Friday, 19 December 2008

Judge Dredd - Informant 3.3

Page Three! finally finished colouring it... click the image for the uncensored version.

I'm quite pleased with how it's turned out.

I doubt I'll get any more posts up before the Christmas break and then who knows when I'll have something else I can show... so until I return, have a wonderful season's relaxation and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Judge Dredd - Informant 3.2

I've been really tied up on a project I don't think I can say too much about and that's meant I've not had much I can show here...

To keep things moving here's a panel from page three coloured up and hopefully there'll be a follow-up before the holiday break of the rest of the page... but don't hold me to that!

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Judge Dredd - Informant 2.2

A whole week between posts... Hopefully this page coloured up will make up for that - there's a lot to look at here, although you'll have to click the image for the full uncensored perv-fest!! assuming you want to that is!

I've been a bit busy on other projects this week, but in the periods between I've just sneaked a little colour on to this page here and there as time allowed.

Friday, 21 November 2008

Judge Dredd - Informant 1.6

Matt and Jim made some comments on the colouring of this page. I've done some minor revisions to try to help lift the bottom set of panels.

I was in London on Tuesday to pick-up some art supplies and to look for a couple of comics. For those of you familiar with Berwick Street (where there's now a books and comics exchange), I kept getting a weird sense that, in some ways, my first panel here has a feel of that little single lane off Oxford Street.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Drawer Geeks - Witch

I did this really quickly for DrawerGeeks.

I like some stuff about it, but the stiffness of that arm is really bugging me!

Monday, 17 November 2008

Leeds Royal Armouries

I travelled up to Leeds via the great railed extortion method... Holiday Inn Express, right next door to the Comic Convention, was a lovely hotel. In fact, the whole Clarence Dock regeneration area was very nice.

Unfortunately 2000AD were only sponsoring the 'Thought-bubble' event and not attending. So, I didn't get to show my new samples to the avocado-editor but it wasn't a total waste of time going as I think I may have developed a couple of new contacts. Even though I only hung around the convention hall for a couple of hours I think it was a pretty good and well organized event.

Leeds is a great city and has a lot going for it, especially The Corn Exchange (which is being refitted), The Arcades and The Royal Armouries which are very much worth a visit.

In the armouries, these exhibits caught my eye... they by no means do the museum justice, as it has so much to offer. All I can say is, if you are in Leeds, you should at least pop into the Armouries as it is a free experience that may alter the way you look at armour and weaponry.

The next opportunity to show my work at a convention will be Hi-Ex in three months... but Inverness is a hell of a long way to go and I can always submit stuff by post. For now though, comic-art is going to have to take a back seat as I have some other fish to fry.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Judge Dredd - Informant 1.5

Page one in glorious technicolour!

I'm not sure how well this works. I just felt I needed some splash of colour in the samples I show in Leeds - wish me luck as I once again shove my work under Tharg's nose (assuming the funky green gentleman has decided to attend).

Judge Dredd - Informant 4.0

This page is a dirty protest, at best...

I think it needs loads of work and it's no where near as dynamic as page three... I was trying to slow the pace a little here as the story progresses quite a lot over the page. Unfortunately I've completely killed it. I don't think there are enough changes of 'camera' angle. No time to do anything about that before Leeds... but if it's a 'no cigar' situation, at least I'll know what to do next!

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Judge Dredd - Informant 3.1

*EDIT* as pointed out by Matt in the comments, this page needed censoring - apologies. *EDIT*


I'm quite pleased with this page...

First thing tomorrow - page four!

Monday, 10 November 2008

Judge Dredd - Informant 3.0

*EDIT* this page needed censoring - apologies. *EDIT*

Crime Blitz! Judge Dredd and a squad of day-stick wielding Judges storm Zac's newly inherited bar - they strip search the clientele and bust Zac for owning a squalid erotic dance club... life is anything but fair in Mega-City One!!

Even though these pencils aren't as tight as the previous pages, I'm inking them now...

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Judge Dredd - Informant 2.1

Inks for page two... again, I've censored the saucy bits, so if you're over 18, or your mum/dad says it's ok, you can click the image to reveal a larger, uncensored version!

I've packed this page and page one full of little details that aren't 100% apparent viewing them on the blog - they're there though and hopefully that will help make these new pages more interesting to look at.

I think these new pages are more dynamic also. I've payed special attention to my figures and think they are definitely more polished than in the last samples. I've also thought about the page as a whole as well as each individual panel and I think that the pages are better balanced for that.

Oh well, I've got approximately four days until I need to have the pages finished - I don't think I'll have all six ready in time for Leeds but I'm fairly confident I can get four done (one of them in colour). Wish me luck, I'm gonna need it!

Friday, 7 November 2008

Miss Moneypenny's An Eejit

The current topic over at DrawerGeeks is James Bond 007, obviously in honour of The Quantum of Solace release last week...

I've seen it and it's a thumpin' good 'un - it's getting some duff reviews, but I think that's as a reaction to the fact that expectations after Casino Royale were extremely high - I think we need to remember how much better than some of the other Bond movies this new one is... go and see it, it's great!

The main thing I've missed in the Daniel Craig films is the delightful MI5 secretary and her flirty quips... even though she is daft enough to fantasize about James, I've always liked her character, especially Samantha Bond's more sassy incarnation.

This was a very quick pencil sketch that I threw some colour on in photoshop - it's a bit rough but I didn't want to get side tracked from the Dredd script too much more.

If you're wondering about this post's title, it's an Alan Partridge quote - Steve Coogan at his best...

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Judge Dredd - Informant 1.4

Well, here are the inks for page one...

I think it's coming together now... I've got a lot of the roughs for pages 3, 4 and 5 done. I really need to focus if I'm going to have it all done for Leeds. I think I'm only going to have enough time to colour this page, I'd like to do page two as well... but we'll see what constraints old father time lays on me (trying to sell the house and assorted other distractions have got in the way somewhat!)

Friday, 31 October 2008

Judge Dredd - Informant 2.0

Page two of the script details a scene in a pole dancing bar. I've censored the naughty bits in an attempt to maintain my family friendly front page. If you want to see the boobies, click the image.

This is a lot more sketchy than page one - but hopefully you can see what's going on.

Thought Bubble is a mere two weeks away, I'm going to have to dedicate myself to these samples... hopefully I'll start to motor now I've got most of the hard scene setting panels down.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Collecting The Collection

This morning, Vicky and I went on a mission...

A really nice chap who frequents the 2000AD online forums as Dark Jimbo had decided to give away his entire 2000AD collection. As it turned out, his collection started almost exactly where mine stopped. All I had to do was go and collect the issues he had amassed! "Awesome", I thought, as even though I've been reading some of the collected volumes - most notably the 'origins' and 'mandroid' story arcs - I've felt a bit out of touch with the current goings on in Dredd's world.

I did this illustration for him as part of my thanks for his enormous act of generosity... it turns out that Jimbo is a talented illustrator himself... check out his deviant art page here.

Hopefully this serendipitous event is significant in a cosmic... err, comic kind of a way!! Regardless of that, thanks go to Jimbo, his comics have found a good home!

Judge Dredd © 2008 Rebellion Developments/2000AD

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Judge Dredd - Informant 1.3

Page one pencils. I've taken a while over each panel on the first page. Probably longer than I should have, but logically, this will be the first page of sequential art that will feature in my portfolio - so it really needs to be a good strong page.

I hope this is a strong page...

Friday, 24 October 2008

Judge Dredd - Informant 1.2

Panel two...
The protagonist of the piece, Zac Castro - a waster and inheritor of a dodgy nighclub (to be seen in page two).

Taking a lot of time to do this - other stuff keeps getting in the way and distracting me, you know, small stuff, like selling our house...

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Judge Dredd - Informant 1.1

Finished the first panel today... amongst other things.

These are what I would consider to be very tight pencils - I'm pretty happy with how this panel has turned out, a similar/identical panel is called out in the script so hopefully I'll be able to use stuff from this panel again.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Judge Dredd - Informant 1.0

Managed to get down to it today... I took an eon constructing this first (still unfinished) panel, which is shameful given the single-point perspective.

There will be a lot more characters on the panel and bags of detail hopefully. I giggled to myself when I drew the lanky guy on the left hand side... I think he looks like Lurch from The Addams Family , which is no bad thing!

I'm really glad to be finally getting the strip drawn up.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Drawer Geeks - Giant Monsters

I've been lucky enough to be inducted into the DrawerGeeks illustration fraternity. My good blogging pal Doug Bell has introduced me and I am chuffed to be involved. The rough idea is a fortnightly topic based on fictional characters. The current topic is GIANT MONSTERS and this morning I decided it might be a good way to get myself back into the swing of things.

I wanted to do a rework for Attack of the 50ft Woman but somehow it didn't quite work out like that. I started sketching but couldn't help thinking about the bit in Watchmen when Dr. Manhattan is 50 ft tall blasting things to bits with his fingers in Vietnam. (issue 4 pg 20 for ref)

This was my natural progression of those two thoughts...


I love the whole 'B' movie spoof stuff and the word Bride seemed to carry the right sort of connotations with it for this.

Watchmen is a one-off complete story and it struck me that the (giant monster) money-making-machine that is Hollywood could plough headlong into franchise mentality if the upcoming film is a success. I think this might be Alan Moore's worst fear and part of the reason I added the 'Wizard of Northampton' desperately running away from the horror of it all.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Strontium Dog

Since last week I've felt like someone came along, replaced my hands with pig's trotters and then crept away cackling. Call me paranoid if you like but I've seen the results in my sketchbook go from bad to worse, that and I've found myself rooting around at the base of trees...

Which is where I found this, or so you'd think from the looks of it!

I've been trying, possibly a bit too hard to get some sketches together for the new Judge Dredd script I have sitting on my drawing table... I hate everything I've done to date. I think I've got a bit too precious about it and somehow now I can't draw a thing.

I've booked a ticket and hotel for the Leeds Thought Bubble convention... in an attempt to kick start my creative juices with an injection of deadline adrenalin. Four short weeks away, I hope I can re-learn how to draw in time.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

A Confederacy of Dunces

No, not a posting about the world governments... This posting is regarding the fabulous book by John Kennedy Toole -
A Confederacy Of Dunces and I can't recommend it highly enough.

The fat, obnoxious, self aggrandizing protagonist pictured here is called Ignatius J. Reilly, he has an overactive pyloric valve, a penchant for hot dogs and he's mean to his momma!

I've had this lurking around since last October... at the time I never quite felt I captured all that was necessary to do the character justice.

My good pal Matt didn't want to see my versions for fear of having his own attempt coloured by mine... His take on the character can been seen here and very good it is too. This means I am now free to share my version with you all!

I did loads of doodling and here are just a few pages from the sketchbook (badly photographed with lots of fish-eye distortion).

I never felt I'd got him right and there are things that are described in the book that I couldn't seem to express when I put pen to paper. Some things are just like that - better in the imagination!

I tried lots of different looks for Ignatius and I even looked at trying to push his features as far as I could in the direction of a pig.

That didn't work as the depth of the character demanded something more. I thought about Peter Ustinov, Martin Clunes and Orson Welles... and a few other people that I can't remember the names of right now.

Not that you'd have known...

In the end I picked the version I felt most closely represented the character I saw in my mind.

I pasted it onto a body that hadn't taken much effort at all and did a quick colour treatment on it, using mainly flat patterns plaid, tweed and corduroy (dropped in for speed).

It's interesting, but Matt has chosen to represent the plaid shirt that is so characteristic of Ignatius in a 'flat' collage type way too...

If his reason for doing it was anything like mine, then it was a mixture of laziness and wanting to avoid all the effort of painting that damned checkered pattern.

In retrospect I'm not unhappy with the characterization here. Buy the book, read it, and please let me know what you think of Ignatius and my illustration of him.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Elephant Research

I've just received some samples of postcards (that I did the artwork for) that have been printed in aid of elephant research in Botswana.

To find out more about Kate Evans and her work, please pop along to the website.

Kate also has a blog that she regularly updates.

Monday, 13 October 2008

Don't Feel Like Dancing!

At Birmingham International Comics Show I met one of the talented chaps behind Berserker comics and he seemed to like my stuff enough to suggest that I have a crack at doing a pin-up of a zombie - something a bit different was what he suggested...

IF YOU ARE LIKELY TO FIND GORE, SCANTILY CLAD GIRLS, NIPPLE TASSELS OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT OFFENSIVE, please ignore this posting... if not, click the cropped head shot for the full frontal!

I'd rate this as possibly 'R' rated or '18' - it scares the c**p outta me - be warned!

For more about Berserker comics follow this link

I've got another sample script for Judge Dredd which I hope to get cracking on tomorrow. This one is called the Informant and was printed in last week's 2000AD (prog 1607) I have the issue and it's under lock and key! Robbie Morrison has written a great script again and I'm really looking forward to seeing what I can do with it!

Friday, 10 October 2008

Taormina Disgraced

Here are the sketches for the first three picture panels of the next Taormina episode.

This is the beginning of a flashback sequence where we learn how Taormina disgraced herself, why she is on her quest she and just how she came to be tied to the log she's bound to when we first meet her!

Monday, 6 October 2008

Birmingham Debriefing

Well, I'm back from the show and taking stock of all that happened.

We arrived at around six to the less than perfect Hotel Britannia and if you're thinking of planning a nice visit to Brum your chances of that are hugely increased by staying elsewhere. Although the central location is an advantage, I'd have preferred to walk a little further.

At the check-in desk I met up with Dylan Teague - who deserves thanks for being so helpful and encouraging throughout the weekend. He also introduced me to Patrick Goddard, another 2000AD artist.

I milled around a lot on Saturday, had my work critiqued by Garry Leach, he thought some of it worked really well - but that I need to be careful with stuff like foreshortening and construction - he felt that, with experience, that would come more easily.

I bumped into PJ Holden and had a really nice chat with him about his exciting iPhone comic endeavour. Finally got to have a play with it too - very cool - link again for iPhone/iPod touch owners:

Tharg (Matt Smith) was once again very encouraging - he said that he thought my story-telling was pretty solid i.e you could read the story and know what was going on without having to have the words - he still felt some of my characters were a little stiff and overall he felt the pages could still be a bit more dynamic.

The greatest encouragement of the whole weekend came from Matt Yeo of Bulletproof comics. I found it hard to hear his kind words, shrinking violet that I am, somewhere in there though it's begun to sink in! And thanks also go to all the guys associated with bulletproof that he introduced me to, I really appreciated the confidence boosting comments.

In the afternoon, I had a great discussion with D'Israeli (Matt Brooker) whilst he did this sketch of Johnny Alpha (Strontium Dog) for me.

(click for full image)

I asked him for a sketch of the 2000AD character he'd most like to have drawn but hadn't worked on. Check out the goofy bloke who's holding the sketch here!
Of all the wisdom he imparted, one of Matt's comments sticks in my mind, the crux of which was; comics are probably the hardest discipline to master, the most underrated and under-appreciated and probably the poorest paid of all the visual arts, so you've got to be dedicated to it!

I also caught up with Dave Taylor and Jon Haward who chatted about the difficulties of actually securing enough work. Worrying, but necessary to hear I think!

Something I've hesitated to post here because of the content, is a piece I did for Alberto Ruiz's Brand Studio Press as a response to an open call for ''Eye Candy' from Strangers'. To my amazement, this was the most popular piece in my portfolio.

If you're not easily offended by gratuitous skin baring or gun-toting psycho-babes in negligees then click the cropped head shot for the full image. Beware, perv content on this is very high indeed, definitely PG 13 if you know what I mean!

On Sunday, it had all quietened down a lot and I chatted to Sean Phillips and Duncan Fegredo who both did little doodles for me too.

I need to follow up a few other leads and things, most notably with Berserker Comics who're publishing work from favourites of mine, Alan Grant, Glenn Fabry and Simon Bisley.

All in all a positive experience and I feel I learnt a lot too. I met loads of cool people, fans and creators alike, so much so, I'm thinking about attending the Leeds thought bubble show. I'm also thinking how I might improve my chances of getting work if I do go.

I know I haven't shown any of my artwork for a while, I'll have a few sketches to show from the next Taormina shortly so pop back soon. I might also have some stuff from other projects I'm planning too...

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Brum, Brum, Brum

I'm all revved up but not quite ready to go...
Heading off to the Birmingham International Comics Show this weekend... if you see me around say "Hi", I'll be floating thereabouts on both days.

I'm going to be hawking my samples around and I'll have a few other bits with me too - probably some preliminary stuff for the next Taormina episodes...

So I won't post again until I get back as I'll be too busy.

If you want to meet me there, please leave a comment here.

Monday, 29 September 2008

Mute Swan

This is a quick little logo I've designed for a project I'm working on at the moment.

It didn't need to be a particularly brilliant logo. It just needed to have something to do with a lack of noise. I chose the swan as that felt like a crest kind of an animal and there weren't many options for creatures that were habitually silent.

Also, gotta say, I'm pretty chuffed - I got noticed by those chaps behind the 2000AD fan site 2000AD review for my recent Judge Dredd sample pages - Thanks guys!

Thursday, 25 September 2008

The Future of Comics

Over on the app store you can now download PJ Holden and Al Ewing's pretty phenomenal iPhone comic application - Eye Candy - just follow this link to download it!

This is the first of many comics that Infurious Comics are intending to release...
...and from what I understand (from a conversation I've just had with PJ) there could be some pretty good reasons to get excited!

As a taster of what you'll get for your hard earned pennies (99cents or approx 59p), here's the YouTube teaser again:

If you own an iPhone or iPod touch, please help to support this venture - download the comic, post about this development on your blog, shout from the rooftops if you have to...

Here's the link in full if you need it:

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

High Expectations?

I might be doing a comic adaptation of Charles Dickens' 'Great Expectations' for an educational publisher.

To try to win the business, I've done page one from the script. I can't show the whole thing so here's a crop from one of the panels showing old Abel Magwitch gnawing on a piece of bread.

Great Expectations is probably my favourite Dickens and there are some fab characters that I know I'll enjoy drawing if I get the business - Miss Haversham, Mr Jaggers and Mr. Wemmick not to mention Joe Gargery and Estella should all be very interesting to interpret in my own way.

Ages ago I got a copy of the 1946 David Lean film free with the Times. I watched that to get in the mood, hopefully it won't affect my interpretations too much.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008


Well, that's it, I'm finished with the Judge Dredd script. Here's the final page and climax of the story in ink and full colour.

After finishing these yesterday, I headed straight for my (ebay purchased) copy of issue 1467... I opened it with a fair amount of trepidation, I must say.

I'd seen some of Richard Elson's work in issues of 2000AD that I'd bought recently (as part of my preparation for this project), so I knew the art would be pretty good.

I wanted to get the most I could out of this and the amount of effort I have gone to on this deserves nothing but a calm critic of both my version of the script and Richard Elson's original printed incarnation.

From the outset, it's clear that we're going to have tackled the story very differently. Obviously (I'm sorry to say) I can't scan and publish the originals here to enhance this comparison.

Page one:
Richard's page is more successful in the environment and scene setting department with plenty of graffiti and things to help identify the location. I'll also add that his gun for the protagonist is by far a better piece of artillery than mine. He has also done a great job on the design of his cyber-punk "victims". Overall there is much more to look at. I think that my page scores over Richard's in only one, but I think, important area - emotional connection with the character, I think because my "Nobody" really is more of an 'every-man'.

Page two:
There's not much to tell between the versions in the first three panels, although the design of vehicles and stuff is far better in the printed page. Also the flow through from page one is far clearer with the graffiti and enclosed location being more easily identifiable. The major difference is in the final panel, my figures may be just a tad too static but I think I've captured the feel of a nightclub - Richard however has really done a top job of conveying a futuristic and distinctly Mega-City One feel.

Page three:
PJ Holden said to me that comic pages for 2000AD are (and need) to be frenetic - I now know what he meant. Strangely enough Richard's take on the page is more like my first version. Although, there's far more action in his page and a nice 'gang' emblem that also helps to identify the crew of 'baddies'. The only thing I think I can say I have going in my favour and it's really a minor thing is the connection with the characters, I think mine is more 'in it' with them.

Page four:
Mr Elson's Dredd is much grittier and again, there is more detail and (in general) far more design about on the page. The major story point that I've failed to convey is a badly parked hover-car in panel four - I love the crashed parking sign Richard has employed (actually, I'm slightly jealous of the simplicity and humour of it). I realize that I'm going to have to work on my future-tech as well - Richard's is really cool! Other than that, the two pages have been handled very similarly.

Page five:
My hospital is a classic sort of bright and white place (not unlike those seen in ER and Scrubs) and therein lies the major difference on this page, by going darker and more 'secret laboratory', Richard has succeeded in propelling us into the future - it's identifiable as a hospital but something is unfamiliar - it's a delicate balancing act and he's done it very well. Take as read from here that Richard has better tech than me. Again though, I think there is more connection to my character.

Page six:
These are very different pages and Richard has added an unscripted panel of Dredd's "eyes" which strangely conveys that Dredd understands 'Nobody'. I don't know how, but somehow he's managed to get a sense of kinetic anger (from Dredd's gloves no less) into the panel that pulls the plug. I don't think there's anything really wrong with how my storytelling works and I've got emotional content in my version - Hat off to Richard Elson though, I can really see why he is a published 2000AD artist.

I have improved so much over the course of doing this and at this point I have only completed nine full sample pages of comic art. I feel positive about my work and if I have developed this far in such a short space of time, I think I have every reason to be confident about the prospects of actually getting work in comics (if not at 2000AD) at some point in the future.

Judge Dredd © 2008 Rebellion Developments/2000AD

Monday, 15 September 2008

Page Three in Colour!

Colouring this page took me far too long - it was all those damn fiddly bits! I have nearly finished inking page six at the same time though, so maybe it's not too bad...

One of the gangsters is wearing a shoulder-pad which comes from the uniform of an East-Meg-One (Russian) Judge and a (Watchmen) Smiley badge - I don't know why.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Taking My Time...

Page three inks:

I'm really happy with this page, it feels much more professional and it's taken me less time too.

Approximate times (ignoring the previous version of page three):
sketching for reworked page and rough pencils: 2.5 hrs
tightened pencils at A3: 3 hrs
inking: 5.5 hrs

I'm not sure whether that's good or not time-wise but if I use that as a guide, roughly 11 hrs, (let's say) per page to get to finished inks, that means I can very nearly do four pages in a (40 hr) week (dependent upon the complexity being of a similar standard). I think that I've been working on these samples for about four weeks which is pretty slow, unless you take into account a about a week where I wasn't working on it for various reasons and also that I've coloured four out of six pages too.

I don't know what to do with that information. I don't think that my speed (or slowness) is out of the ordinary for comic art.

Friday, 12 September 2008

"And Now, The End Is Near..."

With nothing else left to do on this, I plucked up the guts to go back to the night club!

I've almost totally reworked the page. If you compare this with my original page three, hopefully you'll be able to see where I've tried to improve the dynamics and composition.

These are moderately tight pencils and I hope I won't have to do too much when I come to ink them.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

"Yesh, toit, toit like a tiger!"

The pencils on page six were in need of tightening up.

I must admit that I've been inspired to add some of the details here by a couple of posts I've seen on Dave Taylor's blog recently - my future-tech is a bit duff but his is brilliant.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Dredding The Final Two...

I've finished four pages now and I think when seen altogether as a set of samples I'm as happy as I can be with them.

In the script the black boxes are described as " Blackness, Thick, Heavy and Oppressive" and as there was virtually one specified on each page. I decided to add the heartbeat and then use them to try to carry some of the sequential flow from page to page.

I've also tried to make each successive page lighter and lighter as the weight is lifted from the shoulders of the protagonist and as we approach the bright light at the end of the tunnel... if that doesn't give too much away.

one & two

four & five

Judge Dredd © 2008 Rebellion Developments/2000AD

There's some stuff I'm chuffed with on page five, and then there's a couple of things that are like a loose bit of skin near a fingernail that's irritating me. I have to leave those things alone now. It's important to treat the sample as if it were a professional commission and have the discipline to know when it's good enough and move on in order to meet my deadline.