GMB – what we learnt this issue #1

This issue of GMB magazine we had a couple of interesting processes and I thought I’d share them with you. You know, because I like to share.

Anyhow, the first thing we had to sort out was an illustration for a piece by Paul Routledge. Paul who does a weekly column for the Daily Mirror did a wake up call piece for the union’s readership warning of the Conservatives plans for the public sector. It’s a heavily political piece and very left leaning so we need an illustrated that captured the power of those words.

Darren Thompson did the illo and a great job he did of it too. As Tina (Glencross art editor) said, “We gave Darren a few ideas, all the copy to read through in case he had a different spin and his response was really swift and really good.”

Here’s a walk through of that process.

The first file we opened was Dave Cameron as Little Boy Blue.

little boy blue

Martin Rowson in The Guardian (who did one of our first illustrations) also depicts Cameron as Little Boy Blue (Steve Bell has him as a jellyfish) but we thought this was a little tame, bearing in mind the impact of Paul’s words.

standing on ruins

We thought this was more like it but that it was a bit too sinister. We wanted the shock and threat of Paul’s words to come across but didn’t want to terrify people with an apocalyptic vision.

Which is when we opened this:


This was perfect.

Tina took the image, which was incredibly low res and dropped it on to a DPS with Paul’s copy and the balance looked great. She also took the legend ‘Return of the Tories’ and turned that into the title for the piece because we loved the balance of that and that whole 50’s b-movie vibe. Then the pdf was sent that back to Darren thusly:


Then, a couple of days later, we got the final illustration back.


I spoke to Darren about it and asked where the inspiration for Godzilla came from. He told me that,  “I really like using 50’s Pulp Fiction illustrations as an inspiration for ideas. They were great style wise, loud colors and lots of action.  They were so horrifying for their time, and now seem so humorous, which fit with the brief.”

Certainly we were happy with the end result and the humour/horror play off means that the end result is really arresting and also let’s the reader know, in an instant, what the feature is about.
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