Thursday 1 August 2013

Ian Gibson - Angel Delight!

For some it was McMahon, for some it was Bolland, for me? Ian Gibson was easily the premier Dredd artist of my youth. His linework was exquisite, his characters were so full of... character, his Dredd was both quirky and cool (his eagle had a personality all of it's own fer Grudssakes!) and I was, and still am, head over heels in love with his ladies.

I've been looking for an excuse to celebrate the work of my fave artist ever since I started this blog and finally I have one! IDW have managed to tempt him into drawing a brand new Dredd cover for their ongoing series featuring not only Dredd but the Angel Gang too! Heaven!

Below we see Ian's sketch, a wonderful z curve composition if ever there was one...

Z curve commentary - "Oh shit, the Angel Gang! Dredd's down! He's lost his gun!"

Followed by those deft brushstrokes, yummy!

And the final image coloured by Tomb, hmmm, I'd have loved to have seen Ian's airbrush at work on this one...

So let's have a wander down memory lane, gushing over some of Ian's work for the galaxy's greatest and a peek at some of his amazing commission work... It's time for...

We'll begin with Robo Hunter. Ian's work on this strip was absolutely mind boggling - the sheer amount design work involved in the strip, the level detail on every single page, the way he managed to make it gritty yet cute and make the Teeny Meks adorable yet terrifying is just brilliant.

What really blows me away about this period is how Gibson kept this up week after week as well as submitting so many covers and star scans at the same time, amazing!

So here's Ian's first ever 2000AD cover, Prog 76, what a start!

The name's Slade...
Above: Slade and Kidd about to become human fertiliser on the planet Verdus.
Sam and Kidd play Robopoly with cheating sewer droid B.O.
Holy Joe Smith! Slade, Cutie and Kidd in the thick of the action as usual!
Da God Droid wants Sam's head in Day of the Droids

Hey, it's ages since Tharg gave us free crisps.

Sad to see childhood obesity is still a problem in the future.

"S-LA-Y-E-D to you!"

Sam vs 100 Hoageys - They don't stand a chance!

And now for some glorious Slade Star Scans...

Star Scan from Prog 103, aw Cutie... sniff!
Always thought the above Star Scan from 214 had a look of the James Caan about it, however now I can only see Michael Barrymore, awight?

Here's lookin' at you Kid!

Stogie and Hoagy, TB Grover at their very best.

Ian revisited the character for the several of the reprints too... 

Best of 2000AD 86, Sam spent most of this story strapped to a chair, disgusting!

2000AD Extreme 30... yup!

From Brit-Cit to Mega City One now. Ian has drawn dozens of Dredd and Anderson tales, my favourite being  'Meanwhile...' in the1987 Dredd annual if you were wondering! Here are a selection of covers and other odds and sods from yesteryear...
Drokkit, Dredd was just in time to save Walter! Damn you Gibson!

Dredd socks it to those evil Stookie Glanders!

Who IS the Executioner?
Check out those cits and their fashions - Pure Gibson brilliance.

This next Dredd cover is for one of my favourite TB Grover stories ever - Paid in Full. The story tells of Adele Dahl (how did they get that past editorial!?!) who is a professional biller. This means she randomly sends out bills, charging people... for the bill. 95% of recipients simply throw them away as they should, but 5% pay up, giving Miss Dahl quite the luxurious lifestyle! It may sound far fetched, but having just changed my mortgage provider, I'm fairly certain there are some billers around today...

Bill Oddie

It's rare I pick out a specific panel, the the story contains this 'un, which is all kinds of frikking genius...

What did go on in that room with a corpse a Adele Dahl?

One of my all time favourite Star Scans - loving the eagle!

 Dredd stares down a Bombuddy.

Your Vulced, creep!

Ah, Jacob Sardini... and who could forget Janet Turvy and Christopher Probe?

Love this! 

and this!

Of course Ian drew his fair share of Anderson which made young Pete feel all 'funny.'

There is nothing about this image that isn't brilliant.

Oh yeah!

And of course I couldn't do a Gibson review without looking at Halo Jones, the tale of an ordinary girl who did extraordinary things. Below is the first cover for the classic series...
Play it again Yortlebluzzgubby

The first cover for book 2 is beautifully cinematic

Burn Toby, ye bastard!

Hmmm weird, I can't recall this character at all...

The opening cover of Book 3 is a brilliant contrast to that of Book 2

Along came a spider...

Granny Halo - will we ever see her?

And onto possibly my favourite part, Ian's stunning commissions. Speaking from experience, I can truthfully say that Ian really goes the extra mile with these.  Let's start with two commissions that are very close to my heart, firstly pasty-thief Pete Wells getting arrested by Dredd and Anderson...

"She's a fair cop!"

And secondly, Dredd and Mean tussle at Pete Wells Block. This was the first ever depiction of the mighty Wells Block...
Bok and Drokk

Next up, this genius recreation of the Star Wars: A New Hope poster. I hope the client gets the rest of the trilogy done...
Law Wars: Attack of the Clone

Below is Ian's latest Dredd vs the Dark Judges commission, the prelims for this are great, I'll post the link at the end of the piece...

They're behind you!

Hershey and Anderson after a work out... phew!

Of course Ian gets asked to do the odd Robohunter...

And, of course, lots and lots of Halo...

I know this is (understandably) one of Ian's faves

Something a bit special next, someone commissioned the cover of Halo Book 4...
Halo Jones Book 4: Lost Girl

Halo and Toby...

Burn Toby, ye bast... oh, sorry...

Next, Halo ready for the Glory Barge...

Your Planet Needs You...

Something I alluded to earlier,  I've always loved Ian's fashion sense and think he may well have have a career in fashion if he hadn't become a droid. The next couple of images show this nicely...

The Gibson Collection 2013

The final commission I'll show is a tribute to some bloke called Alan Moore...

That's a cracking Skizz

And speaking of talented creators, here was Ian addition to the commemorative poster for the wonderful Tom Frame...

RIGHT! I MUST STOP! Honestly, I could have put hundreds more images on this. You can see loads more of Ian's stunning work (including LOADS more commissions and their beautiful prelims) on his Facebook Page - The Art of Ian Gibson. If you're not a fan of social networking sites, this is the kind of stuff you can miss!


  1. wonderful post!
    Some brilliant artwork.

    thanx as always for showing and doing this Pete!


  2. Fabulous! Gibson was my favourite 2000 ad artist too and I loved the Anderson strip serialized in the Daily Mirror. All these images bring back great memories- good to see he's still working.