Very exciting news for me. Teaming up with Writer Andy Winter, colourist Aljosa Tomic and Letterer Rob jones we’ve just completed a six page pitch for a comic book based on a modern take on the King Arthur story. I wish I could say more but here is a small glimpse of what we’ve been at:
So a while ago I took a script from the 2000ad forums to try, I wanted some nice portfolio pieces and was pretty happy with how they turned out. After a while I thought it would be good to have them unpublished and submitted them to Dave Evans at Zarjaz, the Dredd Fanzine.
How was I to know that this is one of the most attempted scripts in all of Fandom. Dave was very quick to point out how popular it is and how he wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole and who could blame him.
In any event, I still like the artwork and as well as languishing in my portfolio, here there are for your good self:
I’ve had some criticism about how large I draw heads on comic characters, it legitimate but there is a reason and I get miffed if there’s a suggestion that its about ability/talent.
The reason is: I like to make a distinction between ordinary and heroic ones, below are a couple of examples of what I mean. All the heads are roughly the same size, the bodies vary though and that’s the point. It’s not that I draw overly large heads it’s that I draw smaller bodies to make the large heroes seem larger; to contrast, after all if everyone is heroic then nobody is.
Unfortunately there are comic book staples in which everyone is a toned, muscular, adonis. Ordinary people, even supporting characters have to look like extras from TV shows, so when I draw outside of the accepted norm, comes the accusation of proportion problems.
Of course there’s always the possibility that others are correct and I should lean more to the norm, it’s perfectly valid except that I’m right.
I’ve been drawing comic strips solidly for a little over a year now. Before, I always got bogged down, over analysed, agonised and tortured myself about the faults and weaknesses of the artwork. Partly out of frustration, partly a virulent masochistic self loathing, determined to make every footstep a needlessly prolonged and painful one (cheers catholicism!)
About a year ago something clicked, I accepted as many scripts as I could fit around family commitments, put my nose to the drawing board and pushed through each one, pausing briefly to identify areas of weakness or improvement and swiftly moving onto the next, For some reason I have been able to eliminate the spiral of doubt and just move on, sometimes having five or six scripts at a time. Comic books are a production line of the art world more than any other discipline, one simply sees what is required and works through until the end, in a way it has been very liberating.
Improvement comes through the sheer volume and repetitiveness of drawing, I’m not prone to giving advice but its hard to argue with what I see with my own eyes and the confidence I have now in tackling what previously appeared to be complicated and detailed scripts. he daily grind of drawing has ‘taught’ my muscles a short-hand which makes drawing so much easier and enjoyable.
Posted here are four pages I just finished for my portfolio, I plan to take them to upcoming ‘Cons’ for review. I just wanted to pause and reflect for a moment on what a difference a year can make.