Art by John Stokes. I think it's plain to see that this one was a labour of love. Such beautiful line-work. I'd love to have seen the originals of this one. As they say where I came from: bostin'!
Oh yeah, from Buster dated 1st November 1975.
I was in contact with JS a while back and have an interview (of sorts)
with him that I'll publish at some point. Here's a little taste:
I found some Buster comics out the other day. You put an insane amount of
work into those Marney the Fox pages. They look beautiful! I only wish
they'd been printed on a better grade of paper. I see you used a lot of
splatter techniques? Did you use an old toothbrush for that? Also I see a
pattern that looks like fingerprints too? Your pages are quite textural.
It'd be interesting to see an original Marley, to look at the surface of
the art. What kind of pens/brushes/materials did you use?
It was the first time I had used spatter. If I wanted it to be random sizes
and quite irregular, I used a toothbrush loaded with Indian Ink, and for a
more overall effect I used a diffuser spray, which is a pair of metal tubes,
joined together at a right angle. You put one end in a bottle of Ink, the
other end in your mouth, and blew until you felt as if your eyeballs were
about to pop out! It gave a fair approxamation of an airbrush, which were
very rare at the time. Then I went to work with the process white to bring
out the highlights, snow effects, etc. And, Yes, I used fingerprints too,
anything to give the pages the textures that were everywhere in nature.
Who knows what happened to the pages. None were ever returned to me, so
they probably ended up in bin-bags on a dump somewhere. At that time I was
using a Gillot nib with a very flexible tip which was heaven to draw with,
but after a few years the quality dropped off so much that out of a box of
a hundred nibs, less than fifty were useable. I only used brushes to fill in
black areas by that time, although in my early years I used a sable brush a
lot, for figure drawing, but became dissatisfied with the amount of detail I
was able to get with them.