Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New Year post

This is the 3rd go at writing, the previous two were too negative. 2009 was a pain in the arse for many reasons, but I have done stuff. I spent time with my family, I drew, and I honestly think I got better.
So, 2009 was a sod, but I won, I beat you '09, screw you!
Here's what I'll be doing in 2010.
1. Getting off my fattening arse. I've just moved into 36inch waist jeans and am none too happy about it. The day's of 32inch are gone, and I can't be arse with them, but 34 sounds about right.
2. Super secret project with Jason Cobley. I think the plan is to keep it under wraps and see if any publishers bite. If they don't we'll release it ourselves. It's awesome!
3. Astro Dog. This poor fella has sat around since the untimely demise of The DFC, I had some lovely feedback when I posted about him earlier, but nothing much seems to have come of that. The plan now is to turn it into a fresher pitch and send it out again.
4. My webcomic. This one probably won't start until April. It's too early to say much about it, but I will be looking at a weekly updated self contained story, that'll run to book length. I'll post more about this as it gets closer.
5. Odds n sods. I'll still be contributing to the two Huzzah strips. I've sat on a few bits of samples I intend to send off soon, and there's a couple of other commitments.
6. Keep up that family time.
7. Less internet. I've slowed down posting, and I've cut down tweeting, but I still spend a lot of time looking at nonsense online. Best to knock a lot of that on the head. I'll still be about, but in a more worthwhile less time sapping way.
And that's it, hope you all have a fantastic New Year!

Friday, November 27, 2009

New noir art

Just posted this page on the huzzahnoir blog. First huzzah I've done in a while, and if you were checking my blog it looks like the first art in while. Not true, I'm working on a secret project with Jason Cobley, and I'm really enjoying it, wish I could show something, but we've decided to keep it under wraps for now. Sorry!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Hugo the Zombie

Here's my entry into the Observer/Jonathan Cape Comica competition. It's a rework of an old strip written by fine writer, and friend, Jason Cobley.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Incase you don't visit the Groovy Age of Horror blog (and you should), or follow me on twitter (and, well, you can, but should? Not essential), here's sketch I did for it. Psychomania is a strange film I've mentioned on this blog before, Beryl Reid as a devil worshipping mam and Nicky Henson as her Hell's Angel immortal son.... what's not to like?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Beryl the Peril

After Shane Oakley's excellent post about sketching I thought I'd post my Beryl the Peril scribbles. Should be finishing my DCThompson samples soon. Been painfully slow in coming, the day job's been wearing me out the last few months and hit my productivity, but after going to BICS last weekend I really want to get back into the swing of things.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

I could post about why I've not posted any artwork, I could moan about my job, or I could post a picture of my little girl in a Cat in the Hat outfit I made*. Easy choice.

*ok, just the bow tie, hat and make up, my wife bought the cat outfit when she couldn't find black leggings and top.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Hi Folks. After another absense here's a cropped and edited couple of sneak peaks of what I've been working on. These are samples I've been cooking up with the fine writer, Dave Hailwood.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Dennis the Menace

Seeing as you all, well, Shane, asked for more, here's a sketch I stuck up on twitter a couple of days ago. It's a very quick scribble I did of Dennis the Menace, totally off model (although inspired by Davy Law's original version), that I found myself liking. Sometimes the scribbles are just more fun and capture something a 'proper' bit of drawing can't.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Not much drawing going on

Please accept these old scribbles as the shameless filler that they are.
This was for a pin up for The Shootist I never got round to doing, and probably never will, I'm posting it because although it's barely legible, I think it looks like John Wayne.Here's a scribble of the Hulk. It was sitting in a corner of my sketchbook, I don't remember drawing it, but I quite like it for some reason. It's scribbles like this that made me start experimenting with just pencilling and not inking it, although I'm wondering if it's time to go back to the brush.

Friday, July 31, 2009


Never managed to get to Caption, the small press comic convention, but I've always wanted to. This year's theme is 'away with the fairies' and in lieu of going to the con I've contributed a pic. Only just sent it, right at the very end of the deadline, so I've no idea if it's gone down well, bnut I'm quite pleased with it.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Some noir

Finally done some drawing! It was definitely a struggle to start with, but Huzzah has a deadline and that helps focus your mind, and I did learn a few things - mainly that I should block in shapes and compose before I start drawing.

This is for the Huzzahnoir blog, which I hope everyone is following. It's taken a move into slightly different territory recently with a time and location change to WWII Paris, looking at the story so far it seems inevitable and planned, and expands things nicely. I also got a chance to dig through some holiday snaps for reference.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Rough times over

No idea if anyone's interested, but I've felt bad about not posting anything lately.
About a month ago my wife had a routine scan as part of her post cancer check ups, and 'something' was spotted. Due to a few bits of nonsense we've had to wait from then until now to find out that it's benign.
Suffice to say, it's been hard to concentrate on anything, and I just couldn't focus on drawing.
But it's all better now, so there'll be a new pic up in at least a week, and I'll feel much better for it. In the meantime my wife and I are going to eat some cake.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Happy Birthday Garen!

Why not join in the celebrations of Garen's 40th birthday by checking out Rainbow Orchid? It's bloomin' brilliant! Go here for a preview.

Monday, June 01, 2009

That S-L-A-Y-E-D to you!!

I've been on a Robo-Hunter kick lately, plowing through Verdus, Day of The Droids, all the way up to Football Crazy and felt inspired to do a doodle. I've tried to be true to Ian Gibson but do my own version of Sam Slade, Hoagy is unapologetically Gibson - I mean, come on, Hoagy's a design classic.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

My latest Huzzah

I did these last week, really enjoyed doing them, and I think it shows.

Monday, May 11, 2009


Bristol came and went, and was pretty good thank you, I got to meet loads of really nice people, including most of the Huzzah boys, and a fine bunch they were too.
Anyway, I managed to show a few very talented people my work and got some good feedback. Sadly Tharg was unreceptive, proving that I should've finished those Dredd pages. Here's the Dredd I didn't finish, I've not bothered fixing mistakes here, Dredds gun boot's missing, there's a few other things, but really, I didn't finish it cos I wasn't 'feeling it'. Back to the drawing board. Literally.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Off to Bristol

Like the title says I'm going to the Bristol Comic Con, it's been years since I've been and I'm a little nervous. Showing an artist, or editor, work and asking for feedback face to face isn't fun when you're lacking in confidence.
Originally I'd intended to queue in the 2000ad line with some Dredd samples but I still need to get to grips with the rest of his world. So, instead of killing myself to finish the pages, I've decided to do the Dredd strip after the convention, and just take my recent work.

Friday, April 17, 2009


Think I've hit a personal best for speed with my latest contribution to Huzzahnoir. Missed deadline by 15 minutes, but managed 2 pages. It's a little cramped in places to fit in the dialogue and I had to trim some of it, but apart from that I think it's an improvement on the first page I did. Scribbling very rough pencils then using a chunky marker to pick out the key bits is very satisfying, the really trick is learning how to refine those initial pieces without losing what makes them work in the first place.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


I seem to have stopped getting gushy about books that are coming out, but holy f*cking shit, IDW are collection Jack Kent's King Aroo!!! I've tried to hunt down 2nd hand copies of a collection put out 30 years ago in the US, and oddly have had no luck. This is brilliant news, so far I've only seen what was reprinted in an article in The Comics Journal (which was my introduction to Kent), and adored it. Much seems to have been made about the debt to Walt Kelly, which is fair enough, but I think the work stands on it's own. Well done IDW, who are also collecting Torpedo and Rocketeer, making them very lovely indeed. Now, if they'd only discover, and collect Flook.

Thursday, April 09, 2009


There's a new Huzzah in town, this one's Huzzahnoir, and I think the title's a fair clue to the subject matter.
Crime is one of my favourite genres (the other is horror), and I lean towards the hard boiled crime of Hammett and Chandler (although my favourite crime writer is Jim Thompson), although there's plenty of later authors I like very much, Ross Macdonald springs to mind, and Richard (Donald E. Westlake) Stark. And I've mentioned a fair bit of the Hard Case Crime line in this blog before.
Anyway, Huzzahnoir is right up the lonely street that this man must walk.
I wanted something that combined loose brush solid black inky areas with lines picking out and implying detail.
Here's the rough sketches of three of the plates, as usual I prefer them to the finished art, sadly they were too rough to use.

Sunday, April 05, 2009


Been a while since I did anything for Huzzah, partly because of busy, a little drawer's block, and a fair bit of being at work and missing a chance at putting my name down for the next bit.
Huzzah's had a new start of sorts and it's such a strong one that when I saw I had the chance of going next I jumped at it, despite not having a clue what I was going to do. As soon as I commented 'huzzah' to take my turn an idea came to me with the images popped into my head straight after and requiring very little redrawing and refining. It didn't end up being the action packed scene I promised myself, but I have learned that if you get an idea you like then it's best to go for it.
Here's the rough inks I drew the final version from, there's very little changes from this to the finished pencils, but I like to know where everything's at before the final stage. Most people leave a lot out for the final stage to keep things from looking too stiff and overworked. Frankly, I'm not that good and I need to know it works before commiting to finished pencils, or inks. I'm sure it'd drive some people insane and it does mean extra work, but it helps me refine certain details, I find that bits get simplified, and I start 'pushing' the proportions of things and discovering shapes and interesting lines and patterns. Those happy accidents keep it interesting, and without them I think my work can look a bit bland... at least that's how I justify it all to myself.Here's a scrapped version of the first plate, it's a bit too obvious and cliched. All it suggests is menace, mystery and an attempt at looking cool. Big deal. Then I scribbled a bit of dialogue based on the relationship suggest by Colin's wonderful previous plate and I knew there should be real affection shown between the two characters. This turned out well for two reasons - when sinster folks show love it can seem all the more unsettling, and it gave me the idea of having the globe be a bit more glowing with the light coming through the fingers to suggest a feeling of emotion coming from it. The other change from initial idea was that the bottom plate was not divided into two panels, the second eye socket simply had the second bit of dialogue and a bit of background. It just didn't balance right, so I decided the second socket could be another panel, which was lucky because I think the Munoz-esque shadow looks quite nifty and gives the dialogue more weight.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Toxic comic

Today is the day that Toxic went on the shelves in newsagents and supermarkets throughout the land. I've got two strips in it, Bad Robots and The Hoaxers. Toxic are taking votes on the various strips and the one with the most votes is in with a chance of a regular gig..... you can see where I'm going with this can't you:) Anyone who wants to check Toxic out and vote here should absolutely vote for their favourite strip, hopefully you'll think that's one of mine:)
Here's the cover and a peak at my two strips. You get to vote here.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Astrodog at the cantina

Anyone who has been reading The DFC, or not, and thinks it's being cancelled too soon might want to go here. Nice to see a bit of fan support similar to that received by shows like Firefly.
Seems like a good time to show another Astrodog pic. This one was to pad out the three comic pages, and show Astro with aliens, which would have taken several more pages to happen.
Mr Postman delivered a couple of comp copies of the Toxic Comic extra with two strips drawn by me, and they've come out really well. The whole comic looks excellent and I hope there'll be more like it. The issue will be out soon and I'll post some artwork from it then.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Again with the Huzzah

Seems to be a pattern forming to my Huzzah contributions - I've been doing 'inbetween' bits, sort of character stuff, no plot. Nothing wrong with that, I hope, but I should challenge myself a little..
I love how contributors each develop a character based on how we each see them, because we see them from slightly different angles. We all respond to the different facets we each see in the characters, as Rob did with his powerful portrayal of the witchy character recently. I think it's making for some well rounded characters,
This page has been in my head since Ian introduced Khadari, inspired by one of my favourite comics (gets better with each reading), Nexus. One issue featured a back up with the character 'Dave' in prison that has always stuck with me. There's another influence, but I can't say as I'm trying to keep things vague and implied because there's no fun us giving each other a map for the story.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Warm glow, and more Astrodog

Thanks to everyone who commented on the last post, it's much appreciated, and cheering, with some helpful ideas about what to do with Astrodog. Once I know where things stand with The DFC I'll start putting something into action. A few people have mentioned Top Shelf, and I'd love to give them a go, but there's other places too, and in a turn of events that really made my day I received a lovely email from a small, but very good, publisher wishing me luck and showing interest in Astrodog. Whatever happens Astrodog won't just roll over, he'll find somewhere.
In the meantime, here's page 2 of the early version.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009


Just seen that Random House has decided to pull the plug, so unless someone decides to buy it The DFC will be no more. The DFC was a wonderful comic, getting in from work on a Friday and seeing it on my table gave me a nice comfortable feeling that I'm really going to miss.
On a personal level this sucks as I had a strip, Astrodog, ready to go with them, it's pretty much fully penciled and I'm incredibly proud of it.
I don't suppose it'd hurt now to post some of the older version of Astrodog. Here's page one from when I'd been asked do do it as a half page comic. I don't usually pimp myself on here, but if anyone likes it and has any ideas who'd be interested in publishing it let me know.

Friday, February 20, 2009

I huzzah therefore I am

After what seems like a while I contributed some more work to Huzzah.
I was really pleased with how the Blue Devil pic I did came out, and what I felt worked was the lose and rough quality, so I thought I'd pursue that. Getting the balance between solid drawing and something more personal is tricky, and I'm not sure I'm there yet, this page looks a little too rough to be 'proper' drawing, and a little too restrained to be as expressive as I'd like. This is where the 'Covered' and 'Huzzah' really compliment each other for me, one encourages me to just have fun and mess about because a much better artist has done the hard work, the other forces me to work to bring my drawing up to the standard of everyone else involved. Reminds me of reading how Moebius liked how his work under that nom de plume informed his work as Jean Giraud and vicey versey.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I do love classic look Iron Man

Not been able to post much of what I've been working on lately. But here's a blast from the past, I was asked by John Freeman to draw a strip with a tight deadline for Comics International. Unfortunately the strip, as asked for, was based on some comic news of the time, since the magazine's late, the strip isn't relevant. Oh well.

Friday, February 06, 2009

It's Covered

Covered is a blog where people redraw comic covers, I like that idea, so I decided to bang this one out for the hell of it, it's so nice to draw and not worry about composition, perspective all that proper stuff, because someone else has done the work for you, and just push a pencil round like you did when you were a kid copying favourite pictures. I'd like to (re)draw some UK comic covers and maybe a few other things. For those that don't know Blue Devil came out in the mid-80s as part of DC's 'we're making comics fun again' idea, that I guess must've included 'Mazin' Man, it was created by Dan Mishkin and Gary Chon with art by Paris Cullens - who drew the better version on the left. Blue Devil started out as a quirky adventure romp with funny dialogue and moved further into humour and came up with the idea that the main character was a 'weirdness magnet', which meant general high jinx that included DC mystery stuff. Anyway, I was about 15 going on 11 and having a day out with the family in Marsden Grotto picked up Blue Devil 29 in a paper shop, and loved it, no idea if it still holds up, but I still have it and don't want to spoil the happy nostalgia.

Thursday, February 05, 2009


Seeing as it's already been reported on Down the Tubes I guess it's ok to post about.
Emont's kid comic/mag Toxic is to feature a 16 page comic free with the April 1st (no foolin') issue, and 2 of the strips will be drawn by me, I know this, cos I finished them a couple of days ago! I'm chuffed to bits to feature in a kid's humour comic, I'll be going out buying a copy along with a bag of pic 'n' mix and fizzy pop.
Readers get to vote on their favorite strips which could lead to the more stories in the regular comic. There's a cracking line up of creators, for more detail on who's doing what, here's the down the tubes link.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Hurray for snow

Yes, it's cold, cause traffic problems and turns to slush, but c'mon, it's SNOWING!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Stuff to look at and read

It seems like it's been ages since I mentioned other people's work. So here's a brief list -
I'm two thirds through Gus and His Gang by Chris Blain and thoroughly enjoying it, perhaps more than Isaac the Pirate.
I reread Ian Edginton and D'Israeli's Stickleback recently in collected form and got more out of it. Reading it in 2000ad was fine, and I liked it, but felt it didn't match the creative teams previous work (Leviathan and the War of the Worlds trilogy, or even Kingdom of the Wicked), turns out I was wrong, it's a fine addition, and I'm looking forward to the plot thickening and the mystery deepening.
Also from 2000ad I picked up the collection of Judge Dredd: The Pit. Rock solid Dredd story, and when he's done well, usually by Wagner, he's great.
On a Wagner kick I'm also reread The Bogie Man, surely this title is due another collection.
By the time I came to Scalped it was already up to two collections, this was fine as it meant I got to read a big chunk and not wait too long for the third collection. I do like a good crime comic, and that's what Scalped is, the grimness is a little too constant it's pretty compelling stuff.
Northlanders was a title I figured I'd wait too see collected (Vertigo have a policy of cheaply priced first collections, which seems like a smart move) and pick it up when I was in mood. I'm glad I did.

Online I recently discovered Rip Haywire, which is still in it's early days, and a great throwback to classic US adventure strips like Wash Tubbs and Captain Easy and Steve Canyon for the Dilbert generation.

The wonderful Phantom Skull's been going for a few months now and is up to episode 13, it's a lot of fun.

Tom Spurgeon, I think, mentioned Covered a few weeks ago, and it's utter genius. Simple premise, artists redraw old comic covers. Rene french draws Wolverine!?! Stepehen Wiessman draw Hulk!?! See? Genius.

One of the best covereds sadly isn't on there, Chris "Elio" Elopoulos , inspired by the blog, did his version of X-Men, and it's awesome. I'm gonna redraw some covers for fun for sure.