Sunday, 27 February 2011

Busy busy busy!

You know how you get really busy weeks but have hardly anything to show for it? This has been one of those weeks! Well, not that I don't have anything to show for it, just that a lot of the work I've been doing, I CAN'T show. I've been working on a pretty cool project for a writer, working up some illustrations for a kid's book that will be pitched at various book fairs. Fingers crossed it gets some interest! I can't say much at the moment, only that I've been drawing zombies and people transforming into horrible things!
I have started working on stuff to take to my first con of the year though; the London Comic and Small Press Expo, formally the Web and Mini Comix Thing. As the Thing was no longer running, it got taken over by the awesome peeps who have vamped up the Bristol Con and I can't wait to see how it goes. The Web and Mini Comix Thing was the first con I ever went to as an exhibitor and has pretty much been the reason I go to cons so I'm glad it hasn't been canned. Here are some of the bits I've been making:

Zombie key rings and magnets! It's a dull job cutting out all of those little squares but the end product looks awesome!

Some finished magnets; more designs to come too!

Finished zombie magnets!

Fortune cookies...

I was hoping to have my new big zine, Brains Etc. finished for this but tight deadlines this month have pushed it back a bit. In the meantime, I'll be making 4 mini-comics that will be sold in packs with a print and some other goodies. You get to choose from Gross Stuff, Cryptids, Ninjas or Zombies! Or all 4! :P
I will also be selling a few Transformers bits at Roll Out/Roll Call on the 6th of March as my boyf is a guest. A busy couple of weeks but worth it!

Sunday, 20 February 2011


Another great 80s cartoon baddie who wore a skirt (sensing a pattern here), Venger from Dungeons & Dragons! I always liked Venger because even though he was a complete bastard, he had his moments where he was almost human. My favourite episode, The Dragon's Graveyard, is a great example of this and gets me every time. It was considered a pretty risky episode as the kids all plot to kill Venger and even get to the point where they can. Venger was also voiced by the amazing Peter Cullen, who also did Optimus Prime. Apparently, doing Venger's voice was always a strain on Cullen's voice so it wasn't one of his favourites to do!

Awesome Korean Cinema

I'm a huge fan of Asian cinema - see my post about some amazing Japanese films here - and have recently been getting back to it in a big way, most notably with South Korean cinema. Here are three I've watched in the last few days, all of which happen to star one of my favourite actors, the amazing Song Kang-ho.

Memories of Murder has actually been one of my favourite films for a while now and it just gets better with every watch. Based on Korea's first major serial killer case back in the 80s, MOM sees a small town shook by a series of grisly murders. The local police force don't have the resources to deal with such a case and resort to extreme measures to try and please the press and catch a killer. The acting in this film is superb and the story is gripping and bleak; don't let that put you off though! It's currently being remade in the States so catch the original first.

The Good The Bad The Weird is brilliant, pure and simple! Set in 1930's Manchuria, a bounty hunter, a hired killer and a thief cross paths as they all become involved in a treasure hunt. The direction in this film is fantastic; very kinetic and inventive and it's obvious that the actors are having a great time too. This is a mere £2.99 on Amazon and more than worth that price; very highly recommended!

Vampire films have been done to death but Chan-wook Park has managed to revive a tired concept. A priest volunteers at a remote hospital to find a cure for a virus and after almost dying, is given a blood transfusion from blood belonging to a vampire. He becomes involved with his friend's wife and everything goes wrong from there! Brilliant film; no sharp teeth, fantastic acting from Song Kang-ho and just a different take on the vampire genre.

New Godzilla Comic Series

It's not unusual these days for single issue comics to have several variants; having worked in a comic shop, I remember all too well sorting through sketch variants, wrap-around, colour variants, character variants, foil covers - the list goes on. However, IDW have come up with an amazingly original and frankly crazy new variant idea; any comic shop that orders 500 of the new Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters series gets their comic shop drawn being destroyed by Godzilla on the cover! You can read more about it here but this means that there are no less than 80 variant covers to this comic which has never been done before. More excitingly, my talented beau John-Paul coloured no less than 20 of these covers. Above is just one of them; now we need to see if we can collect them all!

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Mumm-Ra: The Ever Living!

Growing up in the 80s, I watched a LOT of cartoons. Apparently, me and my brother played outside a lot too but my memories consist mostly of cartoon shows and computer games. I thought I'd do a series on the characters that had some influence on me as I grew up. First off, we have Mumm-Ra: The Ever Living! Baddie to the Thundercats, I always though Mumm-Ra was bloody weird; an Egyptian dude wearing a skirt who always had spit hanging from his teeth, almost compares with the oddness of Saw Boss from Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors! Here he is in his second incarnation as a buff, immortal vision of evil!

Friday, 18 February 2011

Astonishing X-Men commission

I was given the rather daunting but fun task of drawing a page from Astonishing X-Men in my style. I had a lot of fun with this but my work just doesn't compare to John Cassadays!

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Inflight Mag Illustrations

I've just finished my second job for Air Emirates pre-school in flight magazine and it was even better than the last one! I had a lot of fun with this and can't wait for the next one.

Find the rhyming pictures!

Old MacDonald's farm, with tractor to colour in!

Alphabet drop-ins; V and X are my favourites!

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Work and 80s TV

It's been a busy week and it's only Wednesday! I thought I'd share what I've been working on lately. For Valentine's Day, I made my awesome boyf a deliberately bad card based on Die Hard:

The chicken dippers refer to the Die Hard themed restaurant we created whilst eating at the Bubba Gump Shrimp restaurant. Someday we will produce a full menu!

I asked JP to get me Street Hawk on DVD for my birthday in April but he got it for VD instead - woo! Mainly to shut me up, I think, as I've been going on about it for ages. It's brilliant for all the wrong reasons and is definitely better as a memory! I've been loving it though; can't get the Tangerine Dream theme tune out of my head! :D

I'm almost done with my new Air Emirates brief; here are the inks for a double-page spread for Old MacDonald's Farm...

I finally got my awesome District 9 art book through the post; it's fantastic. I can't get over the designs from this film. The weapons are especially gorgeous and it's easy to see why Neill Blomkamp and Weta would have been perfect for the canned Halo film.

Some colour drop-ins for another Air Emirates spread. Illustrating X For X-Ray was my favourite!

Saturday, 12 February 2011

My Desk: Commission Time

I received my second job for the airline magazine this week, so my desk now houses all I need to get that done. Most important is the bowl of Bombay Mix for pure snacky goodness.

I'm also breaking in a new sketchbook; I'm going to try and do more updates containing sketchbook pages, no matter how bad they look! The key rings and magnets are for zombie goodies that will be sold in my shop and at cons this year. The chickens are obscuring the text about my book pile; I bought a DVD from one of my favourite directors, Chan-wook Park, which I need to catch up on at some point. Vangelis is also seeing me through a lot of work at the moment, although I think I may need some Eagles of Death Metal for the rest of this commission...

Friday, 11 February 2011

Star Wars and Harry Potter Commissions!

I had two fantastic commissions a few weeks ago that I got finished last weekend and sent off. Who doesn't like drawing Star Wars characters? I'll be making this Return of the Jedi painting into a print for upcoming cons (pen and ink with digital colouring). I will also be making prints of Harry, Ron and Hermione to sell too.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

My Desk 2: Painting

This post saw my desk in it's usual state of flux when I'm working, but here it is when I have to paint. It gets a little bit chaotic as I have to navigate around paint tubes, brushes, millions of tin-foil packages acting as a palette (tin foil keeps acrylics wet and airtight) and my keyboard so I can get reference from the internet (like the colour of the Emperor's face in Return of the Jedi). By the point this picture was taken, I'd already dipped my brush in my tea, dropped a paint packet face down on the desk (purple) and given myself a lovely Sparks style moustache with paint from my finger. If you're interested in seeing how I go about painting film and comic characters, see here and here!

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Learn to draw comics the AWESOME way!

My rather spiffing fiend James Stayte is teaching two classes at Bath University this year, and I think anyone who wants to draw comics should definitely think about enrolling! Not just comics though, James is teaching an Introduction to Illustration class too. Considering he's a very good illustrator constantly getting good gigs in the field, I can't think of a better teacher.

James does a lot of stuff for one of my favourite magazines, Cereal:Geek. I'm rather envious of his ability to draw my favourite characters so well. *shakes fist*

One of my favourite things James has done - The Shining in comic form!

If you don't want to take a class where you could draw The Goonies as a comic, then I think you're a fool!

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Zombie Apocalypse Shopping List

This is a preview page for my zine, Brains Etc. which I'll be selling at upcoming comic cons. The zine itself will be in black and white, but you could always use it as a colouring book too!

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