Monday, July 31, 2006

Keeping the lawyers happy....

Well, you know how a couple of posts ago I said not to forget his name...


Well, meet Slam Ridley....don't forget his name....

A subtle but necessary name change, I'm afraid. I'm happy with it though because now his name works on two levels. there's still the homage to "Slam Ripley - Crap Pilot" from the sublimely funny "How To Be A Superhero", but now he's also an homage to the director of two of my favourite sci-fi films, Bladerunner and Alien, Mr Ridley Scott.

So....I'm happy....the lawyers are happy....everybody's happy.

The Intergalactic Adventures of Slam Ridley - coming to a universe near you, soon!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Steely Dan - The Robot Man (NAKED!)

Just a quick post tonight because it's late/early 'cos I've been up all night colouring Headlocked and chatting with that special someone. But...I just had to share Paul Ridgon's latest character design for The Intergalactic Adventures of Slam Ripley. Steely Dan - The Robot Man. No...I'm not a Steely Dan fan...and I don't think I could even name one of their songs....but the name just popped into my head fully formed one evening, and it just seemed to work. He'll be wearing clothes in the actual comic book, but Paul wanted to get his basic, underlying structure right before clothing him. The question of who or what Steely Dan actually is will be an important one in future Slam Ripley stories...but don't expect an answer for a while.

In other news, it looks like I'll be attending the Baltimore Comic Convention, assuming I can actually sort out my flight. Right now it looks like I'll be flying via Iceland (yes, really) because the price of the BA direct flight suddenly gained £136 between yesterday and today. I'm slightly worried about ending up stranded in Reykjavik...but it'll be an adventure at least.

Assuming I'm going I'll be colouring up Paul's Slam Ripley sketches and doing some nice prints of them ready for the convention in the hopes of drumming up some support for the book. Paul's mentioned doing a poster (and his concept for it totally kicks arse), so if we can get that complete, inked, coloured and printed in time for the con, I'll see about getting a decent amount printed up and I'll be signing them and selling them there.

Say it with me, people.... "Make Mine Slam!"

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The name's Slam Ripley, don't forget it...

Meet Slam Ripley, 'nuff said.

Yeah, right, like I was really going to leave it at that! This is the first character design for The Intergalactic Adventures of Slam Ripley. Plotted by myself, with Peter Rogers on scripting duties and the unsurpassable Paul Ridgon on pencils. I suspect that Paul telepathically reached into my mind and picked out exactly what I wanted Slam to look like.

I really can't express in words how excited I am about how Slam Ripley is shaping up. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect penciller, and I really hope that Paul's able to stick around for the one-shot after the six pager is done.

I believe Paul's going to be doing a few more sketches of the supporting cast and I'll be posting them as soon as I have them. Please let us know what you think of Slam by posting a comment, and spread the word about Slam Ripley because this book could really be huge.

In other news, as a steady stream of British comic book creators make their way back across the Atlantic in the wake of the San Diego Comic Con (apart from Tony Lee, of course, who ended up stranded in Kansas due to one of the engines on his plane blowing up...nice one!) I'm gearing up to take a trip in the opposite direction. Yep, this boy's just booked himself on a flight across the Atlantic, woohoo! Four weeks and counting...

See you in the air!

And remember.... "Make Mine Slam!"

Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Young Gods at Markosia?

Well, odd to think that the last time I posted to this blog I was still I'm 30 and there have been a huge amount of changes in my life.

Let's get straight into the big comic book related one though, eh? I guess anyone who's been paying attention to the Visionary web site will know that the big secret is out. The publisher for the Young Gods, Headlocked and Mamluk six page introductory back-up strips will be none other than the UK's own Markosia Comics! I can't think of a more appropriate company to publish The Young Gods' debut in print than Markosia. Harry and the gang have been nothing but supportive of me and the book since I first showed it to them back at the Brighton con' last year. We've all come a loooong way since then, and I'm very proud to be working on one of Markosia's monthly books as a colourist (you have ordered your copies of Smoke & Mirror vol 2 #1, right?). It seems very appropriate that I'm making my writing debut in the pages of a Markosia comic too.

I've just received today the script for a Slam Ripley six pager from Pete Rogers, who's co-creating my little homage to the worlds of Star Wars and Firefly. We'll be submitting it to Visionary once the dust has settled from San Diego and hopefully Slam will be making his debut in the pages of a Markosia comic very soon. I'm pleased to announce, also, that the headache of trying to find a penciller for Slam Ripley was recently cured by none other than Visionary's own Paul Ridgon, who volunteered his services pretty much out of the blue. Both Paul and Pete will be sharing credit with me as co-creators on Slam Ripley. Unlike The Young Gods, which is very much my baby, I'm intending The Intergalactic Adventures of Slam Ripley to be a much more collaborative effort. Dont get me wrong, I'm still just as passionate about The Young Gods as I ever have been...but I've got this gut feeling that Slam's going to completely blow people away. Put it this way...if you were disappointed by the Star Wars prequels...and Firefly's 14 episodes and one movie were simply over too won't want to miss The Intergalactic Adventures of Slam Ripley.

And that's just the big events in the comic-book creating side of my life.

Add to that a relationship ending (no ring on my finger...)... a new relationship beginning (both wonderful and stressful)... everyone freaking out in the run up to San Diego... and planning what could be the first of many trans-atlantic trips... it's been an eventful time. So... sorry for not posting an update sooner!

I wrote my first song in over two and half years tonight. It's amazing, having a source of inspiration again after so long.

So... I turned 30 and everything changed... what's everyone else been doing?

Monday, July 10, 2006

Return to Mamluk!

Well, those of you that read my Live Journal will know that i recently had a VERY BAD DAY. One of the things that contributed to that bad day was the news that my good friend Paul Ridgon was quitting comics to get a proper job. Paul's an incredible penciller, and the news that he was giving up was a big blow as I was looking forward to inking and colouring his work on the Mamluk one-shot in the works from Visionary.

Well, great news today, Mamluk is also getting a 6 page preview strip...just like The Young Gods and Headlocked...and Paul's going to be pencilling it! (Welcome to the world of working 'till 4am Paul!) And, what's even cooler is that he's invited me to ink and colour it.

Now...if I can just get the government to add another six hours to each day I should be sorted...

Sunday, July 09, 2006


Well, because I clearly have some pathological need to have more work than any mortal man could hope to cope with...and because I've become rather accustomed to drifting off to sleep with the sound of the dawn chorus ringing in my ears...I've signed on as colourist on Visionary's hot wrestling comic, Headlocked.

There is a HUGE buzz surrounding this groundbreaking title set in the world of pro-wrestling and I'm really pleased that I'm able to be a part of it. You can find out more about Headlocked on the Visionary website, or you can visited series creator Mike Kingston's Myspace page here.

In other news - I just picked up Civil War #'s 1 and 2 yesterday. I really enjoyed them and I'm looking forward to where Marvel are going to go with this. This series needs to have serious long lasting repercussions though. There is a rift now between Captain America and Iron Man that neither one should be able to just shrug the dust settles, I'll be disappointed if they're both still Avengers. Got to admit though, I have no idea where Marvel are going with this one.

I'm really getting back into reading comics at the moment and I've really surprised myself by getting into Marvel's Ultimate's line. I picked up the first year of Ultimate X-Men in TPB form, and also the first Ultimates trade. It's impressive stuff. I remember when this tuff first came out, just when I was getting out of reading comics, I really didn't see the point of it. I have a great fondness for the Marvel Universe, its history and its continuity, and new books that just threw away all that didn't make much sense to me. Now I'm approaching them from the point of view of someone who is not regularly reading comics, and suddenly I get it. Excellent stuff.

That said, I wuld like to get back up to speed with the mainstream Marvel Universe. I recently read the House of M trade, which I found to be quite impressive. As you may have noticed, I've been buying a lot of trade paperbacks. Again, the TPB market didn't make any sense to me when I was buying something like forty regular monthly titles. Now TPBs are exactly what I need, and a stack of them is much more convenient to read than a stack of bagged and boarded back issues. Consider me well and truly sold on the whole TPB thing. I want to catch up on the main X-Men books...but I'm resisting because I know it means reading the Morrison run....

In other, other news - I have just three days left of my twenties. Ugh. Ageing has never been a big deal for me before but there's just something about turning 30. It's some consolation, however, that I can look back over the past thirty years and see that I've achieved most of the goals that I would have liked to have achieved before I turned thirty. I've fathered two great kids, recorded live and studio CDs, had songs written and performed by me played on the radio, been on an insane road trip to visit a refugee camp in Macedonia, performed live in front of a festival crowd...and....most importantly of all...become a published comic book artist.

So...what is there left for me to do?

I guess, going into my thirties, it would be good for me to set out a few here goes...

- Become a published comic book writer (looks set to happen before the year ends).

- Attend the San Diego Comic Book Convention (hopefully next year).

- Do work for Marvel Comics (yes...DC would be cool, but I'm Marvel through and through).

- Write a Pete Wisdom mini series.

- Win an Eagle award.

- Win an Eisner award.

Well.....we'll see...

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Independence Day!

Well, it's the day that we all celebrate finally getting rid of those traitorous Americans. Wooohoo!

Well...this post is really just a thinly veiled excuse to talk about my son's passion for drawing. This Spidey pic' was done a couple of months ago, and he's actually imroved an incredible amount since then. (He is four).

I really wouldn't be surprised to see him follow in my footsteps and end up drawing comic for a living. I'm happy to encourage him as much as possible because if he gets into the habit of drawing regularly now, then he's going to be brilliant when he grows up. I've never had the patience or discipline to regularly work at my art...well...until the last year or so.

Ah...who am I kidding? I'm just a proud dad who thinks his kids are brilliant!

Oh...while I'm here...we just blasted past 1500 hits! Woohoo!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

The Young Gods - Script Approved!

Well, it's been an eventful few days here and I've now taken over from Derek as the scripwriter for The Young Gods.

I'm pleased to say that my second draft script for the six page story has now been apprroved by Chuck Sellner and we've passed it on to Vinnie to start on the pencils. I can't wait to see what he comes up with!

I've finally taken the plunge and carved myself a little corner of myspace. You can find me here. Stop by, say hi, add me to your friends.

The colours for Smoke & Mirror Vol 2 #1 are 99% done now. It's a real blast working on this book, I only wish I was doing this as my day job already, I'd have it all done in a quarter of the time!

Don't forget that the Smoke & Mirror TPB and the Of Bitter Souls TPB are in the shops NOW ... so go get your copy!

The crazy madness starts here! Hold on tight! It's gonna be a bumpy ride!