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Colin Howard: “Doctor Who Is a Great Creative, Artistic Escape”

With the imminent release of Timeslides: The Doctor Who Art of Colin Howard, the artist has spoken about the series being “a great creative, artistic escape”.

Colin is probably best known for painting covers for around 30 VHS covers in the 1990s, including Inferno, Survival, and the entire Key to Time season. However, this artistic journey has included a wealth of other projects; for instance, covers for Doctor Who Classic Comics, the Target cover for Attack of the Cybermen, and most recently, work on the missing episodes animations.

With a hardback and paperback book dedicated to his art at the printers now, Colin spoke to the BBC about how Doctor Who instantly gripped him:

“As a kid, I always liked the Ray Harryhausen films; I had a thing about monsters. In Doctor Who, almost every week there was a new monster to scare you as a child and it just fired my creative brain up. I used to love to sketch them down and do my own versions of them and it’s just something that kept me very busy.”

He went on to explain how surprised he is when fans get in touch to say “how much my art means to them; it is just something I never considered would be possible”.

Cards on the table, I know Colin pretty well and consider him a great friend — I also know Timeslides well, because I’ve edited it!

The process has been fantastic. Colin’s showed me a huge amount of art that’s either never been seen (in the case of sketches and illustrations) or seldom been reprinted; we’ve narrowed down what needed to go into Timeslides then chatted about each inclusion. The book, then, features a commentary as Colin guides readers through creating iconic paintings, elaborates on behind-the-scenes drama, and even shares the story of his very own “missing” Doctor Who.

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 Featuring original sketches, unpublished designs, and a fascinating commentary, Timeslides takes you further behind the scenes than ever before.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.

Timeslides follows similar volumes on the work of Chris Achilleos and Jeff Cummins.

Expect to learn a lot more about Timeslides very soon…

Right now, the paperback version of Timeslides is being posted out to anyone who has pre-ordered; a limited edition hardback is bring printed too. So if you’d like to order a copy, head to Candy Jar Books!

Philip Bates

Editor and co-founder of the Doctor Who Companion. When he’s not watching television, reading books ‘n’ Marvel comics, listening to The Killers, and obsessing over script ideas, Philip Bates pretends to be a freelance writer. He enjoys collecting everything. Writer of The Black Archive: The Pandorica Opens/ The Big Bang, The Silver Archive: The Stone Tape, and 100 Objects of Doctor Who.

Colin Howard: “Doctor Who Is a Great Creative, Artistic Escape”

by Philip Bates time to read: 2 min
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