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Artist/writer: Watchmen; Secret Service; The Originals; Give me Liberty; 2000 AD Attending: Sunday Afternoon APPOINTED Britain's first Comics Laureate in 2014, Dave Gibbons is internationally acclaimed as the creator – with writer Alan Moore – of DC’s groundbreaking 1986 series, Watchmen. An alumnus of the UK’s fanzine scene, his first work appearing in Fantasy Advertiser in 1970 with contributions to such underground comics as The Trials of Nasty Comics and cOZmic Comics following over the next couple of years, the artist very quickly graduated to professional assignments. He worked on a variety of D.C. Thomson and IPC weeklies, among them The Hotspur, The Wizard andBuster, through the Bardon Press Features agency. He also drew a black superhero comic for the emerging Nigerian market. No connection with the similarly titled Marvel series, the short-lived Powerman premiered in 1975, the same year he contributed a six-pager to Marvel’s Giant-Size Chillers #1; his first US comics work, it was also to be his last for seven years. Two years later Gibbons joined the creative team for the launch of 2000 AD, a weekly anthology through which he was to establish his reputation. Initially drawing Harlem Heroes for the self-styled Galaxy’s Greatest Comic, he went on to illustrate Ro-Busters, Judge Dredd and Rogue Trooper, as well as a reinvention of Britain’s iconic 1950s SF hero, Dan Dare. Moving over to Marvel UK in 1979, he drew the lead strips in Doctor Who Weekly and Hulk Comic. By 1982 Gibbons – who had seen some of his (mainly Doctor Who) Marvel UK work reprinted in America by the House of Ideas – had a well-earned reputation as one of the leading artists in British comics. Headhunted by DC editor Len Wein, he made a second, far more successful and long-lasting foray into the US market, at first drawing backups in The Flash and Green Lantern. Swiftly moving on to the lead feature in the latter, he also illustrated 1983’s landmark Brave and the Bold #200 and the classic For the Man who has Everything…. Written by Moore, with whom he had also worked on 2000 AD, it ran in 1985’s Superman Annual #11 and was a precursor of things to come from the duo. Premiering the following year, the Moore-written Watchmen launched the careers of its already acclaimed creators into the stratosphere. A huge commercial success, it garnered critical praise from not only the comics industry but also (and more importantly) the mainstream media. Now much in demand as a cover artist, Gibbons made his return to Marvel in 1988 with a Doctor Strange 20-pager in Marvel Fanfare #41 but the artist’s next major project was for Dark Horse. Teaming up with another industry legend, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns creator Frank Miller, he launched Give me Liberty. The 1990 four-parter kicked off the writer/artist team’s futuristic multi-chapter saga of Martha Washington, which only reached its conclusion in 2007. Having previously dabbled with writing, in 1989 he revamped Rogue Trooper for 2000 AD. He followed this by penning DC’s four-issue World’s Finest in 1990 and the following year’s Batman vs Predator four-parter for Dark Horse. His other scripting credits include 1995’s Superman: Kal one-shot, the 1996 and 1997 Super Soldier one-offs – which he also drew – for Amalgam (a DC/Marvel collaboration) and four 2003-4 issues of Captain America for Marvel. Since then Gibbons’ DC writing credits have included 2005’s The Rann/Thanagar War six-parter and the five issues of Green Lantern Corps: Recharge. Co-written with Geoff Johns, that 2005 mini set the scene for the following year's Green Lantern Corps for which Gibbons authored all but three of the first 17 issues while also scripting the five issues of Thunderbolt Jaxon for DC’s WildStorm imprint. Since 2007 Gibbons' comics output has been primarily limited to covers. He has, however, written a number of stories, among them Kamandi, the Last Boy on Earth, which DC serialised across the 12 issues of 2009's Wednesday Comics On the sequential art side, since the millennium, Gibbons has drawn various one-offs including 2001’s Just Imagine Stan Lee with Dave Gibbons Creating Green Lantern for DC and the following year’s War Stories: Screaming Eagles for DC/Vertigo. More significantly he drew and wrote The Originals, a futuristic 2004 graphic novel, for Vertigo, DC’s mature readers imprint. A year later he contributed to iBooks' Stan Lee's Alexa going on to produce Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars, a 2009 promotional one-shot. That was for Revolution Software for which he subsequently created Broken Sword: The Smoking Mirror (2010) and Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse (2014). In between he illustrated a six-parter for Marvel's creator-owned Icon imprint. Published in 2012, the Mark Miller/Matthew Vaughn-written Secret Service is Gibbons' most significant high profile project in recent years although he spearheaded Treatment, which launched from the online Madefire platform the same year. Despite the dearth of new work from him, Gibbons remains an iconic inspiration to comics creators and those with aspirations to break into the industry on both sides of the Atlantic.