Very early concept work

23 August 2012

Many years ago, around 1981/82 I think, and initially with Ian Gibson, I did some concept work for Phil Austin and Derek Hayes, collectively known as Animation City.
Some pretty clunky drawing, especially in the colour pieces, but I remember having a lot of fun doing it.
Set both in ancient Britain and the near future, it would have made a wonderful animated film. But, as ever, funding…

25 Responses to “Very early concept work”

  1. james newell Says:

    they are lovely, battle seen is right class.


  2. Those pencils are killers!…and have you any idea how much we loved your feet back in the day?

  3. Mark Perry Says:

    Great characters, that Elephant Woman is pretty scary:)

  4. Stunning work. With todays animation technology I imagine the colour concept pieces could be replicated quite faithfully. Aliens and Romans drawn in that style – it’s got to be a winner!

  5. David Rees Says:

    Madge Poltergeist: best character design ever? Quite possibly… She deserves her own spin-off series from this project-that-never-happened. Remember anything more about the character, Mick?

  6. Jon Haward Says:


  7. Nick Dyer Says:

    loving the Senator and the cop/interior designer?..

  8. Iain Says:

    Wow! These are just fantastic. Really like the look of these concepts/designs, those pencils are just dynamite. I can see how you had a lot of fun doing these. Is this project forever abandonned, or could it be re-visited?

    • mick mcmahon Says:

      I’m pretty sure it’s abandoned.

      • Iain Says:

        Still, these are just superb, and have really caught the eye – be really nice if something could now come from this, though that doesnt seem likely? Many thanks to you, Mick, for posting these so we all could see them. And special mention to David Rees for getting the ball rolling over on the 2000ad forum.

  9. These are just beautiful. Love the variety of textures on the clothing.

  10. Martin B Says:

    Examples of Top quality McMahon!

  11. Rob davis Says:

    This is lovely stuff, Mick. It’s like a flashback to the early eighties for me, I spent so much time staring at your work from this period. Thanks for sharing these!

  12. Rob davis Says:

    Some of the painted stuff reminds of the work you did on those Titan covers, I guess it was around that time. In fact it was around this time I first met you. You going to Thought Bubble again this year? Any other planned outings?

  13. Derek Hayes Says:

    Hi Mick

    Derek Hayes here… I’m up to my ears in work at the moment and about to do a new short film but I couldn’t resist commenting very briefly. I still love this idea and harbour the thought that, if I ever get half a chance I will revitalise it and do something with it. Madge Poltergeist, the B&B landlady, has mutated into other characters over the years but still has a very special place in my heart but financing an animated feature (especially in this country, and with an unknown property) is close to impossible. Still, hope springs eternal.
    Will write more if anybody wants to know but am off to do some more prep for this shoot next week.

    Stay well


  14. Joe Soap Says:

    Thanks Derek & Mick (and Ming on the 2000AD forum) the work looks stunning and I’d definitely like to know and see more of what this and what it is about.

  15. As always it’s simply a joy to see anything you’ve drawn Mr McMahon.But the pencil drawing here is stunning. Also, teh Dredd you posted recently on your Cumbria doodles-By God how I wish someone at 2000 ad would just commission you to do Dredd again for a while. One lives in hope…sigh…

  16. This certainly reminds me of the style you drew Junkyard Demon in which must be from around the same time? A real breath of fresh air to look at these today . I particularly like the colour Romans piece ( I assume they’re Romans?). Looks like a double page spread from a comic that should exist. Smashing pencils too – again the Ancient Britain stuff really inspires.

    Thanks for sharing.


  17. nulsh Says:

    This is great stuff. The pencil drawings are excellent. Lovin’ the dude with the carpet patterns book! His footwear is rather splendid!

  18. David Rees Says:

    Just a little more background on this… I came across a mention of an animation project involving Mick and Ian Gibson in Ian’s creator blurb at the front of one of the old Titan Robo-Hunter reprints and out of curiosity, contacted Mick, who replied: “It was to be set in North London in the near future and would have featured aliens, Merlin and Morgana, plus ancient Romans.” Ian Gibson then very kindly provided a suite of scans including the colour images featured here, and now Mick has graciously dug out additional images for our viewing pleasure. If I come with any more info I’ll add it to the thread on the official 2000AD forum.

  19. Rich E Says:


  20. Derek Hayes Says:

    For anybody still looking at this post, I finally got myself a blog and my first post is details of The Unholy Grail, the project these designs come from. There are no pictures you haven’t seen yet but I intend to see what else I have an put them up in a subsequent post.

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