Both born, bred and based in Barnsley, comic book artist Dean Ormston and his pin-up artist wife Fiona Stephenson are curating colourful new exhibition Kapow! in the town’s vibrant art space Cooper Gallery. The show brings together a collection of their own award-winning artwork, and takes viewers on a journey through the process of creating comic books, from initial script through first sketches to finished artwork.
A hugely successful comic book artist, Dean Ormston has worked for DC Comics and 2000 AD, and on characters from Judge Dredd to Lucifer. He drew part of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman series and has recently been working on Black Hammer for Dark Horse Comics. A comics artist, letterer and colourist, who has worked for The Books Of Magick, Fiona Stephenson is also an internationally renowned illustrator, specialising in 1950s retro paintings in the vein of Gil Elvgren. Her work is featured on the cover of Bodies, an eight-issue murder mystery miniseries from DC imprint Vertigo. It won a Broken Frontier Award for Best Limited Series and was described as ‘an example of comics at their collaborative best’, written by Si Spencer and featuring Dean and other artists Meghan Hetrick, Tula Lotay and Phil Winslade.
A hugely successful comic book artist, Dean Ormston has worked for DC Comics and 2000 AD, and drew part of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman series.
Visitors to the exhibition will be able to see panels from this, along with additional original artwork from the 1940s to the present day, featuring Charlie Adlard’s The Walking Dead, Jamie Hewlett’s Tank Girl, and Duncan Fegredo and Mike Mignola’s Hellboy.
The exhibition also tells the story of the early beginnings of some of our favourite comic book super heroes and how they evolved into their on-screen counterparts., including Batman, Superman and, yes, Hellblazer, and it will also take a look at women’s roles in comic books through women illustrators and strong female characters, and the importance of younger influencers, such as a young robot inventor called Dot featured in a video made by Ben 10 creator Steven T Seagle and Dean himself.