Veteran comic artist Ian Kennedy has drawn the wraparound cover for 2000AD Prog 1961, the bumper end-of-year issue of the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic.
Hailing from Dundee, Ian initially worked for DC Thomson and then for Amalgamated Press and is best known for his work on war comics such as Thriller Picture Library, Battle Picture Weekly, and Commando, as well as his SF work for Star Lord, Eagle, and 2000AD, for which he drew Invasion, Judge Dredd, and M.A.C.H.1.
Despite going into semi-retirement in 1997, the 83-year-old veteran artist still draws and paints, his work regularly featuring on the covers of Commando, and his stunning cover for Prog 1961 shows he’s lost none of his abilities as Dredd gazes out over the gleaming spires of Mega-City One.
This modest illustrator is one of British comics stalwarts and his work admired by countless fans around the world – much to his continued surprise.
“I don’t have a computer but it doesn’t stop people getting in touch with me, ” he said, almost sheepishly during an interview for The Courier newspaper, now online on the Commando web site. “The number of websites about me – it’s actually a wee bit embarrassing.”
When SF became popular again in the 1970s, Ian drew several early 2000AD strips like MACH 1 and some episodes of the comics version of the TV programme Blake’s 7 for Marvel UK, although the comic lasted only 23 issues before the show’s cancellation killed it, in 1983.
“That was quite good fun because I went down one day to meet the cast and watch them working on one of the scenes in the studio, and to get photographs of the equipment they were using.”
He was also involved in helping introduced Dan Dare to a new audience for the 1980s Eagle, work that has, sadly, never been reprinted.
Best known for his stunning aircraft illustrations, his most famous image for 2000AD is, possibly, his cover for Prog 446 printed over 25 years ago, featuring Me 109s taken through a time tunnel to Judge Dredd’s dystopian future. One pilot screams, “Himmel! This isn’t Stalingrad!”
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• We’re delighted to announce that Ian has kindly agreed to be interviewed about his return to 2000AD and his comics work and Jeremy Briggs will conduct the interview soon. If you’d like us to include any questions, please send them to our regular mailing address as soon as possible!