Monday, February 25, 2008


.....aaaaaand finally, the inks.


Saturday, February 23, 2008


Here's the pencils to yesterdays layouts. I magnify the scanned layout to artwork size, 10X15 inches on Photoshop. I then roughly trace the image, eliminating the tough process of working out where everything will fit on a larger, blank page. This way, all the necessary information is on the page, so i can get to work on fleshing out all the details. So there, my illicit secret is out; deal with it.

Inks tomorrow.


Friday, February 22, 2008


I promised to show a whole Frankenstein page, so thought i'd show i did it from start to finish.

Once i very roughly thumbnail how i'll arrange my panels, i do my layout page. It's not huge; but not tiny either; about 6X4 inches. It lets me work out the composition of the page, arrange where everything is placed, figure out some details without having to actually draw them all, and also decide where my blacks will be. This makes the process of pencilling much easier for me. I find it easier to achieve more gestural spontaneous-looking drawing in a smaller area.

I'll post the pencils tomorrow.


Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Off to Edinburgh today to take some reference for Frankenstein. There's a scene in the story that takes place there, so instead of getting reference off the net, i'd just pop down on the bus and take some photos of my own.

I'll post a finished page during the week, but till then, here's a drawing of the Monster i did last night. Took me about 15 mins.


Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Best Newcomer Writer: SIMON SPURRIER

While Si is pretty established as far as 2000AD fans are concerned, outside of that circle, he may not be as well known, that's why he gets my vote. Si has had a huge break with his Silver Surfer; In Thy Name mini series for Marvel. I was chuffed to hear Si had landed the gig. Couldn't go to a nicer guy.

Best Newcomer Artist: KEITH BURNS

As tempted as i was to vote for myself (seeing as someone had alredy nominated me...), I had to support Keith, who drew Blood Psi for Andy Winter. Plus, he's from Ireland, so he deserves a vote, just for that.

Best Writer: ED BRUBAKER

It's no secret i love this man's writing. As you see more of my nominations, you might notice this.

Best Writer/Artist: BOB BYRNE

What can i say about this guy that hasn't already been said about Afganistan? He's bombed up and depleted. Ah just kidding, like i said in the last post, this is Bob's year, and i really hope he at least gets a nomination for this.

Best Penciller: RUFUS DAYGLO

Aside from being a top bloke, i was lucky enough to see Rufus' pencilled pages at the recent Hi-Ex con in Inverness. I really like his approach to storytelling, with a keen eye on design. That kind of work interests me more than a tightly-rendered pencil drawing.


Not a UK boy (actually, i don't know where he's from), but again, i really like this artist's approach to inks. Loose and textured, his inks add great atmosphere to Michael Lark's pencils on Daredevil.

Best Fully Painted Artwork: ESAD RIBIC

Have you seen this guy's work? I've seen simple line-drawings he's done, and they're amazing.

Best Colourist: LEN O' GRADY

Surprised i had to add Len's name to this list. Along with doing great colour work in 2000AD, Len's belting out great colours on his many IDW books. Plus, he's Irish. Let's see the award go to a Limerick-man!

Best Editor: CHRIS RYALL

Last year i voted for Matt Smith, who quite deservedly won, but this year i'm going for Chris Ryall. He's really going all out there with IDW, with his Angel and Star Trek books, but aside from that, he's employing not one, not two, not three, but FOUR irish lads. See a running trend here? If you're Irish i'll vote for you.

Best Publisher: IMAGE

Admittedly, Marvel are knocking it out of the park these days with top creators on top books. Dark Horse too, are bringing out some of my favourite books, but i voted for Image. Image really is where some great, original stories are being published and by god, that's a cause i'll support.

Fav American Colour Comic: CRIMINAL

Love this book. Love the story. Love the art. Nuff said.

Fav UK Colour Comic: 2000AD

2000AD can be tricky. There's some stuff in there i really don't like, but there's some really great stuff too. All in all, it's the best UK colour book i've read, so voted for it, i did (in Yoda voice)


Have you read this book? Freakin' unbelievable. Without a doubt, the most compelling book on the stands these days.


Arrrgh! This was a tough one, as i really wanted to vote for PJ Holden's PREVIOUSLY (Sorry PJ!) but, i had to support Andy's Hero Killers follow up. A really, really great vampire story, that's recieved rave reviews. Oh yeah, i also did the cover for it. I urge you to vote for either book. They're both great.

Fav New Comicbook: TANK GIRL - THE GIFTING

Great book By Alan C. Martin, Ashley Wood and Rufus Dayglo.

Fav Comics Story: CRIMINAL 6-10 (LAWLESS)

See 'Fav Writer'. Second arc of the series, and the best so far, in my humble opinion.

Fav Original Graphic Novel: SILVERFISH

Great noir thriller by David Lapham.

Fav Reprint Collection: CRIMINAL: COWARD

See 'Fav Writer' (again)


Captain America is another great book by Brubaker, but what he did with the Bucky character in the last year or so has been a fantastic read.

Fav Comics Villain: BARRACUDA

Loved the recent Barracuda run in Punisher, and his own mini-series. Great villain.

Fav Magazine: DRAW!/WRITE NOW

I don't get to read thse as much as i'd like, but when i do get my hands on them i read every inch of them.

Fav Comics Related book: PANEL DISCUSSIONS

Great book that interviews Scott Hampton, Mark Chiarello, Mike Mignola, Brian Stelfreeze,etc. A fantastic read for us artistic type, or any student of sequential storytelling.

Fav Comics Related website: INDIEREVIEW

A site dedicated to UK small press/indie books. They've been very supportive of Hero Killers, so the least i can do is send them a vote their way


I'd like to nominate Steve Gerber, but to be fair, i've never read any of his work. James Redington however, i was fortunate enough to know. Again, a great supporter of Hero Killers (and small press books in general), James was at all the cons, supporting his own books and others too. He wrote the first interview i ever did and i was so grateful for his efforts to spread the word about our little book. He died tragically at a very youg age in mid '08 and the least i could do for him is to nominate him for the Roll of Honour.

So, there it is. Agree with me? Disagree? Tough. I've already voted, so there's nothin' you can do about it! Right, there's a lot of talk on this artblog recently, i'll post a whole Frankenstein page soon, to make up for it.


Monday, February 18, 2008


Noticed a couple of days ago that the nominations form for the Eagle Awards was up. Man, i remember this time last year, i was in Cork drawing at Will Sliney's house when i saw the list. And there it was; Hero Killers. I couldn't believe someone actually had voted for the book. Little did i know it'd go to make it through to the nominations list, and eventually win.
So, this year, i'm gonna vote for the little guy, as last year, Hero Killers was the little guy in question. At the awards last year, it was a shame to see most of the awards go to big-name American creators who weren't even attending. Someone told me lots of people were happy to see Andy Winter and myself accept the award, as we were one of the few winners to actually attend the event. So, in most cases, i'm gonna vote for more British creators.
I urge all who read this blog to vote for Bob Byrne as Favourite Writer/Artist. Everyone will probably vote for Frank Miller in this catagory, not to diss Mr. Miller at all, but the guy has gotten a lot of accolades over his career. Give the Eagle to an up-and-commer, i beg of you. This really has been Bob's year; With The Shiznit #4 out, his Twisted Tales for 2000AD, and opus; Mr. Amperduke all out within a year, he deserves to get some props. I noticed his name in the nominations form, and by god, THAT'S who i'll vote for.
(I also noticed there was some young fella by the name of Declan Shalvey in the nominations form for Favourite Newcomer Artist. I was very flattered that at least one person had already voted for me. Thanks, whoever you are, i appreciated it!)

So go forth and vote, gentle reader, and get your friends to vote, too!



Saturday, February 16, 2008


Just booked my flight for the New York Comic Con. I've always wanted to go to New York. Always. So i'm really looking forward to finally visiting the 'Large Apple' (it's large apple .....right?) and meeting up with all my con-going mates.


Monday, February 11, 2008


The king of all Declan-gossip, Will Sliney, had a signing over here in Aberdeen during the weekend, and it was an absolute pleasure to see him. From what i saw he did some kick-ass sketches. At one stage, it was suggested he do a Punisher piece. I jokingly suggested that i could do a better piece than he, so of course, it became a competition between us. As does everything. Above's the fruit of my labour, check Will's blog to see his.

Who wins? YOU decide!

I decided to do something a bit different and went with a bit more of a biker approach to the Punisher

.....whereas Will decided to rip off Tim Bradstreet's approach. ZING!!!


Saturday, February 09, 2008


A young man was sound enough to send me on the Green Lantern sketch i did at Hi-Ex. The one that ended with me spilling ink on myself. Nice.

Glad to get a scan of this. I originally started this sketch the usual way; head/figure in the middle, etc, but it wasn't working. Instead, i decided to be more bold with the composition, and move the figure right into the corner, and use a solid black to emphasize the vertical energy beam.

Quite happy with this one.


Wednesday, February 06, 2008


Well, as promised, here's more Hi-Ex info. Various blog reports and whatnot. Do read them, they give a great overall account of how the weekend went, and do a much better job at it than i do.

Reports; one, two, three, four

On the saturday night, there were pens and paper handy .....and some alcohol. It resulted in some 'interesting' comic-jams. They actually bordered on onscene, but here's one of the cleaner ones....

I could probably post more, if there's demand for 'em.

Here's a photo of Saturday's festivities. Amongst the crowd are Kev F Sutherland, Colin MacNeil, Rufus Dayglo, Paul Scott, Al Ewing and Gary Erskine.

I hope to post the odd sketches from the con over the next day or so.


Monday, February 04, 2008


Hello all, i'm back from my little trip to Inverness, and what a trip it was. Once i got there i was sorry to hear that because of heavy snowfall, some guests couldn't make the weekend. I feared that the weather would also mean the weekend would be a slow one, with small attendance. Thankfully, that wasn't the case. I has kept busy all weekend, as were all the other artists, as much as i could tell.

Afraid i didn't take many photos, but i robbed these two from the Forbidden Planet Blog

The very talented Dave Kendall and myself sketching for fans
(well, Dave's sketching. I'm taking a picture of a sketch i just drew)

Funny story to go with that pic. When i took the photo of my sketch i accidently knocked something off the table. "Oh no" i thought, " i hope i didn't drop my new digital camera!" Never fear dear reader, cuz it turned out i knocked my open bottle of India Ink straight on to my lap!!! Thank god i was wearing black trouseres is all i can say!

Was kept busy sketching for most of saturday. Sunday too. I was asked to cover for some of the guests who didn't make it, so i rather hillariously was on the 'Script Writing Workshop' and 'Brits in the USA' panels. I also was part of the 'Pitching to Comics/Portfolio Review'. Most of the panels i was on were with 2000AD writer Al Ewing, who had me in stitches all weekend. What a funny man.

Myself fith fellow indie folk Paul Scott and Graeme Neil Reid at the Indie Comics panel

The one panel i did that i was originally supposed to do in the first place was the 'Indie Comics' panel, where my fellow panelists and i discussed the pros and cons of getting involved in the scene of independent comics. To be fair, without meaning to, i think we gave the indie scene a negative slant, just by describing how hard it can be, but i think we pulled it together with a positive outlook in the end. I definately made it clear that without being involved in indie comics, i would not be where i am today.

I must say that with all the panels i was on, i developed a taste for it. I certainly got into the habit of cracking jokes/smart comments on stage and making fun of the audience, so hopefully people found my presence on the panels entertaining, rather than irritating. I'm pretty sure i mentioned Bob Byrne in every panel, and tried to make myself seem cooler by telling people i knew him. I may have pretended to be him, once or twice.....

The other panels were quite fun. With the Writing Panel, i managed to let aspiring writers know what they could do to make an artist-friendly script. I got to see some grat talent with the Portfolio Reviews, and vented some steam at the Brits in the USA panel, while also maintaining i was neither British or American.

I popped in to see the Charity Auction at one stage, where there were some great pieces going ridiculously cheap. I put in a bid for this Trevor Hairsine piece....

......and won! Won't say what i got it for, but i can honestly say it was a steal. In fact, i could have gotten it cheaper, but i raised my bid just to make sure that i got it, and no one else.

I took a couple of photos of sketches i did, i'll post them soon, along with more info on my Hi-Ex experience.



Friday, February 01, 2008


This weekend is Hi-Ex! The Highland International Comic Expo, which i'm a guest at, along with established talent such as David Lloyd, Jock, Alan Grant, Gary Erskine and Rufus Dayglo. So, i'm off for the weekend. See you again next week.

IF you happen to be in Inverness this weekend, do drop by, i'll be sketching away and whatnot. I'll also be on a couple of panels over the weekend. They are...

The 'Indie Comics'panel at 14:00 on Saturday, and at 15:00 on Sunday, i'll be on the 'Future of British Comics' panel. See the Hi-Ex website for more details. Hope to see ya there.