Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Huzzah and the Big Baby of Death.

I made my third contribution to Huzzah!! recently. After what Rob had the Baron say in this panel, I wondered what could possibly 'kill death itself'. I thought it may be that the sibling infant was the opposite of death and if it came into contact with the big baby 'o' death (BBOD) something interesting might happen. Having the BBOD ingest its sibling meant I could get a joke out of it and refer back to when the Baron rescued the infant from Xog. It also was an excuse for me to have a go at drawing beams of light shooting out of an evil child.

Hmmm, reading that last paragraph back to myself only confirms my suspicions that talking about Huzzah!! and what's happening in it makes you sound like a gibbering loony.

I've been slowly building up to doing the maximum allowed of 3 tiers per page, per Huzzah!! so this is the first whole page I've drawn although it's actually spread out over two pages as the first panel is the last panel of page 26. Here's the roughs I knocked up in Manga Studio. Everything was done in Manga Studio this time around. Occasionally, I might use a bit of Photoshop as well but there wasn't a whole lot of colouring to do seeing as there's so much solid black. I fancied the idea that the BBOD had been given some toys to play with and the fact that he'd just learned to speak meant alphabet building blocks, of course!

I went with the fairly rough pencils and decided I'd wing it a bit. Not sure if that was a good idea as I wasn't very confident throughout the making of this page, it took ages to finish, much longer than I expected and I was late in posting it. Lots of black with almost no backgrounds would lead you to think there'd be less drawing involved, that it'd be easier to get done, but it didn't work out that way for me with this page.

Next, the final art, put together as a whole page, that's how I drew it and worked on it but to see it in context, visit Huzzah!!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The DFC - Comes To An End

As you may have noticed, the subscription button to the DFC website has been removed from the blog, the sad news is that the comic will end at issue 43. The current financial situation hits everybody, even big publishers like Random House. I'm sad but not completely surprised, it's always a big risk trying something new and different, and starting up a new children's comic in the UK is not an easy path especially if you avoid the shiny plastic toy with free comic TV tie-in mentality that is all pervasive in children's comics these days.

I'm sad that the Dead Pets won't get to appear in the comic itself, I was looking forward to being in there along with all my fellow DFC buddies. On the positive side, I was lucky enough to get to write and draw my own twenty-four page comic strip, have it published in the Guardian and get paid for it! I'm very lucky to have had that opportunity.

I think that everybody involved should be proud to have put out a weekly comic, with no ads and all original material for the best part of a year. Anybody that's ever been involved with something like that will know how much work it involves and how difficult it is to do. There's a lot of juggling and planning and dealing with artistic temperaments involved for the editorial team. I'd like to thank David Fickling for making it happen, Ben Sharpe, my editor, who was been an absolute joy to work with, he was incredibly patient and helpful even when I'm sure I pushed him to hair-pulling frustration at times. I don't know if he's aware of this but he is known as 'Lovely Ben' to me and many others. Thanks to Will Fickling and all the other people in the office that worked so hard on making the DFC what it was.