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

136 Drawing a Bead on the Deadly Red Devil The Red Devil’ was my first Commando cover. Commando and its science fiction offshoot Starblazer (now sadly out of print) were, along with rival titles like War Picture Library, just part and parcel of my comics reading as a child. There where so many of them that you never ran out and you swapped and traded copies with friends. At the age of 16, I went to the offices of DCThomson with my high school portfolio in the hope that I could persuade them to take me on as some sort of art office junior and learn my trade. Sadly it wasn’t to be, times were changing at Thomson’s and the arrival of computers was radically changing how the art department worked. I spent a great hour or so being shown around the art department and given encouragement and criticism from the manager viewing my portfolio. I was dejected but not unhappy with the result knowing that I was going to be heading off to college eventually after having attained the right grades for entry by taking night classes. Cut to three years later and two years worth of college study later I was about to move onto another two full years in a different course but decided that I would once again see if I could make ground at DC Thomson. Apart from cherry picking some college pieces to show them I purposefully Graeme Neil Reid reveals just how he creates the stunning covers that add extra punch to Commando. ABOVE: The cover for issue 5153 of Commando featuring Graeme Neil Reid's debut cover for the title. RIGHT: Graeme's detailed pencil drawing showing Irina and her 'prey' appearing in the cross hairs of the telescopic sniper scope mounted on her Moisin rifle. Although the brief supplied to each artist by Commando 's editorial department is sufficiently open to allow the artist's own creative input, details such as uniform and weaponry are very specific; ‘ 1942, Daytime in Stalingrad. Close up of Irina and her sniper rifle. Irina is in her early 20s, She has long dark hair tied practically, wears Russian army Winter private uniform for 1942 and is armed with a Moisin rifle.’