Monday, December 31, 2007

So that was 2007

Well, let’s be honest, it was utterly awful, absolutely lousy and I hope to never have another year like it. I’ve been depressed, fallen back into bad habits such as over eating and not exercising, I’ve not done half as much drawing as I hoped and I’ve barely written a thing.
It’s never going to be a good year when it starts with your wife being diagnosed with cancer and you worrying if you’ll end up being a single parent.
Luckily the good has outweighed the bad. My wife seems to be as healthy and wonderful as she was before her treatment. My daughter’s wonderful, I adore her more than I can describe and I’ll be forever grateful to her for helping us get through the year with some degree of happiness.
2008 has to be better, and I’m looking forward to it with the kind of positivity I had for 2007 before it came crashing down. For myself, I’m going to be better, which is what all my New Year’s resolutions boil down to. I’ll break all my bad habits for a start, but most importantly I’ll be committing myself to writing and drawing in a way I just haven’t done before now. I intend to not just be productive, but to actually do something with my work, no more finishing something and putting it in a drawer marked ‘I am crap, stop wasting everyone’s time.’ From now on I’ll think like a creator with a future rather than a sub-par amateur.
I feel very hopeful, it’ll be a hard year, if it runs to plan I’ll always be doing something, but I’ve realised that as much as the old Paul wallowed in his bad habits and bad attitude, the present Paul just doesn’t like them.
Tonight will be an incredibly low key New Year’s Eve for me, Rebecca’s at work so I’m at home baby sitting on my own. I’ll watch telly, maybe even something from the Hammer Horror box set of films I got for Christmas, and have a glass of single malt. Not the best NYE, but not a bad one. Hope you all have a good time, and I wish you all the best for whatever you want to do next year.

Thursday, December 20, 2007


Wishing all the best to everyone who's dropped by, hope you have a fantastic Christmas!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Golden Compass

Me and Rebecca went to see 'The Golden Compass' last night thanks to a friend offering to babysit. As we went into the cinema we saw the poster for 'Enchantment' and a said something about how we might be better off seeing that, Rebecca agreed, but we both stuck with our original choice. So we're just as much to blame for the average evening.
I'm a big fan of Philip Pullman's incredible 'His Dark Materials' trilogy' and have been nervous of the adaptation, but two words kept entering my brain as we watched 'The Golden Compass'. Pedestrian. Ordinary. I really hope we've seen the last of these big budget fantasy films that have quickly become interchangeable. Stripping the story of it's religious content (leaving some unsatisfactory vagueness about what's going on) and picking key bits from the book and belting through the story at breakneck pace may be the worst crimes here. The actors may be great but we don't see much more than whats on the surface of them. Miss Coulter is particularly disappointing, yes, Nicole Kidman is inspired casting, yes, she is excellent, but only at being aluring and creepy. But Miss Coulter had much more depth to her than just that. It's left to a couple of unsatifactory scenes to give her more depth. It doesn't work.
In the end I didn't hate 'The Golden Compass', I just didn't care, I didn't get involved and I didn't once get the same sense of wonder and awe I got from the book.
About the only really good thing I can say about the film is Sam Elliott is as cool as only Sam Elliott can be. So, insead of youtubing 'The Golden Compass' trailer, here's a brief bit of Sam being cool in what has accurately been described as the best worst movie ever. I give you 'Road House'.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Inbetween days

It's really annoying that I struggle to move quickly from one project to another. Instead of buzzing from the last bit of work I feel like I have to start from scratch and relearn how to draw. I guess it's because I update my style each time I do something - I say update because it's always recognisably 'me' and there's nothing radically altered.
In between 'MY robot!' I've written a review for the latest 'Captain Underpants' collection and am working on another review for the Downthetubes site. I've been doing the odd bit of sketching still, but it's time to kick start the next comic I think. In the meantime go here for some frankly breathtaking artwork on the Project Rooftop site. I wasn't that fussed about entering into the redesign WonderWoman competition, mainly because all I would do is tweak the original costume. I'm regreting not thinging harder after seeing the amazing redesigns.
Also, I invite you to be cruel and laugh at the woman below. Who knew that Han Solo's sister was called Trumpet Solo. Bless her for trying.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Moving Target artwork

Not much artwork posted lately, but I have been busy. These are the front and back covers for Jason Cobley's 'Moving Target'. Jason asked for something quirky figuring I'm good at that. Well, I wasn't! After reading the book (very good indeed!) I couldn't come up with an image I felt summed it up. In the end I went for a bit of an obvious choice, but when Jason saw it he was so please he opted for leaving off the title and his name! I'm especially pleased about this as I felt it could've been stronger (the original rough had less space between faces and I mistakenly believed this was one of the things to correct in the final version), so the vote of confidence went down well.
When I saw the back cover using my original design featuring 'Hugo' from Jason's adaptation of the comic-strip we worked on I thought it could be improved and more could be made of the title and author text to make up for it not going on th
e cover. A quick fiddle with the layout and colours and you can now see the end result. If you'd like to read a sample of the book (and then buy it, you know you want to!) here's the link. Due to circumstances beyond his control Jason's had to take down his blog, so comment here to convince him that his idea for a 'Zombie of the Great Unwashed' sequel must be written!
Sadly my busy couple of weeks has meant I've skipped the last two Illustration Fridays. This is d
oubly annoying as I had an idea for 'Scale' that I'd wanted to use for the last four months. I tried to knock it out quickly but just wasn't happy with the results at all. I'll still draw it, but in my own time I think.
I've got a couple of scribbles on the drawing board that I plan to turn into pictures soon, in the meantime I've got a script to draw. It's a
tight deadline, but that's my own fault, and I reckon and can still make it anyway. Gulp!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Best. Appearence. Of. Comic. Creators. Ever!

'MY robot!', my own hard work, the story I slaved over, sweat blood over? Totally relegated to old post by this piece of utter genius. It could even drown out my wailing and gnashing of teeth over the whole 'Black Dossier' nonsense.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

'MY robot!', all 6 pages

Finished at last!
I've posted the whole thing because I thought it would end better read all the way through. Hope you enjoy it.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

And now it can be told....

I had a job interview. There, the secret's out. Unfortunately I didn't get the job which is a shame as it involved working at a University complete with childcare facilities.
The interview itself went pretty well, but just not quite well enough. On the up side I was really surprised to even get as far as the interview and was told it was a difficult decision to make, that along with the fact that there were 45 applicants and I was going for a career change has given me a bit of a boost. And, as I've been saying, and have had said to me a fair bit, it's all good practice.
Back at the drawing board (which is, frankly, the only job I really want!), I should be finishing up 'MY robot!' tonight, so you can read the finished story either tonight or tomorrow. It's been hard work, but I've enjoyed it. No resting though, as I've got an Illustration Friday scribble that needs turning into something, another pic to accompany the previous zombie one and a 7 page script that needs illustrating - with a pretty tight deadline. And no doubt there'll be some other bits and bobs as well. The increase in work is me preparing to really get stuck into things in the new year, getting another day time job is important, but nowhere near as important as working harder writing and drawing.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


I'm feeling ever so slightly like a fool. Big day tomorrow, I'll spill the beans later.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Zombie of the Great Unwashed revisted

Here's the nearly finished version of a pic on the drawing board. I say nearly because I intend to add a few important details, but essentially it's a finished piece. The watercolour paper got an airing again so I could have some textured lines, but I think I've kept it fairly controlled.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Illustration Friday - Hats

Another quicky for Illustration Friday. The theme this time is 'hats' and this was the first thing that popped into my mind. This seems to be the way to go, not too much thinking, get something down quick and post it up. I claimed this was digital on the IF site, which is pretty accurate, but I did scan in a fairly basic marker sketch before I did the digital painting. Again, I tried out a new technique, nothing swish, but I think it works and I get to add a new string to my bow.

Monday, November 05, 2007

'MY robot!' page 4

Nearly finished 'MY robot!', I'm trying to hammer page 5 into submission, which is proving a little difficult - I hope the next page doesn't let it all down, 'MY robot!' feels like one of the most consistant things I've done so far, there's some panels I think could be better, and there's some panels I'm really pleased with, but the important thing is that I think they all hang together pretty well.

Happy 1st Birthday Olivia!

Pic 1 answers the question of time 'Daddy, or chips?' prettty conclusively. Olivia get chips on her party frock, quickly followed by her first taste of cake. Pic 2 is from this morning, officially one year old and a career in construction a dead cert. Pic 3 is tired and happy parents.
Today iswas Olivia's first birthday and it was spent mostly sleeping, all three of us, toddler, mam and dad. It was nice, and needed after having her naming ceremony on Saturday.
The naming ceremony was great, seems there's not been many of them here but the woman at the register office was relaxed and confident and the whole thing is elastic enough to fit to people's needs.
We tried to keep it quiet, much like our wedding (ridiculously small, and wonderful), but it got a touch bigger and involved, but only a touch. Initially Olivia was not terrribly impressed, a group of strangers staring and clapping is a touch unnerving it seems. By the time we got to the reception she'd relaxed considerably and apart from a little upset here and there, she was fine.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Trick or Treat

Fair cranked this out, a slightly hectic week completely messed my shaky grip on reality and I thought I had a few days before Halloween, until yesterday when I realised with an 'uh oh' that I should get my arse into gear if I wanted to do another theme pic. For some reason the colours have come out weird, slightly darker and bluer than the original. Oh well.
Gonna submit this to 'Illustration Friday', I joined last year and then watched the huge brick wall of mental block rise in my mind in best Midwich style (extra geek points for those who get that reference) every time the latest subject popped into my inbox. Fortunately 'Trick or Treat' is a no brainer, even for me:)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Shades of grey

After 'MY robot!' I've got a couple of scripts that need artwork and I've decided to try out a new (for me) technique. In my head I know what I want, but I need to experiment to see if I can make it happen. Below is my first attempt. Basically I want stripped down line work, just a few solid black shapes and lines here and there, with a grey tone bringing it all together. As I still don't like drawing on computer I thought I'd the artwork with a pen or brush and a grey marker, then scan it and do my usual messing around until something clicks.
It didn't quite work on my first go, the grey tone should be flatter and the whole thing isn't as 'simple' looking as I'd I'd like. Still, I think I'm going in the right direction.
This pic is from Quattermass and the Pit, incase anyone's wondering. I'm actually quite please with the marker work. Don't know whether it's the technique or because I was working from reference, but I barely penciled it and did most of the work with the pens. Not a big deal for a lot of artists (Sean Philips is one who springs to mind), but new territory for me, and surprisingly fast.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

MY robot page 3

Here's page three, where I attempt to draw a grubby room full of clutter. Quite a stretch for me. Here I am still conscious of the work I need to do to successfully strip down my artwork, and the writer me trips me up with kind of thing. This is where being able to add tones has been really helpful, I hope I've managed to imply squaller in the first panel.
Page 4 is inked and I've started adding tones, should be able to post it up in a couple of days. Only got another week to finish the whole thing so it won't be much longer before I post the rest.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Punk Princess

Here's a blast from the past that I'm guessing no one who visits here has seen. 'Punk Princess' was drawn from a lovely script by Gary Wilkinson and appeared in the 2nd issue of the wonderful 'Solar Wind', which for those who don't know, is a homage/parody of Uk comics from the 70's and 80's. Taking this concept as a chance to work in a different style I tried to ape a couple of my artist heroes. Mike McMahon's influence is probably the most noticable, but Philp Bond's shadow loomed large also. Perhaps less noticable is Paul Neary, who frankly is wasted inking other people's work, his work in 'Warrior' was amazing, as was his Dracula adaptation for Dez Skinn's Hammer mag and his Future Shock artwork for '2000ad'. I'd love to get hold of some of his work for Warren magazines (which, coincidentally was a big influence on McMahon), but that'll be a bit costly for a man of my limited means. Lastly was a chap who really should have had more comics published, Ron Tiner. Tiner drew a few issues of 'Hellblazer' back when Jamie Delano was writing it, and was perfect. He also drew a couple of Future Shocks, one of which was the brilliant 'Mister, Can You Use a Squonge?', by the big man himself, Alan Moore. I've a few other examples of Ron Tiner's work, but he may be better know for his book 'Figure Drawing Without a Model', which I sadly no longer have.
Binding all this theft together is my own style, sadly it was the weakest link. But I loved drawing it and plan to develop and improve this style.
I took the opportunity here to add a grey tone, it fits perfectly with the period the story is pretending it was made, as well as making it look a little more 'punky'. I haven't redrawn anything as that's just cheating, but I did shift the panels round, alter sizes and add some more solid blacks where I'd gone overboard with the scratchy linework.
On last bit of waffle; the very mechanical lettering is another tip of the hat to the period, so no fancy 'handwritten' fonts.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Books, comics and a film

I've enthused about Richard Sala before, so getting hold of the two issues of Delphine was a real treat for me. As with Sala's other long form works there's a grotesue supporting cast, leisurely twists and turns and a genuine sense of carefully structured mystery, but what I particularly enjoyed was what seems like a return to the almost poetic tone of his shorter pieces. The wash tones are lovely too. I can't wait for the rest of the issues.
Shattered Glass stars the always excellent Peter Sarsgaard, but what was surprising was not just how good it was, but how good Hayden Christensen was. Once again George Lucas drags a duff performance out of a most talented actor.
'Little Girl Lost' by Richard Aleas is part of the Hard Case Crime series, and so far it's one of my favourites. The fact that it has a cover by the great Robert McGinnis is icing on a very lovely cake. The story it self it not terribly original but it's so nicely done I didn't really care. In the same series 'Home is the Sailor' by Day Keene was let down by an overenthusiastic quote claiming the book to be better than Jim Thompson (a similarly silly quote foolishly compares Aleas to Chandler). It's a mugs game comparing something to genius. The itself was actually pretty enjoyable, and yes, Thompson-esque, but rather than out doing the great man, it was Thompson-lite.
Gilbert Adair's loving parody/homage to Agatha Christie and English crime authors of her type, 'The Act of Roger Murgatroyd' is a wonderful frothy and witty read. Splendid you might say. It works as a genuine book of it's type as well as funny play on them, rather like my beloved 'Dungeon' series. Read this one with a pot of tea and some scones.
I'm still working on 'MY robot', it's not going as fast as I'd like but not as slow as it would appear. Posting is suffering from my drawing panels and pages out of sequence. At the moment pages 3 and 4 only need one panel each and they're done, so they'll probably both go up together. In the meantime I've recently finished rejigging an old piece of work, I'll post that later, maybe tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

MY robot! page2

Little later than I planned, but here's the second page of 'MY robot!'. Two down, four to go. Well, actually, only three to go, I've finished the last page too, but I wouldn't want to post that and spoil the ending would I.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Lickle babeee.

It seems I have been neglecting my fatherly duty of showing off my beautiful daughter, so here's a few pictures to rectify that. Rather shamelessly we decided (in our defense it was after a lot of deliberation) to enter Olivia into a baby competition in our local paper. What can I say, £150 to spend on baby gear was too much of a temptation to a couple of poor ass deadbeats like us. Sadly Olivia probably won't win as we don't know enough Lancastrians who'll vote, on the other hand the photo we got is absolutely lovely.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Booky book

Nearly got page 2 of My robot finished, and my Christopher Lee pic is nearly done too, will post them soon.
The slight delay has been down to -
1. Going back to work - I'm saying very little about it, read into that what you will :)
2. Been reading -
At the moment I'm reading my first Douglas Coupland book. I had a copy of 'Generation X' for years but never got round to reading it..... which seems appropriate really. I should probably have started with 'Girlfriend in a Coma', it's been recommended to me a few times, but I went with 'Jpod'. I'm about two thirds through it, and it's fun, but I'm not sure what the fuss is about. I think it's about something, but I'm not really sure what, and I feel like doing a google search to find out..... which seems appropriate really.

Before that I read 'Uncle Montague's Tales of Terror' by Chris Priestley, which was absolutely fantastic. I do like creepy stories, and I do like kid's books, but I'm not sure I've seen the two work so well together. The two main characters are named after M.R. James and Edgar Allan Poe, which gives some idea of where Priestley is coming from. Although the book is an anthology of short stories, it's all tied together beautifully by them being told by an Uncle to his nephew, very much in the best manner of creepy tales such as 'Dead of Night'. Special mention goes to David Robert's artwork, he's a touch Gorey-esque at the best of times, but he really goes for it here, and the result is very lovely indeed.

And before that was 'Black Swan Green' by David Mitchell. I felt like reading something nostalgic, I hadn't realised that I was reading an actual time machine. A friend warned me off this slightly by claiming Mitchell tried to hard to set the book in time by referencing songs, etc. I didn't really feel this was that intrusive, and seeing as the protagonist is a 12-13 year old boy, nor did I think it was inappropriate. There's nothing terribly earth shattering about the plot, and it seems far less experimental than his other books (which I've not read), but it does feel like an unseen 4 part episode of Grange Hill directed by Stephen Frears, and that's good enough for me.

Monday, September 24, 2007

'MY robot!' page 1

'MY robot' is for the upcoming 'Robot' anthology.
The idea for this story came fully formed, but it still seems to be turning out a little different.
I'll post these in order as they're done, there's 6 pages in total, and if I get cracking they should all be up over the next couple of weeks.
I might have gone overboard with the grey tones, but I was having fun.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Actual arrogance

Well, not arrogance maybe, but confident at least.
This was my first go at drawing Christopher Lee, and I think I got it right first time. Wow.
I did a scribble of Clint Eastwood at the same time and utterly failed to capture him (who is that squinty guy with the cigar that doesn't look like Clint Eastwood), so I'll not get too carried away with my ability.
This sketch might give away which Lee character I'm drawing, but it might not, as I decided to take a few liberties. All will be revealed when I post the finished art.....

Friday, September 07, 2007

Peter Cushing

Just finished this as a present for someone.
I'm not much of a caricaturist as I tend to strip away rather than exaggerate but I hope I managed to capture Peter Cushing's striking handsome features as well as his elegant and sinister brittleness - it's why I opted for the younger Dr Frankenstein look. It makes me smile to think of him playing Grand Moth Tarkin in his slippers, how simply British. An incredible actor.
As I'm giving away the original artwork I used nice paper and brushes instead of the cheap paper and chunky markers I've used recently figuring photoshop doesn't care what I use to make lines with. It reminded me that I love work that exists finished in the real world rather than the digital one. I even decided to try a bit of dry brushing on watercolour paper and am quite pleased with the results. Hope it goes down well with the giftees (think Imade that word up!)
Might draw Christopher Lee to complete things.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Mike Wieringo

As some of you already know, excellent comic artist Mike 'Ringo' Wieringo passed away recently. 'Ringo was a great superhero artist, he got that they were fun, and his early run on Flash with Mark Waid was fantastic. Friends and fans decided to mark his passing by re-interpreting his Flash characters. The standards of work posted already show the high regard Ringo's work was held in, see it here.
Here's what I've sent.

Monday, August 27, 2007


Almost two weeks since Rebecca's last treatment and as predicted, she's feeling fine. In face she's been feeling better since middle of last week. There's a slight bit of discomfort still lingering but on the whole, it's all over. Big sighs! There'll be regular check ups, and a scans, but that's it, just recovering now.
It's been a mixed up six months, weirdly not all bad, with a bit of luck, and work, we'll be getting back to normal life.
Thanks to everyone who's expressed support and concern, all great appreciated.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Man Who Shook

Quick as a flash after the last post, you may now head over to a whole new blog here and read an old short story of mine.
I wrote 'The Man Who Shook' under the influence of M.R. James way back somewhere in the misty regions of 2001. I do like a creepy yarn and it seemed the older stories hada different weight, a creepier one. I decided it would be wizard to set a story in the sort of present but write it in a style that seemed older (I've since discovered Mark Samuels who does something like this and does it brilliantly). I could have carefully researched and spent a great deal of time emulating the prose of James or Algernon Blackwood, but I thought it'd be easier and more fun to just bang it out. Oddly it came remarkably quickly and I had a lot of fun doing it. Having enjoyed the experience I decided to never repeat it and went to work not writing much, and when I did trying to keep it as simple and direct as possible.
Even though I could have taken the opportunity of retyping it to smooth out rough edges, and generally improve the writing I decided to stick to the spirit of the original and just bash it out expanding some bits and cutting others down for no other reason than I felt like it.
Lest you think this is some wonderful minor piece of literature due to the length of this inroduction, let me absolutely assure you that it is utter nonsense. But it really was meant to be:)

Living off the past

A week later and things are still a bit rubbish, but Rebecca's slowly starting to feel a little better and is managing a few hours sleep. We had bad news during the week the Rebecca wouldn't be getting her full sick pay, nor would she be getting statutory sick pay which was a bit of a surprise and left us feeling a bit run down, luckily we've managed to sort something out that should get us through the next couple of months.
Meanwhile I'm revisiting old work in an effort to get my, ahem, 'creative juices flowing.
I'll post a short story soon. I wrote it years and years ago but lost it from my hard drive when my last computer died. I'm not sure that it's any good but I've got a soft spot for it so I decided to type up the hard copy pruning it a little in the process. I've not really changed anything, just added a touch of rouge to a moldy old corpse. Anyway, that'll go up as soon as I find out how to do the whole 'click here to read more' thing, or give up and just put up one big post.
Artwise I've dug out a story I did a few years ago for Solar Wind called 'Punk Princess'. Again, I'm not sure if my artwork's much good but it was a great script so I thought I'd try and improve it a little, especially as the printed version was badly pixelated.
I had hoped to post a Wickerman picture, sadly it didn't turn out too well so that'll have to wait, I do have another idea I'll draw up soon.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Today was the last day of my wife's radiotherapy treatment. The last week's been awful, and it's not really over as radiotherapy stays with you for maybe 2 weeks. In the last week sleep has been difficult and she's been putting up with what feels like bad stomach cramps every few minutes, not pleasant when she's already got the external pain to deal with. Morphine would have helped, but it would cause other problems making things worse, so it's been a grin and bear it situation.
It feels like we should be marking the last treatment with some sort of celebration, but in the circumstances it's not really practical, or possible to be honest. So I bought flowers, a crap mag and a tub of Bailey's ice cream complete with the promise of doing something nice in week or so.
Better news is Olivia's now on her fifth tooth and is becoming more mobile.
Posts about inconsequential nonsense like horror, comics and dopey pin ups will resume:)

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The Terminator

So, I had planned to do a different picture, but I was struggling a bit, so I decided to do something else, I will finish the other one though.
Quite taken with halftoning at the moment, might permanently add it to my personal catalogue of fx. Incase you don't recognise the scene, just picture Pill Paxton's corpse at Arnie's feet.
Er, what else? Hmm, the logo's 'inspired' by Monstermag stuff which I'm very taken with at the mo. It also reminds me of the logo for 'The Invaders'.... a Quinn Martin production!

Edit. A brief comment from Peter Bangs, allows me to ramble about my 'technique' :)
After scanning my line art I turned it red and removed the bg. In a seperate layer I filled in the main shape with a lighter red, then painted the tones in using white or varying degrees of transparency. Selected the 'colour halftone' from the pixelate/filter menu I set the 4 channels to the same degree to give the dots a uniform look. The I laid the original line work over the halftoned layer.
I used another layer to give Arnie a solid white bg and coloured the blood on his hand, this allowed me to make the fist nice and dark but still keep the halftoned shading effect
(I also didn't like the way the fist looked when I tried colouring it as part of the halftone) - don't know how well it shows up, maybe better on the larger version.
Originally the bg was going to be a flat blue so as not to jar with the halftone, but it didn't work, so I went for something a bit more textured. The logo was a hand drawn after thought that I really like now, looks like The Cramps version of the Terminator or something.
And that's it, apart from the trial and error I went through to figure all that out:)

Thursday, August 02, 2007


Feeling very frazzled, tired and emotional you might say. Can't go into full details really, suffice to say that not everyone has been as supportive as they could've been during Rebecca's illness, and it reached new lows yesterday.
Guess it's a cliche that big things like life threatening illnesses make you view things differently, but it's a true one. 2007's been a weird old year so far, I think I'd like a very different 2008.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Basil Gogos

A bunch of books turned up on my doormat yesterday and today. Reckon I'll have to knock it on the head for this (paid) month, most of what I've bought has been 2nd hand, but not all.
Anyway, got some nice stuff to read. 'Thrill-Power Overload' is the history of 2000ad and full of interesting behind the scenes info.... zarjaz! Cassanova by Matt Fraction and Gabrial Ba is a lot of fun, stylish artwork that reminds me of a cross between Eduardo Risso and Paul Grist and a story that's Jerry Cornelius by any other name, but with some other interesting concepts thrown in so it feels fresh not derivative.
Coolest of the bunch is 'The Art of Basil Gogos', I've only seen a little of his work, the odd cover of 'Famous Monsters of Filmland' viewed from the other side of the counter of a 2nd hand book stall in Hartlepool when I was a wee un. Gogos produced some perfect portraits of horror icons, in fact did his bit to make them icons, certainly in America, this quote from Roger Corman sums it up perfectly, "Basil's art was an amazing gift for me as a filmmaker. Fans were scared once they had seen one of his portraits. They knew the picture would terrify them by the time they got to the theatre." And if that's not good enough, here's link to his site and the cover to his book.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Red in claw

Kelvin's comments on my Nightmare on Elm Street pic have prompted me to update. Not a major difference, so I've added in a couple of sketches. As usual I sort of like the sketches more than the finished piece, aint it always the way.

British horror

So, you know how I found some interesting stuff in an Oxfam book shop a while ago? Well, I had the same success in a Barnardo's bookshop. I'd not read anything by R. Chetwynd-Hayes before, but was familiar with his name due to Jeremy Dyson talking about him on a documentary about the old BBC Ghost Story For Christmas (genius) series and because his work was adapted into 'The Monster Club' and 'From Beyond the Grave' films, which, coincidentally, were the two books I found. So far I've read a few stories in FBTG, and they're great, a lovely mix of cosy British quirks and horror, one making the other stand out nicely.
In the meantime I've started 'Obsession' by Ramsey Campbell, it's very good so far. I've only read short stories by Campbell before, they're very good indeed, he has a nice prose style, it's occasionally wanders a bit, but he seems to know where he's going.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Simon Gane

Probably should've linked to Simon Gane's blog ages ago, but some things are so good you want to keep em to yourself. Getting hold of Simon's work was tough, specially since I left london and the small press friendly bosom of Gosh, but I've got hold of a fair bit (wouldn't mind getting hold of the rest of The Adventures of Scrumpy and Smiles, assuming there was more than one issue), Punk Strips and Meet John Dark are must for your bookshelf. Since collaborating with Andi Watson on the wonderful Paris (due out as a proper book with spine and stuff very soon) Simon's work will hopefully reach a bigger audience with DC's The Vinyl Underground, here's hoping.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Nightmare On Elm Street

Odd choice of pin up for me as I don't really care for Freddy Krueger, even a gore hound like me is a bit put off by the strange love people had for Krueger, as played up by each film where Robert Englund portrayed him as almost lovable with a quip for every occasion.
On the other hand I did like the inventiveness of the dream sequences, and all this is pretty hindsighty. But really, I did this because I suddenly had an idea for a visual and when I scribbled the twist curving figure I quite liked it.
Oddly the colouring is not how I originally intended, but I figured what the hell, mess around a bit.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny and Girly on DVD

At last! Only a few months to wait and pretty cheap. Danny turned me on to this and I've been waiting ages for a pro release (Redemption were supposed to bedoing it but that was ages ago), it sounds utterly fantastic and one of the main reasons I bought Jonathan Rigby's excellent - which clued me in to a load of brilliant sounding films.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


Okay, I give up. Think this is as good as I'm gonna get it without starting from scratch. There's two big mistakes here. One was with the colour, I was aiming to do something with a limited palette and then throw the big red nappy and 'x' into the mix to make it jump out. Good idea, I think, but I haven't pulled it off, there's no contrast with the colours or shades. The other mistake was to fall under the spell of someone else's artwork. Still, a couple of important lessons there.
The original drawing had a few other figures in the background, but it distracted from Zardoz's big floaty head.
If you've seen the insanity that is John Boorman's 'Zardoz', you'll know that the phallic positioning of that gun is not accidental:)
BTW, haven't said this in a while, but all criticism is welcome.