Moon 3 Page 1 Pencils…. Evil Wears a Furry Face

Moon 3.1.1

So, it’s that time again. The third instalment of Moon is beginning to hove into view. With it is the introduction of a very special kind of evil. Revealed briefly in Moon 2, BunBun Warmheart is a villain that had everything going for him. Now his crimes against humanity mean not even his cute little face can get him off. Our hero, Moon and Shades will be facing this little bleeder directly. What will they find out? What will they glean from this little furry bastard?

This is very much the start of the first story arc for Moon. The introduction is over – now it’s all about the investigation! Moon and his new partner, Shades Rodriguez are about to start dog paddling in dangerous waters, and there be sharks there. Heavily armed, laser guided, furry faced sharks that want to bite their legs off. With guns. And things. Threats will come from directions you’d never expect. You have been warned.

Evil is back. And it’s sitting on a raised chair in an interrogation room at the heart of the Agency.

DAH-DAH-DAAAAAAAAAH!

Moon 3.1

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Moon: Build Up to a Comic Book Cover: Part 4

To the cover!! Is this what we’re going with? Hm. Hard to say. Iv will kill me if I come up with another idea. We are now on what should hopefully be the final week (isn) of preparation for issue 2. There’s a lot of lettering going on, a lot of colouring, a lot of collecting material together to combine it all together in a fine visual delight that will be the second issue of Moon.

Good god it’s been a long time on this one but we are finally moving all the tiny meticulous little pieces ever closer together. There are plans to make up for the considerable wait that everyone has suffered. Never again, please god, never again!!

Fun is close!!

Moon: Build Up to a Comic Book Cover: Part 3

The cover moves closer (however may be a poster instead). The argument continues to thrive – at least in my head that the cover for Moon 2 has to be awesome, indicative of what’s going on inside – without actually giving too much of the plot away. It’s never going to live up to Issue 1 and we can’t cheat and do what I did with Fallen Heroes 1 and 2 and just completely recreate the image from the first onto the second.

Seems to me that the second issue is a tough one – possibly the toughest. The initial introduction for any character is exciting and action packed and carries with it a large am amount of momentum. This takes a bit of load off – which had previously been weighing me down a bit about issue 2. Namely that it doesn’t matter that it’s more bombastic, exciting, well drawn, more tragic and funny than the first – issue 2 never compares to Issue 1.

That first sweet nectar of meeting the exciting central character – the anticipation as to where it goes next – frankly both bubbles are burst in Issue 2. This is inevitable – and frankly, don’t take this as a put down of the meaty goodness of Issue 2 of Moon – far from it. All I’m doing is mentally preparing you dear fan for what is a beautifully written and effortlessly coloured second issue. I’ll let you make your own minds up about the art. Like that reviewer from Major Spoilers did (grrrr). I promise you though that if you see Moon 2 on a table at MCM (perhaps) or Thought Bubble (definitely) – grab it, remember it’s issue 2, adjust your anticipation accordingly and get ready to be blown away yet again by the world of Moon. Much, much, much more on it’s way!!

Moon: Build Up to a Comic Book Cover: Part 2

This is the fun part of the process, where the pages are complete and ready to go. Finishing touches, spit and shine. If Moon was a car right now, the Chassis is on and the Engine in place, ignition is working but it needs a little more paint work and a couple of the connections fixed, leather applied to the seats to make sure it’s comfortable for the ride.

Not much of a change from last week but sometimes colour is not so much of a problem. A few years ago, at a convention in Birmingham, I met a digital artist working on his digital art pad (before the IPad existed, which makes me feel like I’ve been doing this a long time). His advice, above all else, in order to give artwork a more realistic look was layering. Literally taking textures from existing photographic material or carefully produced digital version. These resources are easily and readily available via deviantart and stock resource sites – or hi-res Google images if you’re feeling cheeky. You apply the layer and make it transparent or mask it using layers above it, so that it offers a realistic base for your colours.

This is what I did here. Two Hi res images of the Moon (from different sides), the original visible from Part 1, the second at a lower transparency to highlight the existing layer below. It just makes old Moon head more realistic for the cover image – though, before anyone picks us up on it at a con – pretty inaccurate.

Moon: Build Up to a Comic Book Cover: Part 1

Welcome to the first stages of a very effective comic book cover (we hope). Some years ago I saw something very, very similar between two major characters of some very famous toy brand that had been put out as a fairly successful British comic book. The image seared into my head as one of the strongest images I’d ever seen. As such I have shamelessly sought to use it’s basic premise on the pages of Moon 2.

Covers are probably the most difficult part of the whole process. Something that effectively says what’s going on inside without giving the game away, grabs attention from a distance and holds up well under scrutiny. All this and it always has to carry numbers and titles (and maybe a review and occasionally -though not ideally – a barcode). It takes a tonne of thought and trial and error and has been the focus of my attention for some time.

With the artwork for Moon 2 complete we are beginning to move into the final stages of production (finally). This is a relief and I have to say I’m proud of the content – more so as I see the lettering and colouring come into existence. It’s at this point it becomes easier to figure out what artwork sums up all the takes place inside.

This is stage 1: Pencils, inks, lifted from the page by Photoshop and the basic layer of Moon image (applied on external and high detail images of Moon) to finish off what is effectively nothing but a neck in a suit up until this point.

These lines are with Iv and she will no doubt lovingly finish them off ready for the final page – something I personally can’t wait for. Stage 2 Next week.

Unseen Unseen Shadows Sketch : Secret Clancy Wallencheck Artwork

It’s been a while since the Unseen Shadows Anthology (featuring Clancy Wallencheck:Band of Butchers, Napoleon Stone: Fragments of Fate, Stephanie Connisbee: Operation Solomon and Reverend: Wrath of God). The next anthology is in the process of being completed – this time featuring Ben ‘The Hand’ Ashodi (from FH 1) and Nathan Ash (written by our very own Dan Thompson).

At the time of Unseen Shadows I drew a scene based on Dan’s writing. As I’ve been looking through some of my old artwork I found that sketch and thought I’d stick it up for your perusal. First time Dan will have seen it too. Surprise, Danno!!

Preview Omen for Overload (Available at Kapow!)

Some time ago I was contacted by Martin Conaghan (Fallen Heroes, Burke and Hare) to see if I could help him out on a publication called Overload. I still don’t know that much about Overload except that it’s an anthology title for creatives and will be launched by Martin – and others – at Kapow.

I agreed, automatically assuming that it’d be fine and I could mix it into my usual timetable. This turned out to be more of a struggle than I anticipated (I rarely have a timetable) but when I read the script by George D. Wessel I knew it had to be done.

Add to this the fact that Jacen Burrows created the main creature that appears in the story and I can confirm it is 6 pages of the most intense writing I’ve ever dealt with.

To tell you what else is in it would spoil it, however Fenrir, the creature Burrows created before he got famous some time ago, is the least of events that take place in the short strip. Part of a big anthology with a host of other talented artists (some of their previews will most likely be posted here over the next few weeks) it should be worth a look.

Having not seen anyone else’s work on the project there is no way for me to know if my work is up to scratch but based on word from Mr. Conaghan I’d say the line up is incredible (worryingly)…

Lost Jedi Sketch 3: Ba Na Newlon 2

Just a quick sketch of Jedi Master Ba Na Newlon. Matriarch to a new generation of (doomed) Jedi she is a wanderer. The love of curmudgeonly old Jedi Crusader Rial Shif she arrives just in the nick of time – in true Jedi style. Her quick thinking, decisive action and understanding of what is truly important leads a disparate band of wastrels to apparent safety. Frankly I’d love for Lost Jedi to happen just to be able to see Ba Na Newlon’s tale.

Moon: Who killed Councillor Hugh Griffiths?

Modern day. The case for Ray and Moon that started the series of events is the mysterious murder of Councillor Hugh Griffiths. Reknowned for his recycling policies and liberal attitude towards street theatre, Tower Hamlets is a poorer place as a result of the loss of this giant of refuse politics.

What does this all mean. Surely a man like Hugh Griffiths couldn’t have any enemies lurking in the shadows. Is he a cack handed gun handler or did someone deliberately assassinate him? Whatever the answer – a big clue as to what it’s all about in Moon 2 when the main suspect to be the fleeing figure featured in Moon 1 will be revealed…

Lost Jedi: Early Sketches 2

Some characters become significantly more interesting unexpectedly. Originally a secondary character brought in to resolve a plot and create a background for what I thought was a more interesting figure. No so. Ba Na Newlon has consistently shaped up as an increasingly fascinating character and more than that, a saviour of many Jedi. A matriarchal figure in the plot, Ba Na Newlon is a stable hand in the middle of chaos.

Potentially the most well rounded and most fascinating character of the bunch – her journey might be one of shortest however is recognisable to anyone who has ever known a driven matriarch (not necessarily with force powers).