Wednesday, July 04, 2012

The Art of Denis McLoughlin

 One of the UK's most renowned adventure comic artists is to be the subject of a high quality book this summer. Published by The Book Palace and scheduled for August, The Art of Denis McLoughlin looks at the work of this superb illustrator who perhaps may be best remembered by most readers of this blog as the artist of Saber, King of the Jungle for Tiger and Fury's Family for Thunder in the early 1970s. However, his career stretched back further than that and McLoughlin was an excellent artist of western strips, most notably for the Buffalo Bill Annuals of the 1950s. 

Here are the details of the upcoming book, from the official website:

Author: David Ashford, edited by Peter Richardson

Artist: Denis McLoughlin

Publisher: Book Palace Books, August 2012

Number of pages: 272

Format: Hard Cover with Dust Wrapper/Jacket; Full Colour illustrations

Size: 9" x 12" (220mm x 297mm)

ISBN: 9781907081088.

Written by David Ashford, one of McLoughlin's close friends, the book celebrates every aspect of the artist's career, from examples of his earliest work whilst still in uniform to his lengthy association with T.V. Boardman, for whom he produced hundreds of dust jackets for their Bloodhound crime series and their yearly best-selling Buffalo Bill Annual.

The Boardman covers are almost unique in British publishing history as no major publisher relied on a single artist to produce so many of their jackets. But tracking down useable examples has proved to be a long and gruelling process. As Peter says: "We needed high quality scans of all the covers we sought and the logistics of having to carry a scanner and computer to spend a day getting under the feet of a McLoughlin devotee, which would have secured us a reasonable number of scans but by no means all the ones I craved gave us pause for thought. Photographing the books would have been quicker, but the results are light years away from a scan. It simply wasn't an option.".

Hooking up with San Francisco-based collector Mark Terry gave fresh impetus to the book as Mark already had a network of contacts with collectors through his facsimile dustjacket business; the finished book will now contain dozens of examples, carefully restored.
The book contains many examples of McLoughlin's comic strips and a biography by David Ashford, as well as behind-the-scenes photos and examples of his original artwork.

The definitive book and biography of Denis McLouglin, packed with full colour images of his art and a complete bibliography.

The book features reproductions from the surviving original artwork, "pulls" in high quality print, never-before-seen photos chronicling the artist's life and page after page of some of the most stunning artwork ever to see print in the 20th century.

The art of Denis McLoughlin is available to pre-order now from The Book Palace:

Stunning work from the 1956 Buffalo Bill Wild West Annual


Anonymous said...

i am over 40 and i know of hampson, langford, bellamy, noble, blasco... and many others,... but i never heard of mcloughlin. i don't claim to be a british comics historian, but if this guy is so good it is a shame that i don't know his work...

Lew Stringer said...

Well, now's your chance to find out! :-)

Denis McLoughlin contributed various strips for IPC and DC Thomson over the years, including the Commando war libraries. His style was very distinctive, even if his name wasn't familiar. It sounds as though this book will focus mainly on his 1950s work.

locusmortiis said...

Illustrator magazine (also from Bookpalace) which is listed in this months Diamond Distributor's Previews magazine has Denis McLoughlin on their cover with a sizeable article on him (I have already ordered the magazine because of the Ian Kennedy interview).

From your comments, I take it that this the same Denis McLoughlin that drew "The Shark" for Warlord in the early 80's because he did a load of Commando's in the late 80's as you said. He was a master at cross-hatching to indicate night scenes and bad weather. Its hard to square the grittiness of his war art with his cowboy stuff but I guess it just shows his versatility.

David Leach said...

Dennis Mcloughlin is, hands down, one of my all-time favourite artists. I love my Buffalo Bill annuals and regularly sift through stacks of old Commandos in search of issues drawn by him. I've also got several Red Dagger comics. He was a fantastic artist and it's terrific to see his work getting this sort of treatment. What a shame it didn't happen before his sad death. Thanks Lew!

Lew Stringer said...

Now you mention it I do see a bit of his influence in your work David, especially your current stuff. Totally different styles, but a similar intensity.

Peter Richardson said...

Many thanks for flagging The Art of Denis McLoughlin up Lew.It has been an absolute joy to have been involved with this book and now that it's due to arrive on these shores very shortly we are all very keen to get the word out. I am one of the lucky five to already have a copy and I can say that it really is a spectacular production. Illustrator Mick Brownfield who has been a life long McLoughlin fan and wrote the forward to the book just emailed me to say:

Hi Peter, Ian Beck and Mark Thomas came over for lunch yesterday, and
spent the whole afternoon poring over that %@***&% book...couldn't
get a word out of them...looks like you are on to a winner there.

I must agree with David Leach that it would have been really wonderful if Denis could have been around to see this book. It's something that David Ashford and I have frequently commented on whilst working on this project.

But at least we now have a book on this great artist which we believe is worthy of it's subject matter.

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