Friday, July 30, 2010


Yes, who can forget my incendiary run on The Incredible Hulk in the early nineties? I was the new Todd McFarlane. Or was it the new Dale Keown? All I recall is that editor Bobbie Chase said that she had hired me "on accident" and "never wanted to see my face again". The panels below are all that remain of this acclaimed period at Marvel. The rest was destroyed in the "speculator boom".

Monday, July 19, 2010

State of the Onion 2010

Greetings friends! Summer waxes on, days stretched long like a pair of tights pulled in opposing directions by pickup trucks. All is well in the garden.

I'm just finishing up the writing of this Bad Machinery story - it doesn't actually finish until the end of September, and after that I will probably take a break from it for a month or so. I've been very pleased with this story and want to make sure that the next one keeps up the standard. For a slow, rambly comic about children's adventures, virtually the exact opposite of what the (hem hem) "webcomic audience" supposedly wants, it is doing very well and I am grateful to have been indulged.

I do think that I might have to get it published by a proper, monied publisher to get it where I want it, as it is meant for young minds as well as blog readers. But I'm not sure how to do that, and I like to go into a situation prepared.

If I decide to take a break from Bad Machinery, you won't be staring at a blank screen throughout October. I've been tinkering with "Destroy History" and it's almost ready for public consumption. I showed some early attempts here last year, but it wasn't up to scratch. I think I'm almost there now.

Destroy History is a comic about how history is a mystery and it will set the record straight using time travel techniques and NEW FACTS. It has a redhead, a robot, of course Babs McChinnery, and an unprecedented level of filth (I mean mud, not boobs hanging out). Here are some fake, possibly unrepresentative images of this "work in progress".

* Please note, "Desmond Fishman" is not involved in Destroy History, he is retired from webcomics.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Last word on X-Ladies

I've made a very limited print of my X-Ladies drawing, there are just ten, as nice as I can possibly make em. Get em here before they're gone!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Lap work vs desk work

While sketching in relaxed mode on paper is the best way, if you enjoy digital art, often you think "gracious me wouldn't it the greatest to just sit on the settee with my little Cintiq or Tablet PC and draw away". It seems like a dream proposition. But I have never found it very easy to produce decent results this way. Calibrate your screen as you may, you are never going to get your head or the device in exactly the same place twice - even from minute to minute.

I did a test where I tried to ink the same picture on the same computer screen, once on the settee, once sitting down at a desk. I made the pencils rough so I would have to make decisions about my inked lines, rather than just tracing the pencils. I find this a more interesting way to work all the time, not just when I am doing an experiment that may interest nobody at all. Working digitally gives me a lot more freedom in my inks, because I am not scared of making a mistake. Here are the results of this thrilling test-ette:

In the picture on the right, I blow a lot of lines, overshooting my mark, and I am plainly tracing rather than making decisions or trying to produce more attractive strokes. You can particularly see this in the feet, which I left very rough in the pencils. On the left, while the drawing isn't perfect, it's a lot better because I wasn't having to organise my actual physical body to keep everything in the right place.

The evidence is clear. We must all sit straight-backed and alert as we draw. Plus, laptops cook your conkers, fellas, and we have to keep the next generation safe. Adieu!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Photodons & Esther wallpaper

Following up my tablet PC post from last week I wanted to recommend Photodon screen protectors. Some tablet PCs have a glassy screen, some have slightly textured anti-glare coatings, occasionally they can be hard to get along with, and if you scratch your expensive purchase, you feel like a right plum. But I've found that Photodon's screen protectors, which are among the cheapest, give a really great drawing feel. The anti-glare is particularly nice to use, resists greasy marks, and will also often revitalise a tablet screen that perhaps looks past its best.

Two provisos: applying them is a dark art best mastered by the patient, but you should be pleased with the results. And their fees to ship outside the USA are a bit high.

Following "peer pressure", I did a quick Esther wallpaper to go with the Shelley one from last week, here it is, 1440x900 again.

Friday, July 02, 2010


With all the talk of Wonder Woman and her trousers over the last few days, I have decided to draw Wonder Woman for the first time ever. I wish Babylon 5 man all the best with his run on Wonder Woman. I still think that if comic book companies want to arrest their decline, they should stop having the books drawn that way they seem to look these days, all photorealistic and gross. Comics should be fun! But that is a debate for another day, there are still many fun, exciting artists out there, plying their trade against the prevailing editorial wind.

Of course in my own mind, all comic books are written and drawn by me or idiots like me, and a typical Wonder Woman adventure is like an episode of Seinfeld with explosions.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Summer ways

I made a quick summer wallpaper this evening for Shelley likers. I draw a lot of Shellies so I don't forget how, as I really hope to do a little Shelley project sooner or later.

It's 1440x990, I'm afraid I don't have it in any other sizes but you can work it out, it's the computer age after all. Click below for the full size pic!