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Hello from the surprisingly sunny banks of the River Fergus! Hope all are well.
-I’m busy as usual, juggling various bits and bobs. Trying to carve out some days off so I can see my sister, who’s visiting from abroad with her boyfriend. They picked the right week for it, the weather’s been lovely.
-I handed in my 250th Marvel cover! I’d show it here, but it’s for a book that hasn’t been announced yet, but I marked it so ye can all know.
-Colours are coming on for the CRYPT OF SHADOWS story from Matt Milla. Looking very cool.
-I’ve been getting wonderful concept art from PROJECT ARCA artist. We’ve been bouncing stuff back and forth but I really need to nail down the fleshed out concept on paper, just been busy with all the juggling. Want to dig into it asap, along with the next installment of OLD DOG. I still haven’t cracked the PROJECT WIRE pitch either, so I have some writing to do, once I can clear a few days.
-I’m starting soon on covers for a new series at Boom by a great write friend of mine. He told me he thinks I’ve done more covers for his books than any other artist, which he may be right about, and is my honour. Will be digging into some concepts this week.
-I’ve lined up an OLD DOG signing! On Saturday 30th, I’ll be signing and doing little sketches in copies of OLD DOG in O’Mahoney’s Limerick. Hope to get a good showing there so a local book shop can see graphic novels can sell.
The Dossier is currently at €7660 and the signed copies of OLD DOG 1-6 are all gone! We’re two weeks in now and at about 63% funded. I’m pretty optimistic that I’ll reach the goal [though was hoping to have reached it by now] but I guess we’ll see. Please do share the word if you haven’t already, I know this is a niche book so I don’t expect everybody to be into it, but just letting people know about it is the real challenge. Socials don’t have the same kind of reach as they did two years ago, when I last did this.
I’ve made some adjustments to the campaign that I’m sharing with you all first. The Sketch Artist tier is now lowered to €200 and I’ve included some add-ons. Now you can add items like the pin and the poster [that’s at a cheaper option] if you have pledges at other tiers. I’ve also included the TIME BEFORE TIME Process Edition [and trading cards], for those who missed out on that campaign a couple of years back.
Five of the artists have been revealed [or ‘leaked’] from the Sealed Envelope. Simone D’Armini, Seth Damoose, Christine Larsen, Renton Hawkey and Colin Cracker have all contributed pieces. Find out who else is to be revealed over the coming days. Half of the slots for this are gone, it’s a pretty good value option as you get the Mission Pack and ashcan with it too.
Have handed in the lettering drafts for the annual and Issue One as well as the inks for my pages, starting to work on colours at the moment and tinkering with my layouts for Issue Three. Here’s a peek at my first page.
Cool thing about writing for yourself, you can write in locations you want to draw. I was itching to draw more rocky stuff, hence a mining outpost. Was itching to ink rocky stuff too, as you can see here.
Andrea Broccardo is working away on pencilling Issue Two, banging out great work.
Also hoooooollllllyyyyyyy crap get a look at this ALIEN ANNUAL #1 cover by Daniel Warren Johnson. Christ on a bike, to hell with my cover!
I also just saw this eerie cover by Marco Mastrazzo.
Again. Why am I doing the cover when the variants are this good…?
TIME BEFORE TIME
Got the order numbers for TIME BEFORE TIME #27 and for the first time in the book’s history, the sales are UP! Normally, as a series goes on, the sales drop bit by but, this is the only issue where the trend reversed, with no clear reason. Its not a crazy raise or anything, but a strange thing to happen with only a couple more issues to be published. Anyway, here’s a page from the issue by Geoffo and Chris O’Halloran.
Issue 28 is all coloured and lettered. Just one more to go…
My cover for RIBBON QUEEN Issue Five is now online. Been a while since a bit of process [though you should all get the OLD DOG DOSSIER for more of that!]. Ahem.
As I’ve mentioned before, these covers are from prompts by Garth Ennis, who has a pretty clear idea of what he’s looking for. For this cover, he wanted the character to be running away from pursuers into a forest, the forest looking just as threatening as what she’s running from, if not more. I now know from reading the afterword of Issue One, that this comes from a time Garth was running from a bull charging at him when on an Irish island, and ran into a hedge of thorns to escape!
This was my initial rough, with the young woman spotlighted, the thorny spikes in the foreground composed in a way to make her look trapped and threatened. Moody forest ahead of her, a couple of ominous shadows looming behind her. This got the thumbs up, though I think Garth asked for the forest to look more thorny and scary, to suggest there was no way you could get through it without getting cut.
Here’s my pencils, and inks. I love drawing natural stuff so the trees and thorns were great fun. I made the woman smaller in the piece, to make the environment more imposing.
Here are three versions of the colour stage. The first is what I was going for from the rough above. I made sure the woman is the focus by having the lightest value around her, strengthening her outline with more contrast. You can see I concentrated red in the forest to suggest danger, but I don’t think it hit enough for Garth. The second version has a lot more red overall as an attempt to accommodate what Garth was looking for, but it wasn’t far enough for what he had envisioned. So for the last one, I just redded the hell out of it and he was happy with that. Looking at them now, it does hit the hardest. I love red and it works so well, I was probably overly conscious about relying on it too much overall, but it was the right call here for sure.
GHOST RIDER #18 [VC]
DAMN THEM ALL #8 [VC]
OLD DOG [REDACT ONE] [C/W/A/Col]
TIME BEFORE TIME #27 [C/W]
THE RIBBON QUEEN #3 [C]
ALIEN ANNUAL #1 [C/W]
TIME BEFORE TIME #28 [C/W]