Recently released by Air Pirate Press is The Art of Brett Ewins, a new book shedding light on the life and times of on of Britain’s best-known comic artists.
In a frank and revealing 11,000 word interview, the 80-page book, put together by Brett with help from former 2000AD and Doctor Who Magazine editor Alan Mackenzie, details this popular artist’s drawing techniques, his work habits and the years of stressful over-production that led to major illness and his early retirement from the harrowing production-line life that is the lot of most professional comic strip artists.
Two years in the making, The Art of Brett Ewins shines a fascinating spotlight on the creator of such iconic comic strips as Johnny Nemo, Skreemer, and Bad Company, covering his decades long career illustrating major 2000AD strips as Rogue Trooper, Judge Dredd and Anderson: Psi Division.
From his first efforts in the comics business with close friend and drawing partner Brendan McCarthy, with whom he published Sometime Stories, Ewins landed drawing assignments with the then-nascent 2000AD comic. Inside a year he was drawing fill-in episodes the comic’s lead strip Judge Dredd, then was handed the long-time gig on Rogue Trooper.
By the mid 1980s more Dredd and work on the Dredd spin-off Anderson: Psi Division followed. Again, teaming with McCarthy, Ewins produced two limited series – Strange Days and Johnny Nemo – for American independent publisher Eclipse. Then in the second half of the 1980, Ewins embarked on the operatic Bad Company, working from scripts by his long-time friend and collaborator Pete Milligan.
During the early 1990s, while Ewins was illustrating a third series of Bad Company and simultaneously editing the cult monthly Deadline, his health took a turn for the worse and by 1995, he had all but retired from the comics business.
The Art of Brett Ewins chronicles all this and more, in Brett’s own words, talking frankly about his years in the comics business work and the toll it later took on his health.
The book features plenty of artwork, mostly shot from the over-sized originals, revealing just how Ewins’ pens and brushes created his many mini-masterpieces, including inked comic pages, pencil drawings and full-colour paintings – some 49 black-and-white and 70 colour pictures in total
• The Art of Brett Ewins is an softcover book is on sale now via Available from Amazon.co.uk, WHSmith.co.uk and other leading online booksellers, priced just £9.99. (ISBN 978-0-9569149-0-3)
• Air Pirate Press: www.airpiratepress.com