Tuesday, 8 December 2009

All Change.

So I did a blog reshuffle.
This is in anticipation of an impending site reshuffle, as the current one is out of date and... well, broken, actually. I have lots of stuff to show you guys! But more importantly, Just as I'd updated this blog, my mom went and stole my splat! Plagiarized by my own mother, I dunno, what's the world coming to.

Also, R4ggs was in a photo shoot yesterday with Nick Knight. She'll be in I-D magazine next year, and probably invited to a star-studded exhibition. Bitch.

Monday, 14 September 2009


I just got in touch with an old uni friend- now a bigshot marketing man- who showed me some of an old music video that he directed, which I did all the concepts and the storyboards for. This was back in Uni, mind you, so please excuse the crappy drawings. I tend to shy away from storyboards nowadays, but It's fun when people take your artwork and run with it though!

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Who are these people...

and why are they in my house.
So we threw another house party. About 60-70 people turned up, but given the natural flow of houseparties there were thankfully only about 50 people in the place at any one time. We bought a barbeque and then realised nobody knew how to work it- so we enlisted the help of a nearby scotsman. They know how to do these things. Also got invaded at one point by some of the Cable Street Studios massive, since it's just around the corner, and the E1 Asian boys- who insisted on playing bangra. I also spent half the night explaining to gatecrashers and the various circles of friends that didn't quite overlap that, yes, that girl you're after is gay. So's that one, and all them over there.

Fun facts:
-At least two gatecrashers mistook us for a nightclub (win)
-The mirrored dancefloor didn't work. I told them it was a waste of time!
-One guest's girlfriend gave him a stern lecture warning not to partake in any of the debauchery that my parties are (apparently) infamous for. She had a list.
-A man appeared selling lauging gas, but had forgotten all of his laughing gas.
-It took us 4 days to clean up.
-Nobody was sick (on the premises)

So Just when we'd cleaned up e v e r y t h i n g some guy decided to have the screening of his new film in our front room. "There won't be any more than 10 people here" he said "honest!" Filthy liar. I swiftly escaped the event itself and whent to Fabric. Which is another horrible story alltogether.

So at the moment, construction is underway for the start of my sister and Housemate Ben's film set, which will most likely be constructed and erected all in our front room. I shall post some more photos when it comes along a little.

But really, you've got to wonder- who are these people and why are they in my house?

Saturday, 27 June 2009

On MJ.

1958 2009

Total Legend.

Monday, 15 June 2009

On Jeeves and on Wooster.

As I've worked this week I've been listening to far too much P.G Wodehouse. Most notably, the Jeeves stories. I find the two characters especially interesting. Here are two people who, in an almost Buddhist way, have found their path; their calling in life.

As Jeeves repeatedly exercises his intellect and supreme cunning we are forced to wonder, as does Bertie, why he spends his time pressing the young master's trousers. Similarly, we find ourselves with mixed feelings about Bertie. He is, without a doubt, a "good egg", but the lazy, foppish upper class twit he is jarrs with our modern ideals.

I find it interesting that the modern capitalist in me frowns upon Jeeves, for possessing such potential- and ignoring it in favour of Bertie's trifling problems. Nowadays we are judged on our position, achievements or wealth- and those who do not choose to climb the ladder, despite obvious skill, rub us the wrong way. As Master Wooster himself remarks; Jeeves should be prime minister by now.
In the same vein we (as modern Wodehouse readers) frown on Bertie Wooster for "not doing anything" with his vast wealth. Despite his admirable, yet stupid, character we resent all those who have not earned their money - and especially those not spending it on something appropriate.

I find both these characters very comforting. Jeeves does not "know his place" in the world- he is not forced to be a valet, he simply enjoys it. Despite intellect that could have him heading multinationals, he spends his time serving tea and mending socks. This is because he likes mending socks. He likes tea, and he enjoys serving. Similarly, Bertie likes lunching at the Drones Club, smoking cigars and having the odd whiskey and soda brought to him after dinner.

For various reasons this pair should be distasteful to our eyes- but Wodehouse forces us to see them differently. Who are we to complain if Jeeves wants to waste his talents on Bertie, and who are we to complain if Bertie wants to waste his money on Cigars? Who were we to complain that a valet should not get above his station, and who were we to moan that a young master should be a captain of industry, or a regiment.
Our modern, or dated ideals of how the world should work are all totally lost on Jeeves and Wooster, and so much the better.

Carry on gentlemen!


Ps: I had a dream last night that the cast of Harry Potter met up again when they were 35- now being divorced, bankrupt and/or addicted to crystal meth. It totally rocked.

Saturday, 6 June 2009


I've been messing with screen print-esque images lately, for a graphic novel pitch I'm (slowly) preparing at the moment. I had all the layers and textures already prepared, so I made fun of poor Garen Ewing while I was at it. Everyone else is doing it, I blame peer pressure.

Friday, 5 June 2009


Now, see, why don't the rest of my comics look like this? Probably because I can't draw for spit when i'm not working from life or a photo? Discuss.
Anyway, ink. I recently had what the cool kids call an "epic facepalm" moment when I realised that I should probably be using my world-weary crowquill (try saying that ten times when you're drunk) like a feather duster rather than a sledgehammer & chisel. Not to say that carving isn't useful when drawing, but somewhere along the way I seem to have skipped the subtlety that should come with ink. While I was inking this I was reminded of old Punch pen and ink illustrations. I don't know if you can find any collections of these wonderful etchings and drawings but they're well worth hunting for. I found four volumes of the Punch Picture library in an antique bookshop in Cornwall. Cost me a bloody fortune. Worth every penny. Also, while we're on the subject of ink and tone- all you manga people should do yourselves a favour and look at the etchings of Francisco Goya who, using copperpoint etching and aquatint (one of the most satisfying and deliciously poisonous art methods ever) in my opinion made better use of "screentone" ( and quite possibly ink) than anyone since.
Shouldn't have posted that etching up. Now my drawing looks totally crap. How big is that ear! Ugh!

Monday, 1 June 2009


I've been designing logos lately. I hate designing logos. Like, with a fiery passion. Logos for other people is even worse.
On the left you'll see the fun process I went through to carve out a Logo for the "John Blake" comic. Each one of these revisions had to be run past the publisher and further "tweaks" had to be made.
On the right you can see some of the logos i've made for myself over the years. I like big, iconic logos generally. The stronger the silhouette the stronger the logo, in my opinion, but that's a pretty uninformed opinion.
I wonder what it is that makes a good logo in the end? Obviously memorability, but how do you achieve that nowadays when we're bombarded with branding at all times? Also, the idea of riding alongside established branding has always confused me. "Apple white" is probably a good example of this. Slap enough translucency and reflections on your site icons and you can conjure up an image of crisp minimalism which is already established in the viewers mind thanks to other products.
It's all very psychological. I'm torn between wishing i'd studied graphic design, and being very glad I didn't.

Sunday, 31 May 2009

So close yet so far.

Next time, I will get someone cavity searched.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

On Liquid.

Last week I exhibited at the MCM expo in London, selling my excuse for a comic, Liquid City. It was only 15 pages long, but I still managed to shift a good 50-something; which was nice. It was also fun to catch up with the myriad of comics and manga reprobates that the expo attracts. You all rock. Especially Emma V, Anna and Pud- who worked their arses of for the glory of the "comics village". The highlight of the weekend for me had to be receiving a piece of on- the-spot fanart from the amazing Rachel Saunders. I'm a big fan of her work and her heavy Masamune Shirow influences. Take a good look people, that's how you draw a hand.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Or you'll go blind.

This is the kind of drawing that's like eating a big bar of chocolate or posting to deviantart. It's good for making you feel better and...well that's about it really.
But you get to wave it around and shout "look! I'm a real artist! Look at my rendering!"
How to do this:
  • get a photo. (Yay)
  • put down a midtone grey
  • smudge all over with a rag
  • draw photo
  • use fingers to "blend" (eww)
  • erase with putty rubber.
  • do the arty-arty dance.
It's artistic masturbation but sometimes you just gotta. XD

Thursday, 12 March 2009


I spent a long time drawing from Yoga videos and exercise videos as warmup sketches every day. Then for some inexplicable reason I stopped- probably just when it was getting interesting.

Lately i've just got back into it again- and have been on the hunt for boxing and wrestling clips online to draw from. One interesting exercise I found while doing these, was to pause the video and do a gesture study. Then you advance the video a couple of frames and do a constructed drawing ( block and shapes- etc.) on top. You really get a better feeling for the movement and form of the figures. Much better than using them almost as interesting photo-stills.

I've found kickboxing and wrestling to be the best motion videos to use- not much clothing getting in the way, and plenty of muscles to get your pencils around. Also, if you search for "Naked Gymnastics" there's a whole softcore porn fetish for girls stretching and leaping about etc. Which is pretty cool if you can put up with porno-jazz in the background.

Click here to see a small collection of my Yoga drawings from a couple of years ago. Yeek, old drawings are painful to look at!

Tuesday, 10 March 2009


Well, the DFC went kaput recently, which was a drag. I don't doubt things like The Spider Moon, Mezolith etc. will eventually be made into Graphic Novels, but it's the "eventually" which is ticking everyone off. I have my fingertips in other pies at the moment, so i'm not panicking- but I do have a lot more time now to draw Tanks.
Y'know... as you do... when you're male.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

War people.

Bla bla bla, distance colours I am now unhappy with. The stone is slowly starting to bleed, however.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

War backgrounds

I'm fiddling with colour palettes at the moment. I'm very disappointed with my current colours and I'm searching for one that will be really distinctive and get across the feelings I want for my war comic. Alas, this one is too dark for print. The question is: How to get across a dark, muddy and filthy environment without ending up with dark, muddy and filthy artwork? One painting with a muddy, desaturated palette would be easy, but in every panel of a comic and you'd just be put off.
Any suggestions or examples I should look at would be much appreciated, as I've been battling with this problem for some time.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Angoulême 2.

Phew. I'm back from Angoulême 2009 in France. I promised myself i'd actually put something on paper about what I did this year, so I'm going to focus on some specific moments that I enjoyed.First of all was "la gréve". The entirety of the french train staff went on strike in protest of Sarkozy and...well I lost track. (more on him later) But anyway, I ended up making a mad dash to Paris in order to make a connection. I missed this- and spent most of Thursday killing time on the Canal Saint-Martin near Gare d'lest. It was lovely. The sun was shining, the air was crisp and the sky was blue. I felt all my feelings of rage at the french rail system just melt away as soon as I arrived. Paris truly is wonderful.

So I made it to Angoulême. Or rather, I made it to the bar in Angoulême, in enough time to be able to catch up with the rest of the English speakers. Almost.
I'm quite concerned about the number of times I mention alcohol in my daily speech, actually. I really don't drink that much. Except at Angouleme.The convention itself is comprised of a number of tents, each holding more stalls than you'd see at any UK con, and all of them selling comics. I keep having to check myself when I call it a con. It's not- it's a book fair, closer to Bologna than San Diego.

I spent a great deal of time in the "Manga Building". (Note; not "tent", not "area", building.)
I got a chance to see Range Murata do an entire coloured drawing on a Cintiq, and Junko Kawakami- who didn't know how to use photoshop. Hilarious. Also the legendary Hiroshi Hirata was signing books in full traditional dress, with a caligraphy brush. This was a performance in itself!

Finally, there was the afterparty. I didn't realise, but there's a party thrown in the chandelier-lit town hall, with a dj and a free bar. The best bit of all was that the only people allowed in had to be carrying "auteur" badges. So artists and writers only. It was all going swimmingly until someone jumped up the wall, tore down a glass framed photo of Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife, smashed the glass, tore the print into shreds and threw them all into the air. All this was to riotous applause. I thought a revolution was about to break out. I wished I had a phrygian cap or a tricoloure. Ellen Lindner and Sara Varon looked like they were about to start burning things.

Then Security arrived and we all got thrown out.
Best way to end a party ever. XD

Shoutouts to:

Nick Abadzis
Edmund Bagwell
Charlie Orr
Stephen Betts
Simon Fraser
Rian Hughes
Tim Pilcher
Charlie Adlard
Sean Phillips
Yishan Li
Ellen Lindner
Sara Varon


Also, According to various sources, it is the largest comic book convention in the western world. O_o

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Fun for all.

I like to project the image that i'm a party person, but actually i'm a comic book artist. Alas, the two a diametrically opposed.

However lately I've found i'm finally starting to get the "work hard, play hard" ratio in balance. If i'm not working, i'm out walking along the Thames or visiting galleries or meeting new people somewhere in London. I even managed to throw a house party last weekend, which was magical and full of a great deal of clashing east-London outfits. I don't know whose the wigs were, and I couldn't resist fiddling with the photos to make it look like a post-punk nightmare. It was very civilised, honest! We lit the house with tea-lights, made sure everyone had a glowband from Camden and lit a fire in an incinerator bin outside, for when the party spilled out into our courtyard.
A gatecrasher nobody knew exclaimed that this was the strangest house party she had ever been to, which I took to be a good thing.

I'm off to Angouleme BD festival tomorrow, which is always a great party. I tend to come back buzzing with new comic ideas to try, which is just what I need right now as i've been pretty miserable about my artwork lately.
I'm going to try and buy lots of people presents this year, and there's nothing you can do to stop me. :D

Oh! and a very happy Chinese New Year to everyone. I ate enough dumplings to kill a man, which they nearly did. Yum!


Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Death and Taxes

I recorded a Sweatdrop podcast last week on good professional practice as a self employed illustrator. To hammer home my message of strict professional conduct, I thought i'd post a picture of my Self assessment tax system in action. :p

My sister went out for a packet of crisps and came back with a free can of strongbow and a violin. The shop owners around us are crazy!

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Kill Yourself.

If you're ever in a bad mood, or upset about something, i'd really like to recommend killing yourself in a comic. Sooner or later every artist has to draw a corpse, or a random soldier who's shot in the background etc. Next time you do- why not make it you? It's very therapeutic!

Thursday, 1 January 2009

wow, a full year at least i've had this blog, and in a true traditional spirit, here are your drunken text-characters for the new year: "bnjvkdf;xzdhniuo'fv" with a side order of "I love you man!" I hope you all have a fantastic new years, and may you find the courage to follow your dreams, whether they come to fruition or not. Remember, you only get one spin on this silly earth, make sure you get the most out of it! Have fun! and carpe diem, as they used to say.