Saturday, 30 November 2013

Graphite on my Hands

First things first, the last of my 2000 AD competition entries for this month:

THE CRUSH

http://pictsy.deviantart.com/art/The-Crush-415481013




Now for what I have been working on in my sketchbook.

Off Duty

http://pictsy.deviantart.com/art/Off-Duty-416292220?q=gallery%3Apictsy&qo=3

http://pictsy.deviantart.com/art/Off-Duty-416292220?q=gallery%3Apictsy&qo=3

http://pictsy.deviantart.com/art/Off-Duty-416292220?q=gallery%3Apictsy&qo=3

Stepping Out

http://pictsy.deviantart.com/art/Stepping-Out-416292139?q=gallery%3Apictsy&qo=2

http://pictsy.deviantart.com/art/Stepping-Out-416292139?q=gallery%3Apictsy&qo=2

http://pictsy.deviantart.com/art/Stepping-Out-416292139?q=gallery%3Apictsy&qo=2

Fixer

http://pictsy.deviantart.com/art/Fixer-416292314?q=gallery%3Apictsy&qo=1

http://pictsy.deviantart.com/art/Fixer-416292314?q=gallery%3Apictsy&qo=1

http://pictsy.deviantart.com/art/Fixer-416292314?q=gallery%3Apictsy&qo=1

Over Here

http://pictsy.deviantart.com/art/Over-Here-416678589?q=gallery%3Apictsy&qo=0

http://pictsy.deviantart.com/art/Over-Here-416678589?q=gallery%3Apictsy&qo=0

http://pictsy.deviantart.com/art/Over-Here-416678589?q=gallery%3Apictsy&qo=0

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Lucky

http://pictsy.deviantart.com/art/Lucky-414566329 
My (second) entry for the November 2000AD Forum Art Competition.  This month is 2000AD Spin Offs.  Go check it out, there are loads of excellent entries.
 

This was the first idea that I had for the competition and it sparked loads of further ideas.  I don't remember my reasons for doing Voidshaker first, however.

For those not in the know, this is parody spin-off based on 2000AD Rogue Trooper.  The "Friday" Rogue Trooper.  I've written at length about this version of Rogue Trooper before.

Rogue Trooper is the property of 2000AD and Rebellion.


Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Voidshaker




My (first) entry into the November 2000AD Forum Art Competition.  This month is 2000AD spin offs.



I had trouble thinking what to do at first but then I suddenly had a flood of inspiration.  To the point where I could no longer choose just one.  This is one of the first ideas.  Voidshaker from the story Atavar.  I don't know how this would work as a spin off.  It would certainly be interesting.  Mostly it's just one big excuse to do Atavar fanart.

I had to do a little research on how to achieve space effects.  I had a go myself once before, but I wanted to see how others may go about it.  These are all (I think) of the videos I used for inspiration:

Beginner's Photoshop space tutorial1 - Starfields


Learn Photoshop - How to create a starburst


Photoshop:  How to Make a NEBULA and Celestial Sphere in Deep Space

I have used the current 2000AD comic ratio to create this image to give the sense that it could be a teaser within the pages of the Galaxies Greatest Comic.  Overall I am happy with the outcome of this image, but I'm now looking forward to moving on to something different.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Monday, 18 November 2013

The Hackman

http://pictsy.deviantart.com/art/The-Hackman-410611371?q=gallery%3Apictsy&qo=1 

This picture represents me trying out loads of different ideas.

First off I wanted to test my inking skills.  This was an interesting experiment and I think I learned some stuff - or perhaps just became aware that I'm better at than I thought.  In the end I think next time I try to to inks in this manner I may take a different route.  I think adding a bit more detail to the artwork and then having simpler colouring might something cool to tryout.  I just have the feeling that this particular piece has ended up with a somewhat generic comic book feel.  That's kind of cool because I didn't know I could do generic comic book stuff.

The next thing I wanted to try out with this picture was the colouring.  I had a little go at something different when I was painting Uncouth Company.  Adding a greyscale layer over a colour layer and then using a mask to give a washed out colour effect.  It worked well for the background in Uncouth Company and it worked OK for all the colours in this picture, but I'm not entirely happy with it.  I think I'm going to return to exploring my colouring method from days gone past.  It's good to know that I can achieve certain effects with a masked greyscale layer.

Lastly I was using this artwork to have a go at recording and making a time lapse video for a YouTube channel.  I really liked my progress gif of Uncouth Company and Peril, but there is so much missing from them.  It can be really helpful to look back and see what I did if I want to try and achieve a similar effect in the future.  Plus I like time lapse videos of people making artwork.

So onto the content.  I have finally reached a point in my re-reading of my 2000AD comic collection where I picked the comic up after a five year hiatus back at the end of 2006.  One of the stand-out strips from that seasonal special was Kingdom.  Created by Dan Abnett and Richard Elson this story saw the introduction to genetically engineered canines protecting a land they call Anarchticy.  Abnett and Elson have paired up before for the wonderful Atavar series and return to form with Kingdom.  It is a shame that over the last six years there have only been three Kingdom stories.  I think I read that a forth is on its way and is long over due.  This has to be my favourite strip written by Dan Abnett who is more famous for is work on the never ending Sinister Dexter and what I consider a less than stellar run on Durham Red.  I think that even the much maligned Sancho Panza was better than those.  Kingdom and Atavar seem to demonstrate Abnett's strengths and Richard Elson's artwork is compelling and consistently enjoyable to look at.

Pictured is the character Gene the Hackman.

Kingdom is owned by Rebellion and 2000AD

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Project S Head Hardwear 5-8

 

Second set of hardwear concepts for Project S. I tried a different colour scheme on this one.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Project S Head Hardwear 1-4

 

 The first piece of concept work for an idea I have, codename: Project S.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Uncouth Company

 

My entry to the 2000AD forum's art competition for October.  The theme was "1800AD - Steampunk 2000AD" and under advisement from my eldest brother I want for a war themed picture (he suggested Rogue Trooper, but having done that for the previous competition I said Bad Company would be better).  I had a look at some paintings of 19th century British military and got an idea of a basic composition.  Then it all started going wrong.  I haven't had this much trouble with getting a picture started in ages.  It took two weeks before my initial rough sketches started to look good.  The whole project has been mired with frustration and disappointment.

Then it was the last week before the contests close so I was up against the clock.  This really didn't help matters and I may have panicked a little (missing something obvious I should have done to speed the process up).  When it finally started taking shape and looking presentable I was unable to tidy up a multitude of faults that were bothering me from the start.  I tried out some new ideas that worked out well and others that were disastrous.

There are some things I am really pleased with in this picture and some I find embarrassing.  Lessons have once again been learnt and this is the first time I have ever finished anything like this - so for a lot of firsts, it is good.

Featured are the characters from Bad Company, created by Alan Grant and John Wagner initially although credit should (imo) be given to Peter Milligan for reworking the concept and writing it and to Brett Ewins and Jim McCarthy.

At the back we have Wallbanger.  Infront of him (left to right) we have Mac, Kano, Danny Franks, Thrax and Joe Scummer.  In front the them (again, left to right) appear Dogbrain, Trucker, Malcolm, Mad Tommy, Shrike and Flytrap.

Bad Company is the property of Rebellion and 2000 AD

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Legend in the Fog

 

"All hope seemed lost. The enemy had pressed the attack throughout the night. A night that seemed without end. My comrades in arms fell one by one. There were so many. Too many. All hope was abandoned.

It came like the wind. Like some powerful vengeance carried by the poisonous clouds all around us. It tore through our enemy and left them wrecked and broken. Just as our enemy were defeated so was the night. On the horizon we could see the sun rise and with it returned hope to those few of us who survived. From the mist of noxious gas emerged a figure. Our hope. Our saviour. Our Legend in the Fog."


This idea, although not entirely original, came to me last week. I had some very clear and interesting ideas about how I would approach this little project. It was also, almost by coincidence, that 2000 AD's community forum are currently running this competion. So what they hey, I figured I'd enter it.

I do like Rogue Trooper, even with it's silliness (telekinetic guns, anyone?). The overall story of the traitor general is certainly a 2000 AD classic. Speaking of which, Rogue Trooper is owned by 2000 AD.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

2000AD - Low Life - Aimee Nixon

 

Hey, it's Aimee Nixon from 2000 ADs Low Life. Since I've been engaged in my big 2000 AD read I have got to the point of reading back issues I have never set eyes upon before. This was due to not purchasing any copies for about five years. Sacrilege, I know. I have recently filled that gap, so much of what I'm currently reading is new to me. Including the start of the marvellous Low Life strips. It was nice to see those early strips had a focus on Aimee Nixon and not Dirty Frank like in more recent strips. So I decided to do some Low Life inspired artwork.

This picture was yet another learning curve. One big lesson was - plan the background at the start along with everything else. I really wanted to include some of Mega-City One's skyline. My previous Mega-City One picture has always left me disappointed and I have been really keen to give it another shot. I decided to use this picture as a test to see whether it would be worthwhile to have another crack at the future city. I did have some difficulty planning the background, but after flicking through my back issues I came up with this basic idea. Overall I am happy with this picture on completion, but there are some problems that were mainly due to the work flow - which wasn't well planned at all.

Low Life was created by Rob Williams and Henry Flint and is the property of 2000 AD.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

The Port City Waterways

 


Something I did a while back before my latest artist block.

Monday, 11 November 2013

BFG Girl

 

Back to the drawing board after a horrible four month hiatus and this is what I came up with.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

The Two of Hearts

 

Based on a couple of old sketches I did a long time ago. I really wanted to try a different lighting method this time around as well as trying out a different way of colouring. Both have turned out successfully. Would have had this finished yesterday but I got caught up in something else. Kinda irritating, I wanted to move on to the next picture and relax a bit today.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Santschinja Larook

 

My entry for the contest
:iconworld-of-astara:

The original character was designed by :iconandecaya:

I took some artistic license with parts of the design, but tried to stay as close to the original design as possible. Overall I am satisfied with how the image turned out.

The original

Friday, 8 November 2013

Meadow

 

 So I wasn't really happy with Lady Fighter Concept for many reasons and decided to develop the concept a little further. I went for a full breastplate instead of the silly single-breast plate which wasn't working so well. I also decided to ditch the fan as I felt it would be too close to Temari, so I went with the giant kunai instead. I streamlined the outfit somewhat but felt the design was sparse so I added the kunai at the waist (following the theme) and the weird charms.

I decided on calling her Meadow.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Rabbit on a Motorcycle

 

If you like rabbits and you like motorcycles, this is the picture for you.

This is actually a gift for an illustrator friend of mine.

It turned pretty much how I had it in my head. I wanted to keep it somewhat basic seeing as I've recently been working on more detailed pieces. I also used my desktop wallpaper ratio for this picture because I've missed it a little lately.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Perill

 

My entry into the Tomb Raider Reborn Contest.

I made a conscious choice to go with a less dynamic composition. Many of the entries (of which there were tons of excellent examples) focused on action scenes. Very frenetic and energetic. They do look amazing. After watching some game-play trailers for the game, however, I decided to go for something that expresses my game-play experience from these types of games. It's not the moments of chaotic violence that get me on the edge of my seat. It is those tense moments staying out of sight before the enemies have noticed me. It is trying to kill the enemies off as quickly and quietly as possible giving me more chance of survival. It is stealth. There is always danger around the next corner or over the next ridge and I approach it with trepidation rather than rushing head long into the fray. That's how I play these games and that's what I wanted to express.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Asking for Directions

 

Yes. It is true. I am a total fan of Masamune Shirow's Ghost in the Shell. That is probably why my AI walker droid in this picture resembles one of his mechas. I am really happy with this image. When I finished Jungle Droid I was quite displeased with it, but saw potential in some effects I created. Right after finishing that picture I started on this one taking care to plan things out a little more carefully. Originally it was going to be three soldiers in the jungle having a rest or just posing about the place - as you do in the jungle. As I was sketching it out I couldn't be bothered to put in the third character. I also used a composition trick I learned from my traditional painting of having a background with a certain amount of depth, the focus of the artpiece in the mid ground and some small details in the foreground to give a further illusion of depth.

It is a clear improvement and I feel more confident going into my next project (it's going to be a contest entry and I think I'm ready to get started - I only have a week to complete).

Monday, 4 November 2013

Jungle Droid



This is from a doodle I did probably 10 years ago. The jungle setting happened entirely by accident. For the initial stages of this image there were three droids, but the other two weren't proportioned or posed well so I took them out near the end. I had no idea what I was doing with this picture or where I was going with it and I think that caused some frustrationed that has (once again) biased me negatively towards it. Looking at it with fresh eyes today I can see things I like and it has actually inspired my next artwork.

I was imagining this droid as being more of a scout droid to try and justify the weird thing sticking out of its shoulder. It's an antenna relaying highly detailed reconnaissance information. I went with the jungle thing because it seemed perfect for the idea I had anyway. Its probably scouting for its Umbungo.

This is an original design and character by me.


Sunday, 3 November 2013

Mega-City One



Here it is. Mega-City One from Judge Dredd. It's hard to pin-point which era MC1 this is, certainly before the current Chaos Day story line. Approaching the end of painting this picture I realised that it could serve as much as a generic city of the future as it would for MC1 and I briefly considered not submitting it as fan art. After all, there are no buildings that are identifiable as being from the Judge Dredd comic. In the end I decided to stick with being MC1 because it was what influenced and inspired the picture.

This picture was problematic and I don't think I learned as much from it as I should have. If I were to do another city-scape I would have to sit down and think about how to do it a lot longer. I was feeling a certain amount of frustration by the time I finished this and that has tainted how I feel about it. I don't think I'm in a position to judge it without negative bias.

Judge Dredd is copyright of Rebellion





Saturday, 2 November 2013

Ticking Over

Well, I didn't win again but Steve Yeowell did mention my artwork, so that's a win of sorts.
The new competition theme is up already.  I admit I groaned a little when I saw it.  So much to choose from, I said to myself.  How the hell do I pick a subject???  Well, this time I am very likely going to do multiple entries.  I have four ideas - two of which I know which character to use.  The other two are more about style and composition.  I almost thought about doing a comic strip for it and then I thought of all the other things I need to be getting on with and ditched that idea.

In other news, I finally hit the 5000 pageview mark on deviantart over the night.  I haven't marked any deviantart related milestones before so I was prepared for this one with a big THANK YOU image, to thank everyone for their support.

I have been trying out something different.  Whilst I was making The Hackman I was recording my progress.  I spent a considerable amount of time the last couple of days trying to edit and squish four and half hours of work into a video under 10 minutes long.  Firstly I had find a decent video editor free and native to Linux.  Secondly I had to figure out how to use said video editors and decide which was the best for my video editing needs (I went for kdenlive in the end).  Thirdly I had to do the YouTube channel thing to upload the bugger onto the internet.  The video isn't perfect and it is blocked to people living in Germany because of the music I used for it, but it is up and available to view.  I find it quite hypnotic to watch myself.  I have video progress for my Thank You image as well, but that has yet to be edited and uploaded.

Lastly, I have been unsure whether to include this to my social network list thing, but if you like music and care to know what other people are listening to (other people like me) then you can head over to last.fm.

Welcome Home



I'm gonna sing the doom song now!

Invader Zim is one of the best childrens cartoons ever.

I knocked this out in about five hours, which explains the low quality. I wanted to capture that eerie weirdness that the show imbued and I kept reasonably faithful to the colour scheme. To give make it more creepy I made the house glow.

Invader Zim was created by Jhonen Vasquez and was originally shown on Nickelodeon. One of them must own the copyright.









Friday, 1 November 2013

Wall Guard Concept Sketch

 


I was looking through some of my old digital work thinking "I can do a lot better than that now". The one that caught my attention was this and I thought I would have a go at redesigning the guys outfit. I am now planning on redoing 'Guarding the Wall' but I will probably do some more concept work for it first though - it'll keep me out of trouble.

Copyright is mine for once, 'cos this is a Pictsy original.



Thursday, 31 October 2013

Heated Passion






I really enjoyed playing The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. First of all it made me realise how bad Oblivion actually was and how good Morrowind actually was. Skyrim reminded me of the joy and wonderment I felt when I first played Morrowind all those many, many years ago. Also, in a world full of MMORPGs it is a single player experience. Yes, I have drooled over Final Fantasy XI and Guild Wars 2 but my heart just sinks at the realisation I can't play it alone, by myself. It might be a personal preference. So I enjoyed and loved playing Skyrim. I really liked the way the character develops based on how you actually play the game. My character is a fairly shit-hot archer and a fairly good spell caster. My favourite spell? Summon Fire Atronach! I don't like one on one combat. I like sneaking around shooting arrows into the backs of people's (do Falmer count as people?) heads. Sometimes it is unavoidable so my solution. Sneak around and summon a Fire Atronach to lay into them instead. She has got me out of a multitude of scrapes and I absolutely love her. To repay my love, it is only fair to do a homage to her and her pyrotechnic ways.

Actually accomplishing this task was surprising difficult. This final piece is my fourth attempt to get it right. The first two attempts were technically good, but the poses I chose just looked wrong. The less said about the third attempt the better. Rather than be totally discouraged I decided to tackle it from a completely different angle. I decided to do something that gave my darling Atronach some character. Also I moved away from the idea of having a solid black background, which was a more inspiring move as I love the background in this work.

The Elder Scrolls, Skyrim and (no doubt) Fire Atronach are probably copyright of Bethesda Softworks.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Kami's Lookout

 


In my mid-teens I heard that opening theme tune. Naturally it captured my attention and imagination. Cartoon Network had started showing Dragon Ball Z. Obviously not the best of the anime I had seen, it was still compelling and the early episodes were quite imaginative. Cartoon Network only showed episodes up to the introduction of Trunks and for years that's all I had. These days it is easier to find these programs and subtitled instead of dubbed, too! I was able to watch the original Dragon Ball series which was a lot more enjoyable than Dragon Ball Z.

I recently watched Dragon Ball Z up to when Cell was introduced. I stopped watching it because I was tired of the same formula. Dragon Ball Z suffers from being too repetitive, especially when the are on Namek. They managed to stretch out five minutes into what must have been two hours in the end. I may go back periodically and finish watching the show.

Nevertheless, it is still a part of childhood I have fond memories of and as I mentioned I did enjoy watching Dragon Ball. Naturally I decided to do a homage to it and what better than something appearing to be floating in the clouds - Kami's Lookout. Yes, I am a sucker for clouds.

Dragon Ball was created by Akira Toriyama and was originally published as a manga in Weekly Sh┼Źnen Jump. One of them probably owns the copyright.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Noa and Alphonse

 


When I was young, anime was rare. In-fact, we didn't even call it anime, we called it manga. Primarily because Manga Entertainment was the largest distributor of anime in the UK. Even rarer than anime was subtitled anime. Yes, I have a problem with dubbing - it's been controversial at times. As has my love of anime. Anyway, I digress. I managed to record two animes that were shown late night on BBC 2 some years apart. The first was the phenomenal Akira. Akira was the first anime I ever saw. I loved everything about even though I didn't know what was going on (I actually loved not understanding as well - it was a breadth of imagination I had never experienced before). The second was Patlabor. I loved the atmosphere of the film, the pace, the plot and the characters. The characters were so well developed it came as no surprise when I found out that there had originally been a TV series. I have been fortunate enough to be able to watch both TV series' and the OVA. It took years for me to find a way where I was able to do this. The TV series is absolutely fantastic. I really don't understand why this franchise isn't rated more highly. I would put it up there with the Ghost in the Shell franchise (which is probably my favourite).

So I decided to my little homage. During my research for this I realised my original idea of having Noa on Alphonses shoulder had been done to death and I seriously considered ditching Noa altogether. In the end I felt I needed to try at my character painting again after doing all those ABC Warriors. I'm glad I did, Noa turned out great.

I don't know who owns the copyright to Patlabor - one of the distributors maybe?

Monday, 28 October 2013

Remembering this is here

What's the point of me having a blog if I am going to just leave it to rot?  None really, but there is no real reason for me to leave this to rot.  Especially as I regularly write blog entries on my deviant art account that could easily be copy and pasted to this blog.  I could also post progress pictures or whatever.  Maybe some of the stuff on facebook that I write as well.

First up, I guess the blog needs to get up to speed.  With that in mind I shall endeavour to find the time to edit my pictures to blog friendly sizes and start posting them.  There's quite a few to get through so I'll have about three weeks of stuff I can schedule to post.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Atomic Bacterial Chemical

ABC Warriors Project No 13

2000AD WALLPAPER PROJECT No 12 


2000AD WALLPAPER PROJECT No 12

Here it is. Lucky thirteen. The final picture of my ABC Warriors project and what it has all be building towards. I've already posted all the elements of this picture separately and this is it all pieced together. It turned out very much how I would have wanted it to and I think that the Warriors look better all lined up as they are. If I was to redo this picture I would go about it completely differently. I very much followed an older process of making pictures digitally when doing this. That not only made the project go on for longer than it needed to, I think I lost a certain quality and feeling that I have been getting with my pictures recently. Not to say I am not pleased with the results. I am just not pleased with how I went about it. It was a good learning process, mostly in not what to do. It has given me inspiration to try again with the Warriors sometime in the future - including a different take on them entirely.

The next 'line-up' piece is already decided upon. It will be The Family Romanov from the series Nikolai Dante. I am not sure whether to post the individual characters like I did with the ABC Warriors or not. I do know that I will approach it very differently and more in keeping with my new working process.

ABC Warriors are copyright of Rebellion. 

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Tiamat's Comet

ABC Warriors Project No 12

2000AD WALLPAPER PROJECT No 11

 
This is the background to what will be my final ABC Warrior wallpaper, with a line-up of all thirteen ABC Warriors from 2000AD. My initial idea was to have the The Black Hole Bypass opening out onto space as the background. I then thought of adding Tiamat's comet - home to the Kollege of Khaos, and also Mars, bringing in the major elements of the comics history. As I was working on the Warriors themselves I ditched the idea of having the Black Hole Bypass as I felt it would end up being too cluttered. This is my attempt at anything space like ever and I'm really pleased with how it turned out. I gave special thought on how to represent Mars. I was originally going to just have a red planet with the shaded part illuminated from the lights of cities. Whilst doing a little quick research on terraforming I found a lovely conceptual pieces of a terraformed Mars. Even though the comic gives a distinctively alien quality to Mars and making it appear more Earth-like might go against the spirit of the series I simply could not resist it. I put a little red tint on it to make it distinguishable from Earth. Tiamat's comet and the Kollege of Khaos were a little more difficult to get right. It was hard to find the right balance of detail and it was one of those occasions that I stopped before I ended up ruining the picture (which only makes me sulk for days on end).

ABC Warriors are copyright of Rebellion.  

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Until they bleed!

I have watched four films recently that I haven't seen before.  Resident Evil: Retribution, Silent Hill: Revelation, Wreck-it Ralph and The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists!

It is hard to say whether the RE film was any better than the previous instalment as they are both pretty awful films.  I wasn't expecting much from it so I wasn't at all disappointed like I was with Afterlife.  I did notice something off about the special effects, though.  SH I was more disappointed with because I actually enjoyed the first film.  I felt the first film had more of an enigmatic plot that was revealed at a good pace with well distributed exposition that didn't feel forced and was resolved nicely at the climax of the film.  The little weird twist at the end was a nice touch as well.  Silent Hill: Retribution (see what I did there??) lacked all of that and appeared to more of an exercise in fan service.  As much as I like Sean Bean as an actor, I don't think much of his American accent - maybe that's because I'm so used to his proper voice it comes across as out of place.  It was a better film than the Resident Evil one but I was more disappointed.  I also noticed something off about the special effects.

Two films with off special effects.  It looked like CGI done in late 90's early 2000's.  At first I figured it was just budget restraint and then I realised what it was.  The damn 3D.  It's really a shame because it was noticeably worse quality and I could see the collaged seems required the give the illusion of depth using 3D.  This is the first time I've experienced poor quality visuals due to implementation of 3D.

So onto Wreck-it Ralph.  Yes it's a fun little film, but many reviews my professional and amateur critics alike seem to suggest that it's original.  It isn't.  The concept follows a well established family animation formula.  Two characters who don't get along well initially slowly develop a friendship when one betrays the trust or feelings of the other and after a revelation endeavours to make things right with a big gesture and they become friends again.  Awwwwww.  So the plot isn't original.  What about the concept.  At some point during the first 10 minutes I thought to myself "oh, so it's like Toy Story".  It's a fun film, as I've already said, but it's not original.  I would be disappointed if this was a pixar film, but it's not so I'm not.

One other thing.  The character of Venelope irritated me considerable throughout.  I tried to let my heart warm to her, the character design was certainly good and there was plenty of room for empathy and compassion.  Something nagged at me though.  It wasn't until the closing credits I realised what it was.  Does anyone else think that Sarah Silverman is over-rated and annoying?

Lastly, The Pirates!  In an Adventure with Scientists!  This was not what I was expecting.  I don't really have much to say about it.  It's a silly Aardman Animations film like those that have come before.  Out of the four, however, it is my pick because it made me laugh and actually surpassed my expectations.

So there you go.  Movie reviews.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Mek-Quake

ABC Warriors Project No 11

2000AD WALLPAPER PROJECT No 10

 
Mek-Quake first appeared alongside Ro-Jaws and Hammerstein in Robusters. Right from the start he was a dim-witted, destruction obsessed kill-dozer. He was brought back in the pages of Nemesis as a weird, giant, cat-faced robot , but returned to his original design when he joined the ABC Warriors when Nemesis led them through the time wastes (with the addition of new bodies to make him slightly more humanoid). His stupidity and glee for destruction became the essential charm of Mek-Quake. Never really getting along with his comrades, he didn't really care so long as could perform BIG-JOBS!!!!!!

I'm not sure about some of the colours I used in this, but Mek-Quake was a pain to paint, I really don't want to talk too much about it.

Mek-Quake, Robusters and ABC Warriors are copyright of Rebellion. 

Friday, 15 March 2013

Mongrol and Morrigun

ABC Warriors Project No 10

2000AD WALLPAPER PROJECT No 9


Not long after I started collecting 2000AD back in the mid 90's Hellbringer was published. Needless to say, it was my favourite story. Naturally, the Hellbringer line-up is still my favourite and I especially liked the pairing of Mongrol and Morrigun. It was so cute. After seeing their arrival in Prog 910 they I fell in love. Mostly with Morrigun. I will forever think it an eternal shame that Pat Mills killed Morrigun off. She was fantastic. She was cool. She was tough.

The Mongrol and Morrigun pairing was an obvious one to me. Actually painting these together was great fun. Mongrol is a design I think can easily be done wrong, but I think I did a good job on my interpretation - ego aside. I also love Morrigun's hair in this picture. Turned out lovely.

Mongrol, Morrigun and ABC Warriors are copyright of Rebellion.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Deadlock

ABC Warriors Project No 9

2000AD WALLPAPER PROJECT No 8


I personally find Deadlock the most enigmatic of the Warriors. After all, who doesn't like robot wizards? Originally he was the Grand Wizard of the Knight Martial and was given special authority to try and execute Volgan war criminals throughout the Volgan war. He was notably absent during the ABC Warriors run in the pages of Nemesis (Nemesis taking his place). When he returns in The Black Hole he is in a more authoritative position, causing greater friction between himself and Hammerstein and culminating in a marvellous battle between the two at the end of The Black Hole. After The Black Hole he leads the Warriors on a mission in the name of Khaos. Khronicles of Khaos is one of the most entertaining pieces of work by Pat Mills. Deadlocks leadership really comes to an end at the end of this story line as the rebellion of the other Warriors against him was the final lesson of Khaos they were to learn from him. In Hellbringer he instigated the reunion of the Warriors and provided another mission. Hellbringer was the story that featured in the early days of my collecting 2000AD, so it's naturally one of my favourites. Deadlock has since fallen more into the background like during those early days of ABC Warriors.

He was also blessed with his own story line as a sort of epilogue to the Nemesis series. I really enjoyed this strip - fantastically illustrated by Henry Flint, but it was probably the final nail in the coffin for those Khaos inspired days of Pat Mills writing. A great shame, in my humble opinion.

For the picture itself, I leant more towards the Simon Bisley interpretation. The pose was very easy to conceive as the Ace of Swords would, by necessity, have to feature prominently. I did initially have some trouble with the arc of the legs, but overall I'm really happy with the design. I think that this is probably the best looking of the stand alone pictures of the ABC Warriors.

Deadlock and ABC Warriors are copyright of Rebellion.  

Monday, 11 March 2013

Blackblood

ABC Warriors Project No 8


Blackblood is a fantastic character. He was a general in the Volgan army and an extremely villainous one at that. Responsible for multiple war crimes and sadistic to the level where he'd drink the motor oil of defeated robots, an act that earned him his name. The perfect background for an anti-hero. Nevertheless, there is no hero in Blackblood. He is treacherous, constantly betraying his team mates. He blackmails Joe Pineapples throughout the run of The Black Hole and most of Khaod Khronicles. When the Warriors disband a second time, he tricks Hammerstein into becoming a subject of torture through weapons testing. There is no redeeming quality and he remains a villain throughout. Despite all this, he's one of the protagonists - that is until recently.

Stylistically, Blackblood is one of my favourite ABC Warriors. His was the first pose I conceived of when I started this project. The knife behind the back I thought would show his treacherous nature and the cup of motor oil for obvious reasons. I took a while to get the pot belly right. In the end it turned out to be a relatively simple design.

Blackblood and ABC Warriors are copyright of Rebellion. 

Friday, 8 March 2013

Zippo

ABC Warriors Project No 7


Zippo is the latest addition to the ABC Warriors. His inclusion had a superb build up in The Volgan War story line - a collection of short war stories from the Warriors themselves. Visually Zippo is quite weird. A bottle opener for an arm and a zippo lighter for a head. All I had to work from was Clint Langley's artwork as well. Don't get me wrong, I love Clint Langley's style, but it does obscure detail. Much like Steelhorn, this was a pain to do. I am happier with how this image turned out.

Zippo and ABC Warriors are copyright of Rebellion
 

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Hitaki and Mad Ronn

ABC Warriors Project No 6


As far as I know, these two are the only two of the ABC Warriors never to appear in the ABC Warriors comic proper. They instead appeared in the Nemesis comic when Pat Mills revived the Warriors to help the Warlock. Hitaki and Mad Ronn were comrades of Hammersteins in the Terran army and were recruited into the ABC Warriors alongside Hammerstein. They both died. That's about it for their backstory.

Compared to Happy Shrapnel and Steelhorn, I was really looking forward to doing these characters. Their appearences were short lived and I felt their design was lackluster. I really felt I had much more free reign to interpret the characters in my own, special way. I still wanted to keep them somewhat close to the original. In some ways I feel sorry for them. These two are probably not going to see a rebirth like other underused characters in the comic. That's not a bad thing though.

Hitaki, Mad Ronn and ABC Warriors are copyright of Rebellion.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Steelhorn

ABC Warriors Project No 5


The fifth installment of my ABC Warrior project, Steelhorn a.k.a the Mess. In the original run of ABC Warriors, at the end of the Volgan war, Steelhorn became a pacifist with desires to become a firefighter. He was one of many robots tricked into handing himself in only to face a smelter. Steelhorn, however, was the robot who could never be destroyed and the intense heat turn him into a living liquid metal mess - that lived in a jar. In later strips Steelhorn was resurrected and rejoined the ABC Warriors, even getting a face lift.

This one was difficult to do. I didn't know which version of Steelhorn to do, whether to include his incarnation as the mess or not. Really, the character is far from one of favourites. He was severely underused in the original Mars mission. In the end I decided simply to embrace my indecision and came up with the idea of him pondering the jar that housed him when he was the Mess. Look wise I went with Henry Flints interpretation for the most part. Of all the pictures, this is my least favourite and that probably reflects my feelings towards the character.

Steelhorn and ABC Warriors are copyright of Rebellion

Friday, 1 March 2013

Happy Shrapnel

ABC Warriors Project No 4


For the fourth instalment of my ABC Warrior project I present Happy Shrapnel. He first appeared in the original ABC Warriors comic as team mate to Hammerstein and Joe Pineapples and was recruited into the Warriors alongside Joe. Happy was depicted with a kind of hobo characterisation. He was unceremoniously killed off between appearances of the ABC Warriors, but has since returned tot he story in the guise of Tubal Caine. He looks sets to be joining the ABC Warriors once more in forthcoming strips.

There wasn't really a lot of source material for Happy (compared to others). Nevertheless I was looking forward to giving my interpretation on what there was. I figured a nice gun-slinger pose would suit the character. There really isn't much to say about it and I think that sums up Happy. Being dumped fairly early on in the comics history, he really isn't a significant part of the story. He is not alone in this aspect though. I think Pat Mills has been trying to rectify this recently, bringing back older characters that he ditched early on. Almost as if he felt that he left the Mars mission of the original run unfinished. I sometimes forget that the ABC Warriors returned to Mars over ten years ago.

Happy Shrapnel and ABC Warriors are copyright of Rebellion. 

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Joe Pineapples

ABC Warriors Project No 3

2000AD WALLPAPER PROJECT No 7
 





Here is the third in my ABC Warrior project, Joe Pineapples. What a huge gun!




For me, Joe really came into his own stylistically during The Black Hole when Simon Bisley artwork radically changed the look of the former X-Terminator. Nevertheless it was not Simon Bisley's Joe that drew me to the character. It was Kev Walker's fantastic artwork at the end of Khronicles of Khaos. My first viewing of these brilliant images was out of context. My eldest brother had given me a small number (about seven, I think) of 2000 ADs, possibly before I started my own collection and in them was the final two parts of KoK series. The little 10 year old me saw those pictures of Joe and thought "ooooooOOOOOOOHHHHHHH SOOOOOO COOOOOL!!!!!" I loved them, they were and still are fantastic. It is my favourite representation of Joe and it is him at his most awesome. Having since read KoK in context just makes me think that I underestimated just how awesome it was. I think it is a shame that Joe reverted back to be more in line with the previous Black Hole version. All inhibited and repressed once more and far less interesting.

The picture itself was quite difficult to achieve as it was one I really wanted to get perfect (and unfortunately I have my doubts to the level of success I have had with it). The pose needed to be spot on and I think I got that right, with a nonchalant indifference endemic to the character. He also needed a big and stupidly absurd sniper riffle. I did make a few mistakes in planning, forgetting the gloves and getting the leg wear completely wrong. It turned out for the best because it made re-evaluate the basque as well. Overall I'm happy with how he turned out, even if it isn't perfect. It is also the first I've posted that was of a ratio that would fit into my wallpaper series.

Joe Pineapples and ABC Warriors are copyright of Rebellion.