I remember years ago before Lisbeth Salandar was even a twinkle in Stieg Larsson's eye, I was talking with my good friend Patrick Wright about his own encounter with a raven haired girl with Eastern European blood coursing through her veins and a lethal approach to neutralizing opponents.
Patrick had been working for several years with his London agent Barry Coker of Bardon Art, supplying artwork for Battle Picture Weekly and Commando and injecting each page with such manic attention to detail that deadlines were blown more often than met and cushions had to be placed over the phone so that he could work without being too unnerved by calls from angry clients. Such was Patrick's dedication to the cause that he even drew his first Commando comic on CS10 board until the staff at DC Thomson told him not to waste his money as they really didn't have the space to store a ton of board - paper would do very nicely - thank you!
The artist would frequently be so "bloody knackered" as he put it, that his wife would have to deliver the artwork to Coker's office while he caught up with some desperately needed sleep. Keith Davis, Coker's assistant on one such occasion shook his head in amazement as he looked at the work, calling other people in the office over to have a look and enthusing over the quality of the draftsmanship, saying, "It's just a pity that it's such a waste of time".
If any illustrator was deserving of a break it was Patrick Wright and unbeknownst to him in the at times truly Machiavellian world of Fleet Street, opportunity was about to come a knocking.
The Eagle © IPC Media 2011
Commando © DC Thomson 2011
Battling Britons vol.2 no.2 (January 2022)
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