Out now from Velocity Press and the subject of a pop up in Brixton this week is Junior Tomlin: Flyer & Cover Art, showcasing the comics colourist and mastermind behind some of the most iconic rave flyers and record covers of the late 1980s and early 90s.
Junior Tomlin has been an artist for over 35 years, working for comics (his credits spanning work for credits are Marvel, Panini, Titian, 2000AD and DC Comics), record labels, live events and film.
During the 1990s, he designed record covers for Renegade Soundwave and many flyers for raves. The latter have become collectables and have been dubbed the work of “the Salvador Dali of rave”.
He also created art for his own pleasure, some of which features in his official web site.
Junior Tomlin: Flyer & Cover Art, released recently, is a comprehensive insight into Junior Tomlin’s incredible back catalogue. It’s the first time his work has been documented and presented in such a comprehensive, cohesive fashion.
“My book is a celebration of 30 years of art and creativity, from airbrushed pieces to vector graphics and the movement of pixels,” says Tomlin.
“It represents two sections of my life: the era when I was creating record covers and, subsequently, my time producing rave flyers. Both stories are intertwined through people, records, labels, rave promoters,
“DJs and MCs, with the ever-changing genres of music, and, of course, the ravers who urged me to create bigger and better vistas stretching their imagination and their perception of the world around them.”
Citing influences that range from Leonardo da Vinci to Jack Kirby, Tomlin says “Reading comics, watching films and listening to music” are key sources of inspiration for him, reflected through his work on show in this new book.
“Everyone has a spark of creativity in them,” he feels, “some on the surface where they can easily access it and others who bury it deep down, perhaps due to a bad creative experience. It is my hope that people who have lost the fire rekindle it through the pages of this book.”
Velocity Press publishes electronic music and club culture books: memoir, history, contemporary, illustrated books, and beautifully produced limited editions. They aim to create a catalogue that feels like a trusted record label in its integrity and vision and delivers exciting and vital voices and stories to serious electronic music fans who enjoy good literature.
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. 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 “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.