In Review: illustrators Issue 42 headlines with Richard Corben retrospective

 illustrators Issue 42 (Book Palace Books) - cover by Richard Corben

The latest issue of illustrators (Issue 42) from Book Palace Books offers a smashing mix of creator-focused features and features, headlining with a brilliant retrospective look at the career of the late Richard Corben, perhaps best known for his work for Heavy Metal magazine.

From the Underground comix to the Warren horror mags and beyond, this feature – assembled with the help of the Corben family, delivers a fascinating account of Richard Corben‘s career, a hugely influential master of colour and cinematic comics. This definitive look into his artwork, not only in comics but as a cover artists as well, in part makes up for information that a hoped-for interview that, sadly never happened. As usual, the choice of accompanying art is top notch, the sample spread here doing no justice to the quality of reproduction.

Image choice is the standout element of a wonderful gallery section featuring some of the greatest covers George Wilson did for various Gold Key Comics comic book titles, accompanied by a feature by Joe Jusko who shares his thoughts on this much under appreciated artist, of whom little is really known.

Still, at least George might no longer be confused for another artist of the same name, or in in the case of the brilliant G. H. Thompson, believed, wrongly, for decades to be a nom de plume for another artist entirely! Thankfully, Diego Cordoba, through a mix of luck and design, provides what we know so far about this genius mistakenly believed to be a pen name for Louis Wain for years. Thompson created some glorious art for turn of the century children’s books and anthropomorphic postcards of animals behaving like humans, and it’s a delight to see him properly recognised.

Finally, this issue features a fascinating, in-depth interview with Jim Rugg, one of the team behind the popular YouTube channel Cartoonist Kayfabe, and showcase some of the artwork, including his creator-owned project Street Angel, which has gained building support on Patreon. It’s one of those interviews that sends you off to find out more, and may do the same for you.

  •  illustrators Issue 42 (Book Palace Books) - Sample Spread
  •  illustrators Issue 42 (Book Palace Books) - Sample Spread
  •  illustrators Issue 42 (Book Palace Books) - Sample Spread
  •  illustrators Issue 42 (Book Palace Books) - Sample Spread
  •  illustrators Issue 42 (Book Palace Books) - Sample Spread
  •  illustrators Issue 42 (Book Palace Books) - Sample Spread
  •  illustrators Issue 42 (Book Palace Books) -  Back cover art by Jim Rugg

At £22, illustrators is not inexpensive, but the cover price reflects the quality format and there few bookazines that offer the kind of art you’d happily pull out, perhaps, and frame – although I doubt many readers would. As ever, just like superb the recently-released The Illustrated History of Warren Magazines Expanded Edition, an illustrators Special, this is very much a publication art lovers should subscribe to. The choice of artist featured this issue hit the spot for me, and I’m sure it will for many others, too.

Get it while you can – some issues sell out faster than others and I suspect this will be one of them!

John Freeman

• illustrators Issue 42 is available to order here from The Book Palace

Author: Diego Cordoba (Editor and writer); Joe Jusko
Artists: Richard Corben, George Wilson, Jim Rugg, G.H. Thompson
Publisher: Book Palace Books, October 2023
Number of pages: 96
Format: Soft Cover; Full Colour illustrations
Size: 9″ x 11″ (216mm x 280mm)
ISBN: 9781913548483

More like a book than a magazine, illustrators is the art quarterly devoted to the finest illustration art ever published. With its unique blend of art and insight, it guides you through the stories behind the artists and their art, with features written by some of the leading authorities on this important art form. 

As well as building into an indispensable reference library, illustrators gives readers an insight into the creative process, from the initial idea to the image potentially seen by millions. 

The Art of George Wilson (Hermes Press, 2024)

• If you’re a fan of George Wilson, you may be interested to know Hermes Press is to publish The Art of George Wilson, devoted to his work next year, written by Anthony Taylor – available to order here direct from the publisher, or here from AmazonUK

What made many of the great adventure comics of the 1960s so attractive were their fantastic painted covers by artist George Wilson.

Wilson’s covers harkened back to the era of pulp magazines and were spectacularly eye-catching. He turned in efforts for literally hundreds of comics titles including: Classics Illustrated, The Twilight Zone, Ripley’s Believe It or Not, Dr. Solar, Magnus Robot Fighter, Turok, Son of Stone and Star Trek, to name but a few.

The Art of George Wilson, due for release in July 2024, focuses on over 300 examples of his cover art and features numerous examples of Wilson’s artwork scanned from the originals together with many of the book covers he created including his extensive run on Avon’s The Phantom(as well as his work on the Gold Key version).

The Art of George Wilson | ISBN-13: 978-1-61345-288-2 | Price: $75.00 ($78.60 CAN) | Publisher: Hermes Press | Writer: Anthony Taylor

Categories: Art and Illustration, Comics, Creating Comics, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News, Features, Magazines, Other Worlds, Reviews, US Comics

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