Just before Christmas I finished working on an unusual project for me. I was approached to work on a few comic pages for a Kickstarter campaign that was aiming to secure funds for a much larger project.
Scarecrow V is essentially a horror story, but a lot of the horror comes not from the usual slasher or murdery type of stuff, but instead comes from the more day to day horrors of the meat industry.
The pages were finished in time for the New Year which is when a lot of people choose to go vegan after overindulging over the holiday period. The Kickstarter campaign is coming soon so we’ll see if it gets funded.
Over the last few weeks I’ve been working on my entry for the Posterspy competition to design an alternative poster for AMC’s hit show “Preacher”. There’s some really good entries by some incredible artists so we’ll see what happens.
This was done using a blend of techniques from both the 3D and 2D world. My intention was to have the realism and and vivid lighting and shadows that come with 3D design, while also paying homage to the show’s comic book origins with some traditional inking and crosshatching.
It’s my first attempt at a film poster so I’m pretty happy with the results.
In other news, on Friday night Claire and I attended James Newton Howard’s first ever live tour performance at the Royal Albert Hall. It was my first time visiting the hall and it was incredible to say the least. We heard many of his classic scores including music from The Dark Knight, The Village, The Hunger Games and many more. Howard himself seemed an incredibly likeable and humble man who gave a lot of credit to the people he’s worked with, and he even let slip that his colleague and friend Hans Zimmer was somewhere in the audience. That sent an excited murmur through the crowd to know we were sharing the space with two musical legends!
Next month I’ll be heading the the International Comics Expo and then to Comics Uncovered the next day. I’ve only ever been to one other Comic convention, that time a fun visit with my brother Sean to the London Film and Comic Con where we enjoyed goggling at the bizarre cosplay sights and I got to meet Starbuck from Battlestar Galactica!
This time it’s Comics Uncovered for a day of workshops, talks from comic pros and the nerve wracking portfolio reviews. I’ve decided to submit my work for reviews and I’ve got appointments booked in with DC, Titan and Markosia.
I’m pretty nervous, but I’ve been working hard and building up a number of images to show them. Time to get some business cards I think!
This one I’m particularly fond of. I’m a huge fan on Stephen King, especially the Marvel Comics versions drawn by Jae Lee. So here’s my own attempt at a Dark Tower cover. If you’ve read a single King book you’ll probably be familiar with some of the characters as the Dark Tower books seem to touch on pretty much every other King book there is. There’s connections to the Stand, the Shining, Hearts in Atlantis, Rose Madder, and IT to name just a few.
This image was completed really quickly. I already had a design for a cowboy character prepared in Zbrush from another project so I was able to breath new life into it here. This image was completed in just one day.
I’ve always planned on creating a graphic novel of my own but never felt quite ready until now. I was recently approached by Don Christoff to help him bring his ‘Xtempore’ story to life. I’ve read a lot of scripts over the years, and the thing that usually first jumps out is the thought “Well I wouldn’t have said it like that”. But in this case that didn’t happen. Don’s script, particularly his dialogue was tight and snappy and the subject matter was right up my street.
Xtempore is a cat and mouse tale of time travellers, artificial intelligence and knife wielding lunatics, all set in post-pandemic dystopian world. It makes for a rich world for me to illustrate and it’s a hell of a lot of work. Most comics are created by a team featuring a penciller, an inker, a colourist and a letterer. But in this case it all falls to me.
Working in Zbrush means that the early stages of a project like this are quite slow as I build all the required models. But once I have them I can manipulate them repeatedly and move the characters into the correct positions for each frame, making the work go faster and faster. This means I don’t have the problem of always being careful to make the characters look the same in every panel, as it literally is the same model. I create the base of the image in Zbrush, then add inking layers in Photoshop, andassemble all the panels in Manga Studio.
It’s all coming together nicely and both Don and I are really excited about the project. Coincidentally my brother got me a ticket to Comic-Con in London next month. So I’ll be able to meet a few other comic creators and show them what I’m producing.