Thursday, April 24, 2008

Comics in the Wild: Dave Gibbons meets Jethro Tull

So I was reading the latest issue of Comic Foundry earlier today (a great magazine, by the way) when I came across an article about album covers drawn by comic book artists. And there, giving me a look I hadn't seen in years, was Jethro Tull.

More specifically, Jethro Tull's 1976 album, Too Old to Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young to Die! I didn't know it before, but according to the article — and the liner notes — the iconic cover was drawn by legendary artist Dave Gibbons, who we all know for his work in the equally legendary Watchmen.

Man was I surprised, mostly because this album has been a part of my life since I was about seven years old and I first started flipping through my dad's collection (new stuff at the time), and I had no idea it was done by Gibbons.

Quick aside: OK, so if you're ever wondering how to spark your kid's imagination, just get a bunch of old records. Ever seen a Boston album? If there was ever a primer for a future sci-fi and comic book geek, it was album covers in the 70s.

Since I more or less inherited my dad's collection, I dug out Too Young to Die! after I read the Comic Foundry article to take another look at it. And it's as striking as ever. But it's not just the cover, because what the magazine didn't mention was that the inside cover features a full story drawn by Gibbons stretching across the entire double-spread! Gibbons' talent is already evident (check out that fantastic motorcycle scene), and at the time it was the most British thing I'd ever read. You can imagine what kind of impact it had on a little Maxo.

Here then is the complete story of Ray Lomas, an old rocker who's living in the past — until the past somehow catches up to life.

(By the way, the phrases in red represent the song titles that were worked into the dialog; click for the larger size!)

Too Old to Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young to Die! sleeve design by Michael Farrell
Illustrations by David Gibbons


rob! said...

that's way cool.

because of this post this album will now be IMPOSSIBLE to find on ebay for cheap. :)

Khairul H. said...

"After this ride, how about another one at my place??"


Maxo said...

rob!: Glad you liked it! And I think the Jethro Tull speculator are still safe ;)

Khairul: Oooooooh yeeeeeahh!