Wednesday, February 28, 2007


It's possible posts might be pretty erratic here for the next few months. A couple of weeks ago my wife, Rebecca, was diagnosed with a form of cancer called lymphoma and will be going in for her first treatment of chemotherapy any day now.
It's been a weird couple weeks, not least because Rebecca has shown no symptoms of cancer at all and so it hasn't felt real, in fact if not for Olivia's birth it wouldn't have been spotted yet, which makes her something a double miracle for us.
Rebecca has been amazing, strong and positive, I only mention her occasionally here (she's internet shy) but I hope my love and respect for her is apparent for all to see, and those of you who know her will probably not be surprised in the slightest at how well she's dealing with something so hard.
I'm not going to turn this into a 'health watch', and it's likely that I'll still post the usual artwork and waffle here as I intend to honour Rebecca's commitment to getting on with things as normal, so please keep dropping by, just don't be surprised if the usual amount of posting or obsessive comment replying dips.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Supergirl meme

And another late contribution to a meme. This one really needs colour but I'm still without a proper art package
- a friend is helping me with that though.
Anyway, Supergirl, haven't got much interest in the modern SG, luckily her comic is supposed to be rubbish inspiring the meme as redesign. My design doesn't actually add much that other better ones out there, but it is how I'd do it. Seeing as there is no colour I'll just explain that she's wearing a blue (natch!) smock, yellow belt and paler yellow tights with red boots and cape...... can't believe I just had explain how I'd colour it how lame is that!?
Quick edit, you can find the meme here.
And if you come for the meme, you can see more of my stuff here. Thanks for dropping by!

Firey biscuits, or something

Kelvin's done a cool pic for a Ghost Rider meme so I though I'd join in with one of my own. It's a cheat really as it's just a redo of a pic I did ages ago (and posted here I think), but as I gave the original artwork away and was a little unhappy with it I though I'd tidy it up. Think the crop might be a bit severe but there wasn't much going on below.
Quick edit, you can find the meme here.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Comic nonsense

Hot in the heels of Fantagraphics Popeye collection is their reissue of animation legend Gene Deitch's little seen newspaper strip 'Terr'ble Thompson'. I love the angular style, I love newspaper strips and Terr'ble Thompson, although not exactly funny, is an awful lot of fun with a wonderful freewheeling sensibility. Highly recommended.
Fanatagraphics are going to be reissuing 'Pogo' again in what I guess will be a similar format to the Peanuts books, this is brilliant news as 'Pogo' is just beautifully drawn.
All this newspaper strip nostalgia has me reread one of my favourite newspaper strips 'Calvin & Hobbes'. after a few years of not looking at them and not only is it great to see them again but I'm struck by how much of an influence they were on me when I first started trying to do comics of my own. It took me a while to move beyond my early ideas of drawing which were a little more 'realistic' - nothing wrong with that kind of drawing of course, but although I (still) find it easier to draw like that and can do it very well (modest!) I just don't care for the results, I tend to think it looks like anyone could've done it and even a little mechanical. Anyway, loving Calvin & Hobbes again but in a bitter sweet way as Bill Watterson's (he's a bit of a hero of mine and not just because of his work) work is sorely missed even if there have been other brilliant strips since.
Seeing as I'm an a strip mood I've been trying to track down copies of 'Flook' by 'Trog' lately, I remember seeing this as a kid and enjoying it (even though it was going way over my head), the artwork was just so good.
Also read the TPB of Street Angel and it's brilliant, and utterly absurd - a young girl is the best kung fu skateboarding homeless not actual superhero ever and the scourge of deadly, and hopeless, ninjas that seem to crop up all over, and there's time traveling pirates, a neck breaking Jesus, blaxplaitation superheroes, a wereshark (coolness!) and loads of silly stuff that somehow works because it's hard to tell if it's serious or not. Check it out folks - Danny will cos I'm sending him my copy of the 1st issue.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


My present to Rebecca (we decided not to buy anything, and it's been ages since I drew something for her) I liked the scritchy line (I love scritchy lines, have I mentioned that before?) on the final rough so I've posted it too.

Hope you all have a lovely day.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Since you asked Katy.....

Hope this is enough for you to coo over.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

The week that was

Slow week at BlahBlahBlah. Seeing as I had a week of work I thought I'd have a week off blogging, a whole week, honestly I'm shaking as I type this.
So what did I do on my week off? Ah, just stuff, y'know. Dismantled a wardrobe and desk, took some books and other stuff to a charity shop, moved a bookcase downstairs took two upstairs (there was method in this madness), went to Manchester and met up with my sister and her chap and basked in the gloriousness of spending time with my wife and daughter.
Going to Manchester meant I got to pick up a few comics I might not have noticed otherwise, which is always appreciated, best of them was Brian Ralph's 'Daybreak', well worth a look for his brilliant artwork. 'The Mighty Skullboy Army' collection was a lot of fun too. Talking of comics I see 'Fluffy' by Simone Lia was reviewed in the Guardian, I read a few issues of this and adored it, Lia's artwork is lovely and lovely, I'll be buying the collection.
For my own stuff I didn't try too hard to do anything but I rough scripted a story I'll call 'Robot' for now and hope when I draw it I'll have come up with a better title. I'll post up the design for robot in a couple of days, I might even start drawing the comic in week or so, as long as the shock of going back to work tomorrow does send me mad.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Zombie of the Great Unwashed page 5

Bit of background here for a change, and it helps! There was originally supposed to be an exterior establishing shot of the burger place but Jason suggested it might not be necessary so I decided against it. Not sure if Jason was after Derek fancying the girl serving him but the dialogue seemed to suggest it to me so that's why he's grinning (not suffering from mumps!) and rubbing the back of his head in panel 2..... oh I am the master of body language! Went a bit over the top with Hugo's zombie lurch on p3, but dammit I like him!
Panels 4 and 5 was originally one panel but I thought it'd be nice to slow the action of finger eating down. Not intended but the graphicy look of the last panel makes it feel like a nice full stop.... I think. Attempting to make the finger look exclamation mark like was intention, but as usual I'm not sure if that comes across.
And that's it, as whiney as I am about my work it's been fun and writing about it like this helps me see where I need to improve (background, backgrounds backgrounds!), hope you all enjoy the story and I'll let you know when the finished book comes out.

Zombie of the Great Unwashed page 4

That's some seriously stylised trees (perhaps they inspired Eileen's hair), but I like them and think they work. There's no perspective to speak of working here but after sketching an early version of this using proper perspective I just didn't like it, perhaps because of the odd looking trees. More panel repetition and straigtforward composition, but I like it here because of the back of the bench unifying it a little - little confession, these panel had to be reversed and redrawn cos I got Hugo and Derek the wrong way round, oops, that's like drawing an extra finger on someone's hand (which I've also done once or twice). Jason pointed out that it might not be immediately apparent that the note Derek is holding was previously stuck to Hugo's face, I have asked AccentUk if I can redo it, but it's not looking likely.

Zombie of the Great Unwashed page 3

This page went through a complete layout change, mainly based around how to do the first panel. The script asked for the setting to be a modern bank in an old fashioned building and I had originally planned to have the panel run the width of the page, but as I'd already worked out the last panel and liked it as it was I realised panels 2 and 3 would be cramped. Also the old fashioned banks are all about ceilings, so I did a rejig and came up with this page. My slow thinking on this meant it was the last page I drew and as such it's rushed - the ceiling is the only thing that says 'bank' in panel 1 (ever tried to take a photo of a bank interior? Frowned upon.) The last panel highlights a bit of mistake I always make, I get grabbed by an idea for only part of image and then have to fit the rest of artwork around it. Still, that's some nice zombie biting action:)

Zombie of the Great Unwashed page 2

A bit more background on this page and a 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 - although Jason emailed me and did meantion he like the hands in the story, so maybe I did! As scripted panels 5 and 6 were actually one panel, I split them as I liked the symmetry of layout and it made it easier to show everyone's faces and the newspaper headline.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Zombie of the Great Unwashed page 1

As I've not heard that I shouldn't post this I've decided to go put up the 1st page from Zombie of the Great Unwashed with a bit of added commentary. cFirst panel and the face should've been bigger to make more impact, but there was a fair bit to put in the rest of the panels and quite a bit of dialogue (Jason likes dialogue and I like Jason's dialogue so even though he was fine with changes I tried to avoid them) as well as the title. I thought about having dramatic lighting or a black background to make it jump out, and play against the everyday settings, but in the end went with sparse background (intentional for once!) and my usual heavy inking for Hugo. The large word balloon's had a missing word artlessly shoved in driving home the need to sort out an art package on my Mac. Lack of background in the next panel might not get the point across that this scene is in a Job Centre. Pulling back to show more of the setting would've helped but I think the main characters are small enough. The guy in the star t-shirt is from a comic I did waaaay back, sad to see him all washed up, but them's the breaks. Last tier's a bit crushed (particularly p4 with it's questionable foreshortening!), but I wanted p2 to run the width of the page, so it had to be. The last panel was originally meant to be the first panel of the next page but I got all 'meta-panelly'.