Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Fantastic Four

Alan Davis is always one for having comic cameos in his crowd scenes. I love this one. I can see a Dalek and the Mekon and someone wearing a Spacefleet helmet (Dan Dare?). And standing to the right of the Mekon, Gatecrasher and Yap from Captain Britain.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Fantasy Express

Way back in the day, Lew Stringer produced some really cool fanzines. Here are a couple of covers from that time. Check out the Joe Colquhoun interview here.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

José María Jorge

Sometime in the 80's, back in the day when I were't but a slip of a lad, I sent a letter to DC Thomson's Commando comic. I think I said something along the lines that I thought Commando was bostin' and one day I'd like to be an artist and have my work appear between those illustrious covers. The editor, Ian Forbes, kindly sent a reply and included this photostat of some José María Jorge art sans lettering. I can't remember the story the page is from. I think it's a prologue to a WW2 story. It has something to do with battle between the British army and Zulus. The guy leaning over the body is an Africaans who buries the soldier on his farm.
A bit more about JJ here and visit his own website here.

I was trying to track down the issue the art appeared in so asked over at the Comics UK Commando forum. There was a message from Commando HQ that also explained some of their working methods in the office:

Not sure what the story is, but it will have been one that was under construction when you wrote. In those days there was no "naked" artwork in the office for any length of time as it was ballooned (straight on to the artwork) pretty much as soon as it arrived from Argentina or wherever. This also means it's unlikely to be from a book reprinted at that time as that artwork would have balloons and panels on it from its earlier publication.

With our electronic ballooning, these days the artwork isn't touched at all; simply scanned and dropped into a Quark template to have the text overlaid.

If you wrote in the early 80s, the man in the hot seat was Ian Forbes, George didn't take over until the end of the decade when Ian retired.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009


No-nonsense war action from Luis Collado Coch for issue 75 of Warlord, February 28th 1976.

Drake of Malta

Jeff Bevan provides some swirly rendering (inspired by Frank Bellamy maybe?) in the January 24th 1976 issue of Warlord. Funny how the mind plays tricks: I always thought that Ron Smith had drawn all the episodes of this series.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

The Black Jaguar

Denis McLoughlin illustrates this one-off tale for The Wizard weekly, January 25th 1975.

B.N. Is Tough

I was moaning about Jim Watson a little while ago. Maybe a little unfair of me. I like his colour work: it has a nice feel to it. This is from a text story from Daily Mirror Book for Boys 1971.

A Good Snake

Reg Gray illustrations from the Daily Mirror Book for Boys 1970. A bit of info about RG at the most excellent Bear Alley.

The Hotspur

Cover art by Ron Smith. There's the start of a two-part interview with Ron Smith in issue 288 of the Judge Dredd Megazine. On the shelves as we speak, apparently...

The Monsters of No-Man's-Land

Jeff Bevan supplies the cover for this edition of Warlord. I like JB's work. His people are a bit bug-eyed, but he drew great machinery. A bit of info about him here.

Alien Aid

John Stokes provides the art for this short from 2000AD dated, 10th May 1986.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

HMS Nightshade

I've lost the cover from this one. I think its from a November 1978 edition of Battle. This is an interesting strip. To enable Mike Western to produce enough pages per week another artist was engaged as an inker to help him out. I'm pretty sure it was Ron Tiner who inked the last two pages. I still recall, that as a kid, I could tell that something was not quite right with the artwork. RT is a fine artist in his own right, but his rendering is quite scratchy compared to MW's solid blacks. Although, I shouldn't be so quick to find fault: you never know what kind of deadline pressure RT might have been under to finish the art...

Battle cover

Jim Watson provides the cover for this issue. It's interesting to see how many artists present their work. There are those who can actually draw, those who can sorta draw and those who wing-it. Watson falls into the latter category. He has a great style, but he can't actually draw. His anatomy is quite dodgy at times. It's almost like he learned how to draw faces but then couldn't be bothered with everything else. His style disguises this fact. It doesn't really matter does it? He had a long career. People must have liked his work, or else he wouldn't have been in the industry for so long. I actually like his war strips and think there's a grittiness to his art that suits war stories.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Ionicus in Punch

A bit of a change. Hey, it's my blog, I can do whatever I want with it. Ah, the power!

I love Ionicus's linework, it has such a nice feel to it. These examples come from The Punch Cartoon Album by Grafton books, 1990.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009


I see from the little counter at the bottom of the blog that there's been a few of you visiting the site over time. I'd just like to say thanks for visiting. It's nice to know there's an interest for this stuff out there. Sorry that there's not been much new material lately. What with work and family commitments I'm finding it a little hard to keep the uploads coming regularly, so it's been a little quiet of late. I still have lots of cool stuff to put up on here so y'all keep on checkin' back, y'hear? :)

Joe Two Beans

Eric Bradbury provides some moody artwork for this episode from the 4th March 1978 issue of Battle.

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Prey for the Wolf

More Brian Lewis horror from the October 1979 edition of Vampirella magazine.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

The Battle for Britain

John Stokes draws this tale for Lion dated 14th May 1966. I find it weird that, in nearly every episode there's a caption remarking on Vic Gunn's 'West Indian assistant, Barrel'. I'd think it'd be kinda obvious to even a casual reader at the time that he's not a honky.... Dunno, why it bugs me. Guess it's my PC sensitivity coming to the fore. By the way, when I say PC I mean Pie and Chips of course.

The Sarge

Gritty war action by Mike Western for the 17th June 1978 edition of Battle . I really like MW's art but he wasn't really a stickler for detail was he? Hardly one for accuracy, his renditions of arms and equipment tended to be approximations of the real thing. It doesn't really matter does it? You get the gist of it. It's sorta/kinda WW2(ish)... I do like his work-honest Guv! Cor blimey, yes I do...

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

The Phantom Patrol

Another something 'new'. A reprint of this early sixties Swift strip from Bear Alley Books. Cover art by Chris Weston. Interior art by Gerry Embleton. Go on: buy yourself a copy. I did.

Hammer Film adaptations

There's a whole bunch of Brian Lewis' work here. Nice to see his stuff out there.


More Geoff Campion malarky from Lion dated 17th April 1971.

Dear Billy

Something a little different: Gary Leach paints the cover for this WW2 yarn recently published in America. Written by Garth Ennis, who seems to be single-handidly fighting WW2 in the Warlord/Battle tradition... Wonder what the Yanks think of it all? Must come as a surprise that (in reality) they didn't win World War Two all by themselves.... Ahem. Me, bitter and twisted? Never! I work with a lot of Americans and, on the whole, they're a bunch of jolly fine fellows. And what nice teeth they have too...

Sunderland Rescue

Pat Nicolle illustrates this short from the Battler Britton book 1962(?). I've done something unusual here. Each image is comprised of two pages scanned together. I've drawn a little diagram below to elaborate.

Looks like Geoff Campion might have done some touch-ups (oo-er misses!) on some of the faces. Check out page three.