Sunday 19 April 2009

Sleepy Jackson and Creepy El Dawah!

Bumper week of HUZZAHs from me - 3 pages in a week! Above are pages 9 and 10 of HUZZAH!!NOIR that I've just finished. Features a new character - Loretta Beretta. Also has Sleepy explaining his 'rope-a-dope' brand of investigation. In some ways I'd rather have had more time to sort the artwork out, but I knew what I wanted to say with the characters and that meant hammering out two pages. It's giving me a real opportunity to work out an approach to black and white stuff. At the moment I'm probably putting too much in, be nice to suggest more and draw less. Fun getting there.

Below is page 35 of HUZZAH!! Tried to tie up a few things with the story. With the art I was looking to find a way of doing the gloom without doing it all black or ending up with a page of photoshop airbrush effects. Ended up using the hatching brush in Manga Studio (also in evidence on my latest Noir pages). At the bottom of this post is the black and white, unlettered version. I've been nervous about putting such a predetermined effect on my pages, but I guess if it works it works. Plenty of 'cheating' goes on in comic strip art, don't get me started on... nah, I'll leave that for another day. 

Friday 10 April 2009


HUZZAH!! now has a little sibling - HUZZAH!! NOIR. I just managed to do two pages to take us up to page four. Some of the same comic creators from the other HUZZAH feature in this one - Ian Culbard, Dave Taylor, Colin Fawcett, Faz Choudhury, Paul Harrison Davies and me, plus we have  been joined by the very talented Shane Oakley, Sean Longcroft and Dave Shelton. Hopefully we'll add one or two more to the list before the end of the month.

As the title suggests this HUZZAH is set in the world of Film Noir and hard-boiled fiction. This may not immediately seem as well suited to the round robin format as the way-out world of the space epic, but I have high hopes that this may work even better. For a start the setting is more limited and the black and white look more uniform. That's already evident if you compare the first 4 pages of this HUZZAH with the other. By page 4 of HUZZAH we'd already met a whole host of characters and settings with more random ideas than you could shake a science fiction stick at. The Noir version focusses on just one man and his thoughts.

In the two pages I've just done the man is revealed to be Sleepy Jackson, a sauntering ex-boxer searching for his wife/girlfriend. He first appears on Ian's page one, we hear his narrative thoughts - he was once fearless, now all that has changed, now he has reason to fear. Paul took it on and revealed that someone had been taken from him, someone he cared about. 

The thing that struck me about him was that he looked like a real bruiser and yet appeared to have an office desk, kind of a private eye set up, so I stitched the two contradictory elements together to make Sleepy Jackson. Still waters run deep with this fella.

Jackson's search for his gal has led him into some dodgy company, can't wait to see where Faz takes us next...

(and, yeah I got the name from the Aussie band.)

Wednesday 8 April 2009

Third Seventh Doctor illustration

This post will be returning next month. :-)

Saturday 4 April 2009

Doctor Who and the Guardian Vectors

Been doing a few spot illustrations for Doctor Who Magazine recently. Given how iconic the 7th Doctor's image is (to DWM readers of course) I decided to go against the idea of trying to do miniature portraits of Sylvester McCoy, after all everybody reading the magazine knows what he looks like, my job is just to make sure you "know it's him". This freed me up to have a bit more fun with these using my vector style. 

The image above is in the latest issue, which also features a wonderful comic strip by Dan McDaid and Sean Longcroft, plus regular art joys from Ade Salmon and Ben Wilshire.

I used to do regular spots for the Guardian in a similar style. Here are a few examples, these all appeared in the Guardian Weekend magazine.

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