Sunday, April 24, 2005

I Kev Walker

Kev is one of my favourite "current day" 2000AD artists. He started off as a fine but unexciting painter during the Galaxy's Greatest Comic's least enchanting period - the post-Bisley Egmont years, when every Tom, Dick and Harry with a box of acrylics could get a gig there. But over time, he developed a style uniquely his own, more in keeping with the tradition of great 2000AD artists, based on a strong black and white line. Here's a sample from his painted period, compared to this sample of his later style. In the last couple of years, he's scored a few gigs in America, often softening his style for the big two (on DC's THE LEGION, and Marvel's EXILES and their foray into Heavy Metal style softcore THE ETERNAL), though he's also produced a great HELLBOY short story for Dark Horse, and I'd love to see him produce more work set in the Mignola-verse. He seems a natural fit for it.

Anyway, imagine my delight at work when I open up the pages of the Daily Mirror to see an illustration he's done for the first of Charlie Higson's new "Young James Bond" novels, SILVERFIN. Higson praises Walker for getting the character and the attitude spot-on, and he's right. In his own words: "Kev's done a fantastic job of making the Thirties look cool and exciting. The hardest thing when writing SilverFin was picturing the young Bond in my mind. We have so many different images of Bond as a man, what would he have looked like as a boy? Now I know." It's happening more and more, but it still gives me a goofy thrill when a comic book creator who's work I like finally gets some credit in the regular mainstream media. It's hard to see a movie previews show or magazine these days that isn't giving mad props (as the kids never said) to Frank Miller, for a start (it doesn't hurt that the mad old geezer gives great quotes, either).

Kev Walker's Young Bond