Thursday, August 12, 2010
How To Beat People Up The Dave Gibbons Way
"We got poor Dave Gibbons to dress up as the host character. He was really embarrassed, but he did have a fun time doing the photos with the wind machine blowing his cape." -- Kelvin Gosnell
Tornado was a short lived English magazine, it lasted a mere 22 issues plus a Summer Special and was published from March to August 1979. However I liked it, a lot. What I liked about it was the free gifts that came with each issue, and the quirky advice that 'editor', Big E, often handed out. With the third issue there was a spud gun attached to it - Big E's advice was to avoid shooting people in the face with it and to use it responsibly. Naturally I did the opposite and took the gun to school where I promptly managed to get a shot off and nearly took an eye out. Hilarious stuff at the time.
I think issue one came with a great three pronged boomerang, and advice from Big E not to throw it at people. Guess who then started to throw it with such aim that it parted hair? You got it.
Once the magazine went under it was absorbed by 2000AD and then it merely faded away into memory. I often wondered who the pudgy Big E was though and figured it was probably some nameless janitor or a local drunk.
Imagine my surprise when I discovered that Big E was none other than Dave Gibbons. Yes, Dave 'Watchmen' Gibbons. Dave Gibbons who drew possibly the best ever Superman annual (written by Alan Moore). Dave Gibbons who is one of the finest English artists of his generation and all round nice guy. Dave Gibbons, who, in an email I'll always treasure, praised me for the Andru & Esposito book. Yep, THAT Dave Gibbons.
What did Dave teach me when I was 12 years old and buying funny books? Lots of things, but mainly how to take a blow like a superhero. And now a valued lesson in humility - sorry Dave. I can't help but wonder, does Dave still have that costume, and that hair!
God love you Dave, you're still one of the best!
Now, to today's lesson, how to beat people up, Dave Gibbons style. Enjoy!
Dave Gibbons, a damned good artist and a damned good real life superhero to boot!