Candy Jar Books is pleased to announce Timeslides: The Doctor Who Art of Colin Howard — and I’m happy to reveal that I’m editing it!
While most fans will know Howard best for illustrating some thirty VHS covers in the 1990s, his Doctor Who portfolio further includes a vast amount of highly-detailed paintings for Doctor Who Magazine, the BBC Books ranges, private commissions, the Lethbridge-Stewart novels, calendars, posters, Doctor Who Classic Comics, and the recent DVD and Blu-ray range of animations for missing episodes like The Macra Terror, Shada, and The Evil of the Daleks.
Timeslides explores this incredible body of work, with each piece accompanied by a fascinating commentary from Colin.
The volume follows the success of Kklak!: The Doctor Who Art of Chris Achilléos, published by Candy Jar in December 2020. Shaun Russell, head of publishing at Candy Jar, enthuses:
“One of the great things about Timeslides is that Colin’s still has a huge number of sketches he made before setting out to work on each piece. That was particularly exciting because it gives you that extra glimpse behind the scenes, sits you right at his desk, so it was immediately obvious that we’d include as many of those preliminary drawings as we could.”
Colin Howard says:
“I was really keen to open up my portfolio and see what fell out. We had a few disasters – I’d saved much of my original art and accompanying sketches, as well as the final products they were used on, but some of that was lost thanks to a leak in the roof!
“Fortunately, the main victims were the replaceable bits: we managed to salvage all the originals, and we’ve worked hard to reproduce them in a high-quality that even the BBC struggled to print back in the day.”
In case you’re wondering, Timeslides takes its name from an episode of Colin’s beloved Red Dwarf.
And I’m especially excited because I’m editing this book! I’ve been working with Colin for months now, seeing all this extraordinary pieces and getting to know him — and what a wonderful, friendly, and thoughtful guy he is!
When Shaun told me Candy Jar would be working with Colin on a book of his Doctor Who art, I cleared a space on my bookshelf next to Kklak! I was eager to get my hands on a copy. Little did I realise that Shaun was actually asking me to edit it.
Here’s the blurb:
Colin Howard’s art graced the covers of around thirty VHS releases, and for the first time ever, they’re collected together in Timeslides: The Doctor Who Art of Colin Howard.
Join Colin as he opens his personal archive and takes you on a tour of his Doctor Who universe – from iconic videos to book covers, from illustrations to private commissions. Featuring original sketches, unpublished designs, and a fascinating commentary, Timeslides takes you further behind the scenes than ever before.
Colin discusses the lack of reference material in a pre-internet world, achieving the high level of detail everyone expects from his stunning pieces, his ongoing battles with Multiple Sclerosis, meeting his definitive Doctor Who companion and making her a promise, and much more.
Colin’s work has been featured in the Target novelisation range; on the covers of the Doctor Who Classic Comics, and the past Doctor and Eighth Doctor Adventures novels; in Doctor Who Magazine; and even in recent DVD and Blu-ray animations like The Evil of the Daleks.
I grew up in the so-called ‘Wilderness Years’, and those gorgeous VHS covers were my introduction to Doctor Who in other mediums, probably before I was aware of the Target novels properly. So the videos hold a special place in my heart, and I know that’s true for so many other fans too. Naturally, I was super excited at the idea of getting to know Colin, let alone riffle through his archive – much of which many Doctor Who fans have never seen before. It’s an absolute privilege.
In this unique glimpse inside the artist’s studio, Colin chats about his artistic inspirations and aspirations, which aspects of Doctor Who really capture his imagination, which works he’s especially proud of, his real-life adventures at a cheetah rehabilitation centre in South Africa, and much more.
It’s been difficult narrowing down what actually made it into Timeslides. One of the main challenges has been deciding on the shortlist, such is the wealth of artwork in his collection. I thought I knew Colin’s portfolio well, but I was shocked to learn just how much more he’s done. The VHS covers were essential. But how do you decide which other masterpieces make the cut? I gravitate towards artworks with great stories behind them… but talking with Colin, it became clear that that’s true of all his paintings.
I mean, he’s got his very own ‘missing Doctor Who story’ – one of his pieces was lost in transit and has been MIA for over twenty-five years!
But I’m really happy with the final selection and I think fans will love it too. It feels representative of Col’s overall artistic journey, and delivers what readers expect, but there are also some great little surprises along the way too.”
“I’m really excited to share the final book with fans. My work has never been collected together like this before, so Timeslides feels like a definitive guide.”