Comic strip Jim has a blast with towers' fall

WOULDN'T this have been a more exciting way for Tinsley's Twin Towers to go - blasted to smithereens by flying saucers?

It's the latest addition to the growing cooling towers memorabilia, along with mugs, T-shirts and postcards.

This striking artwork is by Sheffield illustrator Jim Connolly ,who was commissioned by Rupert Wood of the city's Archipelago Press, the first silkscreen print to be published from the press's new works at Sidney Street.

"I commissioned it a year ago and as soon as we got the dates for the demolition we got moving," says Rupert, who is selling a limited edition of 150 at 125 unframed.

For those without that much brass the prints are also available A3 size for a tenner.

Rupert wanted Archipelago's move from its previous home on Ecclesall Road to go with a bang and it certainly has.

"We approached Jim with a view to having a series of prints with iconic Sheffield backgrounds with a Superhero theme, rather than New York," says Rupert.

It's a word of Superman and Spiderman but taking its cue from British comic strips, now very popular over in America.

"I wanted it to look as if it was a single frame taken from a comic strip," says Rupert.

Jim, aged 30, is originally from Heeley and now lives in Buxton although he works in the city as an illustrator.

He says he has always had a love of comic books. "As a kid I wanted to grow up as a cross between Adam Ant and Batman and work as an artist."

He drew inspiration from the BBC TV Heroes series, where ordinary people have extraordinary powers, and popped down to Tinsley to draw some preparatory sketches.

And he was there on the night to watch them go up with a bang.

He and Rupert are working together to bring out a series of prints, perhaps every three months, where the city is the background to more comic strip capers.

"I'm basing them in Sheffield and having a bit of humour going on," says Jim.

Ideas he's toying with include a famous Sheffield sauce and perhaps the Day of the Dead based at Meadowhall.

Archipelago is now based in a former Little Mesters complex with full printing and framing facilities. A gallery - there was one on Ecclesall Road - will be opened later.

n Archipelago is at 16-20 Sidney Street, Sheffield. Tel: 0114 263 4493. Website:

The prints are also available framed.

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