Sunday, February 25, 2007

Non-UK readers, please click on links for some eye-popping artists you've probably never heard of.

Thinking about Garth Ennis writing Dan Dare just set off a huge chain of free associations in my mind. Like reading later Dare artist (and total illustrative genius) Frank Bellamy's GARTH strip in the Daily Mirror as a kid. How, jumping forward to the nineties, I despised Piers "Morgan" Moron for dropping the strip without one word of explanation in the paper at the time, so he could run strips by his then best friend, an Ulsterman at that. And so that's how I came to Google later Garth artist (and clear Bellamy acolyte) Martin Asbury's name to see what he's up to these days. And lo - turns out he's a big shot storyboard artist, who's worked on some cracking films (and some crap ones, but hey ho), including CHILDREN OF MEN, CASINO ROYALE and BATMAN BEGINS. Because I read LOOK-IN as a kid, he's an artist I'll always associate with a certain, post-THE EAGLE, pre-2000AD era of British cartoonists, alongside John Burns, Jim Baikie and Arthur Ranson (most of whom ended up working at 2000AD anyway). And at his website, you can see pages he drew for Look-In on strips such as BATTLESTAR GALACTICA and THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN, both of whom had completely different licensing deals in America (with great artists like Ernie Colon and Walter Simonson drawing Galactica for Marvel, and Howard Chaykin and Neal Adams drawing Steve Austin for Charlton).

So, yeah, if you're in the UK, click on the links for instant nostalgia (hey! them's Tom Frame's letters on those Six Million Dollar Man pages!). And if you're not, click on the links to see a totally alien school of cartooning you may get a hell of a kick out of.