Marvel at work of Kirk Hallam artist

Mike Wood with his artwork of Marvel film characters that will be on display at library.

Mike Wood with his artwork of Marvel film characters that will be on display at library.

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A Kirk Hallam artist who draws Marvel film characters has had his talent recognised by an author who has asked him to illustrate his new book.

Mike Wood, 60, was at a craft fair in Middlesborough when his portraits caught the eye of science fiction author Simon Coates.

Mike said: “He told my wife that he had been searching for an artist to illustrate his Sci -Fi books set in the 24th Century for over three years but with no success. He wondered if I would be interested in doing it and after a brief discussion I agreed.”

Mike has completed artwork for one book so far and is currently making a start on illustrations for a second - both books will be published later this year. He started work on the 17 images before Christmas and hopes to finish them in a few weeks.

Simon Coates recently had a stand at the Comic-Con event in Scarborough to promote his new book Bike Racing into the Red. He took copies of Mike’s portraits relating to science fiction film and TV characters with him.

Mike said: “Dave Prowse, who was the original Darth Vader in Star Wars, was one of the celebrities attending and saw my artwork of Darth Vader and the picture of his late friend Peter Cushing as ‘The Grand Moff Tarkin’, also from Star Wars. He agreed to autograph a copy of Simon’s book in exchange for the two pictures.”

On the same day Terry Molloy, the actor who portrays the Dalek leader Davros in the BBC TV series Dr Who, saw Mike’s portrait of him as his character and he also agreed to autograph a copy of Simon’s book in exchange for the portrait.

Simon intends to raffle the autographed books off at a fundraiser for charity.