Sunday, 8 July 2012

New comic and another new blog

I did another comic the other day. This is intended to be the first of many one-off mini comics in a series called "Explorers" featuring characters and events that neatly fit in with the theme of exploration, be it of strange alien cities, or of  deep sea trenches, and lots in between. While these will all be independent mini comics, they will often have connections with each other and with other projects I am working on. Think of it as establishing a mythology. Really it's just a way for me to practice drawing comics without getting too bogged down in a single epic narrative. The first one is quite Lovecraftian. 

So here is Explorers 1:
I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. It was my first time tackling a wintery scene with the watercolours. I was going for the whole "quiet mystery" thing with this, and probably will for many more to come too. I hope you enjoy it!

The other thing is I have set up a Tumblr account. I did this because it seemed to suit my needs more than Blogger. i will continue to post pretty much the same stuff on here as I do on Tumblr for now, but if it suits you, you should probably just go here.


Tuesday, 3 July 2012

A short comic and a birthday present

Today I mowed the lawn and something a little bit funny happened. I noticed that there were three slugs sitting happily on top of the lawnmower. I guess they must have crawled on from the trees as I was cutting the grass. I thought rather morbidly that while they may be thinking as true stowaways, hitching a ride to an easy meal, they were actually headed straight to the shed where we keep the lawnmower. So as I was mowing the lawn and thinking about these stowaways I thought it would be fun to draw a one page comic about it. So I did, here it is:

I'm really pleased with it! I need to practice shorter comics like these as I can see good results faster than if I slave away at a comic for ages and it eventually doesn't get finished. I can also now reveal a painting I did a while ago for my good friend Alison's birthday! We're both huge Alan Partridge fans so I thought it would be funny to paint a memorable scene from the very first episode of "I'm Alan Partridge". It went down very well indeed!


Sunday, 1 July 2012

Spooky trees

Straight from the moors in the centre of Ireland's most unsettling fictitious island, here are a couple of paintings for my laboriously and yet lovingly ongoing project, Terra Mecha.

I'm pretty pleased with the way these trees look. I'll probably continue to draw them that way. I had a bit of trouble with drawing pine trees in the past. Which was a big problem, considering my adoration of spooky trees. Yes, I could go on for hours about the merits of spooky trees. 

I was looking today out the rear window of my house, looking down across the farden and over a field to my favourite spooky trees. There are three or four of them in a row, and there's nothing behind them so they are always silhouetted in a marvellously spooky way. It was sort of raining and that makes the atmosphere even better, I think. sometimes when I'm not feeling very inspired I just go down the garden to stand on the wall and gaze at them for a while. Invariably I get the urge to draw, paint, play music, whatever! There's something powerful about those trees, some kind of unearthly draw they have on me. Pulling me in, fascinating me and inviting me into other planes of existence. That's when I realise that in spite of most people's comments about this country, I have a lot to thank the irish countryside and weather for in terms of inspiration.

I wouldn't change it for the world!


Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Old Castles

My parents just came back from Westport. There was a car boot sale going on there. Apparently they take place on the first sunday of every month. In any case, they brought back a crumbling old german book published in 1922, called Gates, Towers and Fountains from German Past Times. They got it for my girlfriend Niamh for reasons which are two-fold: She is fluent in german and deeply interested in all that old architechture. We both found the book immensely interesting. It's brimming with photographs of gates, towers and fountains (who'd have guessed?). Anyway I too am interested in all that old architecture. But in a much less educated, haphazard way. I don't REALLY know anything about it, and I'm no architect. I can't stand technical drawing. but I know a cool weird looking tower when I see one, and this book has plenty. Some of you may know about that comic I'm working on, The Tower, about a prisoner escaping from a strange castle. With that fresh in my mind, I felt in the mood to do some drawing.

So I did a fairly quick painting/drawing (I don't know what to call them, as they are about 50% of both) loosely based on one of the pictures in the book: The town wall in Rothenburg ODT (Der stadtmauer im Rothenburg ob der Tauber). Here it is:

Apart from that, I'm hard at work on various other projects, and in my free time I'm struggling away at Resident Evil 4 on professional mode!


Friday, 1 June 2012

At the cinema, it is impolite to scream!

By the time this post hits the web, I will have gone to see the highly anticipated Prometheus. The first time I have been to the cinema in almost a year! Last time was Pirates of the Caribbean on Stranger Tides. Anyway I've really been looking forward to this film so hopefully it will have reached and exceeded my expectations!

It was also my friend Gavin's birthday on Monday, so I have done a small watercolour for him and slipped it in his card. Here it is:

Yes, it's a xenomorph at the cinema! Of course most people are afraid of xenomorphs so he has the whole place to himself. I'm well aware that there probably aren't any xenomorphs, or even any mention of them in Prometheus, but who could resist the pun potential?? Anyway, I hope you like it. I've been very busy with all those other things I'm supposed to be working on, mainly animation and comic drawing.

So I hope those of you who see it enjoy prometheus and the Alien renaissance that is already underway!

(Last week I picked up a box set of all four alien films on blu-ray for 15 euro. Quite a steal I think.)



Well, I scheduled this post for about an hour ago, but it seems I am a novice and it didn't work. However this does mean that I can tell you I saw Prometheus and it was awesome!! Truly met my expectations. I won't say too much for fear of spoiling it, but it explained a lot of the mystery behind the alien history while still maintaining that aura of unknown horror. Great stuff!

Also, Gavin loved his alien painting, it was a real hit!


Tuesday, 22 May 2012

The Temple of Anubis

Some of you may know what that means. For many it is just three vaguely egyptian sounding words, but for those in the know it is the name of a cursed temple that not only hides the sacred Red Rigou Ruby, it is also home to the dreaded pharoah Hotep. 

Basically, it's a Lego temple from the Adventurers range released in 1998. I got this set for the christmas of that year, and I always fondly remember it as being one of my favourite Lego sets. I've been thinking of revisiting old sets recently, and I thought this would be the best place to start. I got the instructions over at I spent more time than I care to think about (All of today and most of yesterday) bulding the temple and its accessories. I said building, but in truth, most of the time was spent desperately rummaging through box after box for the correct pieces. It was nightmarish in a way. But ultimately rewarding.

I didn't completely finish the build. The courtyard and hot air balloon remain unfinished. This was mainly because I realised it was almost seven pm and all I did was get up, eat and rummage through crates of Lego. I couldn't handle anymore. And do you remember how grating the sound of someone rummaging through lego hour upon hour is? It's very grating. I went to bed last night with dying eyes and a killer headache. Not from the monotony of looking at tiny pieces of plastic for hours but something far more sinister. The dust. I was inhaling all sorts of ancient fibres from the depths of these decade old storage boxes. you should see my hands. I washed them of course but they still show signs of lego abrasion.

Anyway enough talk, on with the show!

 Preliminary shot of me emptying one of the three large Lego containers. But here is what you REALLY want to see:

                                                 The Adventure of The Temple of Anubis!!!!
 The Adventurers' truck, fully stocked up on all the tools and supplies needed for a desert expedition to a dangerous temple.

 Here are our primary protagonists: Johnny Thunder, dashing and daring archeologist, and Harry Cane, the most handsome pilot in the sky. (Althought he is sitting this one out as I didn't finish building his hot air balloon)

Johnny and Harry drive through the searing winds and crushing heat of the Lego desert.
But little do they know they are being watched by the Lego world's two most ruthless treasure hunters: Lord Sam Sinister and Baron von Barron. (I swear I am not making up these names)
There it is. Hidden from the world deep in the desert's dunes, the Temple of Anubis stands proud, ready to claim its next victims.

Arriving ahead of Johnny Thunder and Harry Cane, Doctor Charles and Miss Gail begin filming their discoveries.

At last, the dashing young men arrive.

they stride daringly into the yawning jaws of the deadly temple.

But they aren't counting on Barron and Sinister setting up an ambush inside the very walls of this sacred place.
Excited that his life's work is now reaching fruition, doctor Charles eagerly climbs to the upper level of the Temple.

But when he reaches the top he gets more than he's bargained for!!

Pinned between the barrels of two guns, deep within the inner sanctum of the Temple of Anubis, doctor Charles realises both his darkest moment and the highlight of his professional career.

While Baron von Barron holds the good doctor at gunpoint, Sam Sinister makes his way about stealing the coveted obsidian treasure chest.

But not all is as it seems. The temple hides more than just treasure...
A deadly pitfall opens up underneath the very feet of Barron, and he helplessly plummets down.

Johnny and Harry receive a big shock as the nasty man lands, probably paralysed, at their feet.

the baron yells filthy swears and threats to the doctor up above, and curses the temple itself.

Meanwhile, oblivious to the Baron's cries, Sam Sinister prepares to evacuate the Temple with the treasure, and there is nothing Doctor Charles can do about it.

Suddenly, as Baron von Barron is yelling all manner of curses upon the foundations of the Temple, an ornate sarcophagus begins to stir.

Rising up from his eternal slumber, Pharoah Hotep does not like the chaos that has wrecked the peace of his glorious temple.
Sam Sinister strides towards Johnny's car, the Obsidian chest dragging through the sand behind him.

He looks back on the temple as the chaos unfolds. He cares little for his fallen former ally. The expensive cutting edge video equipment in the back of the car is the icing on the cake of Sam Sinister's treasure haul banquet.

Doctor Charles helplessly looks on as Sinister drives away with all his apparatus. a worrying thought enters Charles' head as he realises he and the other adventurers have no way back to England. They are stranded at the deadly Temple of Anubis, with a 2000 year old mummy bent on revenge, and a screaming madman, paralysed from his fall. Even if they survive these challenges, they will surely starve to death.
So ends this chapter in the bloody history of the Adventurers

here is the Temple of Anubis as seen from a slightly elevated perspective. Imagine you are in Harry Cane's hot air balloon.

This is just some of the Lego I had to root through for days to find tiny unique egyptian themed pieces.
I hope you enjoyed this showcase of my life for the last two days. I know I have! More importantly, I hope you take this riveting story with you to the grave. It is a poignant story, symbolic of the fact that sometimes, shit happens.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

The Tower preview

I finished the first page of my first true comic book last night. I just wanted to give a taste of what this will be like so I am showing this page, and for the rest you will have to wait until it's finished! I felt kind of uninspired recently. It's because I have at least three big projects to work on, and I constantly want to dive in and do huge productions with them. That's all well and good, but if the story isn't prepared enough before you start doing big things like comics or animations, you will run into problems.

To combat this block I decided I would just write up the stories behind the main projects. In the meantime I would work on much smaller, simpler stories for practising my technical skills. Honing them before I can give the bigger projects true justice. So that's where this idea came from. Of course, it doesn't always work out that way and I found myself spending hours thinking about character and set designs for this comic.

Also, I realised that I usually make these projects set in the real universe. No matter how bizarre or extreme they may be, there is a hint of realism. Not so for this project. I decided to let all that go. This will be a no-holds-barred experience of surreal whimsy, largely inspired by the work of Mateusz Skutnik and also some of the short films by Jan Svankmajer. I really hope you like where this is going!

As you can see, I've been honing my watercolours. I'm very happy with them so far. Definitely my kind of thing. Let me know what you think! Maybe one day you'll see this sort of thing by me in nice fancy books in the shops!