Saturday, 20 September 2014

Paul Marshall - Heads, you lose!


Joe Dredd against an entire ship full of heavily armed, psychotic, genetically enhanced hard cases... They don't stand a chance!

Cascade, by the brilliant team of Paul Marshall and Mike Carroll comes to its clever conclusion in Prog 1899 as Dredd battles to singlehandedly save his city from the fearsome Lawlords (which, I've LITERALLY just clicked is a play on 'Warlords' - maaaan, I'm stupid.)

Below we see Paul's design ideas and I gotta tell you, I'd have been happy with any of those!

The Lawlords were always photobombing Dredd's snaps

Next the pencils, just check out the dazzling craftsmanship! There's a LOT of work gone into those...

"No, honestly, this gun's really loud, listen!"

And finally Paul's trademark razor-sharp inks, absolutely lovely!

Luckily, the Lawlords went to the Stormtrooper School of Target Practice

With the inks done, it was off to colour whizz Chris Blythe to add his magic - Hopefully I'll show you that soon...

HUUUUGE thanks to Paul for sending the images, I really do hope we see him back on Dredd soon, he truly is one of the best...

Monday, 8 September 2014

Dave Kendall - Crusty Babies!

Well, this has got to be the creepiest cover of the year, if not the decade! Master painter Dave Kendall brings us this horrifying digital painting of Mater Clementia, the vestal virgin 'who bore a host of children in secret, drowning each of them at birth in the Tiber.' Stroppy cow.

Dave is the absolute master of horror so was the perfect choice to bring this horrid hag to life. Check out his terrifying paintings at his Rusybaby Studios studios for more, but please, don't have nightmares!

Over to Dave to tell us how this cursed painting dragged itself onto the cover of Prog 1898:

"This was heading into perfect horror territory for me. Not only was it spooky kids and their decayed Mummy, but it was designed by Leigh Gallagher so It was going to be fun!" 

"Tharg asked me to base the pose a little on this panel. I was given a little more reference than this.:) "

"That woman has just shit a dog!"

"It was a case then of sketching out an idea which would reflect this image. I came up with this image here. A strong central dynamic figure and a nice smattering of nasty winged cherubs. Tharg was happy with this so off I went..."

This cover is no laughing mater...

"The next stage was a properly drafted pencils."

She's no mater mine

"Which I then digitally coloured to add lighting."

"Hands up if you're a murdering shit!"

"If you get to this stage much of the work is done. From this I worked up a colour scheme." 

Mater Clementia
Grattan Catalogue's Celebrity Mother of the Year 33AD

"This is where a bad workman not only blames his tools but blames the weather too. It was a very hot week the time I decided to paint this. It was going to be a traditional painting, in fact there is a traditional painting. Here it is. The heat and subsequent fan in my studio made painting this in acrylic almost impossible. The paint dried so quickly and I felt like I was painting with crumbling chalk. I abandoned it. I just was not feeling it. So as the deadline was approaching and I wanted to present an image closer to my minds eye I decided to return to digital."

 As you can see, Mater is wearing the latest Versace ragged bedsheet with matching bloody veil, slimy tiara and dead baby accessories. Very a la mode this season...

"Here is the first image I presented to Tharg. It went like a dream and I was so much happier with how it looked. When I work digitally it's exactly the same process as painting traditionally. The careful build up and modelling of colours until it's finished..."

"Right everybody! Say 'Cheeese!' "

"Tharg was very happy with this but asked if I could pop the image more so it stood out a little better. I tweaked the background and contrast and generally improved the overall silhouette of the various elements and presented what was the final approved image."

 Mater demonstrates her demon overarm pitch to the little league devils

Amazing stuff! Here's how the prog looks on the shelf...

Wow, we are so lucky to have artist of this calibre working for 2000AD. I know Dave has a couple of other covers up his sleeve which I'm sure we'll get the scoop on! Thank you so, so much to Dave, a brilliant cover with a fantastic commentary. Remember to visit his site for more grisly goings on! 

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Alex Ronald - Lawd of the Rants!

Digital maestro Alex Ronald absolutely knocks it out of the park again with this brilliant, brilliant cover for Prog 1897. Of course, the image shows the nasty bastard Lawlords who have finally made their move on Mega-City One, nob heads.
This cover is SO good that Clint Langley got in touch to say "I would like to say a piece regarding Alex Ronald's cover which I think is incredible! I would be privileged to praise this incredible work. I was blown away by this cover, it is an amazing work which should be shown a lot of respect as it is quite brilliant!" Preaching to the coverted there Clint, but it's great to see an artist praising another artists work!
Over to Alex to tell us more...
"Here was the brief from Tharg: "The return of the Lawlords - alien villains Dredd encountered in the story 'Lawcon' years ago. They appear on a big screen in MC-1 so I was thinking of a big shot of the screen showing the Lawlord's face, with some cityscape elements around it?"

"Tharg supplied lots of reference from the original story LawCon plus Paul Marshall's reveal shot from Cascade. I'd missed LawCon at it's original release (2002?) so tracked down the Meg issues and read it over to get a handle on who these villains were."
Looks like someone didn't listen...
Yuck! That Law Lord has a very heavy cold. Someone pass him a tissue...

"THIS is how I eat an apple!"

"Initially I was struggling with how to make this look dramatic. I was dealing with an image on a flat screen and I was worried that the whole image was in danger of looking a bit 'flat' "
"My first B/W rough used a large flat screen and right enough I just wasn't buying it. I looked to Blade Runner for some ideas but although the huge building screen has some nice perspective on it, it's not the focal point of the image."
 "I'm Tits McGee!"

Speed cameras of the future. 
"The penny dropped when I was looking through some images of neon signs and saw Piccadilly Circus. That was it. Stick the screen on a curved building with a low angle looking up. Nothing's flat lots of perspective , job done :)"
 Brit-Cit circa 1998

Ooooh, those curved screens make you pile the pounds on... 

"I approached this cover as two separate paintings, the TV screen image and the city environment.
First of all I composed the city scene in 3D using customised pieces and pre existing blocks.
The screen was just a large curved polygon with a UV map so that any image applied to it would appear on the video as a display."

Bah, the telly's on the blink again.

"The Lawlords were sculpted in Z Brush based on Paul Marshall and Richard Elson's art. The helmet crease lines (which feature in the art) were exaggerated slightly so that it would catch the light more.
I saw these bullet shaped helmets as highly polished, almost chrome like and tried to convey that as best as possible. I kept thinking that these aliens looked very like the super hero Action Man figure from the 70's..."

Brrr, I bet it's freezing when he goes for a slash. 

Rusty Bullet Man

"The TV image was painted up and then I applied some pre-existing overlays, complete with scan lines and interference bands which hopefully give the whole thing a video display look."

"The video display was then applied to the large screen in the city set. The last part of the 3D process was to export the foreground, middle and background elements as flats into Photoshop. After a few hours of painting texture, shadow and applying lots of lighting overlays the image is pretty much there..."


 Anne Robinson has really let herself go.

"Hope you like it :)"

We absolutely LOVE it Alex, universal praise from everyone who's seen it!

If you like Alex's work, then please rush out and buy this month's Heavy Metal Magazine (issue 270) as it features Alex's brilliant graphic novel 'Vampire Vixens of the Wehrmacht.' If you haven't already read it, I can promise it's one of the best comics you could ever read!

Don't mess with Smurfette

Below we can see the printed version of the cover which features a dramatic Speech Bubble, extra points to Tharg!
Those poor cits pay their TRI-D licence for that!?!
Massive thanks to Alex for sending the images and fascinating blurb. Here's hoping we get another visual treat from him soon!

Monday, 25 August 2014

A Proper Gander at the Jaegir One Shot Cover.

August 27th sees the release of the scrotnig Jaegir One Shot. The comic collects Strigoi, the debut series of Kapitan-Inspector Atalia Jaegir of the Nordland State Community Police. In this first arc, Jager is drafted into the Office of Genetic Purity to help hunt genetically mutated monsters known as the Strigoi.

It's a fabulous read, with a nasty script by Rogue Trooper fan Gordon Rennie, wonderful art by Simon Coleby and a gorgeous palate by Len O'Grady.

The cover is really striking so I got in touch with design wiz Pye Parr to find out more. He said "The art first came about after Molcher and Gordon came up with a rough idea for a promo campaign for Jaegir when it first ran in 2000 AD. Gordon and Simon were keen to avoid spoilering a few things - namely that the main character was female, but also that she was one of the Bad-guys, so Simon did some awesome teaser art in the style of an old soviet propaganda poster, and I continued the theme with some designery quote posters, which teased the background of the story quite well without revealing any specifics about it..."

Here's Simon Coleby's "Why don't we do something like this?" marker rough:

Well, I wouldn't bother after Season 1 if I were them...

And his more refined comp...

The Wilf Gasmask Appreciation Society annual gathering poster.

Which is made up of linework...

The creator looks on at the Banzai Battalion prototypes...

And tone...

The Kubaz from Star Wars joins the Norts?

Put 'em together and what have you got? Bippetyboppetynu-earth.

Whiiite eyes, burning like fiiire - sob!

Here's Pye's Promo Poster based on the image...

Some very Norty boys

And his, quote, 'Designery quote posters!"

"Rogue has only got one ball."
Traitor General 

Pye continues "After that we decided to put out Jaegir as one-shot US-format comic, and the poster art was so cool it seemed a shame not to use it again, especially as not a lot of the readers would have seen it before, having never run in the Prog. I had to tweak it a little bit from the poster to fit with a cover layout (mainly just enlarging/centring the main guy...)

"Ya Doktor, I appear to have a tank coming out of my groin..."

"I even managed to reuse the layout for the quotes posters on the title page (which was nice, as I was quite pleased with them too)."

Dammit, everything about the Norts was way cooler the Southers. That insignia is great!

Be sure to report to the 2000AD shop and pre-order this one shot now citizen before officers from the Nordland Office of Nasty Bastards pay you a visit. Nu-Earth sized thanks to Pye for sending the images and info, go check out his excellent blog!

Monday, 18 August 2014

Jake Lynch - Dredd Alert!

Congratulations to new(ish) artdroid and friend of the 2000AD Messageboard, Jake Lynch for landing his first cover for the mighty Prog! Over at the Multiversity Comics website, Jake takes us through the creation of this Jarjaz cover, sharing his inks, design sketches and the odd interesting tip. It's a cracking read!

"Drokk! I've left the iron on!"

You may well recognise Jake's style as he has contributed a fair bit to the Prog. He got his break with this stunning star scan in the prestigious 35th birthday issue, Prog 1771, which also happened to be his first ever entry to the 2000AD art comp, more on that later...

Judge, Jury, Executioner, Grumpy Bastard.

Following this Jake, cut his teeth on the obligatory Future Shock (Pro 1862), as well as providing fantastically dark art for Tales of the Black Museum in Meg 348, Orlok for the Summer Special and, of course, the recent Sinister Dexter tale, Congo.

However, before he was assimilated as an official artdroid, Jake contributed to Zarjaz and Dogbreath, providing, amongst other things, this rather wonderful cover for Dogbreath 26:

Mr Creosote had eaten too much spaghetti again.

As mentioned previously, Jake first came to my attention with his dazzling 'Movie Poster' entry to the 2000AD message board art competition, shown above. Going under the name of JTPegg (that's Jake Tiberius Pegg, not to be confused with Rolf Harris' creation of course!) he absolutely walked the first compo then continued to blow our socks off with each subsequent entry. Here are a selection of some of my favourites, firstly, what Dredd did in his Summer holidays...

Dredd in Bognor City 2
Followed by what an unfortunate cit did in his visit to MC-1. What a fantastic study of a Pat Wagon! 

"Pat? Paaaat? Why did you leave me gal?"

Dredd gets shirty in a no camera zone...
"Get that drokking camera out of my face!"

The epitome of cool with this wonderful Pineapples drawing...
Joe showed off his blowing-a-balloon-up-using-his-farts trick again.
A salmon leap from Slaine!

You've got red on you.
And this brilliant Dredd pin up, which I just love, Drokk indeed!

Rico nearly finds Joe in the cupboard during a game of hide and seek

Finally, here's my all time favourite image by Jake, a beautiful trio of Christmas Angels for the 2000AD Advent Calendar. Amazing!

"No one harks less'n I says they can!"
You can see the process behind most of these pictures on Jake's old site here (in the Re-Education section) and it's well worth checking out his Deviantart page too!
So hat's off to Mr Lynch, it's always great when one of the 2000AD faithful make it. Here's to loads more from his talented droid in our prog!