Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Aubrey Beardsley's Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga is a strange confection, I'm really not sure what point she is making at all. Visually she is fascinating but her music and her odd message about "little monsters" don't pack quite the same punch. I did enjoy myself drawing this though.

I drew it as a style exercise, trying to come up with some new print/teatowel ideas. Beardsley's line is fascinating, it is a very simple fixed width, often used consistently throughout the whole page. His use of black and white is so masterful, incredible balance of form and shade. A longtime favourite of mine! I love art nouveau.

Not ultimately sure if I will use this drawing, so let me know if you like it.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sketch Fiesta 11 is up

It's been a few months since the last one, so I've posted a new Sketch Fiesta featuring lots of Giant Days sketches, the "Sea Bros", umpteen shady characters, and much, much more. Looking at it will make you feel like a king/queen/baron/baroness.

Susan and Daisy meet Mack

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Bonus comic: Whatever Happened To Jive Bunny

I know that a lot of people have been wondering what Jive Bunny has been up to since the last of his three chart-toppers. Here's the answer.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The case of the moustache umbrella

Yesterday I did something rather embarrassing that I hoped you would never see. I drew one of my moustache umbrellas.

As a top artist of today, I like to render objects in a manner that is, if not photorealistic, semi-competent. When asked to draw a house, a small child draws a square with a triangle roof. However I rotate that box with a triangle on top to a slight angle, giving it that "professional sheen".

The one weakness in my visual arsenal is umbrellas, which, if I do not stop myself, I still draw as if I was 4. Which is to say, I draw them like a mad moustache or (a headless bat). It's not that I don't KNOW that an umbrella is a dome shape. I have a wire loose. I have a feeling that I've only ever drawn four or five of them in my life.

Anyway, below, I have put it right. Please forgive me. I've been working very hard.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tote design 1: RAINDROPS

I'm working on some new tote designs. I want some classy ones to start with. Or as classy as a straw-sucking yokel like me knows how to be. Let me know if you enjoy these!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Giant Days is coming

This makes it look a bit glum! I have written down what happens on every page and it's not glum at all. Once it gets going, it's bananas.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

New concepts

On the post where I mentioned my Esther mini-series, one innocent commenter said that perhaps I should do "something else afterwards". Well, I didn't really have any ideas beyond, you know, more of the same, so this lunchtime I sat myself down and created the forward-thinking, tomorrow minded comic plans that will take the Scary Go Round empire into a rosy future. Let me know what you think! The most popular one will debut on the site very soon*!

"Todd Feathers' Journey Into Joy"

Rotund, urbane bird Todd Feathers moves to the big city and discovers that there's almost no one he doesn't get along with!

"Wickid Charly And McGuffle"

Homely office worker Charly discovers that life has a little more "spice" when you team up with a cheerful bird-pig!

"The Agonies Of Patrice Lecourt"

Au pair and pessimist Patrice Lecourt discovers that it's not much of a life when you take a job as a eel farmer.

"Willy Barker's World Of Pain"

Cursed from birth with numerous issues, Willy Barker further muddies the existential waters by being quite repellent in every way.

"Tommy Radickle"

What won't Tommy Radickle do? He's the dude with 'tude who can be a bit rude but is essentially shrewd! Aimed at imaginary tweens.


* Never

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Art watch

I've become a bit frustrated with Twitter of late, it's a quick way to get a lot of attention to something, but they're blips of attention and noteworthy items soon get lost. I've decided to return to the gentler pleasures of the old(er) ways, and the art discovery posts I've been making on Twitter will move to this general area.

First up, a wonderful illustrator from France, Aurore Damant! Fantastic work with kind of a John K feel.

Even though I don't really like cats, I like her cats. Cats!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Post Achtung Baby

When I was mere stripling, U2 released an album called "Achtung Baby". The sole differentiating feature of this record was that Bono sang all the songs wearing a ludicrous pair of bug-eyed sunglasses (to indicate "ironic detatchment") that he has not removed in the 19 years thereafter.

Achtung Baby reinvented rock in a way that every band endangered by the American chart behemoths R.E.M and Nirvana could understand. Late-80s pop monsters took their cue, one by one, from U2, abandoned any individual features they possessed, and dropped singles whose defining characteristic was to be as close as they could possibly get to "The Fly".

INXS - Taste It

Of course, being INXS, someone parps on a ruddy saxophone whenever possible, also this is quite a pervy video which might explain why I never saw it at the time.

Bon Jovi - Keep The Faith

A man will thingy, a man will fall, from the sheer face of love, um, KEEP THE FAITH.

Deacon Blue - Your Town

Formerly chipper Scotch popsters Deacon Blue did their absolute best Bono here, they even got the sunglasses. Sadly thereafter, they didn't have a career. They should have stuck to the songs about sandwiches and that.

Depeche Mode - I Feel You


These were the main four unit-shifters implicated in the movement, but can you remember any more Baby Achtung Babies from 1992-93? I remember there being a new one almost every week!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Courage, courage

There are some changes coming up on the Scary Go Round site over the next couple of months.

Bad Machinery / The Case Of The Good Boy ends at the end of September, after which Bad Machinery will be going on a break for a little while. While it's been about as successful as I thought it would be on the web, given its long, long story arcs (only long when taken day by day, admittedly) and child cast, it's struggled to build an audience and after a year, I need to look carefully at what to do next.

So, I will be looking to find a publisher who can perhaps take it where it needs to be (into young, impressionable hands). I love writing these characters and the third story is all worked out, so I hope to bring it back as soon as possible.

In the meantime, following a couple of guest weeks where I will attempt to "relax", I have a nice month-long fill-in for you, the pilot of "Giant Days", the comic that shows you what Esther de Groot did immediately after this comic. You'll even get comics on a Friday again.

I did try to write a Shelley story but my heart wasn't it it at all. It felt horrible. I think you will enjoy the alternative a lot more, I have been working on the mechanics it for weeks. Thinking extremely hard... about how to rock your WORLD.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010


I've been working on Bad Machinery for about a year straight without a break and need a couple of weeks off, so I would like to ask if anyone wants to do a guest strip for me. This isn't a blind call for entries, as if I don't know your work I can't just say go for it, you know, in case of problems. But drop me a line at if you have a plan for the empty space and hopefully I can fill two weeks with ease.

* Strip can be Bad Machinery or Scary Go Round based
* 880px wide max, 662px high minimum
* Deadline September 25th
* Any questions, post a comment!

The only certain recompense is a link back to your work, and my gratitude, but if you meet me in person I will shower you with rewards.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Influence Map

UPDATE: I have filled two weeks' worth of comics, so entries for this are now closed.

This is a great meme that I came to via Aaron Diaz's Indistinguishable From Magic blog. It's my influence map! Click on the graphic for a closer look.