Friday, 5 December 2014

Friday, 31 October 2014

Monday, 8 September 2014

OFF LIFE 10 submission

This is the raw, uncropped image. A finished version, with words on, can be found here.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Intercorstal 2, Page 23

I worked on this in bits and pieces since the first week of May, and finished it today -- it's the first week of July now, so it took 2months. Probably not the longest page to do so far, but by no means the quickest.

I'm getting there. A few more pages to go...

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Intercorstal 2 Page 22 - scan, final, source details

Final artwork
Bottom panel from Allred's original page (X-Force #116) (courtesy of

Scanned inks
Here's Intercorstal 2 Page 22. This page was based on/inspired by layouts and content in a page for X-Force #116 by Mike Allred, which was written by Peter Milligan. I've also included an image from the original page -- would have posted a photo of the whole page but a certain horror movie director has my copy right now.

I chose this page to work on for a few reasons. The first of which is to pay homage to a comic that was really important to me. I'd read X-Force in my teens, but wasn't aware of it at all during my break from comics in the 2000's. I was visiting a friend and he had the hardback trade of Milligan/Allred's X-Force run, collecting their work up to the point the title changed to 'X-Statix'. I asked about it, and he said "oh, it's the X-Men book where everyone gets killed, you can borrow it if you want". And reading it brought me back around to comics really, the gateway drug to where I am now. What had turned me away from comics at the tail-end of the 90s was how po-faced and serious they'd gotten, feigning emotional depth and making sure that everything was 'gritty' and 'grown up'. Milligan and Allred threw all that out, and the resulting pop-culture satire was gleefully delivered while still delivering a real emotional punch with the death of a leading character at the end of the book, despite having otherwise trivialised superhero death up until that point (it's a few years on now, but you won't be getting spoilerised by me).

The other reason was more aesthetic. I loved the way the page worked, breaking down into slow motion, using only four panels, a particularly grisly death-by-attack-helicopter. It had the same sensation on me as a reader as getting on and off a non-moving escalator has, if that makes any sense -- that sudden drawing out of time followed by a jarring snap-back to normality.

In technical terms, I had to fudge it a little bit -- the Intercorstal 2 pages are being done at a different page ratio to the original, and the compositional elements I mentioned -- the helicopter in the top frame, the repeating character poses in 2&3 and the explosion of gore in Panel 4 were very roughly sketched in, and then not referred to again. It was important to me that I kept a high-contrast, unfussy page, so there aren't a great number of details and the patterning I often deploy is nowhere to be seen, which was intended to recall Allred's style -- there are a few lines in there where I've tried to recreate his inking style, but I'm not sure I'd be able to point them out, if I'm honest.

But in other matters: page 22 is done. Another 2 pages (maybe another 3, am considering dropping one of the previous pages) and I'll be looking to get an actual, printed copy done (at a printer, rather than on the office photocopier).

Intercorstal 2 Page 21 - final page and scan

Here's Page 21 of The Intercorstal 2, along with its scan. As you may have noticed, the scan is upside down, which is actually pretty appropriate because that's how I worked on it, flipping it when I was finished (and quite a lot throughout, actually). This is one of the pages from I2 which is all mine, without taking layout or compositional cues from any existing comics, and as such felt like a bit of a slog sometimes.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Intercorstal 2 Pages 17-20 Scans

Here are the original scanned pages for the Intercorstal 2, pages 17, 18, 19 and 20.
As you can see, pages 18 and 19 were done a little differently to the scans I normally post. Both started as doodles on conference paper, and evolved into finished pages. I was emboldened by the work of Warwick Johnson Cadwell, who I met at London Super Comic Convention 2014 (he had a table on artist alley, I was volunteering). I listened to an interview with him where he said that he kept panels for comics separately (in a plastic bag?) so I figured I could do something similar with The Intercorstal -- draw the content and then shape it into a page at a later date.

Page 20 (the one down the bottom) is an abstraction from Hine & Kane's Bulletproof Coffin. The other three pages came straight out of my headbox.

The finished pages of these can be found at the Abstract Comics blog