40 years ago this week Prog #1 of 2000AD hit the newsagents of the UK. Launching the week before my 10th birthday I was right in their target age group and was an avid devotee from the start.
As such I am happy and proud to have been invited to take part in their anniversary celebrations.
On Sunday Feb 5th we opened up the birthday week proceedings with a special Art Model Collective life drawing session at Bethnal Green’s Resistance Gallery titled ‘Muties & Perps’. I introduced the event and styled the models Manko and Carla to resemble the mutated denizens (“muties”) of the post-apoclyptic wasteland the Cursed Earth, and the criminal citizens (“perps”) of Judge Dredd’s futuropolis Mega City 1.
In my introduction I mentioned how 2000AD had influenced my personal style, and how we can use life drawing, props and costumes to enhance comic illustration.
This session was split into 2 halves.
Part 1: The Cursed Earth. Our models evoke the deformed denizens of the rad-lands: sporting signature mutations, such as a third arm or pig nose, dressed using the incongruous remnants of the pre-nuke civilisation.
Part 2: Mega City One. Manko appears as a fad obsessed street 'Spug'. Carla a 'Jimp' or Judge impersonator. Both attempt to 'tap' the other in a deserted underzoom ped-way.
For several year now I have been proud to collaborate with Orbital Comics on a variety of exciting projects, exhibitions, events, signing sessions, panel discussions and more recently a series of life drawing sessions, with the Art Model Collective, themed towards illustrators and comic artists.
In their own small way these events have contributed to a greater awareness of the shop in the wider creative community and subsequently aided them in winning this year's
To celebrate this prestigious award (The comics equivalent of an 'Oscar') I will be hosting a special Art Model Collective life drawing event paying tribute to Eisner's Spirit comic.
Starring Ed as, masked criminologist, Denny Colt a.k.a 'The Spirit', Manko as 'Skinny Bones' & Carla as, criminal mastermind, 'P'Gell'.
This session will include dynamic poses, atmospheric lighting, music, costumes and props to create an epic celebration of Eisner's trademark character & his film noir, femme fatale inspirations (whose pun based names preceded those of James Bond fame) and roots.
Published back in the 1940s many Spirit comics are out of copyright and now lie in the public domain. To get you in the mood for this session you can read some of these for free online here
(Be warned though Spirit's sidekick 'Ebony' has not aged well, politically speaking)
To give you a slight inkling of what to expect here's Manko at Orbital comics back in 2014 posing for a Film Noir themed session...
With a new Tarzan movie “The Legend Of Tarzan” scheduled for a summer 2016 release, we thought now might be a nice time to take a look at some of the amazing artwork inspired by the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs and hopefully inspire some more…
Life drawing, comics and the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs are not such an incongruous match as one might initially suppose.
The celebrated artist Burne Hogarth (wiki) whose outstanding work on the Tarzan newspaper strips led to him being heralded as the“Michaelangelo of the comic strip” was actually a founder member of the School Of Visual Arts in New York.
Back in 1975, I was an 8 year old horror-freak with a penchant for posters.
Imagine then my delight when I discovered "Legend Horror Classics", not only were there lurid posters featuring Hammer Horror monsters but they were also filled with the gruesome and gory comic strips of a certain young artist by the name of Kev O'Neill.
I'm not sure of the circumstances that led to this 22 year old being given the editorial freedom to publish his own twisted takes on classic tales such as Dracula & Frankenstein, but for a glorious 9 issues he was given, apparently, free rein to create a series of lurid masterpieces that warped my young mind and set me firmly on a path that I still tread.