Nearly finished: a silly illo by Ian Gunn

Nearly finished

Nearly finished

A cute but armless and wingless anthropomorphised bug or alien says “…But it’s nearly finished now.”

“What is nearly finished?” you ask.

This is another illustration by Ian Gunn intended for use in a handmade (but possibly professionally photocopied) paper zine. Ian drew lots of engaging little illustrations like these, another where a miner (complete with pick and hard hat) tears through the paper onto the letters page and many more.

Therefore, it’s the paper zine that’s nearly finished. These kinds of illos were particularly applicable for club zines where presidents and treasurers published lengthy reports that hardly anyone read. Not that I’ve ever been involved in making a zine where someone instructed me to omit interesting content in favour of publishing a boring, self-aggrandising, pontificating spiel by a prominent club member. Nope. NEVER.

The backstory behind these silly illos

Ian Gunn, creator of these silly illos (illustrations), was an award-winning artist based in Melbourne, Australia. Cancer took him too soon. But his legacy includes numerous illustrations for zines, books and even school textbooks.

We’ve published a veritable museum of Ian’s Silly Illos here. Many of these illustrations are available for sale.

Victoria’s science fiction convention, Continuum, occasionally presents the Ian Gunn Memorial Award recognising the ‘unsung heroes’ of fandom. Recipients work in obscurity for years without recognition. This award commemorates Ian’s selfless efforts to reach out to others, encouraging others and thereby building the science fiction community.

K’rin Pender-Gunn, Ian’s widow, gave Dark Matter Zine permission to republish Ian’s artwork. Thanks, K’rin!