Wednesday 29 December 2010

What shall we do in 2011?

Let's not, eh. It would be a waste of comics, and there is much comics to be made and much comics to be read over the next 12 months. My schedule is filled with Don Quixote until May when I'll take on a few other smaller projects before tucking into Quixote Vol. 2. I also have another project on the go that I'm acting as editor on. It was 'just an idea' a month ago and had anyone said:
that would have been the end of it. Someone didn't, in fact someone thought it was a good idea and now I'm committed to it. There will be announcement in a couple of months and you will all be duly excited. Unless you already know, in which case you'll probably say, "not that again...!"

That's the book making side of things, there is also the book reading side of things:

That's right, there will be books from me you can take home. There will be two books from SelfMadeHero that I've worked on out next year: Quixote Vol. 1 (of course) out in the Autumn and The Lovecraft Anthology, out in May, featuring The Dunwich Horror written by me and drawn by the irrepressible Ian Culbard.

It certainly is a strange tale, but then that's Lovecraft for you, he was a strange chap. The ear in question belongs to our friend Alonso Quixana.


All these illustrations, with the exception of Ian's, come from Don Quixote. The funny looking, green ones at the top are from the stories within stories that are a big feature of Quixote. No doubt I'll blog about that next year.

For now though I need to get my head down and draw. In that respect at least 2011 will be much the same as every other year.

Monday 27 December 2010

Inside Soap

Here are some of the soap cartoons I've done over the past year for Inside Soap magazine. If you don't watch soap operas this probably won't mean a lot to you. Actually I don't watch them myself but I'm always well briefed by my editor, Gary Gillat. Most of the images are his ideas.

These pics are vaguely in the right order and you can see the point where I tried something different (the axe one), Gary liked it so much we changed approach from there on and ended up with images that are more interesting and often quite surreal.

Monday 13 December 2010

Christmas Doctor Who!

December's Doctor Who Magazine is out in the shops today (or tomorrow depending on where you live). It contains a new comic strip written by Jonny Morris and drawn by me, called The Professor, The Queen and The Bookshop. Jonny and me have a good track record for bringing the best out in each other and this one certainly stretched me at times. I won't give away anything about the story, but both script and art are full of hidden treats.

The above image is page one sans lettering, the image below is from the last page.

I have to give a big thanks to Geraint Ford for his brilliant work on the colouring - painstaking flatting and ever patient with me and all my demands.

Friday 3 December 2010

Who Wrote Don Quixote?

Hang on! If this fella is translating Don Quixote, whose words
are in the caption? Or is that what he's writing?

There's much sleight of hand and obfuscation around the authorship of Don Quixote, not like the conspiracy theory stuff that surrounds Shakespeare, the deception in Don Quixote is Cervantes' own. It's one of the reasons why adapting this book is far from the hollow task that some adaptation presents. I've become bound up in the metafiction and realise as I go forward how often the tools of comic storytelling lend themselves well to the overlapping narratives that Cervantes created.

Look at this fellow, for example. He's the unnamed translator of most of the book, for all we know he could have made it up. We rely on him to give us the true origin of the book and name its true author:
It's that kind of book. One minute you're wrapped up the crazy adventures of the two hombres next minute the whole notion of fiction collapses around you and it's your own sanity that comes into question.

Deception is an art. Art is deception, and everyone connected with Don Quixote, including Cervantes, Don Quixote, Sancho Panza, me and you are part of that deception. This crazy old man wants to be like a knight-errant; knight-errants only exist in books; Don Quixote makes himself like a book; Don Quixote is a book; we make him real; Cervantes makes him real; he outlives Cervantes and you and me...

Maybe I've been overdoing the Night Nurse or maybe this book has got to me. OR... Maybe this book has to get to me otherwise I'll never pull off the deception.
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