Friday, 24 May 2013

Infamous Comic #26

Sketch and inks for the 26th installment of my webcomic The Infamous Five! Craig and Tony discuss Justin Bieber.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Monday, 13 May 2013

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Fantasy Week, Part 7: The Royal Monument

For the final day I decided not to draw a character, but a scene. A little event. What do you see here? I'm asking because I didn't want to draw something definitive, I wanted something the viewer could ponder over... and there's no point telling if I haven't got you doing that! But then there's no point having a blog if I'm not gonna tell you things, so here we go:

I went back to my thinking at the park: what would I want to see? Adventure isn't just about discovering people and creatures, it's about discovering things. Things such as... monuments. Big looming structures, beautiful and terrifying. Signs of a civilisation paying tribute to something important. I like the questions all that raises. Who were the civilisation? What's the monument meant to be? Why was it built?

So that's what this is. A traveller facing a statue, a scene to put those questions and more in the viewer's mind: it's a statue of a king, so why is he bowing? Shouldn't he be standing tall and regal? The traveller was only there to represent this idea of discovery, but ends becomes part of the possibilities. Where did he come from, and did he come looking for the statue? I was going to list the other ideas I had, but I don't want to take over.

I suppose this is almost a cumulative event of a lot of what I like in fantasy. A journey, exploration, discovery, mystery... however, I also answers. And action. Although I did give the traveller a sword, so it's kind of represented there. But really, that's why I said 'a lot of what I like in fantasy' but not 'everything'. I could probably have done a Fantasy Year.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Fantasy Week, Day 6: Magic Monkey

It's a Monkey Wizard! What more do I need to say? It's all there, really. I can tell you that before posting I came up with the more fun title of 'Magic Monkey'. And if he could talk, he would insist that crescent moon on his hat is actually a banana. A giant banana in the starry sky.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Fantasy Week, Part 5: Beasty

It occured to me a few days ago that I wasn't going to be home this weekend, meaning I'd have to draw more than one thing a day to meet my commitment to Fantasy week. Of course, I could easily cop out and say I just meant Monday to Friday, because what are you gonna do? Fire me? Ha! But this is more of a personal commitment. So one night, I drew this.

Aware that I could drop off to sleep I decided just to have something convey a lot of energy. A beastie, as I hadn't drawn yet and no Adventure is complete with out something to defeat.

Now, I'm thinking back to the 2nd day of Fantasy Week. I'm thinking about the time I wrote that I'd quite like to come across wizards and monsters during a walk in the park. And I'm thinking that, actually, if there were things like this out there, I'd probably stay home.

See you this weekend!

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Fantasy Week, Day 4: Turtle Surfing

At first I drew the turtle with standard flippers. But then I changed them to wings. At least, I tried to. They ended up looking like giant flippers. So now it comes down to viewer choice. Flippers or wings? That would depend on whether you prefer the idea of swimming or flying. Although, the freedom of fantasy means he could be flying with flippers... either way, it's still a turtle. So I may exaggerated how much the man's hair and cloak would be billowing traveling at turtle speed.

Speaking of the man, here's something else: The problem with drawing nondescript characters, as opposed to specifically designing one for a comic or something, is that they can unintentionally look like someone else. Here, it seems I have accidentally Neil Patrick Harris. I'm okay with that though. I mean, it's not him. But if it was, I'd let him stay.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Fantasy Week, Part 3: Hunter

I started drawing a furry hood and got a little carried away.

The assault rifle shows you by this point that my fantasy theme isn't entirely traditional. Well that's me baby, tearing apart your boring old values and making something sexier! Actually that's not true, originally I wanted a musket which still isn't traditional but more reminiscent of adventure, such as the kind in spaghetti westerns. An automatic weapon is more reminiscent of hostage negotiations. But the photo I found for reference had such a good angle of a man holding a gun that I didn't register it was the wrong gun. Be thankful the photo wasn't a man holding a dildo, I guess.

Even with his giant headgear and firearm I still felt there wasn't enough visual elements to him, which somehow led to me having the unusually gruesome idea of clipping various animal feet to his belt. I reckon that makes him a hunter, using the feet as trophies. Maybe you think that's disgusting but if you didn't cringe at the hood that's obviously been made by skinning some furry animal then we're probably good? We're good. Besides, yesterday I drew a smiling plant! So that's a bit of whimsy and a bit of dismemberment, I'd get bored if I just did one thing.

And there'll be a new thing tomorrow. Will it be cute or violent? I know because I already drew it. See you then!

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Fantasy Week, Part 2: Plant Being

Sometimes I forget I live near a country park. Or rather, that the country park is something I can walk through. I forget this usually around Winter. Cold wind rustling through dark trees isn't inviting... But recently the sun has remained in the sky beyond 4pm, which always takes English people by surprise. So last week whilst I was out buying fizzy drinks (based on their sugar content as opposed to their ability to quench thirst), I looked toward the park and realised "I can go toward the park".

The sun lit up the green gloriously and in my park much of it is left... some would say untidy, I prefer wild. And I love it. Neatly cut grass and trimmed hedges aren't nearly as enjoyable. Maybe at garden shows, but isn't the reason we have parks in confined urban areas to have somewhere we can feel free? I've spent a long time cooped up at home recently, a lot of my work and leisure time is spent staring at one screen or another. Walking a path down past nature on a bright day wasn't just relaxing, it was a relief. I've gone nearly every day since.

On that that first day, after admiring the scenery for a while, I was reminded of the movies, games and books that take place in wild areas. The journeys characters go on. And suddenly, the park wasn't enough. All I encountered on my journey was someone walking their dog and a bike rider. Where were the wizards? Where were the wild beasts and hidden caves stocked with treasure?! I'm an adult, really, I am. I wasn't expecting any of this stuff. But clearly, relaxation wasn't enough.

So when it came to drawing my second fantasy image, I kept that in mind. What would I like to see when on one of my walks? One result was this:

I took the scenery and made a creature out of it, something sentient and approachable. I haven't invented any story for it, as I said yesterday I just want to draw freely. And in this image, I wanted the drawing to conjure up a sense of adventure. What secrets of the forest could it reveal? What could it give you on your journey? I feel compelled to remind you once again that I'm an adult. Really.

I wasn't sure what to title this at first, because he doesn't look like a 'plant man' and it seems cruel to call him a 'plant beast'. Yes, that's right, I don't want to offend a drawing. Instead, I imagine him telling forest walkers who discover him that he's a 'plant being', and when they ask "What are you doing?" he'll respond "Being a plant."

See you tomorrow!

Monday, 6 May 2013

Fantasy Week, Air Beast Rider

I was sketching without any real goal in mind, playing with my favourite themes, lines and shapes, which eventually resulted in this:

I should mention that I knew roughly what I wanted when I began. I didn't lift the pen up after 4 hours and go "What have I done?!" like those characters in thrillers who blackout for 2 hours then wake up covered in blood.

I knew that I was gonna draw a man riding a flying beast, but I didn't plan what the beast would look like, what the man would look like.

Originally, it was just a guy.

During the sketching, sometime after I added the gas mask, I looked at the scattered lines for a moment and thought "it kinda looks there's a beak around that gas mask." And I liked it, a helmet shaped like a bird's head. As a guy who likes to know exactly what he's drawing, it was satisfying to throw away that caution and discover that sometimes you can just just follow the lines.

Unfortunately I don't have a saved file of that specific 'looks like a beak' moment because I don't chronicle every line I make, Here's the rest of the sketch I do have:

So not only was I pleased with the outcome, I was surprised that I had an outcome. So much so in fact that I did the same thing the next day; and I'll share the results of that tomorrow. Because from today, this is now Fantasy Week!

Wednesday, 1 May 2013


Megaman vs Bomberman! A pairing based on their similar machine/man appearence. Is Bomberman a machine? Japan have a way of designing characters and not worry about what they actually are. I envy that. If I was told to design a bomberman, time would have been spent staring at my sketchpad at one point thinking "what kind of nose would he have?"

The first game of the Megaman franchise I played was Megaman X. I remember loving the intensity of guns, robots, vehicles, explosions... I wasn't into that sort of thing usually, you'd never have seen me spend pocket money on Metal Slug for example. But the cartoon blue man brightened things for me.

Super Bomberman 2 was the first I played of that franchise, and what's to say? If you've played any Bomberman you'll know why I loved it. Actually, I can tell you that I liked the music so much I recorded it onto cassette tape and mum got mad 'cos it wasn't "real music". She'd seen me sitting around with headphones and was proud 'cos she thought I was finally appreciating musicians, but it was just beeps, boops and bombs. Ha.

Of course now I can type almost any game and level I want into Youtube and some fan has uploaded the music for it, from 20 years ago. Right now as I type, for the first time in over a decade, I'm listening to that music again. It's fantastic, knowing that I wasn't the only one who loved it. Mum was right about bands and singers of course, but still, we knew. We knew the people who made our game tunes were real musicians too. Generations choose what their own art is.

I originally went with red girders, but this clashed with Bombeman's pink gloves. It was also too reminiscent for me of the original Donkey Kong games, which took place on red girders. I wanted to focus on just these two characters and their history. Then I remembered the very first level of Megaman X where you slid down green ones. Considering I DREW him wall sliding down a girder here that may have been my plan all along but just forgot about it. See, this was actually a little sketch from weeks ago that I finished in one day on an impulse.

When I realised I could just make them green it was revolutionary in my mind. That's the thing about art, isn't it? You're creating a little world. So when you find a solution to a problem in it, you feel like you've solved a global one. Maybe you're making a little note now about this being the most pretentious thing I've ever said. I'm sure I can beat that in the future.



As you can see from the original lines, the whole image was at a straighter angle. I thought the angle was fine, but I wasn't sure about the perspective of the bars on the right. So I zoomed in and tilted everything. It looked much better, with the angle being more dramatic and the heroes with greater focus. It's interesting how mistakes can make things better. Story of my birth, really.

Told ya I could beat it.