Saturday, 4 June 2011

Sean Phillips - Criminally Good!

For this week's cover we see Anderson dressed as a perp as she goes undercover in this gritty cover by the awesome Sean Phillips. This is Sean's first 2000AD cover for 12 years and, as you can see, it's excellent!

Below is Sean's digital sketch...

Followed by the lush painted version...

The Criminal and Marvel Zombies artist got his 2000AD break working with Pat Mills and John Smith on the political comic Crisis in the late eighties. Thankfully, by the time Crisis was cancelled, Sean had crossed over into the Prog and Meg. As well as working on 2000AD favourites such as Dredd and Sinister Dexter, Sean co-created two of the Megazine's biggest characters, as well as the overall look for the Meg on it's launch.

Below is a cracking gatefold inner cover from Megazine no 1 which introduced readers to Dredd's world, it's great to see Sean's versions of the city and some of it's classic characters...

And some spoof Ads for the Judge Pal Club, which invites children to snitch on adults to earn Pal Points for prizes!


Judge Pal - The Juve's Friend

Below is Sean's first 2000AD cover, Prog 646 waaaay back in September 1989. Already there are signs of Sean's moody, noiresque style with a hard as nails Dredd glaring at the reader from the dark...

Next, onto two of my all time favourite covers, the first is for Prog 780 which was a relaunch issue. The re-launch was entitled 'The Megablast!' hence Megacity-One's premier law man running from that huge explosion!

Next, Prog 800, another landmark prog. This issue featured the first part of Garth Ennis' excellent Dredd strip 'The Marshall', which featured fantastic art by Sean. The story told the tale of a lone survivor of a clan of Cursed Earth peacekeepers which were accidentally wiped out by the Justice Department. Just look at that cover, it's amazing!

Much of Phillips' Dredd work (including The Marshall) were reprinted in the Hamlyn Graphic Novel, Tales of the Damned, for which Sean provided this lovely cover...

While we're on with reprint covers, here's Sean's cover for the 'Law in Order' reprints which has Dredd in exactly the same pose as Clint Langley's Star Scan in this weeks' issue - freaky huh!?!

Next a couple of montage covers, the first is 852 featuring Tharg, Sam Slade, Slane, Tyranny Rex and of course, Dredd...

Followed by Prog 980, this time featuring Cannon Fodder, Dredd and Venus Bluegenes.



To finish off the prog covers I have, here's eco-witch Finn facing off against a giant dragon on Prog 945...
And a true classic, Dredd responding to a Code 99 Red (judge down) on the cover of Prog 999!
Onto the Megazine, as I said earlier, Sean was co-creator of both Devlin Waugh and Armitage. We'll start with upper class Vatican Vampire, Devlin Waugh. Co-created with John Smith, Waugh was an English, spiritual emissary from the Vatican, described as a cross between Noel Coward, Terry Thomas and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The first story dealt with an infestation of vampire inmates at a brilliantly designed underwater prison known as Aquatraz. In a story was both gruesome and terrifying, so the camp, hilarious quips from Waugh really lifted the mood. Philips' art throughout was amazing, making a really memorable character. Blow is the cover from the Hamlyn reprint...


Next Armatige, a grizzled, Brit-Cit detective, very much in the mould of Inspector Morse. Co-created by Dave Stone, this character was perfect for Philips, looking at where his career has taken him since. Below is the d├ębut cover of the strip showing Armitage, a Brit Cit judge (Sean states that Brenfan McCarthy, designer of the Brit Cit uniform is a huge inspiration to him) and rookie detective Treasure Steel...

Below is the cover for Deathmasques, a Virgin Novel where Dredd and Armitage reluctantly team up. I absolutely love this cover!
Sean returned to Armitage in 2009, providing this great cover for the Brit Cit detective's return...
Aaaaaand finally, to bring this article full circle, we have a perp dressed as a psi-Judge! This was the saucy cover for Meg 1.13 featuring Lisa, ace hacker-come prostitute and one of Armitage's many contacts. Again, it's an amazing bit of foresight from the mighty Tharg!

It's been an amazing year for returning artists in the prog, Bryan Talbot, Jesus Redondo, Liam Sharp and now Sean Phillips - long may it continue. Make sure you visit Sean's blog and site for more of his fantastic, hard-hitting work!

2 comments:

  1. love that new Anderson cover! nicely posted Pete.

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  2. terrific post. I've always loved Sean's stuff.

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