Thursday 29 July 2010

Eat Plutonium Death, You Disgusting Alien Weirdos!

Prog 1692? Check!

Great big tripod thingy frazzling the reader with a flame thrower? Check!

Yet another amazing SB Davis Damnation Station cover? Check!

Thrillpower overload? Check!

Job done!

Tuesday 27 July 2010

Exclusive - Prog 1700 Preview!

In five short weeks we will hit the magnanamous Prog 1700 and I am honoured and humbled to have received images from the Nerve Centre to share on this blog FIRST! Me!?! I can't believe it!

Let's start with the big news, I am proud to announce there is a logo change. I am honoured to unveil the new logo badge...
Smart eh? Like a mix of the old and the new, surely symbolising the mix of stories in prog at the moment? And here is the new logo itself...

There will be a new design for the Nerve Centre and letters page with new Tharg 'photographs' taken by Henry Flint. Those are shown below...
"Pull my finger!"

"Smell my perfume Earthlet!"

The line up for the Prog sounds amazing too! The stories appearing in Prog 1700 are:

Judge Dredd: Crackdown by John Wagner & Ben Willsher.

Defoe: A Murder of Angels by Pat Mills & Leigh Gallagher.

Low-Life: Hostile Takeover by Rob Williams & D'Israeli.

Nikolai Dante: City of the Damned by Robbie Morrison & Simon Fraser.

And finally a new thrill!!! Age of the Wolf by Alec Worley & Jon Davis-Hunt.

Finally, here is the zarjaz cover by Jon Davis-Hunt. Tharg himself mixes the ingredients to make pure Thrill Power for the prog. But hold on... if you look at Tharg's readout... is that a famillar name??? Grud on a Greenie, I'm on top of the world, Ma!
Thank you SO MUCH to the Mighty One and especially to Simon Parr for allowing me to break the news. I am genuinely humbled and have to say this has been one of the best days of my life.

Secondly, my heartfelt thanks to Jon Davis-Hunt for sneaking my name on the cover. I am on cloud 99! "Thank you!" times a hundred million!

All hail the Mighty One!

EDIT - There's more!!! Here are the new Input and Letters pages too! Thrill power overload!

Monday 26 July 2010

Karl Richardson - The Eyes Have It!

Well, how's that for an amazing cover then? Back on the seedy streets of Mega-City One after the turbulent events of Tour of Duty and our favourite lawman is already up against a mysterious serial killer who seems to prey on the memories and emotions of his victims.

The art on this tale is stunning by the amazing Karl Richardson who also created the stunning cover above. Below we see a sketch for an alternative idea for the cover...

Followed by his development sketches for the final, fantastic image...
Yes folks, that image above is a sketch! Finally that beautiful finished cover one last time...
Thanks again to Karl for taking time out of his hectic schedule to find and send the images. He kindly sent the finished cover back in early March and ever since I've been desperate to show it! I'm sure you'll agree it's an absolutely superb piece of work!

No link yet to a site to see more of Karl's work but I'm sure if we all keep bullying him he'll sort one out soon! (You can however use the search function on this blog to see more of his phenomenal work.)

Friday 23 July 2010

Mark Harrison - Curran Fo... I mean, Sinister Dexter!

Mark Harrison, Rebellion's head of concept, is certainly a perfectionist. As if this is not already apparent in his amazing design work for the recent Aliens vs Predator game, it certainly is in his harsh judgement of his fantastic cover for Prog 1693. He says "The Sin Dex cover was a quick job that I wasn't entirely happy with to be honest. There was an initial idea to work to, an "Ocean's 12" movie poster of the 4 characters walking towards us."

A quick job? Not entirely happy? Surely, he jests! Mark continues, "That played to my liking to "cast" Hollywood stars as the characters, the obvious choice being Tony Curran and Jamie Fox (Curran has already played "Sinister" in Blade 2 of course for the eagle eyed!)"

Anyone familiar with Mark's work, especially strips such as the Pulp Sci-Fi tale 'Blood of Heroes' or the Travellers (see his star studded poster later in this entry) will appreciate Mark's penchant for adding the odd familiar face in his work.
Ocean's Twelve - Tharg's Inspiration for the cover...

Below we have Mark's initial roughs, of note here is naughty Sinister, Mark says "Initially I had Sinister "flipping the bird" but that was deemed inappropriate for a cover so it was dropped to him smoking which is much of course much more appropriate! And Jamie, sorry Dexter pointing his fingers as a gun, which had an air of menace to it when you consider they are both packing."
Mark was very unhappy with the ladies on the cover (Finny's estranged wife Carrie Hosanna, queenpin of Magnapore and her T1000-like robot Polly Alloy.) He says "The ladies were nondescript and made up eventually as I was being rushed as new concept work became available. The females I feel are superfulous to the shot. Indeed I submitted a version without them hoping they'd go with that. I think it's stronger with just the characters. Plus the manga styled girl I painted is awful- I hate her! (I admit it!)"

Heh, that version is shown below.
"The abstract "Vegas" background completed it, which I cropped to a central strip so the characters walked out of it, like a door, white all around to maximise the impact as they 'broke the frame'."
Harsh as ever, Mark says "Ultimately I wasn't satisfied with the cover because being rushed I defaulted to a safe, tighter style. I wanted it to be much looser and more painterly like the Abaddon covers I've been doing." Mark's beautiful Abaddon covers can be seen on his site though I simply had to include my absolute fave later in this post!

"That said the Sin Dex was fun to work within the restraints and add some character touches. And you need to go out of your comfort zone on occasions and try new things, even if it isn't entirely successful."

Thankfully, the all-knowing Tharg disagreed and the we were treated to a superb image full of wonderful little touches. Mark tells me he has a Dredd cover coming up that he's much happier with, so bearing in mind Mark's impossible standards, that should be amazing!

Below I have selected some images from Mark's fabulous site which I urge you all to visit immediately! Firstly, as promised, my favourite Abaddon cover image. This was for Al Ewing's 'Death Got No Mercy' which naturally features a man punching a bear! I love it!
Moving on, we have this beautiful image of a Justice Department Manta Tank. Mark has always had a very distinctive computerised style which this image demonstrates perfectly. It's fantastic!
The bulk of Mark's 2000AD work was for Dan Abnett's far-future rebirth of vampiric Strontium Bitch, Durham Red. Mark's distinctive, unique art style was perfect for capturing Abnett's dark, futuristic vision of the universe and pair brought us a fascinaing, visually stunning space opera.

Going back to Mark's love of giving actors cameo's in his work, here is a poster for his personal strip 'The Travellers' which you can read here.

Another notable series to feature Mark's amazing visuals was the fantastic Glimmer Rats by Gordon Rennie. This bleak tale took place in a nightmare dimension filled with all manner of evil beasts where Earth's criminals would be sent to fight in a hopeless, supernatural war. I absolutely adored this strip and, though very unlikely, would love Grennie to revisit it someday. Finally, I had to include a Dredd cover, this fine image is from Prog 1404 from the strip 'Big Deal at Drekk City' which was beautifully illustrated by the amazing Cam Kennedy. Enjoy it creeps!

Thanks again to Mark for sending the images and the thoroughly entertaining commentry. Can't WAIT to see that Dredd cover!

Wednesday 21 July 2010

Jon Davis-Hunt - Feral!

So here we have the fantastic cover for Prog 1694 by the supremely talented Jon Davis-Hunt. This action packed image features Strontium Dog Middenface McNulty and tenacious journalist Precious Matson quite literally dragging Feral's fat from the fire in the mind boggling tale 'The Life and Death of Johnny Alpha.'

It transpires that Feral's version of events as recounted in the controversial 'Final Solution' epic was false; Johnny's body was not destroyed when he was killed by the Lyran beast and Feral actually brought it back through the dimension portal. So where's Johnny now? What really happened in that other dimension? Why did Feral lie? Like all of us, McNulty and Matson want answers so have to travel to an alien prison on the planet Garn to bust the duplicitous Feral out.

This scene shows our heroes escaping the no nonesense Garn forces who plan to sacrifice Feral to ensure a plentiful harvest and the continuing good health of their leader. The Garn have fattened Feral up to ensure he burns better, hence a more rotund Feral than you may remember!

Below we have Jon's loose sketch...

And his impeccable inks, wow...Next flat colours are added... And behold, the zarjaz final image. Wow!
Coming soon to 2000AD, Jon has the strip called 'Age of the Wolf' however he's keeping his cards very close to his chest as to what it's about! Whatever it is, I'm sure you'll see some stunning covers for it here!

Thanks yet again to Jon for being so generous, please be sure to give his new and improved website a visit at