Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Cry of the Werewolf Special!

September 18th sees the release of a brand new Judge Dredd collection - Cry of the Werewolf. The book features some classic Dredd tales of yesteryear, each with a spooky, supernatural air! Let's celebrate the release of the book with some appropriately spooky covers. Please note, some of these covers are Hi-Res so it's often better to right click and open the images in a new tab to see them in all their glory...

The first story, and undoubtedly the star of the show, is the Cry of the Werewolf. Written by Wagner and Grant and beautifully illustrated by Steve Dillon, this tale was first published back in 1983 and remains a fan favourite to this very day. This classic sees Megacity-One terrorised by a ferocious pack of werewolves. Naturally Dredd is put in charge of the case and, before long, the course of his investigation leads him to the Hellish Undercity in one of his most memorable cases ever. The story is choc full of classic Dredd moments with, what some would argue, is Steve Dillon's best ever Dredd artwork. 

The covers which accompanied this bona fide classic are shown below...

An American Werewolf in erm... America.
In the Lair of the White Wolf
R.I.P. Judge Dredd...
While I'm on with Steve Dillon, I couldn't resit posting a Hi-Res version of one (two?) of my favourite Dredd images ever. Absolute class! 
The Law loves YOU!
One character in Cry of the Werewolf made a real impact on the readers, despite appearing in only three and a half pages! That character was the grim Judge Prager, a judge who'd taken the Long Walk down into the deep, dank Undercity as opposed to the Cursed Earth. Nineteen years after the Cry of the Werewolf was published, Out of the Undercity sees Dredd reunited with Prager as they tackle a dangerous mutant uprising beneath the Megacity. 

This time the excellent Carl Critchlow is on art duties, here's one of my favourite covers from him:

Old Stony Face himself by the brilliant Carl Critchlow.
 This tale featured two covers, the first by the wonderful Cliff Robinson and Chris Blythe...
The Law and the Claw!

And the other by Trevor Hairsine...

A ripping yarn!

Which gives me an excuse to print this wonderful image from "The Three Amigos!"
"They're behind you!"
Out of the Undercity introduced a new villain into the Dredd-verse, the scarred mutant known as Mr Bones. The mutie and his gang resurfaced in the Dredd vs Aliens crossover, which gave us this beautiful cover by the Insanely talented Fraser Irving...

Acid house
Fraser is also featured in the book with his Megazine strip Asylum. This excellent artist is a master of the horror-themed cover, giving us such classics as this wonderful pastiche of Brian Bolland's seminal Killing Joke cover...


And this genuinely unsettling Judge Death promo image...

The sssentence is...
And because I indulged myself with one of my favourite Dillon images above, I'm going to post my absolute favourite Irving 2000AD cover below. This in undoubtedly a design classic...

The Hitman and Her
Asylum sees Dredd teamed up with Psi-Judge Karen as they track a Vamp-like killer who is feeding on impoverished immigrants in the Megacity. This tale featured a fine cover by the amazing Dylan Teague...

"Not tonight dear, I have a headache..."
And what horror collection would be complete without 2000AD's resident king of gore, the beautiful Leigh Gallagher? The collection features Dog Soldiers, which sees Dredd hunted by a terrifying pack of doglike mutants while investigating a bloody massacre on board a Cursed Earth express train.
"Down boy!"
As artist and creator of Defore and Aquila, Leigh has astounded us with some amazing horror covers in the past, including his nasty Zombie Babies cover of Prog 1643...

Perhaps Defoe should try singing a lullaby...

And the brilliant zombie croc cover of Prog 1701...

Give me a zombie and make it snappy!
This book is very, very highly recommended, order it today Earthlets!

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Jon Davis-Hunt - Invasion of the Gabber Robots!

When it's a strip or a cover featuring giant, stompy robots, there's really only one droid to call, Mr Jon Davis-Hunt! Once again, the 3riller's droid shatters our circuits by delivering an action packed, beautifully complex masterpiece!

Below is Jon's thumbnail, he says "My appalling thumbnail! Tharg is a legend for trusting me on these!"

Jon was never very good a Pictionary...

With the erm... exquisitely detailed thumbnail approved, Jon lashes up a slightly less rough version and simply inks on top. No wussy pencils for this artdroid!
"Can you tell what it is yet?"

And here are his finished inks. Good Grud, I wonder which poor colourist has to colour that!?! That mess of tangled tentacles and slimy jowls will be a nightmare...

Day of the Tentacle

Jon colours his own work, talk about making a rod for your own back! Of course, he's done a fantastic job; I love the textures on the background and the muted colours on the lower tentacles. It's always cool to see the JDH trademark lighting effects!

Mindbogglingly wonderful colouring by an artist at the top of his game

 And below is the prog as you'll see it n the shops (or your digital copy!)

Thanks to the always lovely Jon Davis-Hunt for sending the images. Please take the time to visit his fantastic site here!

Monday, 20 August 2012

Leigh Gallagher - Chari-art!

Congratulations to the most handsome artdroid in the world, Leigh Gallagher who is currently celebrating his wedding to fiancée Niki. Hopeless romantics among you will remember Leigh's wonderful, very touching comic strip proposal, which you can revisit here. Get your hankies out now though!

As Leigh is busy erm... celebrating, he asked if I'd step in to show the cover process for his excellent Aquila cover for Prog 1797. Naturally, to reflect the mood of the female population now that he is legally unavailable, the artist chose the image of a distraught, angry woman to adorn this commemorative cover.

Below we see his cover rough, I love the energy and sense of motion in this image, so dynamic!   
 Chariot of Pieces!

With 'Cover Rough B' approved by the mighty one, Leigh refined the image with these beautiful pencils...

 Boadicea gets a strike!

Leigh tightens up those pencils with these incredible inks. Lovely design work here, it's great how everything seems to be exploding out towards the reader.
 Leading lines aplenty give this cover a great sense of motion!

And finally the painted cover. Leigh mentioned in his blog post for the cover of Prog 1793 that he is currently adding an ink wash to his work to add texture to the final image, it looks like he repeated the process here.

There are some lovely touches here, particularly the lighting effects and the dust clouds being kicked up by the horses, brilliant!
 Iceni-one still alive?

And here's how it looked on the prog, complete with awful tag line! I must say, part of the joy of doing this blog is thinking up the cheesy 'headline' and this one was a bugger, so hat's off to the 2000AD boys for 'Chariots of Ire!'

So there we have it, another dynamic, exciting cover courtesy of the brilliant, awfully dashing Mr Gallagher. A MASSIVE thanks as ever for sending me the images and good luck for the future Mr and Mrs G!

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Clint Langley - Aero-pain!

A very warm welcome back to artist and friend of the blog Clint Langley! Once again, Clint has used his an amazing digital wizardry to bring us this absolutely smashing (ha!) Ichabod Azrael cover.

In the strip, the Hunter continues to pursue and murder Ichabod through history, ending his many lifetimes in as bloody a way as possible! However the time between Ichabod's many horrific deaths is accelerating, signalling the end of time itself! Can Ichabod stop the Hunter before time itself implodes?

Clint sent the dazzling inks below, just look at the detail! Fans of this picture will be interested to know that Clint returns in Prog 1800 on the ABC Warriors tale, Back to Earth.  As ever, the strip will feature Clint's mind boggling digital paintings however, much of the story is told in flashback and will be rendered in ink. I can't wait to see that!

Added to this, the stunning American Reaper returns to the Megazine too, so we'll see a lot of Mr Langley over the coming months!                                                                                                              
Smashing inks!

Below is Clint's digitally painted version which just blows my mind! The glass in the back of the Hunter's head is horrific!

And here's how it looks on your super soaraway prog!

HUGE thanks to Clint for sending the images and for his continued support of the blog! Please visit his website at Roll on Prog 1800!

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Neil Roberts - Gurnzilla!

Oh wow, I've been dying to get my hands on this cover for ages! I absolutely love it! If you didn't already know, it's Neil 'The Gurner' Roberts' cover from Megazine 326.

Here's Neil to tell us how it was made "Here's my cover for this months Judge Dredd Megazine, Issue 326 – 'Big Trouble in Hondo City!'"

The brief was as follows: "A giant rampaging monster roaring, destruction all around, with Inaba and Junko small by comparison in the foreground on their Hoverbikes, facing him down..."

I gathered a few reference materials (sorry no gurning pictures, Pete), mainly the fantastic 80's Kaiju posters, posters by Norivishi Ohrai and others..."

I'm gutted! This article simply isn't the same without some of Neil's trademark gurning photos! I fully imagined him rampaging round his children's bedroom, smashing up their toys whilst growling his wife! All for his art!

However, Neil did send some of the posters that had inspired him below:

Godzilla Smush!

"As always, I started with a thumbnail, or thumbnails in this case, which were sent to Tharg for approval/revisions. Tharg liked the second one, which had more interaction on the image, which always makes for a dynamic cover. I might add that I didn't use any reference photos this time as I wanted to keep this strictly fantastical affair – I just wanted to try painting my way out of any problems on this one."

Even Neil's thumbnails are cool!

Neil continues "After that, we jump a few stages (namely blowing up the pic in Photoshop and painting over it in finer detail – and then painting A BIT MORE) on to the final piece."

 "Up from the Depths, Thirty stories high! Breathing fire, His head up in the sky! Gurnzilla! Gurnzilla! Gurnzilla! It's Neil Roberts!"
 Neil finishes "So, feel free to go and buy a copy, support your homegrown comic publishers, writers and artists, enjoy their stories and then buy the next issue!"

And below, we have the version of the cover with the logos, text etc, to see how the design team dealt the image.

Massive, massive thanks to Neil for sending the images and fascinating commentary. As I said at the start of this article, I really love this cover it's definitely a contender the cover of the year in my book. Please visit Neil's blog at