|Will Simpson at the W5. Photo: W5 Centre
The work of Will Simpson is the focus of an exhibition at Belfast’s W5 Centre until 28th April 2013, highlighting the work of this internationally-known artist, whose career began in comic strip art.
Will grew up in Prehen, near Derry, and his earliest work was for the Belfast anthology Ximoc in the early 1980s. This led to professional work in the UK, drawing Big Ben in Warrior in 1984, and a run on Transformers for Marvel UK in 1985-1987. His first work for 2000AD, a Future Shock, came in 1985, and he was a regular on the magazine from 1987 to 1991, drawing Universal Soldier (1987), Judge Dredd, including episodes of the epic Oz (1987-88), Tale of the Dead Man, and Tyranny Rex (1988).
He provided painted art for several Judge Dredd stories, as well as the Rogue Trooper reboot The War Machine in 1989-90. In 1991 he created Sex Warrior with writers Pat Mills and Tony Skinner for Toxic!
In recent years he has developed his work in the film industry providing conceptual art and storyboards for a variety of feature films, such as: Reign of Fire, directed by Rob Bowman, Freeze Frame, directed by John Simpson, Neil Jordan’s Breakfast on Pluto, and most recently, Game of Thrones for HBO, David Gordon Green and Danny McBride’s Your Highness for Universal, Lord Richard Attenborough’s 2006 production, Closing The Ring and the Tom Hanks produced City Of Ember.
This exhibition showcases some of William’s incredible concept artwork for film and television. His original pencil drawings will be on display in the Centre’s level 5 gallery and the exhibition gives visitors of all ages and backgrounds a truly unique opportunity to see these wonderful images up close.
Some of Will Simpson’s Game of Thrones art will also be on display at the upcoming 2D Festival at the end of April (see news story)
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.