Friday, 13 November 2015

Jon Davis-Hunt - Whack Pack Attack A Fat Twat.

Bad boys, bad boys, whut you gon' do? Whut you gon' do when they come for you? The ever wonderful Jon Davis-Hunt is back (where he belongs!) on the Galaxy's greatest this week with a Sinister Dexter cover that simply oozes cool!

Jon is a truly lovely guy and an amazing talent so I was thrilled last year when I heard he'd landed a high profile gig as artist on Clean Room for a little publisher called Vertigo. However, despite my best efforts at getting my clone-o-tron machine working, this meant that 2000AD was robbed of one of it's most exciting droids, albeit temporarily!

Getting such a high profile droid back required something massive, and it doesn't get much bigger than Sinister Dexter finally whacking that fat shite Holy Moses Tanenbaum! Over to Jon to tell us how he went about it

First Sketch – Possible Layout

Ohhh Vic, I've fallen...

"This was my first initial sketch, based on the idea of Sin and Dex making a last stand. However, my wife pointed out that just having them blasting away with their guns reminded her of a host of other covers (many which I had already drawn). She suggested ‘Why not try something different – maybe draw them as they would look after a battle had finished’. As always, she was right."
Ha, how pathetic! Jon is so under the thumb! You wouldn't catch m... Oh, hi dear. Nothing! Nothing! Just doing some work. A cup tea? And a sandwich? Of course, right away. Excuse me a minute folks... 
Second Sketch – Bruised but not beaten...

Finny and Ramone exposed in this weeks' episode of Dodgy Builders...

"I ran with that idea and almost instantly came up with this layout. I wanted to convey a real ‘80’s action hero’ pose. Low angle, Sin and Dex looking cool – almost like they had been in a battle, and more adversaries were possibly on their way, but they were completely undeterred."

"It was at this point that I started to tweak their clothing (particularly Finn’s). Sin and Dex have such a strong, iconic look, and their clothes are so important. I kept Dex in a neat, tailored suit, then loosed his tie and roughed it a bit, to give him that slightly night-after-Vegas, almost Rat-Pack look. With Finnegan, I made his clothing more casual and then picked out the red from Dex’s suit on his gloves (which I changed to leather) and added baseball boots. I also gave him a more James Dean haircut and chrome aviators. I was just thinking ‘make em look as cool as possible’."

"I do all my sketching now straight into Photoshop (although I will still do very small, quick thumbnails, normally in biro on a piece of A4 or A3 paper). When I rough ion Photoshop, I uses a large brush and keep my sketching quick. I’ll then drop the opacity of that layer down and sketch again over the top. I’ll keep doing this several times (sometimes discarding layers) until I get the proportions and composition correct."


Ramone teabags the invisible man.

"My next step is to start inking over my worked up sketch. I ink completely digitally, using a simple set of Photoshop brushes. I vary brush size, to get a nice gradient and granularity to my line work. I like to vary images now with some heavy blacks (for clothing) but keep faces and hands almost always shadow free. I also like to add more detail to hair and then any clothing or prop features (e.g. clothing seams, gun clips etc)."

 Background inks

Cool as der cucumber - oops, wring strip...
"I knew in my head what I’d like the background to be, but hadn’t bothered to rough it in (lazy!). Once the figures were drawn, I simply roughed it out very quickly, reduced the opacity of that layer (in Photoshop) and inked it in."

"Flat Colours"

Finny models the North East Winter Collection

"I flat in Photoshop. Here I knew that the Red was going to be important, so I added that first, then went in and coloured the remainder of the figures, keeping the palette quiet subdued."


Artist in artistic licence shocker!

"I then added some highlights and shadows. My lighting for this uses a fair amount of artistic license."

"Final Colours"

"And finally, I added all the finishing touches. BOOM!"

And here's how the prog looks in your local Thrill Merchant, coooool!!!

Thanks soooooooooo much to Jon for sending the images! Be sure to check his website out at

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Jake Lynch - Roadhog Day

Jake Lynch is back with another excellent Dredd cover! Prog 1955 shows everyone's favourite stickler playing traffic warden, which he probably does for fun, the grumpy old shit.

This is a great slice of Megacity life and Jake has caught the griminess of the polluted city here perfectly. Eagle eyed readers should be able spot a familiar Dreddworld vehicle in the throng of traffic and there's some classic graffiti hidden among the scrawl...

Below are Jake's mindboggling digital pencils, drokk there's some work gone into those...

 Who knew Dredd was a secret Eddie Spotter?
Next Jake begins to add colour and tone to the piece... 
MegaCity Frogger
Jake then takes out his magic wand (dirty boy) and adds all manner of special effects to the image to really bring the scene to life...
Gillian Taylforth causes chaos on the roads again... 
Below is a bonus image, where Jake has tried to "get back a harder edge."
"This is my boom stick!"
Jake is obviously a fan of the Mk2 Lawmaster with this rather lovely drawing popping up on his Facebook feed some time ago...

Koom Sscrree!
Along with this smashing Dredd!

The long arm of the Law!
And here's how the cover looks on your Prog - damn cool!
Who watches the people watching the watchmen?
HUGE thanks to Jake for sending the images. I really love Jake's work and feel he is one of the most exciting artists to emerge in the last couple of years. A style all of his own with a touch of Jock-like coolness and attitude, a dash of Hairsine, McMahon, Ewins and McArthy too. Here's hoping for lots more from this exciting droid!

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Ryan Brown - The Unusual Suspects.

Ryan Brown, easily one of my favourite cover artists of the year, is back with another outstanding Dredd cover. This time, he has taken on Dredd's lawmaster, and the winner is... us!
In the prog, Dredd continues his search for the mysterious serial, serial killer (which is a genius idea, all hail John Wagner!) with the help, or hindrance, of the dastardly PJ Maybe. Can Dredd trust the murderous former mayor of Megacity One or could Peter Janet have something to do with the crimes?
The tale is very much a Dredd procedural story, albeit with a typically Megacity twist, so Ryan's cover sketches below show Dredd doing his detective work, checking out his suspects on the monitor... 
Is... is number three a giant penis?
Dredd's visit to the Big Brother house will not end well... 

However, Tharg had different ideas; Ryan explains "Tharg said 'Why don't we go with Dredd on his Lawmaster?"  so I thought of the Boland Origins cover I wanted to do a nod to, with the front on view of the Lawmaster..."

Mind the Origins Marlon.

And here's how Ryan got on. Not too shabby eh?

 As Dredd sped home, his mind turned towards playing a relaxing game of "Guess Who" with Walter and Mrs Gunderson...
And here's how the Prog looks on your shelf, zarjaz!!!

Crikey, Madonna looks rough...
As I said at the start of the article, Ryan is very much one of my favourite Dredd artists at the moment, so I approached him for a commission. I wanted Dredd and Death battling at Pete Wells Block, with Death having the upper hand! I can't tell you how delighted I am with what I got...
First, the sketch, which features some sexy finger sucking action...
A definite candidate for Viz's Up the Arse Corner.
And the horrible, finished piece, which is just amazing!!! I'm absolutely thrilled with it.
Ssssydney couldn't help but think of his dear Dad as he helped scrape the plaque from Dredd's teeth...
A HUGE thanks to Ryan for sending the images over (and for my wonderful commission!) Be sure to check out more of his excellent work at .

Most Handome Man in Comics? Deffo!

Over on the glorious blog of Leigh Gallagher, the perfect specimen of manliness has given us a break down of his excellent Defoe cover of Prog 1952. A wonderfully striking image by cover of the year winner of 2013, I'm sire this one will come high in the cover of the year list this year too!

The article, as ever, is really funny so drag your undead arses HERE right now and read it. There's a GREAT alternative version which I won't spoil here and also a photograph of the man himself for the fellas. 

I can't resist posting the pencils and inks (just LOOK at them!!!) but I urge you to check out Leigh's brilliant post on his fantastically entertaining blog!

"Just like that!" The poster for the Tommy Cooper comeback show.

 Mrs Defoe wasn't sure Titus had bought the best mobile for their new baby...

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Rufus Dayglo - Take Heart!

"Attenshun!!! Fall in with Bad Company, you maggots! Sergeant Dayglo will now give us a sit rep on this weeks' Bad Company cover! Make sure you listen soldier, you life could depend on it!"

"After starting the new Bad Company - First Casualties series, I was asked to do a cover. Prog 1950 was a jumping on issue, so naturally Tharg wanted Dredd on the cover, so I got to a cover for episode two. However, my first ideas were referential to the first episode as I didn’t know at the time 1950 was a jumping on issue, so I went with Danny’s nightmare of dying overlaid with Kano, to reintroduce the characters, and to add drama…is Danny dead??"

Oooooh, that'll be sore...

"The other was a slightly more generic crazy Kano…what’s happened to him? How has he been changed?"

Dammit! Kano had run out of Frizzeaze again!
"By the time I got the second script, it was all about the reappearance of Kano, so I went with a Joe Kubert approach. He’d do these awesome war covers for Sgt Rock, or Unknown Soldier where the viewer can’t see the approaching horror, so all you see is the soldier’s reaction  (for example, an oncoming Tank attack!)"

Not quite the kind of Kubert image Rufus was talking about but I just liked it, okay!?!

The ghost of Michael Jackson comforts Sgt. Rock. 
"I also wanted Dialogue on the cover. I think it’s proper old school, and I loved character’s leading you into the story with shock dialogue!!!"

Kano put Danny over his knee...
"So I went with the idea of Danny facing the zombified undead Kano for the first time….Kano’s Krool blood kind of regening him, hideously remorphing him with krool spikes as he heals from wounds, making him more like the old enemy. And for a humourous twist, I thought it’d be cool to have Danny looking THROUGH the damage in Kano’s war ravaged body. Proper Frankenstein material!"

A hole lot of trouble for Kano

"I did a bunch of thumbnails before going for that composition, then drew out the full figure to ‘anchor’ the scene for me. I then sent a little coloured rough to Tharg, he approved it, munching through some fresh Styrofoam cups, and gave me galactic permission to proceed with my artdroid duties."

I love them ALL!!!
Maybe it's time for Tharg to do variant covers?

I then inked and coloured the cover digitally...

"Erm... h-hi Kano... you look erm... different. Have you done something with your hair?

Why are Bad Company good at golf?
'Cos they always get a hole in one!
(I'll get me coat...)

"I then put a strap line and dialogue balloon on a separate layer, as a guide for the designer to correct/improve it."

Rufus plays designer, look he forgot to cover the title...

"Then BOOM, onto the Galaxy’s Comics shops shelves!"

The title is covered, normality is restored!
I would like to thank Rufus from the bottom of my Krool heart for sending the wealth of images and his enthusiastic and entertaining text. He's had a REALLY busy weekend but still took the time to send me multiple emails with more and more amazing images!
I'd also like to take this moment to thank Rufus and Jim McCarthy for their amazing work on the current strip. It is genuinely incredible and I'm sure I speak for many when I say it's a truly fitting tribute to the late, great Brett Ewins.  

Nick Percival - In the myre with The Gyre!

This week, the always awesome Nick Percival sent an unlettered version of his teaser image for his and Mike Carroll's forthcoming Dredd tale 'The Gyre!' It looks and sounds absolutely epic, Nick says "This is really just a teaser image for the storyline that I did before I got the completed script, so it’s deliberately vague but just gives a hint of the mood and style of the series. It’s Dredd out of his comfort zone, limited to basic weapons and in a hostile environment.”

Hell yeah!!! Here is Nick's Dredd sketch...

"Get to da choppah!"

And an exclusive teaser panel from the actual strip, amazing! Poor Dredd, he's just got out of the snow and now it's pissing down!

Dredd experiences an English summer...

And final the teaser as seen in the Meg. Really looking forward to this one, the bad guy looks absolutely amazing!

Careful with that knife Joe, you'll have his bloody eye out!

Thanks to Nick for sending the images, January can't come soon enough!!!

Friday, 25 September 2015

Chris Burnham - Officer Downs!

Prog 1950 is a fantastic 'jumping on' issue of 2000AD which sports this smashing (ha ha ha, I am hilarious!) cover by none other than superstar artist Chris Burnham! The artist has brought us Grant Morrison's Nameless, Batman incorporated and, of course, the brilliant Officer Downe - a cop who would give our beloved Joe a run for his creds!
Below is Chris' thumbnail, quite coincidental that Chris' thumbnails look like Dredd blasting out a window. I wonder how he holds his pencil...  
 "You talkin' to me?"
Chris sorts the layout...

Dredd always got carried away at a Greek wedding... 
Next are Chris' pencils as the cover really starts to take shape...
The boy in blue...

Why can't he just use a doorbell like everyone else?
 Which lead to these frigging awesome inks...
 Dredd really hates those Jehovah's Witnesses...
Finally, the inks get passed to the wonderfully named Nathan Fairbairn to colour with his digital felt tips, absolutely stunning!

Curly, Larry and Moe meet Joe with hilarious consequences! 
And here's how the cover looks on your comic, cor!
Window popping.
HUGE thanks to Chris for taking time out in his busy schedule to send the images for this fantastically action packed cover! I'd love to see him do a carnage-filled Dredd strip! You can check out Chris' other work here: