Sunday, 31 May 2009
This funky character was first drawn while i was watching a movie about Robert Crumb,
a quick doodle with no real conscious thought process.
the thought was a being made from dough with a funny top hat, later on i designed a character sheet to show to children's book publishers in the u.k , sadly there was little interest back in the '97
so Bebop was in limbo in one of my boxes of ideas , later i used him as a magical being /companion for Alexander mac great a Scottish Shaman based on my friend Dave Alexander they appeared in
''HELL COMES TO ELF TOWN'' written by Alan Grant
for Frank Frazetta Fantasy illustrated Magazine issue 7 published in 1999.
i still love this character he has a simple charm and cute factor and who knows he might be drawn again one day....
Friday, 29 May 2009
This was a fun page to draw ,it appeared in Marvel Rampage magazine by Panini uk ltd in 2006.
When i was a kid i always loved reading the smack down punch up's of the heavy hitters of the Marvel universe ,especially Thor vs Hulk or the Hulk vs The Thing by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby so this short story was great fun to draw, it was written by Mitchel Scanlon and i was inked by Lee Townsend
ARTWORK CHARACTERS COPYRIGHT MARVEL CHARACTERS INC/ PANINI UK LTD
Wednesday, 27 May 2009
Many years ago i wrote to Dez Skinn via Warrior magazine to get advice about my comic art i was drawing around 1986, he told me to get in touch with David Lloyd for tips and advice i did so and over several months David would review my art and give me advice to improve my work .
Everyone knows about David's fantastic body of work over the years from his early work on DR WHO to Night raven to V to his vertigo work and his brilliant Kick back graphic novel but little is written about his kindness to fellow pros ,his friendliness to his fans and his countless efforts to promote comic art as a art form especially in the u.k ,he really is a great ambassador to British comics and art.
one of the highlights for me was a few years ago sitting doing sketches and signing comics next to a all star line up at comic expo in Bristol , the line up was JIM LEE, DAVE GIBBONS, DAVID LLOYD , ME , STAZ JOHNSON , DEAN ORMSTON ,i looked at David and said ''I'm not sure i should be here? '' david replied '' your the European Spider-man artist ain't you? relax and enjoy it!'' and i did, a great memory.
David's been a great teacher and friend over the years he has been also a great support to me ,this picture was drawn for him a few years ago ,it was interesting for me trying to draw his style but as you know ,no one draws like David .
Tuesday, 26 May 2009
A favorite Marvel pocket book cover i drew in 2005 , here's my pencils and the finished cover inked by David Roach and coloured by Junior Tomlin ,inside the book are reprints of the classic Stan Lee /John Romita sr run , i've always admired Romita's run on the Amazing Spider-man comic , i used to read reprints in black and white in the early 70's in the u.k , he's always been one of my comic icons so to draw covers with his work inside the book has always been special.
ARTWORK COPYRIGHT MARVEL CHARACTERS INC/ PANINI UK LTD 2005
Sunday, 24 May 2009
Friday, 22 May 2009
Sad to hear that the new-ish version of Captain Britain comic Captain Britain and MI:13 has been cancelled by Marvel U.S , shame as he's a great character and i've just started to read the new stuff via tpb ,
this is one of my favorite covers drawn for SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN ADVENTURES for Marvel u.k /Panini u.k ltd issue 133 published 2006, it was special for two reasons one it had the heroes fighting the Fury a character created by Alan Moore and Alan Davis and second i got my pencils inked by John Stokes a classic Captain Britain artist, also the colouring was by John Charles a good friend and terrific artist.
the story was great to draw as well written by Jim Alexander, one of the rare events where i worked on a title where all the creatives where my friends (warm fuzzy moment) that issue got a 9/10 review in Comics International , so i guess it showed in the work we where all having a ball working on that issue.
ALL CHARACTERS COPYRIGHT MARVEL CHARACTERS INC
Thursday, 21 May 2009
sorting out the lovely job of tax returns at the mo , but the good news is starting next week i start two new books one i'll be art directing , character designing and drawing rough layouts and the other i'll be doing art chores on , both books have a massive page count so i'll be kept busy for many a month , no contracts have been signed so i can't say what they are or who they are for but they are both a real challenge.
This page was fun to draw for Macbeth ,the witches rising up from the bog land before meeting Macbeth ,Nigel Dobbyn did a great job colouring this page ,he's a very talented chap just check out his website
ARTWORK COPYRIGHT CLASSICAL COMICS LTD 2009
Monday, 18 May 2009
Saturday, 16 May 2009
Graphic Novel/Drawn Book - Drama/Documentary
Gold: The Red Star: Sword of Lies, by Christian Gossett (Archangel Studios)
Silver: Hatter M: The Looking Glass Wars, by Frank Beddor with Liz Cavalier (Automatic Pictures Publishing)
Bronze(tie): Macbeth: The Graphic Novel, script adaptation by John McDonald, art by Jon Haward (Classical Comics Ltd.) and Good and Evil, by Michael Pearl (No Greater Joy Ministries, Inc.)
I've enjoyed Dave's work since i was 11 yrs old when i first got a copy of issue 1 of 2000ad for 8p .
Over the years i have collected his work enjoyed it and he has been a inspiration to me , met him loads of times at cons and have even shared a few pints of Guinness with him , he's been supportive of my work and i can say that has meant alot to me over the years when things have been tough like being out of work for long periods of time and when I've thought whats the point of banging my head against a door that won't open for me ie Marvel u.s and DC comics , then Dave would say ''keep at it your good'' and that one line from him would keep me going.
Anyway this image was a cover for a project called ''THUNDER REALM'' written by Kevin Gunstone of ''THE AGENTS'' and ''MARVEL MANGA'' fame it was going to be WARRIOR NUN set in the world of the Norse Gods , it was going to be my first full colour mini series for the u.s market with ANTARCTIC PRESS IN 2005 , I was so excited that i asked Dave if he would pencil the cover and he agreed the cover was inked by John Stokes and it was coloured by John Higgins , I designed the character designs and layout for the cover , then it all crumbled , Kevin and I never got the deal we wanted and the project got put into limbo , that was an important lesson to me NEVER START A PROJECT WITH A PUBLISHER UNTIL THERE IS A CONTRACT.
still we have this wonderful pin -up and it was great to work with them and to date this is the only time Dave has been inked by John Stokes .
by the way Dave at the start of his career used to letter other artists work one of his earliest jobs was lettering FISHBOY for Buster drawn by John Stokes in the early 70's.
Thursday, 14 May 2009
Just been reflecting on The Tempest, the book took me 57 weeks to complete in that time i had five bouts of illness which did slow things down,
i designed 43 characters ,
i drew 130 pages of roughs/layouts,
125 pages of tight pencils ,
6 cover roughs and 2 cover pencils
it's been a munster job ,and i hope the public and school children will enjoy the work when it's published in August in the u.k.
here's my final Tempest page i'm uploading on this blog showing Caliban in all his glory,over the last 3 months i've shown character designs, pencils inked pages and coloured pages of the book to give an insight in comic book publishing .
i would like to thank Clive Bryant Publisher /Editor for his support on this project and also Jo Wheeler creative director of Classical Comics ltd.
also Gary Erskine who has been great to work with inking my work and also Nigel Dobbyn who has been doing a fantastic job colouring and lettering my work on The Tempest and Jenny Placentino who has been helping with continuity
Tuesday, 12 May 2009
this monster painting 28 inches by 40 inches was painted 10 years ago for a exhibition in sunny Lowestoft in the uk ,the title for it was ''oh my god he's still alive!!'' it was painted in alkyds ,which is a form of oil paint that has a glowing quality to them and they dry quicker than regular oil paint.
the frame is made from chicken wire, plaster, foam and nuts etc
this is for sale in the u.k if any one is interested, it's so big it would have to be picked up
Monday, 11 May 2009
Saturday, 9 May 2009
Here's a character pin -up from a project i worked on with Steve Moore in 2003 the work was titled D.O.A (DEAD ON ARRIVAL) on monday i'll post other designs, we pitched it to a few comic companies at the time including CROSSGEN but it didn't get picked up ,shame as the concept would have made a cool computer game / movie
ARTWORK COPYRIGHT STEVE MOORE / JON HAWARD 2003
COLOURING ALAN CRADDOCK
Friday, 8 May 2009
The Eagle awards are now taking nominations for comics / graphic novels produced in 2008 so if you liked my work on Macbeth the graphic novel for Classical Comics please vote for me,( thanks if you do )
'' Nominations close on Friday 22nd May 2009, and then the top five nominations in each section will be up for voting to begin Monday 1st June 2009.”
the full list of Award Winners will be released to the world on Monday 15th June 2009.
This page was difficult to draw as i had to work out each characters facial expressions, emotions, basically King Alonso is very upset he's lost his son and is on a island ,Gonzalo his old counsellor is trying to comfort him but the king doesn't want to know ,the background guys Antonio and Sebastian make fun of Gonzalo
i think this page works really well as you can tell whats going on by just looking at the frames.
when i started out drawing comics i got some great advice from David Lloyd and Don Lawrence , to be a good strip illustrator you must be able to tell the story via the images not allow the balloons to do the job and make the images clear to the reader.so many artists fail this simple rule, if you are trying to draw comics or to break into comics this is important to remember, its no good being flash with a style if the reader can't follow the story.
TEMPEST ART COPYRIGHT CLASSICAL COMICS LTD 2009
Thursday, 7 May 2009
As STAR TREK starts at the cinema today in the uk ,i would like to mention one of my comic book idols Frank Bellamy .
he's the reason i fell in love with comics growing up in the late 60's and 70's Frank was the top comic strip illustrator in the u.k he influenced lots of major artists in the uk and the u.s
he was a terrific graphic artist who used very dynamic layouts , colour and shadow to great effect ,as a boy i was spellbound by his work on Thunderbirds and Garth ,in America he won a award for his work in 1972 with his page of star trek to find out more about Frank Bellamy you can check out Norman Boyd's excellent blog which is on my blog list.
Wednesday, 6 May 2009
This pin-up was drawn for my brother Jim for a birthday many moons ago, i still like it and yes I'm a big Dr Who fan have been since i was a child ,my favorite Doc's are Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant and Peter Cushing (the movie doc from the 1960's )
i like drawing in this style in fact starting soon I'm going to be working on 4 posters using this style called LEGENDS that's all i can say for now ,its a pet project with a pal but if they sale well we might do more ,so more about LEGENDS as the weeks go by.
Monday, 4 May 2009
I had the pleasure to art direct Frankenstein for Classical Comics drawn by Declan Shalvey , Dec has just posted on his blog that he's now drawing 28 days later for Boom studios as well as Sweeney Todd for Classical Comics so congrats to him, also Heinle cengage learning have produced a version of the Frankenstein book for english language learning here's the cover art drawn by Dec and coloured by Jason Cardy and Kat Nicholson, with the book you get the story read to you on two cd discs.
Frankenstein the graphic novel by Classical Comics is also available in original text format and quick text format.
Saturday, 2 May 2009
Excited to report Macbeth the graphic novel is in the semi finals for the INDEPENDENT PUBLISHER BOOK AWARDS 2009 known as the ippy award, very chuffed for all the crew who worked on the book ,
43. Graphic Novel/Drawn Book – Drama/Documentary
The Red Star: Sword of Lies, by Christian Gossett (Archangel Studios); Hatter M: The Looking Glass Wars, by Frank Beddor with Liz Cavalier (Automatic Pictures Publishing); Macbeth: The Graphic Novel, script adaptation by John McDonald (Classical Comics Ltd.); Good and Evil, by Michael Pearl (No Greater Joy Ministries, Inc.)
Friday, 1 May 2009
Here's my first two page Buddha story ,this was drawn in 2002 very quickly from a script by Alan Grant ,Jamie Grant famed colourist of WE3 and ALL STAR SUPERMAN did the colouring ,this strip appears in WASTED a new adult humour title which by the way is still available clink on to the links on the side bar of my blog.
when i was drawing the strip i wanted the art to be a cross between moebius and robert crumb ,the strip was lettered by top scottish artist Dave Alexander.
there are plans to do a collected book of buddha as i've drawn over 20 stories and some big name comic artists have produced some buddha-ful pin ups for the collection .
cover art for issue 1 of Wasted by Frank Quitely
TALES OF THE BUDDHA BEFORE HE GOT ENLIGHTENED COPYRIGHT ALAN GRANT JON HAWARD / BAD PRESS LTD 2009