Steve Whitaker - Colour Original from V For Vendetta (1989)
It’s the colour original for Book Three, Chapter One “Vox populi”, Page One, after the prologue.
I’d known Steve for several years, since long before moving to London. He was actually an excellent comic artist and a first class illustrator, but far too much of a perfectionist to ever be happy with what he was drawing at any given time to make a living at it. He also bored very easily and would lose interest with projects; there was always something else to seize his fascination coming up next. He didn’t have the patience or willingness to compromise to be a career comic artist; he loved the art-form too much for that.
He packaged up several of the pages he’d coloured for the US reprint-&-continuation of V For Vendetta in spare bluetones and gave them to select friends. Mine appeared as a late birthday present and I was thrilled at the sentiment and the originality. He had picked it very carefully, all too-aware of my personality…
Steve was a lot of things, but mostly he was a teacher. All he ever did was impart knowledge. Steve was taken suddenly ill at his father’s house and died from a stroke in the back of a cab taking him to the hospital, late February 2008.
This was commissioned by a very patient fellow. He gave me a lot of freedom with this piece, so I did my best to do the comic justice. I believe this is the first time I’ve had a painted background for a piece, and on it, I tried to incorporate some of John Totleben’s imagery from the issue.
Back when comics were a relatively small subculture, the Comics Buyer’s Guide was like the New York Times of its world. Before there was an internet, this was how everyone kept up on news. The impact it had on me is immeasurable.