Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Thing is...

Last pic of 2007. Inspired by an umpteenth viewing of John Carpenter's The Thing.

NO agonizing with this one...it's 'ordinary' stuff that's hard to draw.


Speak to you in 2008 - cheers!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Seasons Screechings!!

For near FOUR days we've bin unable to get online.

Tiscali..crap..sigh...etc.

Belated best to you and yers.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Words AND pictures

In the interest of artistic integrity, journalistic accuracy and filling space, I'd like to address and amend my last post, for the record; curse or no gypsy curse, i HAVE bin plagued with ill health and misfortune, most of the misfortune resulting from ill health, and some ill health resulting from misfortune.

I've only bin dumped once, which I'm eternally grateful for(but at the time i felt like a puddle of piss ).

My career IS always stalling or taking a nosedive, due to some 'ill health and misfortune', but mostly down to my ever-growing disillusionment with an ever-increasingly shoddy industry; dumb and dull PlayStation-generation comics, editors who change minds at the last minute, and writers who never keep their word.
And sometimes, there's just better things to do.

My first rented property had a leaky roof AND a leaky ceiling. More the fault of dope-loving cowboy builders than a gypsy curse(though they could've bin related.)

Our boiler has never conked out, good job, since I'm not even sure where it is.

In the last five years the TV has bin replaced once, cus we wanted a bigger one - the screen is a lot easier to hit with a sponge house brick

Yes, broke specs many times, and also dropped a contact lense down the bog.

Burn toast often(that's how the birds like it), good job there's no batteries in the smoke alarm, cus my ears would be bleeding.

Don't miss doctors appointments, just turn up late, or on the wrong day.

There's no such thing as 'buses'.

Yeah, forget a lot of birthdays, but never my own.

Tread in dog shit rarely(even though we have a dog and a garden full of poo-mines) - usually it's cat shit.

Never walked into a lamppost, but I've seen a lamppost walk.

Don' drink red wine, but spilling Ribena is just as bad.

Never burn my hands since years of intense pencil-squeezing have robbed them of feeling...

Editors and writers - see above.

Only crashed the computer once, but we were drunk and well over the speed limit.

And, yes, like the sun going down, and the moon a-rising, Tiscali and Blogger remain forever shite.

Better add some pictures quick...

Son of Droop.


Cousin of Droop.



Sketching a look for two vampire characters, for a comic in progress.


Monday, December 03, 2007

Eight red pegs

Years and years ago it happened; a frail old Gypsy woman knocked at my front door. Normally when I'm at the drawing board i ignore knocks and phone calls(or, in most cases, can't hear over the music), but that day, for some strange, uncharacteristic reason, i stopped what i was doing and answered the door.


Don't know why; it could've bin a double-glazing salesman, or a Jehovah's witness, but maybe i thort it was the Fed Ex man with a box full of complementary comics from across the seas, or an over sized gift from an adoring fan.


Whatever the reason, it's one i will forever regret.


The tiny bent woman, laden with bags and battered shopping trolley, stood looking up at me, with a toothless grin she wished me the best of the day, then tried to sell me a bath sponge.


I nodded a 'no thanks'.


Then she tried to sell me some tea towels, then some biro's, then cotton buds, and...and i kept nodding the no thanks nod. Each nod more forceful than the last, and slowly i started to inch the door shut. She persisted, her hand holding out a bag of eight red pegs, reaching past the door frame and into the 'personal space' of my home. I'd had enough, my patience was gone, i swore under my breath and pushed on the door, nearly trapping her hand.


Just as the door shut i saw her face glaring at me, her left eye yellow and wide, the pupil tiny and black. And that's when it happened, that's the moment. That's when i was cursed.


The gypsy cast a black spell. And i was cursed.
Since that day.

That's why I've suffered ill health and misfortune. That's why girlfriends have dumped me, why my career is always stalling and taking nosedives, why my roof leaked, why my boiler conked out, why I've replaced my TV four times in five years, why i broke my specs, why i always burn the toast and miss doctor's appointments and buses and birthdays. That's why I'm always treading in dog shit, walking into lampposts, spilling red wine on carpets, burning my hands on saucepans. And it's why editors and writers ignore my e-mails, and why the computer crashes, why sometimes i can't get on line and why sometimes i cant FUCKING post pictures on this blog!


'Technical difficulties', that's horseshit, it's the CURSE, it's not Tiscali or Blogger, it's bad magic.
No eight red pegs, no Uggly Monday, no Freaky Friday.

Careful next time there's a knock at YOUR door...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Near-enuff-mid-week-zombie

Nothing new. But, for those who haven't checked out Geoff Bough's Revenant site, ere's a zombie pic...better than multiple stabs in the eye with a broken pool cue...

Friday, November 16, 2007

Freaky Friday; Doug and Lug

This Friday, and every Friday, is Freaky Friday.


Amen.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Nevermore


Last week - fittingly on Halloween - saw the launch of Nevermore an anthology of Poe adaptions from publishers Self-Made Hero. Among the strips is a 16-page version of The Fall Of The House Of Usher, written by Dan Whitehead, and drawn by me.



Thru most of my life the works of Mr.Poe have long bin a source of inspiration and pleasure, wether it be the original source material, Corman's delirious movies, or the multitude of horror comics born out of his mythos(most notably Tom Sutton's work at Charlton). It's nothing new, adapting Poe in comic strip form; i own two magnificent versions of House Of Usher by Richard Corben and the aforementioned Tom Sutton, so, in my eyes i was up against some tuff competition.
So i tried to do something a little different, pulling out all stops to channel the mood, isolation and madness that's in Poe's story; a fever dream turning to expressionist nightmare. Which also sums up how it felt most of the time i was working on it(along with the inking assist from the lovely Suzanne, who was handsomely rewarded with shoes and fancy cosmetics - but she will deny this.), what with juggling two other jobs and illness. But it was worth it, and i hope Eddy thinks so too.


And if you don't like it, you have a whole bunch more of Nevermore to like instead, including strips by Ian Edginton, D'israeli, Jamie Delano, Leah Moore, John Reppion, Steve Pugh...it's in the shops, and even cheaper from Amazon.co.uk.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Friday, November 02, 2007

The Dead Never Stop


Zombies! Tell me you have appetite for more?

Over at Geoff Boughs goriffic zombie-fixated site; http://www.revenantmagazine.com/ you'll find a mini-gallery of undead art by yers truly. Six in all, three of which are old(but two of them are 'remastered'),tuther three brand spanking new - as much as reanimated corpses can be brand spanking new...

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

I love October for lots of reasons; those gorgeous autumn skies you get in the late afternoon; the way the air seems to always smell of bonfires; the slow-spin fall of gold and orange leaves - but mostly it's cus the shops are full of plastic skulls, Frankenstein masks and monster bats!



For Halloween i offer a pic of The Shape - better known as Michael Myers. John Carpenters movie blew me away and however many times i see it, I'm always left impressed. And unlike it's imitators,(including the misguided 'white trash' remake)it's a film with genuine mood and tension; with a cast that you care about, and a 'Bogeyman' that is truly frightening.



Have a good un!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Happy Birthday to Elsa!


Elsa Lanchester was born October 28th, 1902 - died December, 26th, 1986.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Cock-up on blogging front

Somehow, Ive got my last two posts the wrong way around; so, the final 'Unseen Albion', is BELOW yesterdays post of art for sale. Simple - like me.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Albion Unseen; Final Part

The original pencils to Albion #1, page 2, complete with uncensored Mickey Mouse ears and Eagle logo - but they didn't flinch over the full-page Cyberman...



Captain Hurricane waiting for his cuppa.



The captain gets all misty eyed - original pencils from #3; and one of the most sloppily inked - barrage balloons became clouds!



The two that got away, due to copyright; Clever Dick and Werewilf.





That's yer lot, hope you enjoyed the show .

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Albion Unseen Part 2

The Spider went thru a few variations; starting thin, wiry and almost 'elfin' in appearance, then like Nosferatu with hair. But Alan wanted him to look more 'statuesque' and noble; a lot more meat on his bones and plenty of muscle. I preferred the more, well, 'spidery' look, but didn't want to argue with Alan, in case he put a hex on me...
Incidentally, The Spider was supposed to have a deathly pallor, but Wildstorm chose to ignore the colour notes. Here's the final 'beefy' version.



Dr.'Ratty' Rat was another joy to draw(from the pages of Cor!!) - however brief, just wished we could've got a 'flashback' with him against 'The Agents Of BIFF (The British Institute For Foiling Felonies)'.


The Steel Claw had an ash-blond crew cut originally, but it was decided it was too similar to his cellmate pal, Tim Kelley.

And a referance guide of his claw for Dave Gibbon's cover to #6.



And, The Cloak. Sadly. Other than two very fleeting glimpses, he didn't feature in the story. But i did get to speak with the characters creator; Mike Higgs - who gave me his blessing and shared a coupla entertaining anecdotes from the glory days of British comics, nice bloke.



If you want to know a lot more about all the classic - and not so classic - IPC/Fleetway/Oddhams characters, there's a great site over at; http://www.internationalhero.co.uk/nonus.htm

More 2moro.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Albion Unseen

The female gang of inmates were the Dolls of St. Dominics(from Odhams Pow!), obviously locked up for burning down their school; strangling Miss Bolster the Headmistress, and castrating the caretaker and his cat. Not to mention the prostitution ring and cooking up explosive devices in chemistry class to sell to the I.R.A...

Can't for the life of me remember the name of the obligatory 'fat one' but I'm sure it'll be something like; Big Bertha, Tubby, Fatty, Greedy, Piggy or Cakehole. Anyone recall?


Eagleton quickly became a bore to draw, wished I'd stayed with my first version, or at least kept the pipe, always a good visual prop.



Faceache(Fred Akeley), in contrast, was an utter delight to draw - scrunge!



More pics soon.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Uggly Monday; Those responsible...


Spending so much time drawing - and dreaming up - the monstrous and the grotesque goes waaay back to my junior schooldays. It started as a mild distraction/interest which quickly turned and twisted to an obsession. Dr. Who, Ray Harryhausen, monster stickers/bubblegum cards and horror movies all played a BIG part, but the major influence/inspiration was down to Grimly Feendish and the nuclear genius of Ken Reid ; who mesmerized me with his manic drawings and anarchic sense of humour, whether it was Faceache, The Nervs, Jonah or Frankie Stein.



Add to that the weird mischievous mutant sidekicks of Grimly Feendish; tentacled, scaly, oddly-coloured hairy things called Squelchies, well, a mix like that will make young impressionable minds go funny...


Getting the chance to draw most of em in Albion was one of the strangest feelings, felt like i was channeling something long lost and hidden, felt spooky, felt exciting - felt AMAZING!

Talking of Albion, a new collection of classic reprints from the vaults of IPC/FLEETWAY is on the bookshelves(old news for some of you), giving you adventures from four of the best; Cursitor Doom, Kelly's Eye, Janus Stark and House of Dolmann.


To mark the occasion, in a slightly belated fashion('belated', my new middle name, when i get around to it...), this week I'll be posting unseen character designs from Albion , along with a coupla pencilled pages and a new batch of originals for sale.

Meantime, if you want to learn more(and see more)about Ken Reid. visit Peter Gray's fan page at; http://uk.geocities.com/pjgkenreid/
 
 
 

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Happy belated Birthday to Bela!


Bela Lugosi was born on October 20th(yesterday, for those as dozy as me), 1882 - died August 16th, 1956 - or so they say...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Beware the Moon!


The Curse of the Werewolf has so much going for it: Terence Fisher's moody and evocative camerawork; a clever twist on lycanthrope lore; a great cast - including Warren Mitchell, Hira Talfrey, Michael Ripper(as an 'old soak'), the luscious Yvonne Romain - and a stand-out turn from Oliver Reed, as the doomed and tortured Leon.
But, obviously, to a wee nipper clinging to his Grannies leg, it was the terrifying sight of the WEREWOLF that made the most impact - scared the poo outta me!
The makeup was a triumph, and that was down to the brilliance of Roy Ashton - he was the fella who filled your childhood bedtime with dread and horror - and i for one, can't thank him enough.
Greasepaint and Gore: The Hammer Monsters of Roy Ashton , tells you everything you need to know about the man and his groundbreaking, iconic work.


In tribute to his greatness and to one of my favourite Hammer movies: here's another werewolf pic(not that i need an excuse to draw another werewolf).

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

A Crow pic(k)

Quality control is hardly a mantra in the comic book biz, there's always bin more shit ones than good ones, and often I've scratched my head, staring bewildered at a comic, wondering how some editor could've okayed such a lame duck in the first place. And what's worse, is knowing about all the REALLY GOOD stuff that never gets to see the light of day.
Take it from me; most editors wouldn't know a good idea if it was a ten-ton truck crashing thru their donut-strewn office, with; I'M A GOOD IDEA written on it's side in giant day-glo letters. Even if the truck was driven by Jehovah with a sworn affidavit to the fact.

But sometimes it's just bad luck; the cool editor who wants to do your cool comic, gets sacked, or drops dead, or moves to Marvel, or they put you 'on hold' or replace you with a 'bigger name', or the company goes bust.

That's what happened(and ALL of the above, for that matter)with KITCHEN SINK in the 90's, just as Jamie Delano and mesen were ready to sign on the dotted line, they went down the plughole.
So you never got to read one of the best comic book series that Jamie never wrote; which was also the best Crow comic you never read. Binning the punk rock vigilante vs. gangster thing, for a period set weird western, full of hellish visions, catholic guilt and gothic decay, all draped under a luxuriously thick shroud of blood and terror. Real shame, especially since Todd McFarlane ended up with the franchise, and we all know what a stand-up guy he is, right?

Anyway, other than Jamie's crackin synopsis, all that was done was one drawing, pencilled by me, and inked by me old mate, Mark Buckingham(who was gonna ink the whole 4-issues). Found the art tuther day, thought it was worth sharing...


And if you didn't already know, Jamie is still 'out there', raging against the machine, read his words at; http://www.jamiedelano.co.uk/ but have a coupla stiff drinks first.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Quick on the draw

It's bin a looooooooooong time since i kept a sketchbook, years ago I'd have one with me wherever i went. But when you're chained to the drawing board, seven days a week, without properly sleeping or eating, screaming at the clock to go backwards, well, the last thing you wanna do is draw in your spare time. But I'm not under that pressure anymore, I've a lot more freedom; that's allowed me to keep up this blog, develop a few personal projects and to draw just for the hell of it.

And i forgot how important, how exhilarating it is. Me, 2 pens, an A5 sketchbook and a knee. Love it.
...ideal when stuck in Stansted Airport at five in the morning.





Rain in Spain...