Monday 10 December 2012

Porcelain: "Goodbye so soon"

Finally I've just this weekend wrapped on my end of Porcelain, that's it, vamos!
(Pictured above: all the Porcelain work, to the left the inks and pencils to the right.)
It goes without saying that most artists, especially the ones I follow and admire, pull off this amount of work with double the skill on a monthly basis, so in comparison it may seem like i'm making a big deal out of this, but for me, career-wise, this is a big deal. It's my first comic project that I have completed that has gone beyond the 27page mark. I have others of a similar size in the works but this is the first to be completed.
It is sad to see the end and to say I loved those characters is a massive understatement. Thinking about it, it reminded me of when I had the chance to meet Becky Cloonan very briefly at the last Kapow in London. I was eagerly buying her short story The Mire from her and straight after buying I sat in a quiet spot and read the whole thing, a beautiful story to say the least. One of many things that struck a chord with me in this book was her dedication at the beginning, it read: "Dedicated to those of you with crushes on your characters". After reading the book I went back to her table and asked her to sign it and gushed over how much I agreed with that statement. Here I am at the end of the book and it's great, but almost heart breakingly sad to have drawn these guys possibly for the last time. Maybe we'll re-visit them again or they will be seen somewhere in the distance of another book, who knows? If they do ever come a knocking I'll have tea and little cakes ready. …and spoons.
This week I'll not only be catching up on some much needed sleep and time with my lady (and of course my Xbox may be hard wired into me for a little while) I'll also be sorting out some back matter for the end of the book. I’m hoping to cram in lots of behind the scenes paraphernalia, character sketches that made it in, some that didn't etc... So do stay tuned for the full book. It’s due out in February and I’m always happy to hear any feedback :)
Before I go, I just wanted to express A LOT of love (and cheeseballs) for Ben, Matt and Andre. Thank’s for being the best kind of work buddies.

Thursday 15 November 2012

Thought Bubble 2012: Improper lowdown

Hello, Hello! just packing up our stuff for Thought Bubble convention this weekend so thought i'd just share the Improper Books rough plan of what we're up to. You can see our details HERE Anyway must dash, should hopefully have some pics and news to share up next week. if your going , don't be shy, come say hi and have a chat! I'll be sketching at the table probably doing a charge of £15 a sketch as usual but i wont be on the desk all day as we're doing a bit of a rotation of Improper Artists throughout the day. Hope to see you there!

Monday 1 October 2012

Porcelain: the final stretch

Hey Guys just thought i'd post a little piece of Porcelain on here. were on the final stretch of the book now. this book has been too fun and had some big learning curves for me.
This here is a panel i had a lot of fun and stress over, thanks to Marc Laming for giving me some tips on how to attack those windows!

Thursday 20 September 2012

Action Short

Just wanted to get back into a bit of posting as it's been horribly quiet here. This here is a little action sample i did recently. I'd been guided towards an advert about an artist looking for someone who would like to submit for a Saturday morning cartoon style action comic. I honestly didn't think i was much good for such a thing but the guy took a shine to my work and asked me to do an action sample showing how i could deal with a Monster, Jet-pack and a grappling hook. being that i'm in the heat of Improper Books deadlines at the moment i tried to pull off something as quickly as possible. so i put together a little 3 page piece, i gave myself a day to do it all so i only managed to get two pages inked and quickly grey shaded.
I had a bunch fun doing it a but i think it's obvious i'm not very well versed in POW POW action scenes! I pretty well came up with the showdown on panel one of page two first and drew around that. I'd be the first to admit there is plenty wrong with this piece and was a bit reluctant to show it but here you go... Anyway i actually got the job on the short but instantly realized i would be biting off more than i could chew with everything i'm on at the moment so i had to back down which is a shame and the guy sounded like a lot of fun to work with and it was nice to get a thumbs up as the guy is a pretty big name in one of the big two so a nice bit of an ego boost. anywho, feel free to give me any pointers, as i say i know this is not the best actin sequence.

Thursday 13 September 2012

Update With A Warm Up

It's been horribly quiet on here, sorry. Here's a quick warm up from this morning will have some updates on Improper projects soon, i promise!

Monday 2 July 2012

The rather splendid chaps at Scotch Corner Blog are celebrating their third year of bloggery today and asked me to be one of their guest artists to have a brief interview. they have one a day for the next couple of weeks. they have a great line up so keep checking their blog and then after if you haven't as all the talent of Scotland seems to give off a bit of their work in their so well worth following. A big thanks to Graham and all involved in the blog tis an honor to be mentioned. You can see my interview HERE

Sketches from Grinning Demon in Maidstone

Quick post, just wanted to show some of the sketches i'd drawn up for The Grinning Demon comic shop in Maidstone on Saturday, i had a lot of fun doing some commissions and have come home with a couple to get on with too. Everyone made me feel very welcome and had great requests. hopefully i'll be doing another in October if they'll have me! Apologies to anyone who had a request and i didn't get it done but it's in the works so i'll have them done soon. the day just went so quick! I think there are a few preview copies of Porcelain and Butterfly Gate left at the shop so if anyone in Maidstone wants to grab a look at the first chapters of both be sure to head over there and soak up some dark tales!

Tuesday 26 June 2012

Sketch Session: The Grinning Demon, Maidstone

Hi folks, Just a quick heads up. This Saturday (30th June) i'm doing a Sketch Saturday Session at The Grinning Demon comic shop in Maidstone.i should be there from 11-4. Mostly i'll be a brief sketch slave for anyone willing and also we've arranged to be selling some of the Porcelain and Butterfly Gate previews in the shop too so i think that makes it you're very last chance to pick up a copy of that before we hide away until November for Porcelain's Launch at Thought Bubble!

Thursday 10 May 2012

Sketch: Tale of Sand

Tale of Sand knocked me of my feet, a completely beautiful book on every level and i cant help but be awestruck and inspired by every page. So here's a little sketch i did after re reading it today.

Wednesday 2 May 2012

Very happy to announce that we have officially launched our Improper Books imprint, your can see our launch welcome HERE I'm very proud to be part of this group, we have got some really exciting projects on the line, i know the website is a bit of a Chris Wildgoose fest at the moment, but the other guys have some seriously nice projects in the pipes so keep you're eyes peeled as they aren't far off either. What you can see up there is samples of the Porcelain book and the Butterfly gate series i've been working my recent months away on. let us know what you think of the site and if you have any questions about the projects don't hesitate to contact any of us. I want to shout about this imprint and the projects for hours but i'll let the website do all the talking for now as its had a lot of work put into the site so GO SEE!

Monday 30 April 2012


Over the next couple of Weeks i have a bit of a relaxed schedule before the coming Bristol Expo. So due to that i'm taking on commission requests. so far i've taken on a few so there's some more spaces for requests. if anyone is going to Bristol and wants me to have something a bit neater done then by all means Email me or DM me on twitter. So far the prices are: Head sketch = £5 A4 body and background = £10 Anything more as in more than one character or something bigger then obviously i will charge a bit more. The sketches would be fully pencilled and inked maybe a bit of colour or grey wash... Please eel welcome to give any request. i'd like some decent exercises before the coming conventions

Monday 16 April 2012

Comic Cons!

Howdy, So far i've booked myself into 3 cons this year with a table and all. first up is going to be the DemonCon held in the Exchange studio, Maidstone on the 22nd April.
i'm down as a DemonCon virgin and general all round convention sketcher virgin, so if you come along be gentle!

Next up is the Bristol Expo on the 12th May held at the Brunel old station-passenger shed & at the Ramada Hotel. i'm going there as part of our new team 'Improper Books' were launching the preview of our first book 'Porcelain' and the first episode of 'Butterfly Gate' both drawn by me! Writer Benjamin Read, Editor Matt Gibbs and My partner in crime and who is later this year having a book coming out through said imprint Laura Trinder (and she'll will be popping her comic convention cherry too)

So come on down to that to get sketches and signed copies of our limited preview prints. and hear what were planning to do and the stories we've got in the works!
Also DreamSolver wise i Think writer Luke Foster is due to be there too so i'm sure you can find either of us to ask any questions or get sketches for that book too!

And finally Thought Bubble held in Leeds at Saviles Hall on the 11th -18th November.
and Porcelain is due for ultimate and total completion for then (eek!) so we are due to launch the full graphic novel then warts and all so expect the whole Improper Books team to attend that too!

So come along and please do drop by the tables and say hi and see if i'm ok and not too freaked out...

Wednesday 11 April 2012

In the works..

Hi all, sorry for the radio silence on here, the past few weeks i've been storming away at the inks for Porcelain and have just got chapter 1 finished up, two more to go. Here's a little medley of my photo feed on twitter which i often post on daily, it has a bit of mix a of all the stages.

And yes the idea is somewhat shamelessly stolen from Becky Cloonan's own blog but it's a pretty neat idea if you post progress on twitter alot. so full props to her influence on this post.

Monday 19 March 2012

Tribute to Moebius

When I got the True Grit job I instantly hauled in as much Blueberry as I could get my hands on and throughout the whole project i had at least one book constantly on the desk. Since then I've referred back to his books time and time again, so I have a lot to thank fr in terms of influence and wanting to be a better creator and Jean Giraud was a creator of the highest order.
One such piece I looked to constantly whilst working on True Grit was this and still do on practically every comic I work on now..

Taken From Blueberry Book #1

A big thank you to Jim Campbell who lettered the piece for me, the very man who lettered the True Grit comic that got me delving deep into Mr Giraud's sea of work..

Tuesday 6 March 2012

Background Piece

This here is just a quick sketch for some backgound detail in Porcelain, but i kind of liked it a bit so thought id share.

Thursday 1 March 2012

Creator Owned Day 01/03/12

Phew!,I think i've just made it into the Creator owned day.

Now i've admittedly cut a few corners with my C.O.D pieces. (doesn't sound right does it)
mainly due to time and the ever long battle of an artist with his self esteem.
my original intention of my post was a sketch for each book i'm working on at the mo as the characters are all completely owned by myself and the writer, and then i was going to do my own character, stupidly i'd left it all until the day so i was a bit rushed. mainly for the new character. the concept was there but his face just wouldn't come out.. humph, so i've settled with just the characters of the books i'm working on. I had intended to do one of each but the inks for one just completely went fubar so i scrapped that and have used a piece i've shown before but still rather like.. as i say each are from a book i'm currently working on all of them i'm equally proud of and equally honored to be working with the writers/team that accompanies working on them. i'm just giving you the titles as more will be announced for all soon.

so here goes, i'll start with the two new pieces..

'Porcelain' Writer - Benjamin Read :

'DreamSolver' Writer - Luke Foster:

'Butterfly Gate' Writer - Benjamin Read :

And here's the best thing that came for the original character. i think i'll re visit him later this week or next! think what you will from this:

Wednesday 29 February 2012

Creator Owned Day 1st March 2012

Finally I've remembered i have a blog and shall endeavour to get some interesting posts on the go. meanwhile I thought i'd pretty much repost an idea/event thought up by fellow comic artist Stephen Downey and other artists through Twitter. I'm most definitley going to be taking part myself, it should be great fun! so read on see what you think and join in!

Creator Owned Day is 1st March 2012.

The challenge:

Create a sketch of an original character or concept and and post it on your blog Thurday 1st March. It should be a concept completely owned by the artist (or co-owned with the writer/collaborators permission to post).

Why? A number of reasons:

1. A lot of reader and creator focus is on characters owned by larger corporations. Let's bring a little spotlight on creating brand new, creator owned concepts.
2. Bringing a little awareness to the business side of co-creating original content. Take a look at Jeff Parker's article and follow up comments on the subject. Co-creators can take this opportunity as a little trial run, just make sure to have a mutual agreement in advance.
3. Fun! A few creators discussed the idea on Twitter and thought it was a great opportunity to create something entirely new, while bringing attention to these sketches.

The details:

1. Create an sketch of a new character/character you own. We're doing this primarily to get our imaginations running, so a concept specifically created for Creator Owned Day is probably ideal. It should NOT be a character owned by either a company eg. Marvel's Wolverine, OR owned by other creators e.g. Todd McFarlane's Spawn. It also shouldn't take distinct features from characters owned by others e.g. Wolverspawn You must own the character.
2. Post it on your blog, or Facebook, Twitter etc.
3. Share your post using the Twitter hashtag #CreatorOwnedDay.
3. Help us spread the word by retweeting your favourite new characters.

Sound like fun? Let's do it!

Monday 9 January 2012

"May I kill him?"

Ah Lisbeth Salander.. warm up sketch taken into Manga studio for inking then touched up on Photoshop. The Fincher Version is such a good Movie and Rooney Mara's Lisbeth seemed like a good way to break the blog into the new year.