Friday, 14 February 2014

Character sketch

Did this little character sketch yesterday as this is one of the projects I've got juggling around in my head when the time comes to go fully cartoony and say goodbye to the current style of drawing I've done for so long.

I find drawing like this so fun, free and refreshing, it's the complete opposite to the feeling I get with my current style which is incredibly hard work and ultimately frustrating.

Got loads of characters ready to go, one I'm planning on doing as a webcomic, hopefully I'll have more news on that soon.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Last of the Wolfmen Print

I did this print/cover design (adapted from an old image I did a while ago) for last years Thought Bubble convention. Sadly I never got chance to go so it just sat on the hard drive.

Maybe this year I'll get some printed up.

Maybe this year there might be some news about this book.

Not dead yet!

It's been very quiet on here lately, partly due to lack of anything to show or report on really!

A new year means a fresh start, and I've gone though some soul-searching lately and the result being I'm not sure what the future holds for Midnight Man, the book Mo Ali and are I doing.

I want the book to happen, mainly because the story Mo wrote is a cracker, I just feel the work I've done on it is really not up to scratch, and seeing the incredible work of others online, by twitter, deviantart etc it makes me wonder whether I can offer the comic scene anything these days.

A possibility is to get another artist (or artists) to help complete the book which we are looking at - so all is not lost just yet. I'm hopeful of making an announcement on that very soon.

We have been experimenting though with colouring up some of the pages, and being an all round talented individual, Mo himself has had a go at splashing some hues on one of my probably-hard-to-colour-pages and the results have blown me away, so I'm showing a page of that here.

In other news, design work has been completed on book 4 of Accent UK's supernatural western thriller series 'WesterNoir' and it's the best one yet I think. That will be winging it's way to the printers very soon in time for DemonCon (which is mid February I think).

Hopefully the next update won't take quite as long!

Monday, 4 November 2013

Afterlife Inc

Above is my pinup for Jon Lock's excellent book 'Afterlife Inc'.

Jon is a great writer and a regular presence on the UK comic circuit and his enthusiasm is infectious and once you've read these books you'll want to read more.

Two books have so far been released, and the third book 'Life Blood' (funded after a very successful Kickstarter campaign) is due to be released at this years Thought Bubble festival in Leeds on the 23/4th November.

I had several ideas but this is the one that stuck with me the most, I liked the 'otherwordly' feel of it and the overall simplicity of the image.

This is for a little spinoff publication 'The Book of Life' where many other artists have contributed their own versions of Jon's characters.

You can find out more about 'Afterlife Inc' here.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Midnight Man on the Mob!

I answered a tweet from a lovely guy called Dave Kirkwood on twitter asking if any comic artists wanted to contribute to his promotional leaflet for his Micro Mob prints to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust and other worthwhile causes.

When you've comic legends like Dave Gibbons, John Higgins and Darrick Robertson taking part, no-one is going to notice my effort but I'm glad to have taken part and hopefully help raise some money for worthwhile causes.

You can find out more info on the Mob prints here!

Friday, 20 September 2013

Open wide!

Just a little snippet from a recently completed page of 'Midnight Man'.

Had to take a break to complete some design work, but hoping to get stuck in and get a few pages completed before the end of the year (gone too fast as usual!).

Haven't been anywhere near as productive as I wanted, but at least I got *something* done so that's better then nothing I guess :-)

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Designing a comic book is not just creating a PDF

If it was everyone could do it and my skills would be redundant. I've seen comments like that used and to be honest, it does bug me quite a bit. While the end result does require making a PDF to send to a printer there are other things a comic designer does.

Firstly you set your document up, check all the art pages to make sure they're the correct size, resolution, colour space (greyscale/CMYK) etc and adjust them if necessary. I even retouch artwork up, making sure the gutters are nice and clean and everything looks as good as possible.

Then all the pages are imported into the document, sized to fit.

Next stage is designing the covers, adding logos, text, barcodes etc, then any interior design work that needs doing (credit pages, adverts etc) all following the style established for the book(s).

When all this is done, then a proof PDF is sent to the writer/artists to check for any mistakes/amends that may need doing. Normally a couple of proofs are done before the book is 'signed off' for print.

I then create a print PDF file that is optimised for press, doing all the pre-press work to ensure that the book reproduces as I intend it to.

Luckily Stuart at UKcomics is a smart cookie and knows his stuff and tells me if there are any issues (very rarely are there any) and then it's a case of waiting for the printed books to arrive.

Hopefully you can see that there is a lot more than goes into this job than just 'making a PDF' the printed book is only as good as the files I send to the printer, as every piece of art is checked and adjusted by me before it goes to print, plus all the actual design work that goes into a book means that, often overlooked - a comic designer is one of the important cogs in the machine.