Thursday, January 10, 2008

Stickleback: England's Glory Part 2 References

Page One: Bedlam (Bethlem Royal Hospital)
The world's oldest psychiatric hospital (established in 1330 on the site of a priory that had been founded in 1247), the name Bedlam has become synonymous with chaos or uproar.
The hospital has occupied various sites over the centuries; shown here is the St George's Fields buildings (1828-1930), which are now occupied by the Imperial War Museum.
Sharp-eyed readers might have noted that the chap being dragged into the hospital is Herbert Geroge Sewell, the unfortunate time Traveller from three Judge Dredd stories by myself and Ian Edginton.

Page One: The Fairy Feller's Master Stroke
The painting Stickleback's perusing in Ashenden's office is The Fairy Feller's Master Stroke by artist Richard Dadd (1817-1886), who was a bedlam inmate for twenty years, nine of which were spent working on that one painting. Unfortunately, the painting is so insanely detailed that just looks like a mass of texture in the strip.

Page 03: Tentacled thingies
Inspired by the Cthulu Mythos stories of writer H P Lovecraft (1890-1937). Lovecraft's work was notable for integrating the atmospheric horror of Edgar Allen Poe with a loose (and not particularly consistent) science-fiction underpinning incorporating ideas from quantum theory in which "dark elder gods" were in fact powerful creatures from other dimensions.
It was a particular pleasure to have such creatures in Stickleback, as my great inspiration Alberto Brecchia had done his own adaptations of the Cthulu Mythos (Los Mitos de Cthulu, 1972-75).

Page 05: William Cody ("Buffalo Bill")
Frontiersman, decorated soldier, showman and businessman, William Cody (1846-1917) was one of the most colourful figures of the old west. He spent the later part of his life re-creating the old west for audiences across the US and Europe with Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show; as a result he helped to establish many of the images of the American West that later informed the Hollywood westerns.
Bill is possibly best remembered by British readers from his portrayal in the Broadway musical Annie Get Your Gun.

Page 05: Billboard for Bullseye the Human Target
With his enormous girth and cannonball-stopping act, Bullseye is a little tip of the hat to The Blob, a villain from Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's original 1960's run of The Uncanny X-Men (Marvel Comics).

Page 05: Billboard for Annie Oakley
I based this image on a photo of the real Annie Oakley (Phoebe Ann Mosey, 1860-1926); thus she is a slim brunette. When I read the script for the next episode, where Annie first appears, I discovered that Ian was thinking of the Annie from the Hollywood film Annie Get Your Gun - in which she's played by buxom blonde Betty Hutton!

Page 05: Genial Ogre
Another cross-over from the "Edge-verse" - this guy is the same species as the Lundgrens from American Gothic by Ian and Mike Collins (Progs 1432-1440).
American Gothic is the story of a group of freaks and monsters trying to find a better life in the American West. It's also the home of the first ever "Edge-verse" cross-over; in one panel Mike included a bottle of "Captain McLean's Old Rot-Gut" which was a feature of ship-board life in Leviathan (Progs 1351-1360)

1 comment:

I. N. J. Culbard said...

A relative on my father's side of the family toured with Buffalo Bill.

Absolutely love these. Terrific work.