Tuesday 26 April 2011

Judge Dredd - Il est le loi!

MegaCity One's premier lawman is no just popular in the UK and US, his books are translated to multiple languages and sold all over the world. I recently stumbled across the above image of Dredd by the fantastic French artist Sebastien Grenier and asked him about it.

He said "Bonjour Wells! It's done for the French edition of integral of Judge Dredd (early issues) for Soleil editions (collection Anticipation)." Integral is obviously the French version of our Case Files for which Sebastien has provided an excellent cover.

Below we see his pencils...
Followed by a monotone wash...
And finally that cracking cover image which was done with oils on Gessoed Board. Beautiful!
And here it is on the book, not bad eh?
Compared to the UK version:
and the US version:
So there we go, Dredd from around the world! A huge "Merci" to Sebastien for sending the image and the breakdown, check out his website here and his excellent Deviant Art gallery here!

Friday 22 April 2011

Cliff and Dylan - A Rip Roaring Combination!

Bojemoi! Nikolai Dante returns, as you'd expect, in fine style thanks to the creative tour de force that is Cliff Robinson and Dylan Teague. The story serves as a recap for readers on Dante's epic adventures to date and, unsurprisingly, the super talented Cliff has captured the Russian Rogue's swagger and cocky demeanour perfectly.

Below are his stunning roughs...

Followed, as ever, by absolutely faultless linework in his inks. Brilliant.

The cover has been coloured by the awesome Dylan Teague. No stranger to colouring Cliff's work, Dylan is himself a fan. He says "I love colouring Cliff's stuff! It's always superbly drawn so I just try and be as sympathetic to it as possible. I try and keep it simple and not to over render. Cliff has described most of the forms in his linework so my job is really just to try and pick the right colours and add a little texture here and there."

Of course, Dylan himself in one of 2000AD's most talented artists and has produced some absolutely dazzling covers in his time, including the iconic 1348 which appears in this blog's very logo! Here are the inks for it...

And the coloured version...

Next a REAL favourite of mine, the glorious cover of Megazine 238, featuring just about every one of Dredd's most troublesome enemies. I can't tell you how much I love this cover.
Next up, this superb cover for the reprint of 'The Corps' in the Extreme Edition...
And this thrilling cover for the Dredd Thriller Regime Change in the Meg.
Beyond the Dredd universe, Dylan has produced covers for a host of other 2000AD thrills including this classic Synnamon cover:

To these great Malone and Lowlife covers...

As well as trying his hand at some more classic characters, Dante:

Rogue Trooper:
Mega thanks to Cliff and Dylan for sending the images, top blokes!

Wednesday 20 April 2011

Steve Yeowell - In the Lap of the Gods

Avast me hearties, Captain Jack Dancer is back and, erm... dead. This beautiful cover by the genius that is Steve Yeowell, kicks off the latest Red Seas adventure "Gods and Monsters." As the Norse Gods look on, Idun know how he's going to get out of this one...

Moooving on, below is Steve's thumbnail for the cover...

Followed by the pencils.

Next are the inks which beautifully illustrate Steve's clean, economic style where not a single brush stroke is wasted. Amazing...
And finally the beautiful coloured version which, I'm assuming Steve coloured himself.

I really like this cover, it's absolutely beautiful. Going from one extreme to the other though, is Steve's cover of Megazine 307. This features some very scary mutants from the Samizdat Squad strip which are anything but beautiful! A really dark and nasty cover which really highlights Yeowell's versatility as an artist.

Thanks to Steve for sending the images and for flying the flag for 2000AD at Kapow!

Sunday 17 April 2011

"Shoot me Boss! Don't let it eat me alive!"

Now that's a d├ębut cover! New artdroid James McKay absolutely knocks it out of the park with this terrifying painted cover for Flesh - Texas. It has all the impact of those early progs back when we were all kiddies getting our weekly prog from newsagent!

Below is James' sketch, he said "I wanted to focus on Gorehead in close up on the cover, for maximum impact!" Gorehead is, we have discovered, a blood-drenched Tyrannosaurus Rex who, because of a blast at a Trans-Time base, has become 'unstable' in time, so almost indestructible!
Below is the zarjaz, fully painted cover again. James continues "I want to do some more covers where I show him full figure and make him look even more evil! Pat always insists on him eating someone...!"

So congratulations to James on a brilliant first cover. He says "I was extremely chuffed to be offered the chance to do my first 2000AD cover, hopefully there'll be a lot more!"

Can't agree more! I'm sure it'll help that Pat Mills is ecstatic with James' work. The godfather of 2000AD raves "James has done the impossible. He's brought Flesh back to life with a Vengeance. After Ramon Sola's brilliant interpretation of Flesh in Book One, I never thought I'd find another artist who could do justice to its varied themes - cowboys, time travel, science fiction and dinosaurs. James has achieved this and more!" High praise indeed!

As if to prove Pat right, James was also kind enough to send some sketches(!) firstly, there's a full Gorehead for us to ogle...

Followed by a Styracosaurus and Troodon, wow!

James has a cracking website with many more of his amazing illustrations, you'll find it here.

Thanks a million to James for sending the images, they're brilliant! And best of luck for the rest of the series!

Wednesday 13 April 2011

Jon Davis-Hunt's Knight-mare!

It's no secret that I am a walloping great fan of Jon Davis-Hunt's work and the amazing thing is, he just seems to get better and better! The Eagle-Award best cover finalist (and, at time of writing, hopefully winner!) has turned out another amazing cover after taking over Warren Pleece's art duties on Alec Worley's fantastic Dandrige strip.

As usual, Jon has sent a brilliant step by step breakdown of each stage of the creative process as well as some superb commentary. A top guy! So, over to Jon:

"I usually send Tharg three or four sketches initially for a cover, but in this case, I had a pretty clear idea in my head what I thought the cover should look like. So, I sent Tharg this sketch with an short accompanying email, just explaining the final look for the cover. While I'd been doing the initial research for the Dandridge series, I'd found a load of Vaudeville Edwardian style posters online, so wanted to capture some of that feel in this cover. At this point, I still hadn't finally decided on the details of the ghosts armour, so in this sketch, he has solid steel gauntlets. He also has a visor as I wasn't 100% sure how it was going to look yet."

Man, I love this next image. Jon says "For this cover I inked Dandridge in full first. The original idea for this was that I was contemplating have the ghost armour slightly transparent, so I intended on effectively inking the ghost in on a separate layer in photoshop and then taking the opacity down later. However, shortly after I finished inking Dandridge, I decided against that, as I wanted instead, to make the armour look really heavy and reflective and as the background was going to have a delicate and intricate Edwardian design, I thought this might clash if the inking on the Ghost let the background show through."

"So I went straight on and inked in the ghost. It was at this point I decided to give the Ghost's gauntlets the segmented metal look - mainly because I always loved this effect when Marc Silvestri used to ink Colossus back in the Xmen in the early 90's."

With the inks in place, it's time for some of Jon's exquisite colouring; "I then flat coloured the image, using the colour swatches I had already built up from doing the series."

"The next step was adding in all the shading and highlights to the colouring. At this point, I didn't add any of the bloom or lighting effects that would come later and I'm still colouring 'under' the inks in Photoshop..."

Jon adds the background detail - "I then added in the background, which I just kind of made up on the spot, based on a whole host of Edwardian posters and playing cards..." Bloody show off!

And finally, some of the old JDH magic, "The final stage was to add in the shine and glow effects for the ghost and armour and also Dandridge's blade. I then added several washes to the overall image, to pull the colours together and to slightly age the image, which I then enhanced by adding in several textures, from scanned in pieces of paper and from sources I found on the web of interesting textures. Again, I wanted to really give the poster a worn, aged, Vaudeville quality."

On a final note, Jon says "I thought I had been quite clever doing a historically themed image, but then literally, the day after I finished the cover and sent it in, I saw Henry Flint's awesome Shakara cover, which also used a distinct time period for inspiration. Damn. : ) " Modest as ever, I think this cover even gives Henry a run for his money!

Jon's artwork on this strip has been amazing, below is an actual page from the story...

So, let's call time on another absolutely stunning cover from Jon. I'd like to thank him for (yet again) taking the time to send the pics and the brilliant commentary. Please go and visit his site here and send him the gushing plaudits he deserves!