Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Right, Fred's Dead: The Walking Dead TV Show

Considering how pathetically bad festive TV has been (with only Dr Who being of any interest and the new Lucas/Williams show being woefully bad), I was lucky to have a disc with the first series of The Walking Dead series to watch.

Although not a huge zombie fan, there's something about the modern post-Romero zombie that has always had an effect on me. I think that as most such tales focus on a small band of survivors staving off an onslaught of ravenous cannibalistic reanimated corpses, it's the tension built from facing death literally stalking you that gives zombies their appeal.

I started following The Walking Dead comic with the first trade makes and have just read the 13th. Like many, I loved director Frank Darabont's adaptation of The Shawshank Redemption and seem to be the only person alive to not hate his Green Mile: so how does his adaptation of the comic fare?

Well, it starts off incredibly faithful before branching out to follow its own story while still parallelling the plot of the comics. The first series shorts just short of the first six issues, roughly, anddeviates enough to be original but still honoring its roots. The first episode is utterly silent at first as we follow Rick Grimes into the post-zombie world but gradually dialogue is introduced as he starts to meet fellow survivors.

I like Andrew Lincoln, but he looks nothing like Rick Grimes (the rest of the cast looked pretty much spot on to their comic counterparts, though the TV Andrea is maybe a decade too old): fortunately, he manages to nail the character pretty well, as do his regular cast mates. The inclusion of a larger band of survivors means there's more to lose to the zombies, who are a more potent threat than in the comic. One or two are no great threat, especially as they loll about fairly slowly until they start bearing down on you, when they DO become a threat, especially when assembled into hordes. Some of the zombie killing would definitely rate an 18 at the cinema and are probably the bloodiest effects I've seen on TV, yet still manage to avoid being gratuitous.

There are some really great moments in the series and the acting, direction and great effects more than compensate for the show's few missteps. Roll on (the 13-episode) Season Two!

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Sneaky Peaky

Coming soon, probably January or February...

Five pages...

Other details secret...


Saturday, 4 December 2010

Durance Durance

Just a quick post: after completing the Kristin Bell pic(s), I got around to attempting an Erica Durance, something I've been pondering for a while. It's not a bad likeness (especially considering how quickly I managed to get it done), it's not as good as I hoped and not really useable for what I intended it for.

Still,hopefully not awful...

Monday, 29 November 2010

Bell Aremberg UPDATED!!!

After the previous acceptable likeness of Kristin Bell, seems like I managed to pull off another one (this reminds me of what they say about buses...)

I scanned this in grayscale so the skin tones are a bit dirty as I didn't remember to adjust the levels but it's a fairly decent pic (if you forgive that). Not one of me best, but a decent attempt, I think...

UPDATE That dirty looking skin colour bugged me so I rescanned the original, tweaked the levels and coloured it again. I've taken the original version down and put the new one up, adding a comparison below...

Sunday, 28 November 2010


Finally,FINALLY I managed to get a decent Kristen Bell likeness today! I'm not obsessed with her but I have been obsessed with getting her likeness right ever since I first tried to draw Elle way back during season two of Heroes.

I still haven't abandoned the pic that I posted earlier but I want to copy the lineart first in case it all goes wrong in the pencil shading stage, hence another attempt at a likeness today. I shall post that once done but I have a few artjobs on at the moment and the coldsnap is still putting up an all out assault so dunno when that'll be...

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Turning Japanese Part Two: I Really Think So

And here's the rest of the stuff completed earlier today...

Turning Japanese

Well, as ever it all started down the pub...

I forget the genesis of the idea but I came up with a tragicomic character called Zygote the Aborted Foetus, who we soon developed numerous scenarios to play around in. After picking up a few Mugg-style postcards featuring funky Japanese/urban/designer riffs of well known characters, I thought "I could do this". Last weekend I went to memorabilia for the first time in about a decade and stumbled across a similar stall selling funky designs on T-shirts and merchandise.

Again, I thought "I could do that"...and so I have. I still have a few more anime-styled designs I have jotted down but I'll post here all the cutesy Japanese style designs I've been working up since Thursday night...

You Can Ring My Bell

Curse the freezing cold snap! I've been busy drawing away this week but can only do it until I lose the sensation in my fingers due to the biting cold that seeps through my windows.

As a result, I managed to do one commission this morning after finishing other bits (which will feature in my next posts) and went on to try and do a decent Kristin Bell again (I think I lucked out with my Hayden Panetierre likeness as I can't seem to nail Bell right). I think I managed a decent headshot of her then realised it was a weird size that made getting a whole figure on the page difficult. Stumped for ideas, I dug out reference from years ago and found a Gillian Anderson pic that fitted with the headshot and space I needed, so I shamelessly lifted it!

It got too cold for me to finish it up, but things are looking hopeful at this stage, just hope I don't cock it up!

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Another Quick Update

Just another quick update as things are a bit busy at the minute but I have managed to do some drawing today. I added a phoenix effect to an old Jean Grey pic (from the A-Z thread I think), pulled out a three year old attempt at drawing in a Mucha style and added a completely new art deco backdrop to make it feel more like Mucha and I've done a few more cartoony pics for a second book to go on sale via Amazon. I also scanned in five pages of comic art that I've battered into something resembling a story, though I've only scrawled out the dialogue so will need to go through and refine it to read better and make more sense.

I also have about a foot high stack of stuff to read, with a similar sized stack of DVDs to peruse at my leisure but saw the first official Green Lantern footage today, which looks CG heavy but fun...

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Quick update

Been busy beavering away on a few bits and bobs: abaove are four new Christmas card designs following up from last year's successful project: I personally hate the bear (drawn during a lunch break as time has been at a premium the past two weeks) but like the angel at the top. I was intending to properly shade this but time didn't allow so it's flat but I think the colours work.

The cartoon of the lady is a detail from a larger piece I was asked to do that I thought I'd colour just for fun (as it only took a few minutes) and I've completed the rear cover of Pjang. I need to reduce it before I can scan it in and I'm still undecided whether to shade it in pencil or on the computer in colour, but I think I might keep to flats to emulate the style it's homaging, I'll have to see.

Finally, click below to find a book that I did the illustrations for, with more to come (the second being written as we speak):


Other than that, I have a few little things bubbling under, just depends howI feel...

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Weeta BICS!

I've been quite busy this week so this post is a mite later than intended but anyway...

This year's BICS continued in the vein of last year's event in so far as being just a mellow affair. With no portfolio to show (I was too late submitting pages to be considered probably) and nobody of any great interest for me to grab a sketch from (I would have liked a Vess, Nicola Scott and even a Paquette but couldn't be doing with queueing) and no items i was eager to snap up, I floated happily throughout the event and watched a few panels. Despite early morning starts, it was an enjoyable weekend and was even something of a surprise in that Wendy bought more comics than me and Tone!

Anyway, highlights included:

* Not spending a fortune. Money's extremely tight at the minute so luckily there was very little to tempt me into parting with cash. A couple of Cinebook albums, two issues of Al Williamson Secret Agent Corrigan, a Wally Wood issue of Jungle Jim and a set of three European hardcovers for the bargain price of £10, a Blue Beetle keyring and that was about it.

* The Simon's Cat panel. I have to confess to have never heard of this and didn't see the interest in the books but when they started playing the animated version (available on YouTube), I did actually remember seeing one of the cartoons before. The cartoons are fun and made the panel enjoyable.

* The Walking Dead panel kicked off with exclusive clips that make me eager to see the series. I hope it's a success as it looks faithful, well acted and well produced. Plus Tone made the US TV exec smirk in the elevator...

* I managed to nab the very last of 180 tickets to attend the Jonathan Ross panel, which was very engaging. Lots of fun titbits (many involving Spider-man and Ditko) and behind the scenes info, including positive hopes for the new X-Men film based on a Professor X/Magneto fight Ross had seen on set.

I came away somewhat reinvigorated artistically and may soon make a return to drawing comic art, although I can't promise...



Thursday, 14 October 2010

This Week I Have Mostly Been...


As well as tidying up my retrieved files from my old hard drive, this week I've done more drawing the past week than I have in the past year or so! I found myself quite enjoying it again but still don't think I can concentrate enough to do sequentials yet...though having said that, I do have a story idea percolating that I want to get around to.

Anyway, have a gander above...I also half-inked the second of two covers for Pjang #5 but Rol can premiere them...

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Inappropriate Comics

Came across a gallery of inappropriate comic covers and thought I'd crib the best here: strangely, there was a JSA cover (featured as one of my favourites) that for the life of me I can't see why it would be considered inappropriate...