Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Malcolm McNeill

Malcolm McNeill
Malcolm McNeill is an illustrator, concept artist and comics artist based in New York. His work has appeared in publications like The New York Times, National Lampoon and titles for Marvel Comics.

McNeill was collaborating with William S. Burroughs, before his death, on an “word/image novel” called Ah Pook is Here (image above, top), based, I believe, on a short story by the same name (which was also the inspiration for an animated short by Philip Hunt). McNeill worked on the project with Burroughs intermittently for seven years. Unfortunately the project was eventually abandoned because of insufficient funding. The glimpse of the work is tantalizing. It looks like McNeill is playing with the comics narrative form in some interesting and novel ways.

McNeill is at work on his own graphic novel, , and a non-fiction graphic narrative called 1%, in which he also seems to be playing with narrative conventions. It’s too bad that the images on the site are relatively small.

He wrote and illustrated a science fiction comic series called Tetra (above, two images at bottom, right) that ran in Gallery magazine for two years.

He has also done concept design for TV, including concept, design and art direction for the Saturday Night Live opening sequence in which the cast appeared as giants among the buildings of New York, as well as a number of commercial spots.

There are some nicely done illustrations for a dinosaur-themed project in the Kids section (above, image at bottom, left), for which he lists contributions of character design and script development but doesn’t indicate the name of the project.

Addendum: Malcolm has let me know that he in now in LA, not NY, he’s just completed a book about the collaboration with Burroughs, which took place in the 70’s, and the book will include the artwork in various stages of completion. The dinosaur images are for a book/film called “Pterrence with a P”, which he storyboarded, but has left to work on . He also notes that anyone interested in contacting him for professional inquiries can simply ask for larger versions of the images.

Note: Site contains NSFW images.

Addendum 2 (9/11/07): McNeill has posted a sited devoted specifically to the Burroughs project, which is now spelled Ah Puch is Here. There is now a fairly extensive interview with malcom McNeill posted on RealityStudio.org, and another on George Laughead’s Beats in Kansas, in which he talks about collaborating with Burroughs.

5 thoughts on “Malcolm McNeill

  1. jamie f

    Malcolms art is cool and way ahead of the game…
    I’m going to try and get a retropsective of his work either in the UK or France, so I’ll email you all with the time and place ok!

  2. D.B. Ryan

    I’d like to see a collected trade paperback (or graphic novel) of the TETRA series.

    I have some, not all, the issues. It appears to be in all the issues of GALLERY, from Oct 1978 to Feb 1980 (17 issues) all about 4 to 6 pages per issue.

    Unless there were more chapters after the Feb 1980 issue, it looks like the series was never brought to a conclusion.

    Or were there additional chapters I haven’t seen?

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