The Ballad of Bob Dylan – Illustrated!

This is an idea that’s always been at the back of my mind for The Ballad of Bob Dylan, finally realised!

The inspiration goes back to my friendship with Adrian Whittaker who co-edited the Incredible String Band fanzine Be Glad. One of the contributors drew a lovely comic strip version of the song Ithkos from the String Band’s final album, which appeared in the magazine. The original is framed in Adrian’s house and it inspired me to consider doing something for Dylan.

My first plan earlier this year was to draw it myself. My first career choice was to be an artist for Marvel Comics (then very much a minority interest in the UK. I mean VERY much). But I failed to get into art school and pretty much left comic drawing behind. Recently I got an iPad and Apple Pen and had started playing around with the idea again. But it was nowhere near good enough to offer to the public.

I knew Lynsey Hutchinson, an old friend and bandmate, was very busy drawing a strip for an American publisher so I asked her if she knew anyone who might take it on. She immediately stepped forward to do it, and wouldn’t hear of anyone else touching it. She’s been a fan of the song since we first met, I knew, I just didn’t think she’d be able to make the time. I’d done rough pencil layouts and I was delighted to find she was happy to use them as a starting point, so my years of comic art practice hadn’t gone completely to waste.

Lynsey Hutchinson

Lynsey had a short break from the American project and produced the poster, getting her friend Andrew Richmond to do the lettering, in the style of Dylan’s first album. We discussed the various Dylan incarnations that might appear in the song. These were my choices – you may have envisaged different Dylans when you hear the song but that’s part of the fun.

And yes, the nurse may look familiar – she’s Glasgow comedian Janey Godley!

The poster is A3+ size, and Lynsey will be on hand at the Ten Objects launch on Thursday 21st to sign them.

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