I thought today I would share an illustration with you that I produced way back in December 1980, a little over six months after my leaving art college in Blackpool. A small thumbnail example of the piece has adorned this humble Blog for a while now and I thought I would retell its origins with you.
I had been working as a graphic designer for various companies and was looking at getting into a position to do more illustration work than the typographically oriented work I was producing at the time. I had begun to work on various painted pieces and I remember that I went to the drawing board in my bedroom at home at the time – I was still living at home with my Mum and Dad back then not knowing what I was going to do.
As I sat there I decided to look at an old character I had created back in the early seventies, when the major influence on me, was still Jack Kirby. What would I do with the character, if I was to resurrect the character?
The obvious influence was Jack’s character, Darkseid. Back when I had designed him my best friend, Paul and I had been re-drawing the Fourth World comics using our own swiped, or rather mirrored-characters and my own version was a character I called Demon – how ironic that shortly after this Jack would produce a comic using the same name for his new character, Etrigan.
I decided in 1980 to not just redesign the character, but to adjust this name accordingly too, he became Daemon
So it was that during the Christmas break having been working since the summer months that I sat down and decide to recreate the old character from back then.
The illustration accompanying this Blog shows my early use of the brush to ink my comic work and whilst some of the boldness I would use later on with my Marvel work was present, none of the subtle finesse of the fine lines and feathering was.
I had also been using Letratone – the UK version of the US Zipatone, whilst at college and now in my job as a graphic designer, so I decided to use some on this illustration - not too much, as I still wanted the inks to tell the story, but enough to show it was there in the background.
There is also some early evidence of my trademark picture elements, which still have their use today, but hopefully in a much better executed and subtle handling.
Despite the obvious flaws of the drawing itself, I feel the body language and the anatomy where strong enough that they inspired me and realigned my thoughts on my career path – I decided as I looked at the finished drawing that this was what I wanted to do with my working life – I wanted to become a comic artist.
Now all of this took a while from leaving college, as my secondary school’s attitude of me eventually growing up and getting a real job had passed through to the college days too, although they had the attitude I would not make any money in comics and to get established in advertising and marketing, as an illustrator.
This one drawing though threw any doubts and influence of the educators into a cocked hat and I looked at the piece on my drawing board beneath the angle-poise lamps lighting the room and my course was set...
The rest, as they say is history.
Until next time, have fun!
July 28th 2010