Category Archives: Illustration & design

Artwork. Commercial illustration, private commissions, etc.

Restoring the Past

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.

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.

Detail Comparison

Detail Before & After.


1980’s Time Machine – Comic Archive #1

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.