Saturday, 29 December 2012

Walken On Eggshells

So I came down with a bastard of a bug over Christmas which pretty much wiped me out for two weeks. I'm mostly ok now apart from a lingering hacking cough but it was all enough to throw my plans of drawing during that Festive period out the window.

Today, I pottered about and think I'll be safe to get back on track next weekend. The results below are nothing special but at least it means I can work again...

Inspired by the line experiments done for the draped dress pic in the last post, I pencilled Christopher Walken ages ago but inked it today. Not impressed with the results and couldn't even be bothered to do the hair as a result...

A TAB thread recently revolved around childhood heroes and that gave me the idea to do cartoony versions of my childhood heroes from TV but I soon gave up on that idea and went for headshots instead. I decided against adding the Tomorrow People (which I loved but can't remember at all now) and Buck Rogers (as it was really Wilma I liked, not Buck, even at that young age!)

Finally, I drew a pic of Cheryl Cole yonks ago just as a quick pic as I intended to experiment colouring in a proper "comic" style (you can just about see the lingering touches in the dress). Other stuff overtook me and this fell to the wayside, I just finished the hair and did some colour hold effects today. Crap likeness and not what I'd intended but not terrible overall...

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Drape Suzette UPDATED

Finished this up the other day and am quite happy with it (not perfect but was only an experiment with hatching anyway)...but I'm not sure which works best, black and white, the blue or the pink...hmmm...

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Worx In Progress

Planning on a fair bit of inking in my lunch breaks...a recent TAB thread has made me think about doodling favourite TV characters from my childhood but I started with a Luke Skywalker: Han Solo may be the cooler option but Luke was the main hero and had a bloody LIGHTSABRE! Until the prequels arrived with some proper lightsabre action, Luke was my favourite Star Wars character as a kid (followed by Boba Fett).

Here are also some other bits and bobs in various stages: Phyllis Spector figures to drop into my next batch of TMSAV pages (#4 was laborious with all the greytones but worked great for Phyllis, so will be keeping some of that greytone effect, though maybe not so much, something else with Rol, a business card caricature and a Frank Cho-inspired piece...I really like the old school illustrations he does whilst "breaking in new pens". I fancied a go so had to google something to get ref for the dress (have changed the head and feet but it's essentially an inking exercise so I wasn't too concerned about using refs). I'm not as good as him so this won't be as good (I'm figuring out where to lay the lines as I go along) but hopefully this could be a nice image...

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Ticking By

Not posted for a while, been busy at home and at work. Have quite a few projects on the go in various stages, think I'll be inking stuff on my lunch breaks to get ahead as Xmas is around the corner and that inevitably wipes out alot of time.

I've got 4 and a half pages of comic stuff pencilled: when I have another three done, then I'll hit the inks before pencilling the final two pages and then inking them up.

Hopefully that will get me back in the groove of comic art as I've a bunch of stuff I want to do, but as ever, plans and windows don't often agree...

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Recent Stuff

I'm trying to focus on comic strips again at the moment but got nothing done this weekend as had a few other bits to do. Anyway, here's a few recent stuff and the footballers weren't my choice of subject matter!

Monday, 5 November 2012



With the announcement of TMSAV #4 shipping off to the printers, I've dug out the various strips I'm supposed to be working on. I've reviewed post as far back as the end of May and despite a few OK entries (Wonder Girl, maybe Elastigirl...) there are precious few I'm happy with (though I'm happier with the larger size versions rather than the previews in the blog posts). I've selected the only ones I consider decent, with my favourite (the Kristen Bell) really annoying me as it was done from ref really quickly while ill and it came out pretty damn good and usually I struggle to get anywhere near as good results, sod it!

It's my own fault...I've been pissing about bashing out quick illos, fun to do but with less than satisfying results. I've been rushing them out and not spending the required time on them. I've been placing time pressure on myself: piddle about with filling my "face book", get the TAB posts done over a weekend, whittling down my superheroine list (now with only ten entries to go)N

This ends now. I'll refocus on doing decent work rather than just hacking it out and most importantly, I'll return to comic work. I have a 5 pager and TMSAV #5 to do, as well as three other projects I'd like to get done. I'm looking forward to doing these..the only obstacle is the dark nights mean drawing under overhead light and the shadows limit I can do during the week so my weekends will be my time to draw.

Let's hope time pressures don't stuff me up again...

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Quicker Post

Actually able to draw some stuff yesterday...not happy with the George figure but there y'go...

Friday, 26 October 2012

Quick Post

Mostly recovered now as of yesterday, left the house for the first time in days yesterday and feel safe to draw again at are a couple of quickies done this week (not great as I was supposed to keep my head upright so drawing much was tricky) and a few quickly coloured older pix lying about on my PC...

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Drawn Out

I was hoping to get to some comic drawing this week as I booked 5 days off...but after a slight hiccup at the hospital, I had to be careful with my head position for a few days (three nights of little sleep as a result has done nothing for my disposition either!)

Still, managed to tidy up computer art files somewhat and catch up on some reading and wotnot so here's a pic coloured this week but drawn a while back: I recently did 20 complete pieces for an art project at work, most of which was fun but the last piece was one of my most hated subjects to draw, a building and a SPECIFIC building too. Following two failed starts, i drew this to get back into my groove...seemed to work so finished it off while recuperating.

Feeling OK now so maybe I'll get around to doing two blog pieces this week, if I don't run screaming out of the house with cabin fever!

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Spaghetti, Ah Manara

As Marvel and DC's bland, homogenised corporate-dictated output continues to interest me less ans less (even Uncanny Avengers #1 was dull, despite decent dialogue and decent, though substandard for Cassaday) art...maybe it's because the semi-villainisation of Cyclops bugs me so much),  that saved cash helps fund my purchases of higher end luxury editions.

I was chomping at the bit waiting for Dave Stevens: Covers and Stories to arrive. A hardcover companion to IDW's excellent Complete Rocketeer and Complete Sketches & Studies editions, this was solicited as featuring all of Stevens' non-Rocketeer comic work. I haven't read it yet but have to admit to being disappointed as it wasn't what I was expecting. Rather than a collection of all his comic pages (and there weren't may), this simply shows examples of each strip. There are a few complete strips but the majority of the book is reproduced cover art, pinups and rough work. Nice and I'll enjoy it...but not what I was expecting.

(Pix from another blog, BTW)

What's more satisfying is the continuing Manara Library from Dark Horse. The latest volume is a great mix of complete longer graphic novels (such as The Ape, an allegorical retelling of the Monkey King legend, and Federico Filini's Trip To Tulum) and short stories. The stock shifts from glossy to matt to best present the art, sometimes colour, black and white or even with a sepia wash. As a showcase for manara's work, these are simply superb...



...they lead me to a moral quandary. I'm enjoying this and plan on getting them all but my interest is sparked in Manara now. Dark Horse are releasing a further 3 similar collections...but it's work that Manara is probably most notorious for, his erotica. I've seen a few pages online and they are sexually explicit but not "grubby2: there's something joyous and not salacious about them. However, I'm sure I'll like the art but a bit uncomfortable about the content, especially with the price tag. Do I or don't I? It's a dilemma, I tell ya!

While I deliberate, seemingly in response to one guy's heartfelt plea for a single collection unaccompanied by the Keith Pollard graphic novel, Marvel are putting out a single edition of Moebius' Silver Surfer album. I was never into this at the time (I was about 15 or so and it's non-Marvel style put me off) but as I've come around to some of the art of Moebius (and want to sample the SF stuff), I'll be ordering this, even if it's only a regular comic format (shame, Marvel!)...

Monday, 22 October 2012

TV Times

Well, managed to get my TV sorted just in time as I've taken a week off to recover from a surgical procedure. With the new HD TV, the leap up is definitely less than that from VHS to DVD, but the quality is definitely improved. You can tell the difference just watching standard TV shows, the picture quality varies wildly from show to show.

Annoyingly, the leap has reduced the quality of watching animated Region 1 DVDs...for lack of better terminology, the US have less pixel lines in their TV formats than ours so when watching R1s, our systems kind of fill in the gaps. This resulted in slight zigzag effects along animated stuff (being more precise in delineation than live action stuff, where it isn't so noticeable) and with HD, this is sadly more evident.

Fortunately, the Avengers looks stunning on Blu-Ray. The second disc is a solid route to the Avengers, studying how each individual Marvel movie started layering details together. There's also some extended/deleted scenes: I can see why it was dropped (pacing) but there's a great sequence of Captain America adjusting to modern times. I imagine there'll be more of this in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Also watched the first Batman: The Dark Knight Returns animated feature. Crisp animation and quite faithful to the comic (which I still enjoy) but like tthe Batman : Year One DVD, for some reason this just didn't enthral. It was quite dull actually so I hope for a return to form for the DC DVDs after the second half is released.

Beating all of the above was the Green Lantern animated TV show, a surprisingly really enjoyable series. (presumably it was supposed to feed off interest created by the live action movie: obviously there was none, but this washes all memories of that film away). Although CGanimated, the show hearkens back to Bruce Timm's era and has design and storytelling fingerprints all over it, resulting in the most enjoyable DC animated show since the Justice League for me.

The series is 20+ episodes I think and the first DVD has the opening 13 episodes which form a complete story arc called Rise of the Manhunters. Hal Jordan and Kilowog steal a prototype starship called the Interceptor from Oa, zipping along to the edge of space controlled by the Guardians of the Galaxy. From deep within the adjacent Forbidden Zone, Atrocitus leads his red Lantern army towards the Guardian space, looking to invade and exact bloody revenge on the Guardians. Jordan and Kilowog are essentially rangers along the frontier, joined by a reluctant recruit named Razer, a defecting Red Lantern and Aya, the robotic manifestation of the Interceptor's AI system.

What makes the show a joy, beyond the stunning CG animation (if anything was made for the CG treatment, it would be GL...although the Metal Men could make great use of it too), is the writing. Each show subtly lays down elements as the arc progresses, foreshadowing and playing off of previous elements in an deft manner. The story is largely devoid of other DC characters (though the Thanagarians appear), focusing on such recent GL-centric elements such as the Red and Blue Lanterns and older elements such as Ganthet, Mogo and the Star Sapphires.

Apparently Guy Gardner is slated to appear in the second arc, apparently featuring the Anti-Monitor as the big bad, but there have been some concerns about Cartoon Network's yanking of the DC Nation block until the new year. I hope all goes well, as I'm really looking forward to more animated Green lantern...

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

To Gatcha Thief

As a (nostalgic) fan of Battle of the Planets 9still love those costume designs), I was really looking forward to the upcoming CGI Gatchaman (the original Japanese name for the show, actually it was Science Ninja Gatchaman) only to read it was scuttled a while back as the studio had financial difficulties. Boo!

And then I read that the live action Gatchaman has started filming this week! Yay! Yes, it's Japanese so dunno if it will ever make it over here but if it's anything as good as the recent live action Battleship Yamato movie looks, this will be ace (pardon the Eagle Riders reference).

Anyway, I was perusing ebay recently for Gatchaman stuff and came across a doll of Princess in black rubber. I don't know if it's just a variant look or an evil counterpart but I liked the look so tweaked a recent Princess pic to feature the alternate colours and skirt...maybe one day I'll add the glossy highlights but thought the black will do for now.

Also below, some other gubbins...

Monday, 15 October 2012

This Beat Is Technophobic

Growing up loving sci fi fare such as Star Wars, Star Trek, Dr Who, Space 1999, etc, I love the idea of cool tech...I just think it doesn't like me.

I won't go into the shenanigans I've had with internet connections, viruses and trojans over the years (hint: stay the frig away from Internet Explorer: that shit's a crap magnet so switch to Firefox or something!) nor hassles with drawing tablets but my patience and wallet are both hurting recently...

The first pain was my Blu-Ray player. The first one I ordered just froze and wouldn't even open, I had to unplug it to switch it off. A replacement arrived but just spat out the disc with a nasty error message (luckily the Avengers Blu-Ray I bought was the Sainsburys doublediscer...though I also ended up with a 1 disc version I no longer need...) so a THIRD player arrived last week. I tested it round my sister's first (as I was visiting hers on the way home from collecting it). Hooray, it works! won't work on my giant screen but old school TV.

This means I've been looking at new flatscreen TVs, a waste as nothing's wrong with my TV other than it won't play BluRays and it's only 5 or 6 years old. Luckily, I sold some leave back at work so had a bumped up pay packet this month but the size of TV I need means this won't be cheap. I have a Fair few subtitled movies so a cheap little screen won't be of any use to me so I've had a look in the local pawn shop and have spotted a good size one for about £130...though I'll still need to buy an HDMI cable and get a taxi home, adding on another £20...oy oy oy...

On top of that, I picked up a nice tablet, half price at HMV. Have no wifi at home so haven't loaded any apps yet but have managed to load some art on. However, some of the preinstalled programmes didn't load when I switched it on so I can't use the eReader programme, among others. I can find it and tick it but that's all: just tick, nothing opens or loads. I'm going to have to either show this to somebody used to smartphones or tablets to see if they can suss it or take it back as it's not bloody working.

Technology: nice idea, bloody annoying reality...

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Tenants Extra

I've been busy the past two ot three weeks with an art project for work (17 completed pieces with two to go!)...most of it is stuff that's not of interest to post here but I thought I could safely post this detail which I completed today. It's Dr Who, BTW...

If I get round to it, I'll post my review of Looper, which I saw last week but have been too busy to post about...

Saturday, 29 September 2012


Humpf, am a bit drawing-knackered now...

As well as slowly plugging away with my own bits and bobs, have been roped in to do some illos for work. The drawing's OK but colouring in Photoshop takes me an age and is never quick, even with flat colours. Tomorrow, I shall take a rest but for now here's some stuff done recently...