It seems amazing to me now that it is 26 Years this month since my entry into Marvel UK’s hallowed halls and into a part of UK comics history – fours after leaving Art College and starting a career in illustration and design.
I was meant to post a Blog to celebrate 25 years since my first ever published work through Marvel UK last year, but events and scheduling back then meant I missed the spot to do so. As a result I figured that this year we would celebrate 26 years instead.
By the time I had managed to see print in the Mighty World of Marvel issue #14 - Cover Date: July 1984, I had already written and drawn and printed several comics for myself during 1984. There was of course no payment for the work in MWOM #14 with it being an offer by Marvel UK at the time as a spotlight for potential new talent and to be truthful I didn’t really care at that point? For me it was good enough to have a foot inside the mighty comic publisher’s doors.
This would be followed by my first actual commissioned work by Martin Lock of Harrier Comics fame, whom I was introduced to at a London Comic Fair. I was offered work, perhaps due to the fact I had managed to see print in a Marvel comic, or maybe it was on the merit of my portfolio itself, who knows – I guess only Martin himself.
It was whilst I was working for Harrier, whose page rate at the time was the princely sum of £9.50 per page for pencils, inks, and lettering (hand lettered of course in those days) that I managed to get work for real with Marvel UK, through the back door of their offices, so to speak, via Barry Kitson with inking on Transformers issue #50, which should have seen an earlier mention and Blog for me in March of this year, which saw 25 years pass by for that event too.
Had I not sent in the Metempsychosis story back in early 1984 after conceiving it in 1983 and completing it following my earlier attempts at creating comics for real then I may never have had the opportunity to follow the career path I have since.
I thought it may be nice to show any potential students of comic art with a desire to enter the business the script and a larger size of the double page spread of which the story comprised for the very first time anywhere outside of the actual comic itself.
So without further ado here is the said script and the artwork...
It is a nostalgic look back for me, not without a few cringes, which all artwork brings to us, when we look back at it, but I also thank the heavens that editor-in-chief at the time, Ian Rimmer and assistant editor, John Tomlinson both saw enough merit with the story and art to see fit to include it as one of only a handful of other pieces of such work during that short period of time whereby they had a showcase of new material from people on the fringes of the UK comics industry back in the early/mid eighties.
This is how they prepared the way by way of introducing my work and I back then...
"Tim Perkins is a 24 year old freelance illustrator, who for some years has harboured a dark and shameful obsession, a compulsive desire to enter the world of comics.
With the exception of this sad aberration, Mr Perkins seems otherwise to be a remarkably sane and reasonable man. He's a graphic designer, a member of the S.I.A.D. (the Society of Industrial Artists and Designers) and if his pathetic smokescreen of modesty is anything to judge by, has garnered some little reputation for himself in this field. Why, he evens understands huge, unwieldy words like 'Metempsychosis' (which, incidentally, means the migration of a soul from one body to another).
The Tim Perkins story has all the ingredients of a classic tear jerker...power, pathos, and a great man brought low by one tragic flaw in his make-up.
Read it and weep..."
The above introduction is typical of the working environment back in the mid-eighties of the Marvel UK offices...madcap mayhem and lots of fun.
I hope you have enjoyed this look back with me and can forgive any bad anatomy, drawing and storytelling, as I began to learn my craft.
Until next time, have fun!
July 1st 2010