Legendary British comic artist Ian Kennedy – best known today for his covers for Commando but whose credits a huge range of comic titles from Eagle and 2000AD to girls comic Emma – is to make a rare comic convention appearance at next year’s Birmingham Comics Festival on Saturday 18th April 2015.
Ian Kennedy’s 60 year plus career encompasses some of the best loved characters and comics published in Britain. To this day, he remains the undisputed master of aviation depictions, from his pioneering days on Air Ace and Thriller Picture Library through to Battle Picture Weekly and Warlord, his work has thrilled great-grandparents and their offspring, right through to today’s kids who still regularly see the semi-reti red octogenarian’s artwork emblazoned across the covers of DC Thomson’s Commando title.
News that Bear Alley Books will be reprinting a strip in which he played no small part in leaving an indelible mark on comic fans memories, “Frontline UK” from Bullet, has been greeted with glee by his fans.
Ian Kennedy’s work can be found within collectors’ copies of The Hotspur, Buster, Wizard, Warlord, Thunder, The Victor, Wildcat, Buddy, Blake’s 7, M.A.S.K., Starlord, The Eagle, 2000AD and others. These titles call out like a roll call of the great and good; bestselling comics that often proved to be trailblazing weekly ones in their time. From the likes of Typhoon Tennyson and Battler Britton to Judge Dredd and Dan Dare and oh so many unknown soldiers in between, each character has been delineated with consummate craft by this fine Scottish gent.
From his defining black and white sequential adventures through to his breathtaking acrylic painted covers, there is humanity and heroism captured in equal measures. Ian Kennedy is both an artist’s artist, and one who the Great British public have been reading and collecting from the 1950s to the newsstands of today.
Despite being one of the most revered comic book illustrators of the post-World War period, Ian Kennedy has rarely attended comic book conventions, and even then not south of the Scottish border.
“The Birmingham Comics Festival is honoured that Mr Ian Kennedy has warmly agree d to pay the city a visit,” said the festival’s organisers. “We know people will be coming from far and wide to see him to offer their personal thanks for the hours of pleasure his art has given them and their families. The word legend is bandied about too casually these days but Ian Kennedy is truly deserving of that title!”
Air ace artist Ian Kennedy’s appearance at Edgbaston Cricket Ground on Saturday 18th April 2015 for The Birmingham Comics Festival will be a momentous event and you are cordially invited to have the time of your life by meeting him and the other talented creators and publishers who will be there on the day.”
• For more information on The Birmingham Comics Festival visit: www.thecomicfestival.com
• For more information on Commando, where Ian Kennedy’s work still appears visit: www.commandocomics.com
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.