Thursday, December 19, 2013


Not exactly my finest hour but hey, that's how long it took!!!! Ba-dum-tssssh! Slaine and Ukko yukking it up for the 2000AD forum's Advent calendar. Merry Christmas everybody!

UPDATE: Then like an idiot, I decided I would redo the entire thing. And not just that, but I would redo it in McMahon's style. Yeah, here's my progress after two days. I rarely give up on something, especially this far along, but the Cintiq was NOT happy with the constant back and forth. For the good of my loyal tool and my sanity, I decided to stop here.

For what it's worth - I now understand why McMahon changed his style.

Sunday, December 1, 2013


Now this is something to behold, if I do say so myself. Hanging proudly over my desk right as I type, this piece is something of a grail to me. I picked up my first issue of 2000AD in 1981 and sandwiched between the spectacular work of Carlos Ezquerra and Brian Bolland lay Nemesis the Warlock, as written by Pat Mills and illustrated by the almighty Kev O'Neill. To say my ten-year old world was upended would be something of an understatement.

O'Neill's artwork is difficult to properly describe to those unfamiliar with him. Of all the artists to grace the pages of 2000AD over the years, his is surely the most original and inventive. There's really nobody to compare him to. He's a true visionary. His sense of design is startling and there's a wealth of creativity and energy spewing from his art that can be overwhelming to the layman. It's too easy to look at it and label it surreal. 'Surreal' suggests that nothing makes any sense - that it's just random subconscious imagery mashed together, but the world O'Neill creates here (and later on in the likes of Metalzoic, Marshal Law and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) isn't randomly designed. Everything slots together here. It's just so completely alien to anything else you've ever seen before. It's no surprise he became the first comic artist to have his work banned by the American comics code as being unsuitable for younger readers.

I have spoken to Kevin O'Neill twice. Once on the phone courtesy of a friend managing a comic store in Dublin who wouldn't tell me who was on the other end. Naturally, I made a complete tit of myself. Completely starstruck. Tripped over my own words and died of embarrassment afterwards until years later when I met him here in Los Angeles for a LOEG signing. He remembered the phone call and I managed to say how much his work meant to me without sounding like a complete and utter fuckstick. Man's a total gent.

In between those two encounters, an old girlfriend secretly commissioned this from the grand master. I'll never know how much it cost her to get this drawn up and I've never seen another commission by O'Neill since, certainly nothing with this kind of attention or detail, so in the unlikely event she reads this, I hope she knows I know how lucky I am to have it. And that every other girlfriend has looked at it since and thought "how the fuck am I going to beat that?"

Sunday, November 24, 2013


...or something. Took a while to get him. He may still change before he's committed to the final page.

Saturday, November 23, 2013


Was looking a lot at Bill Pope for reference. Naturally, it ends up looking nothing like him. The eyebrows were a happy accident.

Friday, November 22, 2013


Some concept sketches. Klegg's fun to draw even if he's undergone a little reinvention here.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Getting there, piece by piece. Still pretty rough but good bones to build on. Still having fun. Ask me again in a month with a deadline looming.

Sunday, November 17, 2013


Or certainly the version I'd like to watch...! Faux-2000AD cover for the forum monthly competition. Theme this month is spin-offs - taking a minor character and giving them their own series. Not much minor about Golgotha, I s'pose, but first thing that came to mind was "Hunger Games" as a logline. Probably got a bit carried away but the man himself, Brian Bolland, is a guest judge this month so didn't want to just half-arse it.

Friday, November 8, 2013


Putting my piece of shit below to shame - here's the almighty McMahon's pencils for a bunch of commissions (which means mine is on the way, I hope!). Very rare to see the pencils up close before they're inked but look at how delicately these are put together. Breathtaking, really. Can't stop looking at them.

As always, click on the images to enlarge them or even better, just go to Mick's website HERE to see more of them.

Dredd and a half...

...Mean Machine...

...The Last American...

...and "You're next, Punk!" Awesome.


Yes, Dredd again. Sue me.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


Slowly working through it. Seven pages in all. Think I've about three of them very loosely tied down. Once I have them all laid out, I'll go back and change them, I'm sure. Push the angles and compositions a bit. Make sure it's not too same-y.

They're never exactly written in stone though. Here's a thumbnail from The Hills of Hellfire, My Love in ZARJAZ #16...

Never miss an opportunity to procrastinate, stress yourself into oblivion because there's a deadline looming and chop and change right down to the wire, that's what I always say. The panel in the bottom right corner in the thumbnail eventually became the first panel of the next page. Here's the finished page (minus lettering, obviously)...

Click to enlarge, as always.

The battle continues.


Yes, I know. More Family Guy stuff. Posted this because I like how it turned out for some Australian press and I like to update this place at least once a week.

I get asked to do quite a bit of extra stuff by FOX and while some of it can be by-the-numbers these ones were fun to do. Unfortunately, doing this kind of thing eats up spare time so personal projects get pushed back quite a bit. Boy's gotta eat. And I can never say no.

Saturday, November 2, 2013


Starting up thumbnails/sketches for another contribution to 2000AD lovefest ZARJAZ. Just handling the art this time. Working from a great little script by the impressively named Santiago Mayaud-Maisonneuve.

This is my favorite part of the process, hands down. All the fun of figuring out the storytelling, compositions, angles and designs before I have to sit down and ruin all my good work by actually drawing them.

Thursday, October 31, 2013


You can't. Best movie of 2012. 'Nuff said.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


They've nothing to do with one another. Does what it says on the tin. 

Stewie as a Terminator for my good pal Jeff Rebner...

...and a gunship from the strip I contributed to Zarjaz #16.

I find designing vehicles pretty arduous but so rewarding when (if!) it all comes together. This one's a mash of everything from a Russian MIL-24 helicopter, a wasp and an Eagle from Space: 1999.

Friday, October 25, 2013


As there's countless other, and far worse, ways I could have made the news, I'm sure my family will settle for this. All over the English press today. Only finished it Wednesday night!

1. I could draw the Queen, Charles and Camilla all day long. They have fascinating faces. So many possibilities.

2. Since I colored Ezquerra's Strontium Dog commission below I've discovered I'm very good at coloring refreshing looking beer. Making me thirsty.

Thursday, October 24, 2013


Sketched this out yesterday. It's pretty slight but there were three things I wanted to achieve - 

I've been poring over EDUARDO RISSO's beautiful artwork lately. I'm fascinated by artists who aren't afraid of using huge areas of black and Risso is a master. I can never figure out how he manages to keep a pose so clear by using silhouette or shadow but he never fails to amaze me. There's never any confusion or lack of clarity so I figured I'd do something simple and see if I could I sell it in the same way.

Risso says "what?" one more time...
100 Bullets
He's also an extremely graphic artist. Hard shapes. There's not a lot of rendering or cross-hatching. Mostly just clean lines, broken up with clever use of black and white. (100 Bullets is just fantastic. You should go hunt down the trades and read them all right now.)

The second thing I was toying with was using photo reference for the pose. I found myself frustrated by my inability to beat the drawing into where I wanted it to go. Couldn't figure out the poses and eventually scoured the web for something I could refer to. And here's the thing - I felt like I was cheating. I can be too much of a purist when it comes to this stuff, I guess, and with myself too. There's a streak of pride that says I should be able to draw this stuff from my head and if I need help, that's a cheat.

But I like how the drawing turned out. It's not like I just traced a photograph. It's been altered and repositioned and reinterpreted and y'know, if I wanted to draw a 1973 Dodge Charger it's not like I'm going to pull that out of my head, now is it? When I worked in feature animation, all we did was use live-action reference for human movement and posing.

Then by some weird coincidence, I saw THIS ARTICLE this morning about using photo reference and now all's well with my world again. Need to give myself a break sometimes...

The thing is, now I'm asking myself why I haven't been doing this before...? Feel quite inspired now to try new things.

The third point was this sketch was initially supposed to be Fiona Apple but it's a little too generic looking to be her. Next time maybe. Needs some quirky.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


For 2000AD's monthly art competition from a little while back. Won me a wee prize too.

It was about halfway through this piece I hit upon the idea of trying to stylize it a bit more than usual and make it look almost celtic, without it being too ornate. Simplifying it down to simple graphic shapes. I always spend so much time building and covering stuff up. Fun to just keep clean, clear lines. I love the green Terminator. Metal codpiece hot pants.


There are Dredd fans and then there's John Burdis. If he's not busy dispensing judgement in his garb of office at every convention he can reach, he's busy gathering every single piece of Dredd/2000AD memorabilia and storing it in his basement. What, you think I'm joking?

Here. See for yourself.

Better than collecting dead hookers, I always say. John's a lovely chap and can, coincidentally, kill you with his thumbs so you should probably go check out his collection. It'll take you days to go through all this stuff...

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


It's hard to remember there once was a time we still worked with paper and pencils on Family Guy. Whole thing went digital a few years ago. The variety of work hasn't changed though. One day you're designing giant homicidal Transformers constructed out of dudes in wheelchairs...

...the next you're sketching slutty strippers. There's worse ways to make a living.

(Family Guy is the property of FOX, obviously. Just throwing that out there.)

Monday, October 21, 2013


One of the LEMMY doc's directors asked if I'd throw this together for Lemmy as a present. Only too happy to oblige and drop it off in person to the man himself at his roost in the Rainbow Bar and Grill. Had a natter over a pint of Guinness and we both enthusiastically agreed that the weather back home is shite. A total gent and warrior.

His health's been in the news a bit this year but can't imagine it'll be too long before he's out crushing skulls with Motörhead again.

Educate yourselves. This is what a real rock'n'roll legend looks like:

Sunday, October 20, 2013



I love this piece. I'll even tell you why: the whole thing's a happy accident. I hadn't intended to have it so painterly looking but sometimes you just mess around with a bunch of different brushes in Photoshop with a nice sharp-edged eraser to do damage control and you move outside of your own style. I'm always frustrated by my own limitations, my own approach and methods. I assume it's like that with a lot of artists so it's very exciting (to me, anyway) to create a piece of artwork that takes a life of its own while you're working on it.

Saturday, October 19, 2013


Absolutely fantastic. Can't wait for this now. Two-parter due in December.

Friday, October 18, 2013


So yes, it's true. It's in the works. It's going to take some time. It's ground to a bit of a halt with everyone's day jobs getting in the way but we'll be back at it as soon as we can and knocking this back into shape. What can I say without getting myself into trouble with my partners-in-crime...?

It's probably only going to be five minutes long or so. We have the blessing of Dredd's owners although that comes with a major caveat - no funding, no Kickstarter, etc. It has to be purely not-for-profit so really any budget we have is made up of people's goodwill and enthusiasm for the character. 

It's classic-era Dredd. Probably pre-Apocalypse War. We're sticking very close to the comics. There's no radical reinvention of the concept here although as every other attempt to bring Dredd's world to life has involved some reworking, this might be the closest incarnation to the strip in style and tone so I'm going to say that's pretty radical in itself.

It's too early to start showing off everything we have so far but we've let this one out of the bag to give some idea of the style.

So anyway - for those of you who don't know, animation is a painfully slow, meticulous process. (Especially if you want it done right.) It takes a long time to get from point A to point B and don't mistake any long silences as anything other than we're toiling away on this thing behind the scenes.

Preliminary character designs are being wrapped up. I'm very proud of what's been produced so far.

I finally have the answer to a question I've often been asked (and often wondered myself!): WHY HASN'T ANYONE TRIED THIS BEFORE?

It's a disappointingly simple answer, folks: Dredd is SHIT hard to draw right. He really is. Despite being drawn and reinterpreted by dozens of different artists over almost 40 years, it's still really easy to get him wrong. One element out of place and it's all pear-shaped. Don't even get me started on the helmet. (I had a particularly humbling and galling moment at San Diego Comic-Con watching 2000AD artist extraordinaire Henry Flint fart out a wondrous sketch of Dredd for me in sixty seconds while I tried to forget it took me almost two weeks of murderous wailing and gnashing of teeth to get the same design right.)

Dredd's costume is detailed and ornate and completely impractical and trying to figure out what/how/why to simplify so that somebody can animate it, draw it over and over and over again from various angles is hard work. But it's all worked out. We have a Dredd we're happy with along with plenty of other assorted oiks, muckers and denizens of Mega City One.

What else? The mighty Rich McAuliffe has written us up a fantastic script. We don't have a lot of time to tell a huge tale but the script he wrote perfectly captures the tone of John Wagner and one of those one-off six pager lumps of awesomeness.

The inimitable Flint Lockjaw has been a trooper having drawn, voiced and edited together a rough animatic from the script so we can see how it all fits together and we can tweak/edit ideas. This is a painfully familiar process in animation but for us, it's even more crucial. Just like the cast and crew of the mind-blowing JUDGE MINTY film, we have no budget to work from. We need to be sure our planning's as tight and lean as it can be so there's no waste of anyone's time or talent.

So there you have it. Train's still rolling. Dredd's in VERY good hands right now. We'll keep you posted.

Updates and progress can be followed HERE at the film's website.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

"THE HILLS OF HELLFIRE, MY LOVE..." - pages 1, 2 & 3

I wrote and illustrated this strip for the wondrous ZARJAZ magazine (to call it merely a fanzine would be such a rotten disservice to this fine publication). The most enjoyment I've had in years and a sad reminder (sad because as a working artist, you tend to forget this part...) that sometimes drawing something is its own reward. 

I had fully intended to ink this up and make it look slick and awesome but somewhere between running against a deadline and having an epiphany that not everything needs to be polished in the end**, I let it run like this. Far sketchier and looser than I usually would have liked but I think with the story it's telling, it just about works. As always, there's always stuff you wish you could go back and change but I feel like there's more good than bad here. All you can hope for in the end.

Also finally found a home for the vehicle designs gracing the very first post of this blog from many, many moons ago. Always pays to keep sketches lying around. Never know when something will just click into place. (Or I'm just too lazy to design new ones.)

This is just the first three pages of the strip from Zarjaz #16. There's eight in total. You want to see the rest? HERE's where you need to go. Go support it. A wealth of riches and completely affordable.

Have a script for another one that hopefully I'll be getting to in the near future...

(**I spent a long time working in feature animation as an assistant/clean-up artist where the look of the final drawings had to be very slick, very tight and as you were working over top of an animator's rough drawings, usually more concerned with capturing a movement or gesture or acting, I often wonder how much energy was sacrificed from those drawings in order to tighten them up. As I get older, I find myself trying to avoid going that route now and leaving artwork looser than intended.)

As always, click on the images to enlarge 'em.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


Seth himself very nicely signed one for me and I sent it off to the 2000AD offices. Good fun and makes me hope for a bizarro-world moment when we get this as a cutaway...


While we're dealing with commissions - I've one in the works from the hands of the almighty McMahon himself. A fantastic artist - offbeat and completely incomparable - and a huge, HUGE influence on myself. Go check out his artwork HERE and prepare to be smacked in the gob...

I'd asked him to revisit the cover from prog 74 of 2000AD from 1978 and this is the rough he sent. Lord knows when I'll see the finished art but the images below give some idea of how it'll look when tightened up and inked. C-H-A-M-P-I-O-N-!

Original cover from 1978

Brian Bolland takes a go...

McMahon commission example...

...and another.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Philip Parris Lynott. Ireland's greatest musical export. I did this piece for Hyaena Gallery here in Los Angeles and their "Rock Is Dead" show, celebrating some fallen greats. Never really liked the face. It looks like Phil but something's not quite working for me. Reworked it a bit but I dunno. Can't save them all, I suppose.

Monday, October 14, 2013


I suppose if there's one advantage to one of your favorite artists not being widely recognized in the States, it's that personal commissions from the man come at a reasonable rate. Carlos Ezquerra, the man responsible for visualizing the likes of Judge Dredd and (below) Strontium Dog for 2000AD and Rat Pack and Major Eazy for Battle, very kindly produced this for me. Champion.

Naturally, I couldn't leave it alone...

Sunday, October 13, 2013


It's not like Tony Iommi himself called and begged. Through a friend in work I did get to submit this as a potential single cover for Black Sabbath's first single from their latest album. (They'd added a '?' to the song title by then - "God Is Dead?")

The usual set of conditions - told about it on the Friday, due by the Monday. Not like I really thought it would get chosen - it all looks a little too punk rock - but nice enough to know maybe the boys at least got to look over something of mine.

Ah well. A nice thought anyway.


There's no secret of my long love affair with Britain's weekly comic extravaganza 2000AD, the greatest example of a sci-fi anthology you're likely to find this side of the galaxy. Almost 40 years at the forefront of British pop-culture and still as exciting, original and inventive as ever.

Anyway, the inimitable Mr. Pete Wells runs an almighty blog over at 2000AD COVERS UNCOVERED, showcasing each week's cover and the work that goes into producing said artwork. Very interesting and inspiring. Champion stuff. Go check it out.

Saturday, October 12, 2013


For a Hanna-Barbera themed art show. 

You tend to forget, for people my age anyway, how much of this stuff there was on TV as a kid. Seriously, go google it and see what comes up! After much procrastinating, I eventually settled on this for a concept. (Mad Max is never far away when it comes to my concepts...!) 

Also, cars are hard. Fun to design. Brain-numbingly difficult to draw placed into an environment. For me, anyway. Have to say, I would have lost my shit if this had been a show when I was younger.