1990s Dan Dare Designs by Jon Haward

Dan Dare Recalled: Artist Jon Haward’s 1990s Designs

1990s Dan Dare Designs by Jon Haward
1990s Dan Dare Designs by Jon Haward

There’s plenty of interest in Dan Dare of late, with B7 Media‘s new audio series developing fast (I’m happy to report the pilot script from Bev Doyle and Richard Kurti is shaping up nicely) and the release of 2000AD‘s simply gorgeous first volume of that comic’s never-before-reprinted Dan Dare saga written by Pat Mills and others, drawn by Massimo Belardinelli and Dave Gibbons.

(It’s truly a thing of beauty – I have no idea why there isn’t a picture of the cover on Amazon.co.uk, but do check it out).

Given all this, it seems an opportune time to shine a light on a lesser-known incarnation of Dan Dare published in the 1990s, and I’m delighted top artist Jon Haward has kindly given us permission to publish the Dan Dare samples he did that landed him work for Eagle back then under the editorship of Barrie Tomlinson.

1990s Dan Dare Designs by Jon Haward
Character Studies

“These character studies and colour comic strip pages where sent to Barrie and he liked them enough so I could be fill in artist on Dan Dare when David Pugh was on holidays or worked on longer story lines,” Jon explains.

“I worked for Barrie on Dan Dare for I think nine months,” he recalls. “I learned a lot at that time – I was 25 and had only been a freelance artist for four years .

“It was a dream gig and it was well paid I had 10 days to draw four pages of comic art – layouts, pencils, inks and colouring using markers and pencil. Everything back then was fax for pencil approval and posting the original art to Barrie.”

Dan Dare by Jon Haward
Drawn with pelican inks and colours on CS10 board in a Frank Hampson vibe style , this was Jon’s first sample piece for Dan Dare, created back in 1990.

 

Dan Dare by Jon Haward
This page was drawn to follow David Pugh’s character design costumes for Dan Dare, in markers and pencil on layout paper which was spray mounted on card back in 1990.

 

In all, Jon drew two stories for “New” Eagle, both written by the late Tom Tully: an untitled six part story published in the issues dated 8th September 1990 to 13th October 1990 and a second published in issues cover dated 9th March 1991 until May 1991 (when Eagle went monthly) titled “The Return of the Mekon”.

He also drew two untitled strips for the 1992 Eagle annual and two stories for a Dan Dare holiday special, and a pin up.

“It was hard work,” jon acknowledges, “but lots of fun and I have a lot of happy memories.”

As well as Dan Dare, over the years Jon has worked on many icons such as Spider-Man, Judge Dredd, Macbeth, Warhammer, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Shinobi and Mutant Chronicles amongst others. For the past two years he has been passing his knowledge to the next generation of artists by mentoring students in colleges and universities as well as providing home tutoring.

Among other creator owned projects such as Simba Khan for Aces Weekly, he also co-created and is currently working on new material for the critically acclaimed Tales of the Buddha before he got Enlightened written by Alan Grant, which consists of adult humour strips collected and published in trade paperback format by Canadian publisher Renegade Arts Entertainment. As you can see from the samples below, he hasn’t put SF comics completely behind him!

• Official web site: www.hawardarthouse.blogspot.com

Tales of the Buddha: "Whodunnit" Page 1 Tales of the Buddha: "Whodunnit" Page 2

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John Freeman

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.

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