Friday, 2 December 2016

How I did it: Michael Myers

Since I have been working on Rock In Purgatory I have changed some of my illustration techniques, so I thought I'd share some of my processes with you. I recently drew this Michael Myers piece and have been tweeting work in progress images of this and other work. Here's a bit more detail on how I produced this piece, which is similar to my process for creating Rock In Purgatory panels.

I created this piece on A4 Britsol board, which took the pencils, inks and colours. I used to start all my work on cartridge paper and go in for really tight pencils. I would then lightbox onto either marker paper or Britsol board for the inks and finish off with colours or tones as I needed.

I began by roughly sketching out the basic shapes and action lines I needed for Michael Myers. I then filled out the shapes a little more to make it feel more like the character that is going to emerge. At this point in this piece I had an idea of what may go on in the background, but as it is going to be handled as a separate element I gave myself free reign to let the character develop as it wants to. Next up I began inking. Yep, even though the pencils aren't finished. I have found that diving into inking earlier is a time saver. It stops me from procastinating on some of the composition if I start making non-erasable marks on the page.

Once I've started inking, I have to carry on down that path. If I make a mistake or want to change things I have to adapt what I have started. It can be a little risky, but I don't find it any worse than the chance of messing up a lightbox inking. I then continued to tighten up pencils a little and then ink parts of the image. Eventually, I ended up with a fully inked character piece. I tweaked the blacks to add more depth and then started considering what to do with the background.

I had always planned to use three tall panels behind Michael, so I measured and pencilled these in. After a quick break I came back to the drawing desk with the idea of a rickety rendition of the Myers house. I sketched this out within the space of the panels and then set about inking this as well.

Time for colours. I chose to colour the background first. I colour by hand, using ProMarkers. I kept to a simple two tone method for each item in the this piece, to give it a chunky, stark feel. After the background was completed I used the same colouring method on Michael, using a white paint highlighter to give his jacket a little shine.

The original piece is for sale on my online store. I am knocking 15% off it until my next blog is published. There is only one copy so if you are interested you had better get in quick!

Friday, 25 November 2016

Under the influence: Razor Blade Smile

“I bet you think you know all about vampires. Believe me….you know fuck all!”

I've been a fan of this low budget British vampire flick since it came out. As a massive fan of Hammer horror and 80s video nasties, Razor Blade Smile appealed to me as it clearly draws on both of these genres. There is plenty of sex, gore and tongue-in-cheek humour thoughout, as well as an over-blown plot, all of which adds up to an extremely entertaining B-movie. The movie follows Lilith Silver, hired gun assassin and centuries old vampire, who is slowly uncovering a sinister link between some of the people she has recently been hired to execute. I would absolutely love to work on a comic adaptation of this movie, or a mini series of the further adventures of Lilith Silver. If director Jake West or star Eileen Daly like the sound of this please get in touch!

I reviewed the movie for horror website The Slaughtered Bird and you can follow this link to read my review. Rather than duplicate the review here, I thought I'd talk about about why this movie has been an influence on my comics and art.

I love 80s and 90s horror, and anything that goes over the top is just fine with me. I also really like cheesy dialogue and humour in my B-movies, and Razor Blade Smile has this in spades. It bobs and weaves between the main plot and peering into the private lives of urban 'vampires', which has been a great inspiration to me in respect of constructing scripts and story ideas.

The look of the movie is suitably low budget and makes the most of pouring sexy scream queen Eileen Daly into an impossibly tight latex catsuit for and positioning her against stereotypical villain characters. The whole thing looks like its leapt out of the pages of a horror comic and jumped into your VHS player. There is blood everywhere and the sex / death scenes are erotic as they are gory. Its a constant go-to movie for me when it comes to wanting something that gives me my fix of any of these things and gives me repeated inspiration to draw and write B-movie style comics. Both Brutal Bombshells and Rock In Purgatory have been influenced by the type of outrageous visuals and scripting that Razor Blade Smile has to offer.

Its not a movie everyone will like. Given its low budget status its beyond the tastes of mainstream horror fans and due to its age (the movie was originally released in 1998) many new indie horror fans may either not have heard of it or find it dated. But if you like things like 'Dead Hooker in a Trunk' from the Soska Sister,s Razor Blade Smile's production values will sit well with you.

For your vulgar's the whole film....

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Praise for Brutal Bombshells

So my and Craig Jex's nasty little horror comic Brutal Bombshells is actually pretty bloody good!

But of course, I would say that. However, other people thinks so too, apparently....

Check out these links to recent reviews and interviews about Brutal Bombshells. If you own a copy you may discover a likeminded reviewer waiting to here your own opinions. If you haven't picked up a copy.....why the hell not???!!! These links should help convince you to indulge your dark, dirty desires and treat yourself to a copy of the nastiest, expolitative, bloodthirst horror comic you can get your grubby little hands on!

Attack From Planet B gave us a stellar review, describing it as a "sexy, independent splatter anthology". Picking up on our EC Comics influences, reviewer Ken Wynne says "Imagine The Vault of Horror or Tales from the Crypt, but without the Comics Code Authority holding Jackson and Jex back; their middle fingers raised defiantly to Fredric Wertham"

Read the whole review on their website.

The legends over at Nightmare News Network loved Brutal Bombshells so much they are hosting a gallery of my work on their website. You can check out the full colour versions of each character's cover image on the site that knows our Bombshells are "hot, sexy and ready to brutally tear you apart!"

French comics site Comic-Corps enjoyed the comic so much they interviewed me about it. Delving into the creative process, how we managed the Kickstarter campaign and the influences on my work, Comic-Corps said they "found ourselves thinking 'Wow, that's gross'....which is a good thing in this case!"

Read the whole interview on the Comic-Corps website.

Convinced? Yeah you are! Buy a copy of Brutal Bombshells for just £3 from my online store. Or treat yourself to a comic and A4 print combo deal!