Commando honours artist Ian Kennedy with special memorial issues

Commemorating what would have been the legendary artist Ian Kennedy’s 90th birthday, Commando releases four classic issues from the 1970s and 1990s this week, with cover and interior art by the master himself. Issues 5575 – 5578 are available to purchase in shops and online from Thursday 15th September, 2022.

For subscribers, accompanying the celebratory set are four exclusive art cards with stunning cover art on the front and a detailed montage from the interiors on the reverse.

Commando 5575: Home of Heroes – Jack’s Private War
Story: Gentry | Art and Cover: Ian Kennedy
Originally Commando No. 813 (1974)
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Commando 5575: Home of Heroes - Jack’s Private War

The RAF was throwing everything they had into the air battles that raged daily over the burning, ancient sands of the North African Desert. And in the thick of it was Flight Lieutenant Jack Hammond, DFC. As he banked his hurricane, keen to blow another victim from the sky, little did he know that within hours he’d be sentenced to death! But Jack made a pact within himself, if he truly was dying then he’d go out fighting the Nazis!

Ian Kennedy began his career at DC Thomson in 1949, his first gig famously filling in the black squares of The Sunday Post crossword. By 1974, he was working freelance but providing numerous covers for Commando. “Jack’s Private War” was the first issue for which Ian drew interiors for the title — and what an absolute treat it is. Ian would go on to do four more interior issues of Commando, three of them included in this memorial set.

Commando 5576: Gold Collection – The Sand-Devils
Story: RA Montague | Art and Cover: Ian Kennedy
Originally Commando No. 832 (1974)
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Commando 5576: Gold Collection - The Sand-Devils

They said Sammy Hamilton was stretching his luck when he volunteered for an extra tour of desert ops… especially when his new squadron tangled with the fanatical pilots of The Black Wolf Squadron who had sworn a terrible oath of vengeance on them! But they had messed with the wrong blokes, as the crack pilots of Bomber Command’s Sand-Devils were on their way too!

While the original cover in 1974 was done by Jacono, this was only on a single-use basis and so when it was reprinted in 2013 the gaffer stepped up to recreate the fabulous cover, which DC Thomson have reissued now — and what a spectacular job he did!

Commando 5577: Action and Adventure – Cougar Squadron
Story: Ian Clark | Art and Cover: Ian Kennedy
Originally Commando No. 2967 (1996)
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Commando 5577: Action and Adventure - Cougar Squadron

In the skies over Vietnam, the American and North Vietnamese fought for supremacy day after day. When expert tactician Major John Gardener was given command of the crack Cougar Squadron, he thought his great planning skills would make all the difference. But he found out quickly that tactics on the ground did not always work in the air. Especially when you are up against an enemy who is every bit as cunning and able as you are!

Proving he was the master of all aircraft, Ian Kennedy’s classic dogfight cover shifts from the usual skies of the Second World War to the Vietnam War. And with insets of the two rival pilots’ heads, this cover is a bingo card of what we love about an Ian Kennedy cover. 

Commando 5578: Silver Collection – Fury Strike
Story: Alan Hemus | Art and Cover: Ian Kennedy
Originally Commando No. 3024 (1997)
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Commando 5578: Silver Collection - Fury Strike

On the Yellow Sea off the west coast of Korea, June 1951, Hawker Sea Fury fighter-bomber aircraft were launched from a Royal Navy carrier as part of the United Nations force locked in the bitter war between North and South Korea. Leading them was Lieutenant Commander Tommy Kane and Sub-Lieutenant Jacko Jackson — and, even though the MiG15s outclassed them, they weren’t going to let that stop them!

A stunning wraparound cover, it’s easy to see why Ian Kennedy is so synonymous with Commando, his aircraft covers, in particular, were fan-favourites. Like “Cougar Squadron” and “Jack’s Private War”, you can see details of the original cover in The Art of Ian Kennedy, released in 2019 by DC Thomson.

Commando Comics is online at www.commandocomics.com | DC Thomson – Subscriptions | Facebook| Twitter | YouTube | Commando Comics on AmazonUK

The Inimitable Ian Kennedy: A Tribute by Calum Laird

Tributes to Ian Kennedy

A Marvellous Legacy: A Tribute to Ian Kennedy, by Kelvin Gosnell

• Check out the art of Ian Kennedy at www.iankennedyart.co.uk | Twitter | Instagram

• There is also an Art of Ian Kennedy Facebook Group 

COMMANDO 5575 – 5578 COVER GALLERY

  • Commando 5575: Home of Heroes - Jack’s Private War Full
  • Commando 5576: Gold Collection - The Sand-Devils Full
  • Commando 5577: Action and Adventure - Cougar Squadron Full
  • Commando 5578: Silver Collection - Fury Strike Full

Commando Comics is online at www.commandocomics.com | DC Thomson – Subscriptions | Facebook| Twitter | YouTube | Commando Comics on AmazonUK

 

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. Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Explorer (previously known as Star Trek 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.



Categories: British Comics, Comics, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News

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1 reply

  1. Makes a great set and a fitting tribute. Perfect choice of occasion for revising the art cards and the badge on the covers is a particularly nice touch. Bombs On Target in the next batch, perhaps?

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