address notification from John Tomlinson, writer and designer at Marvel UK where he worked on Captain Britain and then 'script droid' for 2000 AD for which he became editor from '94-'96. John came up with some of the best strap lines. Buy this comic, we know where you live! being one of my personal favourites. 

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Mercy My Ass!

I found these great rough designs by Kevin O'Neill. I'm assuming they were T-Shirt designs, though I can't quite remember why I have them. Pretty cool though - huh?!

 UPDATE  I just discovered the ad I designed for these with some catchy marketing jargon from Pat Mills. I quote. "Wear it or use it as a tea towel... I don't care, just buy it so I can make some money". Pat Mills (on a good day).


Who is...

To the world at large, Doc Savage is a strange, mysterious figure of glistening bronze skin and golden eyes. To his amazing co-adventurers — the five greatest brains ever assembled in one group — he is a man of superhuman strength and protean genius, whose life is dedicated to the destruction of evil-doers. To his fans he is the greatest adventure hero of all time, whose fantastic exploits are unequaled for hair-raising thrills, breathtaking escapes and bloodcurdling excitement.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Art as packaging #2

This piece of the packaging was pretty screwed up, but I managed to iron it out a little. 
Yep, Jamie Hewlett circa 1988. Really glad I rescued this from the trash man.

Art as packaging #1

Sometimes artists would use discarded pieces of art as packaging when they sent their latest pages to the editorial office by mail. Here's one such piece by John Burns. I've loved his work ever since I read Countdown comic as a kid, so I couldn't bear to see this in the bin, even with scalpel slices through the character's face. 

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Heads & Tales

Here's a terrific Judge Dredd sample sheet by Kev Hopgood. Shortly after this, Kev became a regular artist at 2000 AD followed by a long run on Iron Man for Marvel and co-created the War Machine that made it's appearance in the last Iron Man movie. You'll find more of his work here...

Read my Lips!

Another production piece and another fabulous cover by Brian Bolland, featuring the demise of the Jigsaw Man. The icing on the cake for me are the two characters in the background.

2000 AD Blues

A truly great cover here by Brett Ewins. His black & white line art has been printed onto an acetate overlay and a duplicate of that has been printed onto a separate sheet in blue line. The colours have been hand painted onto the blue line sheet and the two are married together before being sent to press. This is how things were done in the Command Module, circa 1986!
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