As long as I can remember, I have wanted to draw comics and today I have my first on the shelves of good (and bad) comic shops around the world, and on the digital storefronts too.
There’s a long story about how I came to comics, but the short version is that my neighbour gave an impressionable ten year old a copy of The Dark Knight Returns and that was that.
As long as I’ve been drawing pictures (twelve years professionally, more than that for fun), I’ve wanted to turn my hand to comics but the main thing standing in my way was myself. I’ve managed a few pages of self penned work here and there but they never felt ‘good’ enough for me. I wanted to be better so that my first impression was a good one.
I probably would still be waiting to be good enough were it not for the hand extended to me by Ales Kot. Ales got in touch with me a few years ago when he was making his entry into the world of comics and asked me if I would help put a pitch together, which for various reasons (see: the above lack of faith in my storytelling skills and my workload at the time) I said I would and then singularly failed to do so.
Some time passed.
Then, last autumn I read issue one of Zero; it was great and so I tweeted at Ales to congratulate him on said greatness. A few tweets and emails went back and forth and he offered me the chance to draw issue twelve. Insistent that I wouldn’t make the same mistakes that I had before (and actually deliver work this time), dates were pencilled in the diary. We met up at Thought Bubble and he asked if I wanted to move my issue up and draw number eight. I said yes (and sketched a couple of rough cover ideas which are in the post above). Then he asked me if I would like to draw issue seven, because it started in the desert and if there’s one thing I think I’m pretty good at drawing it’s the desert.
At that point I couldn’t work on anything any sooner than issue seven because I would be starting work on it that week, and that’s what happened. Four weeks of drawing, ably guided by Ales script and advice, then off to be coloured by the wonderful Jordie Bellaire and lettered by Clayton Cowles, the cover designed by Tom Muller.
The art at the top of this post is a mix of my layouts, uncolored and lettered pages, finished art and those cover sketches for issue eight (which I can’t wait to read).
It has been a great experience, and one that I want to have again. Which is handy because I have two more books lined up and ready to get drawing…
For now, here is a teaser of some uncolored and unlettered out of context panels. What do they mean? What is happening? Two days and you’ll know.
I was asked by the very lovely Alison Sampson to contribute a pin-up to hers and Nathan Edmonson’s Genesis, out today from Image comics (even if you’re not near a comic shop, you can buy it here - it’s very good).
To celebrate its launch Alison, along with fellow pin-up contributor Robert Ball (who is also very good - can you see a theme here?) and myself will be signing copies at Forbidden Planet in London on Saturday. Come along! We might go for a beer or two afterwards to which you are of course invited.
A nice little project from Penguin Books in the UK, I was asked to illustrate the cover for an upcoming novel by David Bezmozgis.
I’ve included some of the sketches that didn’t make it to final - we went down a few different routes before settling on the final.
Type design and art direction by Richard Bravery
I was invited by Mondo and Imax Fanfix to work on this promotional artwork for the upcoming Amazing Spider-Man 2.
This is going to be produced as a print for audience members at the first round of screenings of the movie on IMAX screens in America. You can find out where you can pick one up by visiting the IMAX blog here.
They also asked me some questions about the poster and some other things (including what super power i would want - it’s probably not what you think). You can read my answers here.
That hair! Those clothes! THAT HAIR!
I’m acutely aware that i’ve been writing posts about posters at the rate of about one a fortnight, but this is the last one for a bit i promise (there is more on the way, of sorts). American Hustle was one of the big Oscar contenders, strong on nominations but light on awards on the night. Which doesn’t stop it of course from being any less of a fun, tightly scripted caper movie which you should check out if you haven’t already.
This will be on sale tomorrow from Mondo in an edition of 345 (so there’s plenty to go around). As ever, follow their twitter feed for the drop.
I really hope poster collectors aren’t sick of me yet, because I have ANOTHER new print coming out with Mondo. And the subject this time around is Star Trek - specifically the original series.
This now joins the likes of Rich Kelly, Tomer Hanuka and Olly Moss who have also produced prints for Star Trek episodes, and I am hugely honoured to join that roster. Speaking of the wildly talented all-round good dude Mr Moss, he was the art director for this piece and his steady hand helped guide it to its finished state. Surely you all know Olly by now, but if you don’t then acquaint yourself with him.
Photos courtesy of Billy Garrett and Mondo
I did another print for Mondo! As part of the annual Oscar celebrations, I was asked to design a print for the already-award-winning and come Sunday, sure-to-be-Oscar-winning Dallas Buyers Club. It was a really great movie with some staggeringly good performances and a pleasure to do a poster for.
These six colour screen prints will be on sale tomorrow at a random time from Mondo, priced at a very reasonable $45.
[Beautiful photos courtesy of Billy Garrett and Mondo]
Have you been watching True Detective? If you’re in the UK then unless you are a no-good illegally-downloading lawbreaker then the answer will be ‘I have not, but I sure am excited about seeing it when it starts this weekend on Sky Atlantic’.
Well True Detective is GREAT, and here is a little editorial spot i did to accompany it’s launch. I promise the girl in the antlers will make more sense when you see it, but i was pretty happy with how this turned out.
For those of you without Sky, i recommend you take the law into your own hands and track down the five (of eight) currently aired episodes, if only for the staggering six minute tracking shot that concludes episode four. Amazing stuff.
It’s been one of those months when all I’ve been drawing is projects that I can’t share yet and it’s left my tumblr fairly neglected.
Luckily, the Washington Post asked me to draw something for their Sunday edition to coincide with the all-in-one-go launch of season two of House of Cards on Netflix (which come Friday I will be hastily devouring, as the the first season was aces). This is the sort of editorial job I love doing - smartly art directed and a nice quick turnaround.
I’ve attached a couple of sketches here as well so you can see the progression. I’m just about done with my current longer projects so expect to see more life in this blog from next week…