Thursday, September 27, 2012


Hey all, DICE is finally here this weekend and it's a cracking line up. A fantastic guest list with some of the best in mainstream and creator-owned comics with top-name talent from the US, UK and of course, Ireland!

I'll be sketching at my table for the bulk of the weekend. It's first come, first serve I'm afraid; I'm not taking any lists so you'll have to wait in line (uh.... if there is a line)

Prints of the above Batman piece will also be available at the show too. Not sure how they're being handed out, but I know there is a very limited amount available, so make sure you get to the show early to get a copy of this EXCLUSIVE print.

Here's the panel schedule too; it's a great group of talks; I'm not sure how I'll find the time to draw this weekend as I really want to see all these. I'll be on 2 panels; The 'Marvel Now' panel on 5.30PM Saturday and the 'Break In; Stay In' panel at 10.30AM on Sunday.

I believe I'll also be moderating the Half Past Danger panel at 1.30PM on Sunday too. I'll be quizzing writer/artist Stephen Mooney about his this new series along with colourist Jordie Bellaire and I believe there will be a very special announcement too. Make sure you don't miss that one.

Here's directions to the venue and tickets are available here.

Hope to see ye all this weekend!


Monday, September 24, 2012


Marvel released some preview pages from my next VENOM issue which is part of the upcoming 'Minimum Carnage' crossover. Really happy with the issue; it's got some crazy, crazy stuff happening. Above are my inks, but make sure you check out Lee Loughridge's great colours on these pages over on VENOM writer Cullen Bunn's tumblr.


Thursday, September 13, 2012


Just saw this fantastic cover to CONAN #11 online, along with some info about the issue. I've just finished my run on the book for Dark Horse; can't wait to see it in print at the end of the year.

Brian Wood (W), Declan Shalvey (A), Dave Stewart (C), and Massimo Carnevale (Cover)
On sale Dec 12
FC, 32 pages, $3.50, Ongoing

Brian Wood introduces Conan to a kind of fear he’s never experienced, in part two of “The Death”!
After the salvage of a derelict ship, a terrifying illness spreads swiftly throughout the Tigress, felling Bêlit and her entire crew. Healthy but fearful of losing Bêlit, Conan seeks help in a nearby town, where the welcome he recieves is just as deadly!
  • From Brian Wood (Northlanders) and Declan Shalvey (Dark Avengers)!
  • The most acclaimed Conan comics in years!
Conan the Barbarian thus far has been the perfect example of how to make great comics.” —Comic Book Resources


Monday, September 10, 2012


Had a pleasant surprise last week when I saw the trade paperback for THUNDERBOLTS: LIKE LIGHTNING was on shelves. It contains the 'T-Bolts v T-Bolts' arc I drew, which was technically the last arc of the book before the switchover to Dark Avengers. It also has extras, like the illustrations of the original T-Bolts I did, as well as writer Jeff Parker interviewing those responsible for the creation of the book; writer Kurt Busiek, artist Mark Bagley and editor Tom Brevoort.  I'm really proud of this book, so I suggest you all go pick it up. It's available in all good comic shops, book shops, and Amazon.


Monday, September 03, 2012


In less than 30 days from now, the Dublin International Comics Show (DICE) will take place in Dundrum. I'm really looking forward to it; some of my favourite people will be there and I include myself in that. For one, I live extremely close to Dundrum Shopping centre so it will by far be the most convenient comics show I'll ever attend. Also, it will be the first  Dublin show I'll have attended since I broke into mainstream comics. The DICE organisers have had Dublin shows in the past that I attended as a wannabe artist and this will be my first as an established professional, so it's going to be a special show for me personally.

As one of the few Irish guys working on more mainstream titles, I thought I might impart a little advice to artists attending the show (as well as show some OLD art, so you can see what I have had in my own portfolio in the past). I've been to Comic Conventions in Ireland, the UK, the States, etc, and I reckon I've learned a lot from all those experiences.

 There are FIVE editors attending DICE from the States. That is the most US editors I have ever seen attend a show on this side of the Atlantic. It's a huge opportunity to get your work in front of the big US companies. Make the most of it you bastards as I and the Micks had to spend a lot of time and money and air-miles over the years to get such an opportunity! So, consider the following...


As I said; five US editors. If you are showing a superhero publisher your horror story, you may not get the response you're looking for. There's no reason you can't show them your horror story; but if they publish superheroes then show them some superheroes too. Otherwise, they can always say to you 'It's nice work, but I don't see any superheroes'. Don't give them that option, besides, they're totally right to say that. They might see you are talented, but they wouldn't be able to see how you work within their specific genre. I was considering naming the books that each editor attending works on, but to be fair, you can look it up yourself; in this Google Age we live in it's not that hard and if you're not willing to go to that little bit of effort, then what's the point?

I'm not suggesting you tailor your portfolio to each editor; just that you need to make sure you're not wasting your (or the editor's) time. Helpful suggestion; There will be Marvel (superhero) editors and a Vertigo (mature readers) editor at DICE. You could kill two birds with one stone and have a Marvel superhero in some kind of real-world drama. That way, it could suit both editors. That's what I would do, at least.


My first piece of advice would be to display your work in an actual portfolio. Doesn't have to be expensive, just something to keep your work presentable. DO NOT hand up sketchbooks for portfolio reviews. Sketchbooks are for sketches; keep them for yourself. This is essentially a job interview; don't hand in essentially a CV with doodles scribbled on the end. Also, have panel borders around the edge of your pages, that is, don't draw all the way off the page; no actual comics artist does that and it makes your pages look more amateurish because of it.


The amount of work you show is important In my opinion; no less than 6 pages is satisfactory for a portfolio review. Any less than that looks lacklustre. On the other side, no more than 12 pages is acceptable. When a portfolio has more than that, the editor will just get tired on page one and not give any of the other pages the proper attention. If you agreed to read someones poem and they gave you a novel; that's how they'll feel. 12 pages gives you enough space to show a range of characters and genres without exhausting the editors. To be honest, it's probably best to have 8 or 10 pages, but no more than 12!


Always start your portfolio with your BEST page. You want to grab an editors attention straight away. That way, they will take the time to properly look at the rest of the portfolio. Generally, you would want to have your most recent work at the front for the same reason. On top of that, I find it helpful to save a really good piece until the very end. If you can punctuate your portfolio with an impressive piece, I found that editors will actually look through the portfolio in reverse, as if the last piece is the first piece, giving them a reason to look through your portfolio again with a somewhat fresher perspective.


As I said above, DICE is in less than 30 days. In that space of time I will have pencilled and inked an issue of VENOM. Ideally, I would have 5-6 weeks, but sometimes you have to buckle down and get the work done. To be frank, if you can't have a professional-looking portfolio prepared in this space of time, then you are simply not ready for working in mainstream comics. Take this as a challenge; get your portfolio together in time for the show!


Some of you want to pencil, some of you want to Ink. It's best to show your work in the medium you want to work in, if possible. I pencil and ink my own work, so that's worked to my advantage, but if you want to only pencil, then you should have pencilled pages in your portfolio. If you want to only ink; show your ink work on different pencillers. Same goes for colouring.


Much like knowing what medium you want to work in, it's best to know what type of work you want. if you want to be a cover artist, your portfolio should contain lots of covers. If you want to draw sequential stories, then have storytelling pages in your portfolio. I think you can get away with a cover piece to show off a little, but comics editors are generally looking for comics artists and that means storytelling pages are a must.


As helpful as editors have been to me in the past, some have been no help at all (though I'm positive all the editors at DICE will be GREAT). By showing your work to guests at the show, you are likely to get a LOT of valuable information from those who have built successfull careers in the freelance trenches. Most will be more than happy to impart vital nuggets of wisdom.


Realistically, it is very unlikely that an editor will see your work and snap you up with an exclusive contract. Probably won't happen. But if you show a solid portfolio and impress a couple of editors, you can build on that relationship that may lead to a career in the mainstream in the future. Think long-term. See this as a step in the right direction.


I'd like to think this is obvious, but it just doesn't look good. Don't do it. Be cool.


Guys, I know this is aimed at artists, but it's what I know. If your goal is to write for mainstream comics, then the best thing you can do is give the editors actual comics that you have already published. It shows that you can write a comic, and it also protects them from any later legal concerns. They simply cannot read your scripts. All you can do is buy them a pint and have a chat with them. If you're serious about writing comics, you should already be planning to come to DICE and network with artists.


Fairly obvious, right? Still though, worth saying.

I hope this is all helpful. Any questions, ask away in the comments. This is all just my opinion but at this stage I'd like to think it's a pretty well informed opinion.