The Cuttings File #1. Brian Bolland
In which I unearth ephemera from 1977 onwards
In the late seventies I was so into Marvel and DC comics, that I didn't really notice the British artists until I saw Brian Bolland's artwork. Firstly on the paper bags for the Forbidden Planet comic shop that I’d visit, during my time as a student at college in the Charing Cross Road, London.
Dark They Were and Golden Eyed in St Anne's Court, was the first comic shop I’d found, and I still have one of their paper bags (below), designed by James Cawthorne, (an artist primarily associated with Michael Moorcock), but the new Forbidden Planet was nearer, in fact just over the road from the Saint Martin's School of Art building.
Here are some images of flyers and bags for Forbidden Planet by Brian Bolland that I’ve kept cuttings for, along with many other examples of his earlier work.
Apart from the work Bolland did for Forbidden Planet, it seems he was all the rage when it came to comic shop flyer artwork. Here's one for Comic Showcase, that I've kept since 1980.
From Forbidden Planet 2, where I met Richard Hollis and Alan Jones who worked there, known also for their regular features and reviews for Marvel UK’s Starburst magazine.
Not long after I’d started at Marvel UK, artist and writer, John Higgins was kind enough to take me along to a meeting at The Society of Strip Illustration (SSI), later known as the Comics Creators Guild. I was given a copy of their directory, and inside was this great illustration of Morgan LeFay from the Camelot 3000 series published by DC Comics. A series that I’d been reading, and still have, somewhere back in London.
From the same album of cuttings, a Time Out cover by Bolland. Sept 1987. Squashed and stretched type was all the rage around this time, thanks to Neville Brody. I’m glad it went out of fashion eventually, though I'll admit that I too was guilty of it for a short while.
This pmt (photo-mechanical transfer) has yellowed with age somewhat. It probably wasn't fixed for long enough. Anyway, Bolland does Dredd!
From David Anthony Kraft’s Comics Interview #19. Such a fun cover illustration.
The Dark Knight Rises... and how!!! Brian Bolland for the UKCAC '85 convention booklet.
A page from the Birmingham comics convention booklet, 1986.
A copy of a PMT for Eagle Comics Presents: Judge Dredd #3, January 1983.
Eagle Comics Presents: Judge Dredd #28, February, 1986.
And lastly, a production proof for 2000 AD Prog #848, 4 Aug, 1993. I remember this being commissioned by Alan McKenzie at the time, and I still (luckily) have Brian's incredibly detailed fax, that I used for the cover layout ahead of the finished art arriving at the command module.
This particular cover also appeared as the frontispiece and in the chapter entitled 2000 AD, in a book by The V&A. The Art of the Book. James Bettley, ed. V&A Publications. ISBN: 1851773339
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