Friday 23 June 2017

Prices update...and some more ramblings about blank sketchcover quality.


I'm being asked to draw more and more cover recreations on blank variants. After taking on some complicated ones I've arrived at the (obvious) realisation that they take a lot longer than regular sketchcovers (who'd have thought that?). So, I'm going to charge a basic rate of £75 for a cover recreation on a blank. Wraparound covers will be twice the price. Colour can be negotiated!
Anyone who is currently on my list for recreation blanks the original price still applies.


Well, I have to admit, I was in error. I've found a blank variant that's so bad that I can't actually draw on it. And it's published by DC. Adventures of Supergirl #3...the cover stock is so thin that a pencil would go straight through it, in fact, it's so thin that you can see not only the image printed on the reverse of the cover but the images on the first page of the comic when looking at it. It reminds me of that toilet paper that you used to get as standard in UK high school's during the 1980's, the greaseproof stuff that was entirely unsuited for the purpose it was created.

Tuesday 6 June 2017

LSCC: London Super Comic Con and some other stuff that a few people may be interested in...


A reminder that I'll be sketching all weekend (including the Friday) at London Super Comic Con at the end of August. If you want a commission doing then make sure you don't leave it too late as I'll have a lot to get ready in the weeks leading up to the convvention. Here's a few recent pieces for anyone not familiar with my work. 

As always I'll be sketching for free at the con itself. They won't be as detailed as the pieces above as they'll be quicker and under less than ideal conditions but they are free. Why free? It takes the pressure off mainly but also, I like sketching for free. Unless they get slapped on Ebay soon afterwards which is irksome. 

I plan to bring a good selection of sketches and sketchcovers with me to sell also. Possibly some watercolours as I've discovered I can use them recently!


Actually it's been around 2 1/2 years but still, it's been some time! I had a book summit with my co-author (or am I his co-author? Meh, I'll take the lead) a few weeks ago where we managed, over four hours or so, to complete a read through and detailed edit of the first two full chapters and a prologue. Surprising to the both of us was, after all the difficulties and several bouts of mutual animosity, that it read rather well, as if we'd planned the synchronicity. 
Currently, I'm reading through more of Russ' chapters awaiting the next summit that I've been assured will take place once he's finished posing as a comic artist/writer/colourist at various events around the country (read his latest blog Here...some of what he says is true). He's very close to finishing his part of the'll be next week. It's been 'next week' since June 2016 but we're getting there, really. Everything is positive. That isn't just because Russ totally removed a couple of chapters that were terrible, it's because it's coming together. I'm messing about with book two right now, changing a good chunk of it as it was utter pap and was headed towards being about 30,000 words too long. 

Book one ends on a cliffhanger, in fact two different cliffhangers. I'm not going to explain that right now but it's cool. It's about one hundred thousand words long and is written in first person from, I'd like to say, 5 different character viewpoints. I have three myself...not sure about Russ as he's rewritten some of the chapters totally. Russ has also decided to base a couple of chapters around homework as the word homework is in the title and previously there was no mention of it at all. Russ' section is no longer a comedy either yet it contains some very funny passages. One of his characters, Butcher, I really enjoy reading. All of the above makes me...happy.

We're still hoping to publish the thing this year. Once we've edited it we're sending it out to several people for proofreading while we finalise the cover art and copy (I'll be drawing that, probably doing the copy also) and, if we're still speaking, make a short promotional video. Russ will be filming, I'll be playing one character (really it's so I can have a Tudor hat made for myself) and we're trying to source a very tall person to play the main protagonist. 


There are many sketchcovers that are good to draw on. By that, I mean that they accept pencil, ink and Copic markers without issue, watercolour too. Some though, are awful. What's this about, another beef regarding something irrelevant?

No. I'm making a point that, although I'm generally happy to draw on whatever blank variant there are certain brands that it's a massive struggle to make look good as I'll be fighting the thing at every stage. When an artist has issue with the surface of a blank variant, it's usually not because they're being difficult, blaming their tools for their own inadequacy, it's because it's a terrible surface to draw on. Some blanks are so bad that the ink won't dry for an hour and looks like oil on water, Copics won't stick or blend and again, slide across the 'paper' and watercolours laugh at the sheer audacity of expecting them to work in any way whatsoever in the manner in which they should.

So, here's a rundown of blank variants and their quality of surface to draw upon.

DC are pretty fine to pencil, marker, ink or paint on, always have been, no issues there. Fair play, well done. IDW, they're pretty good, the odd one has fought me from time to time but pretty good. 
Marvel, totally mixed bag. Anything from '16 on are fine and I've no issues with at all. Earlier though and there's a fair few blanks that are shiny disasters that Sharpies will be fine on but are a lot more difficult to draw on with anything else. And why publish blanks with a massive circular logo in the middle of the cover? Odd to say the least. But they are still manageable although Copics don't function as well as they should at all and generally, Copics (the pro ones anyway) are great, adaptable and versatile. Except when skating across a Marvel blank panicking as they've no idea what's happening to them.
Dynamite...they repel pretty much every tool ever made, even pencil. Yes, you can draw something on them but it's a lot easier for everyone involved if we just pretend they don't exist.