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Dave Gibbons

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Gibbons ro-busters

Ro-Busters Book 1

Dave Gibbons (born London, 14 April 1949) started life as a building surveyor, but started working part-time in British comics, lettering humour strips for IPC. His first drawing work was ghosting for Joe Colquhoun on "Zarga, Man of Mystery" in Buster in 1973. An agent noticed his work and got him work on adventure and science fiction strips for DC Thomson titles like The Wizard and The Hotspur. In 1975 he and Brian Bolland worked on a superhero comic, Powerman, for sale in Nigeria.

Shortly after that he went full-time as a comics artist. 2000 AD launched in 1977, and Gibbons was the artist on one of the strips in its opening lineup, future sports series "Harlem Heroes". He also illustrated "Dan Dare" in the early issues. He drew episodes of Pat Mills' robot disaster squad "Ro-Busters" in Starlord in 1978, then in 2000 AD when Starlord merged into it, and then episodes of its spin-off strip "ABC Warriors" in 1979. Also in 1979, he posed in a superhero costume as Big E, super-powered figurehead "editor" of the short-lived Tornado. From 1979 to 1982 He drew "Doctor Who" stories, written by Pat Mills, John Wagner, Steve Moore and Steve Parkhouse, for Marvel UK's Doctor Who Weekly. In 1981 he co-created future war story "Rogue Trooper", with writer Gerry Finley-Day, in 2000 AD, an enduring character who still features in the comic from time to time. He also drew several "Future Shocks" and other one-offs, some of them written by Alan Moore.

His detailed, dynamic style, influenced by Mad artists Wally Wood and Will Elder, and Marvel artists Steve Ditko and John Romita, was a good fit for American comics, and in 1982 he was one of the first artists snapped up by DC Comics in what became known as the "British Invasion". He started out on Green Lantern back-up strips, and collaborated with Alan Moore for the 1985 Superman annual. This led to the landmark Watchmen, also with Moore, serialised in twelve parts in 1986-87 and collected as a graphic novel. In the 1990s he worked with writer Frank Miller on a series of comics starring Martha Washington, a young black woman in a future America. He turned to writing, and has scripted Batman, Superman, Captain America, Hawkman and Green Lantern-related comics for Marvel and DC. He also drew the cover for Kula Shaker's album, K, in 1994.

In 2005 he wrote and drew an original graphic novel, The Originals, published by DC's Vertigo imprint, which transposed the conflicts between mods and rockers of the 1960s into the near future. In 2006 he drew covers for Albion, a miniseries featuring old IPC characters published by Wildstorm, a division of DC, and written by Leah Moore and John Reppion. He followed that by writing a Thunderbolt Jaxon miniseries, drawn by John Higgins, for the same publisher.

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