Friday, November 29, 2013

Lewis Collins 1946-2013

I was saddened yesterday to hear of the passing of the actor Lewis Collins, after a long fight with cancer. Like many British males of my generation I was addicted to the show 'The Professionals', in which Lewis played hard-man secret service agent 'Bodie'. As a 13-14 year old, he & co-star Martin Shaw portrayed characters who (to our teenage minds) represented all we could ever want to be. Hard-drinking, fast-car-driving, quick with their fists & even quicker with a one-liner. They would tear into action with a squeal of Ford Capri tyres, foil the bad guys (who, ironically, were generally the type of enemy that the western world really is facing today) with a good old fashioned right hook or a kick to the bollocks (non of that 'chop-socky' kung fu/ninjitsu business that every action hero seems to know these days)on a weekly basis, then retire to the pub to 'pull birds' over a pint or a whiskey. Yes it was the 70's, yes it was a different time, & yes, no doubt to modern eyes it would all look a bit twee, but we loved it, & the fact that Lewis Collins is now no more will be a genuine sadness for the show's fans.

Of course he went on to play other roles, though not as many as his Martin Shaw who managed to shrug off the tough guy typcasting, but he missed out on the one role for which he was surely born, James Bond. I understand he was considered for the part, but the producers in the early 80's felt he was too brutal, ironic considering the brutality of the current Daniel Craig movies.

He starred in the 1982 SAS action flick 'Who Dares Wins', & subsequently tried out for the real SAS reserve, but despite passing the entrance tests he was considered too well known for the regiments somewhat clandestine nature.

For those too young to know who Lewis Collins was, or to remember the Professionals, take a look on YouTube or one of the many TV channels that re-run old 70's cop shows, cos you're in for a treat.

Lewis Collins: 26 May 1946 – 27 November 2013

Monday, November 18, 2013


One of my recent gigs was to provide the artwork on a back-up strip to feature in an upcoming issue of IDW's Judge Dredd comic. It has been a few years since I've drawn anything from the Dredd-verse (in a professional capacity at least), & it was fun to revisit those characters & environments. It would be bad form to show any more than this little teaser (actually the very first panel of the strip) prior to publication, but if this peaks your interest, look out for the issue in question (#14) released some time in December, I believe.

Labels: , ,

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Meltdown Man sketch.

It's been a while since I posted on here, sorry. Mostly that is because the material I have been working on is either 'hush-hush' or not particularly interesting.

Anyway, here's a thing I did fairly recently. Done in a sketchbook that a guy is passing round to as many 2000AD artists past & present as he can. I was totally free to draw whoever I pleased from the 2000AD stable, which for me would normally mean Rogue Trooper, however, since there was already two scarily fantastic Rogue contributions from both Dave Gibbons & Colin Wilson (yes, really... sheesh) in there, I decided to spread my net wider. Dredd was considered, as was Johnny Alpha, Matt Tallon (from the original Mean Arena), Slaine & various others. But in the end I came down to this guy, Nick Stone, 'The Meltdown Man'. I'll not go into the details of the original story, but I remember enjoying it, it involved Nick Stone (an ex SAS trooper) in a kind of a 'man out of time, Planet Of The Apes' thing, with beautiful artwork by Bellardineli. I suspect that when he drew the strip he was given an early still of Kurt Russell in Escape From New York (which was more or less contemporary with the strip), since as you can see, the resemblance is striking. What occurred to me only recently is that many years after this strip, Bravo Two Zero veteran, Andy McNab,  took to writing novels about an ex SAS trooper called Nick Stone. Coincidence or homage, who knows.

Any way, here's the sketch, done with a fineliner pen, & a brush pen. Also, a still of Kurt Russell in the aforementioned flick, for those unfamiliar with it.

Labels: , , , , ,