Monday, 26 April 2010
I was wondering aloud on Twitter why Dredd ended up with his squat bodybuilder physique today and that prompted me to want to draw the Judge again (the way I see him). It's been a long time, but I really enjoyed doing this. It's so imprinted on my brain. If Tharg happens to see this, now would be a good time to ask me draw Judge Dredd. Mind you, I'd imagine there's quite a queue.
Wednesday, 21 April 2010
Donna Noble (Catherine Tate) meets John Lennon with the Doctor looking nervously on.
Donna asks for John's autograph:
John: Is it for your daughter, missus?
Donna: No, it's for me mum y'cheeky sod!
Time travel gag. I wrote that. Well, I thought it was funny. Moving on.
These are some inks from the Doctor Who strip Time of My Life written by Jonny Morris. He's working on another script for me to draw right now which should appear at Christmas. This will be the 4th script by Jonny I've illustrated and I like to think we work together pretty well. Time of My Life featured the Doctor taking Donna to the Cavern club to see the early Beatles. This was probably the hardest page in the whole strip. (Click to enlarge!)
The Doctor drags Donna away from the pre-Ringo Beatles
And there's Pete Best on Drums. The Doctor and Donna are far right.
Comic art geek fact: all these inks were done with an Edding 1800 0.3 and 0.1. I used so much black in this strip it made it very difficult to colour. Actually I wanted the Beatles page to remain black and white.
After there visit to the Cavern Club the Doctor and Donna whizz off to some future dystopia populated by vampire goths.
This next story I'm doing for Doctor Who Magazine will be my 8th Doctor Who strip, I've written three and this will be the fifth I've drawn. It will be my first attempt at an 11th Doc strip. I'm looking forward to drawing Matt Smith, but I have to say I quite enjoyed drawing David Tennant. I always felt that he looked right as a comic character. In fact, the more 'realistic' the representation of him was the less it looked like him.
Last panel from Time of My Life.
Saturday, 17 April 2010
Can't put any new stuff on the blog at the moment due to the nature of the commissions I'm working on, so here's some more old stuff. This is from my time with the Inkshed agency. All three were from the period where I would draw freehand on the wacom into Illustrator with the pencil tool set to zero. It was less like drawing and more like cutting shapes out of coloured paper and pasting them together. I didn't really have a clue what I was doing and knowing when to stop was a real problem. The choppers pic was a promotion thing (I seemed to do more 'folio' work that actual paid work in those days). The chilli pic below was part of a calander I think. And the last one was for FHM magazine. I think it was to illustrate an article on race issues in US prisons. Well, that's what it look like.
Friday, 16 April 2010
Here's a page from SLANG issue 3. By the time we got to the third issue of SLANG in 1991 both Sean and I had developed our obsession with the 1970s into a complete approach to comics. You still see this in my Dinlos stuff today. Although there was nostalgia to what I was doing my thinking then as now was that the 1970s was a bit like a modern costume drama - a contemporary and yet strangely alien looking time that makes for a great setting. Something many films and TV series have realised since then. The Robbers was a bit uneven but reading it again I can see ideas I'm still interested in now; the power of the liminal spaces - the half seen, the misunderstood.
In other places the cultural references crept in too much (see the Ogron on the cover), but this was before the internet and just drawing things from another time gave them a kind of power. Now all of these images are at our fingertips and retro is so pervasive.
SLANG issue 4 never really happened, shot in the paddock, though I think we had planned to do an issue without my Dad on the cover. I was trying some madly ambitious stuff before being dragged kicking and screaming into the real world to draw comics for money. Below is an example - it's part of a page of music (yeah, I know). This is The Jam playing something from Setting Sons and/or Sound Affects by the looks of it.
And finally the ultimate synthesis of my obsession with 1970s culture was The Watermen, the story of three miniature Dennis Watermans who smoke fags and do 1970s stuff. It's very silly. I coloured it on a mate's computer in the mid 90s.
Thursday, 15 April 2010
My cover for SLANG No.2. The kitchen sink scene painted on a canvas the cartoon characters and logo drawn on paper and glued on. This was the days before computers!
This may be a form of career suicide putting up artwork from 21 years ago, but here goes. SLANG is where it all began for me and my compadre Sean Longroft, we finally published our own comic after talking about it since we were kids. When we were kids we would have imagined our own comic as something full of sci fi guns and robots and all that gubbins; what we actually published reflected more about out lives as 20 yr olds and the only remnant of Sci Fi featured on the cover to Issue 1. There were no adventure or Sci Fi stories in Slang just the emotional outpourings of two drug-addled young men.
We got this cover screen printed at the printers where were doing our Employment Training in Boscombe. I rather enjoyed mixing up the colours, but as you can see screen printing isn't the easiest way of putting colours on a comic book cover.
One furious reader in Oxford returned his copy of No.1 to Comics Showcase on the grounds that there was nothing like the 2000ad-ish stuff on the cover inside. There wasn't. The whole thing was an LSD-drenched journey through mundane suburbia.
Derek was a proper 'does what is says on the tin' style comic character.
Most of what we did was heavily autobiographical (I mean, christ! my Dad was our cover star!). Issue 2 featured my musings on my errant teens and my parents collapse into mutual, general and self destruction. The whole thing was filtered through a psychedelic looking glass and was completely incomprehensible to most readers.
Our protagonist is haunted by the place that used to be home.
Dad in his pants in the garden at night.
Again a sense of being haunted by home.
We had no idea what to do with it once we'd printed it (we printed 1000 copies of Issue 2), we weren't really aware of other independent comics at the time and didn't have a clue about distribution. We managed to part fund it by hand drawing advertisments for local record shops, comic shops and head shops. Copies found their way to the strangest places, some even made it to the US. A friend of mine took copies over and gave them to a comic shop, he asked the the shop owner if there was anything like it in the states that they could give him in exchange and he was given a copy of Eightball issue 5. Needless to say we were blown away by it.
We ran out of money before we could print more than a couple of copies of Issue 3 (I'll stick a couple of pieces from that up at some point). One of the few decent things the Tories ever did was the Enterprise Allowance Scheme which enabled us to get the first two issues out, when that came to an end we were back on the dole. Until, that is, Stuart Green and Frank Plowright got a copy and offered us work on their new football comic Glory Glory.
Finally here's a delightful little strip from issue 2 by Sean, he'll hate me for putting this up but he is taking this piss out of me in it. Actually Sean's drawing is much more together than mine. Like I said career suicide, I'm not even the best artist in the thing!
Tuesday, 6 April 2010
Here's a screen shot of the job I'm working on at the moment. Can't say much about the project as it's in early stages, but it's something suitably gruesome for the kiddies. I guess this is sort of how Horrible Histories would look if my style consumed Martin's. I'm particularly fond of the dog in this picture.