Saturday, 27 June 2009

Here are a few random photographs and sketches from the Q-con on Friday night. Had a really good time and I'll definitely be back next year.

I'll post another few photos on Wednesday when I'm home from Manchester and get them uploaded.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

World domination...

In a bid for World Domination, Insomnia are hosting 3 simultanious Cancertown related events in 3 different countries this Saturday 27th June!

I'll tell you briefly about them here, but head over to Insomnia's blog, the red eye, for more details.

  • In England Cy and Nic will be selling and signing copies in Waterstones, Chemsford, England between 11am and 1pm.

  • Over in Scotland Crawford Coutts will be speaking at the Dundee Literary Festival and will be selling copies of Cancertown at the Insomnia Booth on Sunday as well.

  • And over here, Andrew Croskery and I will be hosting Insomnia's Stand at the Q-con, at Queens University Belfast, from 6pm this Friday night and all day Saturday.

The Q-con started off primarily as a gamers convention, with most of the crowd being Dungeons and Dragons, Warhammer, and console fans. Over the years they've expanded and they now have an artists alley, a comics section and a 24/7 Anime film theatre, but check out their site for more details.

Insomnia being the nice people they are have offered a triple prize of Cancertown, Layer Zero and Cages graphic novels to be won at some stage throughout the weekend. Somehow Glenn Davidson, one of the Q-con orgainisers, convinced me to do an A3 sized drawing to include as part of the prize also while he was picking up his book at the Belfast signing, so here's a look at it below.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Stay tuned for regular broadcasting..

Been a crazy week but regular broadcasting should resume on Wednesday...

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Hair today... slightly more detailed tomorrow.

I've made a conscious effort to improve my hair drawing skills while drawing Slaughterman's Creed.
The above is a panel featuring Morley from Cancertown. I used to like the minimal hair drawing and let Mel do most of the hard work, but recently I've went for the full ink render so that it looks bettter in black and white and so the high contrast will there in the final version. Here's an example of The more 'fuller' head of hair. Although this guy does look a little like Morley he's actually a small character from Slaughterman's Creed, I was just looking in the Mirror for the expression so he ended up looking a bit like Morley (with longer hair, thinner facer and a different nose... well his stubble looks like Morley's anyway.)
This was my first time inking a woman's hair but in this case I got it a little wrong and the shape of the parting doesn't quite trace her head.

A little photoshoppery later and the line's a bit better. I . I didn't want it to be too tidy to show a bit of a wild, sultry side to the character, so I added in a bit more detail and shape to it while I was there. I'm happy enough with how it turned out.

No sleep for Insomnia:
The buzz on Cancertown continues. Cy and Nic had a great time over by all accounts at the whatever comics signing this past weekend (and great sales too, so I'm starting to think if you want your hands on a first print you should order it before its too late). If you want to actually see what my co-conspirators look like, have a look here.

I was also featured in a huge centrefold in the Irish News last week. Here's a scan for those who havn't seen it. I have to thank David Roy for the excellent interview and very well written article.

I was also interviewed by the Jen over at the Pulse. This was a particular pleasure for me as the Pulse has been one of my favourite comics sites for as long as I can remember and one of the first few I ever found (and kept up with). Here's a link to the interview itself and there's plenty Cancertown art there as well.

As ever, our publisher Insomnia continues to expand. Take a look at Ryan hugh's gorgeous cover to Burke & Hare.

The book is the first from Insomnia's new Vigil Imprint which publishes the comicbook version of Biopics. Its a really interesting story by Martin Conaghan and Will Pickering and you can find out a lot more about it at Insomnia's Blog
Also check out and my good friend Andrew Croskery's blog to keep up with his Insomnia project and the other random nonsense (and art) he's sure to share.
Here are the pencils for the first page of the graphic novel. Can't wait to see it :)

I still havn't got the photos back from the 2D festival (Aimee has the film and she's very lazy :P) but I expect I'll have some pictures soon.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Well the 2D fesitival went brilliantly at the weekend. Unfortunetely I'd forgotten to bring my digital camera but I'll post some pictures once I get them developed.

Anyway no rest for the wicked and I'm off to Dr. Sketchy's now. Its a caberet-life-drawing-in-a-pub event once a month and last month was my first. Because of the fun nature of the night you only get about 4 minutes (one song long) to do sketches so it took me a while to get used to it.

Anyway I'll late so here's a few from last month. The first one is Andrew Croskery, writer of Kronos City from Insomnia, the rest are the models.

Friday, 5 June 2009

2D festival

I'm heading up to the 2D festival in Derry/London Derry today. This was the first con I'd ever been to and sort of kick-started my committment to becoming a proper comic book artist. As I've mentioned elsewhere before, I'd always dreamed of becoming a comicbook artist when 'I grew up' but with music and studies had never quite made any real steps towards it.

I first heard about the Bristol and Birmingham cons through attending the panels (which in a good old Irish fashion are set in Sandinos Bar), which in turn led to hearing about the guys from Insomnia, which in turn led to Cancertown etc..

There are a great line up of guests including Rufus Dayglo; a great artist who has helped me a lot with my art, a bunch of the Eclectic Micks; Irish guys who draw comics professionally, Gary Leach; who gave me some great encouragement last year and Bryan Talbot; who of course wrote the foreward for Cancertown.

I'll be there both as a guest (which feels a little odd) and hosting the Insomnia table, along with Kronas City writer Andrew Croskery who will be showing off some character sketches for the upcoming Insomnia book. If you havn't got your copy of Cancertown I'll be bringing a few along to sell.

Have a look on the 2D website, for the full run down of events including workshops, panels, competitions, sketches and the comicbook open day. Every single one if the events is free of charge so if you like comics and aren't too far away you've absolutely no reason to not be there.

Blog-a-rama continues tomorrow after all, so come back tomorrow for something that isn't Cancertown or Insomnia related (for once).

Rí Rá

I drew a two page strip for an Irish language kids comics named Rí Rá sometime around last Christmas and just got my copies in the post this past weekend. The comic is a great looking little package with a host of Irish and European talent creating short strips for the anthology.

I can hold a simple conversation in Irish but I wouldn't consider myself fluent, so when I met Aidan Courtney at the Dublin Comic con last year and mentioned submitting something to him I brought on board an Irish language teaching friend of mine, Finnbar Christie. Since my style of art, even in this more cartoonish form, doesn't really suit slapstick humour, I came up with a simple plot and asked Finnbar to write a poem over my layouts. Aidan liked this idea, something different from the other strips and ties in nicely with the expansion of Irish literature which was one of the main goals of the comic.

I created the whole artwork, from linework to colours to letters, about 95% digitally in Photoshop. I think I drew one of the panels on page 2 by hand, but ended up changing it a lot in PS anyway.

Here is page one of my strip. If you want to find out what happens to our title character you'll have to buy the comic. Does he hate school? Will he like it? Will he get expelled for setting it on fire? OK that last option is the least likely considering the target audience is 8-14 year olds but hopefully you'll be able to follow most of the stories by just looking a the art even if you don't read Irish (and theres a glossary at the back if you want to pick some up).

And here's the cover art by the wonderful Bob Byrne.


'm not sure exactly where you'll find copies of Rí Rá. I know it's on its way to a lot of Irish bookstores and Libraries, including but if you want a copy you can contact coimicigael or Aidan direct.

Tomorrow is the end of my blog-a-rama nd come back then and I'll prob be back to the regular Wednesday and Sunday schedule after that.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Fan Art

Cancertown got a full page write up/preview in this Months ImagineFX (issue 145 I believe). Cy has already posted a scan of the page over at his blog so i wont re-post it here, but I will draw your attention to the other article with which I was involved in the same issue.
The article was sbout Fan Art and its role in the industry. I've always had an eye on drawing something for Marvel or DC one day and so spoke a little about that (and I get the big quote of the page). It was also pretty crazy being on the same page as Adi Granov, artist of Iron Man and designer of the movie costume.
However having only actually published creator owned projects up until now, I thought I'd share a few interpretions of characters I'd created, drawn by other people.

The first person (artist?) to interpret my characters was actually my girlfriend Aimee who sketched them in my drawing book for a laugh. At first glance they look like the drawings of a 5 year old, but on further inspection I wouldn't be surprised if this comic style would be more popular in Europe than my more realisticaly proportioned characters.

I actually recieved my first proper 'fan art' from Andrew Croskery at the signing last Saturday. A weird twist considering I was the one meant to be drawing sketches for the attendees. Andrew is the writer of Kronas City currently in production from Insomnia publications and here he is holding his version of Morley, Crosshair and a Badmouth.

Apparently Andrew was the first Insomnia creator was was able to send rough sketches of his character along with his pitch. He told me that if only he could draw environments, perspective, full figures and tell a story he would have considering drawing the book himself. Being the awkward man that he is, he requested "a badmouth talking to a tooth" sketch. Here it is below. I've left the balloon empty as since he's apparrently a writer he can fill it in himself.

I did get two fan art requests of the day from Jennifer and her sister, who came along with their dad to the signing and asked me to draw a couple of manga characters. I forget the names of these characters (one may be called 'L') but you can see my very bad first manga attempt at Jennifers Deviant Art site.

And of course I can't go without mentioning the ultimate portrayal of my characters by another artist, in the form of paul Cartwrights incredible Cancertown cover.

Check back tomorrow for part 3 my daily blog-a-thon.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009


So much has been happening lately that my bi-weekly blog aint gonna cover it all without clogging the whole thing up with images, so I'm going to be posting everyday until the weekend (Saturday probably being the day off as I'll be up in Derry for the 2D festival and rounding off with Sunday).

Anyway, here's some photos from the Belfast Cancertown launch/signing.
I found the first eager customer waiting just as I came down the stairs.

He requested Crosshair (particularly popular choice on the day)..

Before I had even finished the first sketch a crowd had gathered...

And kept growing..

Who each got a sketch.

As the sketching continued...

...the crowd quickly formed into a queue...

Some people had a bit of a wait for their sketch.

But I think everyone was happy by hometime.

Then there were drinks (and those photographs are not to be realeased to the public).
To be continued tomorrow...
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