EXTRACTS: The Art of Commando (illustrators special) © 2019 The Book Palace (144 PAGES in Full edition)

22 Hot Lead and Cold Steel! -The Art of Ken Barr Ken Barr was the man responsible for creating the look that so defined the early years of Commando here, in a piece he penned in 1972 for The Collector , is his story. Ken Barr is an artist whose cover art defined the look and editorial remit of the early years of Commando . His paintings emphasised the character driven nature of the tales they presented. 'Tough guys' rather than 'good chaps' were the order of the day. With faces contorted in attitudes of defiance, musculature that wouldhave been the envy of Arnold Swarzenegger and the ubiquitous rim-lighting that was a trademark of Barr's powerful art Commando stood out from the competition. It was Barr that was involved with the series from its earliest inception and it was Barr who was responsible for designing and rendering the Commando logowith its distinctive Sykes Fairbairn dagger (a weapon favoured by special ABOVE & FACING PAGE: Ken Barr's covers dominated the early years of Commando and set the tone for the series, pitting strong central characters against seemingly insurmountable odds, not least of which would be their own inner demons as well as the enemies surrounding them. FACING PAGE BELOW: Barr self-portrait in the style of Virgil Finlay 1972.