In Review: The Art of Ian Kennedy

The full cover for "The Art of Ian Kennedy", sans copy © DC Thomson Media

The full cover for “The Art of Ian Kennedy”, sans copy © DC Thomson Media

When it comes to legendary British comics artist Ian Kennedy, I am not sure if I come into the superfan or the superstalker category, but if anything features his art, you are guaranteed that I will have more than a passing interest in it.

On 25th April 2019, the official launch for The Art of Ian Kennedy takes place in Dundee.  You can pre-order it at the DC Thomson shop online before the official launch and it is being recommended to all those who have a subscription. However, for those of us who saw the notification, we knew that Ian would be at Dunfermline Comic Con on Saturday 30th March 2019 – and many of us held off pre-ordering the book in favour of getting it signed by The Gaffer.

So on the day of the convention, many of us were keenly anticipating the book as we had seen the cover as one of our agents had managed to smuggle out copies of some of the pages.  Alas, we never realised that he was a double-agent – and no matter how hard we tried to zoom in, the text stubbornly stayed pixellated.

I can’t begin to describe the sense of anticipation that I had while I waited in line to part with my cash and the cash of some friends who knew I would be in attendance and were also prepared to wait for the book in order to have it signed by Ian.

Ian Kennedy's Commando art © DC Thomson & Co Ltd. 2019

Ian Kennedy’s Commando art © DC Thomson & Co Ltd. 2019

As I flicked through the preview copy, I was just blown away by some of the art.  I had seen some of this art printed in the comics, but to see it in the raw was just indescribable.  I think Commando editor Gordon Tait and Heritage Brands Content Editor Kate McAuliffe were worried I was going to have a moment at the sheer pleasure looking at the art gave me!

“Morgan’s Mob” art by Ian Kennedy © DC Thomson & Co Ltd. 2019

Art by Ian Kennedy for Starblazer © DC Thomson & Co Ltd. 2019

Art by Ian Kennedy for Starblazer © DC Thomson & Co Ltd. 2019

“Union Jack Jackson” art by Ian Kennedy © DC Thomson & Co Ltd. 2019

Covering his art for DC Thomson down the years, the art featured is split down by decade, from the 1950s to the 2000s and beyond.  Each chapter features a wealth of material from Ian’s work on Wizard, Adventure, Commando, Warlord, The Crunch, Bullet, Lucky Charm and many more.

Even I, a Kennedy superfan, am seeing some of the Kennedy body of work that I had never seen before.

Out of all the pieces in the book, I cannot pick one as a highlight, as I don’t think it has ever been in Ian to let a duff picture leave his studio.

As August 2019 will see the 70th anniversary since Ian Kennedy started working for DC Thomson as a 17 year old straight from Morgan Academy, this book is a worthy testimonal to the body of work he has created for us over the last 70 years.

The Art of Ian Kennedy is a work of art and a thing of beauty that will enhance the collection of any comic collector.

Colin Noble

The Art of Ian Kennedy - CoverThe Art of Ian Kennedy is available to order here on Amazon (Using this Affiliate Link helps support downthetubes, thank you)

The Art of Ian Kennedy is available to order from DC Thomson direct now

The book showcases Ian’s fantastic array of work for not only DC Thomson Media but also his own personal collection. The high spec 160-page art book includes both never before seen and classic covers, as well as illustrations from the DC Thomson archives, featuring titles as diverse as Lucky Charm and Buddy. Set out chronologically, the book showcases Ian’s career at the famous Scottish publishing house, from his early days working on ‘Red-Skull Branson’ and ‘Commando Jim’ to his most recent covers and commissions for Commando

Check out Colin Noble’s Nothing But a Fan Blog here

Categories: Books, British Comics

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2 replies

  1. Great words Col and I couldn’t agree more. Catching up with the man himself again to ‘scribble’ in my copy was my Dunfermline highlight 🙂

  2. looking forward to checking it out, been a fan since he took over on Return of the Mekon in 82.

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