Friday, 16 June 2017

My Anthology

Here's a work-in-progress preview picture for my upcoming anthology. Yes, that's correct, I'm currently compiling the pages for a new collection of stories that I've had printed in other comics over the last 4 years.



It's a clear sign of how awesome the indie comics scene is here in the UK, that I've been able to collect 36 pages of comic strips, which I have written, that have been drawn and lettered FOR FREE by fellow comic book enthusiasts. Very cool indeed.

I'm still unsure on the title of the comic but hopefully it'll be completed later this year so I can take it to sell at a few comic conventions.

Friday, 9 June 2017

God takes care of his own

Another story from the Hallowscream archives, 'God takes care of his own' appeared in the 8th issue launched October31st  2016. This story was drawn by Glenn McPartlin who got in touch with me early last year and offered his artistic services.



Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Latest Update #3

Just a quick update to keep the blog ticking over:
  • London Rocks is totally finished and has been fast-tracked through to the latest Futurequake, which is being printed this month. Really proud of this story. V excited!
  • The Passenger has been accepted for Sliced Quarterly a neat experimental indie anthology. Editor Ken Reynolds is going to re-letter it which I'm excited about. Should make it a stronger piece.
  • Half way through the art for Cunt Dracula 2
  • In the most exciting news, I've complied the insides for my first comic anthology, which I'll hopefully be launching later this year. With a current working title of Danger Geek - Volume 1, this is a collection of stories that I've had featured in other small press anthologies. Clocking in at 36 pages it contains the 10 best stories I've written over the last 5 years. I intend to get this printed and take it on tour. 
I'll keep you updated on these as and when they develop.

Monday, 22 May 2017

The Passenger

If you're wondering why I'd gone a bit quiet on the art front it's because I've been working on this story for the last few weeks. My previous ventures in to illustration have been about practising digital techniques and 'borrowing' from other people's styles. With this strip I've fully engaged the artistic side of the brain and gone for it. Really pleased with the results. Hope you enjoy...




Drawn in pencil. Inked and coloured in Illustrator. Lettered and distressed in Photoshop.

More like this to come.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

London Rocks Preview

Following up my previous post London Rocks Sketches I've just received the artwork for the entire 7 page strip, and my-word, does it look impressive. Artist Rafael has really pulled out all the stops, crafting a gorgeous eye-popping visual treat. I've included a teaser of two of the page below. Check them the fuck out.


The story will still need lettering and then will have to wait its turn for a suitable slot in the next FutureQuake. This is a bi-annual publication so hopefully we shouldn't have to wait too long.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Controlling the Flow in Comics

Here's a little self-indulgent post about helping your readers to navigate their way round your comic page. A little something known as flow.

Now, I'm no expert at art but I've read a lot of books about comic crafting and have a good understanding of THE RULES when it comes to creating comics. I've also read, edited and lettered plenty of comics, so if I can use my experience to help others become better at making comics then I must.

Comic flow is the use of art and lettering to guide the reader's eyes around the page in order to make sure they don't get lost or skip to the wrong panel. We've all had this happen to us while reading a comic and it's an unpleasant experience that pulls you out of the story.  Pro comic artists and letterers are able to draw your eyes in the right direction using subtle hints within the images on the page and the position and shape of the speech bubbles.

To demonstrate this, I've placed some guide lines over a page from one of the more recent stories I've drawn Peril in the Park. Take a look below...




From the picture above you can see how the lines within the art have been used to create a path through the page. I'm shit at drawing but I can assure you that these lines are not unintentional. If I can do this, just imagine what a pro comic book artist can do. Go grab a proper comic and you'll see the artist using the lines of buildings or the shape of character's bodies to drive your eyes around the page. It's all very clever.

You can also see how the 'tails' from the speech bubbles have been placed to give visual clues as to which direction the reader's eyes should travel next. The idea is to do this 'under the radar' so the reader doesn't really catch on to the manipulation at work. Like special effects in movies, the magic is spoilt is the viewer sees Peter Pan is flying because he's held up by wires.

There's an old psychological trick used in graphic design/advertising that can also be applied to your art. In Panel 1 (above) I've used the Inspector's line of sight to guide the reader in the direction I want them to go. According to people much wiser than me, human beings are drawn towards faces and in particular eyes. Many adverts make use the positioning of people and their faces to push their target's eyes towards significant areas of interest within an advert. This also works well in comics.

Try and incorporate these simple tricks in to your art and lettering and you'll end up with a more satisfied reader.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Hallowscream! Nightmarish Ninth Issue Submission Guidelines



Once again it gives me great pleasure to announce that Hallowscream! the UK's premium indie horror comic anthology will return for another issue. Now in our staggering 9th year, Hallowscream! has become required reading on Halloween for comic book fans.

As always, we're looking for artists and writers to contribute to this much loved tome or terror so dust off your pens and pencils and get submitting.

For more details on how to get involved visit the Theatre of Terror.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Latest Update #2

I've been resting on my laurels after the success of my last post on Reddit, as well as taking a much needed week on holiday, so I haven't posted here for a while. Bit of a shame as I'd started to post more consistently but I'm back now and gearing up for some more comicy creating goodness.

Since my last post...

  • Submissions: I've had a one-page script accepted for Futurequake Press and have also sent them a seven-page script, which will hopefully be good enough to make the grade (fingers crossed).
  • Art-wise, I'm about to tackle a follow up to Cunt Dracula as well as finish drawing a 2 page script, both of which I'll post here and on Reddit.
  • I've commissioned a fantastic artist to create a cover for Issue 1 of Kill Spree. The whole project has pretty much stalled so I thought the least I can do is finish the first issue in full so I've got something to show the grand-kids.
  • I'm also working on a new script which I'm considering entering in to the 2000AD Writers Competition at this year's Thought Bubble comic festival.
All of this is extremely time consuming but I'll endeavour to keep the posts flowing. I'm enjoying drawing at the moment but that really cuts in to writing time, causing the writing quality to suffer. Need to find a way to combine both to the best of my abilities.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

The most evil of all vampires


My latest post on Reddit has had an awesome response and is currently top of Reddit's comics section. Only my fourth strip posted so I'm delighted to have smashed it with this one.


UPDATE: Well, it’s 24 hours since I posted this on Reddit and it looks like the strip has finally peaked at a staggering 14,300 Upvotes. It’s just starting to slip off the top spot on Reddit’s r/comics section which it had dominated all day long. The score is aggregated against down votes as well, so I know that there’s been plenty more ‘likes’ given to the strip as there will have been tons of people who Downvoted it as well. All hail the power of the C-bomb.


I may as well retire my pens and pencils as I seriously doubt I’ll ever create another strip that’ll receive such a positive response.

Friday, 31 March 2017

Love is Deaf

I tried out a different drawing style for this short strip. It's based on the standard stick-man style that it fairly prevalent in web comics. Again, the size of this is aimed at the Reddit crowd.


Friday, 24 March 2017

APOCALYPSE - The Board Game

This fun little creation appeared in the 2013 issue of Hallowscream, the tribute anthology dedicated to the fond memories of 80's horror comic Scream! I remember reading the comic as a small child and being blown away by the gruesome stories in its pages. Bringing it back to life, in the form of Hallowscream, with other mentally damaged Scream! fans was a pleasure to do and a fantastic experience that set me on the path of being a comic creator.

Scream! often featured additional silly pieces such as games or drawing competitions and APOCALYPSE - The Board Game is my attempt to recreate some of that joy.



Ably drawn my Mike Legan, with letters and colours by myself. I opted for a monochromatic colour scheme as it seemed easy at the time but the results are pretty good. (Click the image to see a bigger version.)

Thursday, 16 March 2017

London Rocks Sketches

Today I received an email that set my pulse racing and put a huge smile on my face. I currently have a story in production which is destined to appear in an upcoming issue of Futurequake. This juicy seven pager, titled London Rocks, is an absolute beauty of a sci-fi short (possibly best story I've written) and I was overjoyed when the guys at FQP assigned comic artist Rafael Romeo Magat to complete the art duties. As you can see from his Tumblr page he has some freakin' mad drawing skillz!

Rafael is currently cracking on with illustrating the script and his email included a collection of sketches which are shown below.





These early sketches are awesome. Raf, as any quality comic artist should, has added an extra layer of detail that can't really be written in to a script. This is one of the coolest things about collaborating with other creators. It's a team effort, the results of which are a coming together of creatives to produce a single piece of work. I can't wait to see the end results.  

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Dark Judge Babies

Quick bit of digital art for our viewing pleasure. Formerly a 2000AD Forum Art Competition entry Dark Judge Babies is my take on the infamous Dark Judges ( Judge Fire, Judge Death, Judge Fear and Judge Mortis) from seminal sci-fi comic Judge Dredd. This drawn on paper, inked in Adobe Illustrator and coloured in Photoshop.


Thursday, 9 March 2017

THE KILL YOUs & KILL MEs



After posting my previous story Peril in the Park on Reddit's r/comics I got a decent number of hits from visitors viewing that story. It was also a bit of a thrill as Reddit users can up/down vote your post, which works as a type of rating. The story only got an upvote of 4 (and you need to be in the high hundreds to make the top of the r/comics section on Reddit) so overall it was mostly a failure but I enjoyed the process and seeing my work go out to a larger audience.

THE KILL YOUs & KILL MEs is an attempt to garner more votes so I've drawn it in webcomic format to hopefully make it more digestible on mobiles. I'm fishing for votes. Here fishy fishy.

The art process was quicker than the last story, partly because this one is less detailed but also because I have learned a few tricks to speed myself up. Still takes ages but I'll try and maintain this production tempo.

Click here for more info on Intrusive Thoughts

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Peril in the Park

At last! I've finally completed the story I've been promising to finish for several weeks. So, without further ado, I'm delighted to present to you...Peril in the Park.






Pretty pleased with the results although I'll probably still do some tweaking to make sure the colour balance is a bit better. I'm glad to finally get this monkey off my back as it's taken ages to complete the full process of art and writing. Usually I'm lucky enough to get a proper artist to draw my strips. Going solo was incredibly time consuming.

With this story done (which I'll be submitting to this year's Hallowscream) I can crack on with some other stories. I've learned loads doing this and I hope I can improve my comic creating speed.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Mirror Mirror

Mirror Mirror first appeared in the 2014 edition of Hallowscream and was one of the first ever comics to make use of the Electricomics generator. Drawn by Carol Kewley, this is an experimental story that uses an unusual layout to help tell its tale.

It's quite a subtle trick so look closely.


As per the title and theme of the story, the images within are a reverse reflection of each other. eg the first panel is the same layout as the last panel, the 2nd panel is a reflection of the 15th, 3rd is the  14th, and so on...

This is me being a smart arse. I thank you.


Current Project Progress Update:

I'm still working on several stories, which I promise I'll have ready to upload soon. Apologies for the delay but it really does take a ridiculously long time to draw things. 

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Doodlings

Late last year I attempted to partake in something called Inktober, a fun little project which involves creating one piece of inked artwork for each day of the month. Needless to say, I didn't complete the full month, only managing a meagre 4 days. No surprise there.

In order to keep the content flowing on this blog, I though I'd share a couple with you, while I'm creating some more serious comic strips, which I'll be posting very soon. Enjoy.






Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Fuzzy

I'd love to post more but as I'm now trying to draw some comic strips it turns out doing so is a reallllly lengthy process! It goes:

Write > Edit > Rewrite > Edit > Rewrite > Initial character sketches > Rough page layout > Full page layout > Pencil sketches > Refine pencil sketches > Scan > Ink (digital) > Flat colours > Full colour > Letter & Logo > Finish

At last! A solid excuse for why it's taking so long to get content up. :)

So, in the mean time, here's some filler in the form of Fuzzy.

Fuzzy is a comic character I created back when I was between 7-10 years old (that's a guess really as I've no idea but it sounds about right). I used to draw short stories about Fuzzy and his adventures. I suppose you could say this was my first comic strip.



This framed picture hangs on the wall, above the TV, in my Mum's house. Yep, she pretty much idolises anything I do and is a massive hoarder. (That's hoarDER! Don't go disrespecting my Mother, yo.) 

Friday, 27 January 2017

Monster Vision

It's Friday and I've only posted once so far this year, so, here's a little treat that first appeared in the 2015 edition of the horror anthology Hallowscream. This is a two page story titled Monster Vision and was drawn by the awesome Ryan Taylor. Happy Friday folks. (You can click on the pics below for a better view)



Still working on a couple more stories that I'm part way through drawing. That shit takes time so respect to all the artist out there keeping the indie comic scene alive.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Happy New Year

As the glistening fleshy petals of 2017 peel back to reveal a face-hugging new year of celebrity deaths, cold war sabre-rattling and rising fascism I thought I'd brush up on some drawing practice with this pencilled, then digitally inked and coloured, brain vomit.

Happy New Year everyone.