Friday, 30 April 2010

Just started the thumbnailing/layout stage of the GN and doing little more than doodling rough ideas for other things in spare moments, which is not the way to be running a sketchblog for FUCK ME almost a year now. Come the first anniversary I suppose I shall have to stop and take stock of things.

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Just back to the doodling while I plan the next bit of the GN like a military operation, so in the style of Quentin Blake:

Though it looks like it should be Mr Rat if anything.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Fare thee well, robots!

Finally done with those, so it's off to thumbnail and scribble for a few days in preparation for the rest of the Insomnia GN.

Watching: The Pacific, The Good Wife, Glee

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Soon, my blog - soon I shall be back at drawing stuff that makes a kind of sense.

Watching: Mega Piranha, Treme, 10 Things I hate About You, House, 24, Trauma, Cleveland Show

Monday, 26 April 2010

Why, yes, Vista, my blog is far too image-heavy and in need of more of your reassuring white space! Always a pleasure when you take decisions about when I take a break from work into your own hands.

Watching: Enterprise season 3 - a lot better than I remember, though in my defence at the time I was more disappointed that the show was so derivative and significantly less than it could have been. What Trek needed at that point was the revamp treatment Battlestar Galactica would later get, rather than the reins handed to the producers responsible for creating the more insular and stilted installments of any given iteration of the franchise - basically, Trek needed guys like Naren Shankar, Ronald Moore and Manny Coto on staff from day one rather than later added in typical 'shit meets wall' fashion, as apart from a few mis-steps (soapbox moralising, an unconvincing lead) the third season was an objectively good sci-fi action series, albeit a very talky and poorly-characterised one that inexplicably thought that an episode where the main characters attempt to escape an exploding spaceship full of insane bloodthirsty zombies needed a b-plot where a Texan and an African-American sit in a small room and get along famously.
Stargate Universe - wow, it's like, so deep. He's, like, remembering his dying wife, which is like total pathos for him. This show is like so great because I have not seen any other sci-fi ever.
The Bridge - has outstayed its welcome. I'm not even bothered by the omnipresent, neverending and inappropriate incidental music, I'd just like to know what this show's supposed to be about. And Frank's secret meetings, which he apparently arranges in front of people, are increasingly hilarious for reasons I just can't fathom for the life of me.
CSI - "Some people would call a dead racist a good start" "Well we still have to call it murder" FUCK OFF.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

STILL doing the blimmin' robots thing, but sketching away for the inevitable day when I get back into superhero-y stuff.

Watching: Frank Skinner's Opinionated, Dr Who, Smallville, Gravity

Saturday, 24 April 2010

After the guy who came up with Every Daredevil Story in Three Panels (which disappointingly I can't find a link for), I took a stab at one-upmanship by doing Every Punisher Story by Garth Ennis in One Panel:

Friday, 23 April 2010

Quick Mobile Suit Gundam pic - so quick I can't even finish it, I'm that raring to finish the Omnivistascope strip off and get back to Babble.
Rubbish composition of the Gundam sketch helps me in not bothering with it, though. Always disappointed by the disparity between thumbnailed ideas that look full of energy and promise and their eventual realisation on the page when I tend to let reality get in the way. And proper anatomy.

Watching: Mercy, justified, Accidentally On Purpose, Community, Pump Up The Volume, TNA Lockdown

Thursday, 22 April 2010

A pic of TKT supervillain Tyranny, a war criminal's brain in the body of a T-Rex.

Watching: Glee, Parenthood

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Seeing as I'm still drawing robots that I don't want to spoiler by pasting pics on the blog, instead here's a quick snapshot of Nancy Drew getting along famously with the animal kingdom as usual.

The story behind this sketch is a scene from the first Nancy Drew story, which is inexplicably described as a "mystery" novel despite being about the search for a copy of a will and having the title 'The Secret of the Old Clock'. SPOILER ALERT - it's in the old clock.
It was a choice between the exciting boat scene where she runs out of gas and floats there in the lake for a few hours, the blood-pumping car scene where she drives around and gets lost, or the frantic shopping scene where she haggles over a dress, but I choose this scene in the end because it lends itself to a vaguely amusing image of Nancy about to be horrifically scarred in an animal attack, as around forty pages in a good mauling would have helped up the pace of a rather sedentary novel about a nosy cow who wanders about until mysteries solve themselves. I guess this was what passed for empowering girlyism in 1930, though I'm not entirely sure how it caught on as a series of books, nor how it eventually led to women in the army and stuff.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Down to the last page of Rathbone for Omnivistascope, so obviously I won't be posting screen grabs from that lest there be spoilage. Instead, some random sketches until I move onto other things. Today: Dr Bulldog, MD:

Who can be seen all too briefly HERE.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Watching: Tooth Fairy, Miami Medical, Smackdown, Ben Hur 2009, Frank Skinner's Opinionated

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Watching: Dr Who, The Bridge, The Dunwich Horror (1970)
Listening: War Rocket Ajax, Pomplemoose, Radiohead

Saturday, 17 April 2010

You win this round, poorly-designed robots. You may have won in an underhanded manner by putting a gun to my head and making me drink most of the day away instead of getting some scribbling done, but you win this one...

Watching: The Mummy (1959), Vampire Diaries, Spartacus, CSI, South Park

Friday, 16 April 2010

Watching: Lost, 24, House, the Middle, Modern Family, Ben Hur

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Still drawing away at the robots

Away from that, and on account of me not doing fast food or non-downloaded/DVDed television as part of my daily routine, I somehow managed to miss that I now live in a Simpsons parody of the real world...

Watching: Cougartown, Ugly Betty, Wonder Woman, Robocop: the Series, Star Trek: TOS

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Watching: CSI Miami, Melrose Place, Trauma, TNA, 90210 - nothing but pure shite today, apparantly.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Watching HBO's Treme, I'm reminded of being so into any given scene - skateboarding, metal, mid-90s dance - that you just slip into the mindset with ease once you're surrounded by the people, a feeling captured in the opening scenes where the first Jazz parade post-katrina makes it's way through the Treme area of New Orleans accruing musicians and locals as it goes, but it continues throughout, be it in Steve Zahn's hand to mouth musician or the performance street-theatre of Mardis Gras Indians as some sort of badge of office, there's just this incredible sense of immersion in a time and place that if you step outside it for a moment and take note of the details of life there it may as well be another planet, and it's that immersion in a culture that crawls out of what's left of the Big Easy that makes Treme work.
You can believe John Goodman's offence at the suggestion that New Orleans isn't one of America's great cities much as you could believe it - warts and all - of the living, breathing entity that was Baltimore in HBO's The Wire, also made with the same staff and methods (local actors, knowledgeable locals as script consultants) as Treme, though the latter substitutes local musicians for the former's police department as the centerpiece of a sprawling ensemble, and while I enjoyed The Wire, I didn't feel quite as invested from the first episode as I do with Treme. It's just fantastic television.

Also Watching: Castle, Damage, ATHF

Monday, 12 April 2010

Halfway through the robotty strip now - not counting my second pass for edits and background details at the end - and damn but my pages look bare without tones. I have no idea why I thought I could cartoony stuff.

Watching: Cold Case, Southland, Human target, Miami Medical - and you know what that show needs? To be more glossy.

Listening: Orbital Blue Album

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Watching: Spartacus, ATHF, Dr Who
Listening: Radiohead, David Bowie, REM

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Still robotting away. Not paying attention to the line weight as much as I should be, though.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Stil robotting.

Watching: Justified, CSI: NY, Accidentally On Purpose, Outnumbered, Sons of Tucson, Clone Wars
Reading: Thor and the Warriors Four - in which Thor doesn't actually appear. Which is fine, actually, as he's probably going to be overexposed this year with the film and all, and this isn't actually a Thor book as much as it is the latest Power Pack miniseries, which is aimed at kids and thus naturally opens with the first third of the book dedicated to the main characters' grandmother slowly dying while people around her cry.
The story follows the super-rugrats as they seek out Thor and the city of Asgard in order to retrieve a golden apple that cures all sickness with which to return their dying grandmother to health, which if you think about it isn't so much childish naiveté as it is fair enough reasoning for kids who've fought alien tyrants and traveled in time. But this being comic books in the 21st century where Batgirl is stuck in a wheelchair because she doesn't know anyone who can fix a spine and we all nod and say "certainly, that makes perfect sense" rather than calling bullshit on a lack of imagination, there are two ways this story is going to pan out: 1) granny Power dies and an inevitable lesson about the transient nature of life is learned, or 2) granny Power gets a few more years and the bad things in life that we have to endure are kept at bay for a time and we get the happy ending that's increasingly rare in even our children's entertainment. Option 2 doesn't sound likely, does it?
A fun little book, all the same.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Still at the robots.

Watching: Melrose Place, 90210, Southland, WWE RAW, The Good Wife, V, Ugly Betty
Listening: Lady Gaga, Bob Dylan, Pantera, Iron Maiden

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Watching: Justified, Life Unexpected, Lost, TNA

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Back in business drawing freaky Asimov-style space robots (according to SFX magazine). I tried to read some Asimov on and off, but shorts and the first Foundation are about as far as I got. I thought it could be a little dry in places, but Asimov is a master of the high concept and he can pretty much cruise on that once he gets going.

Watching: The Pacific, Cold Case, Human Target, Clone Wars, Home and Away
Listening: War Rocket Ajax

Monday, 5 April 2010

Bryan excels himself by fixing a problem that stumps even Wacom scienticians! But still can't fix their damned on-again-off-again drivers that don't seem able to register in Vista for any protracted period of time - computer on, computer off seems the only way to do that job, but hey, it's not like I was doing anything else on my Easter weekend anyway so I could totally afford to waste two days making something work like it's fucking supposed to.

Vampire Diaries - waaaaaaaaaaaaank.
Kamen Rider W - aural and visual gibberish from the Japs that I lap up indiscriminately like a dog licks puke from a bus shelter floor on a sunday morning. It's no Kabuto, but Double/W has its own charm here and there, even if it does serve as a helpful insight to the Nipponese subconscious with its youth-obsessed cast, scary women, and very, very close bonding between male leads that can only lead to one of two things: they get angry with each other or they make out, and this being a kids show they pretty much much just end up shouting untranslatable concepts at each other before bumping fists, putting on a slightly camp hat and accompanying wrist gesture and then beating someone up under a bridge like trannies fighting over a bag of chips.
Stargate: Universe - speaking as someone who sat through every episode of Babylon 5, I can safely say I've never seen a tv show quite as far up its own arse as this one (though to be fair, I did give up on Caprica at the end of the first episode for being creepy, pretentious shit). The basic gist is that SGU is a grittily realistic take on the concept of a multicultural crew transported to the other side of the universe by a magic door created by jellyfish aliens when they used to look human and which was instrumental in defining the political face of the galaxy after a lengthy war between snakes in people's brains posing as gods who were fighting Lego spiders and the actual gods of Norse myth (who were secretly the Roswell aliens) on two fronts before they were beaten by McGuyver and a guy who was trying to act like James Spader and failing to even be that bad an actor. Thinking about it, there's no real reason a tv show can't be straight-faced and deliberately lacking in self-awareness to disguise that all its plots are lifted from other sources - oh wait, yes there is: it can't if it's a spin-off of a spin-off of a movie and all of the parent properties were dripping in self-awareness to the point it was sometimes painful because at that stage all you're doing is stripping the franchise of its affability in the hope of disguising that you're out of ideas, and SGU is charmless, and most definately out of ideas given the deus ex "Begbie comes back" device used in this episode. I'm beginning to think I only watch this show to annoy myself.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Silver Banshee made an appearance on Smallville:

and was quite good except it was appearing in an episode of Smallville and by that measure became probably the funniest thing I've seen on TV this week - until I saw this:

No sketches today - my £900 Cintiq has turned from a monitor upon which you can draw into a 'no picture' tablet like you can buy out of Tesco for 25 quid, and this is apparantly less a quirky problem than it is an inevitability, which Wacom don't seem to be going out of their way to tell potential buyers. Which is nice of them. Actually, it's not as good as the tablets for 25 quid from Tesco, as the shape of the tablet's response area is different from most of the monitor settings, and the buttons on the side have no functionality, so by my reckoning, I've only wasted £910 I didn't have then and don't have now.

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Well, that was a great way to spend an entire day - removing a virus from my pc that's left the damn thing running noticeably slower. I'm a bit stumped by how these viruses are supposed to work: they download these icons onto your desktop called 'Yourporn' or '', and I'm a bit confused why people would think the response to this would be "This guy's gone to a lot of trouble to hack my pc, disable access to the Task Manager, Registry and System Restore, and fucked my internet connection and file association protocols, and even now I've finally got rid of the fucking thing the sound on my machine is gone, so I think I'll reward his tenacity by visiting these porn links and giving him my money."

So now I'm sketching for little reason other than it's the end of the day and I'll get pretty much nothing practical done now but I want to fiddle with the pc for a bit to see how it handles stuff. I could draw Godzilla forever, I think that's apparant from his periodic appearances on my Deviantart page, but I can never really remember what the big fucker looks like apart from the fact that he's grey instead of green in all but the very latest (post-millennial) movies, but I've coloured him green anyway, because the cartoon was awesome.

Friday, 2 April 2010

Reading: an oddly disappointing crop of Marvel titles from the pull list
X-Men: Second Coming 1 - apart from Wolverine, who I quite wanted to read more of but couldn't get my head around most of his own series as it just seemed to be this ongoing retcon clusterfuck about him finding out stuff about his past that wasn't true two pages later, I didn't care for the X-books much as I didn't care for most of the Marvel stuff that trickled over to the UK in the 1980s/1990s, barring Power Pack, which was reprinted in the back of Return of the Jedi and Thundercats in little four-page chapters chopped from giant-sized debut issues appearing in the states, so it was actually two months into the story before I realised it was a fucking superhero comic and until then I'd been enjoying what seemed like an adaptation of a mid-80s kids' movie about aliens - hey, I was a 2000ad fan and that kind of thing appealed to me. Anyway, for the most part I didn't think much of the Marvel stuff and X-Men's impenetrable, overly-complicated interconnected plotting and dull characters (seriously, has Cyclops had a single defining character moment ever?) seemed a macrocosm of my issues with Marvel's output. It was just this dull, money-chomping franchise that seemed to dominate the superhero market, intermittently throwing out these densely-worded crossovers where nothing much happened except someone shouted, the X-Men talked about teaming up to fight some menace, Cyclops shot his eyebeams at something that was usually off-panel and then at the end some villain I'd never heard of got a splash page to himself so he could tell his minions or the empty room that something bad were about to 'appen, and lordy, but Second Coming is exactly that all over again.
Basically, The X-Men are sitting around talking about how the mutants are in trouble as a race (which they've been doing not only for the last few years since most mutants lost their powers in a magical deus ex status quo changer, but since the mid-80s), then Cyclops shoots his eyebeams, the X-Men team up, they fight some people with guns, then there's a splash page reveal of a guy who's telling his minions something bad is going to 'appen. That is literally everything that happens, and unsurprisingly it's pretty dull, which is not something you should be saying about a story where people fight across the rooftops of moving traffic. I suppose it services those who want nothing more than just this, but as with anything X-Men related that isn't Grant Morrison's run on the title, I'm not sure what's here for non-fans.
Fantastic Four 274 - I literally read this only because the horse aliens from Power Pack had a cameo - I'm not joking - as the title has gone off the boil for me in the last few issues after a decent start to John Hickman's run, but it's perfectly serviceable fantasy adventure if you don't mind stuff that's long on talk and short on action or character development that'll be retconned in a year's time anyway. It's high concept stuff, certainly, but there's only so long you can present high concepts one after another without it coming across as dry (though as with anything, there are exceptions) or unrelatable, and that's the wall Hickman's hitting here. It's a pity, as going by his opening story he has the potential to top John Byrne's defining run on the title, but he's taking his time getting anywhere at all.

Watching: WWE RAW (goodbye, Shawn! ), Bones, The Middle, Modern Family

Thursday, 1 April 2010


Space robots in the distant future for Omnivistascope in a slightly cartoony style. It's actually the fourth part, of an ongoing story, but only the second part that I've drawn. I had to follow on from another artist (the talented, distinctive and slightly daunting Dunk Nimmo) and sadly didn't learn my lesson from a previous attempt to emulate another artist that resulted in the abominable Love Is Hell for FutureQuake. Whereas Dunk has a clean and bold style, I'm a bloody scribbler, an inclination that's caused me headaches with Babble as I try to stick to a single line weight and no hatching for an entire graphic novel for reasons that I can no longer actually remember, which is why the blog may be short on any kind of running commentary on how my work may or may not be evolving and long on random rants about crappy cable channels on the other side of the Atlantic watched by no-one that has ever known the touch of a woman.
Anyway, I think the point of this post was that I'm drawing in a slightly different manner than usual, which is probably good for me.

Watching: Parenthood, Trauma, 90210 (lesbian kiss - guess this show isn't coming back next season), TNA, Melrose Place, Ugly Betty (gayboy kisses - I hope this show is coming back next season)