First 2000AD Dredd cover to go under the hammer

Veteran comics artist Barrie Mitchell, perhaps best known for his work on Roy of the Rovers, is selling some of his art – including the 2000AD cover that was the first to feature Judge Dredd.

Featuring on Issue 5 of 2000AD, published in March 1977, the cover sees Dredd in action against a giant robot, Krong, inspired by the story in the same issue, which was drawn by Carlos Ezquerra.

Despite having the honour of being the first Judge Dredd cover artist, Barrie’s 2000AD career is quite scant in comparison with the huge amount of work he has done for a slew of publishers down the years. His credits include work for girls titles such as Bunty, Mandy and Diana, as well as action titles like Look-In, Pow and Wham, and various Marvel UK titles. He was the final artist on the Roy of the Rovers comic, drawing the strip from October 1992 until its cancelalion in March 1993, returning the character in 1997. He also worked on the The Mirror‘s Scorer strip in 1989-1990.

The cover will be auctioned by Island Auctions at Cowes Masonic Lodge on the Isle of Wight on 5th August 2010, as part of a larger sale of special auction of Fine Art & Maritime Collectables during Cowes Week.

In addition to this 2000AD art, Barrie told downthetubes he is selling some other pieces of art, some by other artists, in the auction. These include some pages of his own Doctor Who strip for Doctor Who Magazine, featuring Third Doctor Jon Pertwee, two pages of his Roy of the Rovers work, a signed page of the Penthouse strip Wicked Wanda by Ron Embleton, bought some years ago at a Society of Strip Illustrators event, two examples of John M. Burns Seekers and a page of Dan Dare from the Eagle, drawn by Keith Watson in the late 1960s. (Barrie wasn’t able to tell us which story this art was from).

• Island Auctions web site: www.shanklinauctionrooms.co.uk or telephone 0198386

About Barrie Mitchell

Barrie’s first strip was a three-page costume drama for DC Thomson’s Bunty title. Before then, he had completed a four -year apprenticeship with Link Studios.

Although he became freelance in 1961, he stayed with Link until 1975.
His early works were for girls comics such as Bunty, Mandy, and Diana. He also worked on annuals of the Bonanza television series for Purnell, strips in Pow, Wham and Sparky, plus “Brian’s Brain” in Smash. A lifelong car enthusiast, In 1967, he rendered three motor-racing strips in Lion — “Tales From the Tracks”, “Lightning Storm” and “Drive For Your Life”. 

His first football strip was “Paxton’s Powerhouse” for IPC’s Scorcher and he moved on to Score with “Jack & Jimmy”. He later returned to Scorcher with the second strip, until it finished in 1974.

After that, Barrie began to specialise in soccer/football strips with “Skipper Willie” and “Cast Iron Bull” in DC Thomson’s Wizard title, “Twisty” for Bullet and “Play Till You Drop’ for Action. Later strips went on to include “Kid Cox” in Bullet, “Guts To Be A Goalie”, “Pickford”, “Starf,’and “Superstar” in Scoop for DC Thomson, and “Marks Brothers” in Roy of the Rovers for IPC Magazines. His other strips include six weeks of “Day Of The Eagle” for Battle, “Harlem Heroes”, “Judge Dredd”, “Lawless Touch”, and “Flash Jordan” for IPC Magazines, “Fireball” and “Speed Kings” for DC Thomson.

In addition to football strips, Barrie also drew several strips for the Junior TV Times title Look-In, including “Knight Rider”, “Worzel Gummidge”, “The A-Team” and “Streethawk”.

Barrie claims that working with John Burns at the Link Studios influenced the early part of his career. He also admires Frank Bellamy and Jim Holdaway. He is currently impressed by the work of Richard Corben and Paul Gillon. 

Barrie Mitchell’s 2000AD Credits

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



Categories: 2000AD, Art and Illustration, Auctions, British Comics, Doctor Who, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News

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