Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Like Christmas I appear once a year, or so it seems. I've been busy working on something for The Phoenix Comic which is a fantastic new weekly children's comic debuting in January. It features fantastic new strips from The DFC creators and many other lovely UK comics folks. If you know or have any children why not treat them and get them a subscription for Christmas? Or be utterly selfish and get one just for yourself.

If you're interested in something for an older age range then you can't go wrong with the graphic novel, Nelson, published by Blank Slate Books and lovingly edited by Rob Davis and Woodrow Phoenix, it features 54 artists all taking turns to tell the story of Nell Baker. I'm hugely proud to be a part of it, and I may be biased because I'm in it, but I think it's a brilliant book, an experiment that worked out incredibly well and also serves as an excellent snapshot of the UK comics scene and the incredible amount of talent therein. The proceeds from Nelson are going to Shelter so not only do you get lovely book you'll also be helping raise money for an excellent charity that helps a lot of people, you can buy it here or in all good comic shops.

That's the brazen, shameless plugging over with, now to celebrate the spirit of Christmas and giving. Here's my 'Elephant Of Surprise' comic strip I did a little bit over a year ago for Solipsistic Pop 3. Seeing as Sol Pop 4 is now out I thought it'd be a good time to share it on here and make it available to all. If the notion of a beautifully produced comics anthology bursting with creativity and wonderful comics then go take a look at the Solipsistic Pop website and see the superb job that Tom Humberstone does putting Sol Pop together.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and I'll see you on the other side.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Draw Harvey!

On hearing the sad news of Harvey Pekar's passing, Adam Cadwell had the great idea of starting a Flickr group called 'Draw Harvey!' and this is my contribution. Go take a look at all the other Harveys on there, it's fascinating to see how one man can inspire so many different interpretations.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Bob Fish and Le Jeune Albert

I did this for the Forbidden Planet International blog who are celebrating Bastille Day today. I wasn't the only contributor, I was in mighty fine company alongside Garen Ewing, Geraint Ford, Rob Jackson and Rob Davis. I love the work of Yves Chaland and thought it'd be fun to draw his private detective character, Bob Fish and his assistant Le Jeune Albert.

 I'd done a couple of very rough thumbnail sketches and combined two that I thought looked okay. Then I worked that thumbnail up to this scribbly rough.

For the next stage I took this into Manga Studio and tidied it up a little and filled in the buildings and background a little more.

The next step was to print it out on to some bristol board in light blue and do some tighter pencil work.

Then I inked the characters and foreground with a brush, here's a pic of the page partially inked.

At this stage I was getting pushed for time and I thought it would be quicker to do the background buildings and bits and pieces in Manga Studio so I scanned what I'd done so far and finished off the inking took it into Photoshop and coloured it up. Here's the final line art.

I'd like to have spent some more time on the backgrounds and tweaked a few things but there's always something you'd like to do different and I think it turned out pretty well in the end.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Absinthe Frappé

The character of Absinthe Frappé came about through a Twitter conversation between Simon Gane, Jamie Smart, Jonathan Edwards, Rob Davis and myself. For a slightly more detailed explanation of the conversation and Jonathan's fab illustration of Absinthe click here. We all decided the name was perfect for a Jonathan Edwards' character but I just had to have a go too.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Good Dog, Bad Dog

Just a quick post to plug Dave Shelton's wonderful Good Dog, Bad Dog book. It's the first of the DFC Library books to go on sale. Detective dogs in a film noir world with plenty of humour and milkshakes, what more could anybody ask for? I had a blast colouring one of the stories, The Golden Bone, and I'm overjoyed to see all the strips collected in one beautiful book. Go see Dave's blog for more info, updates and links to (very positive) reviews. Not to mention many of his delightful sketches and doodles.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Dead Pets Pencils - Episode 2, Page 2

It's been about a year since Dead Pets was printed in the Guardian's now sadly defunct Comic section, it doesn't feel anything like that amount of time. It's always interesting, and slightly alarming, to take a look back over work that was drawn a while ago, more often than not all you can see are the dodgy bits of drawing and where you would do things differently. The thing that strikes me most about this page right now is that there's fourteen panels on it. Fourteen panels?! What was I thinking? Artist me punches writer me in the gut. Good thing my gut is generously cushioned.

I'm not fat, my chest has slipped.

One thing I wanted to make sure of with Dead Pets was that there was always something happening in every episode, that the story was always progressing and that it took a little bit of time to read even though there was only 3 pages every week, one of which wasn't a full page. I also wanted to take advantage of the weekly format and the opportunity to have some sort of cliffhanger or unresolved moment at the close of every episode, hoping the readers would want to come back the following week. I don't know if I was successful in achieving any of those things but that's how I hoped it would be.

Here's the inks for this page. I cheated a little and used a very slightly modified copy of panel seven for panel 3 once it was all scanned in.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Dead Pets Pencils - Episode 2, Page 1

I absent-mindedly sketched this rough idea for the opening panel and there was something about the point of view that appealed to me so I decided to go ahead with it.

I thought I'd try knocking up a model of the layout in SketchUp hoping that it might save me some time and that I could print off a picture from the correct angle and work over it. I was wrong about the time saving element but it was a very helpful thing to do. Once I'd knocked the model up I realised that the view I'd chosen was such an extreme, exaggerated one that to have it match the rough I'd need to tweak the depth of field on the camera in SketchUp. This distorted everything but I thought it looked okay and helped add to the feeling of being high up and that it was a large house. Anyway, here's a screencap of the model.

I printed off a blue line and worked over that, here's the final pencils. Sam's mum and dad appear to be missing from the pencils, I guess I must have drawn them on another bit of paper and added them in later on.

These are the uncorrected inks, you can see that I started to spot the black squares in the chequered pattern on the floor and then stopped. I thought I'd leave it and give myself the option to drop it in at the colour stage or even use a different colour. If I'd filled in all the dark squares it would have been a fiddlesome nightmare to separate them out in the colouring stage should I change my mind about what colour I wanted them to be. In the end I made them blue rather than black so I was very happy I didn't fill them all in.