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.
Wednesday, 30 November 2011
Tuesday, 29 November 2011
Monday, 28 November 2011
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.
Posted by Steve Cook at 08:19
Sunday, 27 November 2011
Saturday, 26 November 2011
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.
Posted by Steve Cook at 10:01
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
Thursday, 24 November 2011
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. 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
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.
Posted by Steve Cook at 18:34
Tuesday, 22 November 2011
Monday, 21 November 2011
Sunday, 20 November 2011
The blurb on the back from 1966... HERE'S THE TEENAGE SUPER HERO ESQUIRE CALLED ONE OF THE "28 PEOPLE WHO COUNT" ON CAMPUS!
“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!)
Posted by Steve Cook at 12:13
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
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).
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
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.
Posted by Steve Cook at 08:07
Thursday, 17 November 2011
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...
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!