Here’s an exclusive first look at Chris Weston‘s fantastic cover, coloured by Dylan Teague, for the upcoming second collection of the 1970s British comic strip “Black Max” – a character who’s been enjoying quite a revival through the various Scream and Misty Specials, and his appearance in the 2000AD strip “Fiends of the Eastern Front“.
Created by writer Frank Pepper and artist Eric Bradbury and initially appearing in the 1970s comic Thunder, then Lion, ace fighter pilot Baron Maximilien Von Klorr is the scourge of the skies, menacing the Allied forces during the bloodiest battles in World War One. Skilled, ruthless and in possession of two giant, mutated kingbats who fight by his side, Von Klorr, aka Black Max, is almost unstoppable.
Only the brave pilots of the Royal Flying Corps, including Lieutenant Tom Wilson, opposed the Black Max’s complete dominance of the air in his original adventures.
Rebellion released a terrific Treasury of British Comics collection of the early Black Max stories back in 2018, and he’s appeared in the Scream and Misty Specials, but his appearance in “Fiends of the Eastern Front” in 2000AD , written by Ian Edginton with art by Tiernen Trevallion was much more substantial, in which he unveiled a horrifying plan for the future of the world!
In Black Max Volume Two, on sale in October 2020, Lieutenant Tom Wilson returns to battle Baron Maximilien Von Klorr and his attack force of giant vampire bats in a continuation of the popular series. The World War One era story moves to England, with a monstrous albino bat attacking London, and features art by Spanish artist Alfonso Font.
Font, now 83, began his comics career in the 1960s, initially on the western strips “Hazañas del Oeste (“Adventures from the Wild West”) and “Sioux” for Ediciones Toray, gaining the commission to draw “Black Max” through the Selecciones Ilustradas agency, his first strip for the British market.
A professional comic strip, concept and storyboard artist, after studying for a year with Don Lawrence (artist on The Rise and Fall of the Trigan Empire and Storm), Chris Weston secured his first paid job for 2000AD, drawing “A Night at the Circus”, an episode of Judge Dredd written by John Wagner for Prog 596 in 1988, a character he has continued to draw regularly to this day. His work for the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic also includes “Killing Time”, his favourite strip for the title to date, co-created with John Smith, and “Canon Fodder”, written by Mark Millar.
His credits for US publishers began with an issue of Swamp Thing #153 in 1995, working with Mark Millar and includes work for Vertigo and DC Comics – The Invisibles, Starman, Garth Ennis’ War Stories: Johann’s Tiger, Enemy Ace, JSA, Lucifer, The Authority and Time Breakers.
He’s co-produced two critically acclaimed creator-owned series, The Filth, a mind-bending paranoid thriller written by Grant Morrison, and Ministry of Space, a limited series written by Warren Ellis which saw Britain winning the Space Race.
For Marvel, Chris drew Fantastic Four: First Family followed by The Twelve, a twelve-issue limited series written by J. Michael Straczynski.
Chris began to produce concept art and storyboards for films in 2008, his credits including work on The Book of Eli and an unmade live action adaptation of Akira, both for director Albert Hughes. More recently, he worked as a costume designer on Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Chris now juggles his time between drawing Judge Dredd, film work and a growing line of silkscreen print commissions.
• Black Max Volume 2 | ISBN: 9781781088623 | On sale in October 2020 price UK £14.99 | 112 pages, paperback | Black Max Volume One is available here on AmazonUK (Affiliate Link)