Tuesday, 21 July 2009


Hey there!

Ok, finally 2000AD's DEFOE 1666 graphic novel, written by Pat Mills, and illustrated by me, is hitting stores on August 15th!

It collects the first two "books" of Defoe, as well as a sketchbook section where I have alot of the original character designs, plus an afterword written by John (Watchmen, Razorjack)Higgins!

Here's the official description:

London, 1668. It is two years since the city was devastated by the Great Fire, the inferno caused by a comet passing over the capital. But from the ashes rose the undead, hungry for the flesh of the living. Protecting the populace are zombie hunters like Titus Defoe, a former soldier who now makes it his mission to purge the ghouls.

This collection also features around twenty or so panels redrawn/retouched by me, so this is the "remastered" edition if you want to call it that!

If you haven't asked for this at your local comic book store or book store, here's a few links where you can get it online (by the way, the sites don't feature the final cover as shown above): AMAZON UK , FORBIDDEN PLANET INTERNATIONAL and for the rest of the world THE BOOK DEPOSITORY where they actually ship worldwide for FREE! Bargain!!!

Above is the digitally painted cover I did for it, as well as a reminder of some of the images inside. Hope you like the cover--it's my first crack at digital painting. As soon as I'm finished drawing this final episode of the current book (Queen of the Zombies) in a week or so, I'll post up another making of feature, as well as a side by side comparison of the redrawn panels in this collection.

Spread the word guys!

Catch you soon,


Monday, 13 July 2009


Have to make this quick guys. My schedule's pretty damn hectic until the end of the month as I'm finishing the last episode and a half of this book of Defoe. May have to try and pull an all nighter (though to be honest, I think I'm too old for them now--plus I haven't got any cakes, energy drinks or chocolate to get me through it!).

Anyhoo....last weeks zombie baby episode and cover went down as well as I'd hoped--nobody seemed to get their knickers in a twist about the cover in particular, so it looks like we got away with it! BWA HA HAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!! That was supposed to be an evil laugh...

Below is a brief walk through of the making of the first page of that episode. As usual, once I read through Pat Mills' script, I do a very rough layout. What you need to understand is that the layout is just for my own benefit--for 2000AD I don't need to get layouts approved, which is why they usually only make sense to me. I really enjoy this part of the process--it's actually very fun and relaxing working out the story and the compositions.
Next up, we have pencils. As I'm inking myself, I can leave them pretty loose...
Then finally, we have the inks. As you can see, that's where I have to really put the work in. I try to ink as much as I possibly can with a brush first, then go to battle with my fineliner pens!

Right, that's your lot people. Gotta get back to work!

Sunday, 5 July 2009


Hey guys,

Back from an enjoyable weekend where I consumed WAY too many pasties...

Right,first of all I'd like to guide you into the furry arms of the talented folks at SCOTCH CORNER where I'm today's "guest artist" and contributed a drawing of Judge Dredd with Defoe that I did a year or so ago.

SCOTCH CORNER is a daily art blog, hosted by six uber talented Scottish blokes in skirts--sorry, I mean kilts : Graeme Neil Reid, Gary Erskine, Andy Hepworth, Jon Hodgson, and Thomas Crielly (with one more artist to be announced) and a guest artist once a week.

Everyday a new piece of art is posted, each artist posting on a certain day.

It's a FANTASTIC idea and the guys freely admit "this blog is shamelessly inspired and ripped off from the ELECTIC MICKS."

ELECTIC MICKS will forever be known as the creators, the originators, the mummy and daddies of this very successful style of daily art blog.

It's said that if you speak the names of these seven Irish men out aloud, a tiny leprecahn appears and kicks you in the nuts. I'd rather not risk that, but if you do, their names are Declan Shalvey, Will Sliney, PJ Holden, Stephen Mooney, Stephen Thompson, Nick Roche, and Bob Byrne.

Both these art blogs deserve all the success they get, so please stop by and say hi--you will not regret it. If you do, I'll apologise and say the sacred names of the Irish men three times...

Finally, I'd like to give a big shout out to Edward Kaye of the comic book industry site HYPERGEEK!

Edward reports comic book news, reviews, interviews all the way from Canada, but what's really great is that he's flying the flag for 2000AD, so may the mighty Tharg bless you sir! We humble droids salute you! He's wrote a great piece (click on the link) called:

He's also starting a new weekly feature called "Thrill Power Thursday" where he'll be talking about the latest 2000AD issues, as well as any other related features he can come up with. But you can read more about his "Statement of Intent" HERE.

Thanks again Edward!


Friday, 3 July 2009


Hey guys,

Before I go away for the weekend, I wanted to post this "making of" feature for my next Defoe cover for Prog 1643 of 2000AD, which subscribers should be receiving in the morning, and it'll be out in stores from Wednesday.

Oooohhh, I've been looking forward to showing this cover....

Here's what happened: Before the writer of Defoe, Pat Mills, starts writing a "Book" of Defoe, he very kindly asks me for my input of things I'd like to possibly draw in the future, and he'd do his best to put it in if it worked. So a year or so ago, I mentioned a certain scene featuring zombie babies that I thought would be very cool (that scene actually features in this episode of Defoe, so I can't spoil it).

So, inspired by that scene, the idea for this cover just flashed into my head, and I was so certain would work, that I didn't even bother pitching my master and editor, Tharg, different ideas to choose from. I REALLY wanted to draw this idea: Just a simple image of Defoe clearly struggling as he is COVERED in zombie babies!

But even though I thought it could be a great image, I knew it was debatable that Tharg would go for it--after all, if you think of what zombie babies actually are, it's a bit close to the line and could be perceived as "bad taste"...

Anyway, the very crude rough drawing I pitched is below:

So thankfully Tharg liked what he saw, giving me the go ahead to carry on, but understandably voiced his concerns. These being what I predicted: that if the zombie babies looked too much like deceased babies, then obviously some stores may find it too offensive to stock, which is fair enough. It's ok to have zombie babies in the interior story, but it's probably not a good idea to have them on display on shelves in mainstreet stores.

Below is the photo reference I used of myself posing as Defoe, followed by the pencilled cover.

Here's the pencil version I sent for approval. I basically just drew them as angry,drooling, dirty babies, with no sign of decay or "zombieness". But Tharg still thought they screamed "deceased babies" so asked if I could make them look more "demony" instead.

It took a while for me to think of a solution that would still make the creatures on the cover relevant to the story inside, but eventually I thought to give the babies scaled skin and sharp teeth. Also at the suggestion of my buddies John Reppion and Leah Moore, they would eventually have red glowing eyes and a more alien green blood pouring from their mouths, so basically they now looked like little monsters which is alot more acceptable. And Tharg thought so too!

Can I just add at this point in the inking I wasn't happy with Defoe's eyes and expression--he seemed a bit too scared, and I originally wanted more "angry desperation", so before I coloured it, I repositioned one of his eyes in Photoshop and messed around with his eyesbrows abit.

Also, Pat quite rightly mentioned that having the inscription of "Killing zombies since 1666" on Defoe's weapon probably wouldn't do us any favours.

And here's the finished colour piece! We got there in the end. Personally, I'm made up with how it turned out and I'm hoping it could be a memorable cover. But of course, it's up to the readers.

Hope you like it!


Thursday, 2 July 2009


Hey guys,

Just a quick post to let you know that I've enabled comment moderation and that word verification thingy from this point on.

More and more of my friend's sites and favourite forums have been targeted by spammers lately, and it's only a matter of time before this blog is too. So rather than risk wasting a full day deleting unwanted spams, I thought it best to set up this protection first.

On to fun stuff--I'll be posting up the making of my next cover tomorrow night!

See ya.