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McKie, Angus

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Artist.

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(1951-    ) British illustrator who studied at Newcastle-upon-Tyne College of Art. He began his career in sf art with a cover for the October 1975 issue of Science Fiction Monthly, a portrait of a spacesuited astronaut, and then shifted his attention to book covers. From the start, he displayed a predilection for renderings of Spaceships and other high-tech artefacts that recalled the work of his contemporary Chris Foss, though his works sometimes had a softer focus and unusual backgrounds, like the orange sky overshadowing a grey spaceport on his 1978 cover for Brian Stableford's Promised Land (1974). He also worked for both Heavy Metal magazine and the film Heavy Metal (1981), and contributed artwork to illustrated books like Roger Dean, Martyn Dean, and Donald Lehmkuhl's The Flights of Icarus (1978) and Robert Holdstock and Malcolm Edwards's Alien Landscapes (1979).

In the 1980s and 1990s, McKie continued painting covers for American, British, and European publishers, often in his classic style; his cover for Isaac Asimov and Martin Harry Greenberg's anthology Isaac Asimov Presents The Great SF Stories 23 (1991), showing a towering aggregate of modular units in Earth orbit, may be one of his best efforts of this kind, displaying his special ability to make supposedly huge objects actually look huge. But McKie's covers in the late 1980s and early 1990s could also display entirely different approaches, as he might foreground human figures – as in his 1989 cover for Eric Frank Russell's Next of Kin (1959), wherein a man struggles with a reptilian humanoid – or familiar objects – as in his cover for Richard Condon's Emperor of America (1990), a simple painting of an elaborate crown resting on the back of a chair. Since the mid-1990s, he has primarily focused on well-received work as a colourist for Comic books and Graphic Novels. [PN/JG/GW]

Angus McKie

born Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland: July 1951


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