Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Judge Dredd - finished one!

I finished inking page one:

I finished colouring page one:

Judge Dredd © 2008 Rebellion Developments/2000AD

To finish the whole script in the timeframe I need to, I'll have to keep to a strict working ROUTINE.

Monday, 25 August 2008

Taormina Pulp Fiction

I decided to have some fun with a spoof, pulp-fiction paperback cover to an imaginary spin-off book.

There's a bigger version of this over on the Taormina blog where you can see the cover in better detail.

I did some searching around for covers from mass market paperbacks to help with this, I hope I've struck the right balance.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Judge Dredd Pencil Test

Still trying to decide how I'm going to produce the finished art for the sample Dredd script.

I've blown up the rough pencils to 133% of 2000AD's actual page size in Photoshop and I've knocked it all back to blue-lines. Then I've printed them out on my nice shiny new Pixma iX4000 A3 printer.

I worked over the top of the roughs in pencil and scanned it back in. Just by mucking about with 'channel mixer' and 'levels' in Photoshop I've brought the pencil lines to as close to black as I can. I think it's ok, but for final art I'll need to be more careful with the line placement than I've been on this test.

I'm still debating in my mind actually inking these pages, as I really do want to produce something I can point at and call final art... I think I'm just lacking a little gung-ho attitude or perhaps even just a tiny bit of old-fashioned confidence. I'm hoping that will come with experience.

Celebrating the Centenary.

Some nice news for my 100th blog posting. I was intending to do put up a finished piece but this incredibly encouraging discovery (made with google blog search using my name) has just blown me away.

A talented chap by the name of Dave Stokes posted a homage to Taormina on his blog in July - I'm amazingly proud and humbled to have inspired work in someone else - a lovely feeling - thanks Dave, you don't know how much this means to me!

Through this blog I have received such a lot of encouragement and support. I really appreciate the comments everyone has made and the efforts that have also been made on my behalf, many thanks to you, you know who you are and you all rock!

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Judge Dredd - "Nobody" (roughs)

I've finished all the roughs for the sample script...

I think I'm far happier working at 80% to begin with...

I've just taken receipt of a shiny new A3 printer that I hope will streamline my inking process - I can now print out at actual size for inking!!

I've also just bought a copy of the Judge Dredd Megazine - number 275 - the one with Skidmarks across the front that heralds the return of Tankgirl to our fair shores (now illustrated by the luminous Rufus Dayglo).
Packed with this tippedy top issue is a collected volume of work by a very talented chap by the name of Jock (Mark Simpson) - really great stuff and in my opinion, especially suited to Dredd!

PJ Holden has this amazing iPhone comic concept coming soon:

The future of comics, right there... I think Taormina would work well with that interface, here's hoping!

I've edited this post quite a bit, I'm trying to keep post 100 free for something a bit more finished!

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Ain't Nobody...

Played around a little on page one, adding in some of the graphics and reworking panel two.

Also done a bit of reworking on panel one, page two. Still very rough on this page though.

Sorry if you've been led here by the title, this has got nothing to do with Rufus and Chaka Khan's tip-top eighties r'n'b soul classic! I love that song, but it's got naff all to do with Judge Dredd.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Judge Dredd - "Nobody" (pg 1)

Last friday, I received my sample script in the post from the good folk at 2000AD... emblazoned across the top in big capitals, the legend: NOT A COMMISSION!

I've pretty much done roughs for all the pages now. I'm working slightly differently with this - I've done really, really rough thumbnails to sort the panel layouts and then I've made a template sheet that I've printed out on file paper. I'm working at 80% printed size and will blow it up in photoshop to work at 133% printed as an underlay for the final, hopefully tightened up pencils (I may elect to eliminate inking but I'm not sure at the moment).

PJ Holden has already given me some pointers on this page, mainly he thinks I need some establishing information in there. I'm grateful that he's taken the time again to help encourage my endeavour, as I know he has with other aspiring comic artists.

From a quick search on 2000AD review I found that the story was already published in prog 1467 and was written by Robbie Morrison and originally drawn by Richard Elson. Thankfully I didn't see anything that has affected the way I'm approaching the script.

Judge Dredd © 2008 Rebellion Developments/2000AD

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Illustration Friday - "Sail"

How the hell does this qualify as "sail"??? that's what you're asking...

These were some storyboards I did recently as a tryout for a media company... I reworked thumbnails from a storyboard for an advert that didn't get made. I had to keep quiet about these for a month or so but I think it's ok to show them now.

The idea was that this was the battle of Waterloo (or a pastiche of that battle) and the two generals/leaders rode out and had a bit of a verbal slanging match - much to their men's entertainment. Obviously the side that won was fuelled by some form of dutch courage (the beer that was trying to be marketed) or maybe that was simply the incentive or the spoils of victory...

Put simply, the generals assailed each other... or perhaps the Duke of Wellington ("There's only one way to win a war, Shout, Shout and SHOUT AGAIN! MEEAHH!" [Blackadder the Third]) assailed himself on Napoleon... Yeah, tenuous, I know.

The b&w panels took about 8hrs in total, hence why some of them a pretty rough, the final (larger) panel is a tidied up version of the soldiers done to show a more 'glossy' option for the ad company to sell their concept to the client and probably took another three of four to complete.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Taormina Teaser

That's right, the next dazzling installment is ready for your viewing pleasure...

...and, as they say, the thick plottens!!

Rup and Matt, my good old pals, suggested a rock underneath Taormina's foot - they thought she looked like she was floating in mid air in the rough from my last post - I think it worked, so thanks guys, I appreciate your input!

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Another Taormina Rough

This is the next panel and again this is only a really rough digital sketch.

I posted up my Judge Dredd pages over on the drawingboard and I've had some really good, constructive criticism which you can read here. I decided to try to practise some of the dynamic frame composition stuff that was lacking in the Dredd pages with this next episode of Taormina. I hope that's working in this panel - again I'm using the golden ratio, fibonacci or golden spiral in all my Taormina panels.

I think you'll need to 'mirror' this one to get the right orientation for the panel above.

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Taormina Meets The Hermit

Been a long time since I put a Taormina episode out there (again)...

This is the very rough digital sketch for the first picture panel in episode 'four' and it's going to need a lot more work!

I don't want to give too much away here but this is the exposition episode where Taormina will learn about her quest. This old geezer is provisionally called Mundy Slung and he's a classic hermit/wizard (old Obi-Wan) type of character who knows more than he's letting on!

I'm going to try to get this next episode out before I do any more on my 2000AD/Judge Dredd strip and unless some other work comes in (which I'm not holding my breath for...) then this episode should be up early next week!

Friday, 8 August 2008

Dredd (page three - inked)

I've inked up page three now. I'm pretty happy with how it's all going right now...

I've deliberately given Dredd's helmet the frown lines - it's something that the under-loved Ron Smith used to do with his Dredd. I never really used to like Ron Smith's work when I was a teenager, but having re-read some of my old 2000AD to get in the mood for this project, I couldn't help but be amazed at how consistent Ron's Judge Dredd is!

Also of note on this page (well I think so) is the Banksy style graffiti artist (wall scrawler) that Dredd is arresting in the bottom left hand panel.

I've recently discovered Paul Rainey's 2000AD Prog Slog Blog. For those of you unfamiliar with 2000AD and its amazing array of characters, it's a great place to get aquainted!

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Illustration Friday - "Poof"

On Saturday they were going to turn on The Large Hadron Collider. This is a massive particle accelerator which will be used to observe and study the smallest particles known to man...

There is some talk that they are going to use it to try to recreate the circumstances of the big bang!

There are mixed views of what actually turning it on will mean. With the scientists looking forward to seeing some results from the $ 8billion investment and other parties proclaiming that the world will be sucked into an artificially produced black hole...

I don't know much about the physics of this, but it sounds like a crazy sci-fi movie where these well-meaning boffins came up with an idea and just did it. You know, after realizing that they could do it, they didn't actually stop to consider if they actually should... and now we're all gonna die horribly or in this case vanish in a puff/poof of logic.

For more info on the LHC simply search 'Large Hadron Collider' into any good search engine... in some news reports it looks like they've postponed the apocalypse until 21st October now!

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Showing My Work To Tharg

Last night was the 2000AD panel discussion at the BFI. I had tried to give away my spare ticket, but unfortunately there were no takers... In one of life's really weird coincidences, I bumped into an old mate who just happened to be waiting around at the BFI with nothing to do!!!

We went in and to my surprise, I couldn't have been closer to the panel! Matt Smith (current embodiment of Tharg), Pat Mills and Robbie Morrison all but a few feet away. Dave Gibbons was ill and couldn't be there, which was a shame, I just hope it was nothing too serious and that he gets well soon!

The panel discussed what has made 2000AD so great for so long and what made Judge Dredd the Movie so awful and amongst other things they gave brilliant incites into the comic and what lies at its heart. All seemed incredibly pleasant and answered questions on a multitude of subjects, there was talk of Shaun of the Dead and how Edgar Wright would make a brilliant director for a movie based on one of the characters! Serendipitous again, I thought!

I asked a question - won a T-shirt and at the end of the evening I was able to ask Matt Smith to look at my samples...

He was kind enough to take a peek and seemed to quite like my cover pin-up (see last post) and he scanned through the other 6 pages with a keen eye. Despite the freshly dried ink on page two and barely finished pencils (on this the first comic art I have ever really done) there were only a few comments he levelled at me...

He thought that I needed to pay a little more attention to my figures - feeling that some of them were a little stiff. Overall he thought my inking was quite nice too but that my pencils could use some work... skipping back to front he took in the cover once more and pronounced that he thought it was a good Dredd! He also suggested that I send in for a sample script from them to try out on! The sae is in the post!

I'll finish up the pages I've already been working on, and try to improve on the things Matt suggested. I'll probably re-draw a couple of panels on pages one and two, maybe even re-work them totally at the end. For now, I think it's important to not lose momentum so I will carry on with page three!

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Dredd (cover - finished)

Well, it's just about finished... I've noticed a couple of things I'm going to tickle and adjust but it's pretty much there.

I'm really happy how this piece has turned out. I think it works well as teaser for the story - hopefully Tharg The Mighty will think so too!

Friday, 1 August 2008

Dredd (inked)

That's more like it!

Dredd (tablet inked)

Brian Bolland now uses his computer for inking and colouring...
I've got a sneaking suspicion that the very popular Boo Cook also works digitally.

I thought I'd give digital inking a shot as an experiment.

I'm not sure I'm happy with the results - the gains made are easily outweighed by the fact that the inking is a little soulless. Put simply, I don't like it - I'm off now to do things as they were intended - man, paper and pen!

< for Illustration Friday, I've canned this approach! >