Making a rare convention appearance at Lancaster Comics Day on 11th June 2017will be the Doctor Who, Hellblazer and Road to Perdition artist Richard Piers Rayner.
His appearance is something of a coup, as Richard has only appeared at perhaps as many as three comic conventions in the last twenty years.
Richard began his professional comic career in 1988, drawing for DC Comics and Marvel Comics. His work includes Hellblazer, Swamp Thing, L.E.G.I.O.N., Doctor Fate, Neil Gaiman’s Midnight Days, Captain America: Red White and Blue and Doctor Who.
Richard found international success as the artist on The Road to Perdition, written by Max Allan Collins, which was turned into a Hollywood blockbuster by Sam Mendes starring Tom Hanks and Paul Newman.
A third generation Boro supporter (his Granddad bought a house in Tavistock Street, Middlesbrough, because of its proximity to Ayresome Park), Richard has been attending matches since a 2-0 victory over Liverpool in the old Second Division in October, 1961. (So he knows what it is to suffer.)
He was Artist in Residence at Middlesbrough Football Club from 2000 to 2016, creating hundreds of pieces of art, building up an unprecedented illustrated history of the club from 1876 to the present. He also wrote and illustrated Middlesbrough FC: The Unseen History, published by Breedon Books in 2008. Its comic book style presentation chronicles the unseen days, forgotten heroes as well as more familiar faces and recent history from the formation of the club in 1876 to the present day.
For Doctor Who, he drew Marvel UK’s Evening’s Empire, written by Andrew Cartmel, which began in Doctor Who Magazine Issue 180 but hit production problems and was eventually published as the 1993 Doctor Who Classic Comics Autumn Special.
Last year, Panini UK re-presented the story in a new collection, which included a number of stunning new pages from Richard.
Richard was also one of three artists on part one of IDW Publishing’s Doctor Who story, Ripper’s Curse.
Focused primarily on local creators and others based in the North West, Lancaster Comics Day is in its third year. Other guests announced so far for Lancaster Comics Day are acclaimed fantasy author AS Chambers, who is based in the city and has set his Sam Spallucci detective series there (news of a special comcis-related competition featuring him soon); and publisher and comic artist Tim Perkins, who is currently working on the second volume of his stunning Worlds End project.
Taking place in Lancaster Library (and raising funds on its behalf), Lancaster Comics Day is organised by the Friends of Lancaster Library and comics editor and writer John Freeman, who moderates most panels on the day, which this year will include “Creating Comics: Self Publishing and More” (with Tim Perkins and others), “Doctor Who Comics (with Richard); “Jack Kirby: A Celebration”; and “Football Comics – Past and Present”.
• Richard has a new web site in the works; for now, you can follow him on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RPiersRayner
• Follow Tim Perkins on Twitter @timpwizardskeep
• AS Chambers is online at www.aschambers.co.uk and has a Facebook page which he would be delighted for you to follow (@A.S.Chambers) as well as the obligatory collection of ramblings in the Twittersphere (@ASChambersUK).
Here’s just a small sampling of Richard’s incredible art…