45 artists celebrate 45 years of 2000AD
Review by Luke Williams
Tharg keeps the 45 years celebrations running with this, an art book. Billed as a collection of 45 artists drawing 45 different 2000AD characters to celebrate 45 years of the Galaxy’s Greatest.
Art books are a funny beast. How often are they picked up after the initial purchase and read? Much the same as collections of band photograph (and yours truly has a few of those), but fans s feel compelled to part with their hard earned to have it where it sits on the shelf of the occasional flick through sometime in the future.
Under review is the web shop exclusive version – because everyone likes a slipcase and a selection of prints of the art from within the book. Sadly, the version that has been sent looks like it has been assembled by a 6 year old inn art class the cover pasted on with glue spilling out from under it It could be that this is a just a duff one that slipped through, but its still disappointing when you have spent your hard earned on what is otherwise a well presented package.
Onto the content. There are a mix of regular art droids, and those that are new to the Prog, and no restricted to the UK, Some artists present have a significant profile already, but some are unknown to your reviewer – but that maybe more an indication of increasing detachment in line with the aging process. Who knows?
Each image is accompanied by a brief story / character synopsis and a short bio of the artist. There are some impressive names here, and some very talented newcomers. There’s been some thought to who does what, and you could see the artists present actually drawing the characters in regular strips, if they haven’t already that is. Mike Allred bringing his pop art sensibilities to “Zenith”, famed horror artists Kelley Jones and Kyle Hotz draw “Zombo” and the “Visible Man” respectively, Phil Noto on Anderson and Death, Rachael Stott on “Indigo Prime” and Colleen Doran is a perfect fit for “Firekind”.
It’s fair to say that some artistic interpretations of 2000AD are more successful than other. Of particular note are Henry Flint’s image of “Durham Red”, Mike McMahon’s embattled “Bad Company”, the aforementioned “Firekind”, Mateus Manhanini’s “Slaine” which brings a psychedelic mysticism to the character, Dave Kendall’s creepy “Devlin Waugh”, Mark Eastbrook’s pulpy Bernard Cornwell’s “Sharpe” by way of Raymond Chandler “Nikolai Dante” and VV Glass channelling Ken Steacy on “Nemesis the Warlock”.
Whether it’s worth the prints and slipcase (with extra glue) is worth the extra £15 is debatable, it nevertheless there is a collection of sometimes stunning, but never less than great work between its covers, which you’ll read and perhaps flick through again sometime in the future………