Wednesday, October 31, 2012

More Blood Sorcery

Full page art from The Onyx Path's Blood Sorcery book.  © The Onyx Path 2012

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


A quick break from the Star Wars posts to mention some new book work. Starting last Sunday (28th October) was the fourth series of the popular TV series Misfits on E4 which follows five teenagers on community service who get caught in a freak storm and develop superpowers… from ASBOs to superheroes!

Out now from Hodder & Stoughton is a rather nice hardback book to accompany the series called MISFITS: What is wrong with the youth of today? Written by Mike O'Leary and designed by the good people at The Book Design Company I was asked to produce a selection of different illustrations for the book.

Full-colour and brimming with never-seen-before photos and too-rude-for-TV cartoons and illustrations, this book will provide you with everything you ever wanted to know about MISFITS but were too afraid you'd get headbutted to ask.

Having watched the series so far I was more than happy to work on the book and the different styles of illustration that I was briefed to produce made it an interesting and fun job to work on.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Jonday - Lake-town

This was a big job™

©2012 Sophisticated Games/Cubicle7 Entertainment Ltd
A big double page spread map for Lake-town Sourcebook for The One Ring rpg.

This shows an idea of what the rebuilt Lake-town might look like. The aim was to give enough info for Loremasters to be able to guide their players through Lake-town, without being too prescriptive about individual streets and so on, which runs the risk of being too dry. A lot of hours in this one!

ArtRage and Photoshop.

Middle-earth, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and the characters, items, events and places therein are trademarks or registered trademarks of The Saul Zaentz Company d/b/a Middle-earth Enterprises and are used under license by Sophisticated Games Ltd and their respective licensees.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Outpost defence

Apart from having some art duties on the Outpost films, I also worked on this title page image for the ipad/iphone game.

Saturday, October 27, 2012


I missed my Saturday slot by a wide margin this week. Sorry.
So currently hunkered down waiting for Hurricane Sandy to pass among us. Lets hope she's sweet.

Friday, October 26, 2012

P is for Patch

Quick doodle of Wolverine (when he was operating under the guise of Patch in order to keep up the pretense that he and some other X-Men were dead at the time)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Vampire Blood Sorcery

Artwork from The Onyx Path's Blood Sorcery book for NWOD Vampire. © Onyx Path 2012

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Star Wars - Darth Vader

VaderDeathStar_GNREID.jpg, like to think of this as the 'Bah, I'll get you pesky kids yet' Darth Vader illustration, sure he's got the whole evil clenched fist thing going on but still he's got a bit of the 'why I ought ta' about it.

Everyone knows Vader was played by David Prowse and I guess most fans (or artists) would know that he was designed by Ralph McQuarrie, who produced so many designs for the original three films, but I guess only total fans or trivia geeks would know that artist Brian Muir sculpted the original helmet. Brian has been involved in loads of iconic film pieces in his time including help create the 'Space Jockey' in Alien and a certain Ark of the Covenant.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Jonday skullington

Morning all.  Found this on me hols.  Unusual in that it was the complete skull, along with lower jaw/beak parts.  I popped it carefully into a spot in a drystone wall with every intention of collecting it at a later date for cleaning, and then forgot.  Still, probably for the best.  The photo will do, and has less soggy rotted skin on it.  NICE!

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Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Glasgow Mafia

Since I  have a touch of OCD, I tend to hoard a lot of stuff from years gone by.
This is a press clipping from May 1993 and features some od Scotland's established and up and coming talent of the time. When this article appeared I had been completely unaware that many of the names I knew  from British comics were Scots and living in and around Glasgow.

Back Row: Rob McCallum, Cory MacRae, Jim Alexander, Colin MacNeil
Bottom Row: Jon Beeston, Dave, Alexander, John McShane, Robbie Morrison, Frank Quietly

Friday, October 19, 2012

R is for Red She-Hulk

Quick sketch of Red She-Hulk - using the loose blue line pencil again but this time using both a large and small brush pen to allow me to add in a bit more detail.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Jammy Dodger

Jammy Dodger, from Dr Who Card Game. ©2012 BBC/Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd. BBC, DOCTOR WHO (word marks, logos and devices), TARDIS, DALEKS, CYBERMAN and K-9 (word marks and devices) are trade marks of the British Broadcasting Corporation and are used under licence. BBC logo © BBC 1996. Doctor Who logo © BBC 2009. Tardis image © BBC 1963. Dalek image © BBC/Terry Nation 1963. Cyberman image © BBC/Kit Pedler/Gerry Davis 1966. K-9 image © BBC/Bob Baker/Dave Martin 1977

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Star Wars - Stormtroopers

StormtroopersDeathStar_GNREID.jpg, Boba Fett wins the award for looking cool but being dumb then close behind him will be the Imperial Stormtroopers. I do love these guys, they look great but in terms of smarts and using them they've not a lot going for them. Surely the worst shot (baring Greedo in the new releases, he can't even have blaster fire come out in a straight line) in the whole Empire, they basically win any battle by sheer number, all that laser fire well something is bound to hit.

Do I mention the legacy of Jango Fett, cloning and the banging head incident… no lets leave it. Back in '77 the Stormtrooper banging his head was pure and simple a fun mistake to look out for. Solo and Skywalker knew how cool the Stormtroopers looked too and wasted no time jumping into an outfit, poor old TK-421.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Double trouble

This is one of the line sketches done last summer for an art competition on The Vampire vixens Facebook page. 
This was the prize for a a couple of guys from Wales who produce Dexter's Half Dozen, a similarly occult themed comic.

I'm planning to get some very limited edition Vixens T shirts into the next competition, hopefully before the end of the year.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

6 Questions For Artist Simon Fraser

The retro-futuristic Russian rogue Nikolai Dante began in 2000AD Prog 1035, dated 25 March 1997, and came to its conclusion 15 years later in Prog 1791.

Created by the Scottish team of writer Robbie Morrison and artist Simon Fraser, who would eventually alternate on art duties with industry veteran John M Burns, the popularity of the series shows in the 10 different graphic novel compilations of Nikolai Dante stories that Rebellion have published over the years. The 11th and last Dante book is Sympathy For The Devil and is due to be published on 11 October 2012.

Jeremy Briggs talked to Simon Fraser for downthetubes about his work on the character.

DTT: How did you first hear about Nikolai Dante?
Simon Fraser: Robbie mentioned it to me while I was working on drawing Shimura ‘Dragonfire’, which he wrote for the Megazine. He had been doing a lot of research in the Mitchell Library (in Glasgow) on Peter the Great for a historical project he had wanted to write involving two Scottish mercenaries. That was transformed in a more fantastical direction when he knew that 2000AD were looking for new ideas. Robbie is always very enthusiastic about his ideas and enjoys talking about them when he gets a few drinks in him.

DTT: How much input did Robbie Morrison give have on the look of the series and how collaborative has the work with him been over the years?
Simon: Robbie’s only specific visual instructions were that it should look Napoleonic and that there should be Onion Domes. There’s actually a lot you can get from those two ideas. Robbie is very good at getting to the essence of something, then he has the confidence to let an artist run with what they come up with.

DTT: It is unusual these days for a British adventure series to run for such an extended period of time with the same creative team. Did it pose any particular problems for you such as aging the characters, maintaining visual continuity with John M Burns, or maybe even getting tired of drawing the same characters?
Simon: Absolutely! My life has changed enormously during those fifteen years and it has sometimes been very difficult to keep focussed on an idea that we started working on in our mid 20s. It was essential for Dante to age (if not mature exactly ) because we were ageing ourselves. So to keep the character vital for us he had to reflect ourselves in at least that way. We did actually take a few breaks here and there. John Burns did most of the heavy lifting during the first war. That was great as I found that I had no particular appetite to draw a war story. I’m much more comfortable with the swashbuckling and the character pieces and the comedy. Burns really gave the sieges and the massacres an epic sense of tragedy and scale.
It’s surprising how little interaction there was between the artists. Periodically I sent John a sketch, Dante’s crewcut for example, but most of the time I deferred to him and he to me. There were certain characters that were his designs, Dante’s Mum, Kurakin and the Rhudinstein Irregulars, who I had to really work at to get my own recognisable versions of. There are some points on which we disagreed. He drew Kurakin rather soft and pretty, which I felt didn’t match who the character was. A Mongol swordswoman can be beautiful, but there has to be real steel in her bearing , not just in her hands. Kurakin would never be passive or merely decorative. Dante’s mum was a perfect design however, I couldn’t improve on his version.

DTT: Robbie included his versions of various British comics characters into the stories, from Bryan Talbot's Luther Arkwright as Captain Luther Emmanuel to Warlord's Lord Peter Flint as Lord Peter Flintlock. Did you enjoy these 'in-joke' sections of the stories and how much reference material did you need for these characters?
Simon: Those references were all good fun. I like that we could tip our hats to the stories that inspired us. Luther Arkwright particularly is a work which both of us have a huge amount of respect for. A certain irreverent cheek is one of those 2000AD traditions that makes the comic what it is. I don’t remember doing any particular reference for the characters in question. It’s not important to get bogged down on what are essentially throw-away gags.

DTT: Now that the series is over and you can "choose your favourite child" as it were, was there a particular Dante character that you particularly enjoyed drawing?
Simon: I became very fond of Dante’s Mum, Katarina Dante. She became a key figure in the story and her strength as a character probably pushed her further forward in the narrative than we might have expected at the beginning. Mad King Henry and Papa Yeltsin were always a hoot to draw. While I love Lulu as a character she was by far the most problematic to draw. This was entirely my own fault (all that lace!), but once you have a strong look for a character you kind of have to honour it. No matter how much of a pain in the arse it is to render.

DTT: What are you working on at the moment and what can we expect to see from you in the future?
Simon: That’s hard to say for certain right now as I’m just at contract stages with a couple of big projects. It looks like I’m working on a Doctor Who story for IDW, which is a thrill for me as I grew up immersed in Wagner/Grant/Mills and Moore’s Doctor Who Weekly work. Dave Gibbons, Steve Dillon and David Lloyd had a huge influence on me through that comic.
I’m in negotiations right now over a short sci-fi piece for Dark Horse with a writer who I’ve wanted to work with for some time. I’m also working on a pitch for a series of books of comics journalism trying to explain the ongoing events of the Arab Spring. That’s going to be a big project and something I feel very strongly about. I’m still working on more Lilly Mackenzie in my spare time too.

There are more details of Simon Fraser's art on his blog.

Simon helps run and contributes to the New York based webcomics collective ACTIVATEcomix.com

Simon is a member of the Scotch Corner daily art blog where this interview has been cross-posted.

Simon is a member of the DrawBridge Studio in Gowanus, Brooklyn which also has a blog

Details of all Simon's work on 2000AD and the Judge Dredd Megazine is available from Barney's 2000AD Database.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Power Girl sketch

Quick sketch of Power Girl in the same manner as last week -using blue line pencil and thick pen brush. Not a fan of the new 52 costume so have drawn the older costume instead.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


The Stormcage, from Dr Who Card Game.Bowie Station from the Dr Who Card Game.

©2012 BBC/Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd. BBC, DOCTOR WHO (word marks, logos and devices), TARDIS, DALEKS, CYBERMAN and K-9 (word marks and devices) are trade marks of the British Broadcasting Corporation and are used under licence. BBC logo © BBC 1996. Doctor Who logo © BBC 2009. Tardis image © BBC 1963. Dalek image © BBC/Terry Nation 1963. Cyberman image © BBC/Kit Pedler/Gerry Davis 1966. K-9 image © BBC/Bob Baker/Dave Martin 1977

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Star Wars - Boba Fett

BobaSlave_GNREID.jpg, the category of looking cool but being as dumb as they get Boba Fett wins hands down. He first appeared in The Empire Strikes Back (yes he did, forget that awful scene they stuck into A New Hope) alongside various other bounty hunters but stuck out a mile for his back chat to Vader and his awesome outfit.

The whole Sarlaac incident where Boba is just so inept and suffers the stupidity of falling into the monsters mouth just annoyed me so much. Back in '83 I had already decided he just escaped after everyone was gone, he was too cool to have gone out that way. Of course in later years his popularity brought around the whole 'oh it was always my intention that Boba escaped the Sarlaac' statements that comes out from Lucas and team and gave us the Fett family back story in the prequel films. Mentioning the prequels I will say that if my thoughts that Boba was a dumb son of a so and so his Father surely proved where he got his brains.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

"What a piece of junk!"

Probably my favourite Sci-fi space ship ever, the Millenium Falcon. I've attached sheet below showing a few basic steps to the process used to make the model in 3D. Blueprint plans of the front, side and top elevation help to create relatively accurate model in Maya. Again it's just the basic shape of the vehicle that's needed because the detailing all comes in the painting.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Helicopter Girl

Many years ago , when I actually lived in Scotland, I did a big illustration job for a local band. The band called themselves 'Ambisonic' and they had produced a demo for an album called 'Ecohero' . They commissioned me to do artwork for the album and also write and draw a full colour comic CD insert detailing the history of the character Ecohero up until the start of the album's narrative ( it was a concept album. )  The band was composed of Martin Swan & Jackie Joyce , both of Mouth Music fame, though Jackie has since gone on to fame as  'Helicopter Girl'. I'm assuming that she took that name from a song on Ecohero of the same name. I did an illustration for that track, here it is...

Friday, October 5, 2012

S is for Scarlet Witch

I've never used non-repro blue pencils before but have always been meaning to try them out- stumbled across them in an art shop a few weeks back and have given them a go here. They forced me to work a lot looser than normal as (at least with the ones i bought) it's nigh on impossible to keep a sharp point for detail lines. Decided to then ink with just one thick pen brush to try and keep a quite open style with the sketch.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Bowie Station

Bowie Station from the Dr Who Card Game.

©2012 BBC/Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd. BBC, DOCTOR WHO (word marks, logos and devices), TARDIS, DALEKS, CYBERMAN and K-9 (word marks and devices) are trade marks of the British Broadcasting Corporation and are used under licence. BBC logo © BBC 1996. Doctor Who logo © BBC 2009. Tardis image © BBC 1963. Dalek image © BBC/Terry Nation 1963. Cyberman image © BBC/Kit Pedler/Gerry Davis 1966. K-9 image © BBC/Bob Baker/Dave Martin 1977

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Star Wars - Grand Moff Tarkin

MoffTarkin_GNREID.jpg, much as the Emperor bothered me when it came to being the boss of Darth Vader for some reason Grand Moff Tarkin never did. Sure he used to tell Vader what to do but I always got the feeling that Vader just tolerated that and would do whatever he felt like anyway. Tarkin was the boss of the Death Star and Vader just humoured him and kept his evil eye on everyone.

The Moff was played by the wonderful Peter Cushing one of many brilliant castings in the first film. Legend has it that you never saw a full body shot of Tarkin as Cushing wore his slippers throughout shooting because his boots where too tight. Brilliant.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Jonday Hexperimentz

Messing about with some filters in PS, and a bit of old photography.
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