Tuesday, April 29, 2008

HD news*

So, I finally got some word on my sort of secret project that I mentioned a while back now, and it's a good word, a couple of them in fact. There's still a way to go though, and I'm still not sure I can share anything online, which is really bugging me, as I'm really pleased with the artwork I did on my proposal. Still, a few of you have already seen some of the art, and anyone who has my email can ask me for a look if they like.
I've been replacing some comics I foolishly (ok, I needed the room, but now I have a loft) got rid of over the years and I'm thinking some of the old indie stuff's going to be hard to replace, so I was chuffed to see there's going to be a Java Town collection from SLG, good news indeed, Java Town was not only a fine read for coffee fans and lovers of the odd but Scott Saavedra's cartooning was just perfect, and rather hilarious. Saavedra's Dr Radium comics were pretty good too, I'll have to get round to picking up the collections of those, but Java Town's an essential purchase.
As a tenuous link (Rock and Roll High School is one of the 'lost' comics I've been struggling to replace), check out Shane Oakley's blog for a teaser for an upcoming comic from him, the artwork is utterly amazing.
Garen Ewing's not only finishing up Rainbow Orchid for a big publisher, he's also working on the rather cool looking DFC, Garen won't be in the 1st issue, but don't let that put you off,he's got details here, and I've already picked my subscription up.
Seems like a while since I posted any artwork, I'll be back in a couple of days with a sample from a strip I'm drawing for Bulletproof called Bunk Mates, and I've got to scan an old strip I did for Violent! so I'll probably post that too.
* HD being Harrison-Davies, not high def, although I'm thinking I might insist people call me this back in the hood.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Banner day

Seeing as Jason made a banner out of a bit of artwork I did for him (there it is at the bottom of the page as it appeared on the back of Jason's book - find it over at Lulu.) I thought it was about time I had a go at doing one of my own. It needs a bit of tweaking but there it is at the top of the page.
Congratulation to Danny and Nic who are now living it up in Paris after their wedding. It was a brilliant day, held at an Animal Sanctuary in a lovely setting, and after 12 (I think that's right), they still make a wonderful couple. Extra thanks to Nic's family for letting us stop at their brilliant house and making us feel so welcome.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Bad words, brilliant sounds

While I was working on finishing up artwork recently youtube kept me company.
Way back when I was about eight or so I got obsessed with 'Tommy' (and 'Yellow Submarine' now I think about it). No idea why, not even looking at it now can I get my head round why I had to rewatch the duff copy that happened to be taped of the telly (I think, forgive my hazy memory), but I did. Anyway, here's some musical highlights.
See Me Feel Me/Listening To You, a key song at the end of the film, and inspired by Meher Baba. I rediscovered this song late one night in the 80's when Channel4 did a film/music season (I also got to see Under Cherry Moon - awesome sound track, uh, not much else. Oh, and Johnny Staccato too, which I'd love to see again) and this version transfixed me.

I hated this sement from Tommy, it's horrible, but so is a lot of the film and I still had to watch. And I couldn't watch Just Good Friends without thinking of it.

I don't like Elton John, Saturday's Alright (For Fighting) is pretty good, but I just don't get this supposed song writing genius. His version of Pinball Wizard though? Brilliant.

The song that stands out amongst some stand out songs, and a cover version that got utterly owned belongs to Tina Turner and her electrifying performance on 'Acid Queen'. A few years later, after my copy of Tommy mysteriously got taped over (another obsession of mine, 'The Assassination Bureau' (check the Oliver reed connection)met a similar fate at the hands of parents who probably wanted the telly back), I managed to tape the song from a segment of The Tube - weirdly there's and odd sound effect near the end of Tina's performance that lead directly into another song I taped and as soon as I heard the sound I expected the song to play..... so it's on after Tina.

I posted that one before, 'The Bushes Scream While My Daddy Prunes' by The Very Things (who I've decided are like The Cramps, without the sex, and from the midlands), but frankly it's brilliant so I don't mind posting it again.
Sorry about my musical trip down memory lane, but my brains fried, I felt like posting something and thought I'd avoid comics for a change:) At least the music's good though.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Another one done

Am I all caught up with my work? Am I buggery. Mad submission's done though and I've just the amendments for my Best New Manga 3 contribution. All in time to go to a work related course, finish that and then hop on a train to Cambridge to join the happy celebration of a good friends marriage (hi Danny!) All in all, it's been a hectic week's 'holiday'!
Luckily the work course means I can get the time back, so I don't have to go straight back to work, which means I can have a genuine rest with my family before the next round of artwork needs to be done.
Never ever do in your spare time what you'd rather do as your full time job! That's gonna be my advice to Olivia when she grows up.
So, best not to show my Mad submission, but I don't think there'll be any problem with showing a few bits out of context.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Work work work

Blimey I'm not getting a rest. Quick pause (I need me a breather) just to say I'm nail bitingly close to a deadline to submit some work to Mad magazine. It was pointed out to me recently that they had some open submission thingy and would I like to have a go. I did and I am, but I had no idea the deadline was so close. At the moment I've got a measly two pages (ideally just one more would have done the trick) all inked, but there's still colour and lettering to come, which means I'll be, ugh, resorting to computer lettering (apologies to those that use it, but I prefer hand lettering given the chance, adn even so, I've not got a nice lettering program so I can't even do it with my own font, like the nicer computer letters use). It's gonna be a late night.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Drawing and book stuff

Got word back about Hero-Z, and it's good news. It's great news actually, with two very big Brother Lee Love style thumbs up! Yay me! I take back all my panicked doubt and vow not to do that again. Until the next time:)
Still waiting for news about my slightly earlier secret project so you'll have to wait abit longer to see anything from that - unless you asked me and I sent you a sneak peak!
In the meantime I've started a new project, it's fairly brief and I'll probably post a few images over the next few days, so keep an eye out of you're interested.
A few posts ago I mentioned I was about to start reading 'Bust' by Bruen and Starr, well, it was fun, nothing amazing, brisk enjoyable read. Not quite 'hard' crime though, and as it's published by a company called Hard Case Crime it's fair to expect that. It was harder and less farcical than Carl Hiaasen though, and followed the same principle of low life character's greed and stupidity creating trouble.
After that I moved on to a book called 'Crimson Orgy' by Austin Williams which was also a lot of fun. Set during the making of an early (just after 'Blood Feast' in fact), and lost, exploitation horror movie called, you guessed it, 'Crimson Orgy'. The making of the movie proves to be difficult, but more than the sense of strange and impending doom, I enjoyed what seemed to be a genuine feeling of a small band of wannabes, not bothereds and troubled folk united and torn apart in their quest to make a film on the cheap. The prose is simple and direct without being clunky and the characters are nicely defined. I discovered this book, a fair few others through the wonderful Groovy Age of Horror blog, if you haven't visited it then give it a look.
After finishing 'Crimson Orgy' it seemed like the perfect time to pick a book of the shelf that had been sat patiently waiting for for quite a while. I'm only about a quarter of the way through 'Flicker' (it is over 600 pages though) but I'm enjoying it immensely. It's about fabled, and fictional, director Max Castle who started out working on The Cabinet of Dr Caligari and progressed to classic gothic horror of his own and then got eaten up by Hollywood producing B movies after suffering disgrace at the hands of those who didn't understand his work. His reputation initially seems to be nonexistent and his films lost, some never even released, but after a few quirks of fate one his films is discovered leading to a reappraisal. That's where I'm up to at the moment, and the back cover promises a lot more oddness.
Very nice dense, but easy to follow, prose and some serious research, and obvious love, raise Flicker much higher than the cheap tagline 'Sunset Boulevard meets the Da Vinci Code'. The mere mention of the Da Vinci Code's enough to put me off, but it does seem that it's mentioned only in an atempt to entice the millions who bothered with the poorly written item - although content wise there is a parallel of a secret religious order and a conspiracy, but still, cheap marketing is cheap marketing. Rosak has been involved writing about counterculture before, and this history obviously comes in handy for the time and setting of Flicker.
Can't remember when I first heard about Flicker, I know it was before I saw the intitially similar John Carpenter short 'Cigarette Burn' (not his best work, but well worth seeing), but what did make me want to read it was Murray Ewing's review here. Murray also writes about Cigarette Burns here, and adds to the 'fictional film with a dark past' genre with his review of Ramsey Campbell's 'The Grin of the Dark' here. I'm sure I've got a copy of Campbell's other entry into this genre, 'Ancient Images', kicking around somewhere too. 2000ad had a stab at the genre recently with 'Chiaroscuro' by Si Spurrier and 'Smudge' (a pen name for Cam Smith judging by the artwork), and although it was fun and reasonably enjoyable, it seemed a little uninspired to me. Also worth a mention is The Faceless: A Terry Sharpe Story by Robert Tinnell and Adrian Salmon. It doesn't really fall into the genre, but it does involve fictional films of a very Hammer-esque nature, and is damn good with some wonderful artwork - and that's all the excuse I need to mention it:)
Enough of this ramble, for those who haven't heard already, Garen (yes, related to Murray) Ewing's superb strip 'Rainbow Orchid' has been picked up by large UK kid's publisher Egmont, as they also publish Tintin over here I can't think of a more perfect fit for Garen's perfect book. Garen has pursued his own vision to produce a story of outstanding quality, which is laudable enough, that he'll now be able to reach an even bigger audience is richly deserved , there's more info on this excellent news here.