I can’t say enough about Dave McKean and how much respect I have for him. I don’t know him personally, but I’ve known of him since I was a teenager (and that was a long damn time ago). It’s been amazing to watch his professional career develop and grow through the art and media he creates. Dave Mckean has worked with great artists from nearly every creative field, including Tori Amos, Skinny Puppy, Stephen King, Niel Gaiman, Jim Hensen Studios, to name just a few.
McKean alway seemed to be testing the limits of the visual arts. I remember reading a long time ago, pre-Photoshop, he was experimenting with photo-collage on Xerox copiers.. and building/sculpting sets for his photography, illustrations and artwork. He began to adopt the use of Photoshop and the computer in his artwork in the early ’90s. I consider him to be a real pioneer with the digital arts, and he is somebody who a lot of people have copied over the years with his photo-collage style (maybe too much?). I’m sure Dave McKean wasn’t the first artist to use the computer as a creative tool, but he is the first artist using a computer to catch my eye and make me pay attention.
Like many people, I became aware of Dave McKean through his work on the Sandman comics, which he did all of the covers for. He did do some earlier comics including Violent Cases, Black Orchid and Arkham Asylum. McKean also made a number of covers for the Hellblazer comics. But I think it was the Sandman covers that really launched his career, and deservedly so. Sandman is a beautiful comic, and McKean’s work helped bring it to life.
I’m sure I don’t have everything Dave McKean ever made, not even close, but there was a time I had to get everything he touched that I came across.. and I’ve collected a lot of what he has done. I especially like to flip through his books. Dustcovers, Signal to Noise, Pictures that Tick, Cages, Mr. Punch, Coraline.. Yow! Too much greatness to keep track of..