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 28, 2011

Charlie Adlard

Charlie Adlard has been discovered and rediscovered a number of times in both the UK and US. After producing a string of short-lived strips beginning with 'Biggles Bear' in 1989, Adlard approached Steve MacManus with samples and was offered a Judge Dredd strip. He then drew various strips for the Judge Dredd Megazine, notably 'Armitage', about a brutal Brit-Cit cop and his partner, Treasure Steel (who subsequently featured in her own series), and for Marvel UK, where his best work was probably Dances With Demons, a 4-issue mini-series penned by Simon Jowett; a second collaboration with Jowett, entiteld 'Bloodrush', went unpublished.

By this time, Adlard had been discovered by American publishers, drawing stories for Black Orchid Annual, Marvel Comics Presents and Good Guys. After producing a five-issue run of Mars Attacks! for Topps, Adlard began working on the best-selling X-Files comic strip from the same publisher. The strip was a tremendous success and was still selling an average 130,000 copies per issue when Adlard decided to leave, claiming that the strip was straight-jacketed by the demands of the company and he had little artistic control.

He left to work on Shadowman for Acclaim and, although never short of relatively high-profile work (on, for instance, The Crow, Gen13, Superman and X-Men, it might be said that Adlard was critically discovered only when he began working on Larry Young's Astronauts in Trouble in 1999.

In the 2000s, Adlard was, again, kept busy on a range of titles, including Blair Witch: Dark Testaments and Double Image for Image; The Authority and The Establishment for WildStorm, Before the Fantastic Four, X-Men Unlimited, Peter Parker: Spider-Man, ThunderBolts and Warlock for Marvel and Batman/Scarface: A Psychodrama, Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Harley Quinn and Batman: Gotham Knights for DC.

However, it was with The Walking Dead for Image that Adlard was yet again rediscovered in 2004. Adlard replaced original artist Tony Moore with issue 7 (April 2004) and has continued the series ever since, the series now approaching issue 90 at the time of writing. The post-zombie apocalypse storyline proved very popular with readers and rode a wave of zombie popularity in movies (28 Days Later and Resident Evil had both appeared in 2002). Countless zombie comics - most notably the Marvel Zombies sequence and spin-offs - have subsequently appeared but few have been as critically well-received as The Walking Dead, which won the Eisner Award for Best Continuing Series in 2010. A 6-part television series based on the comic developed by Frank Darabont, began broadcasting in October 2010; a second series of 13-episodes was commissioned within days of the show's debut.

As well as his work in America, Adlard has retained his connections with the UK, drawing the graphic novel Playing the Game by Doris Lessing in 1995 and episodes of 'Nikolai Dante' for 2000AD in the late 1990s. However, it was the relaunch of Pat Mills' 'Savage' in 2004 that brought Adlard back to the attention of fans of British comics. He went on to draw three series of the character's revival between 2004 and 2007.

Adlard  has also played drums with various bands over the years (Wild Thyme, Bogus Monk, Mine Power Cosmic).

Examples of Charlie Adlard's original artwork can be found for sale at the Illustration Art Gallery.

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