Monday, 30 November 2009

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Holy cats there's a new Jak and Daxter game out! I'm pretty sure I would have heard about this, so I can only conclude that I forgot about it as I do everything else, but it's a pleasant surprise to have that to muck about with and hopefully break my Fallout 3 addiction.

Monday, 23 November 2009

"I shall follow this Geiger counter wherever it may lead me - we are in the Arctic and no harm should come of it."

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Wandering about Belshaft in the wee hours...

Checked out the Odeon sci-fi all-night anime marathon: it had it's ups and downs, but did improve greatly when those who'd come along to find the presence of subtitles a source of shock and confusion eventually became too tired to continue a running commentary beyond "for fuck's sake, stick your cock in her!" in a half-hearted sigh every half hour. We got a goody bag full of what I would charitably call tat if I was charitable man and not a cynical one, so I shall call it crap: a BPM energy drink that was actually the green brand (which contains no caffeine), a packet of Bear in the Big Blue House bacon flavour corn snacks, a packet of Doctor Who stickers, a pencil, an offer to see Almost Famous, and glowy stick which they asked us not to use.

Anyhoo, the Odeon itself is a reasonably-placed multiplex and we were early enough that for some reason we ended up going to see The Twilight Saga: New Moon, which you may be surprised to discover I did not think was very good at all. It was packed with 8-10 year-old girls who gasped and drew breath when the 16 year-old 'native American' (it says on the casting call) pulled off his shirt, but surprisingly, the kids were much quieter than adults usually are at these things, and there was an air of audience participation to the viewing that began with the sighs of puppy-love for Teenage Wolfman (a wolfman) and arguably reached a nadir when the sight of Twilight (a dracula) and his girlfriend traipsing through the trees like something from a Hovis advertisement had the entire audience in stitches. New Moon's biggest problem is that it just isn't a knowing or self-aware film, which might have helped detract from the fact that it is a nonsensical and self-important one that suffers from something that the audience didn't really need spelled out as clumsily as it is here: Twilight is a wanker of a character, while the slightly more intense Teenage Wolfman seems to deserve a better break than he actually gets but is still an ethnic character in a white man's summer movie and for that reason alone you know he ain't gettin' the girl and it's got nowt to do with doomed romance and everything to do with the sensibilities of the middle-class America that made and watches this guff in the first place.

After that, we hung around for a bit and then wandered into the first anime movie of the evening: Mamoru Oshi's dour and pointless Sky Crawlers, the story of immortal kids drafted to wage 'safe' wars on behalf of nations through corporate third parties. According to other cinemagoers, the original novel was a commentary on the undemanding nature of anime fandom and the film was deliberately made to have a slow pace and obtuse story, but no matter how much you go out of your way to replicate the trappings of a bad plot and a lousy film, you still end up with a bad plot and a lousy film and it's not art, it's just poor film-making. My main gripe was that there are no clues to the situation for the viewer to unravel, a character just wanders in at the end and spells it all out for you, which might be a deliberate artifice for all I know, but is still pretty lame.
First Squad is the story of a team of Russian super-teens killed during WW2 who are resurrected to fight a zombie hoard of Templar knights raised by Gestapo mystics to turn the tide of battle on the Russian front. Their only link to the world of the living is the pre-teen Russian samurai Nadya, who must brave the land of the dead and jailbait SS kung-fu twins to win the secret war the world never knew about, and the whole thing is interspersed with live-action interviews with (fictional) WW2 Russian vets, historians and psychologists. It's a bit goofy, but fun nonetheless, with a nice design sensibility, even if the animation isn't what you'd call great in places - though it's always functional.
Time of Eve held it's English-language premiere - for all of five minutes before the film had to be stopped as the subtitles on the print were actually off the bottom of the screen and couldn't be fixed, so I have no opinion on that. Instead the screening of the current revamp of Gainax evergreen Neon Genesis Evangelion was moved forward and it looks as cheaply-animated as ever, with several episodes chopped down to make the first part of a trilogy. I've seen most of this around ten years ago and it was just as overrated (though undeniably solid) then as it is now, albeit there's the odd extra frame of animation thrown in here and there in the new version.
King of Thorn is a post-apocalyptic story about a small group of characters escaping from the cryogenic suspension chambers in which they were supposed to sleep through the destruction of the human race - except then it isn't about that and goes a little bit off the rails. You might guess a twist or two, but the big picture remains an unmistakably anime tale full of visual excesses and logical failures as only the Japanese can do with an utterly straight face, but it's a seriously mad bit of business that went down well with the audience.

They spent millions of pounds on ^^this^^ and there are dozens of people homeless in Belfast. Just sayin'.
It reminds me of that Thundercats episode where they discover gold on Third Earth and Panthro bends it into a necklace then throws it in a bin.
Homeless people.

The Belfast Eyesore.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Back to d'drawing board, and the tale of cuddly old Shako, who was kind of a forerunner of Bear from The Bear In The Big Blue House, but with a more British sensibility. This is for 2000ad fanzine Zarjaz to see print at some point.

It's set in the Arctic, so backgrounds aren't what you'd call busy.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Scribbles today. Getting into edits for Babble and layouts for a Zarjaz fanstrip about a cuddly bear, but otherwise just doodling or watching telly.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Aaaaaaand chapter one's done and dusted.
Sort of - still the edits to the later pages to sort out, and then I'm slotted in for the lettering and colouring, too, which should take a couple of weeks. Still a bit of an achievement for me, though, as it's the first full 'issue' of a comic I've done from someone else's script, and tellingly, it's a lot more visually consistent than art I've produced for my own scripting efforts, which tend to be continued/finished as and when I can be bothered/remember.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Ah, backgrounds - the bane of many a more capable artist, and something I occasionally like to leave until I've finished with the foreground - usually when there's no interaction between the two and the background may as well be a painting of a landscape as the real thing. Of course, that means somewhere down the line I have to devote all my time to backgrounds, which aren't very exciting, but a necessary evil.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Friday 13th November 2009

Never even noticed today was friday 13th. Go figure.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Thursday 12th November 2009

Doodling, drawing, sketching, and just finishing up the penultimate page of chapter one, which in retrospect actually makes a nice change from the frantic pace of the opening pages and double-page spreads.
Doing some TKT sketches, too, just to keep the hands wandering and the brain happy.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Wednesday 11th November 2009

Still clearing the talky heads pages - that's a lotta plain backgrounds so far! Got some ideas to lift them a little, though.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Tuesday 10th November 2009

More talking heads, but it's the last three pages of chapter one before I edit, colour and letter them and this sucker is ready for the previews.
Also: I need to learn to colour. Fast.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Monday 09th November 2009

Gaaaahhh! Drawing talking heads for the GN, I needed to take a break and draw something a bit more kinetic, so I turned to my old standby TKT - only to discover I'd left off drawing that because it was also at a page of talking heads before I could get to drawing punching and a humorous decapitation. You know - the fun stuff.
Still, talking heads I cannot escape, so talking heads it is for the week ahead - but I also need to get me some comics drawn up for swapsies purposes, too, so I may have to pull some extra time trying to get some of the many, many incomplete projects languishing on the To Do list a little closer to 'finished', which if nothing else will give me something interesting to put up as screen-grabs.

Sunday, 8 November 2009


Slept in till 2pm, got me a lazy day on, and now I'm cruising into night with the sweet, sweet sound of a barely remembered youth. Gotta love sundays.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Friday 06th November 2009

Slowly getting a head of steam up and running again. Just to slow things down even further, I've revised the page layout and some of the character designs on the double-page spread I'm currently working on to accommodate dialog and and such. Slows me down a little, but it's worth taking the time for it, I think.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

thursday 05th november 2009

After several days of bad time-management, I'm finally ready to move onto the 'inking' stage of pages 18-19, though the agonizingly drawn-out 'penciling' stage is exactly the same process but with more of me shouting at it than the later separate layers that are almost redundantly named 'inks' or some variation thereof.

For reasons long since forgotten, I 'ink' backgrounds and foregrounds on separate layers, with further layers for hatching/crosshatching, and more often than not I forget which layer I'm working on. This blog won't make a very good tutorial for anyone, I'm thinking. I should probably put more of my horrible sketches and comics on here and end the WIP facade.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Wednesday 04th November 2009

Late start, and christ I hate my scribbly, scribbly artwork before I shave all the edges off in the photoshop about which I never tire of bitching, but would be sunk as an artist without.
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh goddammit but... deadlines! Must speed up, must focus - the usual piss-artist complaints.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Tuesday 03rd November 2009 and I'm momentarily back, baby...

Super happy-fun catchup time now my PC is currently unborked. Talking heads are go!

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Sunday 01st November 2009

Ah, Vista - when freezing just can't happen enough when you're trying to get some work done.

I can't afford a Mac, but I'm coming around to understanding why so many people make the extra effort to save some cash and invest. Perhaps one day...