Saturday, July 26, 2014

One, nil to the Arsenal.... apparantly.

So, apart from the fact that England were s#!t, I think we can all agree that the completely brilliant world cup should have left us all desperate for the new footie season!

Well Arsenal are starting things off with their now customary curtain raiser in the form of The Emirates Cup (August 2 & 3). With a stella line up of teams from across Europe, Benfica Monaco & Valencia (in case anyone is wondering, not inviting Leeds United was intentional, surprisingly. I know, I checked)

Aaaaanyhoo, this year I was asked to contribute in a small way. I couldn't say "Yes" quick enough & was already halfway through cleaning off my boots before I realised I wasn't going to be an 85 minute shock substitution, but instead I would help in the production of the promotional poster..... their loss.

So the diamond geezers & all round nice blokes at top design & branding agency 'The Creative Arms', asked if I could come up with illustrations of key members of the star talent from the four participating teams (LuisãoDiego Alves, Radamel Falcao & Jack Wilshere) but making them look like comic book heroes. I had done something similar for FIFA a few years ago, so I wasn't worried about the concept working, my problem was that on this job the artwork had to look like actual players... I always find likenesses tricky, plus the fact that these guys seem to change their hair styles at the drop of a hat (Luisao excepted, obviously), so squeaky bum time!

At he eleventh hour I was asked to do one last drawing of Arsenals major pre-season signing (Alexis   Sánchez) since he was clearly going to be a major draw for the event. That was a bit of a rush job, but ironically turned out to be my favorite of the lot.

Right, enough of the pre-amble bollocks, here's what you actually want, the artwork!

There was a little to-ing & fro-ing between the pencils & the final art, mostly revolving around the likeness & what kind of superhero character each player would be represented as, but these guys are 'brands' in their own right (let alone the clubs) so that was to be expected, no biggie.



There was some debate as the whether Alexis Sanchez would be represented as 'Super-Sanchez' hence the version with the decidedly 'super' cape, but ultimately it seems that wasn't the approach which was taken.

So next, the guys at The Creative Arms took this raw material, & turned it into press ads, web banners & window vinyls. All of which look pretty bloomin' brilliant, I think you'll agree. All together now..."One, nil, to The Arsenal, one, nil, to The Arsenal..etc etc".






Wednesday, July 23, 2014

All Star Western #33 preview.

DC Comics have released this preview of the art for All Star Western #33 (out this week). The cover is by the rather brilliant Dave Johnson (no relation :-)  )

This was my last work on the title, Darwyn Cooke will be handling the very final issue (#34).





Monday, July 07, 2014

EXCELSIOR!

Comics legend (there is quite simply no other word to describe him) Stan Lee, will be attending the London Film And Comic Con this coming weekend. As far as I am aware, this is Stan 'The Man's first appearance at a UK con in many years.

To mark the event, the show's organisers have put together a book of tributes to the Main Man, & I was asked to contribute. Now, I was never much of a Marvel Zombie myself but it doesn't take a genius to see that without Stan Lee the comic industry as we know it today simply would NOT exist. Which more or less explains my contribution, which is that the REAL secret identity of Spider-Man and all those other early Marvel superheroes is Stan himself.

Anyway, here's the promotions blurb from the organisers:-

EXCELSIOR: Steve Rude, Mark Buckingham, Alan Davis, Jose Delbo, Bryan Talbot, Mike Perkins, Chris Weston and Gary Frank are among the horde of artists from around the world paying tribute to Stan Lee on the occasion of his last European public appearance. Running to 68 pages in colour and black and white, Excelsior is a limited edition of 250 copies. It is available exclusively at the London Film and Comic Con, priced £10. If you can’t make it to the show, copies can be sent to you for £15 each (unsigned) or £80 (signed by Lee) within the UK . Email Mike Conroy at demigod@btconnect.com for full details, to enquire about price if you live elsewhere in the world and to obtain details of the originals that will be auctioned over the weekend as well as how to bid on them.

And here is my contribution, & the cover artwork (I wish I could tell you who did this, but I simply don't know.

 

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

All Star Western #33 sneak peek

Here's a look at a few panels from All Star Western #33 (out in just under a month, I believe), which will be my last foray into the world of Jonah Hex for the time being. The series will have one issue to go after this one, but that is drawn by Darwyn Cooke.

These art the art in it's 'raw state', before it's been cleaned up, & before I've added panel orders, which these days I do digitally in 'post production' to borrow a movie making term. All these are done over blueline printouts of my pencils, & inked with Uni-pin fineliners & my trusty Pentel brush-pen.

I've been careful not to choose images which contain any spoilers, so hopefully this should only enhance your enjoyment of the issue, not ruin it!!








Wednesday, June 25, 2014

All Star Western #32:Out now!

The latest issue of All Star Western from DC Comics to feature my work of Jonah Hex is out this week. Features a fabbo cover by Dan Panosian, a script by Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin grey, & art by Fabrizio Fiorentino (who drew the second half of the Hex strip).

Here's a few preview pages.


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Rogue Trooper Classics #2 (IDW)

Me an' Rogue Trooper, we got history!

Right back to the day when I saw that first strip in 2000AD, lying in a hospital bed recovering from a motorcycle/wall interface event. Through years of filling sketchbooks of drawings of him, right up to the point when I finally got to draw him for real, as in, for 2000AD. He remains a consistent request when I sketch at conventions. Our latest crossing of paths is on the alternate cover to IDW's Rogue Trooper Classics #2 (out last week, June 11). Well, I say 'latest' but infact the image used is taken from that first pro job I did of Rogue back in 2002 (pencils by me, inks by David Roach). It's the big reveal shot, cropped & spliced into a cover image, but retains the little 'Thank God it's NOT Friday' gag, which those who know of Rogue's somewhat convoluted history will understand since that strip was the first time the original Rogue had been back in the prog for 13 years. However shown in isolation here, the joke falls a bit flat. All that said, it's very flattering that IDW should consider this image iconic enough to be worthy of a cover. I'm afraid you won't be able to take a trip down to your local comic shop to pick up a copy of the version with my cover, since I think it only appears on the version sent out to those who subscribed. However, you can get the regular edition which features a very lovely drawing by John McCrea, & the interiors are some of those original Dave Gibbons & Colin Wilson Rogue stories, this time in colour, & are well worth a read.

Anyway, this is how the cover featuring my Rogue appears...

This is the original page as it appeared back in 2000AD in 2002...

And here is John McCrea's cover to the regular edition of Rogue Trooper Classics #2




Sunday, June 08, 2014

All Star Western #32 teaser.

Out in a couple of weeks, here's the layouts & inks for a page from All Star Western #32.



Friday, June 06, 2014

D-Day: June 6th, 1944, mega post.

Unless you have been living on another planet for the last couple of weeks, you can't have failed to know that today marks the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the invasion of Nazi occupied Europe by the largest armada ever assembled.

I have been fortunate enough to be tasked with producing artwork on this subject on a few occasions, so to mark this anniversary in my own way, here's as much of that work as I could find. Sadly, a lot of the final colour files were lost forever when an external hard drive died on me a few months ago... who said computers make everything easier. These were done for children's educational non-fiction books.

As usual, all comments/questions are welcome.