Birmingham gallery Havill & Travis are hosting the first solo show by ace comics artist John McCrea, opening to the public on 21st May with a private viewing on Monday 20th May 2019.
Work from throughout John’s long and illustrious career will be showcased at the exhibition, including original cover art drawings framed with the actual published comics, limited edition screen-prints and limited edition giclee prints.
Three new stunning Silkscreen editions of Spider-Man along with giclee editions of Poison Ivy, the Joker and Black Panther will be on display, plus previously unseen original art from 2000AD with Judge Dredd in the world of The Magic Roundabout.
Also on view will be original artwork from Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight, The Mummy, Warhammer 40K and many more.
During the exhibition John will be hosting Comic Art Workshops open to the public. Details will be listed on www.havillandtravis.com.
Born in Belfast in 1966, and resident in Handsworth since the early 1990s, John McCrea has drawn comics for over 30 years. His work has been published widely throughout the world, including with Marvel and DC.
In 1989, after a few years of drawing television and toy tie-ins, he debuted with the political series “Troubled Souls”, in Crisis, as well as its sequel, the farce “For a Few Troubles More”, both written by Garth Ennis. He later illustrated the series “Carla Allison” in Deadline.
He broke into American comics in 1993, drawing Ennis’s run on DC Comics’s The Demon, followed by its spin-off, Hitman, from 1996 to 2001, on which McCrea developed a versatile drawing style equally at home with goofy humour, action, and subtle characterisation. Hitman issue 34 won the Eisner Award for best single issue in 1999.
Since Hitman finished he has drawn a variety of characters for DC, Marvel, Dark Horse Comics, 2000AD and others, including Herogasm, a limited series spun off from Garth Ennis’ The Boys.
On 9th April 2011 McCrea was one of 62 comics creators who appeared at the IGN stage at the Kapow! convention in London to set two Guinness World Records, the Fastest Production of a Comic Book, and Most Contributors to a Comic Book.
In 2012, he started work on Mars Attacks! 50th anniversary relaunch of the ongoing comic, written by John Layman and published by IDW. He also contributed 15 new cards to the Topps MA! Heritage set and exclusive variants for the set.
While penciling and inking the MA! comic, he also found time to draw issue 49.1 of Deadpool for Marvel, “Warpaint” (written by Phil Hester) for UK based Strip Magazine and “Progenitor” (also written by Hester) for David Lloyd’s bold new online only publishing adventure Aces Weekly.
He returned to DC briefly in 2013 through their Vertigo imprint for an eight-pager (written by Neil Kleid) for their one shot Ghosts, followed by a Batman short story and a miniseries Section 8, based on supporting characters from Hitman. Section 8 also marked his reunion with Hitman writer Garth Ennis and the team’s return to the series.
Since then, he has mainly worked on creator owned projects for Image Comics including Mythic, a Jack Kirby inspired fantasy/scifi adventure written once again by Phil Hester.
He has also drawn hundreds of covers for Marvel, DC, Titan and 2000ad including the Punisher, the upcoming Death’s Head, the X-Men, The Mummy, Warhammer, Dark Souls and Vikings.
Havill & Travis Gallery exhibits at Primitivo Bar & Eatery all year round. Formerly in Harborne, Havill & Travis have hosted exhibitions from Brian Travers, Emily Sparkes, Erika Nockals and Hunt Emerson – to name only a few.•
• Havill & Travis Gallery @ Primitivo Bar & Eatery, 10 Barwick Street Birmingham B3 2NT | The exhibition is open Monday – Friday 11.00am – 5.00pm and admission is free. Original artwork and prints are available to buy with prices ranging from £90 to £4,000
• During the exhibition John will be hosting Comic Art Workshops open to the public. Details will be listed on www.havillandtravis.com