London’s Orbital Comics have just had a busy weekend. Not only have they weathered the once a year chaos that is Free Comic Book Day, but they have also just opened their gallery space up to Cover Versions – When Music & Comics Collide. The brainchild of The Orbiting Pod’s own Robin Harman, this is a combining of music and comic art to excellent effect that will run at the store until 14th May 2015.
Robin is as enthusiastic about music as he is about comics and decided to join both in this event. Twelve well-known comic artists from all fields got together and each created an interpretation of an iconic or favourite album cover. Not necessarily recreating the cover image, but giving it their own interpretation of the album and its music.
The finished pieces are being displayed at 12″ record sleeve size, and when this incredibly impressive exhibition closes, a short print run of each piece will be made available for purchase, with proceeds going to Brain Tumour Research, a really great cause that aims to raise awareness of illness and to help support the research into solving this disease. (Full details about how you can donate at the bottom of the page.)
The list of creators is a really diverse assemblage of hot artists – and they all to a person pulled it out of the bag creatively. I would urge you to dig deep and try and grab one – although demand is likely to be high, so you’ll need to be quick.
Here are a few of my favourites. (Not all images are shown in this article for the reason that you should be buying them!)
Andy Poyiadgi (downthetubes favourite and creator of the recent Lost Property comic from NoBrow Press) went with the Prince Album – Sign of the Times. This piece bends the ideas and senses in a really powerful piece of art that focuses on change in its political and personal sense. A really mesmerizing series of images.
Marc Laming (an artist who is about to go stellar with his Marvel Secret War comic that follows Devil Dinosaur and barbarian Steve Rogers as well as his recent work on the Fantastic Four, The All New Invaders, Kings Watch and many more) went for a personal, moody and moddy favourite of his of The Who’s Quadrophenia. A piece that evokes the era with a twist on the original visuals.
Laura Trinder absolutely blew me away with her piece based on a Florence and the Machine album. It’s hard to pick a favourite of the show because they were all so excellent but this one is definitely up there as one of my personal favourites.
Dean Beattie (artist on the hilarious Random Trials) flew in the face of some of the slightly more solemn art on show and imagined the Michael Jackson BAD cover but imprinted Doctor Doom onto it. Doubly funny and slightly disturbing it perfectly epitomizes what Dean does so well.
Chris Wildgoose (artist on the spectacular Porcelain series as well as the recent Mad Max anthology from Vertigo Comics) flipped the tables on the Deftones – Around the Fur bikini clad cover to excellent effect. It’s a cover that has action and movement all in that one image. Superb stuff.
Other excellent covers included pieces by Declan Shalvey, Emily White, Robert M. Ball, Andrew Whyte, Clayton Cowles, Isaac Lenkiewicz, Kate Brown and many more.
The beers kept coming and in true rock ‘n roll traditions we all fell out of the pub quite a few hours later!
• You can find details of the exhibition and how to purchase one of the prints at www.cvrvrsnss.com or follow the event on Twitter @cvrvsns. You can also find Robin himself on Twitter @rjharman or at the online shop www.coverversions.bigcartel.com
• Nestled right in the middle of London’s West End, Orbital Comics is always holding events and signings and well worth a visit if you are in the area. They are situated at Orbital Comics, 8 Great Newport Street, London, WC2H 7JA or you can find them at www.orbitalcomics.com and on Twitter @orbitalcomics
• Most importantly, please head over to www.braintumourresearch.org and educate yourself about this horrible disease and drop them a few quid if you are able. You can also find this charity on Twitter @braintumourrsch
Many thanks for reading.