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Commando art 
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Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2009 1:19 pm
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Hi all, newbie here with my first post.
Its a question for Commando CO when he next visits these pages.
With the discovery a few years ago of a cache of original art from the IPC war comics I have been wondering what is the situation with regard to all the Commando art produced over the years ?
I know that a lot of cover artwork is being scanned and posted on the official Commando sight and you can buy a few prints of same so a lot ,if not all still exists in the DC Thompson archives.
Is this original art used when the reprints are published or is the book produced by some other means ?
Is it the intention to hold all the available art electronically to facillitate future publishing and if so what will then happen to the originals ?, it must be costly storing all that paper, I have visions of an "Indianna Jones" type warehouse stacked to the roof with Ian Kennedy covers.
Apologies to bombard you with so many questions but I'm a big fan of british comic art and I would hate to read one day that there had been an accident & it was lost for ever.


Thu Oct 29, 2009 5:35 pm
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Mr Valeera
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STO, from my visit, I believe that you are not too far off the mark with the idea of an Indiana Jones style storage area. This is how Commando, Victor, Warlord et al were able to use reprints to beef out their usual weekly/monthly output from the closer storage area of the two.

I believe that DCT still has all the original artwork dating back to their first foray into magazines so that if you ask nicely, you may even be able to get the first painted cover of the People's Friend or even a rather nice copy of the original artwork for the first pages of Wizard and Adventure.

However, if you are after a systematic copy of their archives, then it can get expensive. Not sure if the prices are as bad as the National Archive, but I am sure it could get very expensive very quickly if you were to ask for copies of every page of a year of any comic. For comics post 1970, Ebay is probably more economic, but any comic before that, then the price of copying versus the price of an issue will be a coin toss.

When reprints or anthologies are produced, I believe that the first recourse is to the archives, with the comics being used as a poor secondary source.

I am sure that Commando CO will beef out these answers, but this should provide you with a stop-gap until that time STO.

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Thu Oct 29, 2009 8:40 pm
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colcool007 wrote:
When reprints or anthologies are produced, I believe that the first recourse is to the archives, with the comics being used as a poor secondary source.
Definitely, judging by last year's Beano-Dandy 70 Years book.


Thu Oct 29, 2009 9:15 pm
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colcool007 wrote:
I believe that DCT still has all the original artwork dating back to their first foray into magazines


Not so, Colin. Over the last few years I have quite often seen original artwork from Thomsons' comics advertised in dealers' catalogues, Compal and Norman Wright being a couple of examples. I even have some myself.


Thu Oct 29, 2009 11:52 pm
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Mr Valeera
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phoenix4ever wrote:
colcool007 wrote:
I believe that DCT still has all the original artwork dating back to their first foray into magazines


Not so, Colin. Over the last few years I have quite often seen original artwork from Thomsons' comics advertised in dealers' catalogues, Compal and Norman Wright being a couple of examples. I even have some myself.
Well, at least that explains the amount I have seen on Compal as I wasn't sure if it was excess boards that someone had in a private collection or if it was someone doing a 'midnight flit' with some of the older DCT items. :D Now just thinking of all those Commando covers for sale...

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Fri Oct 30, 2009 12:02 pm
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colcool007 wrote:
For comics post 1970, Ebay is probably more economic, but any comic before that, then the price of copying versus the price of an issue will be a coin toss.


This point is only relevant if the print taken from the original artwork is the same size as the actual issue of Commando, or whichever paper you might have in mind. As the original artwork/painting will be quite a bit bigger, you would presumably get a decent print from that suitable for framing. If the print is only the same size as the Commando, there can be little point in buying it at all, given that the cover is already a print itself. Very few people can afford originals and there is nothing wrong with prints. When Raphael's Madonna Of The Pinks was up for grabs a few years back, I just couldn't rustle up the £34.88 million to put in a bid, so I waited a few months and then got the National Gallery to do me a digital print of it for £20 while I waited. I can now look at it whenever I want. I think sage's best bet would be to contact Thomsons. They won't bite his head off and he might just get the prints he wants at a very reasonable price.


Fri Oct 30, 2009 2:40 pm
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Actually, the original artwork would lack the Commando logo, price, issue number, story title, and where applicable, the bar code. So there is an advantage to artwork over the comic, even if they're the same size.


Fri Oct 30, 2009 2:57 pm
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Good point, Digi, about the appearance of the print. I did overlook that but I was really thinking how much more of a presence in a room a framed larger-sized print would have, when compared to the tiny version on the cover of Commando if that were framed. With or without the logo, the price, the title etc., the actual-sized version would be much less dramatic, much less of a feature on the wall than the larger-sized print.


Fri Oct 30, 2009 4:18 pm
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Thanks for all the input so far guys, it's been very enlightening.
I think I might try contacting DCT as there are a few Ian Kennedy covers that I would like to own full size (if only the original art was on the market).
I have a couple of pages of his B/W art from "Real War" but I would kill for an original Commando colour cover.
I think my favourite would be issue 693 "Death of the Cobra". It features a Meteor Jet attacking a Fw 190D with a large coiled snake on its fuselage, the stories not bad either, its been reprinted in the latest Battle of Britain collection.
My other favourite artist is Jose Maria Jorge, second only to Kennedy for accurate & dynamic artwork, he did the interior art for this story.


Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:14 pm
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Sage the Owl wrote:
I would kill for an original Commando colour cover.


As Commando CO has been a friend of mine for some years now, sage, I feel that I must warn him that you are on your way. I suppose your chosen method of assassination normally depends on the terrain. I think you had better know though that the kris, the kukri, the samurai sword or the long-distance rifle would tend to stand out somewhat in the centre of Dundee, as would your approaching Courier House on your stomach with a dagger between your teeth.


Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:49 pm
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Isn't Morris Heggie (may have spelt his name wrong) the archivist for DC Thomsons? Or would he just be the archivist for the likes of the Dandy and the Beano? Maybe he can give an answer to the question if you e-mail him or write a letter (like in the olden days) or, with this being commando, you send him a morse code message or machine gun the request into the side of DC Thomsons building?

You rarely see Thomsons work out on sale they seem to keep every scrap of work they do! IPC and Viz and other publications give away their stuff though, dosent help you get hold of Commando stuff though

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Fri Oct 30, 2009 7:42 pm
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Yes Steve it is spelt Morris Heggie. The former Dandy editor is certainly a DCT archivist, but whether that includes everything or just the funny comics I don't know.


Fri Oct 30, 2009 8:17 pm
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Mr Valeera
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phoenix4ever wrote:
Sage the Owl wrote:
I would kill for an original Commando colour cover.


As Commando CO has been a friend of mine for some years now, sage, I feel that I must warn him that you are on your way. I suppose your chosen method of assassination normally depends on the terrain. I think you had better know though that the kris, the kukri, the samurai sword or the long-distance rifle would tend to stand out somewhat in the centre of Dundee, as would your approaching Courier House on your stomach with a dagger between your teeth.
I don't know. After that poor beggar got himself sliced and diced on the Law Hill a few years back, I wouldn't bet on them standing out that much. In fact, it sounds like a normal Friday night in Dundee! :D

But back to the discussion, I was fortunate enough to get a copy of one of the printer's run of an IK cover at approx 1.7 times the size of a Commando cover. And having nothing apart from IK's sig on it does not detract from it in any way, shape or form... This size is approximately the same size that you find the covers in the Commando collections, but half the size that IK draws at. I know as I have been lucky to see a few originals. :lol:

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Fri Oct 30, 2009 8:38 pm
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Colin, you must give sage and me credit for a certain amount of common sense. Dundee at night is an irrelevance as far as our scenario is concerned. Sage would have had to make his approach in daylight. Commando CO just isn't the kind of guy to take chances in any town in the dark where people getting sliced and diced is a major hazard. I mean take today for example, a Friday you may have noticed, I rang Commando CO for one of our periodic chats. He didn't pick up his phone. He must have gone home before half past three. As wise (sage) as an owl you might say. :D


Fri Oct 30, 2009 9:33 pm
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ARRRGH! I'M HIT.
SCOTT, BURN THE COVERS
BEFORE THEY GET HERE!

Quick answers to some of the questions.

We have everything stored Indiana Jones style, even down to wrapping everything in brown paper. Original artwork is used for reprints. Current original artwork is stored as well because the electronic version includes the balloons and panels. Storing things digitally isn't as future-proof as paper because the storage and retrieval methods can change and leave you high and dry.

Commando original artwork is not offered for sale, nor is it likely to be in the foreseeable future.

I'm sure Ian Kennedy or José Maria Jorge will do you a Commando-style cover if you want. I leave you to negotiate a price.

And finally... Just because the phone wasn't answered don't assume we'd gone home. Maybe I was patrolling our anti-assassin defences.

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Mon Nov 02, 2009 11:40 am
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