Sunday 30 September 2012

Wednesday 26 September 2012

DREDD : The Ghost of McMahon

Drawing Judge Dredd is probably the dream gig for many artists like myself who grew up wanting to work on 2000AD. The closest I've come is when Dredd briefly starred in the Judge Karyn strip Concrete Sky I drew - ordering a sun bomb be dropped through a manhole onto the vampire citizens of old New York. My other opportunity came through a number of fiction illustrations for the Dredd Megazine . See pencils below.

For me Mick McMahon's Dredd will always be the blueprint for the character design - big chin , big boots etc. Whilst Carlos Ezquerra designed Dredd it was Mick who refined and redefined the character for me so that whenever I go to draw Dredd it will always be  heavily indebted to McMahon's look. Perhaps it's not that obvious in the drawings below but that's because I was striving in naivete to be original with Dredd as much as one can and frankly that's an impossibly tall order. Like the Daleks you can't mess with the design at all without drawing a bad Dredd or Dalek.

 I'm off to see the new movie this afternoon. I like what I've seen and the costume design might be the way forward to exorcising the ghost of McM from our personal Dredd influence banks. You want to be original right? It gives us artists something new to work with and that can't be a bad thing even though McMahon's ghost will continue to haunt me...


Tuesday 25 September 2012


Outgoing Dredd Megazine editor Alan Barnes hired me for this 5 page strip for the Black Museum series. The finished artwork was painted in B/W washes, below are the pencils I submitted. I was just coming off drawing The Faceless: A Terry Sharp Story which I drew in a similar angular way. I was hoping this might break me back into the Megazine fold and new editor Matt Smith seemed happy with the finished results ! This ended being the last thing I worked on for the Meg...

Thursday 13 September 2012

Me and Johnny

Me and Johnny Craig go a long ways back. I first clocked eyes on his comics work whilst I was at college. I'd got Russ Cochran's hardback reprint of VAULT OF HORROR and instantly had fallen in love with Johnny's work. He produced both covers and strips for this E.C. anthology title. His drawings had a wonderful considered clarity to them , nothing rendered to hell. His storytelling was considered and he wrote all his own stories too! He wasn't fast and therefore never hacked. He was all about drawing only what was needed and drawing things right within his style. I'm sure he idolised Caniff as he employed a similar brushstroke. To cap it all he was a genius cover designer - arguably E.C. comics' best.

The clarity I fell in love with bled over into my own work wether consciously or unconsciously. He had such grace and that was something I desired to replicate. Johnny died on 13 September 2001. My birthday. So every year I think of Johhny today and how much he continues to mean to me.


Tuesday 11 September 2012


Whilst rummaging through some archive discs I ran across these images for the Terror of the Autons Timeteam feature. Below is a reasonably tight thumbnail layout which is why I most likely showed the editor! The usual practice was to discuss and go straight to pencils.

Next we see the submitted pencils. Obviously I've flipped the forground dead Autons and given the Master a more dramatic stance. This is very usual practice for me - always looking to tweak designs for maximum impact.

Finally the illo is coloured with the brighter colours in the forground and the pistol *shot* highlighted in comic style against the background tones.

Monday 3 September 2012


These two illustrations were done for a biochemical magazine. Former DWM editor Gary Gillatt roomed with the editor and passed on my name when he was looking for an artist. Most of the articles were aimed at the professional biochemist so I had no idea what they were on about. I had to come up with interesting images to brighten up the magazine. Before I went full time as an illustrator I worked for a number of artists agencies and briefed plenty of our artists on these type of commissions. I tried to recall how they would of approached jobs like these but I think I came up short. I did about 5 or 6 artworks for the magazine before I was shown the door.