Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Space Ace

John Ridgway’s latest colour work

Hi Folks,

Well in my last Blog I promised some news on John Ridgway’s latest colour work and I mentioned a title… Space Ace, which for those that don’t know was a comic strip drawn by RON TURNER back in the nineteen-fifties.

First though I thought I would take a little time out to tell you a little about John himself. It all starts way back in the nineteen-eighties and my visiting a comics convention down in Birmingham, which I attended as a young twenty-something year-old wannabe comic creator with my wife, Margaret in tow for support.

This was my second convention following the one in 1979 when I was still an art student, but my first actively looking for work. With me I had a portfolio of work; a huge A1 presentation folder, which weighed a ton and needed a couple of yards of clear space to open it up to folks. Yes I work in millimetres and picas, but I speak the old language of feet and inches, pounds and ounces… LOL.

At that convention I was lucky enough to encounter a new writer there, who’s work had been adorning 2000AD, Marvel UK and Warrior at the time; a gentleman some of you may have heard of, a certain Mr Alan Moore. He graciously allowed me to show him my work. When I had shown him the last piece he told me he thought the stuff inside was great, but that not being an artist himself, he thought it may be of more use to me to show it to one of the artists in attendance there. He then pointed me in the direction of one in particular, one whom I had been following through his work at Marvel UK and Warrior. The aforementioned Alan Moore then bid me good luck and I plucked up the courage once more to speak to the artist in question.

That artist was John Ridgway. Little did I know that I would later work with him on Doctor Who as his inker and more importantly that later still I would be in the privileged position of saying he became and is still a great friend of mine.

Well, it is with great excitement that I announce to the world here in my humble little Blog that John continues to work on as many (if not more) comic book projects than he has at any point in his career. Some creator-owned, some co-creator-owned and some for mainstream publishers, like IDW, Print Media and some like the one on show today with like-minded folks that want to put out great comics.

The book’s opening introduction by publisher, John Lawrence begins… “When Ron Turner died in 1998, the world of British SF illustration lost one of its leading lights…”

Having known John for some three decades now I think I can safely say that this is something with which John Ridgway agrees. I am lucky that I have seen stuff, which few people on this planet of ours have seen, produced by John. Coloured pages of Gil Kane’s Space Hawks, Coloured versions of the Daily Mirror’s Garth by Frank Bellamy, Colourised versions of his and Jim Hudnall’s seminal, Age of Heroes as well as lots more, including some older European comic book works too, amongst all his 3D work, and work on his creator owned projects like, Wereworld, Alternate Earth, and (I think his favourite), Frontiers.

There was one, which I was privileged to keep getting sneak previews of too, the one, which you are looking at today, Space Ace, by the aforementioned, Ron Turner.

Ron worked for just about all the UK comic publishers during the fifties, sixties and seventies and even the eighties, as well as producing a huge array of SF or Sci Fi book covers. As John Lawrence mentions in his introduction of all of his work he ever did the one, which he looked on, as his favourite was Space Ace. Although the pay on his other books was far higher he looked on the fact that he was able to work outside of editorial control over the character and this added to his total enjoyment of working on the book. Like John Lawrence also goes on to say, “ - Ron’s marvellous artwork has been enhanced by the superb colouring of JOHN RIDGWAY, an artist absolutely in tune with Ron’s own colouring sensibilities and, showing the same degree of dedication, has given it the presentation Ron would have approved of himself.”

I am so happy to be able to share the news about the arrival of this latest book.

It’s now a prized possession in the Wizards Keep studio.

I won’t spoil any of the story elements, but here are some examples of the wonderful artwork inside the pages of the books and its cover too.

Now then I didn’t just post this recent missive just to SHOW you SOME of the artwork, my intention is to point you in the right direction, so you can order a copy of the soft cover comic book yourselves.

The full colour, 35-page comic book comes with a glossy, heavy weight card cover. As I say there is a one-page introduction at the front of the book and a brief history of the origins of the strip at the back. It contains four great stories and the front cover has VOL 1 emblazoned on it underneath the title, so there is obviously thoughts about a follow up volume, or perhaps even volumes. I know from speaking to John Ridgway that there is a second volume in the works, even as you read these words.

It really is a terrific, fun read and beautifully illustrated throughout. The addition of John’s wonderful colouring brings Ron Turner’s artwork well and truly into the 21st century, which Ron literally depicted in his work on Gerry Anderson’s TV21 comics.

You can write for details on how to buy the books to John Lawrence via email at:


You can also check out more artwork from various projects and follow the artist himself over on John Ridgway’s FaceBook Page.

You won’t be disappointed – this comic book really is the cream of comic book creators at their best!!!

Next up…

More artwork from Worlds End – Volume 2 – A Hard Reign’s Gonna Fall.

Until next time, have fun!

Tim Perkins…
April 23rd 2013


Kid said...

I was lucky enough to letter John's art on at least one occasion, and one of my all-time favourite Hulk stories is one that John drew back in the '80s. Superb artist, suberb colourist - better than anyone has a right to be. I think I hate him.

Tim Perkins said...

Hi Gordon,

LOL, I'm sure John will be pleased to know you love his artwork so much you may actually "hate" him!!!

If it makes you feel any better, LOL, he is also a fantastic bloke and even better friend!

I remember seeing his Hulk and thinking this is brilliant, then seeing his Transformers work on the "Man of Iron" storyline and a Young Marvel Man story and another story entitled "The Shroud, the spire" and the stars, in Warrior magazine and thinking this was someone drawing in the same vein as Al Williamson, Hal Foster, Frank Frazetta, Frank Bellamy et al.

Hope all is well at Castle Robson.

Thanks for dropping by.

Best Wishes,

Kid said...

John Bolton has a similar art style, if I remember correctly. Very realistic. Talking of castles, going by your avatar, it looks like you live in one. What size is the moat?

Tim Perkins said...

Hi Gordon,

Thanks for dropping by again.

Yes, the Keep is your typical high on a rocky outcrop affair, nestled in a leafy dell in the north of the shire. Its moat is indeed quite wide and deep and filled with all manor of unspeakable deterrents to all those wishing ill.

Hope that helps.

Best Wishes,
Tim and the Wizards of the Keep.