AN East Lancashire comic book artist who has drawn for some of the world's most famous publications has set up shop in Blackburn.

Tim Perkins, 47, is director of Wizards Keep Ltd, based at his home studio and is planning to expand into more detailed and permanent work.

The artist has worked for legendary comics including Marvel, the creators of Spiderman and X-Men, DC, the creators of Superman and Batman, and 2000AD, famous for Judge Dredd.

But now Blackburn-born Tim, who also lectures to night classes on fantasy art at Blackburn College, has gone solo and thinks he is one of the first artists to form a company purely to sell his work.

And the artist, married with two children, is happy to have the eyes of the comic industry on him as his former colleagues look to see if he makes a success of his business venture.

He said: "It's quite unusual for people in the comic book industry to do this type of thing. It's certainly rare in the way that I have done it.

"I am not doing comic books, the nearest I am doing is a graphic novel. Talks are also ongoing with a sculptor to produce a range of figurines based on my work. I want to be able to sell art that's interesting and detailed rather than trying to turn it round en masse.

"I think it's also unusual because more comic book artists work as part of a team. You have staff like a writer, an artist, pencil people and an ink person.

"I'd like to be in a position where I have several people working alongside me both in administration and promotion, and eventually maybe even on the artwork side."

Tim first became interested in comics through his grandfather, who met American soldiers during the war, who had US comics with them.

He soon decided to pursue drawing seriously, and he studied sixth form art and English at John Rigby School, now Our Lady and St John, and then graphic design at Blackpool and Fylde College before working in a number of local design studios.

Then he began applying to comic books, and eventually heard back from the UK wing of Marvel, offering him work to begin his career. He has also spent time working for theme parks, and in animation.

Now he has launched Wizards Keep, which includes a website to showcase his work, after a year of preparation which saw him prepare his studio.

He said: "I am getting back to doing what I have been planning to do all along."

l Tim's website is