Monday, 25 March 2013

Check This Out: The Private Eye

For those of you who are into your comics I highly recommend the new comic "The Private Eye".

Created by super star writer: Brian K. Vaughan (Y: The Last Man, Saga and Ex Machina) and Marcos Martin (Amazing Spider-Man), this comic already has a strong pedigree, what's even more interesting is that the comic is only available online through a pay-what-you-want system. This is an bold move for the creators but after reading the first issue of the proposed 10 issue maxi-series I can proudly say it's well worth the higher tier price of a comic published by either of the big two ($3.99/£2.85).

The Private Eye tells a story of a world where the internet is no longer used and the most valuable possession a person can have is their identity. The most prominent piece of technology in this world are devices that skew or completely change a person appearance making the truth about a person even more valuable than it ever has been. Enter the main character who goes by the handle of "Patrick Immelmann", a self titled "Paparazzi" who lends his truth-revealing services to those who would pay enough for the right kind of job. I don't want to go any more into the plot but, Vaughan seems to be on a bit of a sci-fi kick at the moment with this and Saga running side by side and it's good to see such amazing stories come out especially when it's got such wonderful imagery from Staples (the artist on Saga) and Martin, hopefully this will pave the way for new scifi classics to or become classics them selves and escape the all eclipsing shadow of Star Wars and Blade Runner.

(Art by Marcos Martin)

The Private Eye weaves such a rich and luscious sci-fi world without resorting to much of the usual crutches such as out-of-this-world technology or aliens and it's stronger for it, the plot is exciting and well executed and the art makes the story flow like a dream (I read all 32 pages in under 10 minutes as I couldn't wait to turn a page). Regardless to say I can't wait for more and the trade paper back to come out and read it all as one big story, I recommend this to anyone interested in good storytelling/art and general comic readers a like.

Available in several formats including PDF (no comixology format yet) you can download The Private Eye #1 from Panel Syndicate to your computer or tablet device, just remember to leave what you can cause this book is totally worth it!

Original story found on Comics Alliance.

Bartsuo

Back when I first emailed off to be a part of Bartkira (before a proper cast of characters was made and when Bart was Tetsuo) I did this quick and dirty doodle of Bartsuo in photoshop.

It turned out alright to say it was rush job, but it still shows I've got a way to go in working with colour in photoshop, I should also slow down better as looking at it now there are some glaring errors with anatomy and the way the shading falls on what is supposed to be folds on the clothes.

This quick piece did help me fix the issues I was having with my current copy of photoshop and gave me an excuse to try re-create my custom brushes. This only took little over an hour to do so it does mean I'm getting faster/more confident in my work and skills but for better quality I should probably slow down and think more whilst drawing. For Bartkira I'm probably going to work in black and whites for the sake of my own skill but to also play better homage to Akira itself.

Whilst we're on Bartkira keep an eye out for character study sketches of Principal Skinner, Laura Powers and Dr. Hibert. If you're following the project, you'll know who these characters are standing in for heh. This project is going to be too much fun I think...

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Springfield Is About To E•X•P•L•O•D•E

Earlier today I got a very awesome e-mail. An e-mail that told me I would be taking part in possibly one of the best projects seen of the face of the internet (this year atleast).

BARTKIRA

Helmmed by James Harvey, Bartkira is a large scale artist project where in 468 artists will come together to re-draw all 6 volumes of Katsuhiro Otomo's sci-fi epic 'Akira' but with the animated cast of 'The Simpsons' in place of every character.

This is perfect chance to pay homage to two huge pieces of pop-culture at once whilst being hilarious!

The project came around through Ryan Humphrey's original Bartkira pieces (which can be seen here), wherein he drew panels from Akira with characters from The Simpsons standing in for the original cast. Fellow artist James Harvey saw this and decided that this needed to continue on a grander scale which is where we are now. Each of the 468 artists will be given 5 pages each to draw replacing the characters with the relevant Simpson characters given on the swap sheet.

I came across the project whilst looking over comics alliance last Wednesday whilst being off my head from Codeine Phosphate for a inflamed lung and I don't regret this choice of delirium one. damn. bit! I'm going to start roughing out my 5 pages tomorrow and as I go along I'll be posting my development as I go along as this is to interesting not to document. I mean how can you not want to see this project finished with such awesome imagery??

(art by Ryan Humphrey)

Once the project is complete it'll be available via torrent download also, there are still spaces left for the project for those who want to join in. Those interested should email James at bartkiracommittee@gmail.com.

For those interested in just following this project as it unwinds check out the links below:
James Harvey's Tumblr
James Harvey's Twitter
Character swap sheet
Ryan Humphrey's Personal Website
The original news story I found out about the project

Springfield Is About To E•X•P•L•O•D•E!

Thursday, 21 March 2013

The Gent of "Ladies & Gentlemen"

Hey guys, just here to share a traditional pen and pencil drawing of a character from my friends Richard Worth and Jordan Collver's comic "Ladies & Gentlemen". Drawn on a rainy evening a few weeks ago we have 'The Gent' a masked Victorian-era Hero, a strong and courageous man who never speaks he appears when ever injustice may happen to rear it's ugly head!

It was good to get back on the traditional tools between getting a new copy of photoshop and remaking all my brushes again. I'm now torn between doing more traditional based things (mainly comic based ideas) and digital painting but, I'm sure I'll find time to fit them both in, heh.

Check out more of Rich and Jordan's work including the chance to read the first issue of their comic over at their blog; The Water Closet Press, there's some pretty awesome stuff going on over there!

The first two issues of "Ladies and Gentlemen" are available at Travelling Man comic shops across the UK.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Laput Robot

I painted this picture of a Laputa robot last August whilst I was doing an internship over at Rockstar Studios Leeds over the course of several lunch breaks (FYI Rockstar Leeds is Awesome!)

I always found that I can colour digitally but I'm not great at 'Digitally Painting' so, this piece was done as a way to hone these skills I'm not as well skilled in to apply it to conceptual pieces. I think the end result isn't too bad but still no where near as good as I want it to be. I'm also improving on my skills with adding and making use of backgrounds as this is something that is severely lacking in my work.

As soon as I get my photoshop up and running again (I recently upgraded my hard drive and this was the only casualty) I'm gonna aim to do more pieces like this and develop my digital painting style/skills.

For anyone who used to come to my blog regularly, sorry for the year gap between posts but expect more stuff soon!