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.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Hallowscream! Nightmarish Ninth Issue Submission Guidelines

Once again it gives me great pleasure to announce that Hallowscream! the UK's premium indie horror comic anthology will return for another issue. Now in our staggering 9th year, Hallowscream! has become required reading on Halloween for comic book fans.

As always, we're looking for artists and writers to contribute to this much loved tome or terror so dust off your pens and pencils and get submitting.

For more details on how to get involved visit the Theatre of Terror.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Latest Update #2

I've been resting on my laurels after the success of my last post on Reddit, as well as taking a much needed week on holiday, so I haven't posted here for a while. Bit of a shame as I'd started to post more consistently but I'm back now and gearing up for some more comicy creating goodness.

Since my last post...

  • Submissions: I've had a one-page script accepted for Futurequake Press and have also sent them a seven-page script, which will hopefully be good enough to make the grade (fingers crossed).
  • Art-wise, I'm about to tackle a follow up to Cunt Dracula as well as finish drawing a 2 page script, both of which I'll post here and on Reddit.
  • I've commissioned a fantastic artist to create a cover for Issue 1 of Kill Spree. The whole project has pretty much stalled so I thought the least I can do is finish the first issue in full so I've got something to show the grand-kids.
  • I'm also working on a new script which I'm considering entering in to the 2000AD Writers Competition at this year's Thought Bubble comic festival.
All of this is extremely time consuming but I'll endeavour to keep the posts flowing. I'm enjoying drawing at the moment but that really cuts in to writing time, causing the writing quality to suffer. Need to find a way to combine both to the best of my abilities.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

The most evil of all vampires

My latest post on Reddit has had an awesome response and is currently top of Reddit's comics section. Only my fourth strip posted so I'm delighted to have smashed it with this one.

UPDATE: Well, it’s 24 hours since I posted this on Reddit and it looks like the strip has finally peaked at a staggering 14,300 Upvotes. It’s just starting to slip off the top spot on Reddit’s r/comics section which it had dominated all day long. The score is aggregated against down votes as well, so I know that there’s been plenty more ‘likes’ given to the strip as there will have been tons of people who Downvoted it as well. All hail the power of the C-bomb.

I may as well retire my pens and pencils as I seriously doubt I’ll ever create another strip that’ll receive such a positive response.

Friday, 31 March 2017

Love is Deaf

I tried out a different drawing style for this short strip. It's based on the standard stick-man style that it fairly prevalent in web comics. Again, the size of this is aimed at the Reddit crowd.