Saturday, 28 February 2015

Rufus Dayglo - Le Geek, c'est chic!

Yes!!! I'm delighted to welcome Amazing Artdroid and Mega 2000AD fan, Mr Rufus Dayglo back to the blog! I adore this talented artist's work, one of those special artists that can capture the very essence of classic droids' artwork - all the attitude of McMahon, the humour of Hewlett, a touch of Ewins but draw in a voice all of his own!

For Prog 1918, he provided the cover for the return of the Survival Geeks. This humorous series featuring loveable geeks and more SF references than you can shake a lightsabre at made its debut as one of Tharg's 3rillers. The strip was very popular, meaning it has been given it the full series treatment so we can see more madcap adventures of top nerd Simon, genius inventor Clive, stoner Rufus and poor Sam, he girl trapped in the time travelling house with these losers.

Rufus was delighted to illustrate a cover for his mate Neil Goodge, who provides stunning visual for the story. He said "Tharg commissioned me to do this cover for Neil and Gordon's new series. I was sent a couple of reference pages as a guide... so I thought I'd try a spaghetti western approach, with the hero as gunslinger... with comedic scared boys, and disdainful girl unimpressed by the Cthulu horror." The 'hero' of this piece is the sickening Evan; a square-jawed, handsome and capable wish mash of action hero tropes with the emotional intelligence of a brick.

"I pretty much sketched up the first competition that came to my mind, and coloured it roughly for Tharg's approval..." "

"This is my Boomstick!"

"I added a title to see how it'd look and Tharg was happy with it. He even sent me some fresh styrofoam cups to nibble..."
Hmmm, not sure Evan read the instructions properly on his bottle of fake tan...

"BUT at the last moment I realised it need some focal point...and added the tentacles..." As everyone knows, everything is better with tentacles.

Simon and Rufus have had their Ready Brek this morning.

"When I'd finished chewing my way through them, I redrew and tightened up the composition, and coloured it. Originally I was going to colour it 'correctly', but started inverting the colours and err... there you have it."

Yikes! It's suddenly gone cold. I think my blog is haunted!

"I also toyed with having a calamari nightmare Background.... but it was overwhelming....although I kinda like it. Although it does look like someone being sick on the back seat of the bus...."

Aaaaagh! My eyes!!!

Again, Ruf had a go of knocking up a logo on the image...

(Mon) Calamari nightmare - "It's a trap!"

"Don't you chuck, those bloody tentacles, at me!"

And here's how the Prog looks on your shelf!

How many tickles does it take to make a cthulhu laugh? Ten tickles!

So lets have a wander down memory bank to see more unmistakeable Dayglo goodness. Firstly, the inks and painted version of a very Ezquerra-esque Meg 246 as Dredd cleans up Ciudad Barranquilla!


"Last one to the parks a tit!"

Next up, inks and paints for the Origins cover of 1512, fab!

Dredd's chestburster in the forthcoming "Dredd vs Aliens vs Cowboys..."


 Here's a cracking screen print that Rufus did for Comicdom Con in Greece in 2013, brill!

The Planet Replicas Dredd toilet brush. 

I've always loved this unpublished Cover for Dredd fanzine 'The Class of '79'...

Some Fink wicked this way comes... 

And this great present for my mate Mark Willis...

Faceplate by Anderson - she'd forgot to order milk.

Someone got me in a Secret Santa and got in touch with Rufus who was kind enough to do this brilliant, brilliant picture - I love it! 

Who IS that mystery sniper?

Back in 2005, Rufus organised the Zarjaz exhibition in London where a plethora of artists exhibited 2000AD-based artwork. Rufus came up with this amazing Kano, I bet Brett Ewins was thrilled!

Kano was always taking selfies...

Rufus is synonimous with Tank Girl and has produced some amazing comics featuring our favourite rebel. This Magazine cover for Skidmarks is just gorgeous...

Whacky Racer

Ruf also penned some of the artwork for Lowlife, including Nixon's first meeting with Dredd. Below is a cool Nixon sketch...

Nixon before she started using Oxy 10 acne treatment.

And the cover of Megacity Undercover 2...

Buncha wallies...

Penultimately, a brilliant Dredd image for the forthcoming 2000AD Sketch Book, obviously based on City of the Damned. I can't wait for this!

Should have gone to Specsavers.

HUGE thanks to Rufus for sending these images, especially as he was in the middle of moving to Germany when I got in touch. What a brilliant guy!

Before signing off, I wanted to share Rufus' gorgeous tribute to Brett Ewins who passed away last week. The man himself, surrounded by some of his most iconic characters, lovely...

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Brett Ewins 1955-2015

A very sad day today for comicdom as we see the passing of a true legend, Brett Ewins. As a tribute to this visionary artist, I thought I'd share some of my favourite covers, including a few high rez scans for people to pour over.
Brett drew his first cover (with long term collaborator Brendan McCarthy) way back in 1977, a Supercover for Prog 33...

Over the next sixteen years he went on to produce art for 35 prog covers as well as several star scans and reprint titles. He will be fondly remembered for his work on Dredd, Rogue Trooper, Judge Anderson (my first crush!), ABC Warriors and, of course, the amazing Bad Company.
Below I'll showcase some of his stunning covers. His amazing eye for design shines through and shows just why he was one of the very, very best.
A true visionary.
Let's start with some Dredds; while Brett's first Dredd was the classic 'Bring Me the Head of Dredd' in the Day the Law Died saga, his first cover was this cracker for the Apocalypse War...     
 The Haunting of Sector House 9 featured some of my favourite Ewins' artwork, including some sublime panel layouts and amazing lawmasters. It also had two brilliant covers...

Brett's way out designs made him the perfect choice to illustrate 'The Wally Squad' in Progs 390-352...
Finally for Dredd, two absolute stonkers. The first, an awesome piece that really epitomises the oppressive nature of Megacity Justice. Long arm of the law indeed!
And this beast of a cover which is just pure, fried genius!

Surely Brett's fantastically creepy work on 'The Haunting of Sector House 9' and 'The DNA Man' made him an absolute shoe in for the excellent Anderson tale 'The Possessed.' Brett's work on this strip was phenomenal, and as I've said before on this blog, gave me my first serious crush. Anderson was hot!

Below we have three covers, the first showing the major players in 'The Possession...'
 Next, Brett's wildly inventive creature designs surround a blood gorgeous Anderson...
Apologies for the quality of this but I had to include it, my favourite Anderson cover ever!
Also, this beautiful Star Scan... say, is it getting hot in here!?!
Of course, Brett worked on several Rogue Trooper strips and produced some great covers. I loved the cover of 323...

However, it's the ridiculous cover of 301 that I was dying to show!

And here's a Star Scan for Major Magnum, do you feel lucky Nort?

Of course, many will remember Brett for his outstanding work on Bad Company. This intelligent, powerhouse of a story featured sublime art and amazing character designs. Below is the first cover of the series, which gives us a startling introduction to our colourful cast...   
Here's hard nut Malcolm who broke his own rule of 'Never getting friendly' with people by sacrificing himself for Danny Franks...
 Some tremendous War Zombies (Malcolm was one of them...)
 Good old Kano...
 Thrax, another nasty bastard...
Sadly, this brings us to the end of this tribute to Brett, a truly talented and well loved creator. Though the artist has gone, he will live on through his incredible body of work for many generations to come.
Brett Ewins: The New Masters (1955 - 2015)

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Going Hachette Crazy!

As I'm sure all readers will know, Hachette Partworks are bringing out the Judge Dredd Mega Collection. These beautifully produced books collect pertinent Dredd stories thematically, giving new readers some essential insight into the issues that have impacted on Megacity-One over the years, and a handy collection for those more established readers.

It would be remiss of me not to include the fantastic covers that accompany the series, so above we have Colin MacNeil's menacing Dredd from the 'America' collection. This fine, fine collection serves as an excellent introduction to Dredd's world, featuring classics such as America, America 2: Fading of the Light, Cadet, Judgement Call, Blood and Duty, Firepower and Snowstorm.

The second volume features one of my favourite Dreddworld designs of all time, the fearsome Mechanismo Mk1 robot. This collection includes Mechanismo, Mechanismo Returns, Body Count, S.A.M and Safe Hands.

The third issue collects fan favourite Epics, Blockmania and the Apocalypse War, so naturally the cover features Dredd with a stub gun courtesy of Mr Carlos Ezquerra!

I can't recommend this series highly enough, go straight to and subscribe right now!

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Jake Lynch - No one expects the Russian Inquisition!

Sadly, Prog 1917 sees the final part of the excellent Orlok strip, Eurozoned. Our resourceful anti-hero has been captured by the fiery Khukov and is undergoing some rather nasty looking torture! Throughout this strip, new droid Jake Lynch has dazzled me with amazing art - his use of tone, panel layout and architectural design have absolutely blown me away! I see touches of Flint and Jock in his programming, as well as Jake's own unmistakable touch - most exciting droid for some time!

Over to Jake to tell us how this painful looking cover came about... 

"Tharg sent the brief 'Khukov's right arm extending down from the left of the page, holding a scalpel, while in the b/g we see Orlok strapped in a chair, looking worse for wear, but unaccountably grinning, you snivelling wretch." Good old Tharg, nice to see he's mellowing in his old age...

"Brief in hand I begin by quickly knocking up some thumbnails for The Mighty One to peruse (this angered him greatly). Sealed with a Rigellian Hotshot, he selected number 5."

Check out those golden spirals and Z patterns! Number 6 all the way for me!

I call this 'Visions from the vasectomy clinic.'

"I first attempted to to simply redraw it using the thumbnail as reference but no matter how much I tried, I didn't feel I quite nailed the attitude of the thumb so decided to simply enlarge it and use it as the rough. I use Manga Studio to do a really awful line drawing, picking out what I feel are the important points before exporting it into Photoshop to do the rest."

"I spy, with my bloody eye, something beginning with S..."

"I've mentioned in other places how I paint - start with a tonal study which I then use as a starting point for colour, tweaking and tweaking until it's done. Generally, when painting, you start with the the big strokes, big brushes, blocking in the shapes. As you go along, the brushes get smaller as more and more detail is added til you're done. I add a Letratone effect to mirror the strip.  I keep the smile subtle, but, in hindsight, I kind of wish I hadn't.  I paint it with a large bleed area on the off-chance it needs to be re-jigged for type."

"Smiiiiile, though your heart (and everything else) is aching!
Smile, though it may be breaking!"

"I like the tone thats emerging, but decide to go with something a bit dirtier..."

"Fetch... the comfy chair!"

"Nervously, I submit the finished pic to Tharg with a ration of Styrene cups to ease the process. As I'm still standing I presume it all went w- ARRRRGHhhh!"

Sadly, at this point, Jake's voice was drowned out by the sound of maniacal giggling from Mek-Quake and the sound of screeching metal - I hope he's okay... 

"Aw maaaan, can I not even have a shit in peace?"

And here's how the cover looks on your thrillshelf, fab!

As a bonus, Jake sent his fabulous Orlok badge painting, I love, love, love this!

"Say my name..."

Massive thanks to Jake for sending the images and write up, very entertaining and informative. I do hope we get more Orlok soon, (and a Dredd from Jake too, pretty please Mr Tharg?)  You can see more of Jake's fantastic art here!