Thursday 26 January 2012


My wife and I met up with Mick McMahon and his wife for coffee at Thought Bubble 2011. I bought an  Last American A3 poster off him ( you can get yours here  ) and he did me a wonderful sketch in the back of my copy of  The Last American trade . They say you shouldn't meet your heroes , Mick being the exception ..


Sunday 22 January 2012


BRIDGES How They Were Built was published by Oxford University Press in 1958. My copy is the 1965 edition , which arrived yesterday. Written by John Stewart Murphy , it's illustrated by my favourite british illustrator Charles Keeping. His name might be familiar to those who grew up in the 1960's and 70's. Primarily he was a book illustrator and has a formidable bibliography of works from historical illustrations through to childrens book art.

As the decades passed he constantly evolved his art in brilliant ways but always with strong drawing as the foundation. BRIDGES is from very early in his career and the style employed is one of my favourites . The textured penwork builds up the images like pieces of a jigsaw both working literally and structurally. Also what's nice is his decorative approach to each page - the art weaving around the text in a pleasing manner. Keeping was one of the very first to do this for picture books - this one being aimed squarely at 1950's boys.

Following are just a few scans from the book. Keeping illustrated other books in this series into the late 1960's.

Monday 16 January 2012

It's a Jimmy Sangster Psychothriller !


Inks and Manga Studio tone.

For Little Shoppe Of Horrors I was asked to provide an illustration that covered some aspect of writer Jimmy Sangster's work at Hammer film studios. Sangster wrote a hell of alot of genres for Hammer from horror ( CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN) to historical ( DEVIL SHIP PIRATES) to psychological thrillers inspired by the likes of Hitchcock's PSYCHO. I chose to illustrate this last genre mainly because he wrote all of Hammers Psychothrillers as they've become known and it's a genre arguably all his own from their canon.

Now I'll state right up I'm not a fan of multi image illustrations like this - I think it's a lazy way to compose art , grab a few stills and stick 'em together. So I decided the best thing was to centralise the picture with an image of Jimmy ( with script) and then balance various iconic images , characters around him. Ollie Reed look malevolent from PARANOIAC , Bette Davis from THE ANNIVERSARY , TASTE OF FEAR's wheelchair bound victim and crazy drug addled James Olsen's psycho with hatchet from CRESCENDO. The odd looking character up top with the hook is also from PARANOIAC.

I wanted the art to feel old school in that letratone way and experimented with various tones in Manga Studio. The recurring circular motif in the background was a last minute addition not planned - it seemed to suggest the paranioa these films elicit at heart. I recommend you check out any of these films if you're a fan of the genre like I am.


Tuesday 3 January 2012

Eagle Awards nomination

I've been nominated in two categories - for Best penciller and as Best colourist.