Here’s a page from ‘Magic Lamp Boy’ 1997, showing the process of retouching the original artwork, it was a ‘mini-comic’ so all the artwork was A5. Most comics were produced ‘half-up’ or ‘two-up’ (working big then reducing the original) though I really enjoyed working small with a really fine brush.
Before and after.
The original still has a lot of ‘printers blue’ on it. This is artwork and lettering done with a blue pencil that doesn’t show up when the artwork goes to print (or photocopy). To be honest this page is in a bit or a state, and I even found food crumbs on some pages (yuk). Image on the right is the touched up hi-res scan, the blacks have all been evened out have, ghost lines removed and lettering re-done. I would eventually learn how to letter like the pros’ Tom Frame or Dave Gibbons, but not yet. Going back to old work, I’ve tried not to ‘do a George Lucas’ as my mate Sean put it, so I kept some of the original imperfections, cleaning up lines and scuffs.
Lots and lots and lots of years ago I made a comic. Actually a made a few comics… a lot of comics. I love comics. My brother got me into it when he started drawing them. He always did stuff first, and I copied him. Comics, comedy, moving to Manchester, he did all these things, and I copied him because he was a lot cooler than me when we were young ‘uns.
He started with ‘the adventures of Mark Mushroom and Tom Toadstool’, fun stories of two anthropomorphic fungi, followed by ‘Blogford Town’, about a footy team. I started reading Marvel UK reprints of Transformers and Punisher, watched loads of 80’s action movies like Aliens and Robocop. I came up with loads of random ideas for comic characters, some were good, most were rubbish, some were really cool but had really crap names like ‘ The Night Law’. I was 13 and just wanted every character to the Punisher (but better than the Punisher because I had drawn them). My bother drew some as strips which are as hilarious as they are violent. I just kept churning out ideas, it would be a while before I settled on a character and draw ‘proper’ comic strips, but I loved drawing, and still do. Today in 2013 I have fancy posh graphics tablet, back in 1988 just an A5 drawing pad and an HB pencil and too much fizzy pop, all I needed.
Virus, Kristoff, Buying the Farm, Facade, Virtual Obscurity and Magic Lamp Boy – these names mean nothing to any but me really, but between 1988 (where this archive starts) and 1998 I got drawn into comics big time, drawing till midnight on school days and going to small press conventions in far away towns with no idea where I was going to sleep that night. I’m getting ahead. It was 1987.
One of my A5 sketchbooks. A5 the big enough for me.
The Xmen were ok ,but X factor were so boring I didn’t finish Beast’s head.
X Breed are better than the X men anf have better names.
An average guys with guns looking cool. I’ve probably just watched Die Hard.
He’s Captain Curse. What are his special powers? Why does he have no face? Answers on a postcard to where I lived age 13.
A squirrel in a cape. Possibly ‘Booster Beaver’, a rip off of Rocket Raccoon.
Yeah, I was playing that game on the Sinclair Spectrum.
A guy with a tommy gun and a hat on looking cool. I’ve just watched the Untouchables.
Law Man, What a great name. A Raston Warrior in a dinner suit.
Massive shoulders and a red visor = the 80’s
This is the best vigilante ever. He is better than the Punisher and has shoulder pads. Read the text doing your best ‘voice-over man’ impression
My bro’s 3rd strip for the excellent (better the the punisher) character. Lots of body parts and head stabbings.