The thing that struck me while making the first issue of the Rock'n'Roll London Comic Book Fanzine starring Pink Floyd is the disproportionate relationship between the months of Syd Barrett's broader fame with The Floyd and the longevity of his legend.
Floyd's first single Arnold Layne came out in March 1967 and Syd parted company with the band in January 1968…
The starting point for my drawing of Syd was a famous legend – almost everything about Syd is shrouded in legend. It is said that after prolonged LSD use there came a deadening of his once lively eyes.
This was the first sketch…
From here I pinched from Steve Bell.
Bell's cartoons of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the 80s developed over time to feature a single mad eye, signifying the cartoonist's deep-held belief that the PM was insane. Bell later transferred this technique on to Prime Minister Tony Blair.
For Syd, rather than an eye shining with insanity I substituted a spirally eye, a psychedelic eye – only one to suggest that the young Syd of '67 still had one foot in reality. Here he is in the sketchbook smoking with Paul McCartney at UFO…
… and here's how the sketch ended up in the finished comic.
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