Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Service with a smile

Following a Twitter mix-up by UK rap scolder "Scroobius Pip", my friends Joe and Lynn were briefly betrothed this afternoon. I quickly jumped into action. As you can see, I am an expert at wedding dress design and I am available for a mere four figures... when you are.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Five years of fruitless rifling

I have spent the last five years wondering where something was, the sort of thing that you do not want to lose. Today I found it, in the back of a half-used art-pad in a box of old strips. You will see in a moment why I have been so annoyed about losing it:

It's only ruddy Shelley and Amy drawn by Scott Pilgrim man-king Bryan Lee O'Malley! I must have tidied it away when jet-lagged (tidying is the only thing I can do when I'm jetlagged or hungover).

Obviously I am going to have it framed. Then I am going to put it in a BANK VAULT where I cannot lose it ever again.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Drawing bonanzette

Here's a new commission I just finished, it's Esther and the wendigo as... detectives? Detectives.

In other news, I just uploaded a new Sketch Fiesta to Flickr, although this one is a little bit smaller than normal as I haven't had as much sketching time of late! I'm going to pull on my sketch boots in the month to come and draw up a storm, it is the true way.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

New deals

Two things! One, my new book "Recklessly Yours" is available for pre-order (spread the word if you like), and two, I have been interviewed by The Comics Bureau here. A pretty good interview I think!

Monday, April 19, 2010

X-Ladies '88

As requested, here are the X-Ladies of '88, from memory.

I think these designs were very interesting. Everything that followed sartorially on the X-Men books was studied and militaristic or spray painted naked ladies, but these costume designs show a very careful adherence to different mid-80s pop subcultures. Dazzler is a sort of post-disco creature, Rogue has the big hair of the Bangles, Psylocke was a sort of wafty English ballet-goth and Storm a "Voices Carry" style MTV punk! When I drew them, they looked like they were dance students loitering outside the school for gifted prancers. It's a look you see carried through all those Paula Abdul-choreographed videos of the late 80s!

Note: the X-"Men" of this era look for the most part like they are attending one of the more fringe nightclubs in New York's meatpacking district. This was the period where Colossus stuck to mostly just belt-and-underpants.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Cartoonists and comics artists pay attention now

Bill Griffiths (of Zippy The Pinhead fame) has published his forty tips for cartooning and I honestly don't think you will find more gems contained in one document. How I wish I'd had this fifteen years ago!

Read them here!

Friday, April 16, 2010

A new commission

Here's a new commission that I have just completed, it's Shelley and Joanna Newsom judging jams. It was nice, gentle subject to draw; soothing.

I am in the process of working out a new Shelley project. It's a book, and it has lots of drawings, but it's not a comic per se. It's utilitarian. What could it be?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The freedom eagle espies: Hannah Mosley

Hannah Mosley is a fantastic local artist who I met one New Year's Eve! She has a show opening in Manchester at Nexus Art Cafe on friday and some excellent stylings. I believe the show is a collaboration under the name "Artmath" and I am almost certain that if you get there between 7pm and 9pm they will shove a cake in your cakehole to make the experience double-worthwhile.

Monday, April 12, 2010


I was asked after I drew Batwoman if I could draw any other superhero ladies. I said yes, I could draw all the X-Men ladies from 1988 from memory. I learned to draw ladies (or rather, I tried to learn to draw ladies) from those Marc Silvestri issues! In retrospect the masterful Bret Blevins on "New Mutants" would have been a better person to copy. Mr Silvestri was the master of a particular, peculiar "up the nose" shot that was almost impossible to replicate.

I don't reckon I'll ever be a match for those fellows, both of whom seemed on fire month after month - I always think that the work of the artists who formed Image was at its most appealing in the late 80s before things got super-stylised and baroque.

I'll draw all the 1988 X-ladies if anyone is interested, I will prove that I am the king of sort of remembering how things sort of looked.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


I drew Batwoman. That is probably a bottle of Lambrini that she's holding, I don't know. Batwoman is a woman who likes bats? It's confusing. I need to read up on these things before I take them on. You can see a lot more Bat-related imbroglio at Project Rooftop!

Friday, April 09, 2010

Careers Centre Finale / The Beach Boys Prints

Prior to the SEASON FINALE of Careers Centre, an important message:

I designed some Beach Boys prints for the London show a few weeks back and I have the leftovers for purchase
in my shop. It was a run of twenty and quite a few have gone already, so make haste!


When last we saw poor Shelley she was escaping the evil ministrations of Jeffrey Rowland and his Topatoco...

Careers Centre is sponsored by Derek's Wines of Sutton-in-Craven. Wine you can really pour down your neck.

Good old "Our" Stevens! Now listen guys, Shelley and I have a difficult relationship but we are friends for life and that is how it has to be. I raised her from a scrawl. I'm sure that she will return at some future date!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Careers Centre part 4

Yes, just another cruel day for the employees of Topatoco, run away Shelley, skate for your life! If you're a big fan of Malki!, don't worry, he wasn't dead, he got better.


I'm working on a Batwoman for Project: Rooftop's latest reinterpretation celebration, here's an early draft which I have neglected to colour.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Careers Centre part 3

Things take a sinister turn at this point as Shelley is handed over to Jeffrey Rowland, the business baron behind Topatoco. I hope that his associate David Malki can save the day. You might consider today and tomorrow's comics as a kind of "expose" by someone "in the know"; don't believe the cuddly Topatoco propaganda, they all went feral there years ago.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Careers Centre part 2

How do you solve a problem like Shelley? I think the best thing to do is to ask a professional like my good friend Kate Beaton to look after her. For cash. I am sure that this situation will work out fine, just fine. Careers Centre returns tomorrow.

Here's a bonus, a picture I did for a commission yesterday:

Monday, April 05, 2010

T-shirt workshop

Not sure if I'll make either of these but I did a couple of music maverick tshirt designs today. Syd Barrett, and Serge Gainsbourg/Jane Birkin. The colours are scratch colours, if I made them I imagine they would change.

Easter Monday bonus: The Venerable Bede

We were taught about The Venerable Bede at school but due to the paucity of my history education (I do remember one good year under the genial Mr Doug Grant) I can't remember why we were taught about him. He did, supposedly, have a wife though. And he was always monkeying around with the position of Easter in the calendar. So, I give you, The Venerable Bede.

Careers Centre Part 1

Here it is, the first of six parts of "Careers Centre". Careers Centre is of course the follow-up to "Crisis Centre", a somewhat similar six-part comic that I drew last November. I hope that you enjoy it! There's another episode up tomorrow.


While I was looking through my referrers I was amazed to find that David Gaddis links to me. He is not what you would term prolific, but he has incredible skill and his 'Piercing' comic a few years back was a real bar-raiser for good comic art on the web. You can read it all here. I post this link as I lower the bar to floor-level.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

UK Thing Review

First of all I would like to thank everyone who came to see me at the UK Webcomix Thing. It is always a pleasure to meet my readers and this year some people had come a huge distance, which was hugely flattering (I assume I wasn't just a diversion on the their way to get a "pickup only" armoire they had purchased on eBay).

Stuck as I was behind the table all day, I wasn't able to get around as many exhibitors as I would have liked. But I saw some great work by the likes of Warwick Johnson Cadwell, Dan Berry and Rob Jackson. I wish I had been able to see more. And I was sitting between Naniiebim and Philippa Rice, both of whose stylings rather showed up my own work.

But it was clear that the breadth of work coming out of the UK continues to grow and I am thrilled to see it.

The show was a little less busy than it has been in previous years. I think that, despite the eccentric manner in which it is run, the "UK Web And Minicomix Thing" has been the closest the nascent UK scene has to an SPX or MoCCA. The MCM Expo and Thought Bubble, while excellently run, are hybrid events which put off some indie comics readers. That said, I think they are improving year-on-year. (Conventions like BICS are inevitably horror shows for indie artists.)

The church fete atmosphere, central London position and tiny admission fee of the Thing offer few barriers to entry, and that usually makes it one of the year's most successful shows for me.

I do wonder though if some of the organisation's eccentricities are beginning to harm it. Regular exhibitors will be well familiar with the stream of passive-aggressive emails that accompany your attendance at the show. And I've seen foreign exhibitors bemused at being asked to man the ticket booth and "tuck shop" for an hour. There were no major foreign exhibitors this year and one has to ask if this isn't part of the reason that attendance seemed a little flat.

Since the event is not publicised in any fashion other than by the exhibitors, a few more big names would benefit everybody exhibiting. It may be that a little organisational flair is required in the next few years to return what is, astonishingly, a blue chip UK comics event, to its prior rude health. With similar London events beginning to appear in the calendar, it may have begun to fade naturally.

But given that it is largely down to the Herculean efforts of one man, I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to have this day out with you all for the last six years. Hopefully I will be back next year.