Monday, 27 September 2010

Steady Hands, Shakin' Stevens


In the end the colour never came, and only Coburn appeared at the Sanctuary show. Still, I feel I'm just about getting to grips with the 'tooth' of gesso on board, even if it does blunt the graphite rather quickly.


The profile Coburn/Elliot didn't make it to the gallery wall, and as such is an 'online exclusive'. You lucky people. The cigar-lighting one did, but I liked it enough to post here. And I'm glad I snapped the Rossiter/Perrin triplicate drawing when I did, as shortly afterwards I royally fucked it up with some sanguine pencils. Anyway, more of these to come.


On a similarly leaden tip, the acute monochrome skills of KAW have been blazing a scrawled trail across this fetid province for some time - check her here. I've also been alerted recently to the exquisite (and, assuming a suitable stipendiary agreement can be reached, 'Mark Weaver-trouncing') space-age graphic might of Nat Nicklin - www.natnicklin.co.uk - and the complete and utter genius of Arthur Ranson's website.

Ranson's astonishingly detailed inky oeuvre straddled both Look-in and 2000AD during the 1980s, and as such was a big draw (apologies) for both my brother and I as kids. There can't be too many artists who have successfully bridged the divide between that still very pre-pop feel of early '70s UK comic strips and the full-blown apocalyptical sci-fi of the modern graphic novel. Perhaps there isn't much of a divide at all, I'm not sure. I suppose what I'm getting at is the stark difference in tone between strip artwork for Doctor On The Go and Anderson: Psi Division.

IPC Magazines eventually got rid of their archive of Look-in artwork without even telling one of their finest and longest serving practitioners, a move of staggering idiocy and disrespect which left Ranson understandably irked. Somehow five years ago his original rendering of a 1981 Shakin' Stevens front cover fell into my possession, so I thought I'd better ask if he wanted it back. He doesn't. Can't think why. Still, he seems like a proper gent, and I'd recommend setting aside some time to properly enjoy his self-manned site, if only for Sapphire & Steel.

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