Art of British Comic Artists
Robert Rankin

Plasma Jets - Robert Rankin, Nick D'Aubney, Phil Cowan & Paul Mason
Robert Rankin, pictured top left, as member of 'Plasma Jets' group
Robert Rankin (vocals), Nick D'Aubney (drums)
Phil Cowan (guitar) Paul Mason (lead guitar)

Robert Rankin studied at Ealing School of Art, where he was a contemporary of singer Freddie Mercury and illustrator Alan Lee. Of his many jobs, he worked as a graphic artist for Forum magazine, and also for an erotic publication for whom he illustrated readers letters. He also illustrated a book about The Beatles' song lyrics, called 'Behind the Beatles Songs'.
After his portfolio was stolen he abandoned the idea of working as a professional illustrator, but instead became a successful published author, starting with a trilogy, 'The Antipope', 'Brentford Triangle' and 'East of Ealing'.  In fact he created the sculptures which feature on some of his book covers, many of which were on display at The Collection, a gallery in Lincoln during September 2010. Some of these works were previously exhibited in Waterstones, Brighton, and at Gunnersbury Park Museum in 2007-8.
In 2009 Robert was commissioned by his publisher to provide a series of new illustrations for his back catalogue of books (from The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse to the present), he also created new internal illustrations for The Brightonomicon, Retromancer and The Japanese Devil Fish Girl and Other Unnatural Attractions.
A cartoon by Robert "The Robot and the Elongated Author" was published in Issue 13 of Murky Depths, and 2010 also saw the publication of his first illustrated book, written by Neil Gardner: "The Bumper Book of Ficts", which was launched on 18 September 2010 in Brentford. A limited hard-back edition of "Empires" was launched in the UK mid-2012 which is now sold out. In July 2013 Robert's own publishing house - Far-Fetched Books which launched "Alice on Mars" in a limited edition of 3000; it is said that this book is also being made into a full length feature film by award-winning independent film-maker Martin Gooch.

Well, Robert and I are friends from way back, from when we performed in a band together
(in the 1970's as I recall), known by various names including Aural Sexx & the Wrist Jobs, Citizen's Arrest, and the Plasma Jets , and a while back he sent me a copy of 'Alice'. I found the story really stretched my imagination (a good thing!), and the most thought-provoking part being when a ventriloquist's dummy proclaimed the 'Mechanical Turk' to be his daddy, with his mother none other than the figurehead of the Cutty Sark!!! Well, as if to prove the point, about pushing the bounds of imagination, the illustration on the facing page depicts them onboard ship whilst a member of the press sits closeby creating a misrepresentation of the unlikely and comic looking family group, thus doing a neat job of misreporting (nothing new here then!). So, if a picture tells a story, here is a copy of Robert's artwork, the original of which I now have in my collection:

Robert Rankin Original Comic Artwork
Robert Rankin - original artwork of 'Alice on Mars' page 39

List of other British comic artists currently featured on this website

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Leo Baxendale
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George Drysdale

Herbert Foxwell

Mervyn Johnston

Bob MacGillivray

Alfredo Marculeta

Allan Morley

Vic Neill

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