I personally like to call Dave McKean the “British Tim Burton”, because in all sense and purposes he is, in every way. He’s our gothic, grungy film maker, illustrator, comic book artist, and graphic designer of the late 20th and 21st century. A repetitive collaborator with one of my favourite intriguing authors; Neil Gaiman. Looking at his work for Graphic Design project last year, I fell in love with the disturbed imagery. It holds that avant-garde, horror film sensation. The moment your eyes fix upon a piece of his artwork – such as this…
…You can’t keep your eyes off it, your thoughts, emotions, they’re drawn into this creation, like stepping into a Tim Burton film. A fantastic blend of horror, suspension, danger, wistfulness, it all comes together; because you don’t know what Mckean was thinking when he conjured any of his pieces up – well when I look at it anyway. That’s the marvelous thing about artists, you know? You have no idea what is going through one’s head as they draw out a painting, when a writer types up a story. Even when an outsider asks, and an artist explains, they still won’t understand, not completely, because that outsider is not tuned to that artist’s state of mind.
With his illustrative works for Coraline, it brought to life the written words to Gaiman’s book completely, a twisted, corrupted version of Alice in Wonderland had finally came to motion just by looking at the beautiful, cracked drawings. Which in turn were made spectacularly in the 2009 adaption of the film, McKean’s illustrations were animated. It served both the book and the drawings justice.