Illustration Art Gallery

The very best from the wide, sometimes overlooked, world of illustration art, including original artwork for book illustrations and covers, comic books and comic strips, graphic novels, magazines, film animation cels, newspaper strips, poster art, album covers, plus superb fine art reproductions and high quality art prints.

Our gallery brings together artists from all over the world and from many backgrounds, including fantasy, horror, romance, science fiction, education, sport, history, nature, technology, humour, glamour, architecture, film & tv, whimsy, even political satire and caricature.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Brian Lewis

Brian Lewis is an artist whose reputation has continued to endure long after his death. Known in science fiction circles for his often abstract covers for New Worlds, Science Fantasy and Science Fiction Adventures and in comic circles for his contributions to House of Hammer, appreciation of Lewis's work has grown as more of his work for other papers and magazines is discovered.

Brian Moncreif Lewis was born on 3 June 1929 and served his National Service with the RAF. An interest in science fiction led him to co-edit and contribute to The Medway Journal fanzine in the early 1950s. His first professional sale relating to SF is thought to be an illustration relating to 'Journey Into Space' for the Radio Times. His connections with Nova Publications began in 1954 and, between 1957 and 1962 he painted some 80 covers for their three SF magazines, his work often showing a strong surrealist influence. During the same period he also painted a number of rather more straight-forward covers for Digit Books.

Lewis made his comic strip debut in 1959, drawing early strips for Lone Star and TV Comic. However, it was with 'Jet Ace Logan' in Tiger that he found his feet and there followed a 13-month run on 'Captain Condor' in 1961-63. Lewis also proved adept at drawing sports and war strips, culminating in work for Eagle where he drew 'Mann of Battle' and 'Home of the Wanderers'. Science fiction was not forgotten and Lewis drew SF tales for Boys' World, Tiger and Hurricane.In 1964 he also proved himself as a humour artist when he began contributing cartoon strips to Wham! and, over the next few years, humour and adventure strips often ran concurrently in the pages of Smash!.

In the late 1960s, Lewis worked for the Central Office of Information on public information films and also contributed to the Beatles' animated movie Yellow Submarine. He suffered a heart attack in 1970 and struggled for some years, drawing strips for Countdown and Look-In and a series of scientific biographies for All About Science. In 1976, his agent contacted Dez Skinn suggesting Lewis as an artist for the upcoming House of Hammer; Skinn was only persuaded after seeing samples, but the connection proved fruitful, eventually leading to a brief association between Lewis and 2000AD where he drew covers and, briefly, the 'Dan Dare' strip.

A busy artist in the late 1970s, painting books covers and contributing to The Muppet Show Diary, annuals, Vampirella and Target magazine, Lewis suffered a heart attack and died on 4 December 1978, aged only 49.

Examples of Brian Lewis's artwork can be found for sale at the Illustration Art Gallery.

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