Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Latest Update #4

It might have gone a bit quiet round here lately bit there's been movement and all sorts of excitement going on behind the scenes.
  • I've found an artist for story i wrote waaaaaaay back in 2010 called 'Caught in a Moment'. Nice to finally catch a fish for this as it's stalled on 2 occasions before. IF this does get completed this time round (and I've seen the rough sketches so it's promising) this 2 page story will be going in to this year's Hallowscream.
  • Hallowscream itself is coming along nicely. We've had several approved submissions and final strips completed and looks set to be another scare-fest this Halloween.
  • Killer Bytes, my first anthology, is pretty much complete. There's a couple of stories being tidied up by the artists/letterers but once that's done it's ready to print!
  • I've teamed up with super-cool artist Laura Sorvala for a brand new 2 page script which we will be submitting to Self Made Hero's Corbyn Comic Book Competition.  If accepted it'll be printed alongside some of the most well know political artists and sold at the Labour Party’s Annual Conference in September 2017.
  • I've submitted a brand new story (2 pager again!) to the Strange Romance anthology for their 3rd issue. You can find the previous 2 issues on Comixology and they look great! Would love to be a part of this. fingers crossed for the submission (which is awesome IMHO).
  • I've landed a small PAID lettering job for a submission bysome chap I bet online. Only 6 page but every little helps.
  • Finally, and most excitingly, inspiration finally struck for a full length series which I believe has a ton of potential. While Kill Spree, my first series, is now back-back burner, this new series could be worth pushing quite hard as it may have broad appeal and plenty of resources to build its world. I'm still formulating this in the lab so very early days for this project at the moment.
As you can see, busy busy.

Thursday, 6 July 2017


The latest edition of FutureQuake is now available to purchase from the FutureQuakePress store. Why should you buy this? Well apart from the fact it is 100 pages of awesome comic book gorgeousness, filled with 18 amazing sci-fi stories from some of the top names in indie comics, it contains LONDON ROCKS, a 7 page face-melter of a story written by Tim West and drawn by Rafael Romeo Magat. Behold, the cover...

Are you still here? Go. Buy. Consume. Enjoy.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Drac's Back...

The follow up to the extremely popular Cunt Dracula post is now up on Reddit. I'll be monitoring this all day although I'm not expecting to hit the whopping 14.9 thousand upvotes of the first strip. This second strip is a little esoteric, a little longer and a little rushed in the art department.

EDIT: 24 hours on from posting on Reddit and Cunt Dracula 2 has a woeful 26 upvotes. I can't say I'm surprised. Lessons learned are:

  • If you're going to follow up on a hit, don't wait 3 months to post the second part.
  • The nature of viewing web comics on mobile means user prefer 4 panel shorts as they fit perfectly on a smartphone screen.
  • Don't flog a dead horse.

Monday, 26 June 2017

My Anthology Cover & Name

The first anthology by ME is cruising stylishly towards completion. I am pleased to announce the title of this collection of comic strips will be... KILLER BYTES. Here's a sneak preview of the cover (work in progress)

With my fondness for horror and my association with Hallowscream I'd always assumed by first comic book would be a horror anthology, which I'd been planning on naming Terror Bytes. It turns out that what I have written is a mix of horror, sci-fi, historical and comedy stories! Terror didn't quite sum it up but I think Killer I can get away with. I almost went for Killa Bytes but I'm far to nerdy to get away with a title as street as that!

Friday, 16 June 2017

My Anthology

Here's a work-in-progress preview picture for my upcoming anthology. Yes, that's correct, I'm currently compiling the pages for a new collection of stories that I've had printed in other comics over the last 4 years.

It's a clear sign of how awesome the indie comics scene is here in the UK, that I've been able to collect 36 pages of comic strips, which I have written, that have been drawn and lettered FOR FREE by fellow comic book enthusiasts. Very cool indeed.

I'm still unsure on the title of the comic but hopefully it'll be completed later this year so I can take it to sell at a few comic conventions.

Friday, 9 June 2017

God takes care of his own

Another story from the Hallowscream archives, 'God takes care of his own' appeared in the 8th issue launched October31st  2016. This story was drawn by Glenn McPartlin who got in touch with me early last year and offered his artistic services.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Latest Update #3

Just a quick update to keep the blog ticking over:
  • London Rocks is totally finished and has been fast-tracked through to the latest Futurequake, which is being printed this month. Really proud of this story. V excited!
  • The Passenger has been accepted for Sliced Quarterly a neat experimental indie anthology. Editor Ken Reynolds is going to re-letter it which I'm excited about. Should make it a stronger piece.
  • Half way through the art for Cunt Dracula 2
  • In the most exciting news, I've complied the insides for my first comic anthology, which I'll hopefully be launching later this year. With a current working title of Danger Geek - Volume 1, this is a collection of stories that I've had featured in other small press anthologies. Clocking in at 36 pages it contains the 10 best stories I've written over the last 5 years. I intend to get this printed and take it on tour. 
I'll keep you updated on these as and when they develop.

Monday, 22 May 2017

The Passenger

If you're wondering why I'd gone a bit quiet on the art front it's because I've been working on this story for the last few weeks. My previous ventures in to illustration have been about practising digital techniques and 'borrowing' from other people's styles. With this strip I've fully engaged the artistic side of the brain and gone for it. Really pleased with the results. Hope you enjoy...

Drawn in pencil. Inked and coloured in Illustrator. Lettered and distressed in Photoshop.

More like this to come.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

London Rocks Preview

Following up my previous post London Rocks Sketches I've just received the artwork for the entire 7 page strip, and my-word, does it look impressive. Artist Rafael has really pulled out all the stops, crafting a gorgeous eye-popping visual treat. I've included a teaser of two of the page below. Check them the fuck out.

The story will still need lettering and then will have to wait its turn for a suitable slot in the next FutureQuake. This is a bi-annual publication so hopefully we shouldn't have to wait too long.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Controlling the Flow in Comics

Here's a little self-indulgent post about helping your readers to navigate their way round your comic page. A little something known as flow.

Now, I'm no expert at art but I've read a lot of books about comic crafting and have a good understanding of THE RULES when it comes to creating comics. I've also read, edited and lettered plenty of comics, so if I can use my experience to help others become better at making comics then I must.

Comic flow is the use of art and lettering to guide the reader's eyes around the page in order to make sure they don't get lost or skip to the wrong panel. We've all had this happen to us while reading a comic and it's an unpleasant experience that pulls you out of the story.  Pro comic artists and letterers are able to draw your eyes in the right direction using subtle hints within the images on the page and the position and shape of the speech bubbles.

To demonstrate this, I've placed some guide lines over a page from one of the more recent stories I've drawn Peril in the Park. Take a look below...

From the picture above you can see how the lines within the art have been used to create a path through the page. I'm shit at drawing but I can assure you that these lines are not unintentional. If I can do this, just imagine what a pro comic book artist can do. Go grab a proper comic and you'll see the artist using the lines of buildings or the shape of character's bodies to drive your eyes around the page. It's all very clever.

You can also see how the 'tails' from the speech bubbles have been placed to give visual clues as to which direction the reader's eyes should travel next. The idea is to do this 'under the radar' so the reader doesn't really catch on to the manipulation at work. Like special effects in movies, the magic is spoilt is the viewer sees Peter Pan is flying because he's held up by wires.

There's an old psychological trick used in graphic design/advertising that can also be applied to your art. In Panel 1 (above) I've used the Inspector's line of sight to guide the reader in the direction I want them to go. According to people much wiser than me, human beings are drawn towards faces and in particular eyes. Many adverts make use the positioning of people and their faces to push their target's eyes towards significant areas of interest within an advert. This also works well in comics.

Try and incorporate these simple tricks in to your art and lettering and you'll end up with a more satisfied reader.