Friday, 28 August 2009



First up, we have Ed Kaye's very generous review of Defoe 1666 at his great site HYPERGEEK (I previously talked about Ed's site at this earlier post HERE)! So thanks again Ed! I shall now return your dog, as was our agreement...

Next up, I recently did a pin-up to be included in the new edition of Barry Nugent's novel "Fallen Heroes". Barry, incase you don't remember, is one of the guys of the great podcast known as GEEK SYNDICATE, who I blogged about at length earlier HERE. This new edition of his book is going to feature sketches and pin-ups from a variety of artists and will be ready in time for the Birmingham Comic Con in October I believe. Mine can be seen below....

Now Geek Syndicate is like the Brady Bunch of podcasts, being the home to a variety of different shows. One of which is EVERYTHING COMES BACK TO 2000AD, hosted by Flint Lockjaw and Bluemeanie. If this was actually the Brady Bunch, these guys would be the illegitimate sons that they kept down in the basement, feeding them live sheep and goats.

It's a wonderful, funny show for fans of 2000AD (who have a fantastic new site!) as they usually review a mixture of old, classic issues as well as the latest progs. All read in funny comedy accents I might add!

In the latest show, Episode 9, the guys review the latest 4 issues of 2000AD, Defoe getting alot of kind words in particular, and alot of time is worryingly spent talking about how pretty I am (which is true of course, I was just trying to be humble). It's a very funny episode, but I really need to write a blog post soon clearing up this whole gender confusion thing going on about me (thanks to my stupidly spelt name--thanks mum and dad).

Anyway, you can find this glorious episode HERE (Strong language by the way kiddies) or you can subscribe to their show on ITUNES if you search for Geek Syndicate!

Finally,talking about shows with funny accents, my fellow 2000AD artist buddy, PJ HOLDEN, has recently started his own podcast with his mates called SUNNYSIDE COMICS! Currently up to episode 3, the show discusses comics, movies, and even creative tips as they've asked listeners to start sending them work to be critiqued on the show.

Absolutely no idea how PJ fits this into his already packed life (Seriously, read what he's up to HERE), but I'm glad he has. You can find the show HERE!

Bye bye.


Saturday, 22 August 2009


Time to get back to my usual egotesticle, I mean egoTISTICAL self, pimping my own ass.... I've heard back from a couple of stand up retailers that the collection of DEFOE 1666 is selling well! Mike Mclean at ASYLUM BOOKS AND GAMES in Aberdeen is on his THIRD reorder! Thanks Mike!
Over the last couple of days ago, I actually printed out a batch of A3 promotional posters to help it's visibility, and mailed them out to as many stores as I could afford, seen below:
The third book of Defoe, entitled "Queen of the Zombies" has just this week concluded being serialized in 2000AD, and I'll be starting work on the forth book, "A Murder of Angels" sometime in October!

Before then, I've a few smaller jobs that I'll post up soon, including a cool cover for online magazine THE END IS NIGH, plus a horror card image for RENEGADE ARTS ENTERTAINMENT, and also a pin up for Barry Nugent's novel, FALLEN HEROES.

But the best news, is that next week I'll be starting work on my first Judge Dredd story!!! It's a two parter for the Megazine, and that's all I can say right now, but I'll post up my working drawings over the following weeks. It was all thanks to this earlier Dredd sketch that I gave to Tharg, and I can't wait to get started!

For now, here's random none spoiler panels from the final three parts of Defoe "Queen of the Zombies".

See ya,


Tuesday, 18 August 2009


Ok, just to show that I'm not all "me me me" on here, I'm gonna pimp a few of my buddies this time doing great work...

First up is DECLAN SHALVEY --the lucky, talented sod is now the artist for the ongoing series of 28 DAYS LATER published by BOOM! Seriously, Dec's deserved a high profile gig like this for a long time and you can see the whopping 14 page preview of his lovely art HERE.

We don't have to look far for the next guy--Declan's male wife WILL SLINEY! Will is the 2nd best looking guy in comics after me, and has also been announced as BOOM!'s artist for the ongoing FARSCAPE comic! Info can be found on his lovely work HERE. These guys have got a HUGE amount of work ahead of them, but I know they're up to the task.

Next up we have the lovely EMMA VIECELI whose MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING from MANGA SHAKESPEARE is out now and can be found HERE! She really is a multi talented girl--recently she took part in BBC's BLAST talking on camera about various aspects of her work, and she was a natural! Get her hosting Blue Peter now dammit! AND she can sing...

The sometimes bearded KIERON (Phonogram) GILLEN is busy taking over MARVEL COMICS from the inside!!! It's recently been announced that he's writing their new ongoing series SWORD and also taking over bloody THOR for at least 6 issues! He's gonna be so famous, he'll be able to buy a variety of stick on beards for every occasion!

I lose track of how many projects I see FRAZER IRVING attached to. He's just finished DC COMICS' AZRAEL, now he's working on a project called DAYS MISSING from ARCHAIA, also the freakin' X-MEN for MARVEL, and BATMAN AND ROBIN for DC!!! That guy must stink, because there's no way he can have time to shower....

My old friends LEAH MOORE and JOHN REPPION's DRACULA and SHERLOCK HOLMES fantastic mini series are still going from strength to strength from DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT! And now it's been announced that they're writing THE COMPLETE ALICE IN WONDERLAND! They don't need my help pimping them at all as they're ALWAYS in the news, but I'm so made up for them as I've known Leah since we were in university, and John lets me stroke his moustache. I've no doubt whatsoever that they'll name their upcoming baby after doubt at all...

PETE WELLS has a fantastic new blog called 2000AD COVERS UNCOVERED featuring a ton of, well 2000AD covers, without logos and text obscuring the artwork. It's a great site, giving fans a unique look behind the scenes. It also links you to many, many 2000AD artist websites. He was kind enough to post all my covers recently.

Finally, ANDREW WILDMAN's worthwhile DRAW THE WORLD TOGETHER charity have recently started an EBAY auction for a limited edition HEROES print, illustrated by top artist MIKE COLLINS, signed by him and the cast of the tv show! Very, very cool and at the time of writing this there is just under 5 days left so you can bid for it HERE!

There are more friends to rave about, but another time, as we've been sworn to secrecy about they're upcoming projects....

Right, I'm done. I'm genuinely proud to know such talented, dedicated folk. Some of you will never know just how hard we have to work our asses off, and how many knock backs we've had to endure to get where we are now, so it's heart warming to see my friends succeed in a profession that we love. girly was that...

Normal service shall resume shortly where I shall soon post some more Defoe pages, some Judge Dredd news, and maybe a peak at some of the commissions I've been working on....

Ok, hang up....

No, YOU hang up....

Ok, we'll both hang up at the same time....

Saturday, 15 August 2009


Sooo....DEFOE 1666 is OFFICIALLY out today, even though it's actually been on sale early all week! I noticed yesterday that AMAZON UK were actually down to their last TWO copies, but have since restocked! By the way, you should really check out the Amazon review we have there....I'M A GUY DAMMIT!!!!!

Which brings us to this post. When I first found out that Defoe was getting a collected edition, I asked the Mighty Tharg if he would let me go back to the earlier work and redraw certain things that made me cringe looking back at it. I like to think that I've progressed as an artist over these last few years, and to be honest, there's something wrong if you can't look back over your work and see flaws. Thankfully he said yes (after he made me clean his toilet) and so a week later, I had redrawn/retouched Twenty-odd panels throughout the book.

What follows are some of the more obvious redraws, arranged in useful "before and after" panels. Enjoy, and don't forget you can find out more about DEFOE 1666 and where you can purchase it HERE.

Bye bye, and thanks to all those who have bought it up to now!

Thursday, 6 August 2009


Hello again you lovely, lovely people! As promised, here is the making of the Defoe 1666 graphic novel cover out now from 2000AD!

I actually first submitted this rough cover idea waaaay back in 2007 after the first chapter of Defoe was completed. In my naivety, I thought there may have been a chance of it getting collected if I offered to pad it out with "bonus material"...what a tool I was...

As you can see, I thought it would be cool to have Defoe posing in a 17th century style portrait, holding a decapitated zombie head, with the chaos of the Great Fire of London behind him. Of course, this would mean that I would have to actually paint it somehow, but I figured I'd worry about that later.

Two years later, whilst in the midst of drawing Defoe "Book 3", I get told we're going ahead with the collection of the previous two books, and so dug out this old design which I thought could still be great if it worked out!

Here's the photo I took as a loose reference. I chopped off someone's head especially for it....

Below is the loose pencil guide I did. Bear in mind that at this point I still had never even attempted any "digital painting" and was pretty nervous about trying to make it pass for a 17th century style portrait.

This is the 80% finished version of the main figure. Luckily, I didn't have a strict deadline for this so I was able to take my time learning on the job, experimenting with different brushes in Photoshop.

I was having problems with Defoe's eyes--up close it looked great with the glints in his eyes, but when shrunk down, it gave the illusion he was cross eyed. Not really the look you want for a hard as nails zombie hunter...

I soon added the background of London burning, based on a famous painting by Lieve Verschuier (1630-86). As you can tell I also placed an orange overlay over Defoe to help him blend more with the fire in the background. Still not quite there yet...

I made various touch ups here and there, the most notable being the wig of the zombie head. I was struggling a bit with depicting realistic strands of hair, but by sheer luck I had bought the latest issue of Imagine FX, which included a new set of digital brushes--one of which was perfect for the look I wanted to achieve!

Next, I had to figure out how to do the baroque-esque frame. I spent hours online looking for a high res image that could be used with no copyright issues attached to it, but no luck. My lovely girlfriend suggested looking in IKEA of all places, and she was right!

So I purchased this cheap black plastic frame, painted HALF of it gold with a black ink wash, and took a high res photo of it....

Next I imported the painted half of the image into Photoshop, manipulating whatever I could, deleting elements and adding bits here and there to make it look more "fantastical".

I then sculpted a skull face out of regular modelling clay, painting it to match the frame....

Then the magic happens...I copied the half frame, flipped it, joined the two halfs together, pasting the skull face at the bottom.

I always knew I wanted the background wall to have some type of texture to it. I ended up using a stipple effect with the "dodge" tool in Photoshop. I also blackened out some areas of the frame using the "airbrush".

And at last I get to join the two elements together and pray that the bloody thing works! Originally, I added a "canvas" texture to the painting, giving it a more authentic look, which i thought worked really well on screen. Unfortunately, I discovered when I did a test print, the canvas texture distorted horribly for some reason, so I had to get rid of it. But I was still made up with how this final image turned out, considering it was my first attempt at digital painting and photo manipulation.

Finally, it was sent to 2000AD uber designer, Simon Parr, who added the logo and text. I'm afraid my awkward frame design probably didn't make it easy for him to fit in the logo, but I think it looks fantastic!

Right, that's your lot. You can bugger off now!

Catch you soon, and buy my book!!!


Monday, 3 August 2009


WOO HOOO!!! Got the final episode of Defoe , Queen of Zombies, finished this weekend so I'm taking a short break before I get back to work. First I need to spend a full day in bed reading a big ass bag of comics surrounded by Jelly Babies and caramel donuts, then I'm joining a gym...yeah, you heard me....

Before I get stuck into the next Defoe book, I've a few small jobs to get out the way--looking forward to drawing a werewolf for one of them!

In the meantime, I visited Tharg at the 2000AD Nerve Centre and passed him this Judge Dredd sketch, hoping that one day he'll let me draw him....

I shall return in a couple days with another "making of" feature for the Defoe 1666 graphic novel cover.

Wear something pretty...