Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Rejections and Future Projects

Good evening,

It's been a wonderful fortnight and very productive so much so my poor Wacom exploded (it didn't but it did irreparably break). The majority of the time was spent traversing the beautiful scenery of Snowdonia park - staying in a little cottage out near Barmouth. A lot of cider was consumed, and a great deal of stuff got drawn. I even finished me and Mike Lynch's Zarjaz strip which was a hell of a relief! Not sure when it'll be out but I'll keep ye posted. EVEN IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW.

This here is a mouse with a bazooka, an audition for a CCG that didn't come to pass. Unfortunate as it seemed like a lark - had great fun cooking this up and FOR once (it shows) I didn't use any references at all. 

This one was for a kid's book. I won't let you in on the specific plots for fear of upsetting the editor. Safe to say it's a damned shame but it would have been a hell of a lot of work. Any practice is good practice though - !


This here is a blast from the past. A late night Sinister Dexter sketchy
 doodle thing that is a re-interpretation of this thing 
from way back when (I think 2004 maybe). I was always fond of drawing those two despite the fact the actual strip has, over the years, grown rather dull. Plus Anthony Williams' art makes me want to tear out my eyes and then bury them. 
Here's a little something something for The Weekly Themed Art Blog whose theme this week was "bugs and whatnot" - the idea of big massive things with tons of legs terrifies me. The don't even seem alive somehow, just horrible collections of nasty. I think I'm near to being over spiders (I live near a tarantula these days and I've come to regard it as being quite sweet) but SPIDER CRABS and those huge cave millipedes drive me out of my mind with fear. Spindly legs...crawling.... ANYWAY - this is partially inspired by a Sliders episode (I KNOW) that always bugged me out (EXCELLENT PUN) as a kid where a giant bloody wasp got on someone's back and the guy was all like WTF THIS WASP IS MASSIVE ARGH and then everyone was like WE'RE GOING TO ANOTHER DIMENSION THIS ONE IS SHIT. 
So here it is - the teaser for a new project starring (and officially endorsed by) Professor Elemental. It's written by The Mole and will be drawn by myself, James Feist, Liam Byrne and Noah Rodenbeek with a potentially secret cover from an EISNER-AWARD WINNING ARTIST WHO WON AN EISNER AWARD PRESUMABLY FOR BEING SUCH A RUDDY GOOD ARTIST.

Finally - here is a play written on Facebook for shits and giggles this past Saturday. I love writing tiny plays. I want to write a tiny play every day for the rest of my life. I'm not going to though, I'm probably going to draw.

The curtain rises, the stage is laid out like the interior of a train. It's the "Quiet Zone" - there are large signs everywhere to emphasise this. There is a long-haired man of fluffy chin and podgy belly who has a head like a crushed baby. He sits drawing and contemplating the miriad daily anxieties which make the world spin.

Opposite him is a young gangster-type, restless and clothed in Nike. He is on the phone. He does speak in that humorous "yoof" manner that Radio 4 finds so compelling - but I won't write his dialogue that way because I'm not a cretin. This man is named Big Harold.

Big Harold: Yes, Stephen - I would like you to bring the Gucci belt to the party this evening. Because it makes me look very attractive to young ladies.
Big Harold: Yes, of course they like it when you dress like that. Women love stylish men and I am a stylish man because I have a Gucci belt.

Enter Patricia, she is a large middle-class woman who drinks wine I expect. Her husband is also with her - a nervous sheep of a human with an expression of permanent bleh. She sits opposite Big Harold and begins to fret and cluck in the way most people who complain loudly down their noses at everyone else does. 

Patricia: Excuse me young man but this is the quiet carriage you can't use your phone in here - !
Big Harold: Shut up, bitch

Patricia recoils 

Patricia: You can't talk to me like that, my father was once friends with the nephew of a lawyer! How dare you!

The long-haired artist has gone wide-eyed and is looking (more) nervous. It is now that the ticket man arrives; a weary middle-aged man with glasses and one of those machines wot does tickets. His name is Ticketerio.

Patricia: Here, conductor! This man is being abusive to me!
Big Harold: Shut up, bitch
Ticketerio: You can't talk to her like that sir, and you're not allowed to be on your phone in here.

Big Harold rises, indignant.

Big Harold: Why NOT?! It's a free country, I can speak to who I like where I like! This bitch isn't asleep, I'm not doing anything to offend her on my phone. 
Patricia: How dare-
Big Harold: Shut up! What is wrong with you people?
Ticketerio: This is the Quiet Zone, sir. You have to be quiet in here.

Big Harold, still standing - is now in a state of outrage

Big Harold: What is that?! How was I supposed to know that?! It says that nowhere in here.

It's at this point the artist rises shakily to his feet, passing Big Harold (who politely steps aside) and the curtain comes down, with the three still squabbling (the actors can ad lib this bit - although I'll need to have them run it past me - I did a production of Under Milk Wood in Hull New Theatre 1994 and the cast began chirriping like crickets - I have no idea why, that's actors for you). The longhair steps through the curtain to address the audience.

Longhair: Seriously this happened to me today. Yes there was some liberties taken with names and dialogue, and the whole thing was much longer and the gangster chap broke into song but the principal thing was the same. The most worrying thing was, that when I stepped off the train - another young fellow who was in the same carriage ran up to the confrontational colin and CONGRATULATED him. On standing up to the man. On shouting down the snooty lady. Weird, eh? Why did I decide to write it out as a play - ? Because it unnerved me. It unnerved me and I'm the kind of person who would rather write a small play than unpack dirty laundry.

He walks back to the curtain, and just as he is about to dissappear he turns to the audience again

Longhair: Who was the real antagonist in this drama? 

Exit Longhair

Patricia's Husband (Off-Stage): IT WASN'T ME

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Brum 2011

 The second convention that Dr WTF showed up at this year - and it went spiffingly. Despite the cost for a single day's selling me and co-seller Jazz (pictured below - flogging tons more copies than have ever been sold) did alright!
We also got some gorgeous sketches from passers-by - and I drew POWERGIRL for Jatinder Ghataora's POWERGIRL COLLECTION OF POWERGIRLS.
Also so did Jazz -

Oh dear.

Now some words  on folks and comics that you should LOOK AT and BUY:
Dave Evans - Futurequake/Zarjaz/Dogbreath

King of the small press, Mr Dave Evans occasional acts as my Dr Cox-style mentor into the wondrous world of small press. I cannot recommend any other anthologies higher for sheer variety and over-the-wall out-the-shed through-the-garden over-the-other-wall silliness. Everyone I love are in 'em - including (but not limited to) my Bristol tablemate Dave Thomson - the ever-lovin' James Feist - "The Nicest Man That's Dave Frankum" Dave Frankum - with covers by Alex Ronald and Neil Ford. BUY IT

Nich Angell - 7 String/Cat & Meringue
The incredible 7 String (a musical epic) and the CONSTANT Cat & Meringue are products of the glorious Nich Angell. A man who so doggedly conventions it I can barely conceive of the material that powers him. Awkwardly positioned opposite the queue for Dave Gibbons at Brum this year but with A LOVELY BANNER and doodling Cat & Meringue live. I recommend passing him a visit and buying his stuff and TOUCHING HIS FACE.

D'Israeli - SVK/Timularo/Lazarus Churchyard/Low Life/Scarlet Traces/Leviathan/etc etc etc
My absolute hero - the LIVING GOD OF SPACE (ALSO COMICS). Mr Matt Brooker was sharing a table with the fabulous Ian Edginton (who is gloriously mixing all of his stories running in 2000ad into one massive continuity cake which I hugely approve of). I'd never met him before so I spent an embarrassing amount of time near him trying to grab his face - I also purchased SVK (a comic with a UV torch and hidden speech bubbles and a collection of early works called Timularo). He also did a sketch for Dr WTF. Oh yes.

Wayne Hughes - Carrot Graphix/Sabre
A chap I met on the train up from Bristol who rather embodied the spirit of the convention for me. Enthusiastic friendly and talented as the working day is long. I recommend you check him out and I look forward to his contribution to Dr WTF 2012 ;)

Other glorious folk - Matthew Soffe, Dunk Nimmo, Carcass & Slime -

Dr WTF will only be at Thought Bubble in a limited capacity, although I will be there with my portfolio and business cards and I WILL STICK THEM DOWN YOUR FACE. SERIOUSLY. EAT IT.

O x