Saturday, 31 January 2015

Glenn Fabry and Adam Brown - The Wurminators!

Yuck! Grossest cover of the year to date? Anna and the crusty old knights of the Order finally take on the Worm Men who threaten to end time itself! 

Who better to depict sword and sorcery than celebrated artist Glenn Fabry? Below are Glenn's deft inks which are just beautiful (well, as beautiful as a maggot-ridden worm man can be!)

Maggot Killer 

Then it's over to colourist Adam Brown to add some magic!

Looks like Wormy had Spaghetti for lunch... 

And here's how the cover looks at your local thrill merchant - wiggly!

Dr Bob's worming tablets would sort them right out

The dynamic duo have given us some truly zarjaz covers over the last year. I absolutely loved this Saint of Killers-esque painting for Ichabod Azrael...

 Dang tootin'

"Just how fast can you preach?"

Black Seuk also got the Fabry and Brown treatment in this disgusting cover of Prog 1896...

Seuks to be them... 

Slicey Dicey Oncey Twicey! 

The pair also gave us this amazing Megazine cover for the Scottish referendum. Adam's colour REALLY pop on this one...

Dredd's hand had to be strategically put there as the guy in the picture is Auld Willy McLongcock... 

I hope that's rainwater...

Glenn also works with talented colourist Ryan Brown and the pair gave us this bone crunching cover of Meg 348 - ouch!

99 Code Dredd

"It's just a flesh wound!"

HUGE thanks to Glenn for the images, he was teasing a fully painted Dredd cover on his Facebook page which I'm sure will be absolutely stunning!

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

The Brothersss Grimm...

Oh my life, cover artist of the year Greg Staples is back with a cover to chill you to the bone! Death and his brothers, up close and personal... he just has to put his hand in and ssssqueeze! I wrote to Greg, enthusing about the amazing job he'd done on the cover and he wrote back saying it was "A fairly quick one!" Sheesh!

We are just over the half way point in Dark Justice and things are starting to get really scary - with Dredd and co trapped in space with the Dark Judges, what nefarious plans await them? Those who attended LSCC last year may recall that John Wagner cryptically teased that at the end of this strip "Dredd might not win..." Hmmm, I'm a little worried.

Greg kindly sent some production snaps from his studio, below is his under painting, wow!

Mortis does a lovely manicure.

Here is some nice detail...

"Jusssst cough ssssssir..."
And Death's cheeky grin, aw, what a sweetie...

Oh that Death, always taking sssselfies!

Here's it is with the colour applied...

I think Sydney needs some Plaqueaway toothpaste ASAP.

And how the breath taking piece looks on Greg's easel, wowzers!

"Sigh...Okay then Sydney, just one more time - This little piggy went to market..."

And finally, how the Prog looks on your shelf, creepy!

Huge thanks to Greg for taking time out of his busy schedule to send those fantastic images, we are very lucky squaxx! 

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Alex Ronald - War Hammer!

Ouch! Alex Ronald delivers a very painful cover for Prog 1914 as the masses let Howard Quartz know where he can shove his Hammersteins! It's another winning cover from the top three cover artist of 2014!
Alex said "I actually found this cover the most challenging so far, purely down to the problems I encountered in making the composition work. I kept finding that a landscape image was the way it was leading me but obviously a cover is a portrait orientated image."
"My initial B/W rough was approved by Tharg but after sleeping on it I thought the image looked too much like the Hammersteins were fighting with and not against the rioters."

"A quick re-jigg of the elements and a rioter was brought in front of the robot to suffer a bullet riddled fate. No ambiguity now."

"For a bit of colour contrast I added the fire. A petrol bomb is the trigger to the violence in the story so bringing in the burning robot ties in cover and strip even better. Tharg approved the changes and it was good to go..."

Below we see Alex's slightly confuzzling rough, good old Hammerstein, helping those poor rioters. What would Asimov think!?!
Hammerstein at a rave...
 Alex called for help to ensure he go the cover just right, he said "A big thank you to Patrick Goddard who supplied me a wealth of reference material for the robots, both from his previous prog strips and some behind the scenes sketches. These were great for scale and a clear view of the robot details..."
Hammerstein's Hide and Seek tactics were suspect to say the least...
 "The next step was to create the robot in 3D. I worked on this across a couple of modelling packages Maya, Z Brush and exported each body segment out as a separate piece so that it could be attached to a skeletal rig. This allows the robot to become a fully pose able 'Action Man'. No realistic hair but one gripping hand :)"
I want this toy!!! 

 "We're forever blowing bubbles..."
Hammerstein has got a tiny penis, but on the other hand, it's quite big. 
"The rioter was customised from one of my library of figures and posed in situ with the robot. Some lights were added to get the basic atmospheric look and then the elements exported into Photoshop for digital painting..."
It was just meant to be a friendly tap on the arse... 
"I've included the painted up Hammerstein before the smoke and fire obscured much of his body."
"Ow! I've just shot me finger!" 

And here's Hammerstein with the smoke, fire and hippy!

Hammerstein's second amendment rights trump the Grinder's first amendment right.
And here's how the prog looks on your shelf, frigging marvellous!
Oooh, that's gonna need some camomile lotion...
Great big walloping thanks to Alex for sending the images, here's hoping for another bumper crop of covers from him this year!

Friday, 2 January 2015

PJ Holden - I SPY!


Welcome to the first post of 2015, and I couldn't be happier than kicking off the new year with a cover by the brilliant PJ Holden! Criminally, this is only Paul's second prog cover, his first being the hilarious, McMahon inspired  cover of prog 1639...

"Go for your piece!"

Paul remains in the Dreddverse, this time treating us to a sinister Orlok cover as the Soviet spy gets his first solo series in the prog. I'm sure most readers will know the history of this notorious villain, but if you need a reminder check out this great article on Judge Tutor Semple's fine blog! 

Okay then, below are Paul's cover roughs, energetically sketched in his notebook. I love the tense atmosphere these convey...

Highlights of the Soviet Games Hide and Seek event...

However, PJ took a slightly different route. Here's his pencil sketch which he says "Inevitably, I prefer this to to final piece - sheesh!"

Orlok had managed to glue his model gun to his face again...

With the idea nailed, PJ pencils it properly - "Here's my finished pencil, drawn in a notebook. I scanned and printed this out in blue then inked from it..."

He's a cutie really.

And here are those finished inks...


Paul then sent colour options to Tharg, who went with option C. I've got to say , I kinda love option A...

A shows Orlok's adventures in Amsterdam...

PJ also included "An attempt at a noir cover," if 2000AD did variant covers, this would have been a cracker!

Sov City?

And here's the final coloured version, oh yeah!

Not quite sure they chose the right model for the neighbourhood watch campaign...


PJ did a wonderful Christmas image for friends and family and sent for the glorious 2000AD Advent Calendar.  He says "The brief: do the minimum amount to create a seasonal image I can email clients/friends/family, and throw online to say Happy Christmas to everyone."

"The problem: no time, no idea, no talent." Are you kidding!?!

"I knew it’d feature Dredd because he’s my easy go to for a quick drawing, I figured I’d include Santa (because Dredd’s always arresting a santa) and it’s seasonal, so I banged out a couple of half hearted sketches then did this one, featuring a large nosed alien thing, with Beard being manhandled by Dredd." Dredd's always arresting a Santa - ha ha ha!

Top left: When Santa Got Stuck up the Chimney?

"Sketch done, I penciled it - unusually for me, I went straight to inks - normally I’ll scan the pencils and print them in blue so I don’t have to erase. I wish I’d done that here since I started erasing pencil lines before ink had properly dried and the result was a lot of large smears I needed to edit out in Manga Studio. As ever there a bits of the sketch I much prefer (aliens face, the turn of his head, the haunched nature of dredd - much more action in this shot),  but it was ever thus..."

Citizen Snork has let himself go...

"Ink work done (originally he only had one hand aloft, but I added the second one without really giving much thought to where his arm belongs, hence the weirdly floaty nature of the hand, but I figured I’d crop it out and no-one would notice the fact that that arm shoots out of the middle of his chest (in the end, I forgot to crop it, and no one seems to have noticed - or at least not drawn it to my attention.)" Jeez, Paul really is a harsh critic... 

"I’ve been thinking a lot about colour. I’d like to start doing more colour stuff, but I’m so damn slow it hardly seems worth while, but I think, to get my art exactly where I want it, I need to colour my own work. How, I’ve no idea!"

"Anyway, I flatted this (which is time consuming) then coloured it quickly (too quickly, as I forgot to add texture to the Santa hat and didn’t even colour the teeth! sheesh!) but I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out - especially the hands and that big old honker!"

Greggsnorx, the big nosed Santrax, had a very bulbous nose...

Gigantic thanks to PJ for kicking off the year in style! Here's hoping we see LOADS more of him in and on the Prog this year, some Department of Monsterology too please Santa!