Tuesday 28 July 2015

Alex Ronald - Ghost and the Machine!


A cool post today as I bring you a double whammy ("Double whammy!") from fan favourite 3D artist supremo, Alex Ronald. Firstly, we have the making of his excellent Storm Warning cover of Meg 362 which sees Brit Cit Psi-Judge Lillian Storm surrounded by her omnipresent supernatural spectres!

Alex said "The brief for Storm Warning was to have the judge surrounded by ghosts and some Psi effects. It might be a bit obvious but I thought  the night vision colours and lighting from TV shows like 'Most Haunted' would be good to try. I also checked back on the covers of previous issues to see if anything like it had been done before but luckily  it had not."

"The colour rough was sent to Tharg along with some of the film references and lighting effects I was hoping to aim for..."

"Aye, he's a pain in the arse, but he gives a lovely head massage!"

Below we see Alex's model of the iconic Brit-Cit Lion shoulder pad...

"An eagle? How cute!"

Alex tells the story of the spooks on the cover "The idea I had was to have the ghosts very subtly step out from behind her, as if seconds before they hadn't even been visible. The problem I had was I didn't want to do a very tall one directly behind her in case it just looked like it was standing on a box which is not the most ghost-like trait! The solution came from my missus who suggested a ghost from the film 'Shutter' which hangs from a character's back like a constant burden. The finishing touches were the spirit lights which add a bit of movement to the image."

And here's that finished image, yikes!

Who ya gonna call?

Next we have Alex's fantastic Lawmaster cover of Meg 356, this was a real favourite of mine and I've been pestering Mr Ronald for it for ages - sorry Alex!

Dredd realised he'd left the iron on...

Alex said "The brief was for a cover of Dredd shooting or Dredd riding his Lawmaster. I wrongly assumed that this cover was for the prog and since Greg Staples' Viper Strike' cover had just been released I opted for the Lawmaster..."

Below is a reminder of the esteemed Mr Staples Viper Strike cover of Prog 1908...

 Old grumpy bollocks...

 Alex continues "However, it turned out to be a Megazine cover and came just two months after Boo Cook's lovely movie Dredd bike cover!" Here's Boo's 'Spit Roast' cover. I sure Alex needn't worry, I don't think any of us will ever tire of seeing Dredd on his Lawmaster!

Hey Dredd, aren't you supposed to be going towards the explosions and stuff?

"Different styles but similar images, I hold my hand up, my fuck up! On the plus side I had always wanted to do a Willsher bike shot and this was my chance..."
Below we see Alex's reference pictures and his cover 'sketch', wow!

Some classic Willsher bike porn there...

"Again it was quickly made in 3D using a mix up of custom models and rejigging of pre-existing parts. The lighting and painting all done within Photoshop." Bah, he makes it sound so easy...
 I want this toy!!!
Here's the final image, simply glorious!
 Nobody ever got anywhere faster by going quicker.
Massive, massive thanks to Alex for sending the images. I really love his work and am delighted to hear he's working with Planet Replicas on a Mekon statue, how cool is that gonna be!?!

Be sure to check out his awesome blog here for many more stunning images!

Saturday 25 July 2015

Tiernen Trevallion - Parks and Retribution.

Holy Christmas! How amazing is this cover by Tiernen Trevallion? Not content with giving us one potential cover of the year in prog 1936, he does it again with Prog 1941! Once again, this amazing artist makes absolute magic with skilful use of just two, highly contrasting colours.
So what is happening on this cover that has me almost popping with excitement? Is it a future lawman punching through a Dark Judge's mask? A cybernetic Russian lothario fencing against his evil Tsar father? A genetic infantryman battling the hordes on a poisoned planet? Nope, it's a craggy old fella and a chav sitting in the park eating chips - go figure!
Below we see Tiernen's exquisite pencils, the detail here is absolutely mind blowing!
 Keep off the grass... seriously, keep of the grass!
And here's the foreboding inks. I love how the demonic plane ominously surrounds them...

Old Absalom hasn't just got a chip on his shoulder... 

Finally, here is the beautiful coloured version. I can't tell you how long I've spent staring at this!

"Quack! Behind you!!! Quack!"
This is how the cover looks on your progshelf...

A moment of calmness on Clapham Common
Thank you so much to Tiernen for sending the images, I am in awe! Check out his website for more two colour wonders!

Sunday 19 July 2015

Karl Richardson - Maulled by Caul!

Oh oh! Things are looking decidedly dodgy for Colonel Luthra as Caul finally catches up with her is Outlier: Dark Symmetries! But what plans does he have for the colonel and Jared Carcer?
Again, Karl Richardson has been knocking it out of the park with this run of Outlier as writer Tom Eglington keeps twisting and turning the plot into unexpected directions. Great stuff indeed!
Karl was frantically painting the final episode of the series when I contacted him, but still found the time to send some images, Grud bless him! Below we see Karl's roughs for the cover, yikes, you can't beat the threat of a bit of tentacle to the eyeball...
"You are feeling sleeeeepy..."

This cover could have been  very different, with an erm... headshot of Caul's head shot. This would have made a great companion to Carcer's headshot cover of Prog 1935, however, I wonder if Tharg thought it too extreme even for 2000AD!?!

"Has anyone got some paracetamol? "

As stated in previous posts, clever clogs Karl simply inks over his pencils and paints on top. Here is the image almost finished...

Those costumes on Strictly Come Dancing get weirder and weirder!

We can see where Karl has checked the composition and had a rough look at logo placement...
 "Gimme five! On the Side... Up above... Down below... To the side... To the other side... etc..."
And here's the finished version with some of Karl's trademark special effects with the cover blurb. Loving the interplay between the tentacle and the logos!
Caul was a very touchy feely kinda dude...
HUGE thanks to Caul who was really up against it when I was bugging him for the cover images. Extra oil rations for this droid please Tharg! 

Monday 6 July 2015

Neil Roberts - Brawl in the name of art.

Oh that Dredd, you can't take him anywhere without him kicking off! I wonder if he's got ADHD? Neil 'The Abs' Roberts brings us this 'smashing' image of Dredd making friends in the Emerald Isle. It's a well known fact that Neil is an absolute martyr to art, being one of 2000AD's premier 'Method Artists' and so, gentle reader, for us, and for the sake of all art, Neil quite immersed himself in all manner of alcoholic delights to bring us this scrotnig cover.
Over to Neil, who despite a debilitating hangover, bravely decided to tell us about the creation of the cover. WARNING: Contains nudity, violence and nuts. 
"It always starts off with a brief from Tharg, this time it was Dredd having a bar fight in an Emerald Isle pub. Awesome - one of my favourite covers of all time is Steve Dillon's 'Emerald Isle' piece:" 

'My Judgeness, my Guinness'

"...ooh, the composition, those colours, the draughtsmanship!"
"So, I drew a sketch of the main gesture, using my imagination and a very never-to-be-seen semi-naked reference photo of myself:"

The Flash?
Neil continues "Oh, what the heck, because we're all friends here anyway, here's a peak at that pic..." Will nobody think of the children!?! 

A profile view of a naked dianoga from Star Wars
Neil continues "All that working out finally pays off! Then I refined it into a full thumbnail for approval, using some of those emerald greens to reinforce the setting and also pay homage to that Steve Dillon image..."

"Did you spill my pint?"

And now, in the name of art, I bring you, ahem... grown men fun fighting. "Then I went and took some pictures of my drinking buddies getting into a fight, y'know for the sake of authenticity..."


As the brief was going well and Neil was obviously at the height of his professional powers, he decided to take the risk of another sacrifice in the name of Thrill Power "So then it was off to the pub... to take more reference photo's of course, honest!"
"I visited one of my favourite local establishments and one that perfectly suited the mood of the piece, big thanks to Ben, the Boss!"

Kicked in the Cobbles! 
I took a pic of my favourite bar stools, all in the name of reference:

A stool sample from Neil. 
 "And the all-important bar itself, all in the name of reference - mine's a Jack Daniels and Coke, please, and I'll double up for a pound..." Hmmm, I always had Neil down as a Babycham man to be honest...

 Where's the bloody bar staff? I'm dying here!
"And remember, it's all done in the name of reference. With all that reference gathered (and having drunk a few 'reference' drinks) I went ahead and painted up the final piece:"

 When Irish Eyes are Crying
However, I sneaked into Neil's studio and found his original post-pub version (shown below,) absolutely disgusting...
 Luckily, the little flecks of vomit don't show up in this photo...
And here's how the cover looked to Neil...
"Hic! Shuper..."
"BLAM! POW! KERRASSSH! Right, I might just have a drink to celebrate this issue coming out... maybe just a cup of tea this time, though."
And here's how that very prog looks on your prog shelf...
"I said 'No drokking ice!'"
Let us all raise our glasses and thank the wonderful Neil Roberts and his drunken muses. I can hear Tharg charging up that Rigellion Hotshot right now as his expenses bill comes in...
Please be sure to check out Neil's wonderful site and blog here, for more amazing artwork which I assume he painted when sober...

Saturday 4 July 2015

Paul Marshall & Chris Blythe - Cloudy with a chance of heid the baws!

All hail Nordland as Prog 1937 brings us the return of Kapiten-Inspector Atalia Jaegir of the Norland State Security Police. The war crimes investigator and her team find themselves in a harsh work camp on the military garrison world of Tartarus, what grisly goings on will she uncover?
The mighty one tasked fan favourites Paul Marshall and Christ Blythe with bringing us this chilling propaganda style poster for the cover and they seriously didn't disappoint.
Below we see Paul's initial ideas as he plays with layout and perspective...
"I've got this dial on muh head, see?"
Tharg obviously went for the crowd scene, for which I'm sure Paul was delighted...

 The crowds gather for the annual Norland S&M convention.
With the sketch done, Paul drafts his pencils. Amazing to see all those hand drawn heads in this age of Photoshop...
"Nein! I'm not scared of lightning... aiiieeee!!!"

Then the image is inked. At this point I checked with Paul that there were no digital shenanigans with the cover and he really inked all those heads to which he replied "I did... such fun!" Tharg really is a hard taskmaster!

The Norts' world record attempt for biggest selfie.
The image was sent to master colourist Chris Blythe who had the unenviable task of adding colour to the tens of thousands of Nort troops. I'm sure you'll agree he did an amazing job, those chem clouds are particularly impressive! What a striking image... 

 "Okay, who farted?"
My thanks to Paul and Chris for sending the images, may the diktatorat bless them! If you want to see more of Chris' work, check out his Deviant Art gallery, there are some classic 2000AD pages there, including previous projects with Paul...
Francisco drokking hated windows!
As well as some stonkers from Jaegir artist Simon Coleby...
Just another day in the Cursed Earth for Dredd.
Dredd does a Paula Radcliffe in Bato Loco...