Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Introducing The Lamashtu

We end Vanguard Month looking forward to issue three, out later this year. Here is some design work I've been doing, for a new beastie being added to the mix.

Turns out if you put a donkey's ears on a cat's head, it ends up looking like a badly drawn rabbit. This didn't phase those zany Mesopotamians when they thought up Lamashtu. Part bird, part lion, part donkey, all woman! Seven women actually; I was contemplating drawing it with seven heads, but then I remembered how quickly that would multiply up across the whole comic, and common sense prevailed. 

This is just one of the many challenges Dirk Van Dom has thrown at me with this script. I'm sure I'll be talking about my progress soon enough, but next I think I'll be hyping up some of the new small press releases you should really be checking out.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Ron Smith

Ron Smith is an artistic exemplar. Many readers will already be aware of this fact, but I thought I should throw it out there just to be sure we are all on the same page.

Ron has recently retired; compelling comic fans from across the galaxy to rally together in celebration of fifty-five years of brilliance. The ever legendary Mark Howard has defied the difficulties inherent in collaborative artistic endeavour to create a comic expressing our gratitude. It is a comic containing uncontrolled, gushing praise, thoughtful well-wishes, and plenty of pictures of Judge Dredd. It is a comic you can see here, and one that Ron himself has recently received in hard copy.

The other day, Mark Howard sent all the contributors an email, and I feel the following extract speaks for itself:
"I have just received a 'phone call from The Man himself, Mr Ron Smith, and what a lovely gentleman he is to speak to.

He has received the tribute comic we put together for him and is overjoyed with it. He has asked me to pass on to you all his deep and enduring gratitude for putting so much talent, work and love into this project and said he was "overwhelmed" by your generosity and regard. (I must admit to having a little tear in my own eye as I put down the 'phone.) With fifty five years in the comics business under his belt, Mr Smith said that this was one of the highlights of his comic career and was deeply moved by the comic..."

So go follow that earlier link, and check it out for yourself. Here is my contribution to get you started.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Cut Out And Keep Halo

If you have checked out the free online copy of Vanguard 2, you will have seen this page, which I drew to homage the sort of cut out pages that you used to see in 2000ad annuals.

This is the full colour version. I was going to give it different text to justify this internet doubling up, but decided instead to stick with what I originally submitted. This is largely so we can all have a little laugh at my first attempts at mastering Redbat's voice. Dirk Van Dom* changed the first line in the completed edition, probably because "Bat greetings, batlings!" sounded a little too Adam West.

*Oh wow, I have only just realised the full brilliance of the blog title "Van Domain", and the reason for that photo of a van. Jeez, I'm slow!

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Halo And The Gryphon And The Salmon of Wisdom

Continuing this month's theme of shouting out for Vanguard, we'll be talking about the free gifts! Everyone loves a postcard right? You might think you are not fussed about postcards, I know, I thought the same about the 2000ad ones. But then you get them in your hands and you think "Oooooh, this is quite nice." Must be something about the high quality gloss finish to the art. Let's all pause a moment to consider high quality gloss finishes on art. Hmmm, sexy!

So now we are probably all really excited for the postcards that accompany the Real Paper Copies of Vanguard issue two! Every story in the comic is represented by a full colour piece of art, and you get the complete set just by buying the one comic! None of that needing to buy lots to complete your collection nonsense! Here is my contribution, and I was pleasantly surprised to find it looks even better in the flesh. Must be the high quality gloss finish.

The next piece was drawn as a birthday present for a friend of mine. I have found that people who have seen it have are compelled to create a story around the picture. Personally, I think young Zephyr is about to eat himself some lunch, but others have been much more imaginative. What do you think is going on?

Monday, 2 April 2012

Lizard People!

Right, let's turn April into Halo and the Gryphon Month. That link takes you to the second issue, all ready and up on the internet for your reading pleasure. If you need to catch up on the fantastic issue 1, that can be found here for the paltry price of a single pound!

The newest episode introduces Lizzah and her Halo. Let's go meet them both!

Oooh, on second thoughts, they look pretty busy. Maybe we should come back when they aren't being attacked by shape-shifting smoke-monsters.

Next we have a few sketches exploring intra-species variation among Lizzah's people. I'm not even sure when we'll be meeting any more of her kind, but I'll be ready for them when they turn up!

I've just recieved the script for episode three, and that has a whole load of new stuff I need to design. Monsters, species, scenery, Halo and the Gryphon likes to mix it up a fair bit, and so do I! That's why next week I'll be giving you a sneak peak at my first venture into colour with these characters. See you then!