Thursday, 24 July 2014

Shucks! It's Alex Ronald!


Prog 1891 sees the debut of Leigh Moore, John Reppion and Steve Yeowell's brand new thrill 'Black Shuck.' The series features vicious Vikings, mythical monsters, terrifying trolls and a terrible tribe of totally twattish twats - it looks to be a winner!

If you're wondering about the name, the Black Shuck is a legendary ghostly dog that allegedly roams East Anglia, there is an artist's impression below. However, in the story, Black Shuck is a mysterious, shipwrecked warrior who claims to be the heir of the Viking King Ivar. But is this just a shaggy dog story?

The Black Shuck with his terrifying red eyes...

I'm absolutely delighted that Alex Ronald, one of my very favourite artists, has been asked to produce the first cover for the series. What a cracker it is, I love the composition! I asked Alex how much reference material he got, with it being a new strip and all. He said "I received three black and white pages and the following brief: 'Black Shuck himself central with his sword out and roaring trolls all around him!' Cool!

Below we see his 3D roughs, a troll based on my wife and Shuck, based on my lover, Justin Lee Collins...

Egor was legless again.

Shuck shows us his funky moves

Next is the composition that was sent to Tharg for approval...

Put that away, it's a family comic! 

With the mighty one's blessing, Alex painted the cover in his usual jaw-dropping style...

"Oh trollocks!" 

And here's how the cover looks in your local thrill merchant.

"I want to hug him and squeeze him and call him George!"

HUGE, troll sized thanks to Alex for sending the lovely images. Please check out his blog for more amazing work!

Monday, 14 July 2014

Karl Richardson - Karlifacts!

 
Aquila is back and he's on a mission from God - Ammit the Devourer to be precise! Leigh Gallagher is back on art duties, however, the always brilliant Karl Richardson has painted this scorching hot cover for us.
 
Karl said "It's almost a year since I've done any digital painting so I was a little rusty at first. However, Leigh Gallagher was happy and said it could have been traditionally painted. I think Tharg was happy, so it's all good!" As Karl hasn't ended up as a plaything for Mek-Quake, he may be right...
 
Below we see Karl's very rough pencils (his words, not mine!) and this cover is already off to a mean and moody start...

The Roman Paparazzi artist Crotchus Maximus was the founder of the Upskirt shot.
 
Karl tidies those pencils up and adds the obligatory drop of jizz to his picture...
 
He wants to be careful where he's putting that sword...
 
Digital painting begins - if this is Karl when he's 'a little rusty', then Grud help the rest of us!
 
A quick spray tan and we're ready to go...

Digital painting continues, with background elements added...

"Arise, Sir Soontobedead...."
 
And here's the finished image, complete with blood and gore, absolutely amazing!

Aquila got in trouble for lighting his farts again...

Here's how the cover looks on your thrill merchant's shelves - deadly!

I wouldn't eat this butcher's 'Special Stuff.'

The colour scheme and wicked flames reminded me of my lovely commission that I got from Karl, fully painted and bloody amazing!

"Judgement Day at Pete Wells Block."
 
Huuuuuuge thanks to Karl for sending the images, I'm sure Leigh Gallagher couldn't have asked for a better start to the series!


Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Chris Weston Special 3: Judge Anderson - Wot No Burdis?


August sees IDW publish a brand new Judge Anderson series by Matt Smith and Carl Critchlow. I can't wait for this as Matt has shown himself to be an incredible writer of all things Dredd and Carl's art is always bang on. To top things off, Chris has produced this excellent cover for the series, over to him to find out more...

"The Anderson cover came about after IDW contacted me to see if I would let them use my Rogue Trooper painting on the cover of their short-lived Rogue Trooper comic. I wasn't comfortable with this as this painting wasn't really a true depiction of the classic Rogue character. It wasn't even the War Machine/Friday version either. In truth, this was a picture of Rogue I'd painted to present to Sam Worthington's film company who held the film rights to the character..."

Here's that picture which is just beautiful...

Rogue stars in 'The Prisoner.'

"Instead of letting them have the Rogue art, I offered to draw them something else instead. They instantly offered me the cover of their new Judge Anderson series and I set to work with the following results..."

So below we see Chris' rough - yep, that's right, his rough...

With Anderson's amazing PSI powers she senses a bomb nearby...

Chris tries out a background and lighting test...

Anderson wasn't impressed by everyone's 'Anderson in a Coma' impression...

Then the image is impeccably inked. Note that dead judge in the corner is Judge Burdis. It's great to see that grumpy old shit finally defeated, he might stop moaning about stuff now...

Not content with killing him, Anderson also mocks the size of Burdis' penis.

Finally Chris colours the cover, if I had to criticise I'd have to say there's not enough blood spilling out of Burdis...

Anderson's tales of her time wandering the universe had the usual effect on the audience.

But alas, my joy is short-lived as dead Burdis is gone, replaced by dead Chalmers, which certainly doesn't have the same ring to it.

Hey! I want my dead Burdis back! Chalmers is a lie!

Massive Psi-Flash style thank you's to Chris, not just for these images but for the previous two posts worth too. With his mind-bogglingly intricate art I'm amazed Chris has the time to sleep, never mind send a million images and commentaries to me so again, a whalloping great thanks!

Before I go, I'd like to share my latest 'sketch' from Mr Weston - he usually has a sketch list at cons which you can see on his Facebook page, I can't recommend his awesome sketches enough...

A 24 hour Greggs on every floor.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Chris Weston Special 2 - Lawrod!


Welcome to part 2 of this three part Chris Weston special and this time we're going to get a bit saucy with Chris' cheeky XXX Files cover. The book weighs in at 224 pages and contains a host of racy Dredd tales from the likes of John Wagner, Alan Grant, Simon Bisley, Ian Gibson, Greg Staples and many more. Released on 10th July, the content is so suggestive it would make Leon Brittan squirm!
 
The cover is a damn fantastic piece of design, so allow Chris to tell you how it came about in "Confessions of a Comic Artist!"
 
"When KR-1, Tharg's trusty droid (or should that be Freud? - Pete) in charge of graphic novel collections got in touch asking for a new cover to accompany a collection of Dredd's more fruity tales, I must confess I had a hard time (fnarr! - Pete) coming (quack! - Pete) up (phwoor, I'll stop now - Pete) with a good idea for a cover."
 
"Initially, I was going to do one of my typically cluttered, over detailed epic drawings, and I produced a rough with pointed in that direction..."  
 
Ladies fondling Dredd's helmet - yes I went there, I have no shame.

"I wasn't happy with these results. It was going to involve a lot of hours to produce what was actually quite a dull idea. By this point I had already spent way too long on the job, and for once I thought: "Do something different for a change! Make it simpler, bolder, more graphic-designery rather than illustrative. Take a break from the insane detail, just for once Chris!" I always talk to myself out loud as my poor studio mates have discovered to their horror."

"My main inspiration was the teaser poster for "The World Is Not Enough", a great design for a really poor Bond movie"

"Stop getting Bond wrong!" 

"My first rough echoed the movie poster quite closely."

 When that woman got smashed through the wall she left a perfect silhouette.

"But I fiddled about with it and decided it looked better with the background reversed out..."

Dredd makes a guest appearance in Tales of the Unexpected. 

"This met with KR-1's approval so I proceeded to produce a more finished drawing of Judge Dredd."

Dredd prepares to show the cadets how to put on a prophylactic... 
 
"Then coloured him up in his traditional hues."

Hmmm, I think Dredd is trying to compensate for something here...

"Then came the fun part, messing about with the composition until it looked like this..."

 Hmmm, nice body but I'm not so keen on the face...
 
"Finally, I thought it would be fun to have Dredd's big penis extension daystick come looming out towards the reader in an alarming and suggestive manner!"

 
 Dredd desperately tries to think of McGruder and Edgar...
 
Once again, big penis extension sized thanks to Chris for sending these brilliant images! I'm off to have a cold shower now, join me tomorrow for Chris' fantastic IDW Judge Anderson cover!


Chris Weston Special - Part One Go to Work on a Klegg!


I am beyond thrilled to welcome you to the first of a three day Chris Weston special! Chris has very, very kindly given us the lowdown on not only this weeks' amazing cover but also his zarjaz covers for the XXX Flies cover (tomorrow) and IDW's Judge Anderson monthly on Tuesday! I'm extremely excited, grateful and proud, thanks Chris!

As Prog readers will know, Prog 1889 features the second part of the hilarious 'The Heart is a Lonely Klegg Hunter' which sees the welcome return of Trifecta's Sensitive Klegg. This part sees our loveable hero in the sights of The Hunters Club in the hope of winning a huge bounty from Overdrive Corp. Over to Chris to tell us more...

"The brief I received from Tharg was this:


"I was thinking of a shot of a grim Dredd, Lawgiver in hand, and a worried-looking Klegg side by side, facing off against all these guns coming in from the sides (elephant gun, chainsaw, etc) - a bit like this old Diceman cover by Glenn Fabry..."


"Two other covers also served as inspiration. Firstly Mike McMahon's Cursed Earth cover from Prog 69. Thematically, it was similar to my one, what with Dredd defending a timid alien..."

Hey! That's Robocop's line! 

"The other one I had in mind was Brian Bolland's stunning Block Mania wraparound cover. Bolland is never very far from my thoughts."

 All this because of a four creed freezy whip!

"This was my initial rough which was quickly given the green light from Tharg."

 Klegg Busted

"I then proceeded to finished art, adding in a grungy, industrial background because I just can't help adding tons and tons of unnecessary detail onto my art. I need an intervention."

 The Crocodile Hunter Diaries

"I then spent way too long colouring it up. At this point I hadn't seen Mike Dowling's colouring on the interior art, so I checked with him to make sure I hadn't gone too off-piste with my choice of costume-colours for the Hunters Club characters. Luckily, we were very much on the same page and had chosen almost identical hues. I only had to tweak the female hunter's jacket to bring into line with Mike's version."

Check out those cuts - it's a Nicked Klegg. 

"At this point I thought it might be fun to resurrect the old tradition of having Dredd summarise the plot with his trademark brevity and black humour. The old Eagle Reprint Comic Covers used this trick quite a lot and I really wanted to capture the spirit of those. I couldn't think of anything appropriate but luckily Rob Williams came riding baldly to my rescue with the following pithy quote:"

Is that Nigel Farage in the bottom corner?

And here's how the cover looks in your local Thrill Merchant's shop, simply astounding!

So... the big Klegg is covering the logo - are you gonna tell him?

Klegg-sized thanks to Chris for sending the files and his fantastic commentary - Fabry, McMahon, Bolland and Weston in one post, not too shabby eh? I'm sure you'll agree that his is an absolutely outstanding cover and has got to be a contender for cover of the year! Come back tomorrow when the blog gets all saucy with the commentary for the XXX Files!

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Simon Davis - Miscreants!



Behold the final cover of Book 1 of Slaine: A Simple Killing by the brilliant Simon Davis. This cover sees Slaine in a tussle with the Miscreations as he races to save Sinead from the sword of the Gododin.

Below we see Simon's frenetic sketch...

"All pile on!"

Followed by some damn fine painting!

 
Ugly scenes at the opening of the Harrods sales again...

And here's how the prog looks on your shelf - lovely!

The Miscreations ruined Slaine's holiday snaps by photobombing him at every opportunity.

Thanks to the lovely Simons Davis and Parr for the images!

Sunday, 29 June 2014

INJ Culbard - Eye Key, Her?

 
Brass Sun returns in Prog 1888 and when you've read it the meaning of that 'hilarious' subject line above will become apparent! Wakka, Wakka! Like many, I'm thrilled to see this strip return - for my money, Brass Sun has some of the most stunning visuals and brilliant world-building in recent 2000AD history.
 
The new cover shows our heroes six months on from where we left 'em in Prog 1861. I commented to artist Ian Culbard that I missed the POV/Hand motif of the previous covers, he said "Yeah, once someone notices what I'm doing I tend to move away from it in the hope of staying relatively fresh. POV/Hand motif's were so last season! New season, new things!" Fair enough!
 
Below is Ian's 'Rough rough' for the cover, he said "Here's the really rough rough - yes, the rough for this was really THAT simple!"
 
Rough as a bucket...
 
Simple maybe, but it's a nice call back to the final panel of the previous book, which looked like this...
 

Our heroes looking fresh-faced and gorgeous...
 
Ian explains "We come back to the characters and it's six months later. Our two main characters, Wren and Sept have had a bit of a growth spurt and they're settling in to new looks, as they did with the previous run. They've been mucking in with work and life aboard the Nominal Charge as part of Ariel's crew along with Ramkin and it's probably taken the soft edges off both of them. With this cover, I'd just done the final cover to the mini-series for the US format and wanted to do something that said 'we're back!'"
 
Which brings us nicely to the American series which sold out of it first and second print runs almost immediately. Most readers will know that Brass Sun is getting the US treatment, 32 pages of strip which will be published as a graphic novel when the strip ends. The design values on these versions are gorgeous and some of the new covers are beautiful. 
 
Here's the complete run...

 

 Rudolf the White Nosed Reindeer...
 
"Oi, keep off the bloody grass!" 

"I saw three ships come flying in, on Christmas Day in the morning!" 

 So last season...
 
"Cry to it, Nuncle..."
 
 
 "She's got the whole world, in her hands!"
 

Massive thanks to Ian for sending the cover and the roughs - here's to the strips' continued success!