Tuesday, March 10, 2009

In Review Of: Dave McKean

Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast has an interesting interview with Dave McKean with some great career retrospective moments along the way. You'll find lots of bits and pieces along the way that you probably hadn't seen before unless you were a dedicated fan.

i met Dave many years ago at the original San Diego Con, back when it was all randomly thrown in folding tables, and Dave and his wife were sitting there chatting with the few people that recognized that he was the artist behind the then recently released Black Orchid mini series. Dave had lots of lovely large pages from those issues, and had taken the time to not only paint the images but to glue down actual folliage. As I picked up the pages, his wife said in the sweetest possible voice, "Dave has pasted down actual bits of our garden on these pages." And so he had.

I had bought a couple of pieces of art from him along the way, and am proud to have a page from his Hellblazer story as well as an old Hellblazer cover, even if I don't have pieces of his garden pasted on.

Given that his output has been both large and diverse over the last few years, it is hard to actually keep a handle on the work. His stuff is made for publication, many of his Sandman covers were little multimedia constructions that needed to be photographed, and much of what looks like smeared photos with jam and Kryolite sealent were actually photos smeared with jam and sealent. But given that he has been directing movies as well as doing books like The Wolves in the Walls, it is the sort of work that has been in front of the eyes of millions and yet not in the eyes of the average comic fans at all.

The piece above is from my personal favorite series, Cages, a monumental work that sprawls and spirals and basically spun completely out of his control for ten rather interestingly scheduled issues and is since compiled into a rather fetching hardback. A number of intertwining stories work into different creation myths with the story of an artist looking to take a break and get away. Of course, the artist is both overwhelmed by his own neurosis, meeting the brilliant musician upstairs, Angel, the neighbor across the way, the mute gallery representative, and a whole host of other, interesting cast members.

Signal to Noise, which has been released with at least two different covers along the way, is also an interesting piece of work, one that was originally serialized in the UK and then collected into a square bound, tells the story of a dying director casting his final film in his head as his own clock winds down.

If you only know McKean from his Sandman covers, read this interview, and feast on a great collection of jpegs, including some new ones from the Graveyard book with Gaiman that I will now have to rush out and get. Feast away.

No comments: