Welcome to another instalment of “Yes Commissioner!”
This time we’re going to look at a few commissions from the legend that is Ian Gibson. Ian has been with 2000AD from the start, though after a very public spat, it is unclear if he is still on speaking terms with old Tharg!
I am a HUGE fan of his, as an adult I love his character designs, his beautifully elegant line work and his mastery of the airbrush. As far as I know he still hasn't gone digital and I love him for it. And as a kid he was the first artist I remember noticing - it was his strips I looked forward to in the prog, his work I poured over for hours and hours and his ladies that made me feel all... funny.
However, it was his work on Dredd that I particularly adored. He somehow managed to make it quirky and funny, yet seriously cool all at the same time. His distinctive citizens, sexy Anderson and amazing robot designs all screamed 'Mega-City One' but what I really loved was that he actually brought Dredd's shoulder eagle to life. It's a daft idea, it shouldn't work, but bloody hell, it does! I used to love catching it emote or craning it's neck to look around at the action in the frame. As a child I imagined it was a little game I was playing with the artist and I loved it.
There's a fine example on the beautiful star scan below:
Naturally, my first ever commission was a Gibson –of all the artists I could have chosen, it simply had to be him. I was given some cash that I wasn't expecting and decided, as opposed to just drinking it, I was going to do something special with it. And hence my commission addiction began! But more about my first commission in another post, in this one I want to look at my second Gibson commission, Dredd vs. Mean Machine at Pete Wells Block.
This commission came about by chance, the artist contacted me and asked if I fancied another painting. Of course, it was impossible to say no, so I decided I'd like to see Ian's take on Mean Machine (having somehow completely missing his Daily Star strip featuring the lovable psychopath.) Before long Ian sent me the sketch below which I approved straight away...
A few months went by with a couple of Ian's trademark mischievous emails - he kept going on about size and wall space and how I may be surprised with this commission... Again, before too long he sent an update, this gloriously rendered image with a blue base wash. I can't convey how excited I was when I got this!
Again, several very friendly emails went back and forth and after a few more months Ian blew me away by sending the scan below. When the package arrived I got the biggest surprise though... the painting is HUGE, A1 I think, and is perfect in every way!
Another satisfied customer is collector Eric Moore, who got this wonderful Alias/Avengers mash up below...
Over to Eric who takes up the story: "Back in the summer of 2004, my wife was deeply into the Alias TV show. She's also a huge fan of The Avengers, especially the Diana Rigg years. I'd been thinking about what to get her for Christmas and just so happened to have finished the Grant Morrison/Ian Gibson mini series, when the penny dropped that Ian would be at the upcoming Dreddcon."
"I sent him an email if he'd be up for doing something combining the two shows and I had it in mind to have the most up to date female spy teaming up with the most iconic. Ian said 'sure', and that he'd talk to me at the convention."
"Ian was looking forward to it - well, he was looking forward to attempting Jennifer Garner's face as "she's odd looking" and therefore easy to capture. He wasn't as keen on having a go at Diana Rigg though as he'd learnt from experience that her face was "too perfect". That is, she didn't have anything that was distinctive!"
"Anyway, I had a few emails on the lead up to Christmas saying work was progressing and it arrived about a week before. We'd already established that it'd be pen and ink with maybe a bit of colour so was surprised to find that he'd put quite a bit on - its more a colour work than black and white, no?"
A brilliant piece I'm sure you'll agree, featuring some of Ian's trademark sexy ladies too! Speaking of which, we'll end with a beautiful picture of one of Ian's most beloved creations, Halo Jones, it's brilliant...
You can visit Ian's website here and gawp at some of his amazing work...