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...