Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Sinister Dexter - pencils!

Thanks to all the learned gentlemen who've offered advice to me after yesterday's post. This morning, after taking in all the great advice, I decided that it was best to have the whole story pencilled - I've got plenty of inked stuff and I felt it was better to tell the whole thing rather than look flaky and only have the start and finish. Here then, are the finished pencils.

Page two:

Page three:

I think these are ok for the showing to good old Tharg... I hope he likes them!

I won't be inking any of them, although I do have time tomorrow, because I'm going to get acquainted with my portfolio, print out a few samples for potential hand-outs and I'd like to do something about my business card - although I think it will probably just end up being a case of printing some more of the old one...

Wish me luck friends - I'll post again after BICS!

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Sinister Dexter - Advice

Right, advice time, please, people...
As well as the finished page 1, I've already posted here, I've got very rough page layouts for pages 2 & 3 (apart from 2 tricky panels) ...these tightened pencils for page 4:

...AND these (almost) finished pencils for page 5:

Now, I can't decide how's best for me to proceed. I could get finished pencils for all the pages done, but then I might not have any time left to ink anything else from this script - does that matter considering I've got a few pages of inks available to use in my portfolio?

My gut instinct says: Ink one of the pencilled pages here, probably page 4 and then if I have any time left at all, try to finish up the pencils for the remaining pages... besides that, I've got a sneaking suspicion that if I don't finish the pencils it won't matter that I'm not showing the whole sequential story, as I do have 6 sequential pages from an unpublished Dogbreath script.


Monday, 28 September 2009

Sinister Dexter Pg.1 final

Page one is all finished now. I think I'm fairly happy with how the page turned out and I have to admit, I do like the nice clean black lines that hold it all together.

Here, if you're interested, are the inks.

For the uninitiated, Sinister Dexter are hitmen and have been written by Dan Abnett since he and David Millgate created them in around 1995.
Sinister Dexter is a really great strip and since getting back into 2000AD it has been one of my favourite stories. I've really enjoyed doing this page and I think it shows, so I hope to get another couple of pages of inks done to show, but I'm glad I've got this in addition to the other pieces I'm currently planning on showing.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Sinister Dexter Pg.1 panel 4

After fiddling with the 'paint' job on this for a bit too long - I have decided that I don't really like the effect that I am getting here. What worked quickly and effectively for the Pulpy Punisher seems mired in labourious detail when applied to strip work.

As I had altered some stuff from the pencils, I used the existing file to create a 'non-reproducing blue' guide for inking... That took some doing, but I'm part way done on inking the page now and despite the desire to show the other style at BICS, I'm much happier with the results I've already produced with my inks. Hopefully it will just be a case of 'dropping' them over the already worked-up colour file.

It doesn't hurt to experiment, and I'm glad I gave this a crack but in order to be ready for next weekend, it will be safer to produce the rest of these samples in my tried and tested style - I just hope I'm not doing myself a disservice with this decision.

Oh and just one final thing. The comics with my first published work are now available via the good folk at FutureQuake Press - and you can order them here.

Zarjaz issue 08 - £3 + p&p

Dogbreath issue 21 - £3 + p&p

Please do help to support the endeavour, as without Small Press publishers like FutureQuake, it would be much harder for people like me to get work in print. They have other new comics out as well, all produced for the love of the medium.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Sinister Dexter Pg.1 rough

Here is a sneak peak at that page again... very rough (and incomplete) colours this time, not wholly sure that the 'painted' approach is working for me. The script asks for early evening and I've wondered about rendering the whole page as an orangey or sepia tonal thing.

Rendering without the benefit of a nice ink line to follow makes the task of colouring up a lot more intense... Inked lines hide a multitude of sins and the thicker they are the better they are at hiding where I've gone over the lines!

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Sinister Dexter Pg.1 pencils

I've had the script for this for a while.
Sinister Dexter - Tart Au Citroen
Originally published in 2000AD prog 1282. I was intending to do this in the style I've been using for all my comic samples...

...but comments made on the Pulpy Punisher have led me to the decision to 'paint' this in photoshop. Thanks for the input everyone, I really appreciate the support.
I don't know how much of the script I'll get done in this style before BICS but I should be clear of other work to finish enough of it to be worth showing.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

The Punisher

DrawerGeeks next topic: The Punisher

Pretty happy with this, less than three hours including the the sketch.

Monday, 21 September 2009


I've finished the inks and the tone for the first part of the story. I've mucked about briefly with a logo and the lettering too.

I was going to use something like DragonBones or Ales and Wenches from Blambot to letter this strip, but after doing only two balloons of text and trying both - I kind of knew that it was going to just look gimmicky...
I probably won't show anything more from this until it's due to be printed and I think that's likely to be around this time next year!

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Zarjaz 08

Way back in February, I did this warm-up piece for a strip I was going to be doing for Zarjaz. I can now reveal that the strip is called Red Dragon. Red Dragon is a Welsh superhero from the Zenith universe created by Grant Morrison.

I was particularly excited that this was going to be my first published strip, as I have been a fan of Zenith since it first appeared in 2000AD over 20 years ago.

Issues of Zarjaz containing my strip will be available soon... see here and don't forget I've got something coming up in Dogbreath too, you can pre-order both of these awesome fanzines soon via the same link! Please do help to support these fanzines as they are non-profit ventures and without them it would be far more difficult to begin a career in comics.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Toning it Down

At the risk of repeating myself, here is that panel again, the small difference this time is the tone...

I'm hoping that the tone will add depth in the absence of colour, although there is just one thing with this panel that I've really struggled with and that is the fire... I can't seem to get effect of the light and heat in the way I want.

There is so much about this story I'm dying to gab about, especially as it will be a year before it's printed... SO, I'll satisfy myself for now, by saying it's been written by Richmond Clements who is one third of FutureQuake Press, one half of the team behind HiEx and is also about to make his professional comics writing debut with Turning Tiger for Renegade.

This story was born in one of those synergy moments, when I met Rich at the Bristol Comic Convention earlier this year, I casually said something that had been on his mind to do... I love stuff like that - when the right place, right person, right time, make cool things happen.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

A Wee Drinkie?

This is another panel from the strip I'm doing for Dogbreath... and, from the end of the week, you'll be able to pre-order both Dogbreath and the issue of Zarjaz containing the strips I did previously... exciting isn't it!

There's cause for celebration again, as I had a very encouraging e-mail from Paul Gravett on Sunday. For those of you who haven't heard of him, Paul is a tireless supporter of the comics medium, through his own works, journalism and the organisation of the Comica festival.

Pat Mills had suggested (at the signing) that I contact Paul and I'm chuffed I did because this is what he had to say:
...I've taken a look at your site and blog - Pat's got a good eye, and he's right, you're talented and just need that good story to work on.
You're on my radar now...
I know it's not an offer of work. But I do feel that I am close to making that leap from amateur to professional paid work. With the pot emptying faster that I can fill it, that would be no bad thing.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

The Godfather of 2000AD

Just a really quick post to say I was chuffed and honoured yesterday...
Pat Mills, yes, PAT (godfather) MILLS, was both warm and charming and thought my work was really nice, and I quote:
"Yeah, you're really just looking for the right story... and a commissioning editor!"
I gave him a business card, so who knows!

Thanks Pat, you don't know how much it meant to hear your words of encouragement.
My thanks to Leigh Gallagher also, for encouraging me to take a few pages along to show Pat on the off chance.

This quick sketch was done a while ago for a job that went else where, but seems oddly appropriate in relation to my mood.

I also saw a couple of good pals in London, went to the J.W.Waterhouse exhibit at the RA - really great, amazing works of art but a little poorly organized/run. All in all, a really good day, bring on BICS!

Friday, 11 September 2009

Fireside Fun

That story I'm working on again today, these are the inks for panel one, page one. I've taken a bit longer to do the page than I had wanted to, but amongst the other things that were happening this week, not I'm unhappy. I think I'll eventually add tone to the strip, but I've got a bit longer to complete this than I first thought. So you'll have to wait longer than expected to see the final thing, sorry!

This weekend, the 'Godfather' of 2000AD, Pat Mills will be signing copies of his latest stories to be collected as trade paper backs, at Orbital Comics in London... with him will be the talented artists who he's worked with on these books, Leigh Gallagher and Clint Langley. As Pat is such a huge figure in the history of the comic, I thought I might pop along and try to show him some samples - you never know, it might do some good... if you see me there, say hello!

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Mr Incredible

The next topic for DrawerGeeks is The Incredibles. This is a quick sketch coloured in Photoshop as I'm busy on my samples for BICS!

The Pixar movies have been great for the most part and this is one of my faves, shame I didn't have a bit more time for the topic.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Like the days of my youth!

Yes, the remains of the young man I once was have now passed on to a new home...

The flashy beast that was my much loved green Puma has been turned into much needed hard currency...

A touch incongruous with my nature, I decided that I needed, and proceeded to buy the car brand new just before the Y2K. It was bought with money I earned whilst designing toys that were exactly the same shape and size as landfill.

As Tyler Durden says - "The things you own, end up owning you" and sadly this was what was happening with my car... being a freelance artist, I don't really need a car, and since the move to Cambridge where amenities are close at hand, I was paying out loads each month, just for the benefit of being a car owner. Sense prevailed and reluctantly I sold away my youth in the name of practicality!

Sketch was done a number of years ago, back when Puma's were new and edgy!

Monday, 7 September 2009

Pencil Pusher's Progress

Ye Gods! Nearly a week between posts...

I'm pretty chuffed though... six pages pencilled in less than three days - which I think is pretty quick and close to the necessary speed. Here's two panels from those pages as a taster - you'll have to wait a long time to see the final things as these are for a strip not scheduled to appear in Dogbreath until next spring!

I don't really want to say too much about these - as it might spoil a nice surprise...

When the pages are finished, I'll probably still post a panel or two more though...

Tuesday, 1 September 2009


Wahoo! The reworked cover for Batman 181 I was working on will be featured on Robert Goodin's covered blog... it's scheduled to appear one month from today - pinch punch!

Here's another teaser, but I'll remind you again, don't worry about that!