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News From The Frontier Of Illustration

28 August 2017Jack Kirby Centenary

On 6th February 1994, the world lost a titan of the illustrative arts. Had he lived, Jack 'King' Kirby would have been 100 today.the fantastic four celebrate the jack kirby centenary

Early training in the Pratt Insitute was followed by work under Max Fleischer, Will Eisner and Jerry Iger, and drawing Blue Beetle for Victor Fox. Always honing his artistic skills, Jack also wrote comic strips and was responsible for creating many of the great comic characters that still entertain readers today.

Teaming up with Joe Simon, he created Captain America for Timely Comics, home of the Human Torch and the Sub-Mariner. Moving to DC, they created the Newsboy Legion and the Boy Commandos.

After time away from writing and drawing as they served in World War 2, Simon and Kirby returned to the comics world and invented popular romance comics in the form of Young Romance and Young Love. However, the anticomic movement of the 1950s made the field increasingly difficult to work in and Simon and Kirby went their separate ways.

For a time Jack made his living drawing newspaper strips with a brief stint at DC drawing Challengers of the Unknown, which he had created earlier with Joe Simon. However, the fifties ended with Jack Kirby back at Timely drawing romance, western and monster comics.

Timely was renamed Marvel and, teaming up with Stan Lee, Jack entered into the sixties superhero revival. They created the Fantastic Four in 1961 and went from strength to strength. Pulling in other legends such as Steve Ditko, Larry Leiber, Bill Everett, Gene Colan, Roy Thomas and John Buscema, they created or developed all of the characters that we are now familiar with in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

In tribute to Jack Kirby, the godfather of all of us comic artists and illustrators everywhere, I'm posting my version of the Fantastic Four.

You can learn a lot more about Jack Kirby at the Kirby Museum by following the external link.

Happy Kirby Day. Happy Kirby Centenary.

13 August 2017Taking Shoreline of Infinity to the Edinburgh International Book Festival

shoreline of infinity eibf special edition

Science Fiction hasn't always been a big feature of the Edinburgh International Book Festival but, this year, writer Ken McLeod is leading a whole team of SF storytellers to present a stream of SF content and events under the Unbound label.

To support the Unbound events, the team at Shoreline of Infinity, Scotland's SF magazine, was asked to publish a special edition, compiling some of Shoreline's existing Scottish content and some new material from the contributors to Unbound. As art director  my job was a little easier this time as all the existing material is already fully illustrated. I just needed to call in a couple of my crack team of artists to add some images for the new pieces. You can buy a copy of the EIBF Special Edition at the Book Festival Book Shop and you will be able to buy one direct from the Shoreline team after the Festival. Just visit the link to order one from the Shoreline shop.

My own contribution to this issue includes the Beachcomber comic that explains why martians, once the mainstay of space stories, are no longer to be found. You can come and meet the team on Wednesday night at Shoreline of Infinity's Event Horizon beginning at 9pm, in the Speigeltent. I'll be there with fellow artists Steve Pickering, Siobhan McDonald, Sara Julia and Stuart Beel, who created the magnificent Special Edition cover.

We'll also have music, stories, poetry and a play. So come along and join us. Entry is free.

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