Friday, 29 June 2007

"CROATOA!"


As the weekend is approaching, I thought I'd be kind and spare you my own work, so don't say I never fuckin' do nuthin' for ya, okay?? I own these pages from 100 Bullets number 68, drawn by the extraordinary Eduardo Risso. They're framed and infront of me as I type, serving to both inspire or frustrate depending on my own mood or output. I truly don't know how he manages to be so consistantly productive and inventive, and to think I'd never heard of the fella before working for DC/Vertigo. I gotta confess that fanboyness swayed my decision to buy the splash page of Lono. It's not my favourite by any stretch but the trigger word "Croatoa" employed to 'wake up' the Minutemen is only used so often. There are larger/better scans of the first two pages here (in the "issues" section, along with many more) coloured by Patricia Mulvihill, of whom I am a big fan.

Check out the time of this post, I'm hoping "COFFEE!" will be my "Croatoa".

Thursday, 28 June 2007

Think Pink

"No. A nice pink."

I drew this for Vertigo editor Shelly Bond and still got a job.





He says in post number 13...

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Trip to the Comic Shop


"For heaven's sake, young lady, just come in. There's a new limited edition resin Gollum figurine I simply must possess."

Deborah and her chaperone from Paris, available for pre-order from your local comic book emporium NOW!

Monday, 25 June 2007

Billions of blue...


...blistering barnacles, it's a doodle of my favourite comic character, Captain Haddock, based on a panel from Prisoners Of The Sun. I was clearly inspired to do so after seeing Andi Watson's far classier Hergé-homage here, by thunder.

Friday, 22 June 2007

"The Usual Gang of Idiots"



No, not the jester-hatted jugglers smoking love cigarettes whilst being subjected to Robbie Williams at Glastonbury festival, but the contributing writers and artists for the legendary Mad magazine. As it's topical, here are a coupla pics I drew for them a year or so ago, minus the captions and speech balloons, I'm afraid.

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Dry Sandwich


A picture of the Paris gals, but a troubling one because they don't seem to have eaten much Camembert considering they've nearly finished their baguette.



(Two hours later) Ah! Maybe it's their *second* Camembert.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

"Unheard-of Splendors Await Below..."


...not on this blog, however.
I made this sketch on a recent holiday to the Norfolk Broads. Not really. It's a portrayal of Innsmouth, H.P. Lovecraft's fictitious town, drawn for these guys in exchange for Kronenbourg. I'd previously illustrated an adaptation of 'The Shadow Over Innsmouth' for Graphic Classics and I guess they felt I had one more picture of decaying wood in me, bless 'em. After drawing the story I learned that Innsmouth was largely based on the Massachusetts town of Gloucester, but we British folk know that the UK's own Gloucester is much more terrifying.

Sunday, 17 June 2007

Punk Inn'it


A Ramones-y guy with Franquin-esque footwear and an anarcho punk with Segar-style forearms.

Friday, 15 June 2007

Two Old Masters



I've been working on thumbnails and pencils for Vinyl Underground this week, but whilst Paris is still in the not-out-yet stage I might as well continue to post images from that. The first is incidental and acts as a chapter break, the second is a redrawn panel. The original version featured Juliet and Deborah meeting under Wtewael's 'Perseus and Andromeda' but I later received an email from writer Andi Watson entitled "Argh" and a link to Ingres' 'Roger Delivering Angelica'. It depicts the similar scene of an enchained woman being rescued from the clutches of a dragon, thus conveying the same metaphor, but is more in-keeping with the protagonist's mutual admiration of Ingres, whose works frequent the story. At first, I told Andi that I wasn't going to redraw it, but he flew into a wild rage, so in the end I relented. Well, his words were closer to "Only redraw it if you really want to, years from now. I was merely pointing the painting out", but his nice guy reputation is strong enough to withstand the odd tweak.

I can't tell you what a thrill it was to read his scripts. They were evocative and precise, his choice of facial expression was always the right one and his pacing was immaculate. It was alot easier for me to redraw existing paintings than do justice to the subtleties of his story-telling, let's put it that way. Hence this post.

Thursday, 14 June 2007

No War But The Craft War



Jennifer de Guzman at SLG and I thought it would be fun to include a Paulette paper doll in the Paris collection. Here is one option of dress. Her left foot is raised off the ground because I'd intended to give her a pair of heels too, but ran out of room. Although really, ballet shoes are mandatory and also more comfortable during bitter combat with the army of the rich (just... take my word for this). To view the doll itself, please go here and click stuff until the full-screen version appears. But take heed - small children may choke on the attachable armpit hair.

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Busman's Holiday


In May, my friend Emily persuaded me to spend my monthly day off painting a mural in her new bedroom. Now, I raised an eyebrow at first, because I'd already painted three in her old room. But the hard fact remained, she was getting too big for that one and besides, it was going to be needed by her new baby bro. "I want Lions and monkeys" she said. "And I'd like you to paint them free-hand with acrylics. It's okay if the lion is a plagerised generic 1950's kinda deal, and if a third monkey escapes to another part of the room, say, to hang off the light switch".

I've painted on five walls in that house now. Enough is enough. I'm booking her father a vasectomy. I'll perform it myself if I have to.

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Homage: Life on the Street


I was recently in Paris with my old friend Mark and we’d stopped to admire the Porte St. Denis. “That’s a cool fucking view” he observed, with his back to the Porte. “That IS a cool fucking view, Marky-Boy, you’re right”, I responded, quite taken by the vista across the street. I photographed it so I could draw it later, but it rang a bell, I’d seen it before. Anyway when I was about halfway through drawing it a lightbulb appeared above my head and I was like, “Shit” and reached for an Adèle Blanc-Sec book by Jacques Tardi, and sure enough, the endpapers are of the same street, albeit from a different angle. Tardi’s one of my all time favourite cartoonists, and a huge influence, sometimes (ie whenever I’m drawing Paris), too obvious an influence (note to self: next book title: "Wolverhampton"). So I was a little deflated to be emersed in a drawing that would only ram home this fact, but finished it nonetheless.

I drew the couple at the bottom left because my heart always twangs when I see elderly couples holding hands. But kids though... I’ll tell you what happened to me on Sunday. I was walking past a few of the little fuckers and one said “Hello, what’s your name?”. I told him and asked what his was. It was Solomon, which I rightly told him was a great name. He was a cute little thing and before you knew it I had this group of sprogs between the ages of 3 and 6 all chatting to me, asking me if I’d vandalised the nearby telephone box and explaining that they were waiting for the cops to arrive. That was the gist, but it was a bit confusing to be honest. It was kind of like a crack-addicted Red Hand Gang in retrospect. Anyway, it was getting tiresome and our adventure was almost over, so I continued on my way only to hear one of the girls holler “Where do you live?” and as I looked around Solomon shouted “We’re going to burgle your fucking house!”. I thought I should share that incase you thought *Mark’s* language was bad.

Monday, 11 June 2007

Irritating description of work process


Here's a panel from the Paris prologue. I started by drawing the man and child at the bottom and worked my way up until the page was full, inking the parts as I went along. That's how I approached all of the splash pages in the book. This way it stayed interesting and meant I didn't haveta map it all out in one go, settle on character types, props and so on. It's not an aerial shot, the figures are just stacked on top of each other, sat at tilted table tops to imply a high view. The good thing about discarding perspective and proportion is that if you fuck up, you can say it was deliberate, and even give reasons why. Um, notice how Juliet is bigger than the other figures because she's the star of the book...? Clever, eh?

Saturday, 9 June 2007

Hello friends...


... and welcome to my blog! I’ll post artwork from the comic book projects I’m working on, such as the upcoming DC/Vertigo series I’m pencilling, the SLG Publishing Paris trade paperback and anything else that springs to mind.

For now, here’s the cover to Paris, out in August. It’s 144 pages, written by Andi Watson and drawn by me. It’s been a title so close to my heart I didn’t want it to end, so persauded Andi to pen a new 12 page prologue. For a sample of that, as well as the press release, please click here.

Okay, let’s see if I can get this blogging business to work. If anyone has any advice on the subject, please feel free to let me know, I’m hoping to relieve Jonathan Edwards of his technical support role before I drive him nuts.