As a prime mover in U.K. comics since the 1970s, Pat Mills has been directly or indirectly responsible for promoting entire generations of artistic talent. He was IPC’s go-to guy for launching comics in the mid-’70s, and even after his stint editing 2000AD; many great artists there tended to get their first breaks working on his strips, which surely can’t be coincidental. Similarly, although he didn’t edit Crisis, he was arguably the driving force behind the comic, where again an entire generation of new comickers earned its stripes 00 and then yet again at Toxic!, where several noticeable new artistic talents worked on strips written or co-written by him.
Mills is at it again, bringing on Fay Dalton as co-artist with Clint Langley on American Reaper in the Judge Dredd Megazine. Mills was on the panel of judges when Dalton won a competition ran by the illustration agency Pickled Ink in 2010 to find an artist to draw the graphic novel Party Girls by Jenny McDade, some sample pages from that project can be seen at her website, her work then revealing the possible influences of James Jean and Frazer Irving. A further look around her website now reveals an artist influenced by the golden age of commercial illustration, such as the work of Robert McGinnis, and her comic pages (as previewed at Mills’ blog) show some influence from Look In-era John M Burns. She’s came a helluva long way in the three years between the two projects. Here’s hoping she stays in comics for the long run: her work is like nothing else being produced in the form right now.