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, June 15, 2011

Mike White

Mike White has had a career in comics that has lasted almost forty years. Interested in drawing comics, he began sending samples off to companies before moving to London and visiting agencies. His earliest work appeared from Micron in around 1963/64 in their schoolgirls' libraries. As White recalls, the company would accept artwork from artists who were still learning their craft and he is not especially proud of these early efforts.

White first major strip was 'Jackaroo Joe' for Valiant in 1965-66 and his talents for adopting the styles of other artists led him to working in the style of Mike Western in Champion where he took over the artwork for 'School for Spacemen'. Other strips for Fleetway in the late 1960s/early 1970s include 'The Lords of Lilliput Island', 'Cannonball Craig', 'The Team Terry Kept in a Box', 'Whiz-Along Wheeler', 'The Test Match Terrors'; at the same time he was working for D. C. Thomson, usually working on one-off strips rather than series.

White was a regular on Action in 1976, filling in on 'The Running Man' before taking on the series 'Hell's Highway'. In the revised Action - which was removed from the shelves for some months for retooling - he drew 'Hellman of Hammer Force'.

He then found regular work in 2000AD, drawing many episodes of 'Tharg's Future Shocks', 'Ro-Jaws Robo Tales' and 'Tharg's Time Twisters'. He notably drew the Abelard Snazz strories written by Alan Moore and stories by Steve Moore and Grant Morrison. He dew a run of 'The Mean Arena' in 1981-82, written by Tom Tully. He teamed up with Tully again to draw 'Sintek' in Tiger in 1982-84.

He continued to draw for D. C. Thomson, his strips including 'Deep Sea Danny's Iron Fish' and 'Roul the Warrior' in Buddy and 'We Are United' in Champ. The latter began a run of football strips that would run for around a decade. He convinced one editor that he knew quite a lot about football but actually knew almost nothing and had to read up about the game to understand even the off-side rule.

After drawing 'Dexter's Dozen' for Roy of the Rovers, he took over the lead strip and drew 'Roy' for six years, updating the look of the strip and introducing a number of new players - he took over the strip shortly after a devastating terrorist attack left 8 members of the team dead. In his first few months, White helped Roy to victory in the Littlewoods Cup Final and the Championship Trophy, missing out only on the F.A. Cup. (which Melchester went on to win in 1990). During White's tenure, Roy also broke the record for the most goals scored in league and cup games when, in May 1992, he scored his 436th goal.

White was convinced that comics were not going to last and began requesting that his agents find him illustration work; by the time the boys' adventure comic ground to an end, White was already established. In recent years he has drawn illustrations for historical educational books published by various firms, amongst them Thalamus, Templar and Miles Kelley Publishing.

He continues to draw comics, most recently for Commando, having drawn his first cover in 1997 and his first interior artwork in 2003. His latest story appeared in March 2011.

Mike White artwork for sale at the Illustration Art Gallery.

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