Thursday, 30 July 2009


Way too tired from teaching and drawing all day to find something interesting to say (and I know technically its Thursday here, but it's still Wednesday somewhere in the world so I'm still on schedule) so here's a non comicbook related pencil sketch of a lion I drew a few years ago.
Come to think of it, this may have some revelance to a future project according to what the writer has been telling me in snippets.

Before I fall asleep, I hope anyon reading last week has been following Ferret's Blog.
The final version of the Bad Rain quilt is over there (as well as on Cy's Blog, Insomnia's Blog and Forbidden Planet's Blog; its going on a little Cancertown tour itself).

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Everything including the kitchen sink

Few scribbles that I doodled (scroodles?) at the Q-con in the fleeting moments of quiet that we had:
Wolverine has always been one of my favourite comic character to sketch so he's probably the default image that comes out when my hand does its own thing.

2000AD and Image artist Paul Holden was sitting next to us and challenged me to draw Dredd, a character I havn't had much practice with.

Here's that weird drunken sketch that I promised from the Derry 2D festival. We did a few of these drunken collaborations but the other ones were too rude to show (mostly because of my brother James' phallic additions). I can't really remember exactly who was at the table (and don't want to wrongly associate this monstronsity with anyone) but there was definitely a few of the Longstone comic crew adding lines and I'm pretty sure that's Karl from Andrew Croskery's Kronos City in the top left corner. I think the sink and arms were my addition and Aimee drew the skirt and legs... but to honest... I cant really be sure.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Very odds and sods.

I found a few odd things while I was tidyin today (a.k.a moving books from one table to another) so thought I's share a few oddities in the next few blogs (if I can keep up the courage to make them available to the public that is).
Here are a few drawings from a night at Dr. Sketchy's in Belfast. I missed last months being away on holiday (was Myths and Legends themed and would have been really good) so these are from the time before.
I had started off using my trusty mechanical pencil for these Dr. Sketchy's but soon realised that they looked really bland when you only have 4 minutes per sketch and fell back on the good old trusty sharpen-by-hand type. I've started using HB pencils in my comic pages again sparingly, especialy when I'm not 100% sure how I want an image to look. It gives that natural degree of variation so you can pick how much of the line you want to use when inking. Makes for a dirty page though.This following drawing isn't mine. It's Kronos City writer Andrew Croskery's portrait of me. Dr. Sketchy's helps you sketch faster because there's no time to think, you only get the length of one song (ocassionaly two) until the models swap round. That said, no one can sketch as fast as Andrew who prob took about 30 seconds to whip out this pic. Anyone who knows me can tell you I actually look like a male supermodel, so this is not an accurate likeness :P

In my pile of stuff I also found the drunken mash up that a lot of us created up in Sandinos bar at the 2D festival this year. I don't know if the general society is ready for it but I'll post it on Sunday and see if anyone's eyes survive the experience.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Changing media...

Remember this double page spread from Cancertown: An Inconvenient Tooth?*

(Pencils and inks by me, Colours my Melanie Cook)

Well its currently undergoing one of the least expected interpretations anyone could think of. Its being made into a quilt.

Yes I too once thought of quilts as something you wrap around yourself, but after being introduced to their friend Ferret by my Cancertown collaborators Cy Dethan and Nic Wilkinson, I've been intoduced to this new media of art. I've still seen very little, only really what Ferret posts on her blog but its really fasinating stuff and can produce gorgeous results. Ferret's an award winning quilter and seems to be pushing the boundries of the media and in her biggest attempt yet (literally) she's re-creating the above spread in material form.

Here's an in progress photo that I stole from Ferret's blog (hope you don't mind) where you can follow its progress. Can't wait to see it finished!

Ferret's also got her own quilting book coming out that you can see a bit of information on her website here.

*If you don't, it means you probably havn't bought it yet. So get on over to Forbidden planet, Amazon, Waterstones, Whatever comics or order it through your comic stores with Diamond code JUL091827 (Phew!)

Until Wednesday...

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Slaughtered in bits...

Since Cy's posted the black and white art for the first two pages of Slaughterman's Creed over at his blog I thought I show a breakdown of the first splash page.


Loose pencils:
Inks (with a subtle bit of pencil shading):

I'm sure I added a good bit more pencilling after the rough second stage but I cant find a scan of it on my computer. The above version was designed to be cropped and you can see the final over at Cy's blog.

On another note, I'm not sure if I've mentioned before but Cancertown is now available to order through your local comic store in the UK via Diamond. So if you prefer to purchase your graphic novels that way you can let your retailer know the Previews code is JUL091827.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

I'm a big dirty cheat!

I've been experimenting with adding a few digital touches to my artwork in an attempt to a/ speed things up b/make it look more precise and c/so not to mess up the original page while experimenting.

This is an early panel from Slaughterman's Creed as it appears inked on the original hand drawn page:

And below is an ink splash I scanned (its in my Slaughterman's Creed 'tools' folder) and turned into a Photoshop brush. I now have my own custom 'blood' brush that I can change size, layer and shape around the art without making big splashy mistakes on paper (there's no undo when you cover up to much art with a big blob):
For the edited version below I filled in the blacks on the left just using a standard photoshop brush and the paint bucket tool, drew the tiles also using the brush (and holding shift which makes straight lines). I also added a bit of jitter in the brush options so the lines dont look too clean and photoshoppery.
I added the blood on a new layer with a couple of simple clicks (or taps with the wacom pen) on a seperate layer and erased the parts I wanted a little clearer. The blood being on a different layer also means it can be easily turned red at the colouring stage if thats what's needed. Lastly I used the rectangular Marquee tool and Stroke tool to tidy up the borders.
And done.
I'm away on holiday this week but I'll try to update on Sunday anyway. If not I'll update as usual next Wednesday.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

My girlfriend is a model..

...well for me anyway. Poor Aimee gets tortured so much.
One such instance while drawing Cancertown:

Words by Cy Dethan, colours by Mel Cook, Lettering by Nic Wilkinson, with pencils by me.
Aimee actually appears at the back of Cancertown: An Inconvenient tooth in the 'Making off' section. A good selling point apparently when she's helping me sell books at a convention (and she's a mightly persuasive saleswoman).
So I suppose this is a bit of a thank you for all your time and patience :)

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Strange Q-con sketches

Couple more Q-con photos and Sketches:

Andrew Croskery at the Insomnia table.

A samuri committing Seppuku. This piece was comissioned as the nice loser price for an upcoming card tournament. Drew in the card details after the photo.

A con-goer drawn Arnie-from-Predator style. I added in some camouflage and detail after I took this photo.

Probably my strangest, challenging, yet most fun 'sketch' was the following two page custom Elmo story:

The fellow below wanted the strip drawn for his friend who couldn't make the con, and asked for it to be drawn in her own style of drawing (hence the manga-esch look). We met him on the Friday and he came back Saturday morning with a story. I had to cut it down a bit (the first version had something like 12 panels over two pages) but I think I managed to get everything he wanted in there in some form and I hope his friend enjoys it :)