Tuesday, December 22, 2009

HO!HO!AARGHHHHHHHH!!


Well, i never did get Channel Evil #2 finished by the end of November, and looks like i won't be getting there before the new year arrives.
I tried, damn it i tried, but little seems to be going right in my world.
Won't go on at great length about illness and low morale and the general day-to-day frustration/despair, but i obviously feel shit about letting everyone down, most especially my ever-patient editor Alexander Finbow.
I have problems, and I realise I've got to get myself in a fit shape, not just physically but mentally. Some of these problems are deep-set and have been with me for many, many years, don't think I've ever really addressed them or taken them seriously enough. Agen, too complex to go into, and too personal.
I love storytelling, i love taking things outta my head and seeing them come alive on paper, and it's what i want to do for the rest of my life. And if it wasn't for the love and support of my friends, parents and guiding light Suzanne, i would've crumbled to dust a long time ago.

Thankyou all.

See you in 2010, where you'll be meeting a new, much improved Shane Oakley.
Hope you have a splendid Xmas.

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Killer Smile

Most of 2008 i was working for BOOM! drawing the walking dead and many tentacled slithering Lovecraftian things.

Sadly, both Zombie Tales and Cthulhu Tales were cancelled(not my fault!)but a new 4-issue horror anthology arose from the ashes. I was invited to do a full set of variant covers, but only found the time for two since i was due to start on Channel Evil.

Not that all the deadline panic was necessary, since the comic never came out, and according to my 'source' at BOOM!, it's highly unlikely it's turning up next year either.

So, just in case i get run over by a No:7 bus, or aliens invade, or the world ends early to piss off the Mayans, i thought i should let one lurch out of the vault.

A Monster-mutant clown with a hook, what's not to love?


Saturday, November 07, 2009

Channel Evil # 2 - Still alive and working up to a kick
















Putting down the ink, going slowly but surely. Aiming to have the whole issue done this month. Will post more soon. Hope I've still got your interest.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Festering on Facebook

Over in some dark and dank corner of Facebook you will find Shane Oakley's Phantasmagoric House of Horror; a fan page monster-minded by friendly freak-fiend Brad 'Indio' Tuttle.

You don't get membership cards, secret decoder skull rings or 8x10 glossies of me asleep at the drawing board, but you can share your enthusiasm with the like-minded and see a few 'exclusive' pics of old and new art, like the one above(which was exclusive 5 days ago).

And though I'm honoured and chuffed, I'm not actually on Facebook(and i don't 'twit'). This blog and e-mails take enough of my spare time, and i really do like to keep a little bit of me all for myself.

Sign up, thank Indio, drive carefully and say nice things.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

You'll need tunes with that

Put on your shades and crypt-creepers, cus it's time to shake dem bones, rattle some chains and do the funeral bop.

Ladies, gents, boils and ghouls, give a listen to the Munsters of Surf Rock, those moody masters of mysterious melody, the soundtrack for your Halloween - THE GHASTLY ONES!



Monday, October 26, 2009

Just Treats

Halloween. It's like Xmas for horror fans.

One time a year when our obsession infects the whole nation; when reality turns into a day-glo Mardi Gras of the Macabre. Streets and shops are decked out like late night creature feature-movie sets.
Teen-zombies and vampire goth girls dance the Monster Mash and things go-go bump and grind in the night.
And Boris Karloff and Vincent Price stalk TV screens, as ghoulishly-garbed children knock at the door threatening a fire-bombing if they don't get a six pack of lager and some cigs(or mebbe that's just in Stoke?).

Halloween with it's cheap plastic skulls, Jack-o-Lanterns, bats, Frankenstein masks, hairy horror hands, Drac fangs ,Witches hats and Haunted House shows. Gaudy, gory and gloriously gruesome.

Personally, i think once a year is not near enough.

For those who get that same chiller-thrill every October Creepfest, i offer you a deliciously dark selection of links, guaranteed to send a diabolical tingle(r) down your hunchbacked spine.

David Hartman


Belle Dee


Pete Von Sholly

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Vampire!

Later this year Renegade Arts Entertainment will release the first in a series of prints drawn by among others, Frank Quietly, Mark Buckingham and Leigh Gallagher.

The launch set is inspired by Doug Bradley's Spine Chiller audibooks, artworks with a horror and Gothic bent/bias.
When invited to contribute i had no problem saying YES!, but then i faced the frustration of drawing 'whatever i want', making a CHOICE, not always as easy as you'd think. Then one winter evening after a zillionth viewing of Dracula Prince of Darkness, it seemed obvious, like giant blood dripping letters obvious - HAMMER!

No, not the guy in the baggy pants.

This snarling undead darling is especially for Indio, good bloke and a terrifically twisted talent, go look, but beware those of a nervous and fragile disposition, since you'll be ripped blubbering and screaming from your sheltered life.




Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Joy of Sketch

At junior school when drawing had become my passion, money was tight and fancy artists tools and supplies were a luxury normally reserved for birthdays and Xmas. Otherwise drawing pads and felt tip pens came from market stalls or Woolworth's, no frills cheap pulpy paper and vinegar-smelling ink.

And I recall drawing on the back of old greetings cards and till receipt rolls, not just cus times were hard, but cus it didn't matter, i just wanted to draw, draw on anything and everything, and if it wasn't paper, it was walls or pavements or - usually to my regret - school desks.
A few years later and i had A2 illustration board, Gillott nibs, a fistful of Rotring pens and a draughtsman's set. I felt the bees knees, all proper and professional like. But the drawing became difficult, i was far less prolific, far less spontaneous, cus that untamed energy had to be bottled, controlled and directed with careful pre-meditated precision, that's what i was told, what i thought.
And for me, it's where i was spoiled, where the seeds for future dissatisfaction and frustration were planted. That's the moment the 'tortured artist' was born. What tools? What materials? What technique? What should you do? What shouldn't you do? How? Why?
...and etc.
This month, during travelling and 'waiting around' time i finished a years old battered A5 sketchbook, knowing i hadn't much 'virgin' pages left, I'd packed a new one.
Never used it.
Instead, i drew on napkins, bus tickets, really cheap typing paper(about 70p for 100 pages), and even on the innards of a tatty novel. And i used old last gasp pens, no pencil or eraser, and markers that weren't compatible and bled into each other. And it works - it really turns up the buzz, taps right into that subconscious mother lode of creativity, the childhood self who is free of fuss. Whether it's the best sketch you've ever done or the worst, doesn't matter, as long as you're drawing, as long as you've let it all out.

Those costly fancy sketchbooks tend to intimidate, or make you feel like every drawing you do should be a work of art, soon as you open it you're careful and mannered, putting on the restraints. Unless you're some genius like Rob Crumb(not many of them about)or off your head on shrooms.
On the bus, in cafes, at the doctors, at funerals, I'm rabid about sketching, and in my studio i do it on scrap paper, envelopes, post-its, back of photocopies and especially on council tax bills, but NEVER in a sketchbook(i have plenty gathering dust).


Sketching sharpens your instinct, makes the brain-to-hand-to-paper coordination less anguished, less regimented, and more concerned with the pleasure of the act rather than the technicalities and the 'right way' to do it.
And it's helping me 're-programme' the way i work on finished pages, I'm biased, but compulsive sketching is making CEvil #2 a better issue than the first.
And it's all because of that little lad doodling on the back of Xmas cards.
Give away that moleskine that gazes into your timid eye! Liberate - draw on tablecloths, on menus, on windowsills - on each other! Let your pen free!




Or not.