Thursday, 26 July 2018

BATMAN: NIGHTWALKER !!!

Hey hey,

My next book was just announced last week! I'm currently working away at DC's Batman: Nightwalker for their New DC Ink line. DC ink is focusing more towards a 'Young Adult' audience but honestly I think any range up from there would be able to pick up Batman Nightwalker and get into some good old fashioned brooding Bruce Wayne dealing with Gotham and Arkham madness. (Am I right in thinking we've never really truly followed Bruce as a Teenager before?). A bit more official info on the latest DC Ink announcement here.

Batman: Nightwalker is a graphic novel adapted from the original pros novel by Marie Lu. Adapted to script by the mighty Stuart Moore, Pencils and Inks by myself and I'm so happy to say that my wife and partner in crime, Laura Trinder, is making her DC debut on colours! The book is going to be grey-scale black and white with a hint of colour now and then and let me tell you, Laura is knocking it out of Gotham's city limits! Letterer to be announced but I'm sure it will be a badass!



The cover art (pictured) was announced last week and I've been posting little sneaky snippets on my Instagram account for a little while so you can steal some peeks there.


Bonus Image! : As part of the first wave of announcing the active projects back in the beginning of the year, DC asked for a super quick promo image. I was away from home at the time and so I only managed to get in a little crappy rough sketch. DC put the image with the project name but didn't properly announce the creative team of Nightwalker at that first showing.
I've been gradually finishing the piece for myself over recent weeks, just as a warm up thing. I finally finished it last week so I thought I'd post it up. It's not been officially DC sanctioned yet so I may get told off for this but hey... 





Wednesday, 25 July 2018

FINALLY! A Little Catch Up!


Hey, Hey!

I FINALLY I thought I should put some life back into the blog! I think it’s been nearly 2 years since  my last post! My biggest apologies for those that may still visit to see if there are any updates, as ever I always get caught up with work and my Email replies and blog updates are usually the first things to suffer!  
I still like to use this place as a form of posting work but often my Instagram gets most of my quick snippets of work and sketches. Here I like to write up more of an extended post and get some words down. So without further ado:

So, what has been going on over that past two years, Chris?!
Well, I’ve been the artist of Batgirl: Rebirth for DC for a year and a half, under the word smithery of Hope Larson with colours by the mighty Mat Lopes, letters by the brilliant Derron Bennet and Inks were often finished by Jon Lam, Jose Marzan Jr and Andy Owens. It was my first jump into a monthly released book, which, to put it lightly, nearly killed me! Despite as hard as it got I always had a lot of fun with the Batgirl team and I came through the other end and jumped into something new for DC! To be fair to myself, alongside Batgirl I was also working away at our third instalment for Porcelain: A Gothic Fairy Tale titled ‘Porcelain: Ivory Tower’ which is a full graphic novel itself. The Improper Books team don’t cut corners and I won’t give up my inking duties on that one, so I had a ton of work on with both Batgirl and Porcelain.  I only have myself (and maybe Ben) to blame but It was worth it.
Now this is a rare statement for me but I have to say Porcelain: Ivory Tower is one of the things I am most proud of in my illustration career. Both in terms of the book on a whole and the art I put into it. Ivory Tower is one of the few books I can look back at, re-read and actually feel like I did a good job! As ever, there are always bit’s I would change here and there but this one I am genuinely really happy with! The blood sweat and near panic attacks were worth it!
Early in 2018 Ben and I were lucky enough to be invited back to France by our friends at Delcourt (our French Publisher) to do a signing tour for Ivory Tower. We visited Paris, Grenoble, Besancon and back to Parsi for a couple of days to finish.
Our trips to France are always so utterly heart-warming, I can safely speak for Ben and myself when I  say we both feel so at home over there, we have made some solid friends with the readers, shop owners and the publishing team and I know we both can’t wait to get over there again to hang out with the friends we made and make some new ones. A Soppy sentiment maybe but a true one. 
Love you, France! 😊

Snippets of my Instagram feed:



And as for what’s next, well…. I’ll get straight on to the next post!

Sunday, 18 December 2016

WORLDBUILDERS 2016



Hey, Hey!

Super happy to say that myself and the Improper Books team have donated a bunch of goodies to Worldbuilders again for 2016.
I won't try and explain what Worldbuilders and Heifer international do but go HERE, read the info and look around the site. You will see what a great, decent and intelligent thing they do to help make the world a better place. 

We sent a bundle of books for people to win. All books signed and should have sketches in them. 
Also myself I sent off a handful of the Porcelain: Bone China prints I made for this year's convention tours. Right now, the world builders auction is the only way you can get a sketched edition of my books or my Porcelain prints as I have no conventions booked for next year yet. 

Also, as a little bonus for fans of Patrick Rothfuss and his Kingkiller chronicles series. I gave the Worldbuilders team a few copies of a wedding decoration I had made for my wedding with Laura from earlier this year.  The piece is a pub sign design I did for 'The Eolian' from The Name Of The Wind & The Wise Man's Fear  (Full long and lengthy story behind my pub sign designs here)

Big, big thanks to Peter Berry at Bespoke Laser Cutting for helping me get these ready in time to send out to Worldbuilders. :D check out his Instagram HERE




So go keep an eye on the Worldbuilders Ebay auctions HERE. All Improper Books bundles, pub signs and more goodies to come. Just look at the lists for items from other artists and writers from all walks of fantasy and Sci Fi life.There is so much good stuff and the lists constantly update with new items.  

Here's a peek at some of the books and prints Laura & I sketched and sent in for the auctions:

Keep you eyes peeled and bid high! Every donation has an automatic match in place, so any money donated automatically doubles. As of the time of writing this they just smashed through the 2 Million mark which is incredible! Hopefully you can help push it further ;) 











Sunday, 2 October 2016

BATGIRL!



Hey hey!

So this happened!
DC announced that I'll be taking the art helm of Batgirl after Rafael Albuquerque, from issue #7.

ARTICLE HERE!

The article linked above has DC's press release on it all so I won't fill this post up with too much that has already been said. Anyone who has checked my twitter will know that I'm super excited, nervous and honoured to be on board.
If DC had come to me offering art duties on any choice of character, Batgirl would have been number one or joint number one with Gotham Academy. I've already had little bits to do with Gotham Academy already so I'm feeling lucky and spoilt.
I've worked on bits of design and cover artwork for Batgirl, so I've technically already started but I start actual interior pages as of next week.

Readers of Porcelain fear not! I'm still beavering away at Porcelain book 3 'Ivory tower'. I still have a fair chunk to get through so keep your eyes peeled as I'll still be posting peeks of that as usual on Instagram.  And as Far as I'm concerned I'll still be working with Ben Read and Improper Books for as long as Ben writes me stories.

Meanwhile, here are the two first pieces of official Batgirl art I've done so far!

               


 
 
Also for anyone interested here are the thumbnails
and colour test sketches I gave in originally for the pieces. 
                                             

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Page Process : Phonogram 'A Black Parade'

Hey hey,

So finally I've gotten round to pulling together a post on some of my process. I'm aiming to do some more in depth posts than this one, as this project was just a 5 page short and I didn't have much to design. Anyway stay tuned for more process posts, I'll try and make more of a regular thing of it.

So this post covers my work on 'A Black Parade', a short story for back of issue #3 of Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl by Kieron Gillen and Jamie Mckelvie.

                                                 


I'm a fan of the Phonogram series and of both Kieron and Jamie's work in general. By chance I met Kieron at a con a good few years back, we chatted and he looked over my portfolio and asked me to join him on a B-side story for the upcoming 3rd book. A couple of years passed, the book was delayed but Kieron still remembered me and kept me in mind for the B-side.

I'm always grateful for this little job. Kieron not only kept me in mind but also has never forgotten my face when meeting in person. He's put me forward to publishers more than a few times, so the guy really is a true gent. *Salute to Mr Gillen*

Right so, without further ado.
Character Design sketches   


So first off, after reading the script, I'll usually work out the characters that need designing. In this case I had some existing characters to work from but also characters such as the girls Kohl and Kid With Knives are chatting to. 'The Were-Emo' also needed some working out before moving on to the pages. 

 

Thumbnails 


After those designs get a nod of approval I get going with the thumbnails. Typically these are 12 x 8.5 cm.


Page Process
Thumbnail
Pencils
I usually print off the previously seen thumbnails at nearly A3 size.
Then I lightbox the thumbnails, tightening up the line work and adding detail on paper.
Inks
The inks here are traditional ink on Bristol board. I print out the pencils in blue onto Bristol board and then ink over them with a brush, switching to fine liners for straight lines.
Colours
And here we have the magic of colourist Andre May. After inking I'll scan in the inks and clean them up and add any alterations in Photoshop.Then I send Andre the pure black and white inks.
Andre then works what I can only describe as colourful witchcraft.
And so here you have the finished thing!

The pages were lettered by Clayton Cowles. Lettering is itself a whole other art form and essential for the finished page. However, I'm usually not involved in this process. I'll skip it for this post but hopefully cover it more in other posts. 
This is a perfect example of Andre's genius and skill as a colourist. Page 4 really turned out to be something else with his work. In fact I'd say this whole set of pages became something much greater with his work on it.

* Inks for this page were drawn digitally using Manga Studio. At the time I wasn't confident in a heavy use of black on the figure, so I decided to do it digitally to allow for tweaking as I went. Funnily enough this was one of the pages that changed things for me and made me think of inking digitally more often.



Thursday, 19 May 2016

One Door Closes...

Hey, hey!

I've still got the habit of postings peeks at recent work on Instagram and Twitter and not much on here.
I've been working away on a few things recently, unfortunately one door has closed on a project before it managed to really hit the ground but I've been lucky enough to have two more doors of cool stuff open. Also the trusty world of Porcelain has been there for me and I'm always at home working there so it's all good in the Wildgoose camp. 

Here's a little peek at some recent postings on Instagram of all the things I've been on. I've got some blogs I really want to write about projects I worked on over the past couple of years and they'll have a big chunk of my behind the scenes process type stuff to them so stay tuned! 


Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Book Wedding: Pub Sign Illustrations



Hey there! So here's a little personal illustration project I had for myself recently, nothing big... just y'know, my wedding!

Oh before we begin, I am totally aware this post may sound like one big proud horn blow but after all the effort we put into this thing, I feel like we're allowed at least a little toot. So bear with me...

I was lucky enough to marry my girl Laura a couple of weeks ago. Now one thing you must understand is that we are big book fiends, so we had a pretty obvious theme to the day.

The invitations were illustrated by us, based on traditional bookplate designs. The rings were tied into a secret compartment, cut into a book which means a lot to us (Neil Gaiman's Stardust). The table plan was a set of belly-banded books with illustrated bookmarks to show who was sat at each table. The table centre pieces were piles and piles of strange old books all stacked at odd angles, some with subjects relating to people sat at the table. The rest were simply about Romany gypsies, palmistry, Indian demons, long lost cults or good old fashioned Satanism. We had twig-covered vases made from coffee jars and wood collected from our local forest, countless twine-wrapped candle jars, potion vials of rum with hand written name labels and slow moving glitter jars catching the light for hours after being shaken (it took me ages and lots of glue and water experiments to get those bloody things right!)

Then there were the table names themselves...

Original pics by Zoe Andreas and Hannah Cumming
Now these were one of the things we knew we wanted before we even got engaged.
It's sad, sick and I want to punch us in the face for being the people who had these things in our heads before we were even on the horizon of getting married but when random chats got random, this was one thing we talked about. Each table was to be named after a fictional pub from our favourite books. Not necessarily a new idea I know, but I was adamant I would illustrate the pub signs and have them etched into wood. At one point I wanted props on the table relating to each pub too, but eventually I was talked into reason and just kept with pub signs. I spent an hour each morning for a few weeks, working on them as my warm up illustrations before work. My good friend Adam had the know-how to get them etched into wood and so here is the end result:

Can you guess which pub belongs to which book? Some are very easy but a few are very obscure.
Answers after the pics.










The Eolian - The Name of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
The Three Broomsticks - Harry Potter by J.K.Rowling
The Poison Kitchen - Daughter Of Smoke And Bone by Laini Taylor
The Prancing Pony - The Lord of The Rings (The Fellowship Of the Ring) by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Hallowed Bear - Porcelain Bone China by Ben Read, Christian Wildgoose (Me!) & Andre May
The Seventh Magpie - Stardust by Neil Gaiman
The Leaky Cauldron - Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

Originally we had six tables but had to add a seventh thus a second Harry. Though we realised way too late we could've done The Admiral Benbow Inn from Treasure Island! There are definitely lots more we missed but these all meant something to us. Also, as you might know, I'm a huge fan of Name Of The Wind and know that 7 is a good number to have.

And yes I know the Prancing Pony illustration is a little cheating but if it it ain't broke...

Anyway, I hope you've enjoyed this little glimpse into the arty parts of our wedding. A tip from a recently married person: If you can make anything for it yourself, do. You'll get a lot out of it and your family and friends will notice the detail and effort you put in!