Saturday, 29 October 2011

Where the Dead Dwell

With the Halloween excitement around the corner (or here already, or something) it's about time I did something to cash in celebrate it! This happens to come about at the exact time that I need to produce some prints to take to Thought Bubble in HOLY BALLS LESS THAN 3 WEEKS NOW.

I watched the remake of The Amityville Horror for inspiration and it turned out not to be inspiring. In fact, my complaint about the original was that nothing much happened so when the 2005 version proved to me that something happening was a bad thing, I guess I realised I just don't like the story. Whatever.

Anyway, I have a theory about horror movies which I have often commented about to whoever will listen (usually when drunk) so why not impart this knowledge right here?

The theory goes like this: the scariest movies are the ones which use religion as a basis for the scares. There's something deeply unsettling about tying a well-known, in many cases accepted without question, story/characters into your fiction. Regardless of whether you are religious or not, we've all been around churches at some point, all heard a sermon, all seen people pray, all heard tales or derivations of tales from The Bible or the equivalent book in another religion (I'm in no way religious which accounts for my ignorance when it comes to the names of said books) and the fact that these things are a part of everyday modern life (and history) means that a horror story dealing with demonic possession or graveyards, ghosts etc do the job better than a 'slasher' or a monster of some kind.

In any case, they unsettle me. Like I said, I'm not religious but it's hard not to feel like there's a little extra fear deep-seated in my subconscious which only comes out when Hollywood whispers "Remember when the vicar mentioned the devil when you were at that Harvest Festival thing in the village chapel as a kid? Well, this is what he looks like..." AAARGH! Even then?!


So here's my exorcism-themed image. Girls are always on the ceiling in these things, right? Good. Then my work here is done.

You can buy it here, just so you know...

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Ever Living

I was going to pontificate some more on the relative merits of taking risks in publishing, but then I decided that it would be better to just show you the cover of Third Earth's favourite health and fitness magazine.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Thought Bubble choices

This is all a bit last minute, but before it gets too close to the date of the Thought Bubble convention (19th November, fact seekers) I need to put in my order for prints and posters to sell on the day(s).

Trouble is, I'm not going to use copyrighted characters because of... y'know... legality and ethics and all that, which leaves my movie posters, Hex Heroes and a few others. I'm going to post the candidates below and I'd really appreciate a few opinions on which of them you would buy as a poster.*

(For info, I'm going to offer 4 designs as A3 sized prints and 1 design as either an A2 or A1 poster)

*No obligation or anything, I suppose...

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Once Upon a Time Machine

Title page by Farel Dalrymple
I may have mentioned this before, but probably cryptically and a long time ago, when dinosaurs ruled this blog, so now it feels like minty fresh news, yes? Good.

In 2009 and 2010 I was working on what was destined to become my swan song in comics (which may not turn out to be, but that's another story), a reinterpretation of the classic Three Little Pigs fairy tale set in the future. Showing some remarkably un-me-like stubborn determination, I plotted, scripted, illustrated and (partially) lettered eight pages, which now waits patiently alongside a few dozen other tales in a collection of future fairy tale comics known as Once Upon a Time Machine.

1001 by Nelson Evergreen
King Humpty by Ryan Ottley
The Crossing by Charles Fetherolf
 There are some great new and upcoming creators involved, alongside some big names and veterans; Cary Nord (Conan, Ultimate Human), Marcio Takara (The Incredibles, Incorruptible), Khoi Pham (Mighty Avengers, X-Men: Legacy), Farel Dalrymple (Omega the Unknown, Pop Gun War), Ryan Ottley (Invincible, Haunt)... the list goes on. The most ridiculous thing about it is that so far it hasn't found a publisher.

With the comic book industry's current climate making any book not about super heroes or a licensed property  a risk, maybe it's not so surprising that Once Upon a Time Machine isn't being snapped up, despite the names involved and the quality of the work created. Seriously, I've been privy to a lot of the development and it's no exaggeration to say that I'm as enthusiastic about this book's prospects as I was when Popgun: vol one was being put together (yeah, I was originally slated to be in that award-winning anthology until things went awry. Grr.) so there's obviously a missing piece here. Maybe the right person/publisher hasn't seen it at the right time? I dunno. In any case, the quality is there, the hook is there, the names are there and now... the exposure seems to be there. Bleeding Cool picked up on the project, happily putting a "look what you're missing!" spin on it, which only seems fair.

What I (and I'm sure everyone involved in this book) would love is for anybody who likes the look of Once Upon a Time Machine so far to make some noise about it, give it a profile boost so publishers know there's a market for it! Share, share, share!

Oh, go on then. I'll show you some of the art from my story, too...

Now then, get thee to the Facebook Page and tell everyone! 

Monday, 10 October 2011

Sunday, 9 October 2011

The thingy of wotsit

I have important things to do, so I'll have to make this a brief entry.

If you can tell who this is, I've done my job. If not... I'll try again.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Turn This Opportunity Yes

What's the best movie ever made?


It's Sexy Beast. I'm not a Brit gangster film fan, which is a good job as this is only a Brit gangster film in passing. It's more of a comedy psychological thriller, with Don Logan rightfully taking his place amongst the greatest screen baddies mostly due to the incredible script, but also because of Ben Kingsley's perfect delivery of all of Don's lines.

So if you've seen the film, you'll maybe get some of the stuff I've included in this portfolio piece. If you haven't... come back when you've watched it. You sicken me.

Dead World

Huh. So it's now 3.21am here and I've just finished a fourteen hour stint on an illustration which I hadn't even thought about 30 minutes before the urge to draw a car hit me. I nearly stopped when I got the pencils completed at 11pm but powered through.

The result is another in the B-movie poster series and I'm currently very happy with it. It's certainly the most fun I've had in a LONG time when drawing. Might post the process tomorrow, actually. It involved models, Google Image Search, typo-detail paper, layout paper, bristol board, Photoshop, Illustrator and masking tape.

Dear god, I'm tired. Night.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Now I have a machine gun

Feedback to the previous post was mostly muted, with the odd Marlon Brando comment thrown in. As it turns out, the portrait was of just some bloke, not Bruce Willis. That's not going to get me anywhere if I'm trying to represent real people, now is it?

Fortunately, when I was eating a sandwich yesterday I started drawing John McClane again, from memory and with a ballpoint pen on the back of a piece of scrap paper. I suppose it's ironic that when I was hardly trying, I came up with something far more successful than when I had tons of research, tools and techniques to hand. Far more successful? Well, I guess that's for others to say (again). I wait with baited breath for the reaction.

For the record, I re-pencilled the image, scanned it and vectored the piece, adding a Beretta 92fs which was a bit of a nightmare to put together and isn't 100% accurate, but then neither is Bruce, probably. Two versions, one more closely cropped focusing on McClane and one playing with guns.