Ian Kennedy - comic book aircraft artist

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mikem
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Ian Kennedy - comic book aircraft artist

Post by mikem » Tue Jan 06, 2004 10:31 pm

Well this is the "Flight" Forum - and here is my favourite comic book aircraft artist.
As (still) a member of the British Commonwealth my diet of comics was (in the 60's and 70's - yes - I am that old) predominantly English.
A staple item was a series of B&W, small - odd sized (130mm x 170mm) "war" comics printed on something that was just the good side of toilet paper. The two most common imprints where "Battle" and "Commando".
The stories where suitably awful and the drawing ranged from competent to woeful - until my friends and I began to notice that the airwar titles had an artist who was not just better, he wasn't in the same universe as the others. None of these titles had author or artist acknowledgements - so we would wait until the next "special" one would arrive at our "newsagents".
It was only much, much later that the artists name became known to us - Ian Kennedy.
He has an astonishing hard edged chiaroscuro technique that renders aircraft beautifully (- people not as well!). Ian Kennedy also paints many covers for these comics and demonstrates that he also handles colour extremely effectively.
I'm always amazed that such spectacular talent gets hidden in the most obscure places!
A google search on his name with "commando" or "battle" added or search on the imprint titles and the publishers name "DC Thomson" will give you some idea.
If any one is interested I could post some scans ( - if I can work out how!)

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Kazu
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Post by Kazu » Tue Jan 06, 2004 11:17 pm

yes, please post them Mike. I'd love to see his work. I haven't heard of him before.
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mikem
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Ian Kennedy scans

Post by mikem » Wed Jan 07, 2004 5:56 am

Thanks Kazu
Ok worked it out :?
Fairly crummy scans - the comics are on awful paper and very yellow. I'll have to experiment a bit more.
The covers appear to be very loose watercolour over pencil with guouche highlighting.
(Gosh they are embarressing to read now!)

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chukw
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Post by chukw » Wed Jan 07, 2004 2:21 pm

Damn! That's fine stuff- thanks for making me aware of it. The accuracy alone is astounding....

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Kazu
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Post by Kazu » Wed Jan 07, 2004 3:27 pm

I agree! The black and whites are beautiful. The covers remind me a lot of Rudolph Belarski, whose work my friend Dan introduced me to recently.
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douglas a. bot
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Post by douglas a. bot » Thu Jan 08, 2004 2:32 am

Fantastic pages. I totally dig on old war comics. And these Commando's are fantastic little digest size books.
Commando is actually still being published with all new stories. A mate of mine is writing some stuff for them now. Pretty stock standard stuff you know..."Dash it the fritz has us cornered chums. To the guns!! Let's show these hun a thing or two what!!"

Great stuff.

d.

mikem
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English Comics in the former Dominions?

Post by mikem » Thu Jan 08, 2004 5:11 am

Just curious but were the English comics like Commando, Battle and the weekly titles like Eagle, Victory ever distributed in the former dominions or did that unfortunate business in 1776 rather make distribution difficult?
Its funny but if you walk into almost any Australian second hand book shop you can pick up the DCThomson titles for 50c. - but it seems most people outside the former british colonies have never heard of them.
- and another artist that always impressed me was Frank Bellamy - his "Heros the Spartan" feed a young lads dreams for many years - and was one of the main influences in getting me drawing.
Good introduction to Frank Bellamy here:
http://members.tripod.com/chris_bishop_ ... llamy.html
http://www.dandare.org/eagle/bellamy/bellamy.htm
An amazing fact from an interview I have with Bellamy is that he worked original size! - always apparently.

Mike

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douglas a. bot
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Post by douglas a. bot » Thu Jan 08, 2004 5:59 am

Hey Mike,
Whereabouts in tassie are you? I just moved to Melbourne like 4 months ago. Good to have a fellow convict on board...

pip pip.

Stick
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Post by Stick » Fri Jan 09, 2004 6:33 am

shouldn't this belong in the "literature recommendation" thread? if you want mikem, i'll move it over for you.


and i've read his books (at least i think they were drawn by him.).. i remember the commando brand at the top. Amazing stuff. Makes me wish i could get more of his stuff.

mikem
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Post by mikem » Mon Jan 12, 2004 10:26 pm

Thanks Stick - could you do that?

thanks

Mike

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Niall
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Post by Niall » Wed Jan 14, 2004 7:25 am

He's a great artist.

When I was younger, we got a load of the old fleetway and dc thompson annuals second hand. They were what got me into comics actually. It's a bit sad that they don't really interest me anymore. Maybe when I'm older I'll dig them up again and go all nostalgic.

But something that always annoyed me was the way that artists and writers were never credited, I can't remember if commando is that way as well, is it?

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Post by Stick » Wed Jan 14, 2004 8:21 am

sorry bout the delay in moving it for you... :)


i uh.. forgot. :oops:

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