Wednesday 30 April 2014

The Busy Year Continues

In my last post over two months ago I said that 2014 was going to be busy. Certainly it's proving that way and the last few months have seen me travelling, zero-houring and PLOTTING THE DESTRUCTION OF HUMANITY. Not the last one. Either way it's been absurdly dense - but I'll clamber through it the best I can:

Here's a Dreddhead of Hunter S Thompson - wi' psychedelic eyes and likely a herbal cigarette of some kind. Welcome to judge country. Like this blog the next one has been a long time coming but here is a clue. You can see all the Dreddheads here: and for extra recent Dredd-related fun here is Karl Urban impersonating Sylvester Stallone.

Above is some leisure-colouring (WHAT) on some Hellboy pencils by the ultra-talented king of all creation Bern Campbell. Check out his stuff the man is art.

That is me. For the last month or so (and for the next fortnight) I've been adding to my list of 100 Albums That Enliven My Brain at 26 over on the glorious RateYourMusic. It's mainly thrash, stoner and 70s hard rock but m'lord I love it all. Take a gander you may find something interesting - or at least learn to despise the way I RANDOMLY CAPITALISE THE END OF SENTENCES FOR COMIC EFFECT. If he knows it's annoying why does he still do it? 

Enshrouded in an amazing David Frankum cover - Massacre for Boys's new Picture Library issue also features the feeble drawing talent of me on the brilliantly funny "Jimmy Baker: Animal Hatmaker" It really is a classy small press volume. Those Denton bros make good comic! Buy it here

Around mid-March I took over The Weekly Themed Art Blog or 'TAB' as it is sometimes known as - it's a very informal Facebook-based (although used to be a blog hence the title) artjam group with a new theme every week - 99 members and PERPETUALLY GROWING. Join in the larks here! Above are my recent contributions for "Miracleman" - "Exosuits" and "HULK SMASH". The current theme is Star Wars which - despite its extreme obscurity - is attracting many many fine drawings.

Above is my quite poorly constructed and a-bit-too-aqua entry for the latest month of the 2000ad forum art competition - the theme was classic Dredd story "The Day the Law Died" and I was attempting to express the contemporary state of Mega-City 1 and Cal's current redundancy within it. Although by crikey they'd miss the wall if it wasn't there I'll say that. The other entries are far more interesting and can be seen here although voting ends tonight.

Here is the latest page of Flaubert St Cloud (Goat) an epic length saga (because its taken 4 years to do 27 pages) written by the very patient Geoffery Crescent and drawn by meself. The question is - just what is Meep?! See the whole thing to date her

Finally on to some small press reviews - still mired in my last year Bristol Con haul - and we're only a week away from this year's Bristol!! 

New York Park (Self Published) Andrew Scaife 

A purchase from Bristol Expo 2013 - local Andrew Scaife's one-off tale of a group of future high school students and their trip to ancient New York is bright, irreverent and full of character. It suffers occasionally from a lack of gag pay-off and Scaife's bold cartoony art is sometimes slightly off the mark but it is an impressive d├ębut and a consistently engaging and very funny read. I know he doesn't intend to carry on this universe but another similarly styled volume would be definitely worth pursuing!

Razarhawk #2 (Self Published) Ian Matthews & Dani Abram


Brought from the creators at Bristol 2013 - this second issue of Razarhawk did just as I hoped it would and delivers brilliantly from the set-up in the first. The majority of the issue is concerned with a punch-up between this gurt monster and a giant robot - and it's done brilliantly. The pacing is excellent and Abram's dynamic animators-eye for motion gives the lengthy fight-scene some bonafide clout.  The duo's eye for character moments continues to be very strong as a single glimpse between man and ape had me hooting with laughter. The lettering is a great deal more consistent this time around as well as the art itself which gets the balance between detail and lack of detail more-or-less right. A particularly gruesome scene (no spoilers!!) is stunningly rendered and actually made me wince - although the stark lack of detail on some of the more bare pages is still a little jarring. Beyond that the only thing I could criticize really is the slight over-use of the "liquify" tool to generate a smouldering effect in a few panels - and the continued lack of anything on the inside cover, inside back cover and back cover which are really crying out to have Dani & Ian saying something on them... or a letter's page... or well... ANYTHING beyond a copyright notice and a little chibi!

Issue 2 draws the storyline set up in the first to a satisfying and fun close but the potential for more is definitely there, let's hope it's not too long before we see the return of this character who seems to me to be as determined and spirited as her creative team. The small press would be a much colder place without them.

Skal Prologue (Self Published) Jennie Gyllblad

The Skal Prologue is a handsome self-published book I bought  from the creator at Bristol Con in May 2013. Being as it is just a taster really it's quite light on story but the short sequence present is engaging enough and definitely leaves you wanting more. Whether a twelve-page story really needs acknowledgements or not is a matter of debate and the few pages dedicated to this and creator credits/online links may have served better as giving some background detail on this interesting new world but really it functions well enough without it. The real draw here is Gyllblad's art - which is of the beautifully painted variety and even features some mixed-media elements. The thick paper stock makes this even more grand and the asking price for such a slim tome seems justified as its clear that a great deal of creative effort has gone into it - not at all shabby for something claimed inside to be a mere experiment whilst Gyllblad isn't working on graphic novels by "people who actually know how to write stories properly". The story has been continuing online but let's hope its not too long before someone snaps it up for a physical printin'

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