Friday, 4 November 2011

555 Alive!

In November 1987, I was still working in the Marvel UK building, though I had just taken the leap of faith to go freelance. Robert Sutherland, the Managing Director of Marvel, kindly let me use a spare room in the basement as my studio on the condition that I still do some work for them. That same month the 2000 AD team, Steve MacManus and Richard Burton were thinking about giving the comic a massive overhall and having just hired Alan McKenzie, previously my collaborator at Marvel UK, my name was put forward for the redesign.

Having had my new logo design accepted, I did this (rubbish looking) cover rough. Knowing that any change is usually met with derision we plotted to have a perp trying to prise the new logo from the cover. Ned Ludd was Richard's name suggestion. Tharg had previously and ceremoniously burnt the existing logo on the cover of the Christmas issue with a little Robin sitting on the mantelpiece and exclaiming. I believe though I'm not sure, that was a reference to Robin Smith who'd designed the original logo.

My logo was based on that original, keeping the shape but bringing it more up to date and utilising some aesthetics I'd been taught by the guy who'd designed my favourite magazine 'Nova'. I still like Robin's logo and in a way it's retro style looks great again, it's just that at the time the 70's were no longer seen as cool.

For the record, I have to say that as thrilled as I was to see my new logo on the cover, it was never exactly as I'd originally intended. The rough that I'd left at the 2000 AD office was just that and I would have liked to develop it further so it wasn't quite so thin looking, but at that time Fleetway had it's own art department and the job to draw it up was given to them. I still have that drawing and it is beautifully executed, I just wish it had been a bit bolder.

Here is John Higgins doing what he always does. Magnificent artwork!


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