Gary Erskine, the original artist of Marvel UK’s Knights of Pendragon back in the 1990s, has just published this superb cover to Panini UK’s upcoming collection of the strip over on the Scotch Corner Blog.
Gary also goes into the background behind his design, and has posted some early drafts and designs.
“It has been truly magical to work on the series again,” he told downthetubes.
downthetubes first learnt of the planned collections back in February (see news story): the first nine issues will feature in one single volume later this year, with the remaining volume to follow next year.
Knights of Pendragon, which also featured covers by artists such as Alan Davis and Simon Bisley, was initially a highly political and environmental comic, its themes drawn from the British folklore of King Arthur, environmental issues and New Age and neo-pagan subcultures.
“Knights was the first book I worked on (some twenty years ago) and still remains a favourite with fans,” says Gary. “I found it difficult to return to the characters after so long away and the final design was limited by how much of the first half of the story we could reveal… I took the decison to draw our heroes (and villian) individually to allow for re-sizing and positioning. This proved very helpful in choosing each character’s prominence relative to Captain Britain who was always front and centre.
“[Editor] Brady Webb at Panini and myself went through many ideas before settling on the final design shown here… our heroes charging defiantly towards the reader. A fairly simple idea (you may think) but a cover is the singular most important selling point of any medium (be it a cd, magazine or comic book cover) The cover has to be attention grabbing and instantly promote interest in the product and a desire to see more.”
- Knights of Pendragon at the Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe
- Knights of Pendragon at the Marvel Directory
- Knights of Pendragon at the Comic Book DB – this includes an issue by issue guide to the title
- Knights of Pendragon Wikipedia Entry
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.