Following my involvement with Blackpool Remembered and Blackpool Revisited, I have given my 2011 Doctor Who ebook, Who, Where & When a short, personal account of growing up with the show in the 1980s and beyond.
I’ve given the front cover an overhaul with some recent illustrations and the existing articles have undergone some minor edits where needed. However bringing the book up to date, are four new pages at the end, which I hope you enjoy.
I spent a large part of my childhood drawing Doctor Who. Any other fans out there will understand how an obsession over something like this can grip you, especially at a young age – and to have some drawing ability meant that I could visualise my own worlds and adventures (usually at the expense of homework!). But, my comics would often remain half finished (or half started) or they would just be another excise to draw the Daleks.
My obsession with the Daleks was probably equal to my obsession with the show – and still is. I loved drawing them (though they were, are, and will always be challenging things to draw!). But, until this year, I hadn’t drawn any Daleks for many years, and it was literally over twenty years since I had last done any kind of Doctor Who illustration whatsoever, especially as in the last decade, my science fiction work and cover art has been at the fore.
Earlier this year when I became involved in both Blackpool Remembered and Terraqueos Distributors’ Unofficial 1989 Dr Who Annual, I found myself returning to line-art and really enjoying it. In the past I would always prefer to work with ink on paper for line-art, but once scanned in, the results never looked as good, so I decided to work entirely digitally, which isn’t without its challenges on a graphics tablet.
The pieces for Blackpool Remembered were obviously heavily inspired by the original Blackpool exhibition; the lighting and colours in particular. But I also wanted to pay a subtle homage to the vintage annuals of the 1970s – the 1975 Daleks Omnibus in particular, at the same time as putting my own stamp on the pieces. Even though both book projects were complete, I felt that old urge to do some more, so set about doing more Daleks, Davros (based on Terry Molloy’s take on the character in the 1980s) and another old favourite of mine, the Sontarans.
Taking stock of this recent output, I realised that this collection of pieces – depicting some of the Doctor’s most famous alien adversaries as well as good old K9 – deserved to be more than digital files sitting on my hard drive or in social media feeds. They simply needed to be something to have and hold, and this led to the production of a limited edition sets of prints.
I’m really proud of this set – not only because of the project that spawned them, but rediscovering both my passion for illustrating Doctor Who and establishing a particular style was very rewarding, but also because it feels like a culmination of so many years of fandom and the simple joy putting pen to paper (or pixel).
This year, I have really enjoyed rediscovering my love of illustrating all things Doctor Who – to celebrate this, I have produced a limited edition run of A5 print packs.
Each individually numbered pack contains six A5 prints of classic Doctor Who characters – the Daleks, Davros, Cybermen, Sontarans and K9. Each print is finished and preserved with a smooth matt lamination.
This set brings together personal pieces alongside illustrations commissioned for the Blackpool Remembered project.
The packs are for sale on eBay for £9.99 each, including postage (UK only – sorry!). This is a limited edition item, with just 40 packs available. I’m also happy to receive payment directly via PayPal via email; just get in touch: alex[at]thelightdream.net
Reconnecting with both my love of Doctor Who and my old passion for illustrating Doctor Who has proven to be very rewarding during this strange and troublesome year.
I’m absolutely delighted to have contributed several exclusive illustrations to Terraqueous Distributors’ Unofficial Dr Who Annual 1989, which is available today – the show’s 57th Anniversary – via Lulu.
The annual follows the styling of the vintage Doctor Who annuals, and since they were discontinued by the time Sylvester McCoy took over the part, this one feels long overdue! It features stories and illustrations by fans, as well as contributions from well known names in the Who world, such as Alister Pearson, Dominic Glynn, Jessica Martin, Mike Tucker, Andrew Skilleter, Andy Walker, Stephen Wyatt, plus a foreword by Doctor Who’s script editor of the time – Andrew Cartmel.
Here are a couple of my illustrations:
Next up, is John Collier’s follow-up book to Blackpool Remembered – this time entitled Blackpool Revisited. Work is well under way collating content and contributors, which further explores the legacy of Doctor Who exhibitions in Blackpool, in particular the more recent Doctor Who Museum which ran from 2004–2009. For more information, keep an eye on the project website or follow the Twitter account for all the latest!
Meanwhile, here is my cover art, which is an update of the original mono cover illustration from Blackpool Remembered.
My latest illustration commission was something a little different – a new banner for The Space Museum; a website documenting classic Doctor Who merchandise. Curator Christopher Hill wanted to depict an image of a young fan in the 1960s, featuring some of the toys of the day such as the Marx Daleks – and also a present-day, adult version of the same person, now with an expansive collection. Any Doctor Who collectors will surely resonate with this – and it was a great fun project to work on!
Today sees the release of Blackpool Remembered – John Collier’s long-time ambition to create an extensive book about the original Doctor Who exhibition in Blackpool.
I have illustrated the front cover and several exclusive interior pieces, as well as producing the year-by-year floor plans and providing several written pieces – it has been an absolute pleasure to be a part of this epic project. Blackpool Remembered is a digital publication, with over 400 pages and 80 contributors, and it’s all available for free!
The August Bank Holiday weekend was a time when the Collier family would traditionally be making their way up to Blackpool – which for young John, meant it would soon be time to descend those famous stairs once again, to see the year’s new exhibits at the Doctor Who exhibition, hidden beneath the surface of Blackpool’s Golden Mile.
It is now time to re-live those moments, as John’s long-time ambition to compile an expansive book about the Blackpool Doctor Who exhibition has finally come to fruition.
Enter the TARDISand defy the Daleks once again, as Blackpool Remembered is now available! It is most certainly bigger on the inside – you will find over 400 pages of memories, photographs, interviews, floor plans, nostalgia, memorabilia, artwork and much more. For those fans who visited, this is the opportunity to go back in time, and for the generations of fans who missed it, your visit starts here!
Download Blackpool Remembered from the project website.
With just a week to go until John Collier’s Blackpool Remembered ebook project is released, the website has gone live (where you’ll be able to download the book from Friday 28th August), and I have put together an illustrated trailer for the book (above), which also features my own version of the Doctor Who theme tune!
I have wanted to make my own interpretation of the famous theme music since I was a child. I finally started my own version back in 2015, but it remained unfinished until now – it is an incredibly complex piece of music for somebody who only plays by ear, but I’ve given it my own stamp. You can hear it in full over on my Soundcloud page.
Back to the book – it now has over 70 contributors and is over 350 pages, packed full of memories, stories, photographs, illustrations and behind-the-scenes accounts – the range of articles and information from just one exhibition is quite incredible. But if you’re a Doctor Who fan or if you did visit the original exhibition between 1974 and 1985, then you will absolutely love this project, which has been a genuine labour of love for its editor, John and we can’t wait to share it.
Above, you can see a teaser for some of my illustrations for John Collier’s upcoming free ebook, Blackpool Remembered. This exciting project is one for Doctor Who fans everywhere, but particularly those, like myself, who went to the original exhibition in Blackpool in the 1970s and 1980s.
With 70 contributors, the book is going to be around 300 pages of memories, photographs, interviews, floor plans and a whole feast of other Blackpool exhibition-related nostalgia. As well as the front cover and interior illustrations, I have also contributed three written sections and produced the year-by-year floor plans.
The project will have its own website, where the book can also be downloaded in PDF format, from 28th August. Watch this space for details!
I am absolutely delighted to be part of an exciting project dedicated to the original Doctor Who exhibition in Blackpool, which ran from 1974 to 1985 – which was the year I visited, as an awestruck seven-year-old.
Collated and edited by John Collier, Blackpool Remembered will be a free digital publication, documenting the evolution of the exhibition through fan memories and photographs, alongside detailed recollections from some of the people who made it happen.
Contributors include Julie Jones, Bob Richardson, Mike Tucker and Neil Cole to name just a few, plus a wonderful foreword from Steve Cambden.
I have illustrated and designed the front cover (below) plus completed several interior illustrations. In addition, I have rewritten and expanded my own recollections of the exhibition, which originally appeared in my 2011 publication, Who, Where & When.
If you’re a fan of classic Doctor Who and if you ever went to the first and most iconic incarnation of the exhibition, then stay tuned, as this will be for you! For further updates, head over to Twitter and follow @BlackpoolRemembered7485
Blackpool Remembered will be available to download as a PDF in August.
I also have another exciting Doctor Who-related project in the works, which I look forward to sharing in the near future. Needless to say I will soon be adding a Doctor Who section to the gallery pages here!