Thursday 29 January 2009

Here comes the knight

Have no fear, Zhadira, back up is on its way! Or not. 

This is my latest HUZZAH!! page. I wanted to introduce Baron Kazam at some point and this seemed like a good place for us to find him. The Baron leapt into my mind as soon as we started HUZZAH, he seems very familiar. I like that, he triggers all sorts of associations in my head - Don Quixote, Flash Gordon, Arzach, Dan Dare, Baron Munchausen etc etc - a kind of conglomeration of 30's sci fi, 70s fantasy and chivalric romance. I can't say too much in case I bias my fellow HUZZAHers, because who he is and what he does will be as much down to them as it is to me. He seems to be light years away from Zhadira and her problems at the moment, I quite like that.

I went for a bright, flat coloured look, something with a pulp sci fi comic feel. Even the aliens look a bit 1950s in places. The fight booth is based on Ron Taylor's Boxing Booth that appears at the Dorset Steam Fair every year. 

Sunday 18 January 2009


Here's a big old rumpus from my latest HUZZAH!! plate. Seems like Zhadira's not too keen on being 'mapped'. The first 6 full pages of the story are here to read.

So far HUZZAH!! seems fairly coherent to me, I hope that's the case for anyone stumbling upon it on their web travels. Although it's essentially a game I can't help but want to make the whole thing make sense. I thought I'd be spilling my brains into it with dada-esque abandon, using HUZZAH!! as something to catch the overflow, instead I'm busying about like my Nan tidying up loose ends and keeping everything just-so. I guess my overriding  motivation in life is 'story' - I want to find out what the story is and pass it on. I'm really enjoying my part in HUZZAH!! I hope it's as much fun for anyone reading along with us as it is to make.

Here's my other plate. (Look at me tidying things away!) I guess the trick from a writing point of view with HUZZAH!! is knowing when to tidy up loose ends and when to leave them dangling (FNARR FNARR!). It's the difference between a loose end and a hook.

Monday 12 January 2009

Doctor Who Adventures

Just to let you know my Doctor Who monsters start appearing in the latest issue of Doctor Who Adventures magazine No. 97 (I think it's Pat Troughton being chased by a Yeti, haven't seen it yet).  The page above is from Time of My Life, a story I drew for Doctor Who Magazine last year. I couldn't find anything more appropriate and this DWA stuff is for THE BBC so if put the artwork up I'll be sent straight to the Tower of London.

13/1/09 Just picked up a copy of DWA 97 and discovered that these are part of "Terror Through Time" series of A4 cut out and keep pages. I was particularly surprised about the size as I only drew them about 7 cm high. Mind you, I'm rather chuffed with them. And my kids will be even chuffeder.

Sunday 11 January 2009

The Family Pet

Back to Dinlos - this is another panel from Family pet. I've had a bit of head scratching session over this because the artwork is getting more and more complex and I can't decide if this is a good thing or not. 

Perhaps some of the other stories will lend themselves to a quicker more cartoony style. Family Pet is supposed to have a bit of Gothic Horror about its everyday tale of a girl and her pet.

Friday 9 January 2009

A New Dredd Movie?!

My first 'proper' Dredd done in 1992

Yes, that's right folks they're planning another one! I remember the last one only too well (I wish I didn't!). In those days I knew Jock (who's designing the new movie) as a wee laddie who used to hang around the comic shop in Salisbury (Floppy Tongue) - I had recently lost my job after Roy of the Rovers collapsed (suspected hamstring). 

I worked on the comic spin-off from the movie - Judge Dredd Lawman of The Future. The idea was to make it more kid-friendly, something I was all in favour of (in fact, I still think it's a shame that when 2000ad drifted so far towards adult comics there was nothing to fill the void - the first 400 issues are still my 2000ad era), sadly Lawman of the Future became an attempt to make a non-violent Judge Dredd comic - which is like having non-wet water.

Another early sample (With Judge Death) and some

Lawman of the Future art - note Dredd's redesigned uniform (Gah!)

On the whole my artwork for the project was ropey as hell and heavily influenced my my hero Mick (in those days Mike) McMahon. Many of the artists and writers moved on to work for the megazine and 2000ad, I decided I wasn't good enough, or perhaps more to the point I just didn't have the will to make myself good enough for that kind of work. 2000ad itself had became very painterly and self indulgent in those days (like an acrylic convention for fans of Frank Frazetta fans) and so I went off to do 'funny' comics instead. It's interesting to note that 2000ad reverted to more traditional virtues like storytelling, and recent stories like Stickleback are every bit as good the stories from its heyday.

Last time they made a movie of Dredd I came out of it feeling like I just sat and watched someone giving my granny a kicking for two hours. This time around Dredd is more like a distant Uncle so I probably won't be so mortified even if they do give him another seeing to. Mind you, I'd rather they just let him keep his helmet on this time and made mega city look like the spaghetti street, pepper pot land that Mick McMahon drew, where people wore giant rabbit shoes and mushroom hats. Maybe that's just me showing my age.

Mick McMahon shows how it's done!

This is how Mega City will always look to me

Having said that, Jock is a sickeningly talented young fellow with a wonderful grasp of Dredd and his world so I reckon he'll make sure we get the real deal this time. Best of luck, Jock.

(Actually I must also give a mention to my fellow HUZZAHer, Dave Taylor, who is already well known to people who haven't had their heads in the sand like me, but whose work I'm just discovering. And he has a fantastical take on Mega City that avoids the predictable dark and indiscernible, Bladerunner-in-the-fog look that saves the artist time but makes Mega City seem like any other futropolis. Dave's is a beautiful Mega City that people live in.  I never understood the desire to have gothic shadowy cities that look nice in pictures or on film, but don't look like anyone would ever live in. What's a city without people?)

Tuesday 6 January 2009

The Eleventh Doctor

I had to have a go at drawing Matt Smith as the Doctor. Bit harder than I thought. Still, hopefully some nice editor type person will pay me money to get it right at some point.

Sunday 4 January 2009


HUZZAH!! is a turn based sequential art game (a what?). It's like a comic strip game of consequences: each artist draws a page or section of a page and then the next artist takes over and continues the story and leaves it for the next artist... and so on. The previous version of this game Who Killed Round Robin ran from January 1st 2008 to December 31st 2008, Huzzah will run until December 31st 2009 and can be found here.

So far there are 8 of us on board for HUZZAH!: Ian Culbard, Dave Taylor, Colin Fawcett, Chris Rodenhurst (Sketchybeast), Faz Choudhury, Matt Brooker (D'Israeli), Paul Harrison-Davies and me. A great collection of artists with a mind-boggling variety of styles.

I've just done my first plate which was fun/hair raising and I'm hooked already. 

Thursday 1 January 2009


Happy new year! I'm so busy right now that I'll struggle to get much Dinlos work done this month. In the meantime here's a quick Popeye doodle in the scribbly style I'm using for the book I'm currently illustrating. I've had to borrow my wife's fountain pen as the pens I ordered haven't turned up yet. She's had the pen all her life and as a result it's shaped to her writing style and in my hand has a mind all of its own.

Popeye is, of course, out of copyright in the EU as of today. If you're looking for something to spend those Christmas book tokens on you could do worse than Fantagraphics' collections of Segar's early Popeye strips. Good stuff.

And I'm also telling all and sundry to get a copy of Gus and his Gang by Chris Blain. It's published by First Second and is one of the best of the 'new wave' French Graphic novels. It's basically a bunch of macho romance stories about cowboys and their troubled love lives punctuated with brief bank jobs and train robberies, all drawn with a gunslinger-quick swish of the nib. One of the best things I read in 2008.
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