Saturday 8 February 2014

Mark Harrison - Hot Digital Dog!

BOOM! How cinematic is this cover!?! If a Strontium Dog movie is ever released, I insist that Mark Harrison gets poster duties! When I contacted Mark to ask for the cover images, I remarked how much this reminded me of a 70's action film poster, he said "Well spotted with the film poster nod. This was harking back to those dynamic explosive war film posters you used to get, REAL MAN posters before the advent of PhotoShop (Yeah, I know, bite the tool that feeds me!)"

Mark asked me to put some cool posters here to demonstrate, mentioning 'Where Eagles Dare', 'Shout at the Devil' and 'Zeppelin' as inspiration. I added 'The Destructors' as it is action cliche heaven!

Big explosions and MEN!

MORE big explosions and MEN!  

EVEN MORE big explosions and MEN!

A little explosion and MEN being MEN!

Mark continues "In my mind I saw this falling transport and  all these faces and images coming out of the smoke like the smoke was a rip in the white of cover paper.  Back to back shooting, spouts of flame streaking out. Bodies falling down from the crashing transport like James Bond opening titles... "Skyfall..."

"Of course I got a bit insecure about the plain white background so I offered up some alternatives, but it was always going to be the white really..."

White, with orange candy cane...

Orange candy canes and explosions.  

Tango Charlie

Purple rain (of fire!)

The bastard child of 1 and 3
With the sketch laid out and the colours (almost) decided, Mark inked the piece. "One interesting decision was to flip the direction of the crashing craft which you can see was going the other way in the sketches.  That was done as a way of balancing Alpha's big gun which I would assume dominate the top right of the cover."

Strinkedium Dog

Here Mark decided to play with some of the elements to interact with the logo; "I moved some figures around so they could be "dropped" in front of the logo to break it up and give the cover a bit of depth."

"It was always intended to be painted. I did consider a coloured ink drawing at one point and did use that as a foundation before I did a "traditional" paint over in Photoshop using custom brushes based on real world brushes I had scanned and built."

Laying the foundations

"It's an approach I mentioned I've done before on a recent Megazine cover and probably has some redundant steps for a digital artist  but there's a comfort in knowing the foundation is there to fall back on. I went with following closely Carlos' art so it didn't jar."

Coming this summer... a movie that wi-... (cough... splutter) Sorry I couldn't keep the voice up.

"And in another plug for other art and artists, I'd be remiss if I didn't admit a reason for approaching this cover in the way I did was the lushious, lovely, inspirational art of Jim Murray and his recent work 'Drowntown.' A 2000 AD artist that has just gotten better with time and you wish was still gracing the pages of the comic. Check out his book!"

I'd second that - the book is by 2000AD writer Robbie Morrison (Nikolai Dante, Judge Dredd) and Jim Murray (Die Laughing, Holocaust 12) and is a superb read and a real feast for the eyes...

Buy this book!

And here's how the cover looks at your Thrill merchant, Johnny is a Public Enemy indeed!

We got to fight the powers that be!

Explosive thanks to Mark who's next project has got me very excited! Check out his website here!

1 comment: