Monday 26 May 2014

Nick Percival - Megacity Meltdown!

Breaking Dredd

Hell yeah! Nick Percival is back on interiors in the prog after nearly twenty years away and the results are, quite literally, mind blowing! In the highly anticipated Trauma Town by Mike Carroll, we see Megacity-One's top lawman begin to loose his mind. Has dementia finally set in or are there more sinister forces at work? Over to Nick to tell us more... 
The plan was to create a different take on the generic Dredd head shot that’s been done many times before and also give a hint about the tone and mood of the series, Trauma Town. Since the story causes Dredd to doubt his own sanity and there’s a whole bunch of pretty weird stuff about to go on in the Mega City, I chose to do half of Dredd breaking away and dissolving   -  an abstract image that hopefully looks a bit different to what’s usually on a 2000AD cover."

Nick's last Dredd was the classic 'Goodnight Kiss' in July 1995 which saw Dredd face off against The Brotherhood of Marshals and the deadly hit-man Jonni Kiss...

 Dredd struggles with some particularly sticky synth-taffy

"Get up... It's only pain!"

"It’s been great to return to painting Dredd interiors after a long time away. I’ve kind of got back into illustrating Dredd with various covers for IDW and 2000AD but never could find a decent amount of time to commit to a multi-part storyline for inside the Prog. After chatting with writer Mike Carroll about what sort of thing I’d like to do, he came up with a cracking idea and great script that’s been a blast to illustrate. I’ve had a cool experience working with Mike and hope we can do a follow up tale."

Nick has had a lot of fun with the tale, recently having a competition on his Facebook page to include readers into the story, suffering horrible deaths at the bristles of Nick's paintbrush of course! I can't wait to see those!

"It was important to me that I fully paint the whole strip in keeping with the style of art used on my covers which is a lot of work but it’s been great fun. I really hope the fans like it  - be gentle with me!!!"

Hmmm, here's a panel from the strip, somehow I don't think the fans will be more than gentle, except the one's he kills of course!

Under his grumpy exterior, Dredd is a sweetheart really

And here's the cover as it appears at your local corner shop, fab!
Judge Dent?

 Huuuuge thanks to Nick! I'm so excited to see him back in the prog and this, along with Greg Staples' Judge Death strip, are the two tales I've been looking forward to most this year. Thrillpower overload imminent!!!

Tuesday 20 May 2014

Simon Davis - "Let the Wild Rumpus Start!"

Soth! The artwork in 2000AD at present is setting a new high! So many brilliant artists who are at the top of their game. Simon Davis in particular is doing an amazing job on Slaine; beautiful, beautiful work with panel layouts and double page splashes that simply defy convention.
Just take a look at the pages below, it's incredible! So beautiful and so cleverly constructed... 

Slaine shows off an early model of a ride on lawnmower.
And here is a menagerie of weird and wonderful creatures, crossing the causeway to the mythical Island of Monadh, amazing...
 Newcastle fans patiently queuing for their season ticket...
Below is Simon's watercolour sketch for Prog 1882's warparound, wraparound cover as Slaine takes on a Colossus! Simon said "Here is the rough for the cover; it changed quite a bit but is still sort of there!"

 "Fight! Fight! Fight!"
And here's the fully painted cover, a thing of beauty!
 Slaine always knew his limbo dancing lessons would come in handy...
Finally, here's how the prog looks on your shelf, cor!
 "Kiss my axe!" "No! You kiss MY Axe!" "No! I said it first, you kiss MY axe!"
Thanks as ever to the fabulous Simon Davis for sending the rough and to Simon Parr for sending the scanned cover - both deserve a hero harness! 

Wednesday 14 May 2014

Henry Flint - Free is the Magic Number!

Dredd... dead?

Henry Flint does it again! After lampooning several classic comic book covers for last years' 'Free Comic Book Day' Prog cover, Henry cheekily has a swipe at a seminal page from 1967's Amazing Spider Man issue 50.

This classic splash page by John Romita Sr sees Peter Parker ditching the Spidey suit as the burden of being an annoying, wise-cracking little arsehole becomes too much for him.  

   With great power comes gr... oh, it doesn't matter then...

Obviously in Henry's take on the image, Joe has had enough after beating the stomm out of a perp  who was probably askin' for it. Over to Henry to tell us more "Keith Richardson asked me for this cover; he wanted a homage to the classic Spider Man page. It's completely unrelated to anything that happens in the comic, a mad idea but in comics it's the mad ideas that seem to work!"

Below is Henry's raw and gritty sketch...

 Street Fighting Man

Henry continues "As it's for Free comic Book Day and as an after thought, I tried to put in as many references to 'Free' as I could. 'All Free Today' is a Chitty Chitty Bang Bang reference but I'm guessing you must be on a different planet if you didn't get that one. Also 'All Right Now' by Free? Yeah? No? Okay..." It's a good job Dredd kept his Justice Department regulation pants on or we might have got a Free Willy!

Moving on, Henry continues "The only change I'd make is Dredd's haircut. Too much on top. Next time I'll give him a grade two."

The perp called Dredd a hippy!

Below we see the fully lettered cover, complete with cheesy dialogue and OTT captions, magnificent! 

Dredd turns his back on the uniform...

Huge thanks to Henry for sending the images. This cover really tickled me and I'm sure it did a lot of you too!

Monday 12 May 2014

Glenn Fabry - Bone Marras!

Well there's a blog title only northerners will get! A colossal welcome back to the always excellent Glenn Fabry for providing not one but TWO covers in a week! Firstly, Glenn has brought us this fantastic Dredd cover for 'Shooter's Night' in Prog 1881. The story sees Dredd hunting a bunch of teenage dirtbags hell bent on causing mayhem in a 'spree shooting' across Mega-City One!

Below are Glenn's exquisite inks, drool!

Dredd was always harsh to Trick or Treaters at Rowdy Yates Block...

And here's the gloriously coloured image by Kevin Molen...

Five guns against Dredd... they're in a lot of trouble!

And here's how the prog looks on your shelf, luvverly!

The Walking Dead?

Glenn has also provided this months' mighty Megazine cover. This amazing image features a triumphant Hard H with a broken Dredd. Hard H, a Cursed Earth mutie scavenger introduced in Megazine 338, has been infused with the blood of an eldster who can counteract radiation. I think it's sent him a bit... mad.

Here are Glenn's fabulous inks...

Silly Hard H, he could have saved himself a load of trouble by buying a badge from Planet Replicas! 

Below is the coloured version by the fantastically talented Ryan Brown...

  Hard H is a Hard Case for Dredd...

Ryan is a frequent collaborator with Glenn, having coloured some of his work for Berzerker Press and IDW. Below we see the IDW's Rogue Trooper cover by Glenn and Ryan...

I wonder if Ryan used some GI Blues?

And I'd like to use this as an excuse to show Ryan's Digital colouring on Greg Staples' IDW Year One cover. It always blows me away!

Does Weather Control ever work in Mega-City One? 

Huuuuge thanks to Glenn for sorting the images out for me, especially with his very hectic schedule. What a lovely guy!

Thursday 8 May 2014

Steven Austin - The Insensitive Klegg

Congratulations to the mighty Steven Austin, worthy winner of April's 2000AD Message Board Art Competition! The theme was 'The Day the Law Died' and saw a dazzling array of entries from 'Where's Wally' style Klegg scenes to Judge Fish-Eyed dioramas to Klegg Propaganda posters, really highlighting the creativity on the board.

Steve kindly gave us an insight into the process behind his winning entry, he said "As soon as the theme was announced I knew I wanted to create a Dredd Vs Klegg piece. I re-read the story and it struck me how much Cal was like Joaquin Phoenix's character in Gladiator - I know Cal was based on Caligula...but...I've never seen it!" Hmmmm, maybe he should, there are some erm... very memorable scenes!

"Anyway I thought it would be cool to have them battling it out in an arena and so set to work on my thumbnails."

"Thumbnails are usually drawn very quickly using an HB at about 5cm x 7cm. I had a few ideas but two stood out for me in particular.  I decided upon the circular composition of Dredd and the Klegg...."

"Open wide, Creep!"

 Dredd and Grampus always got competitive when playing Twister.

"Once I had decided upon this I set about sketching out a larger rough, very loose, but getting in the tones and general feel for the finished piece."

"At this stage I was torn as I tend to bounce between working digitally and traditionally but decided I wanted to do this traditionally as it would be more in keeping with the original story/artwork - plus I was missing getting ink all over the doors around the house and being chastised for it by my better half!"

"The rough went onto the light box, I then trace very lightly using a 2H pencil, really I just use the lightbox to get the basics down and then switch it off and continue to work in 2H making any changes to the piece."

Sadly it was too late, Grampus had eaten Dredd lollipop.

"Once I was happy with the 2H version I hit it with an HB - these are my final pencils."
"Finish him!"

"Once the pencils are finished I use a Pentel brush pen to ink the piece, I love this tool, it takes some getting used to as it has quite a long brush but once you got the knack you can get some really nice lines with it."

"Once the inks were complete, I scanned it in. Job done!!!" Job done and compo won in fact, what a brilliant entry!
Slicey, Slicey, oncey, twicey!
Fang and claw will kill Dredd nicely!

Fighty, fighty, punchy, bitey!
Dredd will kick this Klegg to shitey!

Huge, Fergie-sized thank you's to Steve for sending the images and text, really interesting stuff from a real talented artist. Lets hope we see a lot more from him in the future!

Tuesday 6 May 2014

Simon Davis - Causeway to Hell!

Soth! Simon Davis is really knocking it out of the park with his lush artwork on the current Slaine series 'A Simple Killing.' His composition, panel layouts and colour choices are absolutely breath taking, ensuring that his artwork is right up there with the very best in a long tradition of memorable artists on this triple A strip.
Over on Simon's Facebook page, he shared some of the full colour roughs he produces for his interior pages. They are astounding, check them out... 
This is a rough!?! 

Slaine really put his all into the tug of war contest... 

Those gloops were not invited to the barbeque... 

In the Slaine Special of 'Naked and Afraid', the fire did not keep the beasties away...
However, this cover is a study of the mysterious Sinead, escapee from the evil Druids on the Island of Monadh. Below we see Simon's initial idea, a stunning portrait with Slaine on his trusty steed...
Slaine the Chestburster
And his second idea, Sinead in profile as Slaine makes his way to the Causeway that will grant him passage to Monadh...

Sinead shows off her Slaine tattoo... 
With the second idea chosen, Simon paints the haunting cover below, changing the barren wasteland to the rocky causeway of the story...
Slaine searches for the Sat Nav on his steed...
And here's how the cover looks on your shelf, classy eh?
Causeway to Hell!

Those wanting to know more about Simon's working methods may want to go to The Mall Galleries in London on September 6th at 12.00. Simon will be discussing his work, particularly the correlation between his high profile portrait work and his comic career. The blurb says 'For many artists the boundaries of practice are fluid. None more so than RP Member Simon Davis who, along with portrait painting, has worked for over 20 years as a comic illustrator, mainly for the iconic British institution 2000AD.

'Simon will be giving an illustrated talk outlining the two strands of his career, namely Comic illustration and Portrait Painting, and their mutual influence.'

'He will be talking about his work process and the importance of narrative in painting which will focus on artists' work that have been a particular influence on his work.'

Huge thanks to Simon and Pye for the images, absolute gents!