We're back for the now-annual round-up of the best SB artwork of the year. Nine of the 10 on the list are from the magazine, one is original artwork for a Sideburn T-shirt.
Sideburn 48-50 are available to buy individually or as a money-saving three-issue bundle from Sideburn.bigcartel.com. Sideburn 51 is also available from the same place.
Here's the run down, in no particular order.
1. Bad Motorcycle by Chris Watson
I've been collaborating with Scottish artist Chris Watson since before Sideburn was launched, when we worked together on features for Performance Bikes in the mid-2000s. Sideburn finally gave Chris a portfolio feature in Sideburn 49, nine pages and an interview. I have no idea why it too so long. This was one of the pieces Chris submitted. It dates from 2002, highlighting that Chris was one of the planets whizzing in the motorcycle universe back then, an indiviudal that made it possible to imagine a community beyond the mainstream or the traditional. The insouciant pout on the biker woman, the detailing on the jacket that shows so much knowledge of the scene. Perfect!
2. Davis Fisher by Mark Ward
Mark Ward hasn't created that many artworks for us, but every time he does they become instant classics in my mind. I gave Mark, who isn't in the moto world, a suggestion of including a Sasquatch, because of the love of the myth in Davis Fisher's home state of Oregon. This is what came back, along with an additional artwork of Big Foot on Davis's Indian FTR750.
3. Harley-Davidson XR1250 by KarDesign
Art or illustration takes many forms, and this is a departure from Sideburn's regular routes. Kar Lee of KarDesign Koncepts was Sideburn's art editor for five years, from issue 24 to 43 inclusive. I'd worked with Kar before, again on Performance Bikes, and he was always great to work with, super adaptable and absolutely motorcycle mad. He isn't one of those industry people who never rides, he lives and breathes superbikes and trackdays.
Kar made himself a concurrent career creating realistic concept, sorry koncept, bikes for magazines around the world, bikes rumoured to be in manufacturer's pipelines that titles like Motorrad and MCN want to splash on their front pages before actual photos emerge. Kar is often uncannily accurate.
The XR1250 was commissioned by Sideburn, with absolutely zero inside knowledge. It's based around the Pan America ADV bike. We really don't believe it will happen. Someone in the US has built one, though. We're trying to track it down.
4. John Harrison by Mariel Harrison
From the computer-generated futurism of Kar's Harley to the kitchen table top lino cut depicting our mate John by his daughter. There is so much soul (there, I said it) in this little image, but it is also detailed enough that any regular in the DTRA race series would know exactly who it was depicting. The original is smaller than a postcard and it was Mariel's first ever attempt at lino cutting, I think. We used it in a repeating pattern on the contents page of Sideburn 48.
5. Cameron Smith by Kim Thompson
Kim Thompson is another artist with only a tenuous link to motorcycling, but she always delivers the goods. This artwork was for an interview with Pennsylvanian racer Cam Smith, and was delivered just before he stood in for the injured Johnny Lewis on the factory Enfield Twin FT in American Flat Track. He scored a second place finish in Production Twins, at the New York Short Track, splitting the 2021 and 2022 class champs, Cory Texter and Jesse Janisch. Perhaps he will be a factory regular for 2023.
6. Social Media by Maxwell Paternoster
I'm not exactly sure when Sideburn first started using Maxwell Paternoster artwork, but it was early on. For Sideburn 50 we decided we'd celebrate the stuff that was making our world fun and interesting right now, not look back. Photographer Ed Subias chose social media as a good thing (open to discussion) and Maxwell illustrated the concept with one of his trademark images that manages to be incredibly accurate while also being otherworldly. Maxwell is also someone making our world fun and interesting right now.
7. Ford Econoline by Jord O'Brien
This was the first artwork Jord O'Brien created for us. Like the social media image above, it was for Sideburn 50 and again, it was a suggestion by Ed Subias. The reference image was one of Tommy Duma, who is now Thom Duma Fine Jeweller, supporter of AFT and creator of the Superbowl-esque rings that the champions receive each season.
We've just learned that Tommy might have driven a Dodge, but the photo we sent the artist was only for inspiration and Leeds-based Jord drew a Ford.
8. Interdimensional page by Lydia Roberts
The accuracy of the bikes, even in comic book form, plus the perspective and action laid onto a 2D page was one of the main attractions of Lydia's work and why we featured her in our portfolio slot in Sideburn 51. It wasn't too much of a surprise to discover Lydia is a gearhead and owner of a few motorcycles. This is a page from the comic she produces with Evan Schultz for their publishing company Bad Ink Studios in New York State.
9. Dan Bromley by Ryan Quickfall
Would it even be a round up of best Sideburn art of the year without a piece by Ryan Roadkill? This is AFT racer Dan Bromley, another one from Pennsylvania, for Sideburn 51. Tons of texture and layers. the more you look, the more you see.
10. Got Your Back by Tom J Newell
The different T-shirt artwork Sheffield's Tom J Newell has created for us has been some of our most popular. It's dense, mystical, and a bit trippy. This one was Tom's idea, after he'd heard about the Egyptian Plovers that climb into crocodile's mouths to clean between their teeth. The birds get an easy meal, the reptiles get dentistry before the food rots. Tom liked the idea of different backgrounds working together, especially at a time when forces who don't have our best interests at heart are trying to divide us (and succeeding on many levels). Quite deep for a Sideburn T-shirt.
Buy Sideburn's Got Your Back T-shirt