Illustrators # 16 (magazine review).

November 26, 2016 | By | Reply More

Although I could probably think of a couple better choices of covers from the contents for Illustrators # 16, I can’t recall seeing this montage of Superman illustrations by Neal Adams before. According to the Peter Stone written text inside, Adams has them pinned on a wall in his studio when interviewed and, although no indication of date, Adams has just completed a book of the Man of Steel for DC Comics.

All contents copyright The Book Palace Ltd (c) The Book Palace

All contents copyright The Book Palace Ltd
(c) The Book Palace

I doubt if I need to tell any of you folks reading here who Neal Adams is or his importance and influence on the American comicbook industry. Much of the article focuses on his DC work although the covers and illustrations come from there, Marvel and his own Continuity Comics works. For those who might not realise, Berni Wrightson did ink some of Adams’ work at the Continuity Studios while working there and this is a chance to see these. As Peter Stone points out, it’s impossible to pin down everything that Neal Adams has been involved in over the years in one article although there is a reveal that he relied on photographic reference more than most artists at the time. If you were wavering about buying this issue, there are several original pages shown that I haven’t seen elsewhere.

All contents copyright The Book Palace Ltd (c) The Book Palace

All contents copyright The Book Palace Ltd
(c) The Book Palace

The only slight thing marring it is editor Peter Richardson in the opening editorial saying that Deadman was in ‘Strange Tales’, a Marvel Comics title, not Strange Adventures’. I thought I ought to point that out in case those of you buying this edition think I missed something jarringly obvious.

All contents copyright The Book Palace Ltd (c) The Book Palace

All contents copyright The Book Palace Ltd
(c) The Book Palace

The biggest section is given to Mark Slater, a once newspaper artist who blends a 1950s painting technique with stylised modern humour into his work. Although I’m not sure if our American readers will catch all of satire, the picture of King Kong stubbing his toe in New York is priceless. I looked up some of his art on-line and this issue covers more than those samples.

All contents copyright The Book Palace Ltd (c) The Book Palace

All contents copyright The Book Palace Ltd
(c) The Book Palace

I always like surprises with artists and this is the first I’ve heard of Canadian artist Will Davies although considering he’s painted many romance novel covers for the UK market then I must surely have seen some of his work over the years. His ethic of never stop learning show be engraved in all of your artists out there. That and always practicing. To draw well and get vitality onto canvas makes seeing his sketches and final work a good objective lesson.

All contents copyright The Book Palace Ltd (c) The Book Palace

All contents copyright The Book Palace Ltd
(c) The Book Palace

Although I wasn’t around when the children’s magazine, ‘Chums’, was around in the 1930s, it had a rare distinction with artist Cecil Glossop. He won an art competition ran by them when he was twelve and later, having been a newspaper cartoonist switched to ‘straight’ illustration and guess where he went to work. ‘Chums’, as the samples shown here, cover pirates, westerns and military, usually with painted covers but also with pen and ink inside as well. From the looks of things, he was given carte blanche with what he did. I do have to say the paintings don’t have the distinct sharpness of what came out after World War Two but I think that was subject to the pulp factor at the time and being shrunk in size and the quick turnover required might have contributed to that. He also took over the illustrations for the ‘Sexton Blake’ stories after Eric Parker wasn’t available. Looking at his work, the most telling effect is freeze-framing motion which is always tricky but his composition made your eye move across the pictures and capturing the scenes.

As always, ‘Illustrators’ is a fabulous read with art to die for and, for a change, artists who don’t go digital. Prepare to have your jaw dropped.

GF Willmetts

November 2016

(pub: The Book Palace, 2016. 98 page illustrated squarebound magazine. Price: £18.00 (UK), $21.99 (US). ISBN: 978-1-907081-36-1. ISSN: 2052-6520)

check out website: www.thebookpalace.com

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Category: Illustration, Magazines, MEDIA

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About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 15 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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