Wednesday, 21 December 2011

I was born on Christmas day

Have a tip top festive season one and all.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

King Midas in Reverse

What ho chums,

So, what have I been up to recently in the world of comics? Well, I've had the great pleasure of contributing a couple of pages to the second issue of Rol Hirst's very splendid 'Too Much Sex and Violence'. I urge any of you out there to go and check it out as apart from Rol himself, there's a whole host of very talented folk illustrating it. Imagine a Hammer Horror Pyschoville crossed with the Wickerman and you'll be getting close.

(Good old Rol's also kind enough to mention me and the Grinning Mask in an interview he does with the Broken Frontier)

Anyroad up. Without giving any of the story of issue 2 away, I thought I'd use my recent pages to illustrate my working process and handily fill up a bit of my blog at the same time.

So I started off with a few quick character sketches - basing them on sequences from issue 1 whilst still trying to put my own twist on things. I give you Gary Gore - Vampire DJ.
I was trying to get a cross between Nick Cave and Nosferatu for this one.

Next, is the (very rough) layouts. I draw these at A4, then blow them up to A3 in the hope that I keep some of the energy of the scribbles.
Then comes the pencils on layout paper - surprisingly tight pencil work for me I thought?
Finally, inks on tracing paper using a combination of brushes and technical pens (I also use these fabbo pens - a great flexible nib halfway between a standard brush pen and a fineliner. If Kuretake want to send me a load of freebies for recommending their pens to my fourteen or so readers, that'd be great) before scanning and Photoshopping to fit to the page template.
Ta-da. All that's left now is to wait for the issue to come out....


Wednesday, 19 October 2011

This pleases me greatly...

Anyone with a rudimentary grasp of German or French, a couple of phrase books and a LOT of patience can currently grab these two beauties off Amazon...

'The Airtight Garage' and 'Arzak' by the legendary Moebius.

Copies of these translated to English currently go for ridiculous money in the usual places, so I thought I'd treat myself to these. Let's face it - it's all about the piccies anyway.


Friday, 23 September 2011


Quick post from the Weekly Themed Art Blog, on this week's theme of 'Bugs and Insects'.
Yep, it's that old favourite of mine, the Blue Beetle. This is a pencil sketch which I've attacked with digital painting. An interesting experiment if nothing else.....


Friday, 9 September 2011

Only Women Bleed

Weekly Themed Art Blog - this week's theme is Hammer Films.

I picked 'The Vampire Lovers' for a (very) quick sketch.


Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Here I go...

....yet more press I'm afraid.

I've written a review of the Birmingham Comicon which made it's way to the Forbidden Planet Blog.

Unbeknownst to me, the Matthew Craig also wrote himself a review that I mentioned in the post below, and which appeared a day before mine. In what looks like crossed wires from two comics artists from Wolverhampton, we've been singing each other's praises. All strangely unbeknownst to each other.

AND....Rol Hirst (of PJANG and the forth coming 'Too Much Sex and Violence' comics fame), has also took the time to write up a quick review of my comic.

Hurrahs all round.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Sweet and Dandy

An awfully flattering mention of the Grinning Mask #2 in a Comicon review over at the splendid Forbidden Planet Blog.

Hurrah for the ever entertaining Matthew Craig for his kind words. Do check his comics out won't you?


Thursday, 1 September 2011

(More) Yesterday's Papers.....

Egad! There I am again - complete with a mention of the Grinning Mask.


Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Yesterday's Papers

...just a quickie.

After a super-duper time at last weekend's Birmingham Comicon (more of a write up will hopefully appear here as if by magic later on in the week), I was alarmed to see a photo of me and Mr. McGee in the gallery of the Birmingham Mail's show review.

For those who can't be bothered looking, we're on the third set of photos, second one in from the left and two photos before Cyclops. I've never wrote that in a sentence before.

It did amuse me that the Birmingham Mail managed to catch the only two members of the Midlands Comics Collective who aren't actually from Birmingham....


Thursday, 25 August 2011

2 H.B.

...nearly there.

At last, the second Grinning Mask is ready to go. I've got the proof copy today and it should be ready (fingers crossed) tomorrow...

In the meantime, the lovely people at the Forbidden Planet Blog did a quick preview of it ahead of BICS.

Also, as promised a sneeky preview of the swag I shall be taking along to the show on Saturday. As well as copies of the Grinning Mask, you could also treat yourself to some mini-prints of bits and pieces what I have drawn. I'm also going to be making some into comicsy greeting cards.

If you feeling generous and in the slightest bit interested, then pop by on Saturday and throw some cash at the goodies.


Monday, 22 August 2011

When I get to the border

Just a quickie folks. As BICS hurtles towards us, I shall be spending this week finishing up the second chapter of 'The Grinning Mask'. It's all done and scanned and ready for lettering and if I do say so myself, looking a mighty fine piece of 'Medieval Mystery Horror'.

If you find yourself at this weekend's comic show, do pop by the Midlands Comics Collective table where I'll (hopefully!) be selling copies of this, the first issue and a few prints of stuff. I'll try to post again later on this week with a sneeky preview of what I shall be taking with me to the show.


Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Young Man Blues

There's been a distinct lack of blogginess around these parts lately and the main reason for this is the second issue of the Grinning Mask. As the next Birmingham Comics Show hurtles towards us, I'm scribbling away to get this together in time for this and I'm deliberately trying to steer clear of posting anything from the issue for fear of nasty 'spoilers'.

In the meantime, here's some sketchbook stuff I keep meaning to finish off and colour in.

Until next time.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Monday, 4 July 2011


How to paint a mural....

Step 1.
Agree what the kids (for whom you are painting the mural), want on their bedroom wall.

WARNING - at this stage the kids will probably want hundreds of cartoon characters, all captured in exact likenesses, and fighting away in some improbable location. Unless you've got a huge wall and a ridiculously large amount of time spare on your hands, it's best to whittle your list down to a few of their favourites.

Step 2.
Do your sketches.

Step 3.
Put paint on the wall until it's done.

(Use of Kirby Krackle is optional)

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Bada Bing

Crikey. Nearly a month passes by with no sign of blog posts.

Anyway, I've been super busy working on the Grinning Mask 2, which I'm looking to get ready in time for BICS 2011.
I also found time to go to Comics Launchpad last weekend. A top time was had by all and here's hoping there's one again soon. Apart from some very interesting talks, demonstrations and reviews, I got chance to catch up with comic chums like Tony, Nige, Jason, Joe, Rachael, Otto (who I don't think has any webthingie?) etc, and also meet and witter on to other comics creators including the always-splendid Mr. McCrea.

Anyhoo. Weekly Themed Art Blog time - this week's theme being 'Professors and Doctors'.
Until next time,

Friday, 27 May 2011

The Bridge

Quick sketch for the Weekly TAB on the theme of fighting on a bridge....
I did originally try to put poor Gwen Stacey in this as well but couldn't really stumble on a good layout. I think I prefer the more knockabout comics style of the finished piece now it's done.
Such is life.


Friday, 20 May 2011

Eye know

What ho chums,

In the middle of June, I shall be nipping to the splendid sounding Comics Launchpad. It looks to be an interesting do and in readiness for this, I'm frantically scribbling to try to cram my portfolio with comicsy goodness.

As a result of this, I've been neglecting the Weekly Themed Art Blog a bit. For shame! Still, I did manage a (very) quick sketch of Davros for this week's Dr Who theme.
I never did get very far with my cowboy sketches for the Wild West themed week though...
Finally, a snippet of Grinning Mask issue 2 pencils. I'm trying my best to up the EC-ness on this one.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Almost Ready

Busy times folks. I've been away on holiday for a bit, suffered a fairly hefty Photoshop breakdown and managed to get some way through 'Grinning Mask' no. 2 pencils.

I've also struggled to find time for the Weekly Themed Arts Blog but did start a Judge Anderson sketch which I'll stick here in it's half-finished form.


Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Do the Brontosaurus

The Dinobots for this week's Dinosaur-themed arts blog.


Telephone Thing

There's an interesting bit on the Forbidden Planet blog about graphic novels in libraries over here.

It's definitely worth a quick read if like me, you think more folk should read comics.


Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Fire Brigade

Liz Sherman of Hellboy fame - complete with Kirby Krackle.


Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Butcher's tale

So inspired am I by UK comics characters this week, I've also sketched the rather creepy Jimmy 'The Cleaver' Smith from Oink comic.


Saturday, 26 March 2011

Grimly Fiendish

Yet more piccies from the Weekly Themed Art Blog what I have done.

First up, a drawing in the 'Tron' theme. Despite having never seen either film, I struggled on regardless...

And, two drawings (and a preview) for this week's theme - 'Non 2000AD UK comics characters'. I've sketched up Grimly Feendish and definitely not the bloke out of 'Despicable Me'. (Mind you, Grimly himself is very similar Uncle Fester of the Addams Family, so I'm not going to be too picky here)

and the Leopard from Lime Street.

Hurrah for UK comics of yester-year.


Friday, 11 March 2011

No growing (Exegesis)

Grr. What was that about regular posting?????

Anyway, this post comes to you by way of Chris Askham's very splendid Weekly Themed Art Blog, of which I am a contributor. Below are my scribblings so far....

Behold, an 'Exorcism' themed piccie - a possessed Demon girl with a fair bit of Ken Reid influence.

....and 'Diesel Punk Girl'. I really tried my best to resist drawing Tank Girl (sigh).

All good stuff and an excuse to try out some different techniques and styles.


Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Cobwebs and Strange

Fear not! I'm still here. We've just spent a while painting (walls not comics) and moving the flat around. Hopefully now everything is on a bit more of an even keel, I'll be able to post a bit more regularly....

Anyway, a couple of quick sketches.

Drummer Boy and Jonah Hex...

Drummer Boy sketch is brush and ink, and Jonah is pencil and Photoshop.

(Hopefully) more soon folks.


Monday, 3 January 2011

Monkey Man

Tarzan sketch for you. I was originally going to call this post 'King of the Swingers' but thought it may attract a different kind of audience to my humble blog.

Also, if proof were needed that I'm working on 'Grinning Mask 2', here's a snippet of my thumbnails for a couple of pages.

Don't try and make sense of them whatever you do.


Plan B

In a quick change from talking about what comics etc I'm working on, I thought that I'd take time to mention some of the stuff that's impressed me over the past year. So, in no particular order let's dive in...

The Absence by Martin Stiff
Mightily enjoyable and a real page turner - what's there not to like? Great art and design, a slow burning mystery and interesting characters. Very inspirational for a person (like myself) creating self published comics.

Vern and Lettuce by Sarah McIntyre
Super stuff. I defy even the most cold-hearted-super-hero-comic-book-reader not to enjoy this.

El Sketchbook Lorenzo Deluxe

Behold the Etherington Brothers. Very talented and nice blokes to boot. In a slightly odd choice, I've picked out the mighty sketchbook collection rather than a comic. I'm sure though, that you'd forgive me if you could see this book from over where you're sitting. 600 odd pages of fantastic sketchbook action and a great book to dip into for a bit of inspiration.

Spider-Man / Dr. Strange: Fever
The only super hero pick in my list. Brendan McCarthy's delightfully psychedelic take on two of my favourite Marvel heroes. As Stanley Unwin would say 'Once a-polly ti to begat tripsy Ditko technicolour and turns out smash and flake-it. Stay cool won't you.'

PJANG by Rol Hirst
Good old Rol was kind enough to let me loose on a strip in PJANG this year, but that's not the reason why he's here - oh no. Great, great stories - that's the reason. If like me you're a sucker for twists and turns in your comics, then you ought to check out PJANG.

Outcastes by Tony McGee
Magic and mystery by Mr. McGee. The only mystery to me being how he manages to draw quite so many top comics? Does he draw while he sleeps? I don't know? A top series and one that's going from strength to strength - my only criticism is the wait for the latest issue!

Kani by WJC
I stumbled across WJC's stuff in Will Kirkby's Nu Earth and am now officially hooked. Just the right mix of storytelling and oddness for my liking. Roll on his forth-coming book Gungle for Blank Slate this year.

The Bizarre Adventures of Gilbert and Sullivan
by Laura Howell
Very funny stuff indeed by the wonderfully talented Ms. Howell. Bravo I say. Any comic that has Oscar Wilde threatening to take a gang of gentlemen off home for a 'jolly good kissing' has got to be worth a look.

Phew. Thanks for bearing with me on this one folks. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.