Cover art to Cthulhu Tales #8 is up for auction over on eBay, five days to go. Spend before the recession leaves you without any pocket money.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
In between the blood, monsters and dead-things, i do enjoy a day off, and a coupla Sundays back we were blessed with full-hat-on sunny weather. So we piled into my mums car for a belated birthday trip to Biddulph Grange Gardens.
Biddulph Grange was 'created' over 150 years ago, as a series of gardens within a garden, each with it's own distinctive theme and character.
I know, i know, that might sound REAL scary, all walking sticks, varicose veins and hearing aids, and hardly where you'd picture a skulking 'lord of the dark ink', especially in daylight. But, Biddulph Grange is one of my favourite places in the whole world, well, the whole world I've seen.
First time i visited was around 10 years back, just after I'd met me gal, Suzanne. She used to live 20 minutes from the gardens, knew it well. Me, lived in Staffordshire all my life, and never heard of the place. So Suzanne took me for a visit, and it was one of the most non-illegal-drug highs I've ever experienced.
Walking around it's eccentric landscape i forgot about the drab and ordinary, and felt like i was walking into a Lewis Carrol story; an Egyptian Courtyard complete with sphinx and pyramid and obelisk-shaped trees; an oriental garden, temple, bridge and Joss House, a Dragon Parterre and a Golden Buffalo; tunnels, stone stairways, hidden paths; a lake, and brooks snaking thru plants and flowers from all over the world, and quiet. Lots of quiet.
Like there was a giant muffler over the grounds.
No noise, no litter, no fat mums with crap tattoos and 6 squawking kids, no chavs in shellsuits swigging cheap cider, just folk soaking it all up, and letting the day just take it's time...slowly.
And the place was still THAT place, just more in bloom.
A blissful day, made all the better since we spent it with my parents, who i don't see as much as i should.
And the tea room serves killer scones!
Normal service will be resumed next time, y'know, zombies, tentacles, etc.
Friday, August 01, 2008
Just before the Albion mini-series happened, i was busy bombarding publishers with pitches, left, right and centre. Most were in collaboration with a writer, but a couple i was hoping to write and draw myself. Had very little response, which i think was down to my over-stylized art and the ever-so-particular tone of my stories: i was pig-sick bored with 'deep and meaningful' and 'grim and gritty', and wanted to do something that was more joyfully escapist... something a little old fashioned.
My aim was to do a character that may have existed, if, back in the early 70's, Dennis Wheatley and Nigel Kneale had wrote for the British comics industry. Occult sci-fi mysteries in a world that's a mix of The Avengers, Adam Adamant and Dr. Who. All brimming with that kinda invention, eccentricity and macabre menace you'd find in Valiant and Smash!.
Obviously it never happened, but i was able to channel a lot of that energy/enthusiasm into Albion.
And in a selfish way i was trying to push for that feel and attitude when working with Alan, John and Leah, cus I thought readers might've bin more receptive to Albion if it had jumped right into that weird dreamy 'otherplace', and, y know, just had more fun with it. But maybe not...
I did many drawings for this particular dream project. Here's a few... and, yes, he's supposed to look like Grimly Feendish.