- Dave Gibbons
Gibbons, photographed in 2005
Born 14 April 1949
Nationality British Area(s) Writer, Penciller, Letterer Notable works Watchmen
Awards 2 Jack Kirby Awards, 1987
Dave Gibbons (born 14 April 1949) is an English comic book artist, writer and sometime letterer. He is best known for his collaborations with writer Alan Moore, which include the miniseries Watchmen and the Superman story "For the Man Who Has Everything". He also was an artist for the UK anthology 2000 AD, for which he contributed a large body of work from its first issue in 1977.
- 1 British comics work
- 2 American comics work
- 3 2000s work
- 4 Awards
- 5 Bibliography
- 6 Notes
- 7 References
- 8 External links
British comics work
Gibbons broke into British comics by working on horror and action titles for both DC Thomson and IPC. When the science-fiction anthology title 2000 AD was set up in the mid-1970s, Gibbons contributed artwork to the first issue, Prog 01 (February 1977), and went on to draw the first 24 installments of Harlem Heroes, one of the founding (and pre-Judge Dredd) strips.
Mid-way through the comic's first year he began illustrating Dan Dare, a cherished project for Gibbons who had been a fan of the original series and artist Frank Hampson who, alongside Frank Bellamy, Don Lawrence and Ron Turner are well-liked and inspirational artists to Gibbons, whose "style evolved out of [his] love for the MAD Magazine artists like Wally Wood and Will Elder".
Also working on early feature Ro-Busters, Gibbons became one of the most prolific of 2000 AD's earliest creators, contributing artwork to 108 of the first 131 Progs/issues. He returned to the pages of "the Galaxy's Greatest Comic" in the early 1980s to create Rogue Trooper with writer Gerry Finley-Day and produce an acclaimed early run on that feature, before handing it over to a succession of other artists. He also illustrated a handful of Tharg's Future Shocks shorts, primarily with author Alan Moore.
Gibbons was also known, by sight but not by name, to readers of the short-lived IPC title Tornado. Whereas 2000 AD was said to be "edited" by the alien Tharg, Tornado was "edited" by superhero Big E, who as alter-ego Percy Pilbeam also worked on the magazine. These characters appeared in photographic form within the comic, with Gibbons posing as both Big E and Pilbeam for the entire 22 issue run of Tornado before it was subsumed into 2000 AD.
Gibbons departed from 2000 AD briefly in the late 1970s/early 1980s to became the lead artist on Doctor Who Weekly/Monthly, for which magazine he drew the main comic strip from issue #1 until #69, missing only four issues during that time.
The Doctor Who Storybook 2007 (released Christmas 2006) features a story called "Untitled" which includes the name Gibbons in a list of great artists of Earth history.
American comics work
The 1980s (DC)
Gibbons was one of the British comic talents identified by Len Wein in 1982 and was hired primarily to draw "Green Lantern Corps" backup stories within the pages of Green Lantern for DC. Gibbons' first DC work was on the Green Lantern Corps story in Green Lantern #161 (February 1983), with writer Todd Klein, as well as the concurrently released "Creeper" two-part backup story in Flash #318-319. With Green Lantern #172 (Jan. 1984), Gibbons joined new writer Len Wein on the main feature while continuing to illustrate the backup features. Ceding the "Tales of the Green Lantern Corps" backup features to various other individuals from #181, and with a handful of fill-in issues (primarily by Gil Kane), Gibbons last issue with Len Wein was issue #186 (March 1985). However, Gibbons returned to pencil the backup Tale "Mogo Doesn't Socialize" with Alan Moore in issue #188.
While Marvel Comics reprinted some of Gibbons' Marvel UK Doctor Who work, Eclipse Comics reprinted some of his Warrior work and Eagle reprinted various Judge Dredd tales, Gibbons continued to produce new work almost exclusively for DC throughout the 1980s. For the 1985 Superman Annual #11, Gibbons drew the main story "For the Man Who Has Everything," again written by Alan Moore.
During 1985 and 1986, Gibbons' artwork graced the pages of several issues of both DC's Who's Who in the DC Universe guidebook and Marvel's The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition. In December 1986, he contributed to Harrier Comics' Brickman #1 alongside Kevin O'Neill (who had also illustrated several "Tales of the Green Lantern Corps"), Lew Stringer and others. Between May and August 1988, he contributed covers with Joe Orlando to Peter David and Orlando's four-issue The Phantom miniseries, and in May 1988 he both inked Kevin Maguire's pencilled contribution to the landmark Action Comics #600, and produced the cover to Action Comics #601.
WatchmenMain article: Watchmen
He is best known in the US for collaborating with Alan Moore on the 12-issue limited series Watchmen, now one of the best-selling graphic novels of all time, and the only one to feature on Time's "Top 100 Novels" list. Gibbons' artwork in Watchmen is notable both for its stark utilisation of the formulaic comicbook nine-panel grid layout, as well as for its intense narrative and symbolic density (with some symbolic background elements suggested by Moore, others by Gibbons).
Initially pitched by Moore to utilize the Charlton Comics characters which had been purchased by DC Comics, Watchmen was re-tooled to feature new - analog - characters when it became clear that the story would have significant and lasting ramifications on its main players. Gibbons believes that his own involvement likely came about after the idea was already in its early initial stages. He recalls that he had:
“ ... known Alan for a while and we had tried to get things off the ground with DC and hadn't really succeeded. Then Alan finally broke into DC with Swamp Thing and I guess I must have heard on the grapevine that he was doing a treatment for a new miniseries. I rang Alan up, saying I’d like to be involved with what he was doing. He said ‘Oh, yeah great’ and sent me the outline for it. Then I was at a convention in the US and asked Dick Giordano, Managing Director of DC at the time, point blank whether I could draw this thing Alan was writing. He said ‘How does Alan feel about that?’ I said ‘Yeah he’s fine with it’ and Dick said ‘Yep, OK, it’s yours!’ ”
To complement the story, Gibbons remembers working on rough character designs (which ultimately changed little in their final appearance) from "the descriptions that Alan had provided," trying to come up with "a classic superhero feel but be a little bit stranger ... a sort of operatic look ... an Egyptian kind of a look."
Gibbons also lettered Watchmen and it was his lettering style that later served as one of two reference sources used by Vincent Connare when creating the controversial font Comic Sans in 1994. Gibbons has commented that "It's just a shame they couldn't have used just the original font, because it's a real mess. I think it's a particularly ugly letter form."
Gibbons returned to Watchmen in 2008, producing the behind-the-scenes book Watching the Watchmen to tie into the release of the 2009 film. Watching the Watchmen is his take on the creation of the seminal work, and features a number of rarely seen pieces of artwork including sketches and character designs, as well as "stuff," he says "that I just don't know why I kept but I'm really pleased I did."
From the start of the 1990s, Gibbons began to focus as much on writing and inking as on drawing, contributing to a number of different titles and issues from a variety of companies. Particular highlights included, in 1990, Gibbons writing the three-issue World's Finest miniseries for artist Steve Rude and DC, while drawing Give Me Liberty for writer Frank Miller and Dark Horse Comics. He penned the first Batman Vs. Predator crossover for artists Andy and Adam Kubert (Dec 1991 - Feb 1992), and inked Rick Veitch and Stephen R. Bissette for half of Alan Moore's 1963 Image Comics series (1993).
Rejoining Frank Miller in mid-1994 on Martha Washington Goes to War, the following year Gibbons wrote the Elseworlds title Superman: Kal for José Luis García-López, melding Arthurian legends to the Superman mythos in an "out-of-continuity" tale set in an alternate DC Universe. In Marvel Edge's Savage Hulk #1 (Jan 1996), Gibbons wrote, penciled, inked, colored and lettered "Old Friends," a version of the events of Captain America #110 from the point of view of the Hulk. In 1996 and 1997, Gibbons collaborated with Mark Waid (and Jimmy Palmiotti) on two issues of the Amalgam Comics character "Super-Soldier," a character born from the merging of the DC and Marvel Universes after the events of the 1996 intercompany crossover DC vs. Marvel/Marvel vs. DC.
Among many other covers, one-shots and minor works, Gibbons worked with Alan Moore again briefly on the latter's Awesome Entertainment Judgment Day miniseries, providing (variant) covers to all three issues, on the first issue of Kitchen Sink Press' The Spirit: The New Adventures revival and within the pages of the Alan Moore Songbook. In 1999 he penciled and inked Darko Macan's 4-issue Star Wars: Vader's Quest miniseries.
In December 2001 Gibbons helped Stan Lee re-imagine Green Lantern in the pages of Just Imagine... Stan Lee creating Green Lantern.
In 2002, Gibbons followed Chuck Austen as writer on the Marvel Knights Captain America series, penning issues #17-20 (Nov '03 - Jan '04) for - primarily - artist Lee Weeks. In 2005, he produced a handful of covers for Geoff Johns' JSA, as well as producing the complete original graphic novel The Originals, a black and white graphic novel which he scripted and drew. Published by Vertigo, the work is set in the near future, but draws heavily on the imagery of the Mods and Rockers of the 1960s.
He wrote the DC Comics six-issue limited series The Rann/Thanagar War (one of four lead-ins to the company-wide "Infinite Crisis" storyline) and returned to the Green Lantern Corps with the five-issue Green Lantern Corps: Recharge (Nov. 2005 - March 2006), co-written with Geoff Johns, which spun off into an ongoing, Gibbons-written series in August 2006.
Gibbons was involved in two series released by DC/WildStorm when DC acquired American rights to the IPC stable of characters. He provided cover artwork for the flagship title, Albion, the six-issue limited series written by Leah Moore and her husband, John Reppion (and co-plotted by her father, Alan Moore). Gibbons also wrote the Albion spin-off Thunderbolt Jaxon (April-Sept. 2006), with art by John Higgins. Due to scheduling difficulties, the August 2005-launched Albion actually finished two months after Thunderbolt Jaxon (Nov. 2006).
Gibbons provided covers for three issues of writers Kurt Busiek and Fabian Nicieza's run on Action Comics (issues #841–843) and co-penciled (with Ethan van Sciver) the Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps issue as part of the Sinestro Corps story arc, inspired by a Green Lantern story written by Moore in the 1980s. He contributed to the ongoing Green Lantern Corps title on issues #18-20 (May–July 2007). In the late 2000s, he provided new, alternative covers to IDW Publishing's reprints of his Marvel UK Doctor Who comics. He also designed the logo for Oni Press, the publishers of Scott Pilgrim.
Work in other media
Works other than comics include providing the background art for the 1994 computer game Beneath a Steel Sky and the cover to K, the 1996 debut album by psychedelic rock band Kula Shaker. In 2007, he served as a consultant on the film Watchmen, which was adapted from the book, and released in March 2009.
2009's Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars Director's Cut for the Nintendo DS and Wii platforms featured hand drawn art by Dave Gibbons.
- 1987 Jack Kirby Award for Best New Series for Watchmen with Alan Moore
- 1987 Jack Kirby Award for Best Writer/Artist (Single or Team) for Watchmen with Alan Moore
- 1986 Jack Kirby Best Single Issue nomination for Superman Annual #11 (1985) with Alan Moore
- 1987 Jack Kirby Best Single Issue nomination for Watchmen #1 with Alan Moore
- 1987 Jack Kirby Best Single Issue nomination for Watchmen #2 with Alan Moore
Comics work (interior pencil art, except where noted) includes:
- Super-Soldier, one-shot (1996)
- Super Soldier: Man of War, one-shot (1997)
- Give Me Liberty, mini-series, #1-4 (1990)
- Martha Washington Goes to War, miniseries, #1-5 (1994)
- Happy Birthday, Martha Washington", one-shot (1995)
- Martha Washington Stranded in Space", one-shot (1995)
- Martha Washington Saves the World, miniseries, #1-3 (1997)
- Martha Washington Dies, one-shot (2007)
- DC Universe: Legacies #3-4 (2010)
- Green Lantern, vol. 1, #160, 162, 165–167, 173–176, 178–183, 185–186, 188 (1983–85)
- Green Lantern Corps, vol. 2, #1-6, 10-17 (writer); #4-6, 10 (artist) (2006–07)
- Green Lantern Corps: Recharge, miniseries, #1-5 (writer, 2006)
- The Originals, graphic novel (writer/artist, 2004)
- Rann-Thanagar War, miniseries, #1-6 (writer, 2005)
- Superman Annual #11 (1985)
- Unexpected #1 (among other artists) (2011)
- Watchmen, limited series, #1-12 (1986–87)
- Wednesday Comics (Kamandi) #1-12 (writer, 2009)
- World’s Finest, miniseries, #1-3 (writer, 1990)
- 2000 AD (Harlem Heroes): #1-24;(Dan Dare): #28-60, 65-78, 85, 100.107, 109-126; (Ro-Busters): #86-87, 91, 98-101; (Judge Dredd): #130 (1979); ABC Warriors) #130-131; (Ro-Jaws' Robo-Tales): #157, 176, 181, 183-184, 196; (Rogue Trooper): #228-234, 239-240, 249-250; (Future Shocks): #265, 267, 269, 273, 310; (Tharg the Mighty) #500, 1280; (Rogue Trooper): #650–653, 667–671, 683–687 (1977–2002)
- 2000 AD Prog 2000 (Rogue Trooper) (1999)
- Star Lord (Ro-Busters): #3 (1978)
- Captain America, vol. 4, #17-20 (writer, 2003)
- Hulk, vol. 1, #1 (1979)
- Batman vs. Predator, one-shot (writer, DC/Dark Horse, 1991)
- The Dome: Ground Zero (writer, Helix, 1998)
- Doctor Who Weekly #1-16, 19-43, 46-57, 60-69 (Panini)
- ^ a b c d e Watching the Watchmen interview with Dave Gibbons, Titan Books. Accessed July 19, 2008
- ^ Thompson, Maggie, "April Comics Birthdays" at the Comics Buyer's Guide's CBGXtra.com, June 15, 2005. Accessed August 3, 2009.
- ^ a b c d e f g Dave Gibbons at the ComicBookDb. Accessed July 19, 2008
- ^ "All-Time 100 Novels" (English-language, 1923 to the present): Watchmen. List by Lev Grossman and Richard Lacayo; Watchmen details by Grossman. Accessed July 19, 2008
- ^ Manning, Matthew K.; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1980s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 220. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. "The story itself was a masterful example of comic book storytelling at its finest...Filled with symbolism, foreshadowing, and ahead-of-its-time characterization thanks to adult themes and sophisticated plotting, Watchmen elevated the super hero comic book into the realms of true modern literature."
- ^ Steel, Emily (April 17, 2009). "Typeface Inspired by Comic Books Has Become a Font of Ill Will". Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company, Inc.. Archived from the original on April 19, 2009. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB123992364819927171.html%3Fmod%3Dgooglenews_wsj&date=2009-04-19. Retrieved April 19, 2009. "Mr. Connare says he pulled out the two comic books he had in his office, The Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen, and got to work, inspired by the lettering and using his mouse to draw on a computer screen."
- ^ Schofield, Jack (August 12, 2009). "Computers draw a new chapter in comics". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2009/aug/12/dave-gibbons-watchmen-interview. Retrieved 2009-08-30.
- ^ ComicBookDb: Savage Hulk #1. Accessed July 19, 2008
- ^ http://scottpilgrim.com/inside.php?id=author
- ^ http://www.revolution.co.uk/_display.php?id=16
- ^ "Revolution", revolution.co.uk, December 18, 2008
- ^ a b c d 1987 Jack Kirby Awards, Comic Book Awards Almanac, accessed April 9, 2011.
- ^ 1986 Jack Kirby Awards, Comic Book Awards Almanac, accessed April 9, 2011.
- Dave Gibbons at the Grand Comics Database
- Dave Gibbons at 2000 AD online
- Official website
- Dave Gibbons at the Comic Book DB
- CCI: Spotlight on Dave Gibbons, Comic Book Resources, July 28, 2008
- Dave Gibbons Live at the BICS 2008 Geek Syndicate Panel
- Meet Dave Gibbons by George Khoury, Pop!, Comic Book Resources, October 12, 2008
- Dave Gibbons on 'Watching the Watchmen': Part One, Newsarama, October 22, 2008
- Watching the Watchmen with Dave Gibbons: An Interview, Comics Bulletin, December 10, 2008
- Dave Gibbons On The Origins Of The Watchmen, The Quietus, January 6, 2009
- 'Through the eyes of the creator - Interview with Dave Gibbons, Liberation Frequency, January, 2009
- Interview with Gibbons about the Watchmen film adaptation
- Computers draw a new chapter in comics, The Guardian, August 12, 2009
- TCJ 300 Conversations: Dave Gibbons & Frank Quitely, The Comics Journal, December 15, 2009
Captain America writer
Watchmen CreatorsAlan Moore · Dave Gibbons · John Higgins AdaptationsFilmWatchmen · Film development · Soundtrack · ScoreOther Characters ParodiesSaturday Morning Watchmen · WatchmenschCategories:
- 1949 births
- British comics artists
- British comics writers
- Comic book letterers
- British graphic novelists
- Living people
- Eisner Award winners for Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team
- Eisner Award winners for Best Writer/Artist
- Harvey Award winners for Best Artist or Penciller
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