Friday 20 March 2015

Nick Percival - Quartz Phone Massacre

Not content with blowing us away with an amazing Mean Machine cover this week, Nick Percival gets to showcase his talents on another classic 2000AD character, the one and only Mr 10 Per Cent himself, Howard Quartz!

Howard was the cantankerous, avaricious head of robotic disaster squad Ro-Busters. He was known as Mr 10 Per Cent as less than 10% of his body was human following the erm... tragic events of prog 1920. Not surprisingly, Quartz was ambivalent regarding the fates of his robot employees, to the point of hostility, particularly Ro-Jaws and Hammerstein, can't possibly think why...


As a man, Howard Quartz had, some would say, eccentric tastes, so when a robotic body became a priority, he made sure he went for that dashing, retro look. Why else would he have 70's style telephones on him, eh? 

A lifetime addicted to phone sex meant phones were a necessity for Howard. 

I suspect Howard would've scratched the iPad screen with those metal fingers...

Nick was thrilled to be offered the chance of painting this iconic character. He said "This was really just a bit of a laugh to do and a throwback to the 2000AD covers of the 70’s and early 80’s where they didn’t take themselves seriously at all! It was Tharg’s idea to have Quartz ‘shouting’ on the phone with the speech bubble to be added later..."

Here's Nick's fabulous sketch...

"Who!?! Chris Tarrant? Ro-Jaws needed to phone a fiend?" 

"The challenge was to make a robot with a brain in a dome appear angry and I wanted  a slight cartoony, colourful feel, so it was a nice break from all the moody, serious stuff."

Challenge successful I'd say...

Ah... ah... ah... ah... Stayin' Alive! Stayin' Alive!

Here's how the cover looks on your Progshelf...

Those 118 118 boys get some weird requests...

Massive thanks to Nick for sending the images and text for a truly amusing cover, I love it!

Also, thanks to Hawkmonger and Dark Jimbo of the 2000AD Forum for their help regarding the panel of Prog 1804 - thanks guys!

Monday 16 March 2015

Nick Percival - Dont touch that dial...

The amazing Nick Percival brings us an eye popping cover AND interior art for a very, very special Mean Machine story in this months' mighty Megazine. 'Rising Angel' is a heart breaking tale, exploring what happens to Mean after his dial is removed in the brilliant Dreddtale '50 Year Man.'

Mean was VERY close to Mr Floppy the bunny...

Over to Nick to tell us about this truly excellent cover; “I really wanted to get away from the crazy, snarling Mean Machine we’ve seen a million times before, since the story (written by the brilliant Mike Carroll) is quite emotional, sad and kind of a reflective tale for Mean, looking back at his past. Also, this is Mean as he is now, some years in the future - weary and despondent and without his mood dial, so he’s pretty much neutered as far as his extreme rage goes. The floating image above him hints at the ghostly presence of his childhood that also appears in the story. It was good fun to work on such a classic Dredd Universe villain in a different way and we’ve had discussions since of where we would take the character if we carried on from where the tale ends.”

So there we have it folks - I really don't want to say more as I would hate to spoil this essential story! Thanks to Nick for sending this... and another amazing image which you should see in just a few days time...

Sunday 15 March 2015

Jake Lynch - Turboboost!

Oh yeah! Jake Lynch blasts back with this absolutely awesome cover for Prog 1922. What a stunner!
As Dave Piddlesworth, this blog's regular reader, may remember, that last time Jake was on the this blog (his Orlok cover of Prog 1917) things didn't end well. Jake earned a Rigellion Hotshot and a 'readjustment' session with Mek Quake after revealing a little too much of the Mighty One's practices.
After intense counselling and a complete overhaul of his chassis, Jake is (just about) back to full mental and physical heath. Over to the troubled droid to tell us more about this weeks' brilliant cover...  
"Can you hear that noise? No..? Fine, then lets get on with this: This pic was a bit of an experiment to do something a little less painterly and a little more Still smarting from my last encounter with the Mighty One (his long range accuracy is staggering,) I begin..."

"The original rough is quite fun but, as I'm inking it, I start feeling that this Dredd is not worthy of a cover (possibly more suited to Notre Dame!)..."

Dredd's got the hump!

"Wind yer neck in Dredd!"
A nervous looking Jake continues "I also have a really bad habit of doing awful knee pads, so I redraw..."


"Someone has nicked me bike!"

"I get hold of a piece of glass using my awesome scrounging skills, on which I paint some random strokes using an Acrylic modelling paste to help keep the texture in the marks. I then take a photo of it and use it as a starting point for the background." Bloody hell! Last week Greg Staples painted on wood, this week Jake on glass. Is there a paper shortage at the Nerve Centre?

"This sheet of glass is proudly sponsored by Antique and Period Glassworks, Norfolk - thanks, Keith!
There's that noise again... No? Okay."

Inspired by fourteen year old Jake's duvet

"While Tharg laughed, Pye01 stole my tot of oil so I take revenge by destroying his logo! This made the droid rage, forcing Tharg to smite us both mightily with high velocity hotshots...repeatedly." Just another day at the Nerve Centre then?

I take it Dredd doesn't like the new logo?

"Colour, colour, colour and done?"

"5... 4... 3... 2... 1... We have lift off!"

"Before Tharg would accept the finished pic he decreed the chain be redrawn so it could be seen more clearly (and there would be consequences...)"

As Dredd careered off the skedway, he knew he shouldn't have listened to his Sat Nav...

"This final touch done it was sent off and everything went perfectly with no repercussions whatsoever :-)"

A wheelie brilliant cover. I'll get me coat...
"Okay, enough is enough, which one of you jokers is making that whistling sound!? I knew I heard something! Come on, own up. It's only your own time you're wast- AAAAAARRRRGGGGHHHHhhhh...!!"
Oh dear... Jake? Jake? Erm, while I clean up the mess, check out how the prog will look on your Progshelf.
This cover was produced by Michael Bay.
Massive, massive thanks to Jake (Grud rest his soul) for sending the images. Wait... could it be? Yes! There's a faint electronic pulse, so hopefully we'll see him back on the Prog soon. Now, where did I put that number for Droidline...?

Saturday 14 March 2015

Rufus Dayglo - Keeping Good Company.

This week the news finally broke that Bad Company is making a welcome return to the hallowed pages of 2000AD. 'Bad Company - First Casualties' will be written by series creator Peter Milligan asked inked by original inker Brendan McCarthy. The strip will be penciled by the fantastic Rufus Dayglo, which surely means that First Casualties will be a fitting tribute to the late, great Brett Ewins who sadly died last month.

Rufus, a good friend of Brett, is delighted to be pencilling the strip, and got in touch to show his working methods behind a recently released promo image. Over to Ruf!

"I've been asked by a few people who I created the Promo art for the new BAD COMPANY - First Casualties series, so thought I'd put up a few pictures showing my err... 'process'...."

"I started off with a little thumbnail, about 1 1/2 inches high..."

Aw... an itty bitty Kano, how erm... cute?

"Then I pencilled out a proper rough, and scanned it, and printed it out larger. I pencilled it onto water colour paper (Arches hot press 300gsm, it's actually cotton fibre, not paper, so a lovely surface to draw on)..."

More like Afro than Kano!

"Then I wetted it down to a board..."

All aboard!

Check out the McMahon Dredd Trading Cards art, just being the board!

 "And painted in the background black...."

So, a human skull in the previous pic, and a severed foot here?  Nothing to worry about at all!

"At this point, I changed my mind on my approach ( I had intended to 'ink' it last...) and decided to add inked lines...   I opted for ballpoint pen haha, as I love them, and they are waterproof when dry, so great to paint over.

Now he's just showing off!

Spot the Solid Gold Death Mask refs! 

I then added washes of watered down acrylic ink ( black Daler Rowney liquid Acrylic Artists Inkso effectively painted it grey scale....

Hmmmm, One Direction have let themselves go...

Dirty company!

Nice to see where Frank Hart ended up...

"Then I cut it off the board, and scanned it at 600dpi (colour) and patched the scans together in Photoshop as it was large art."

"Then I added colour, and a few effects around his eye, then finally some type... and Presto!"

Fall in...

"Hope that made some sort of sense! The most important thing to remember is to have fun drawing,  try not to panic (as much as me...mumble mumble ) and drink loads of coffee, and have a good supply of Kit Kats!


Thanks to Rufus for sending this fine article out of the blue, I'm honoured!

Greg Staples - Danse Macabre.

Sadly, Prog 1921 sees the end of Dark Justice, and possibly the end of Death and his cronies themselves. Will Dredd and Anderson win? I wouldn't bet on it...

The series has looked absolutely beautiful, two years in the making and worth every second! When this is collected into a beautiful hardback graphic novel I'll be first in the queue!

To commemorate the end of the series, Greg painted a stunning wraparound cover featuring Dredd and Anderson's struggle against the Dark Ones. So scary was this image that Greg had to cover Death with a bit of tracing paper as his hands were trembling...

It's no use trying to hide Sidney, that's tracing paper!
Sssshithouse that he is though, Death manages to swat away the piece of paper, aaaaaagh!


A stiff drink and pep talk later and Greg was able to remove the paper altogether and get a grip of his unruly models...

Strike a pose, there's nothing to it, Vogue!

Let's drink in some of those close up details eh? Here's Death, happy as ever...

Dredd about to practice some extreme dentistry on Death...

And we pan out to see just why he's so happy - about to off poor Joe again eh?

Death showing Dredd his swimming technique
Gaze into the belt of Fear! In the story 'Young Fear' we learned that lil' Frankie was very close to his Nana Agnessss before her fatal balloon induced heart attack at his 7th birthday party, stating his lifelong obsession with fear. The little softy kept her head, bingo dabber, serrated chastity belts and padlock. A sweet story indeed...    
Do you know how long it takes Death to manicure the nails on his elbow pad? Ssssstlye is everything!

Greg adds some evil ink that has been cursed by Putin himself - the horror!

"Jussst one little kiss Joe!"
I bet you're thinking this is the real Fire eh? 
It's simple really - Boing(R) for the other three, camomile lotion for Fire.
Fooled you, it's Mortis' skeleton string puppet! Curssse that spoilsport Anderson though, shooting the strings.

Throw your hands in the air, and wave 'em like you just don't care!
But how can we stay made at her when she's such a cutie eh?
The meanie Anderson aims her water pistol at Fire...

Here is the fracas almost inked...

Oh, okey cokey cokey!

Sadly, Greg dropped his bag of chips over the piece and got grease all over it - noooo!

See? They ARE dark judges!
Greg adds some background colour with a hope of hiding the greasy marks...  

Bring on the colour...

Dredd and Anderson get a bit of their colour back...

Oooh, Fire's looking a bit pale, I hope he's okay.

Check out a close up of Dredd and Death, stunning!

Ssssso? Megcleans removes plaque, synthicaf stains aaaand gives you fresh breath? I musssst try it!" 
The finished piece, amazing!

 Dredd, our hero, takes one of them on, while Anderson deals with THREE.
And here's how it looks on your Prog, a masterpiece!

Careful Sydney! You'll hit the logo!

Let's commemorate the series with a look back at all the Dark Justice covers. Firstly, the atmospheric cover to Prog 2015...

Too much synthiketchup on his hottie again.

At the midpoint of the strip, we go this modern classic...

"Come with me, if you want to erm... die!" 
And of course the chaotic climax!
In the interests of completeness, and because it's such a brilliant painting, here's Greg's terrifying promo image too...
Red AND Dead 
Huge thanks to Greg for sending the images and a hearty congratulations on completing this epic story. It will forever be know as on of the, if not the, most beautifully painted Dredd story ever!
If you are the LSCC this year, be sure to check out the painting in the rotten, decayed flesh from 2pm at booth B12, where Greg will be signing!