In Memoriam: 2000AD Comic Artist Edmund Bagwell (Edmund Perryman)

Black Axe, Edmund's stuning early work for Marvel UK
Black Axe, Edmund’s stunning series for Marvel UK

I’m sorry to report the passing of artist Edmund Bagwell, aka Edmund Perryman, who I first met as one of the team working in the Marvel UK basement back in the 1990s, bringing his unique style to the Black Axe series as well as Motormouth and Killpower.

Liam Sharp dons the infamous Death's Head II costume as Ed Perryman casts a critical eye, back in 1993. Photo courtesy Tim Quinn
Liam Sharp dons the infamous Death’s Head II costume as Ed Perryman casts a critical eye, back in 1993. Photo courtesy Tim Quinn

Also known for his animation and computer graphics work Edmund, who lived in Seoul, South Korea, was, sadly, at just 50, a victim of pancreatic cancer.

Edmund's annual tribute to one of his influences, Jack Kirby, which you will find on the Jack Kirby Museum web site
Edmund’s annual tribute to one of his influences, Jack Kirby, which you will find on the Jack Kirby Museum web site

His first professionally published work was for Deadline in 1988, writing and drawing “Syd Serene” as Anonyman.

(Edmund did work under other aliases too, including an early contribution to the Judge Dredd Mega-Special (1992) as Edmund Kitsune).

2000AD  Prog 1874 - Cover by Edmund Bagwell
2000AD Prog 1874 – Cover by Edmund Bagwell
Art from "Indigo Prime" for 2000AD by Edmund Bagwell

Post Marvel UK, he went on to work on  2000AD (on strips such as “Cradlegrave,” and “Indigo Prime”, both written by John Smith) and many other projects, including Liam Sharp‘s Event Horizon (perhaps unsurprisingly, since he and Liam were in that Bullpen, too).

“Edmund lived with me and Christina [McCormack] in Richmond, just outside London, back in the Marvel UK days,” Liam recalls. He also contributed to Mam Tor, drawing ‘Chase Variant’, and illustrating my prose story ‘Jed Lightsear’. We kept in touch, on and off, even after he moved to Seoul, and he did manage to get up to stay with us in Derby shortly before we moved to the US. We were in touch about Madefire projects too.

“Just a brilliant, under-appreciated talent with a unique voice.”

Also paying tribute, 2000AD commented on Twitter: “We’re devastated to hear the brilliant artist Edmund Bagwell has passed away. He will be sorely missed and our thoughts are with his family.”

Judge Dredd by Edmund Bagwell
Judge Dredd by Edmund Bagwell

Back in 2013, Mark Kardwell enthused about Edmund’s work on “Indigo Prime” on CBR, saying “Bagwell’s lines have a slickness that could be compared to masters like Michael Golden, Chris Sprouse or Duncan Fegredo”.

He also worked on “The Ten Seconders” written by Rob Williams in 2013, and in Kardwell’s short interview for CBR Bagwell described his work on Event Horizon as a “Year Zero” event in his career before he plunged into his time working on 2000AD.

2000AD - The Ten Seconders
2000AD - The Ten Seconders

On Twitter, Duncan Fegredo, who was his  contemporary in his student days at Leeds Polytechnic, notes he was his model for Kid Eternity, back in 1991.

“I was very sad to hear of his death,” said David Leach, who was also an editor at Marvel UK. “He was a genuinely fantastic artist with a wonderfully original style.

“I can’t say I knew him well,” he continues. “I first met him back in the glory days of Marvel UK and always enjoyed his company, he had an exceedingly dry sense of humour and a style of drawing I found utterly intoxicating, I came very close to working with him on a project, but sadly it was not to be. He will be sorely missed.”

A fellow Marvel UK editor, Alan Cowsill says Edmund was “one the of the best artists and best friends I’ve had.”

In his own tribute, recounting their days in a shared house, Andrew notes “Edmund was one of those artists who just had to draw and create. It was a compulsion. It was what he did, whether he got paid for it or not.”

Rob Williams has also echoed the views of many other comic creators who knew him, acknowledging his talent.

“I can’t believe that Edmund has gone,” says fellow artist Doug Braithwaite. “I have many fond memories of our time spent hanging out in those heady days at Marvel UK and the evenings we spent drinking and carousing in Richmond. It’s all so sad…

“Edmund was a wonderful, unique talent who’s work always showed a great love and understanding of the medium. He was a craftsman and storyteller of the highest order and I only wish more people were given exposure to his work- it was quite visionary. We will all miss him terribly and my condolences go out to his wife, Hae Sook and his family and friends”.

I’m more than happy to echo the comments. Even in his earlier career, his work had a unique style which he was far too modest to acknowledge even back in his MUK days, but it exploded on the pages of 2000AD.

My sympathies to all those who know him and his family.

• Edmund’s family have asked that donations be made to Pancreatic Cancer UK in Edmund’s memory

Edmund Bagwell’s blog, “Four Colours Good” is here or you can find his musing on Twitter @BagG_E

2000AD has a tribute to Edmund here

Alan Cowsill pays tribute to his friend here

Steve Holland also has a tribute to Edmund over on Bear Alley

Edmund Bagwell’s credits are listed here | His work as Edmund Perryman is listed here

Categories: 2000AD, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News, Features, Obituaries

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