Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Random Mega City silliness

This is what happens when you get too far into silly season armed only with a pencil and a mince pie...

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Thought Bubble, News and Thank You's...

Thought Bubble!

We spent this weekend in the company of a sea of creative types at Thought Bubble Comic Con in Leeds. Lots of folks have already blogged and tweeted in greater detail (and with a greater grasp of the English language), about the whole event. So here's my own take.

Comic Conventions can be an odd experience for some and downright terrifying to the uninitiated. I know. I've been that frightened soul frozen to the threshold thinking "Taxi!" Happily, I can honestly say this was one of the best we've been to.

I could be biased as I personally had two books launching at the event - Dark Judgement 2 and Operation Solomon; a story from the Unseen Shadows universe, but having been caught up in all the razzmatazz (do people still use that word?) at the entrance to Savilles Hall, I genuinely forgot they'd be on sale.

This is perhaps an oversight on my part. Perhaps I was distracted by a troop of rollerblading welcome staff, or a horde of Mega City judges and stormtroopers loitering, or people painting 2000ad characters on outsized boards so big you couldn't miss them. The point being that this was just the foyer.

I like big entrances. Make an impression. Think big. This kinda summed up the whole Thought Bubble experience. The staff were friendly, helpful and many in number. When you're in a place large enough to land a plane you're occasionally going to get lost. The staff were always on hand and a large 'thank you' must go to them for making the whole event run as smoothly as possible.

What really grabbed me was the amount of talks and panels available about the personal aspect of comic publishing as an artist - how to tell a story on a page, how to light it, how to make the panels and layout interesting, how to bring life to your characters and play with elements on a page, and then basically how to set yourself up, handle promotion of your products and put yourself out in the public domain, and how to avoid the pitfalls. This is the stuff I need to know. And if I think I already know everything, well, firstly, I'd be wrong - I don't , and secondly there's always something you can learn from others. The talks and panels I attended were goldmines in terms of tips, information or simple inspiration. Worth the ticket price on their own.

My work got a generally good response overall. There were some clangers I hadn't spotted and some things that can be fixed. Most comments were positive. Lots of new avenues have opened up as a result. I came away from Thought Bubble feeling inspired. You can't put a price on that.


I can also officially say I've been given the green light on my first graphic novel (Hooray, shouts my Mum. Hi Mum! Hooray shouts my Bank Manager. Hi Bank Manager!) More details as I'm officially allowed to tell them, but I can say it'll be released through Markosia. It's been a bit of a trek to this point. Long hours, not much sleep in places and a lot of graft up to now but in a good way. Hopefully a thousand times the amount in future.

Many moons ago, I promised myself when I got my first gig I'd do a big thank you to all who helped me get there. Looking at it now, of course, I know the fun is only just beginning. Now the real hard work starts. Laurel-resting is not in the plan. However the fact remains that without a certain number of people I simply would not be sitting here writing this and wondering if it's all going a bit too gushy. But it's my blog and I'll gush if I want to. I might not thank you again. Enjoy it :D

Thanks to the following people for either kicking my arse to this point, pointing out where I'm going wrong, or inspiring me to improve; Barry Nugent, Chris Askham, Chris Kelly, Chris Reid, Cy Dethan, Dave Evans, Dom Reardon, Eddie Deighton & Jon Sloan, Emperor, Harry Markos, Ian Sharman, Jim Campbell, John Freeman, JP Bove, Jon-Davis Hunt, Leigh Gallagher, Matt Smith, Matt Soffe, Matt Timson, Nic Wilkinson, Owen Watts, Pat Mills, Rich McAuliffe, Richmond Clements, Rob Davis, Rob Williams, Stacey Whittle, Stephen Downey and Vicky Stonebridge. And to Liz, for never complaining when I keep telling her it's all going in the bin and I've got to work all night again.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have work to do :)

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

October already?

Hello you lovely bunch.

So yeah... there's been a rather large gap in proceedings, hasn't there? Safe to say I've been slaving away on some bits and pieces. Excerpts below, as usual.

So two main bits of news then. First off, Dark Judgement 2 will be available for you to get your paws on at Thoughtbubble in Leeds next month (Next month?! Where's this year gone?!) along with a reprint of the first issue, if you were one of a surprisingly large number of folk who didn't get a chance to grab one the first time out. More info available here. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did drawing it. There'll be a couple of podcasts reviewing it shortly, so I'll re-post links here when they're up.

Second thing is a 23 page tale called Tales Of The Fallen: Operation Solomon, written by Richmond Clements. This will be a part of a 120 page monster download, also initially available at Thoughtbubble. For the uninitiated, Tales Of The Fallen is a series of spin-off stories from Fallen Heroes, the bestselling Amazon book by Barry Nugent, which has subsequently been adapted into comic book format. More info available here.

Quick peek:

At the minute I'm working on three potentially big projects and I'll let you know all about them when the time comes :)

Character sketch and a panel from two of these...

...And that's about where I'm up to! As usual, feel free to comment, rant, produce sarcasm, etc etc... Hope you're all well.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Beer-swilling masses telling athletes how it's done...

To celebrate the annual descent into madness that is the NFL season, I thought I'd post ink-in-progress this up as a teaser for another thing I'm working on at the minute. Technically this is an aeroball stadium, but it's close enough. Still buried under a pile of stuff but at least the sun's out and there's coffee on the go. Hope you're all well.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Big bag of cash...

So the entry for Strip Magazine is away, and it's on with the next thing. It's fun at the minute as each project I'm working on bears no relation to the last in either central theme or setting. Which is nice.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

I'm in here somewhere...

So it's been a while since my last post. I know, you've missed me. I've missed you too.

I would describe my current workload as 'being buried' but in the grand scheme of things, it's not a bad position to be in. Lots of projects being juggled, and all err... jugging along. Here's some random backgrounds to keep you entertained. More astounding insights should follow in the next few weeks. Hope you're all well.

Monday, 23 May 2011


Tuesday, 3 May 2011

get back to work!

The trouble with finishing things is that other things then jump into their place and demand to be next in line. The little tinkers. Hoping to make some headway on two major projects before decamping to Bristol Comic Con. Where's this year disappearing to??

Monday, 18 April 2011


Stuff! Things!

It's all go here. Many projects being juggled. All very exciting!

Today I took half an hour out and did this for the Weekly Themed Art Blog. Some very talented folks on there, and no mistake. Do pop in, peruse and say hello.

I'm off back to my grindstone to prepare stuff for Bristol, Thought Bubble and pretty much all points in between.

Till next time...

EDIT: Did this after posting. Thought I'd put it here rather than starting another post. Not that much has happened in the last hour...

Monday, 11 April 2011

Kapow!... *ahem*....

...and another Con is chalked off...

...well, okay, that's not exactly the whole story, but you get the idea. Lots of other folk have posted their thoughts and experiences on Mr Millar's first Convention - and have put it far more eloquently than I ever could.

If you're after an all-encompassing version of the Con, then I would simply suggest you keep an eye on the Geek Syndicate twitter feed as rarely does something happen without their knowledge. They'll no doubt have the full breakdown in the next day or so. I know I'll be reading as I missed most of the important things...

I had a good day all told. Admittedly I missed the 2000AD panel (got there a touch too late) but got the highlights from Kev Levell shortly afterwards. My annoyance at missing the panel was more than offset by kind words on my artwork from pro artists and pro editors alike. Some very kind words have now been filed under "Did that just happen?" but I digress.

Days like this are great as markers to tell me where I need to be improving and if you're an aspiring artist, umming and aahing about taking your work to a convention, well.... Go! Don't sit there thinking "I'm not good enough/What if people laugh at me/I'm not quite ready" because quite frankly, you're never ready, there's always something that could be improved and aged 87, Michelangelo is quoted as saying "Ancora Imparo" (I am still learning)

Anyway, in celebration, I treated myself to a Dredd badge from the one man factory of awesome that is Termight Replicas. In the words of Special Agent Cooper; "I'm going to let you in on a little secret: every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don't plan it; don't wait for it; just let it happen. It could be a new shirt in a men's store, a catnap in your office chair, or two cups of good, hot, black, coffee"

After wandering the hall for a few more hours, it was great to catch up with some friendly (and some friendly and new) faces afterwards at the inaugural *ahem* Pub Con, which was also a success. Sketches and banter abound. The magician that is Pete Wells was on hand to give me some great art pointers, and we also saw some absolutely stunning clips of the upcoming Judge Minty film. I implore you, if you don't know what it's about, check out the link. This is what can happen when people care about the films they make. Anyone involved in film, at whatever level, take note.

Anyway, upwards and onwards and next up is Bristol, in about a month. And if all goes to plan, I should have something rather Dark to show you before then.

Friday, 8 April 2011

off to see the world...

Well, not really, just what's moving and a shaking in the comics world. Kapow! this weekend in London and a chance to meet up with some all round good eggs. This time with added 'Marvel' as the chaps from across the pond come along for the ride.

Anyway, I'll be carrying a small bag of doodles around the editors/movers/shakers to get their tuppence-worth. All good fun.

Monday, 28 March 2011

'tis the season to be busy...

The eagle-eyed among you will have noticed that I've posted next to nowt on the blog recently. Well, that's because I've been doing stuff. Stuff involving cowardly robots and ghostly sail ships and giant flat-worms and nasty bargain-altering fish people. Well someone has to draw them, otherwise they just get upset and live in your head. It can get crowded. So here's some fish people who don't look very happy.

This is an almost-finished-ink panel for a 2000AD submission script and will be joined by all the other panels from the script shortly...

I'll also be posting up a rather exciting news-type picture that handily doubles as a cover for the exciting thing that I'll tell you about when I post it. I can tell you're impressed from here.

Soon it'll be time for Kapow and The Bristol Comic Con, by which time I'll have more exciting things to tell. Keep smiling.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

one more down...

So the Doctor WTF?! 5 pager is now done (barring a few FX lettering bits - thankfully the writer has saved me the job of trying to spell out the noise a Tardis makes) and next up will be a 4 pager for FutureQuake.

Alas with all these things I can't post anything of them until they're physically on sale. So here's a warm up sketch I did yesterday, just to keep things ticking over.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

new year, new projects


Sorry for neglecting the blog. I've been busy as a bee, working on various small press projects that'll be winging their way to you over the next few months. Stay tuned for updates and all that business.

The tail-end of 2010 saw some really nice feedback from some rather senior types in the comics business, to which I am eternally grateful.

2011, then, is here to be built upon.

With that, here's a preview panel for a story in a brand new venture called "Doctor WTF?!" - a Small Press gem born from the mad, mad mind of Owen Watts and due on sale at this year's Bristol Comic Con. This tale - called Berlin - is written by J M Whiteley and is a particularly damn fine read, even if I do say so myself.

This has been a nice change of pace recently after drawing pages of robot bedlam. It'll be followed by some spiritual shenanigans, which in turn will precede some supernatural intrigue. Around which point there'll be a change of pace whilst I get to draw a lot of Victorian ships, and then something altogether Darker, nastier and more twisted than, ooh, something else...

Yeah, it is as fun as it sounds.

Onwards and upwards, Rodney.