Friday 20 April 2012

James McKay - Reptoids Forever!

Wow, Flesh artist James McKay has really hit it out of the Jurassic Park with this outstanding cover! A bunch of freaky Reptiods thundering towards you, what's not to love!?!

James was obviously as excited about this cover as we are, He said "From the start of working on the Midnight Cowboys series I knew I wanted to do a cover of the Reptoids charging at you on horseback. The reptoids are my favourite characters, and they're a dream to work on.

I knew it wouldn't be easy to do the cover - drawing mutant dino-human hybrids on galloping horses foreshortened as they burst off the page was a bit of a challenge, but luckily by the time I'd got to the cover, I'd been drawing them in the strip for months and had it all worked out. I based the picture on the famous one by Lady Butler of the Scots Greys charging at Waterloo - I'm sure you'll have seen it..."

Here it is for all us heathens who aren't familiar with the painting...

James continues "I wanted to get the horses eyes rolling, nostrils flaring and breath steaming, clods of earth flying. Matt and Pat saw the rough and gave me the go-ahead straight away."

Below is the rough which is incredible! I love the energy and sense of movement in the piece, just sheer brilliance!

With the rough approved, James was ready to paint the main piece.

"I was expecting to be working on it for ages, and was a bit worried because I didn't have time to hang about. I prefer to work in daylight when I do colour work, and on that particular day I wasn't able to start on it until after lunchtime. In the event I did the colour work in about 4 or 5 hours before the sun set - and I think it's one of the best pictures I've ever done!"

In the recent post about Mark Harrison's Flesh cover, he was keen to sing James' praises, comparing his scratchy, organic style to one of the original Flesh artists, Ramon Sola. James jokes "Like Mark I work with high-tech tools (cough cough). I mainly did it with a toothbrush flicking acrylic paint everywhere, to simulate the mud and water and explosions. The room where I work is a mess..."

"I was really pleased with how it reproduced on the cover - helped by suitably over-the-top text!"

I'm not surprised James was happy, it's an excellent cover. I'd like to say a huge thank you to him for sending those brilliant, brilliant images (and for making me read about the Scots Greys!) I urge you all to look at his site at

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