Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Happy New Year!

Take a leap into the new year!

Sketch from a photo on the BBC website, of a Maltese ceremony where the contestants run up a greasy pole and try to grab the flag on the end of it.


 As a commuter, I spend a lot of time looking at traffic signs. We're surrounded by signs, by these sem-abstract symbols somewhere between written words and pictures. "There must be a story or two to be had from these", I thought.

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Merry Christmas

Acrylic on dark pastel paper. Shepherds watching their flocks by night.

Friday, 20 December 2013

Robert Walser

Walser was a Swiss writer who spent a large part of his professional life in a lunatic asylum. He died while out walking in the snow.

The first piece uses two photographs of him as a starting point, and the second a single photo, redrawn in different styles to represent the changing moods of his life.

Friday, 13 December 2013


Another go at those famous painters, after the highly figurative Bruegel, I wanted to have a go at the abstract end of the scale, so here's Mondrian.
attacking one of his famous grid paintings let me build up a nice little abstract comic, but, as Andrew Molotiu points out in his anthology, abstract comics aren't necessarily just collections of abstract images. Here's an attempt at telling the life story of an abstract being in one page.
And finally, the same story, reshaped to explore the dramatic effects of changing panel size.

Friday, 6 December 2013


Cutting corners: creating comics is gruelling, and there are so many visual resources available. I wanted to explore repetition a bit further, and also see if I could create a coherent story from the works of a famous painter. Starting off easy, Peter Bruegel's work has a strong narrative feel to it, although that could have worked against me. It would have been easy to tell one of the stories that he's already told in his paintings (and he fitted in hundreds!), but where's the fun in that?

I wanted to do two things here.

Communicate an ineffable experience, something that couldn't be put into words easily. For much of the middle page, our narrator's lost for words, and the pictures lose their figurative-ness.

I also wanted to play with repetition. We see the face of the farm-girl with the  rake several times, but the intervening narrative changes what we see. (Yeah, and the mood lighting I added!) The pictures in a comic aren't isolated, but glued into the  whole.

Friday, 29 November 2013


Another of the "One Page Wonder" series, with the added constraint of repeating the same picture on every page. Repetition's a powerful device in comics, this takes it to extremes. The tear in his eye was inspired by one of Scott McCloud's morning improv strips, which itself uses repetition to stunning effect.
Using two narrators instead of one, and identifying them by different coloured captions in an otherwise black and white strip felt like a daring innovation at the time. Maybe I should get out more...

Saturday, 23 November 2013


Monster movies Dorling-Kindersley style. I did this piece as a cover art sample, so here it is unadorned and with a logo (that I just made up), lettering and trim area.

 And another sphinx from my sketchbook.

Friday, 22 November 2013


The Little Man in History

A few years back, I ran a contest on the Millarworld forums to tell someone's entire life story in one page, of nine panels. As is often the case, applying some fairly tough constraints to the art helped the creativity flourish.

Jacques Lusseyran, blind member of the French Resistance

The great Arts & Crafts maven, William Morris, as told by an insignificant participant in his life