Thursday, May 31, 2007

Robot hitting things

I was invited a while ago to contribute to the Metal Man Project. It's a fun project doing a 'grown up' version of a childhood creation, there's a lot of goofy charm which I thought I'd have a go at trying to capture.
I like reading 'process' stuff, so here's mine.
The pencils involved a ridiculous amount of redrawing. I do this far too much at the best of times but MM was harder purely because it's such a simple image (the perspective on the crashing fist was tricky, hopefully it looks like a huge but not stupidly so) and it's amazing how the smallest alteration in a line can change the look of a drawing. Seeing as I still just use a brush to ink this stage is straightforward. Freehanding circles in pencil and then inking them with a brush is insane, but I did it anyway.
There's nothing fancy with the colouring, I used one layer to put down the base colours and another layer for the shading.
I'd like to be able to copy just the linework into another layer so I can mess around easily and erase or recolour, either Coral Painter doesn't do it or I haven't figured out how yet. I recoloured some lines (as I did with Axel earlier) by drawing over the top of the black line, this isn't ideal and there's areas where it shows, but it does the job I guess.... hope.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Axel Pressbutton the remix

After a bit of faffing around with my new Wacom tablet and Coral Painter I think I'm starting to get the hang of it. Here's my first publishable attempt along with the original. Be interesting colouring stuff drawn with colour in mind.

Mr Gum and the Biscuit Billionaire

The first Mr Gum book was a rare old treat, and so is the 2nd book, quite frankly it's genius on toast. Stop reading this right now, go buy the book, read it, come back.....
Brilliant isn't it. It sort of reminds me of Vivian Stanshall with it's lyrical nonsense, don't you agree? I bet you loved the opening "It all started late one afternoon in the peaceful town of Lamonic Bibber. Summer was at an end and the day stretched out long and lazy like a huge glossy panther made of time." Oh and the fab description of Mr Gum, who after drawing some extra scowls on his head with a felt tip "scruffed up his big red beard to make it as wild and frightening as possible. It wasn't quite terrifying enough so he stuck a couple of beetles in it and a photo of a shark." Or maybe.... hang on, we'd better stop talking about it, don't want to spoil if for those too foolish to have already bought it.
Here's the Mr Gum website to get you into the mood.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

28 Weeks Later

28 Days Later seriously shook me up, it's combination of Wyndham and Romero was pitched just right and although it owed a lot to those two giants it struck out on it's own in fine style.
28 Weeks Later doesn't manage to follow suit. It's a great film, and I daresay if I hadn't seen 28 Days Later I'd have been blown away, with some striking and shocking imagery and some interesting ideas. The problem is that the ideas aren't fully explored, much more could have been made of Robert Carlysle's storyline, an actor who could've really explored the moral implications of his actions ends up being used as a boogey man. I also found his storyline had a touch too much convenience to it.
There was a fair amount of chat in 28 Days Later heavily punctuated with violence. Violence seemed to be the order of the day for the sequel, I've not got a problem with that, but without the chat the military aspect of the story wasn't fully explored.
None of this is what really let's 28 Weeks Later down though, the sad fact is that even though it wasn't just a retread of the original it didn't do anything terribly new either. If 28 Days Later is comparable to Night of the Living Dead the 28 Weeks Later falls short of Dawn of the Dead.


And another big gap between posts. Been a rough old time lately, Rebecca's found the time since her last treatment a bit harder than the last ones, culminating in some serious fatigue. Next treatment may be delayed which isn't serious it just means the whole process will be longer which is a pain.
Olivia's got two little teeth poking through and is handling it very well, although she's had her moments.
I've not done much worth posting about. I used my birthday cash to buy a little Wacom tablet that came with a Coral Painter package which I'm messing with. Don't think it's the right package for me but it's much better than what I was using and should make colouring more interesting. I've got a little check list of some things I want to draw and I've even been writing a few things, nothing major but I'm going out of my mind with stress and boredom so I have to do something!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Comic mechanics

This has got me oddly excited. Whenever I find myself in the doldrums for a while I inevitably started getting interested in all the things I've been missing, which is signal that my mood is shifting ready for the cycle to begin again.... anyway.
I've been scribbling a little again and thinking about how to put 'MY robot' down on paper and reading other comics and interviews of guys I like trying to familiarise myself with comics again. Even though there's no dialogue in 'My robot!' I found the above linked article by Eddie Campbell, and I agree with every word. The great thing about Eddies' theory as opposed to the usual one is that it makes sense of the layout on the left.Generally this layout is a no no as it can be hard for the reader to see which is the 3rd panel, is it the one to the right of panel 2 or is the panel below 1 and 2? I have to say I hate this layout but have had scripts where I think it (or a variant of it) is probably the best way to go (oh, why do writers ask for a big 2nd panel? - or just ask for more info in it, which amounts to the same thing), but I've done something else simply because of the worry of confusing the reader. Following Eddies' advice the balloon placement in the diagram on the right makes the layout easier to follow (it'd probably work better if there were pictures to follow too!) I'll still avoid this layout, but the balloon placement lesson is sound I think.

Friday, May 11, 2007

35 today

I woke up at 9am, yes, a lie in, to a box of dvds and comics, ah birthdays. Mingled in the fine dvds was 'Trancers' which I've already watched, no finer rip off of 'Terminator' exists and it's as fun as remember. I'll be watching 'District13' (or 'Escape From NewYork', in French, with jumping, and no Snake Plisskin) tomorrow, might even read the 2nd collection of DMZ (or 'Escape From New York' without Snake Plisskin.... the 1st collection was excellent BTW, recommended), in the meantime I'm gonna try and read 'The Professor's Daughter' tonight in between watching 'Ugly Betty' reading another story from 'The Man From The Diogenes Club' and cooking a big birthday meal. Not exactly the most exciting birthday but it ticks all my boxes!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Strolling down memory lane

After finding Henry Rollins on Youtube I had a hunt around and struck gold!
Back when I was a little lad with no money I used to tape songs of the telly, as well as the radio of course. I wish I still had some of those tapes, particularly one from TheTube, ‘The Bushes Scream While My Daddy Prunes’ by ‘The Very Things’. It’s pretty much as I remembered it, very cool, with a great intro/outro on the video.
Anyway, enough of my jakkin’, lets boogie

Gaye Bykers on Acid were pretty much the first grebo band IIRC. Loud crashy and probably a little amatuerish they combined lots of samples from cult horror/scifi stuff and stirred it badly with a big wooden spoon, I still love them! ‘Nose Dive Karma’ was from ep of the same name and ‘Git Down’ was from ‘Drill Your Own Hole’ their first full album, which was a bit concepty as it tied in with a seriously lofi atempt to create the kind of film that had inspired their music. Incredibly rough and shoddy looking it was a lot of fun.... if you were a fan:) Lead singer Mary Mary went on to do the theme tune to the first Charlie’s Angels film as Appollo 440 (think that was their name), and other stuff I can’t recall.

Did I make you think?

Here’s a packed post as I fit in all sorts of nonsense that’s been on my mind in an effort to satisfy Katy’s thinks post.
Big news is that Rebecca finally got the results of her
scan after a irritatingly pointless delay, and the news is good. The doctor says that the cancer is showing very encouraging signs of shrinkage. Had no idea how heavy the weight on our shoulders was until it lifted, which leads neatly onto the next point.
We went to a Cancersupport centre last week and Rebecca insisted that I stop telling people I’m fine. The truth is Rebecca has been taking things well and I’ve been having a tougher time. The woman who spoke to us told us this is no where near unique, in fact it’s pretty typical as in a lot of cases those closest to the person with cancer have a harder time coping. The problem is that when Bec is so positive I don’t want to bring her down, and it feels wrong to harp on about what’s bothering me when something so major is happening to her. It turns out those feeling aren’t unique either.
Over the last 2 months I’ve slowly felt like my own sense of self has been slipping away between looking after my wife and child has left me with less time for myself, made worse when one of our parents comes to help out and I find even more expectations put on me (not to undermine how much help they give, which has been fantastic).
As I’ve drawn less, read less, written less and so on I’ve become a little more withdrawn and miserable. Oddly this doesn’t effect me all the time and has had no impact on the fantastic opportunity this horrible thing has given us to be a family with no work commitments for a while.
Writing this I feel like I’m whining about nothing, but rebecca doesn’t think so, and if she’s concerned then I want to sort it out. I do have the sneaking suspicion that she’s using this to get me to deal with the fact that I can pretty miserable without the aid of an ill wife. Anyway, the upshot is that Cancersupport offer a free bunch of services to the sufferer and those close to them, Rebecca's scored some massages and I get to see a counsellor.
On the up side the woman we spoke to was incredible impressed with Rebecca’s attitude, and thought I was doing much better than I thought I was, and it was reassuring to hear that I’m not feeling any different to a lot of people in this position.
No doubt due to my gloomy mood I’ve rediscovered my love of Henry Roliins thanks to Youtube. I don’t have a tape deck any more and my Rollins is on tape so it’s been a while, and I sort of thought he was a bit to, um, teenage, for me. Guess I’m still an angst riddled teenager at heart:)
Here’s one of my favourite Rollins songs (my fave is ‘Low Self Opinion’, but the ‘Liar’ video is better!)

Okay, part of the thinking bloggers bit is this -
I gots to nominate 5 bloggers who I want to join in, sorry if I don't name you, I enjoy all the blogs I link to I'm just a jerk

Okay, he doesn't post that often, and sometimes tries to past of quickie posts as real ones, but when he does post I always remember what a thoroughly lovey bloke he is and want to give the charming chap a big hug.

A very talented artist with a blog with brilliant work here, but what I really love is his other one, the one where he fills my geek head with insightful geek tomfoolery.

I dream that I could cut my arm off and replace it with his thereby being the fabulous artist he is. Sadly this is but a dream (although I have been know to visit Nottingham so be warned INJ), so I just look at his artwork in awe.

I'd love to put Garen on this list, but he's pretty much dropped out of blogging and sticks to updates about hsi excellent comic Rainbow Orchid, luckily his brother Murray's blog is always interesting and either offers whole new stuff for me to find or tells me something I didn't know about something I already liked.

Curtis Jobling
The guy created the look of Bob the Builder, he's working on his very own Frankenstein's Cat cartoon adapted from his fine book and Biteneck Beatniks absolutely rocks.

For the above writers, this is your mission should you choose to accept it:
1. Write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think.
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme.
3. Proudly display your TBA award with a link to the post that you wrote

Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Mighty Thor

Man this sat half finished for a couple of weeks. Why has it taken this long to finish? No idea really.
There's more to add to this pic but I'd like to do it in colour, stuff like lighting effects and cracking ground, that sort of thing.
I would've liked to simplify this more, bringing it closer to my sketch, but I chickened out, the curve of arm to shoulder was less broken up, as was the curve from leg to leg, Moljinor was bigger too, but I was getting penis envy:)