Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Pages for UKCAC booklets (Updated)


From the 1980s through to the late 1990s the UK Comic Art Convention was the annual event of the year on the British comics calendar. Based in central London within walking distance from Euston Station, UKCAC (as it was known) was always a great weekend of events and camaraderie within the comics community.

Each year, organisers Frank Plowright, Hass Yusuf and the team would ask guests in advance to contribute a free page for the con booklet. (I say "booklet" as that's the usual term but they were often mammoth tomes of over 100 pages.) The pages would be printed in the con booklet and the original art would then be auctioned off for charity at the event.

Rooting through some old stuff today I found a bunch of the con books from over the years so I thought you might like to see some of the pages I did for them, starting with the Tom Thug page below for the UKCAC 86 edition. As always, click on the images to see them much larger.



Update: Found the one for UKCAC 87...


...and the one for UKCAC 88, which I embellished in a grey wash (ie: diluted black ink). 




I don't have the 1989 one to hand right now but here's the UKCAC 90 page with Pedantic Stan, Comics Fan which was created by John Freeman and myself and ran in Speakeasy fanzine for a while...

 
That same year saw the organisers run a convention for the benefit of comic fans North of the border, in Glasgow, and for GLASCAC 90 I did this page. At the time the new Batman movie had just come out and it seemed to me that there were a new generation of Bat-Fans who were buying all the merchandise except for the comic book. I'm honoured and proud to say that the great Sergio Aragonés was the winning bidder of this page, and he even did a little dance when he won it...



The following year was the launch of The Viz Pathetic Sharks Bumper Special which I did most of the pages for so I did a Pathetic Sharks image for the UKCAC 91 book. (The gag about Denis Gifford was written by Viz editor Chris Donald.)



The following year many of us had our hopes up for the launch of a new humour comic entitled Oh No!! and this was one of the promotional images for it. Sadly the publishers pulled the plug at the last minute, choosing to go for licensed comics only, despite Oh No!! testing very well in all the market research. Lance Boyle, Secret Agent was the strip I would have contributed. (I'll show the page from the dummy issue here one day, when I find it!) I inked this piece with a dip-nib and I'm not too happy with the result to be honest.



For UKCAC 93 I did a brand new Combat Colin page. I'd forgotten all about this until I found it today! 



UKCAC 94's book had a Jack Kirby theme, hence my version of a classic Hulk vs Thing scuffle...



For UKCAC 95 I drew this Brickman and Combat Colin illo...



I seem to have misplaced the UKCAC 96 book but for the following year I decided to group together a whole bunch of my characters in a once-in-a-lifetime meeting for the UKCAC 97 page. Tough Guy at the top (from Triffik!), Brickman (various fanzines and, more recently, Elephantmen), Combat Colin (Action Force and Transformers), Pete and his Pimple and Tom Thug (both from Oink! and Buster) and Derek the Troll (Warlock and White Dwarf magazines).


Finally, for UKCAC 98 I produced this page, in a sort of Robert Crumb style for some reason. It went down quite well and I'm still pleased with this one. In retrospect though, perhaps 'addict' should come before 'defender'...


I'll show some pages that others did for those UKCAC booklets soon.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

hi lew,

very interesting article.
i look at those drawings and i think DENIS KITCHEN!
was he an influence on your work?
i first saw denis kitchen's stuff in 1994, when a book covering the first 25 years of kitchen sink came out!

thanks

Lew Stringer said...

He's not a conscious influence but I do see what you mean. I'm more influenced by Mike Higgs, Leo Baxendale, Tom Paterson, Ken Reid and other UK artists.

Norman Boyd said...

Please don't post any more especially if they look into my soul and represent me exactly as that last illo did ;-)

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