Thank you, Martin Hand

Posted by on March 3rd, 2010 at 7:30 AM

Thanks, Martin, for posting Steve Whitaker artwork on flickr. The new set is lovely.

Who is Steve Whitaker, you ask? According to his wikipedia page, he was born in 1955 and died in early 2008. He was the colorist on V for Vendetta, the author of The Encyclopedia of Cartooning Techniques, a contributor to Comics Forum, and the artist on the first two issues of Saga of the Man-Elf (Trident, 1989). I seem to recall that he taught comics and illustration at a London art college, but I don’t remember which one. Most serious comics fans in England knew him, or at least knew who he was; he was a larger-than-life personality, and it’s not that big a community.

I got to know Steve in the late eighties and early nineties. He was one of the most pugnacious and endearing individuals I have ever met. He had that elbows-first brilliance of a true autodidact. He was full of opinions – about art, politics and practically anything you can think of – but he also had a rip-roaring sense of humor. He was a gifted artist, and anything but predictable. His relationship to cruel material reality could be a little shaky at times. He definitely had that divine spark thing going for him.

Certain people just stick in your mind, Steve Whitaker included. Here are a handful of his drawings, courtesy of Martin Hand. The image above is a self portrait.

Here he complains about the poor state of his teeth, and his horror of dentists. Click on any image for a larger version.

Here he makes fun of superhero fans:

The vibe in this page is, shall we say, a little more abstract:

I find this one intriguing:

This one is a bit goofy for my tastes:

What can I say? Eccentric Brits are just more interesting than their American counterparts.

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2 Responses to “Thank you, Martin Hand”

  1. Gavin Lees says:

    The mockery of superhero fans is a riff on a Harry Enfield character called “Loadsamoney”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MyZnZ_e6Aw