Archives For Mockingbird Comic

Badger D“Why on earth has that character got the head of a badger?!” That is a question I’ve heard many many times (twice). And I’m expecting to hear it even more once this crazy graphic novel is released and rockets up The Times bestseller list! (That. Is. Not. A. Joke.)

“Stop avoiding the question, Flicko!” Okay. We’re talking about anthropomorphism, as in, applying human forms or attributes to something which isn’t human. Of course, we all know this has been going on for years!

The ancient Egyptians had their share of animal-headed deities (e.g. jackal, falcon and crocodile), the Hindu pantheon as well (e.g. elephant and monkey) and in centuries past European explorers would often return home with tales of distant lands populated by men with the heads of dogs, even up to the medieval period.

But really it’s from literature and other media that I’ve taken my influence. Whether it’s The Island of Doctor Moreau, Alice in Wonderland, Une Semaine De Bonte, The Magic Finger, Jungle Book (which I hear has been made into an excellent book-of-the-film), Snoopy and any number of animated ‘funny animals’.

But in the early Rupert Bear stories, that’s where I particularly found talking animals to be pretty creepy and disconcerting, yet fascinating, especially as they lived alongside their human counterparts without anyone necessarily commenting, “Er, excuse me, but do you know you have the head of a hamster?”

So that’s my justification, y’honour, for including an evil mad scientist with the head of a badger in my comic! It’s grounded in an established history of literary anthropomorphic acceptance.

It’s handy as well, as it communicates – without words – this is not a normal situation; this is a fantastical world you are entering. I like to think it stimulates curiosity.

And if you’re drawing a black and white comic, a badger is ideal! I know, based on that, he could have been any monochromatic animal. But to be honest, there’s a certain simmering malevolence I was going for that I don’t think a Friesian cow could exactly pull off. Let alone squeeze those udders into a lab coat! I rest my case.

PoP2Another selection of images from ‘Mockingbird: Nightmare on Another Planet’, which (as you no doubt already know!) you can read each week, page by page here. Yes, it’s another shocked face from Rossi. What is he getting so worked up about?


October 6, 2014 — 1 Comment

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.)

Blog Images copyLookee, here are some images from upcoming pages in the exciting and marvelique ‘Mockingbird: Nightmare on Another Planet’. To be fair though, at the rate of one page a week, it might be a year or two before you actually see the pages these drawings are from. Soz, everyone.

Ex-Cover Girl

September 25, 2014 — Leave a comment

Here’s one of the alternative covers for the graphic novel ‘Mockingbird: Nightmare on Another Planet’. Actually my wife prefers this option to the one I’m going with – you may feel the same! Covers are tricky things though, I’m not sure there is a formula for the perfect cover (that guarantees sales) other than displaying ‘cosmetically enhanced’ ladies or prefixing your title with an ‘X’ (or was that just in the nineties?).Cover1

Covers Album

September 17, 2014 — Leave a comment

Covers A

Yes, that’s my cover, top left (for the graphic novel – have I mentioned this to you?), with a selection of classic covers that inspired it. Bottom left is a common sight in our house, generally after I’ve got out the shower. Ho ho!

Here and Back Again

September 15, 2014 — 1 Comment

Everyone (nobody) is always asking me (never asking me), “Flix! When is this wonderful sequential art piece of yours going to become that ancient medium known as ‘printed’?” It’s a question to which I have no substantial answer.

But do not fear, gentle reader, this is not la fin. Wipe that tear from your eyeball and I will attempt to give an adequate response (to the question you haven’t asked).

Many years ago, in a county far far away (dependent on your current location) a young fresh-faced youth stood with several bundles of self-penned, self-drawn, self-published comic books, held in his weak and trembling arms (they were quite heavy, as he’d over estimated the demand for his fine fare). He wondered, “Where should I venture with these stories of adventures amongst the stars?”

Hope (of sorts) was at hand, when a peculiarly avuncular gentleman offered to publish these remarkable cosmic tales, within the popular form of a graphical novel presentation.

Magical excitement bloomed within his heart.

But then a stumbly block appeared, my friends. The kindly aforementioned gentleman suffered a blow of such proportions that he no longer held the resources to invest in these bright dreams of visual delight.

Again, our bold hero found himself with a pile of comics weighing on his puny arms. From where would he now find a window to display his toil and sweat (not literally)?

Hope (of sorts) was at hand. “I. Will. Display. Your. Scribbles.” spoke the synthesized voice of his computer, beckoning our stalwart protagonist into its virtual embrace.

So here is today. No publisher to publish, but still, a digital opportunity and vehicle from which our young buck’s astro narrative can now be savoured by a worldwide comic-loving community. And who knows what hopes the future may hold for our third-person-referring entrepreneur, dot dot dot.

Does that answer your question?

Meet the Cast

September 9, 2014 — Leave a comment

SPXfiguresAThis is the height chart I created (after I drew three issues!) as the characters’ proportions kept changing. There are times in the early strips that if Mockingbird was standing beside Diana she would essentially be headbutting her knee!