Wednesday, January 31, 2007


I missed Ugly Betty tonight as it clashed with Party Animals on BBC2, which I wasn't so sure about but ended up really enjoying - the guy from Ruby in the Smoke was really good. And, y'know, there's 4 chances to see Ugly Betty, which is crazy, but as I love it I don't mind.
Also saw the trailer for the new series of the unbelievably brilliant Life on Mars, which was as amazing as I'd heard, utter utter genius.
I'll calm down now.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Zombie of the Great Unwashed page 2

I don't want to moan about my artwork on these posts, but I will say I find this page the least effective. A bit more in the way of backgrounds and a bit more work on Eileen's outfit wouldn't have gone amiss. The challenge of this page, and the first 3 to some degree, is that there's 3 people close together reacting to each other, compositionally that's tough (for me, anyway) to do and keep things interesting. Fortunately there was a clue in Jason's script that asked for a panel to be repeated so I went for more repetition. I think the column of panels on the right works better than the left, Hugo slumping is a nice touch (Jason's touch not mine) and I'm pleased with the slight zoom to the newspaper with Hugo and Derek poking over the top. Eileen's hand in p3 is supposed to give the impression that she's barely looked at the form, not a bad idea, but I'm not so sure I pulled it off. As scripted panels 5 and 6 were actually one panel, I split them as I liked the symetry of layout and it made it easier to show everyone's faces and the newspaper headline.

Back again

Been a while since the last update, I won't lie, it's been a tough couple of weeks. Work (the regular paid kind) has been not good for a variety of reasons, it's been odd.
Olivia's become more.... 'challenging' during the evenings, which is... 'fun'. It balances out really well though because she's also getting seriously interactive, responding to my Beaker impressions with smiles, laughter and some beautiful cooing that puts Gizmo to shame.
In the odd spare moment I managed to finish 'Zombie of the Great Unwashed', just last night, which feels like a major achievement in the circumstances. I'll post artwork up with some comments, a sort of 'commentary' kind of thing I've nicked from someone else.

Thursday, January 18, 2007


Eek, the zombie deadline looms ever closer like a, um, hungry zombie. Three pages are completely penciled, another two thirds penciled and one sort of over half way penciled but I'm unsure about the layout so want to mess a little. I've also started inking, but as I jump from panel to panel it's hard to say how much I've done. Anyway, the deadline's end of the month and I should manage that okay, in fact if I wasn't at work this weekend I might have done it by Sunday. It'll now be appearing in a more graphic novel-y format as AccentUK have had enough submissions to go that route. The next anthology will be robots and I had a nice idea for a story today so I'll try and contribute to that, early planning I know, but probably a smart move.
Not much else going on workwise, writing's ground to a halt as I struggle with plot and an overall lack of faith in the book industry. I put myself under a lot of pressure by dreaming how wonderful it would be to be published and paid to do something I love that frankly I lost track of the fact that I could care less about being published and would still try and make things up if I was paid or not. That and a growing dislike of the state of books makes me think I should put those dreams aside and just enjoy doing whatever I get round to doing.

Sunday, January 14, 2007


This weekend goes to the top of my weird family visiting charts. Nothing odd happened, but having Olivia stay at her grandparent's and seeing her great granda was another of those 'you have a daughter, idiot!' moments. Olivia had to be prized from her grandma's fingers like a gun from Charleton Heston's cold dead hands and she was a hit with her great granda, which I must admit brought a manly tear to my eye. My granda was diagnosed with stomach cancer and the decision's been taken not operate. He's fine at the moment and would rather have less time of better quality than a little longer and in no position to appreciate it. It did give seeing my baby girl smiling and gurgling on my granda's lap an extra jolt it probably didn't need and I'm so glad to have had it.
Back in Lancaster the house is a tip and feels very small after stopping at mam and dad's, there's a zombie script to finish drawing (it's about 80% pencilled, so it might be finished this time next week) and I'll be back at work tomorrow after a nice three day weekend.
Once the zombie comic is done I'm hoping to getting back to posting regular drawings, probably one a week. I like trying to regularly get something done and it being nice and self contained, I have been so inspired by noticing Eric Canete is posting artwork again, it's great stuff, but I'm just blown away by the fact how prolific he is, if I do four pix a month I'm patting myself on the back between catching my breath.
I sneaked a go on my dad's broadband and had a look at the ace Grindhouse trailer as well as this fabulous pic, which is compulsory viewing but may drive you insane

Monday, January 08, 2007

No zombies, but some baby talk

Another page of zombie antics penciled and lettered, but it's the last page so I'm not showing it yet. I would've picked a panel out, but the nicest one to show on it's own might spoil things a little. Sorry, might finish page 2 in a day or so though.
If you're wondering why I penciled page 1 and then page 6, wonder no more. Truth is it was a fluke that I did p1 first as I tend to draw random panels and cobble them together as I go with no thought or regard for proper progression. I tend to dig into the panels I have a strong idea for or are 'easy'. This is, for me, a very stupid way of working as I already have consistency issues, but I do it because if I didn't then it would probably take me even longer to finish a story, at least this way I know I'll be doing a certain amount and it often helps provide inspiration on the other panels.
I am going to try and leave the inking until it's all penciled though, but as I love inking and think my work doesn't look like mine until it's done, I might fail with that plan.

In home type news, Rebecca went out for the first time since Olivia was born. It was touch and go if she'd make it as she misses Olivia when she's in another room, but she got out on time. Now she knows better how I feel leaving to go to work and is dreading having to do it herself in a few months time..... unless it starts raining gold coins at our feet before then.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Actual sneak peak

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Here's the promised page of pencils (in 2 parts due to duff art package, hope they actually fit on the screen proberly this time!) for Zombie of the Great Unwashed. Still no further forward to deciding how to render panel 1 (I'll probably just do it with no black areas and then experiment on photocopies to see which one works best)
Might go over the scratchy borders with a thicker pen, I love scritchy line work which is probably a bit odd since I strive for quite smooth brush work.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Sneak preview of a sneak preview

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Finished pencils up soon, in the meantime here's the very first panel. Twice. First version is the initial (after the previous four) sketch, then there's my tighter version. I'm a bit stuck how to ink the final version because of these. See, I can't decide if the dramatic shadows on the face are too much. In the context of the light hearted story it might be a little OTT, but then I like the incongruity of it. On the other hand maybe just blacking out the (not very interesting in this panel) background will be enough....
What to do, what to do.

Monday, January 01, 2007


Brief post to sing the praises of LibraryThing, I've already started building my account here.

More to life than reading... apparently

Took me a while but I finally finished reading 'Heart Shaped Box' by Joe Hill and very enjoyable it was too. The main character, Jude (a mix between Ozzy Osbourne, Marilyn Manson Alice Cooper I guess.... he's a rock star btw), is sort of a bit unlikeable, but I liked him anyway as as well as having a bit of charm he's also a redeemable character, important in horror. There's not much in the way of plot, it's more of a ramble, but that work's fine. It's more of a ghost story than a horror one if the distinction matters and whilst it won't be worrying M.R. James coffin it's a fine yarn and I hope it does well.
Next on the reading list is G.W. Dahlquist's The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters which I have high hopes for. I was very lucky to get hold of an advance copy of this (although it's been out in the US for a while now) as the proof is a lovely looking thing it's own right presented as 10 seperate volumes with Victorian stylings.
Drop by in a day or two and I should have a page of pencils for Zombie of the Great Unwashed posted.