Tuesday, 31 August 2010

2000 AD Week: Ian Gibson

Ian Gibson was one of the main Judge Dredd artists in the first eighteen months of The Galaxy's Greatest comic. While his contribution to the development of Dredd has been over-shadowed by likes of McMahon, Bolland & Ezquerra, Gibson is fondly remembered for the character he made his own, Robo-Hunter. His quirky and imaginative rendering of the world of Sam Slade made Robo-Hunter one of 2000 AD's most popular strips.

In 1984 Gibson teamed-up with Alan Moore to create one of 2000 AD's true classics, The Ballad of Halo Jones. For this series Gibson toned down the cartoonish elements of his art to create the detailed reality of 'The Hoop' and the universe beyond. The character sketches presented below of Halo, Rodice and Brinna are taken from issues 15 and 17-18 of the British fanzine Arken Sword and show a taste of the considerations Gibson gave to the look of fashion in the 50th century.

Monday, 30 August 2010

2000 AD Week: Brian Bolland

Stalwart British weekly 2000 AD hits Prog 1700 this week. So to celebrate I'll be posting a week of rare bits & pieces from the archives (well, some old fanzines from the loft) from some of the cornerstone creators of the magazines' early years.
First up we have Brain Bolland. All of these images were taken from #13/14 of Arken Sword, published in 1985, which featured an extensive interview with Bolland about his involvement with the fanzine movement of the early 70's, his break-through into published comics and the production of his first major work for American market, DC's Camelot 3000.
Of particular interest is the reproduction of these sample pages from three strips submitted to D.C. Thompson in 1976. Above we have a page from 'The Box' which was printed in an issue of The Wizard, the others stories were unfortunately rejected.

Nowadays Bolland is one of the premier cover artists in the industry. Below, you will find a superb cover from 1988 created for The Comics Journal #122, an issue that focused on British comic scene and the invasion of 2000 AD creators who were then storming the States.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Draw Serge

Here's a portrait of Serge Gainsbourg I created for Jonathan Edwards' wonderful Draw Serge! blog. It's an immense honour to be featured at the blog as I have been a Gainsbourg fan for many a year now and never tire of listening to his music.
The figure itself is taken from this photograph which was drawn and coloured in photoshop. The lettering (all Gainsbourg compositions) is all hand-drawn. I thought that it would be interesting to show the various stages behind the creation of the text jacket.
I decided that it would be too labour intensive to use my Bamboo tablet to draw the text. So I printed the basic shape of the jacket onto A4 and the traced the outline on to layout paper. I added the lettering quite loosely and then began to ink.
It quickly became apparent that working at A4 was very restrictive, even with a 0.25 pen and my choice of using layout paper was a mistake as it soaked up the ink. You can see, in the bottom left hand corner, an ever growing list of song titles that I was dissatisfied with and had noted for later retouching. Despite these problems I soldiered on as I wanted to take a break from the computer and try and tackle a project with pen & paper.
My eagerness to include all of my favorite songs led to the very squashed text on the shoulders of the jacket, making the whole thing look uneven. To eliminate this I would have to go into photoshop and reconstruct the layout. This turned out to be immensely liberating and the final jacket, after intensive copying, pasting, re-sizing and re-touching and a lot of re-drawn text, is very different to the pen version above.

Overall a very enjoyable project with some important lessons to be learnt along the way. Add to that the fact that I worked exclusively to a Gainsbourg soundtrack I'm already hatching ideas for my next Draw Serge submission.