Sunday, 21 July 2013

Colin MacNeil - Anthology One

Something a bit special today, the 2000AD stars of the future! 

When I was at Glagow Comic Con I had a fascinating chat with Philip Bond Vaughan about potentially the greatest university course ever! Phil teaches at the Duncan of Jordanstone College for Art and Design, part of the University of Dundee. He is the creator and module leader of, get this, the Comic Art and Graphic Novels Expansive Module! This MLitt course critically looks at comics in terms of genre, style, formal properties and history as well as offering practical training in many aspects of comics production. As if that's not great enough, there are lectures and practical sessions delivered by comic greats such as Cam Kennedy, Colin MacNeil, Dave Gibbons, Ian Kennedy and more. It sounds amazing!

The University has published three, full colour anthology comics showcasing the students' work which are well worth picking up to see the artists of tomorrow! Anthology One features a stunning cover by Colin MacNeil, a former student of the Uuniversity. Over to Phil to tell us more...

"In September 2011, Colin MacNeil visits his old art school Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design (DJCAD) in Dundee..."

 Colin discusses his Day of Chaos and insurrection work with a bunch of lucky gits! 

"Colin’s masterclass is part of the Comics Art & Graphic Novels Module created by Lecturer & Module Leader Phillip Vaughan (with input from Dr. Chris Murray of MLitt in Comics Studies fame at the University of Dundee). As part of the module the students produce a 6-8 page strip to be published in an Anthology. Colin was asked to provide the cover to the first issue. Colin very kindly agreed! The brief was simple; design a cover showing a typical comics student. Colin came back with quite an unexpected result which looked great! The stages are documented below..."

"Colin’s blue line pencil roughs and loose pencils. Phillip says “I really liked the  direction Colin took this cover commission , showing the various facets of modern student life and giving it a Sci-Fi twist! Colin picked up on the fact that the majority of the students on the module were female, so went with this as the main character! I was especially intrigued by the boxing glove!"

Attached to one of those wires is a Tory MP, outraged that the student is learning a creative craft as opposed to Winston Churchill or how terrible welfare is...

"Colin then works on layout paper and inks over the original pencils on a separate sheet using marker pens…Colin works at quite a large scale (A2) so this then has to be scanned in two halves and stiched back together in Photoshop."

Beer and doughnuts, the staple diet of the modern student!

"Close up detail of the inks."

A happy, fresh-faced student shortly before a life of Betelgeusian bullying in a nerve centre cubicle and dismembering by Mek-Quake. 

"Colin wanted to colour this cover himself, which he did in Photoshop. Colin told me he uses the mouse to colour, which is very impressive! This is an alternative version with a colour gradient background. The only change I asked for was that Colin change the acronym for Duncan of Jordanstone from DOJ to DJCAD, to avoid brand confusion with the Department of Justice in the US(!)"

Purple pro's

"The decision was made to go with the white background, to make the image even more graphic."

Hey Miss DJ 

"Here is the final image with the graphic elements added! Absolutely loved the way this came out, Colin did a great job and turned this around in a very quick timeframe! A joy to work with!"

"Anthology One is available here:

Huge thanks to Philip for sending the article and pictures. When chatting I was honoured to discover that this very blog has been used in the course to show how covers are put together and elements of graphic design - cool!

Anthology Two boasts a cover by Philip and Three by someone called (Pete checks notes...) Dave Gibbons. Look out for breakdowns of them on the blog soon.

You can find out more about the course here and see more of Philips work here.

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