Sophie’s World ‘Doctor Who’-inspired exhibition heads for Orbital

Sophie's World flyer by Steven Cook
Image © Steven Cook

Way back in 1988 (yes – that long ago…) my first professional job in the wacky world of comics (thanks to Richard Starkings who suggested me and Sheila Cranna, who took him up on the idea) was designer on Doctor Who Magazine, under the watchful eye of the ever-brilliant senior designer and photographer, Steven Cook.

Today, with a client list that includes the BBC, Virgin, Mattel and Sony Music, he’s a multi-disciplinary artist, based in London’s East End, best known for his work as art director on 2000AD, which still brandishes his iconic logo over 20 years after he designed it. His credits also include the fine art  photographic project, Alternity (“The best way to view the past is to invent it”) and work for US comic publishers Vertigo and DC comics. He’s also a lecturer at the University of the Arts, London.

Doctor Who Magazine Issue 162
The cover of Doctor Who Magazine Issue 162

By the time I’d assumed the editorship of DWM, Steven was, I recall, moving on from Marvel UK, working on 2000AD, engaged in photo shoots for all sorts of films and music stars – but fortunately, there were still opportunities to employ him, and he provided some fantastic covers.

Steven has also maintained contact with many of the subjects of those DWM photographs – one of them being actress Sophie Aldred, who played Ace alongside Seventh Doctor, Sylvester McCoy.

That ongoing connection will be celebrated with a new exhbition of recently discovered photographs of the Doctor’s much-loved companion Ace at London’s Orbital Comics that opens 5th Septermber and runs until 30th September.

Sophie Aldred – Doctor Who’s “Ace”: The Unseen Photographs celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who and Sophie will be signing on Saturday, Sept 7th, 12.00 noon – 3.00pm. Orbital Gallery, 8 Great Newport St. London. WC2H 7JA.

In the run up to the exhibition, Steven is publishing some of his Doctor Who companion photographs on his blog, Secret Oranges, which is a fascinating diary of his work in itself (last week, for example, he was in the Kubrick Archive).

The cover of Doctor Who Magazine Issue 152
The cover of Doctor Who Magazine Issue 152

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John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a “freelance comics operative”, currently working as a freelance editor for TITAN COMICS, as Creative Consultant on the new DAN DARE audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the LAKES INTERNATIONAL COMIC ART FESTIVAL and LANCASTER COMICS DAY.

John has worked in British comics publishing for over 30 years, starting out at Marvel UK, where he edited a number of the Genesis 1992 books with Paul Neary. His numerous credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines, where he was Managing Editor.

He also edited STRIP Magazine and worked as an editor on several audio comics for ROK Comics, including TEAM M.O.B.I.L.E. and THE BEATLES STORY.

Most recently he is writing CRUCIBLE as a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and DEATH DUTY and SKOW DOGS with Dave Hailwood for the digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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