Friday, 22 March 2013

Atomic Bacterial Chemical

ABC Warriors Project No 13



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


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


ABC Warriors Project No 11


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


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


ABC Warriors Project No 9


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


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


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


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.