Classic cover artists: Frank McDiarmid
Yesterday’s decision to run a month of daily ‘classic cover artists’ posts was a spur-of-the-moment thing, and it’s only today that I’ve spent a bit more time working out exactly who should be included in my list of 31 artists* and who to leave out. There have been some tough calls to make (I’d like to have included pretty much everyone who ever drew a cover for 2000AD, Battle, Action, Starlord, Misty or Scream!, for example), but I’ve whittled the list down to those I feel demonstrate not only great design technique, originality and the ability to generate attention-seizing impact, but also whose covers – over time – were so strong as to become a part of a particular comic’s brand.
Few artists fulfil that last criteria as well as the wonderful Frank McDiarmid through his work on Cheeky between 1977 and 1980. Although Cheeky the character had been created by Ian Knox as a member of The Krazy Gang in Krazy, Frank took over chief art duties for the irrepressible funster when he got his own comic. Various artists stood-in and approximated Frank’s style during the comic’s run, but he was responsible for establishing Cheeky the comic’s uniquely loud, bonkers and toothy style.
For more madcap McDiarmids, check out this gallery of Cheeky's Pin-up Pals that I posted last year.
*actually, only 29 artists as I decided two artists needed to appear twice in order to do justice to their range.