Comic Creator Spotlight: Alan Langford

Alan Langford is a freelance artist and illustrator who today specialises in equestrian subject matter; the painting of horses an occupation he finds both enjoyable and rewarding. But he began his career in comics, and has begun drawing them again, self publishing a graphic novel, The Secret of the Aesir, a stunning work combining SF and Viking mythology, in 2020.

Alan Langford. Photo: Richard Sheaf
Alan Langford. Photo: Richard Sheaf

Alan began his artistic career in 1979, working as a full-time illustrator for “Etchmasters” going freelance in the early 1980s, drawing strips for 2000AD, Warlord, New Eagle and Supernaturals, and providing cover art and illustrations for many fantasy game books.

Since then, he’s illustrated history books, encyclopaedias, adventure stories, myths and legend, and worked for the BBC, illustrating the stories of “Romulus and Remus” and “Androcles and the Lion” for the children’s programme Zig-Zag.

Interior illustrations for the Fighting Fantasy book, Spellbreaker, by Alan Langford | Via Game Book News

In recent years he’s returned to drawing comics, writing and illustrating his own graphic novel, The Secret of the Aesir, and providing a one off story, “The Star-Drake of Dunmonia”, for this year’s SHIFT Comic Anthology Year Book, still available in newsagents and online.

Alan has also worked as an art tutor in adult education, and is frequently asked to demonstrate his drawing and painting techniques for amateur art societies.

• Find Alan Langford online at www.alanlangford.co.uk | thesecretoftheaesir.com

• Alan is among many guests at Fighting Fantasy Fest on Saturday 3rd September 2022 University of West London
Facebook Event Page | Fighting Fantasy Official Site: www.fightingfantasy.com | Official News Blog

ALAN LANGFORD – COMIC AND FIGHTING FANTASY CREDITS

2000AD

Tharg’s Future Shocks – Once Upon an Atom” – 2000AD Prog 235, cover dated 24th October, 1981 and Prog 236, cover dated 21st October 1981, written by Steve Moore

Agent Rat – Trouble on Tree-World“, 2000AD Prog 273, cover dated 17th July 1982 and Prog 274, cover dated 24th July 1982, written by Steve Moore – Alan Langford)

The opening page of “Agent Rat – Trouble on Tree-World”, 2000AD Prog 273, cover dated 17th July 1982. Reprinted in The Complete Future Shocks Volume 2

Tharg’s Time Twisters – Dr. Dibworthy’s Disappointing Day“, 2000AD Prog 316, cover dated 14th May 1983, written by Alan Moore

Tharg’s Future Shocks – Dad2000AD Prog 329, cover dated 13th August 1983, written by Alan Moore

Tharg’s Future Shocks – The Plaque!2000AD Prog 347, cover dated 17th December 1983, written by Alan Hebden

Tharg’s Future Shocks – “The Alteration” – 2000AD Prog 466, cover dated 19th April, 1986, written by Grant Morrison

Ro-Jaws Robo-Tale – Silicon Soul“, for the 2000AD Annual 1983, written by Gary Rice

New Eagle

Timeslip“, for Eagle Monthly June 1991, written and drawn by Alan Langford

Doomlord – Anti-Matter Universe“, Eagle Holiday Special 1987, writer uncredited

Super Naturals

The opening page of Supernaturals – “The Mount of Athos” – art by Alan Langford, from the eponymous comic, published in 1987

Issue 1 – “Mount of Athos”
Issue 2 – “Mount of Athos”
Issue 3 – “Mount of Athos”
Issue 4 – “Mount of Athos”
Issue 5 – “The Curse”
Issue 6 – “The Curse”
Issue 7 – “The Curse”
Issue 8 – “The Curse”
Issue 9 – “The Curse”

For more on Alan’s work in Super Naturals, check out the Oink! Blog here

Warlord

Pawnee Patrol” – Warlord 457, cover dated 25th June 1983 – Issue 470, cover dated 25th June 1983

Trapped behind enemy lines in Burma in World War Two, a squad of American soldiers, all Pawnee, set out to confuse enemy Japanese troops by fighting them in Native American style, aided by Professor Gilpin.

A page from an episode of “Pawnee Patrol”, art by Alan Langford, for Warlord 459

Convict Commandos” – Warlord 502, cover dated 5th May 1984 – Issue 515, cover dated 4th August 1984

Warlord’s answer to Battle Picture Weekly’s “Rat Pack”, two convicts escape from Dartmoor Prison during World War Two and find themselves in a Commando training camp – and a quick spot of forgery funds them seconded in to the war effort!

(There was an annual story, too, published in the Warlord Book for Boys 1985, but this appears to have been drawn by a different artist).

The opening page of “Convict Commandos” from Warlord 503

Alan also recalls briefly drawing a strip featuring “revived Vikings battling Nazis in World War Two” aboard an E-Boat. We’re trying to trace the strip, a fill-in for another artist perhaps for another DC Thomson boys title such as Victor, but it’s proving elusive!

It’s a concept similar to the strip “The Battleberg”, which ran in Victor in 1975, attributed variously to Anthony Coleman and Antonio Garcia, the latter best known for his work on “Morgyn the Mighty”. Might this have been a revival of the Victor story, rebooted?

The Secret of the Aesir

Graphic Novel – more info here: thesecretoftheaesir.com

Set during the 8th century AD amidst the tundra and glacier scarred valleys of northern Scandinavia, The Secret of the Aesir describes the journey of a contingent of Viking warriors, who guided by their knowledge of the far north, discover a mystery that is older than the Aesir, older than Odin himself.

• Read John Freeman’s review of The Secret of the Aesir here

The Secret of the Aesir by Alan Langford is available here for £12 from Little Knoll Press – signed copies available | Buy it from AmazonUK (£14.49) – Affiliate Link

SHIFT Comic Anthology Year Book 2022

Art by Alan Langford

“Star-Drake of Dunmonia” – available here: https://theshift.store

FIGHTING FANTASY

These credits via fightingfantasy.fandom.com/wiki/Alan_Langford

Cover Illustrator

Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks

Spellbreaker (Puffin, 1993)

Interior Illustrator

Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks

Island of the Lizard King (Puffin, 1984)
Sword of the Samurai (Puffin, 1986)
Creature of Havoc (Puffin, 1986)
Battleblade Warrior (Puffin, 1988)
Portal of Evil (Puffin, 1989)
Spellbreaker

Warlock Magazine

Issue 4 (Penguin, 1985)

Other Fighting Fantasy

Out of the Pit (Puffin, 1985)
Titan – The Fighting Fantasy World (Puffin, 1986)
The Fighting Fantasy 10th Anniversary Yearbook (Puffin, 1992)

Map Illustrator

Island of the Lizard King
Spellbreaker

• Find Alan Langford online at www.alanlangford.co.uk | thesecretoftheaesir.com

• Alan is among many guests at Fighting Fantasy Fest on Saturday 3rd September 2022 University of West London
Facebook Event Page | Fighting Fantasy Official Site: www.fightingfantasy.com | Official News Blog

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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