Vworp Vworp The Dr Who Fanzine

John Canning - A comic artist who divides opinion

John Canning - A comic artist who divides opinion

John Canning’s comic artwork divides opinion. In my experience, most people regard it as ‘scrappy’, ‘rushed’, or ‘messy’.

There are accusations of ‘getting away with it’, and jokes about lots of pointing fingers. But his artwork has been a massive influence on my own style of drawing and painting; the boldness of touch and the fearless energy is something that has always seemed to me something to aim for when drawing.

When I look at a John Canning page of art, I can see something to admire in every single frame, whether it’s a casually knocked- in building in the background, or a clever use of lighting, or a moody landscape.

Not a line is wasted, and the skill in the drawing instantly conveys a mood or an action. And he could draw anything – cars, buildings, animals...

But his great skill was figure-work. His grasp of anatomy and movement was exemplary, and even the most apparently sketchy panels capture this beautifully.

Being such a devotee of his art, it was always a source of immense regret that our correspondence ceased and, once he vanished from the pages of TV Comic, I lost track of him. I managed to purchase a couple of pages of original art, however, which hang in pride of place at home.

Imagine my surprise and delight, then, when Vworp Vworp! got in touch to say they’d managed to track down John Canning’s son Russ and, knowing my keen interest in John’s art, wondered if I’d be happy to meet up with Russ to talk about his father’s life and work.

A chance to discuss John Canning's work? Clearly I leapt at the chance, and subsequently travelled to his Oxfordshire home to meet up.

You can read the full article only in Issue Four of VWORP VWORP! Order your copy here.