Grab Yourself Prints From Some Of The Best Comic Artists And Illustrators Of Today
♦ Portsmouth Comic Con is next weekend and Tripwire will be there selling a selection of books and prints. We shall be selling 19 limited edition (50) A3 prints featuring a selection of classic Tripwire covers and curated art from the likes of Walter Simonson, Dave Dorman, Simon Fraser, Declan Shalvey and Shawn Martinbrough. Here’s all the prints as they will look on our table. Russell Walks is printing his own prints but they will be available on our table…
Dave Dorman is an Eisner award-winning illustrator, based in Chicago, who has been working as a professional artist since 1979. He is best known for his photo-realistic renderings of action and fantasy subjects. He has created artwork for comic, book and game publishers, including Batman for DC Comics and the Indiana Jones and Star Wars series’ for Dark Horse Comics. His work is also showcased in the Bram Stoker nominated, illustrated novel Dead Heat from MoJo Press, and a book collection of his art, Star Wars: The Art of Dave Dorman.
He has been associated with Star Wars for many years now and in an interview he did back in 2010 with thegeektwins.com, he talked about how that connection with Star Wars began:”I started doing Dark Horse Comics covers for Indiana Jones, and when I heard they got the Star Wars license, I asked to be cover artist and they granted me that opportunity, for which I will always be grateful. Lucasfilm really liked the work I did for Indiana Jones, and that kicked off my relationship with them. When I asked to do the Star Wars covers, there were no objections on their side.” The GeekTwins Dave Dorman Interview
Dorman has created many of the most iconic images from the licensed characters he has drawn over here, whether that’s Indiana Jones, Star Wars and Marvel. Apparently, Star Wars creator George Lucas owns over 90 of his paintings in his own collection.
Most recently he has been involved in crowdfunding Amazing Tales of The Wasted Lands with his writing partner Mike Bawden.
Dorman continues to be one of the most in-demand and distinctive illustrators currently working in comics and illustration today. Portsmouth is proud that he is one of the show’s special guests. Portsmouth Comic Con marks the artist’s debut at a UK convention.
Declan Shalvey is an Irish artist and writer who first made his name on the UK indie comic Hero Killers which won him an Eagle Award. He soon moved on to work for Classical Comics, work which led to him being noticed by Marvel and DC. He has worked on All-Star Batman for DC and Thunderbolts, Moon Knight, Deadpool and Civil War: Choosing Sides for Marvel. He has also had his work published extensively at Image Comics on series like Injection and the original graphic novel Savage Town which he wrote for artist Phillip Barrett.
He said in an interview in 2016 for Comics Alliance that his path to working in comics professionally wasn’t straightforward: “I’ve always wanted to do it, as long as I can remember. My main problem was that I had absolutely no idea how to do it. After I finished secondary school I went to an art college that was reasonably close to my home, as I didn’t really know what else to do. I was self-taught up until that point really. I ended up getting a degree in Fine Art Printmaking, and while that didn’t help me get into comics in any way shape or form, I did have a lot more knowledge when it came to the study of art; of techniques; and accepting the idea of being an artist, which is something that’s hard to really embrace where I’m from.” Comics Alliance Declan Shalvey Interview
His distinctive style as an artist has won him fans around the world – his growing canon a testament to his versatility. His academic attention to detail has made him an artist that has managed to straddle the line between indie comics and mainstream titles, his use of colour, line and panel composition a method to delineate character and mood while beguiling the reader.
His candid interviews reveal a man who understands and relishes the nuts and bolts of framing a narrative and storyboarding each issue he works on, while his move into writing (essentially developing his ability on the hoof) giving him the prospect of working on future projects as an auteur, controlling all aspects of the creative process. Already an accomplished name in the industry, Shalvey still has the potential to go even further on both work for hire series and pet projects like Savagetown, which grew from a need to emulate his hero Roddy Doyle, while also paying tribute to his roots. We are delighted to have Declan on board.
Simon Fraser has a career spanning several decades drawing comics and illustrations. Perhaps he is best known as the artist on 2000AD’s The Adventures of Nikolai Dante and Shimura there too with writer Robbie Morrison. He has also drawn Doctor Who for Titan and Judge Dredd as well as his own creation Lily Mackenzie.
Fraser is from Scotland originally but he relocated to the US a number of years ago. He has read comics since he was a child as he admitted in an interview with 2000AD Review back in 2002:”My inspiration for getting into comics was…comics! I read a lot as a kid and it slowly dawned on me that some people out there made a living drawing this stuff….what a great job! Also Roger Kettle who is the writer of ‘Beau Peep’ and ‘a Man Called Horace’ is a family friend so he showed me it was possible.”
In fact, his first comics job led him to 2000AD, he recalled in the same interview: “I was working on another Fleetway publication Roy of the Rovers which was actually a very difficult job for me to get as the Editor knew that I wasn’t that interested in Football, so he was reluctant to hire me. From there I did a couple of full colour Dredd samples for Dave Bishop and he gave me the Shimura job.” 2000AD Review Simon Fraser interview
He sees himself as being part of a long Scottish comic tradition, which he spoke about in an interview in the Daily Record back in 2009:I’m of Glasgow stock so I’m pretty good at telling stories, which is a good skill to have in this line…There are an awful lot of very good Scots comic people. I think it must have something to do with Scots being natural storytellers.” Daily Record Simon Fraser interview
He was part of the ACTIVATE comix. com collective in Brooklyn. His heavily illustrative style has won him a following around the world. His most recent work is Kingsman: The Red Diamond with writer Rob Williams for Image, featuring the Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons created characters who have appeared in two major Hollywood movies.
He does make it back over here every now and again and Portsmouth is proud to have him as part of the show’s line-up.
Sean Phillips began his career very early on working on girls comics like Bunty and Judy in the UK. He then moved on to draw strips for Fleetway’s Crisis and in the U.S., Hellblazer at DC’s Vertigo imprint.
He recalled his early days working as an artist in an interview with newsarama back in 2013: “I started drawing for the British girls comics when I was fifteen, pencilling for a comic artist called Ken Houghton. I’d been attending his evening art class which taught cartooning at my school since I was thirteen, and after a couple of years Ken thought I was good enough to give me a chance. I penciled for him and he saved it with his inks. Back then in the early 80s there were plenty of weekly anthology comics aimed at girls of every age and they were always looking to fill their pages every week.” Newsarama Sean Phillips interview
After working on Judge Dredd Megazine and 2000 AD, Phillips returned to the U.S. and began his collaboration with Ed Brubaker, firstly on Scene Of A Crime for DC, and later on Criminal for Marvel / Image.His other major work includes Marvel Zombies and he has also created many covers for DVDs and Blu Rays for companies like Arrow and Criterion. He continued to work with Brubaker on Sleeper for Wildstorm, followed by other noir series such as Criminal, Fatale, Incognito, The Fade Out and current Image smash hit Kill Or Be Killed, all featuring his highly evocative artwork, reminiscent of Dave Gibbons at his finest. Kill Or Be Killed has been optioned for the big screen with John Wick helmer Chad Stahelski attached as its director.
Back in an interview in 2014 with Flickering Myth, he admitted that despite drawing a lot of crime comics, he wasn’t necessarily a big reader or fan of this particular genre:”Actually, I’m not a particular fan of the genre. I’ve not read or seen hardly any of the classic books or movies. It just suits the way I draw!” Flickering Myths Sean Phillips interview
Considered by many to be one of the best in the industry, Phillips’s work continues to receive widespread acclaim. He is also one of the patrons of the Lakes International Comic Art Festival, which is now in its sixth year. He is arguably one of the finest British comic artists still working and Portsmouth is very pleased he is one of the show’s guests
Veteran artist Shawn Martinbrough has been involved in numerous projects for DC, Marvel and Dark Horse Comics over the last 25 years, including Detective Comics, Luke Cage Noir, Captain America, Black Panther and Hellboy. He also co-created characters that featured in Marvel’s Deadpool movie, along with television series such as Gotham and The Gifted.
Martinbrough approaches each project on an individual basis as he pointed out in this interview with The Blerdgurl in 2016: “As an artist, I take every project as a challenge and each is special in its own way. Drawing a 1920’s era style version of Luke Cage for Marvel’s “Luke Cage Noir” was a career highlight. Drawing “Batman: Detective Comics” for DC Comics was another. Applying my style to iconic characters such as “Black Panther” and “Captain America” was such a rush. The interesting thing about working as an artist for both Marvel and DC is that sometimes characters you created years ago get a whole new life.” The Blerdgurl Shawn Martinbrough Interview
In an interview with the Washington Post back in 2016, he explained the appeal of working for Image Comics rather than DC or Marvel: “It wasn’t so much about the quality of the work they were putting out, it was that they basically told the majors — Marvel and DC — that it’s not just your characters that are selling your books. It’s the artist…Image “made a real business move that you don’t see a lot of in comics, and you hadn’t seen in comics up until that point,” he continued. “And they showed that they can create their own comics, separate and independent, [and] it can make money and be successful.” Washington Post Shawn Martinbrough feature
His most notable recent work is Thief Of Thieves, a crime series written by The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman.
A classic illustrator whose work is reminiscent of Alex Toth and Frank Miller, Martinbrough has become known as a pre-eminent fine-line black and white specialist. Martinbrough is also one of the most eloquent and passionate comic artists working in comics today. Portsmouth is proud to include him as one of the show’s spotlight guests and the show marks his UK debut.
Frank Quitely is a Scottish comic artist whose career began back in 1990 on the underground comic Electric Soup. His real name is Vincent Deighan but his nickname has stuck since his debut. Electric Soup led to the Judge Dredd Megazine where he drew Missionary Man and Shimura. His Megazine work led to him being noticed by Dark Horse and the strip he did for them, Blackheart, got him his first US comics series, Flex Mentallo, a Doom Patrol spin-off. Flex Mentallo was the first of his regular collaborations with acclaimed fellow Scottish comics creator Grant Morrison.
His love of comics comes from reading British comics as a child, he revealed in an interview with Tripwire back in 1995:
“I used to get one comic a week. It was the Beezer and the Beano when I was really young, and the Bullet when I was a little older but I used to read my pals’ comics, like Hotspur, Tiger & Scorcher, Warlord, that sort of thing. I loved Johnny Cougar and I was in the Fireball fanclub.”
He worked again with Morrison on JLA: Earth 2, an original graphic novel, and he then took over as regular artist on Wildstorm’s The Authority with another Scottish writer, Mark Millar. He drew one of the stories for the prestigious Sandman hardcover Endless Nights with Neil Gaiman. In 2003 he collaborated with Morrison once again on Marvel’s New X-Men.
After his run on X-Men, he created a series of Tarot cards with Grant Morrison for singer Robbie Williams’ album Intensive Care in 2005.
He returned to DC at the end of 2004 to work once again with Morrison on the highly acclaimed All-Star Superman, which ran for 12 issues but picked up lots of awards around the world.
Since 2012, he has been the artist on Mark Millar’s Jupiter’s Legacy series for Image.
In 2017 his impressively eclectic career was celebrated in an extensive exhibition at Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Gallery. He mentioned in an interview for Tripwire this year that this felt very odd to him:
“Kelvingrove was literally my favourite place to go for a family day out. And this is true of a lot of kids in Glasgow, the way that Kelvingrove is laid out, as beautiful Spanish baroque. It’s an amazing looking building from the outside and it’s even more amazing looking on the inside. And when you go in downstairs that’s the museum part because it’s a museum and art gallery. You’ve basically got an Egyptian room that’s got mummies and sarcophaguses, suits of armour and big William Wallace type swords that are eight foot long. They’ve got bees in this glass thing where the bees go in and out. So for kids it’s amazing. And of course they’ve got dinosaurs too. Upstairs is where the art is. Apparently it’s one of the biggest civic collections in Europe. So when I was younger I used to spend most of my time downstairs. When I was an art student too I used to go on a very regular basis and then all through my adult life and my professional life it’s somewhere I would go back to on my own. Usually if I’ve got any other artists coming up I would take them round. If you’re coming through the city, Kelvingrove’s always top of the list. So all my life I’ve been going there and because I’m doing comic art rather than fine art it never occurred to me that I would one day have a single piece there never mind an exhibition.”
Quitely is a true original and Portsmouth is proud to have him as one of the show’s special guests.
Walter Simonson began his comics career back in the early 1970s at DC first on a number of their war books but it was the Manhunter strip that ran in DC’s Detective Comics in 1973-1974 that brought him to people’s attention. Written by DC editor Archie Goodwin, Manhunter helped to resurrect the fortunes of DC’s flagship book (the company is named after the series).
Manhunter led to a series of different projects including adapting Ridley Scott’s Alien for Marvel and drawing Marvel’s Rampaging Hulk magazine. Simonson also was one of the regular pencillers on Marvel’s Star Wars comic. But it was his long run on Marvel’s Mighty Thor which began with #337 in 1983 that took his fame to another level. In a run that saw Thor turned into a frog, the introduction of alien warrior Beta Ray Bill and many more memorable tales, Simonson displayed his love and empathy for the character and created a comic that people still talk about decades later.
He had always enjoyed the Norse myths as he informed us in an interview we did with him back in 2011:
“From when I was a child. I liked mythology in general. I think the first story I probably came across was the story of Beowulf in fourth, fifth or sixth grade. There was some book in the school that had an illustrated version and I remember the illustration. I’ve no idea what the book was. It was like a kid’s literature book with lots of stories, illustrated and one of them was a short version of Beowulf, which was fantastic. It also turned out my parents had a couple of books in the house that actually dated from about 1893 or 1894. They were matched volumes and one was the Greek and Roman myths and the other was the Norse myths and I read both of them. I like all of them but the Norse myths when you’re a kid really connect with you,” he explained.
After Thor, Simonson started a long run on the company’s X-Men book X-Factor, written by his wife and fellow guest of Portsmouth, Louise Simonson. Then he moved onto Marvel’s Fantastic Four series for a little while.
The 2000s saw him switch to mostly working for DC on titles like Orion, Jack Kirby’s New Gods creation, and Elric: Making Of A Sorcerer, written by Michael Moorcock. Here is what he had to say about working on the Elric series when we spoke to him in 2011:
“Mike’s writing is incredibly visual. His stories offer a wealth of pictorial possibilities that, for a comics artist, presents an unusual problem. It isn’t difficult to find inspiration in his work; the difficulty is trying to edit the imagery down to a manageable level. For Elric: The Making of a Sorcerer, I felt I could easily have drawn each 48-page issue at double that length, so rich was the visual invocation of the scripts. And there was something about Mike’s work that evokes color for me as well at a more abstract level. I can still remember thinking that the first Elric book I read was a deep, rich blue, and the second book almost black.”
After his work on Elric, he returned to Marvel to work on The Avengers and The Indestructible Hulk. In 2012, he went back to DC who published The Judas Coin, a graphic novel he wrote and drew which featured a range of DC characters over the centuries, connected by one coin.
Simonson also went back to one of his earliest creations, Star Slammers, for a new miniseries which was published by IDW in 2014.
Since the summer of 2014, Simonson has devoted his time and energy to writing and drawing Ragnarok, a norse mythological series published by IDW. IDW has also been republishing much of his older work like his Thor run and Manhunter as part of their Artist’s Editions line. Portsmouth is the first time he has attended a UK comic convention since 2008.
Gene Ha began his tenure as a comic artist on The Adventures Of Cyclops and Phoenix for Marvel in the mid-1990s. After working on various series for DC, such as JLA and Superman as well as for other publishers, Ha pencilled a title for Alan Moore’s acclaimed imprint America’s Best Comics, Top Ten.
For the artist, working with Alan Moore was one of his most memorable points in his career as he recalled in an interview he did on monomythic just last year:”“He is literally the fastest creative mind I’ve ever worked with, and I’ve worked with some really creative minds. When I’m having a conversation with him and he throws out ideas, I can’t keep up. He’ll literally leave me in the dust.” Monomythic Gene Ha interview
Here his off-kilter, brash style was brought to the fore, which was again used to great effect in Wildstorm’s The Authority. Recently he has continued to work primarily at DC on Green Lantern, Shade and Phantom Stranger. Ha has won the prestigious Eisner award four times, his high quality work instantly recognizable to all comic fans.
Most recently, he has been working on his creator-owned series Mae, which was funded through Kickstarter but was then picked up for publication by Dark Horse. It is now coming out in a single volume from Lion Forge this June.
Mae was a comic written and drawn by Ha and his ambitions for the comic were fairly straightforward as he pointed out in an interview with newsarama back in 2015:”My professional goal has remained the same throughout my career: give readers the same thrills and inspiration that Matt Wagner’s Mage gave me in high school. Mae is my best shot at that goal…It’s funny, but the older I get the more I want to tell comics stories. I stay fit so I can live a longer life and draw more pages. I crave more time at the drawing table as the years go by. When I get to tell my own stories my way I absolutely love this job.” Newsarama Gene Ha interview
Gene Ha’s style has garnered him a faithful worldwide following and he is another very strong addition to Portsmouth thanks to his unique vision and his long career. He has visited the UK before but not for a few years.
Walks is an official Star Wars artist. Although his original goals included both becoming bionic and joining the rebellion against the Empire, Walks eventually decided his destiny lay along another path, and chose art school over adventure. Adept at both traditional and digital illustration & design, he has created art based on licensed properties for clients including Paramount, 20th Century Fox, Random House and many others.
Walks began his illustration career drawing sketch cards and in an interview he did way back in 2010 on the sketch card art blog, he discussed the pros and cons of working on these:”I’m not crazy about working on such a small surface. For one thing, my eyes aren’t what they used to be, and it’s seriously hard for me to see that tiny! Additionally, I work fairly tightly, but still like to see evidence of the process – brushstrokes, pencil marks, etc – and I’ve found that when I’m working that small, it can be difficult to achieve both of those goals.” Sketch Card Art Blog Interview Walks 2010
He is a regular visitor to Star Wars Celebration events but Portsmouth is one of the first UK comic conventions he has attended. His unique and distinctive linework make him a fantastic addition to the show.
A life-long science fiction and fantasy fan, Carlisle’s journey began with seeing the original Star Wars in when he was four, Watching classic Sci-Fi television as a child, reading classic science fiction and fantasy books in his teen years and playing lots of role-playing games and video games while in art school.
The drawing and dreaming he has been doing his whole life is now his career, and over the last two decades he has designed or illustrated Star Wars, Star Trek, Doctor Who, Indiana Jones, The ALIEN franchise, Spider-Man, The X-Men, Lord of the Rings, THE GUILD, Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder for various projects such as Books, Magazines, Web Comics, Role-Playing and Miniatures Games, Trading cards, Posters, art prints, maps, sketchcards, webshows and Short Movies, a Video Game, and even paper airplanes.
His clients include: Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG), BBC/Her Universe, Decipher, Goodman Games/Sword and Sorcery, Gameshark Studios, Geek & Sundry/Knights of Good Productions, Lucasfilm Ltd., Paizo Publishing, Presto Studios/Microsoft Game Studios, Red5 Comics, Signalfire Studios, Titan Comics, Topps, Toys-R- Us, TRIPWIRE magazine, Upper Deck/Fleer cards/MARVEL, Walt Disney Imagineering and Wizards of the Coast.
To buy tickets for the show where you will be able to pick up these prints visit here