Thursday 29 December 2011

Prog 1764 - Loving the Alien!

The brilliant Karl Richardson kicks off 2012 with an absolute stunner of a cover! This terrifying image is for his and Dan Abnett's excellent new strip, Grey Area. The story centres around a group of ETC officers (that's Exo Transfer Patrol to you and me) who police the wonderfully titled 'Grey Area', a temporary holding zone for Extra Terrestrial visitors to Earth.

With many of the aliens' beliefs, characteristics, physical and/or chemical make up unknown, it's a haphazard and very, very dangerous job. The latest addition to the squad is Birdy, the female operative surrounded by those scary looking beasties...

Below is Karl's initial sketch, looking back at my emails he sent this in August!
A few more aliens muscle in on this version of the cover as Karl continues to add and more sumptuous detail (I love the cap!)
The next revision shows the hilarious toothy alien in the background replaced by the mean looking dude with the neck! Karl has also begun to work his magic on the nasty looking creature on the right...
The aliens are just about finished and work begins on poor Birdy...
Almost there as Birdy takes shape...
And, ever the perfectionist, Karl tweaks and refines the image to get it just right! I think he was pleased with it, he said "I've found it the most enjoyable, yet frustrating cover all in one go!"
This is truly an outstanding cover. The composition is fantastic, the design work on the aliens is incredible and the colours absolutely pop! I'm a huge fan of Karl's work and am thrilled to see him back in the prog.

As mentioned previously, Karl really is a perfectionist. Below is a comparison of a splash page which he went back to tweak as he wasn't happy with it. Can you spot the differences? If you can, report to ETC for immediate conscription!
Finally, I thought I'd use this post as an excuse to once again share my wonderful Karl Richardson commission. It's a breathtaking piece that's absolutely jam packed with cool, intricate little details, it looks stunning in the flesh!
Thanks to Karl for the many updates! This cover really is fantastic and may well be a contender for cover of the year 2012! Also, early reviews of Grey Area seem overwhelmingly positive with everyone raving about Karl's incredible art.

I can't wait to see where the story takes us!

Wednesday 21 December 2011

Jock - Return of the King of Cool!

Hooray, Christmas has come early as I'm delighted to be able to share the work of the brilliant, brilliant Jock with you today! The artist has returned to the prog in fine style, producing an excellent cover for the the cover for the Free Comic Book Day prog (May 5th 2012 this year folks!)

Jock has kindly sent me his stunning roughs and final image for the cover, so let's have a look!

I love the first one, and I know Jock liked it too, particularly the Droste effect (Google it, I had too!) This wasn't chosen but let's hope Tharg commissions this image at a later date...

The next mean and moody image is the one that was chosen...
However Jock explains "Keith Richardson wanted more characters on the cover so we included Ichabod Azriel and Zombo. Nice to get a chance to draw Dom and Henry's characters though!"
And here are another couple of sketches, maaaaan Dredd looks hard as nails in 'em!

With the final design chosen, here's an early version...
Followed by the fantastic finished image. Wow, those colours really pop!
Jock is an astounding talent who's cool, iconic images are used again and again. Let's remind ourselves of some of his classic work. Selfishly, the first is probably my all time favourite 2000AD cover, the wraparound for prog 1450, perfect...

Closely followed by another of my all time favourite Dredd images...
Next up, the modern classic that was the cover to Megazine 4.02...
Next, here's the artwork for the first ever Dreddcon, held way back in 2000...
Next up, the cover of Prog 1304. Another strong image that has been used countless times, and understandably so!
Finally the stunning Dreddhead that was used as the official 2000AD T-Shirt design at the San Diego Comic Con this year...
Since getting his break in 2000AD, Jock's career has gone from strength to strength, becoming a cover artist for several massive titles as well as being co-creator of The Losers with long time collaborator Andy Diggle. Luckily for us, the dyamic duo of Diggle and Jock will be returning to the pages of the Megazine soon with their new project, the very cool sounding 'Snapshot!'

Thanks to Jock for sending those brilliant images, I've been beaming all day! Please visit his website to be further blown away by his work!

Monday 19 December 2011

Rowan's Claws are coming to town!

Here is a Christmas treat from friend of the blog, the brilliant Jon Davis Hunt. It's a step by step of the circuit-shattering teaser image for Age of the Wolf 2 from Prog 2012! The sequel to this year's snow-covered, werewolf battling extravaganza is once again written by Alec Worley with gorgeous art by Jon. Over to Jon to tell us more...

"This was the original sketch that I did for the teaser, based on the 2nd idea I had. The first idea was a bit more complicated, so I decided to actually save that for a cover." (Can't wait for that! - Pete) "I wanted the teaser to be fairly simple and well, 'teaserish' so figured an iconic shot of Rowan would work best. I also wanted it to be clear that this had moved on from the first story, which was pretty much set in winter and entirely in a blizzard, so added in the leaves and foliage. I thought this would kind of make Rowan herself appear 'wolfish', peering out from the undergrowth like a predator.

"I initially inked the face first, just to get the dimensions spot on. This piece was done entirely in Photoshop, so I didn't bother worrying about the hair and leaves at this point as I new I was going to draw them on a separate layer." (I absolutely adore this image, deceptively simple and so beautiful - Pete)
"I then added in the hair and Rowan's iconic hood which gives her a kind of kick-ass Red Riding Hood vibe. The hair I drew on a separate layer and then filled in with white so that it sat over the previous inks for the face."
With the stunning inks done, Jon begins the colouring process - "Flat colours were then added to get my palette correct."
"And then I added form and shading to bring the colours to life a bit more..."
Finally, I drew in the leaves on a host of layers, using a slight blurring effect on several to add depth. I then lit the scene to give a sense of sunshine falling through undergrowth. Looking at it now, I could probably have done with adding some volumetric lighting effects too. Curse you hindsight!!!!!!!" Thanks to Jon for sending those beautiful images. I for one can't wait for the AOTW2 as the first book was easily one of my stand out strips of 2011. Alec Worley is easily one of the best horror writers around at the moment (his 3hriller was terrifying!) and Jon's cinematic artwork always blows me away.

Still, I've got to agree about the volumetric lighting in the final, tut tut (Pete scurries away to find out what on earth volumetric lighting effects are...)

Sunday 18 December 2011

Prog 2012 - A 3hriller by Greg Staples

You'll all have all seen this by now but here's the beautiful end of year cover by the brilliant Greg Staples. And I'm sure you'll agree that Greg's third prestigious Christmas Prog cover is an absolutely wonderful image. Dredd's uniform looks so real and Greg has obviously used a photo of himself from the Judge Minty film as reference too, brilliant!

It's a fantastic end to a brilliant year of covers. Grud bless us everyone!

Sunday 11 December 2011

2000AD Cover of Year Vote 2011

Please head over to the 2000AD Forum and vote for the 2000AD cover of the year. Full instructions can be found at the link but basically you choose THREE favourites with 3 points going to your favourite, 2 for second favourite and 1 point for your third favourite.

Voting closes at midnight on 2nd January 2012. If, for some strange reason , you're not a member of the 2000AD message board, then you can vote for your favourites by commenting on this thread.

Click on each months' worth of covers for a bigger version. If you want to know more about the creation of each cover then use the search bar at the top of this screen.

Thanks in advance for all who take the time to vote!

Monday 5 December 2011

Henry Flint...

is a genius. The End.

EDIT - Henry found his rough, it's ace!!!

Sunday 4 December 2011

Tiernen Travellion - Have Your-elf a Meggy Little Christmas!

Hey, remember that amazing Christmas story where Dredd was attacked by a demonic horde of robot elves at the city bottom? No? Me neither, but it's one story I'd bloody LOVE to read! We can get a glimpse of could have been on the cover of this months' Meazine, courtesy of the fevered imagination of the brilliant Tiernen Travellion. What a Christmas treat!

Below, we can see Tiernen's mad scribblings. I assume he was under full supervision by the warden and a couple of burly orderlies when given the sharp pencil to draw with...
Next, the freaking incredible inks...
Here Tiernen has blocked out the erm... blocks, giving a general idea of colour for the cover. I love the yellows and blue here, they give a wonderfully wintry feel which really gives a festive flavour...
And the final image which is just brilliant, easily one of my favourite covers of the year. The scene itself is fantastic and the little details such as the candy cane colours, the damage to Dredd's uniform and the sexy lady Santa droid are the icing on a rather fantastic Christmas cake!

This isn't the first time Tiernen has unleashed glorious, disgusting little festive pixies on the world. Here are some delightful images from Christmases gone by, mental...

I hope we see lots more of Tiernen's work in the prog in the coming months, he's easily my favourite artist to have come along in recent years. Obviously, I'm not alone in my appreciation of his work, over on the Comic Art Fans website, an art collector known as "Bad Company" recently got this amazing commission done based on the Warlord story from Prog 451-455. How cool does Dredd look here?

Thanks to Tiernen for sending the images, please check out his outstandingly good site here, he's done lots of updates recently which are stunning!