Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Marney the Fox

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.

The Spinball Wars

Art by Ron Turner from Battle dated 6th January 1979.

Hulk Comic

Art by Brian Bolland. Apparently editorial weren't too happy with BB's rendition of the Hulk's face. So a replacement fizzog was pasted over the top. So here's the after and before for you to compare dear readers. I'm assuming (ahem) pressing deadlines prevented them from asking for the face to be redrawn by BB? Anyway, have a dekko. The lower image well and truly plundered from here.

The Hand of Zar

Super-detailed art from Don Lawrence. Lion dated,  7th November 1964.  Plus some original Karl the Viking art  from here.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Zip Nolan

Another whodunnit from Joe Colquhoun from Lion, dated 14th March 1964.

Fishboy-Denizen of the Deep

John Stokes illustrates this tale from the 28th December 1974 edition of Buster.

The Sludge

Art by Bill Lacey for Lion, dated 10th April 1965.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Captain Careless

Art by Fred Holmes. Knockout dated, 25th November 1961. I just love the sheer variety of strips that you find in the weekly anthologies.  There's something for everyone.

Saber King of the Jungle

Super-fiddly art by Denis McLoughlin from Tiger and Hurricane dated 6th April 1968. One thing I liked about McLoughlin's work was his use of texture, but here's an insane amount of detail for something printed on newsprint (the paper being absorbant meaning that the ink spreads a little, thickening the line-work). Look at the detail of the broken running-board of the car (on the left) in the blown-up panel below. Also, the dog eyeing up the sausages hanging out of the bag (on the right).