Wednesday, July 28, 2010
I really wanted to use the word 'moron' in today's comic but felt sure it would never be allowed. I'm sure the word is less acceptable here in the UK than it is in the US so was surprised and delighted to get the green light. Normally it's the other way round, words I think are fine get the red light in the States. I mean, "Hell" and "Barf", c'mon!
John Read's Fantastic "One Fine Sunday in the Funny Pages" Exhibition starts this week and I'm delighted to say that somehow the above 'Ollie and Quentin' comic crept in there. The joke for that Sunday could've had a better punchline but the idea is good and I'm pleased with the drawing.
I doubt the exhibition will ever come to the UK so I'm unlikely ever to see it but if anyone goes I'd love to see some photos.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Today's comic gives me an excuse to show you how I do that dark effect in my comics.
Firstly I color the comic normally as if it's all in broad daylight. I then fill a new layer (in Photoshop) with my dark color, set the layer blending mode to 'multiply' and simply erase the areas that I want the light to shine through on. This is fantastically satisfying to do.
This method also gives me the advantage of already having the dark part completed for when I do the gray/bw version.
Monday, July 19, 2010
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
There are some comics I really can't wait to ink up and color and this is three quarters of one (sans speech bubbles). I love coloring these dark scenes despite them taking me twice as long as a normal strip. When a comic comes together like this one (I enjoyed writing the joke, it's a good gag and I'm pleased with the ink and color) it just proves to me that this really is the best job in the world.
PS. Reminds me of Snoopy and Woodstock a bit.
They say write about what you know. I fall asleep if I try to write my comics without having some real coffee in me. I open my notebook, get out my pencil and ... Zzzzz, gone! So, Thursday, my writing day, has become my caffeine day too. Thing is, the two proper coffees I drink combined with my poor little brain working overtime means I'm often still awake at 3am Friday morning.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Meeting the lovely Teresa and having two children are the Biggest days of my life but looking back on my best days I think my sporting achievements as a youngster gave me the most satisfaction. Winning the Surrey Schools Soccer Cup Final when I was 12 was a highlight. (I crossed the ball for my brother to score the winning goal.) Then becoming South West Counties 400m Champion when I was 18 was another.
The year I spent in Egypt when I was 19 was a fantastic time but the day we discovered mummy remains and ancient antiquities in a deserted tomb in The Valley of the Nobles, Luxor, was a very special day (even if it did mean my plane crashed the next time I went there. Curse? What curse?)
I'm ashamed to say the funniest moment of my life came as we were driving to my grandmother's funeral. My mother and I got the giggles and couldn't stop the whole journey. I console myself here by remembering that my grandmother loved a good giggle herself and would have enjoyed us having hysterics. I've had a couple of good long giggles with my sister about really daft stuff too.
Taking my family to New York for Teresa's 40th was a highlight and my proudest days were seeing (and hearing) my daughter play the part of Nancy in the play "Oliver" and my son wowing the audience as Eros in "Pandemonium".
That said, I think the most exciting moment of my life came the day I checked my phone messages to hear the voice of Brendan Burford at King Features saying how much he liked my comic samples and would like to see more.
So, can anything top this? Watch this space.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Friday, July 09, 2010
Thought I'd try and make amends for yesterday's lame comic by showing you an Ollie and Q... sorry... Supergull and Wonderworm Sunday Drop Panel that'll be coming out in early September.
Guess it's time I started adding some clouds back into the skies.
Tuesday, July 06, 2010
Here's a recent comic from start to finish.
As you can see there wasn't much writing involved in this one. I've just done a simple little doodle in my sketchbook and marked it with an asterisk which means it's a comic I will draw up and show my editor at King Features.
I draw the individual parts and compile them in photoshop. Very longwinded but I don't like to draw the various parts in place as I'm too fussy about the positioning of every item. I didn't use much of that kid, did I? Ruthless editing, I call that. I liked him but didn't need him all.
My editor sees my very tight pencil versions and if approved I then trace the rough on my light box and drop the black and white linework into one of my frame templates with the typeface text in place.
I then color it up in Photoshop on a separate layer so that I can use the same file for the grey version that we all have to do for the newspapers.
That's how I do it. Quite different from a lot of cartoonists I know who often ink over their actual roughs and aren't as OCD as me when it comes to neatness etc.
Sunday, July 04, 2010
Saturday, July 03, 2010
Today's comic isn't one of my best. I can see why some might misunderstand what's going on.
You're meant to think Ollie and Quentin are looking into a crystal ball. In fact the fish has sneezed and turned his bowl upside down. Ollie and Quentin wait for the dirt to settle before saying 'Gezundheit'. What's confusing is that you may think the fish has only sneezed in that last panel. Maybe the guys should be saying something like "Boy, that was some sneeze!"
Sorry, my bad.