After some pleasant responses to my last set of drawings from the past I thought I’d go for a zequel. Again, some doodles from various jobs or speculative efforts drawn from the murky mists of time (or even the odd memory stick). And hey, I’ve even chucked in a rough pencil drawing. I’m really making myself vulnerable and opening up now. Be kind, dear digital friends. (Weak simpering smile.)
Archives For Drawing
Many years ago I was a freelance illustrator. You may remember my work from such well-known publications as… er… as… (cough) indeed, they were heady days! The all-night parties, the beautiful women, the constantly flowing champagne and oodles of cash – yes, I illustrated all of those at one time or another.
In memory of that creative period, here’s a sampling of doodles, some that did and some that didn’t see print. It’s hard to remember which are which now after all those crazy late nights… lying in bed worrying about where the next job was coming from. Good times!
I’ve grown a moustache for INKtober. If you’d like to sponsor me then keep reading.
INKtober is, of course, a time to celebrate the art of inking and an opportunity to display our wonderful illustrative pieces to a watching world, BUT it is also a time to remember those less fortunate than ourselves. Those who don’t possess the skill and artful finesse of others. That’s why this month I’m raising vital funds for less-talented comic artists.
This condition affects far more people than you may realise. Even now you could be sitting next to someone who has no artistic talent!
You yourself may even be a less-talented comic artist. If you’re not sure or you’re too embarrassed to ask, here is a helpful list of common symptoms that sadly afflict these miserable individuals:
- Barely legible lettering.
- Too many close ups.
- Two people speaking and the first word balloon is on the right.
- The main character looks different in EVERY panel.
- The figures all have long legs and massive chests (and that’s just the men).
- They DON’T use Bristol board!
- Every other page is a splash page.
- Every other splash page is a double spread.
- Front covers are ALWAYS a figure looking out and pouting (and that’s just the men).
- They are right handed.
So please join me in raising much-needed awareness for this debilitating weight that burdens our fellow men (and the odd woman), especially at this time of year when their self-worth can be so easily bludgeoned whilst the rest of us make merry.
To view some of their well-meaning (but pitiful) visual attempts click here.
If you’d like to donate to this un/necessary* cause, you may do so here.
Thank you for inking.
Sir Windsor Newton
Chairman for the Charity LACK (Less-talented Artists are Comic Kinfolk)
* delete as appropriate
I once tried my hand at gently whimsical humour (as opposed to my usual darkly nihilistic approach) with mixed results (for ‘mixed results’ read ‘no results’). But anyway, here are a selection of those speculative one-spot cartoons, heavily influenced by the master of British whimsy, Nicolas Bentley. (For any Whovians out there, feel free to point out my visual error with the Dalek.)
I remember sitting in a Sixth Form common room in 1992. Not because I was a sixth former but because I was in a church meeting! It was the sort of church that didn’t own its own building so the itinerant congregation would meet in various locations. A Sixth Form common room being one of them.
I don’t recall the content of what was being spoken but I do recall I was doodling. As I would often do, particularly in church meetings. But on this occasion, 22 years ago, this doodle was the start of something, the start of the greatest story ever told… sorry, I’m probably over stating the significance of this, possibly portentous, scrawl.
Basically I drew a woman, in sci-fi garb holding a ray gun! Being a big Ian Gibson fan (or more specifically Halo Jones) I was clearly drawn to women of the future! Pun intended. But it, I mean ‘she’, was soonly shaped and reworked into the character who would later become Diana; after a change of ethnicity and choice of weapon.
Looking back, I like to think the essence was there, of what-was-to-come, even in that initial little scrappy doodle. Or scooby doodle (sorry). Either way, it was a start, a beginning, a minor epiphany in a Sixth Form common room. (As Jarvis Cocker might say.)
Following on from my last nail-biting blog: On each table I’d placed some of my own comics and a selection of ‘How to’ books; Eisner’s Comics & Sequential Art, How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way, How Not to Draw Comics the Marvel Way… the usual stuff.
So after a day of badly scrawled cartoons and barely humorous scripts (and that was just me!) the tiny artists left. As I beckoned them farewell, one child pleasingly enquired, “Is it okay to take these?” Indicating the comics on his table. “Of course, I drew those,” I chirped, as modestly as a man desperate for affirmation can manage.
But then, whilst tidying up I received a shock of shocks. A book was missing! My treasured copy of Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art by the living caricature Scott McCloud.
Where was it?! I hear you cry (feigning interest). After an extensive (one minute) search it dawned on me that the young scallywag, previously mentioned, must have taken it! I’d thought he was pointing at my comics, but it was my precious book he’d actually had within his adolescent gaze.
I was so distraught I convened to the nearest tavern to drown my sorrows. Every bespectacled tweed-wearing gentleman entering the establishment, just added to my pain. The landlord told me later that he’d never sold so many Barcardi Breezers in one evening!
I still haven’t replaced the book. Partly as I resent paying twice for the same item, but mainly because purchasing a new copy feels like it would somehow invalidate the genuine sadness I felt at the time. Pretty dumb, eh? (No need to nod, it’s a rhetorical question.)
I can only hope that boy has grown up to become an exceptional comic creator, having studied Scott McCloud’s insightful words & pictures (and inspired by an enthusiastic workshop tutor). I can’t remember his name exactly, I think it was Chris something… Wear, or Were? I guess I’ll never know.
Many years ago I was running a comic workshop with some young cherubs in Hove Museum (which, by the way is really hard to find! It wasn’t where it should have been. I expected it to be in the bustling city centre, but it was actually located in a quiet residential area. By the time I found it, they’d started without me, and most of the kids had already mastered layout and composition and were well on their way to tackling a three quarter head looking up! Fortunately I arrived just in time to hinder their progress and unusual prowess – obviously I had to justify my fee somehow, so I stripped it all back (pun not intended) and demonstrated how NOT to hold a pencil… for two hours. It’s important to get the foundational skills right first, kids!).
Wow, that was a pretty long parenthesis section (which is easier to write than say out loud).
So there I was, about twenty kids on different tables with a collection of museum stationary between them. But on one desk a small child sat alone. It was quite sad, because apparently this boy was allergic to rubbers (ERASERS I mean! Apologies if you’re West of the Atlantic, that could’ve sounded weird. “Waddaya mean, buddy? It DID sound weird!”). Anyway, this isn’t about the allergic child, that’s a story for another time. Don’t worry, it’s got a happy ending! Well, not for Mr & Mrs Staedtler it hasn’t*.
Er… Sorry, I’ve kinda’ run over my self-imposed limit of 250/300 words, in a vain desire to give some colour to a fairly banal tale. Let’s pick this up next week. (Talk about a cliffhanger, eh, readers? – Ed)
Now I’m going to have to scroll aaall the way back up to the top of the page and type ‘Part 1’ or something.
*Staedtler is a brand of rubbers (ERASERS I mean!).