Friday, 16 December 2011

Season's Greetings

It's that time of year again.

I've just sent out my e-card to (hopefully) all of my friends, family, clients and collaborators etc.

En-masse e-mail delivery paranoia demands that I state here that if you haven't received the card, feel you should have or would like to receive it next year... please do that which is necessary to alert me, fix your filters and/or notify your e-mail provider that I'm not spam!

It's a truly awful pun, but that is, in-keeping with festive or seasonal jokes found in crackers...

The initial idea was just a horrible cardigan made into a card, like so many 'Christmas jumpers' of my youth - after sketching a perplexed and generic 'every-man' holding up said offending garment, it occurred that the real joke was in the misunderstanding. Why it became Peter Parker and MJ is anybody's guess, but my guess would fall firmly in the camp of "because I like drawing girls".

The usual 'stages' stuff follows:

digital roughs

sketch-up lounge guide

final digital "pencils"


All the very best of the season to you all, have a good one!

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Dante Claus

Yesterday was my turn to submit to the 2000ad virtual advent calendar.

A terrible, terrible pun drifted into my mind - but one that had to be done! Nikolai Dante is the swashbuckling lead character in the 2000ad saga of the same name, created by Robbie Morrison and Simon Fraser. For the uninitiated, Jena Makarov is his love interest (a frequently thwarted one).

here are the pencils and inks for those of you who are interested in the process.

I had a number of captions and dialogue options, some more smutty than others, and I even asked for some opinions, and they were as divided as my own... in the end I left the 'sack' jokes alone, despite the puerile joy of them. You are welcome to suggest any and all alternate options in the comments though!

Friday, 2 December 2011

2000ad Advent 2011

For the past couple of years, Pete Wells, charming host of the 2000ad covers uncovered blog has run an online advent calendar on the 2000ad forum.

This year is no different, and once again, my effort is early doors number 2. For those who're interested, and haven't seen them before, here are my efforts for 2009 and 2010.

Not wanting to spoil any potential surprises, here's a crop of my rough.

The final version should be up on the forum already, but if not it will be soon!

You can keep up with the wonderful entries each day until the 24th by calling in to the forum topic here.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

All round Comics' Geezer.

Jim Campbell should need no introduction, as a letterer at least, but what a lot of people don't know is that he is also a talented artist too.

Jim did the above illustration in response to my Judge Kev photo (see previous post of me in a Planet Replica's Judge's helmet) that was taken by Bolt-01 at Thoughtbubble.

Monday, 21 November 2011

ThoughtBubble 2011

I was at Thought bubble in Leeds over the weekend. Thanks, first of all to Dave Stokes for organising a pass for me.

I met up with other friends too, some old, some new and had some great chats with them. Thanks go to, Rich Clements, Dave Evans, Owen Watts and Jazz, Judge Burdis, Lee Langford, Dunk Nimmo, Eddie and Jon at Com.X, Lee Robson, John Burdis, Pye Parr, Luke Preece, Stephen Downey, Vicky Stonebridge, Emma Vieceli, Conor and Liz Boyle, Nick Dyer, Stacey Whittle and her two charming little girls, Pete Wells, Spirite 68, Matt Badham, Abby Ryder, Daniel Carey George, Guy (Large 48), Terry Martin, Alex, Matt Smith (Tharg), Mike Marshall, Nic Wilkinson, Mark Laming and Dan McDaid, sorry to any one I've forgotten in that list.

I also achieved a childhood dream thanks to Planet Replicas:

Judge Kev

There were some very interesting developments, but I want to wait to see how they pan out before blurting out what they might be!

Monday, 31 October 2011

The Badger

Cripes! A month between posts...

This was done as a very quick entry for this month's A Little Bit Bunny, pop on over there to see this guy as I intended to present him...

I vaguely thought he could be Wolverine's dad!

Friday, 30 September 2011

When Doodles go...


I was doodling, this is what happened.

What the hell is it?

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Yet Another Dredd

This was quickly sketched out whilst on holiday last week... used it as inking warm-up over the last couple of days.

Monday, 12 September 2011

The Four Brick Judges

Following the 2000ad Lego commission, Ian Leonard asked if I could expand the concept by doing cover recreations of classic 2000ad covers. He had a number in mind, but first up was Brian Bolland's brilliant cover to prog 225.

For ref, I've included the original Bolland version below.

I missed a trick though, I should have edited in a 'Legoland' price... if Ian asks for any more of these, I will add that into the price list somewhere!

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Babble Project

A little while ago, Lee Robson, asked me if I'd be interested in taking part in a project to help promote his (and Bryan Coyle's) upcoming Graphic Novel Babble, furthermore, it would mean doing my own take on BlueSpear for it! Naturally, I was coy, and simply said I'd be delighted. What was more, he'd squared the way with Andi Ewington and Com.X and they were happy for Lee to use my depiction of BlueSpear on his promotional project! Excited? Me? You betcha!

Lee has some other top characters and creators lined up and the project continues this week with Dave Evans' Whistler.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Boing Boing

Here's something I did for Pete Wells of the 2000ad covers uncovered blog fame.

I'd owed him a sketch for a while, since HiEx 2010 in fact, where for some reason, I only did half a sketch for him.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Lesson is More, Moron Less.

I've had this idea bumping around in my head for close to ten years now. Usually it would get paraded out when I heard about someone doing something stupid... the 'less/fewer' error was pointed out to me by my wife, Vicky, some time ago. Learning from the mistake (in the spirit of the comment itself) meant that I had to stop saying it, even though I still thought it was funny.

The blackboard and 'teacher's correction' idea hit me this morning and so I quickly put this together in photoshop. The idea, like me, is bettered by Vicky's input I think.

I doubt very much that the phrase was ever original to me but It's nice when an old idea finally comes to fruition and you don't see someone else who's made something of 'your' idea before you do.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

2000ad Lego

Another commission for Ian Leonard. Delighted to do this one after the Wizard of Oz one I did just a couple of months ago.

Hopefully it speaks for itself - I think it could really work as a series of Lego minifigures.

Here are my rough sketch sheets - yes, I cheated - I used a template figure printed a few out and drew all over the top them...


Saturday, 30 July 2011

Oooh, Frosty!

Recently did this illustration of Emma Frost for Andi Ewington, he of 'The 45' from Com.X fame. Watch out for 'Blue Spear' coming soon from Com.X by Andi, Eddie Deighton and Cosmo White.

She'll wrap you around her little finger, so it's no surprise that here's a picture of a happy looking Andi with my interpretation of Ms. Frost!

Thursday, 21 July 2011


Here then, as promised in yesterday's post: Johnny Alpha, back in the land of the living.

If you missed it yesterday over on Scotch Corner, here's my Durham red piece mocked up into a prog cover.

And The Johnny Alpha one too.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Scotch Corner is Two

Well, last month I was delighted to be invited to contribute once again to Scotch Corner, the Caledonian Comic Artists Collective who're celebrating their blogging birthday this month with a series of guest slots. I'm am amongst some seriously talented folk contributing, too many cool people to name have already contributed - and there's more to come!

Previously, I've submitted Bat-world pieces to their guest slot: a Harley Quinn, a Joker, and a Catwoman, but no surprises, it is 2000ad that I have turned to on this special occasion. Specifically the world of Strontium Dog, and as is usual for me, I gravitated to the girl in the gang - Durham Red.

You can see the full coloured version of that over on Scotch Corner. Also note the edited hand... after I'd inked it, and saught the advice of trusted indivduals, I felt this version was too claw like.

If you like this, then please come back tomorrow as I'll be posting up a piece that celebrates the return of Johnny Alpha, in fact, the resurrection of Johnny Alpha and his imminent return to the prog - as trailered in prog 1742, see the prog or ECBT2000ad for the details!

Monday, 18 July 2011

Termight Motivation

So a post on ECBT2000ad made me revisit something I did a couple of weeks ago.

Pretty simple as I had the graphics already sitting around on my computer. 30 minute spoof- lovely.

Sunday, 17 July 2011


Now that the new issues of Zarjaz and Dogbreath are out... (you'll have bought them already I take it!) I can share something more of the strip I did for the ABC Warriors special.

This is the first two pages as a taster.

As I mentioned in my "Black Hole" post, I was trying to get an essence of other artists, one of who was the BIZ... not sure I really like the finish to be honest, but when I showed it to Tharg at Kapow, he thought it had more energy...

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Logo Designs

Last year, as a result of a recommendation by my buddy Dave Stokes, I was asked to produce a logo for a gaming book by a company that produces wargame figurines. Miniature Design Studio produces 28mm figurines for what I'd describe as role playing games...

The brief was to create a logo with a 'calligraphy bias'. The name of the game was 'origin'. This was the design that was settled on:

Recently, I was approached to do a further two logos. This time, in b&w and colour.

Again, there was a strong 'calligraphic' bais to the letter forms.

It's always nice to mix up things a bit and I do enjoy working on something so different from my more usual illustration work. Different challenges keep things fresh I think because coming back to drawing after these has been a real joy as well.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

SVK and the future of print.

Usually I bang on about my own art, 2000ad and not much else here on my blog...

But I bought a copy of SVK last week and felt the urge to share my experience of it. If you've heard nothing about this comic, then where have you been?

Hopefully I haven't gone all pseudo review tone in the following.

SVK, Berg London, Warren Ellis and D'Israeli (Matt Brooker) have created something wonderful.
I ordered during the week, pretty soon after I saw that the comic was available - instinctively I knew here was something that was important. On Thursday, a beautiful package arrived, carefully considered and graphically pleasing, contained within was the high production value Comic and SVK device, or UV torch.

Not exactly a new reading experience, as I could liken certain aspects of it to '3D' comics with '3D' glasses of the 70s and 80s but it's certainly a different and intriguing concept. Intiguing enough to keep me engaged to the very end and had me scouring the pages over and over again to hopefully eek out those little secrets no one else had noticed.

The only criticism I can find is that perhaps the build quality of the torch could be a little better, as one bulb flickers slightly, but that didn't harm my reading experience in the slightest. I don't want to say too much about the story, it is short and punchy and perhaps for the money, I might be used to seeing twice the number of pages, but I think I'm entirely happy with the value for money.

The current trend for digital books has posed the question: is print dead? SVK answers that with an unequivocal NO. Reading a comic or book for that matter can be an immersive experience and when the reader is engaged in a way that SVK engaged me interactively, then I hope that print very much has a future. I also hope that others will be inspired to push the boundaries in similar ways that SVK does. I know I'm certainly thinking a little differently after reading it.

The first print run has sold out, but it looks like there will be a second printing coming soon. I strongly advise anyone with an interest in graphic media to get hold of a copy! For more details see the official SVK page.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Keep Calm and Carry On?

You know this is what you'll really do:

I did this, this afternoon before the news broke about The News of the World ceasing publication... seems sort of more appropriate now.

*EDIT* Seen a lot of this on the interwebs after a double check search... in fact, just about everything but my permutation of words. oh well, no such thing as a new idea.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Surrender Dorothy!

Now in Technicolor!

I'm just about done on the Wizard of Oz, Judge Dredd and Johnny Alpha cross-over commission.

There's still a decision to be made over the final dialogue though...

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Mutants in Judy Garland Block

I've been working on a commission for another member of the 2000ad forum.
Ian Leonard asked if he could have a Johnny Alpha and Judge Dredd team-up, where those two bad boys were surrounded by mutants and zombies etc, but also including characters from the Wizard of Oz!

These are the cleaned up inks ready to colour.

The raw scan shows through where I've printed out a 'blue-line' version of my digital 'pencils'.

Here's a few stages of development, including the proposed dialogue on the first.

I feel like Johnny and Dredd should be saying something smart arse too, but inspiration is lacking on that front.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Get With The Programme!

This week's 2000ad, prog 1740, features all new stories. One of the occassional 'jumping on progs'. I trust you'll all be doing the sensible thing and getting re-aquainted, introduced or just plain staying with the programme!

This isn't the cover, sadly. This is a mock 2000AD cover based on a Tharg I did for the 2000ad twitter spoof I did with Rich Clements last year - I've spruced it up and added some other effects since then though.

Oh, and I'm now on tumblr too!

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Second Psight

Digging around, looking for something I else, I found a coloured version of the Judge Anderson piece I did way back in Sept 2010...

Nothing much else to say, but worth sharing I thought.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

The Brothers Grimm

I was contacted recently by Ryan Ballard, who is putting together a whole book of sketches based on the fantastic Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon series Preacher as a present for his Dad. How cool is that?
You can see all the contributions he's got so far at The Preacher Project.

He asked me for a Jody and TC - two of the worst brothers I think that have ever been cooked up.

I went for their flashback versions - as that's where we see what a pair of evil b*stards they really are... if you've read the story, you'll know what TC is up to here.

I showed the initial pencils to Ryan and he asked if I could revise the sketch more inline with the scene where Jesse's Dad get's shot. <<<-- highlight for spoiler. This moved from the implied humour of my initial concept, and would play up the emotional resonance - Ryan also asked if I could add in a young, upset but determined Jesse... TC's dialogue just didn't fit anymore.

I was chuffed to be invited to join the gang, and I was pretty pleased with the result too!