Those of you that read my article Staying Power will probably have been glad of the love shown towards one of the greatest Scottish artists of the last 50 years, but it is my sorry duty to tell you that article is wrong.
All of us thought that Cam had done 28 issues and we all gloried in that early artwork with its’ grittiness and almost subconscious nod towards the great Victor De La Fuente. Unfortunately, I am here to say it ain’t so.
I have one of the most comprehensive credit lists of Commando contributors that is in the wild so I can play with it. And sometimes it throws up some surprising results. Before I go any further, I apologise to those that are not into Information Management as this is part of the way that I find out some of the amazing facts that I am able to blog about.
So to set the scene, the internal artist for issue 21 Blood River is listed as Kennedy. To have a third Kennedy listed as an artistic contributor to Commando bugs me slightly, so I checked to see if there are any more contributions assigned to this Kennedy and I found two issues that were assigned to them.
Those two issues are 363 Jungle Phantom and 392 The Hunted. I have issue 21 so I am able to confirm that the contributor is definitely a third Kennedy contributor as their style does not match Ian’s or Cam’s. However, I didn’t have either 363 or 392 so I had to rely on friends to help me to figure out if these issues had a known Kennedy or whether they needed to be attributed to the unknown Kennedy artist.
So after two weeks of annoying my friends Stephen Hume and Doug Brain, both came up trumps with pictures to allow me to confirm which Kennedy was the mystery artist. And once I had checked the internal art, it was screaming at me that the internal art artist was a very young Cam Kennedy. And here is a selection of his art that has not been seen since 1968.
In case anyone struggles to understand how significant Commando 363 is, here is a precis of what might have happened if it had been rejected. Cam would not have done the other 29 issues, so he would not have worked on Judge Dredd, The VCs, Fighting Mann, Rogue Trooper, Star Wars, The Light and Darkness War, Batman or Nick Fury to name but a few.
Now I have found this out in July and some will be wondering why I did not publish this before as it is a BIG DEAL. Well, hopefully earlier today, I have gotten to surprise Cam at the Lakes International Comics and Arts Festival with an example of this earlier work.
Again some will be wondering why have I waited until today to announce this. Well that reason is fairly simple. 363 was published in late October 1968 so today Saturday 13th October 2018, Cam is in a Masterclass at the Lakes with the other known Kennedy and I am presenting Cam with a copy of this start to his career to celebrate this 50th Anniversary.