You may have already heard about Orbital Comics’ Image Duplicator art show in London (probably via this piece at The Beat): This story is right in my wheelhouse, but I was resisting writing about it until there was a large enough stockpile of art from it to present here. The show is a reaction both to the recent Roy Lichtenstein exhibition at the city’s already-iconic Tate Modern gallery, and to the BBC’s coverage of the event (which I wrote about at the time elsewhere).
Dave Gibbons is a long-standing critic of Lichtenstein (you can find footage online of him complaining about what he calls Lichtenstein’s “dishonesty” from as far back as 1993). Gibbons appeared on the BBC’s documentary to put the case for the accusations of plagiarism that may always dog Lichtenstein’s reputation. The segment featuring Gibbons debating with presenter Alastair Sooke was filmed in front of the famous “Whaam!” canvas. Sooke was all too dismissive of Irv Novick, somewhat deriding his work in order to flatter Lichtenstein. It seems odd Sooke chose to criticize Novick’s compositional decisions and praise Lichtenstein’s, when every element of Roy’s piece was lifted from Irv’s. Anyway, these new perceived slights seem to have been enough to stir Rian Hughes, Jason Atomic, and the Orbital Gallery regulars into action.
Orbital Comics in London opens its second annual Halloween exhibition “Magick Eye 2″ today at its gallery space on Great Newport Street. It features work from a host of U.K. comic talent, including Rufus Dayglo, Shaky Kane, Steve Cook, Jason Atomic, Garry Leach, Rian Hughes, Will Simpson, Garry Erskine, Steve Pugh and Bill Ward.
The above flyer art is by Garry Leach, the lesser-spotted artist of Alan Moore’s Marvelman and Warpsmith strips. Few comic artists have published so little but had so much impact upon their medium. Some artists have posted their contributions variously on their blogs or Facebook pages, and there’s a gallery of featured work at Jason Atomic’s Stripped blog. More below, some of which is a little on the NSFW side.
The Olympics are over, and London returns to normal. Surveying the Twitter feeds and blogs of that city’s comics creators, we see a very mixed reaction to the Games of the XXX Olympiad. Some loved it, others hate sports so much they fled the city for the duration, and some cynical souls were total converts after Danny Boyle’s epochal Opening Ceremony. Here’s a selection of reactions from U.K. comics folk.
Did you know there’s a Rich Johnson as well as a Rich Johnston? Rather than being a wispy bearded gossip-monger, the man we’ll call The Other Rich is a teacher-turned-cartoonist, influenced by the tradition of the great DC Thomson comic anthologies The Beano and The Dandy. I loved the work he produced as the nation got swept up in euphoria and expectation. His Bradley Wiggins tribute, the Wigbot (above), reminds me of the joke that originated after the Beijing Olympics: the British are good at any sport that involves sitting — cycling, rowing, sailing — but not so much the other stuff. Continue Reading »
Dylan Teague is a U.K. artist few in the United States will have heard of. He has a great style, in a very British tradition — you’ll see the influence of artists such as Sydney Jordan, Don Lawrence or Brian Bolland in his work. Unfortunately, he’s not particularly prolific and he certainly doesn’t update his blog often enough. The sod. But he has updated it with pages scanned from his sketchbook twice in the last week.
More interesting work spotted recently at assorted artists’ blogs below.
Steve Cook, U.K comics designer/colorist/renaissance man, has a new iteration of his “Secret Origins” photo exhibition running at the Renoir Cinema. from July 20 to Aug. 17. You can see some more examples of the work below, and many more on his website.
The exhibition is craftily timed to coincide with the release of some movie about Batman, apparently. I remember seeing Bisley in his pomp at UKCAC 1988, when he looked just like the above image — biker boots, leather trousers, leather jacket. He looked pretty much exactly like Joe Pineapples of the ABC Warriors, the strip he’d just recently made his reputation on.