Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Shadow

I love the pulps. That two-fisted, unashamed shock-horror aesthetic; lurid, thrilling, violent and dodgidly erotic - a real nightmare for the PC police. Which is always a good thing.

We got class acts that grew from those racks of semi-clad damsels tied to torture tables; Doc Savage, G-8, The Phantom Detective and Maxwell Grant's The Shadow.
The Shadow;
a no-messing mysterious midnight vigilante with billowing crimson-lined cape, slouch hat, spooky eyes, hawk-nose and blazing 45's.

As a teenager i was smitten at first sight. Still smitten.

I guess time and space would have to fold over and reshape before I'd ever be given the chance to draw my favorite 'Dark Avenger' in the funnybooks , but meantime doing this commission gave me just the right kinda fix i needed.

Sorry for the long wait, Mr. H.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

RIP Elisabeth Sladen

Matt Smith: "What struck me about Lis was her grace. She welcomed me, educated me, and delighted me with her tales and adventures on Doctor Who. And she also seemed to have a quality of youth that not many people retain as they go through life. Her grace and kindness will stay with me because she had such qualities in abundance and shared them freely. I will miss her, as will the world of Doctor Who and all the Doctors that had the good pleasure to work with Lis Sladen and travel the universe with Sarah Jane."

Steven Moffat
: "'Never meet your heroes' wise people say. They weren't thinking of Lis Sladen.

"Sarah Jane Smith was everybody's hero when I was younger, and as brave and funny and brilliant as people only ever are in stories. But many years later, when I met the real Sarah-Jane – Lis Sladen herself – she was exactly as any child ever have wanted her to be. Kind and gentle and clever; and a ferociously talented actress, of course, but in that perfectly English unassuming way.

“There are a blessed few who can carry a whole television show on their talent and charisma – but I can't think of one other who's done it quite so politely. I once showed my son Joshua an old episode of Doctor Who, in which Lis appeared. 'But that's Sarah Jane,' he said, confused, 'In old Doctor Who. From years ago. How come she always look exactly the same?' It's not a comfort today, of course, but children will still be saying that 50 years from now."

Russell T Davies: "I absolutely loved Lis. She was funny and cheeky and clever and just simply wonderful. The universe was lucky to have Sarah Jane Smith; the world was lucky to have Lis."

Tom Baker: "Sarah Jane dead? No, impossible! Impossible. Only last week I agreed to do six new audio adventures with her for Big Finish Productions. She can't be dead. But she is: she died yesterday morning. Cancer. I had no idea she was ill; she was so private, never wanted any fuss, and now, gone. A terrible blow to her friends and a shattering blow for all those fans of the programme whose lives were touched every Saturday evening by her lovely heroic character, Sarah-Jane Smith. ... Those sweet memories of happy days with Lis Sladen, the lovely, witty, kind and so talented Lis Sladen. I am consoled by the memories. I was there, I knew her, she was good to me and I shall always be grateful, and I shall miss her."

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Doctor Strange Variant Cover!


It's actually a private commission piece.

Very much a die-hard fan of the original run drawn by Steve Ditko, there's plenty after him who've done a fine turn, but for me, nobody expressed that otherworldly weirdness any better than Ditko.

Looking thru the Essential Doctor Strange Vol 1 - in glorious black and white - left my jaw dangling in admiration and reminded me how profoundly the guy influenced me; the attention to atmosphere and the character of a place; the bold poses; the dramatic use of light and shade.
And everything belonged on the page, nothing seemed wasted or superfluous. Not an easy thing to do, and studying his work again, i realise I've still got so much more to learn.