Monday, December 10, 2012

Captain John Noble

Linework for a Capt. John Noble print/variant. The beauty of working on your own project like this, is sometimes (schedule permitting) you can just draw up some random image you see in your head, and then use it as you see fit for promo/cover/greeting cards; anything. Being the master of your own destiny is definitely the single most significant reason to go the creator-owned route (it sure ain't monetary!). For better or for worse, every single decision is yours.

PS- That's a Harley-Davidson WLA military bike that John's riding. Just love drawing this stuff.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Monday, November 26, 2012

Nick Runge Variant Cover

This cover by Nick Runge started popping up online today, so figured I may as well post it here with the official titles and logos. Nick is a good friend of mine from back in the ANGEL days at IDW, and a hell of a nice guy. He's also an amazing cover artist, working on a myriad of books, from GHOSTBUSTERS to GI JOE and everything in between.

I LOVE this cover! So, so much. It makes me very nervous about the quality of my own covers, frankly. But still! HUGE thanks to Nick for this, whatta pal. I owe him, BIG-time.

Nick also has a creator-owned WW2 themed-book called FEVER RIDGE coming from IDW in February (be sure to watch out for it, it looks amazing), and I've agreed to contribute a guest cover to that book in return for this beauty for HPD. No pressure there then!

Art trades are fun. We're hoping to swap the actual physical artwork too whenever we next meet up, so hopefully this bad-boy will reside on a wall in the Moonbase in the near future.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Deep In The Jungle

This is the first half of page 16 from the second issue. The boys stumble across something hidden in the jungle...

I'm just finishing up on this issue now, a big one at 29 pages. All going well I should be halfway through issue 3 by Christmas. Slow going, but I'm happy enough, since I think I'm definitely producing the best work of my career thus far. For whatever that's worth!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Thought Bubble

I'll be at the fantastic ThoughtBubble show in Leeds on the 17-18th of November. I'll be signing at table C on both days from 10:30 - 12:00, and I'll have loads of unseen HALF PAST DANGER material with me. Drop by and say howdy if ye're aboot.

First 3 Covers

Here're the first 3 covers with their IDW logos. Still exciting for me to see them there. I've drawn the next two covers also, and have started to receive some really amazing variant covers by some big-name guest artists. I'll post one or two of these presently.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Not really. Just yer plain old garden-variety shark. Still bitey, though.

A panel from page 13 of issue 2. Fun!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Extra! Extra! Read All About it

Some articles from the mainstream comics press about the announcement of Half Past Danger at DICE last weekend. Very flattering stuff, here's hoping I can live up to the promise...

Bleeding Cool:

Comic Book Resources:

Thursday, October 4, 2012

D.I.C.E. Panel Report.

All told, the Half Past Danger panel on Sunday went rather well. My very good chum and future nemesis Dec Shalvey had control of the moderator's mike, and he guided us gently yet forcefully through the conversation, like a man who knew exactly what he wanted. I guess the biggest news-nugget was that the book has found a home with IDW Publishing. And what a home. Utterly, genuinely giddy and delighted to be back with the powerhouse California-based publisher that has been responsible for most of the highpoints of my comic career thus far. The editorial staff there, led by the dashing and benevolant Chris Ryall, are simply a pleasure to work with, and showed the most enthusiasm to provide the project with a home. They know what it is I'm trying to do with Half Past Danger, and are eager to help squeeze out every last once of potential. I know that the package will look absolutely beautiful in their hands, as they have the best design and production teams in the biz, bar none.

Plus, they really liked the name.

Other topics were discussed on the panel too; mostly the themes and subject matter of the book. Jordie was on hand to decipher some of my more incoherent ramblings, and did a delightful job of putting her views on the style and aspirations of the book across, not to mention speak beautifully about the colour theory and palettes that she's intending to employ in the upcoming issues. Again, couldn't be happier that she's onboard, it's lovely to have a partner through the creative process.
I must mention Declan and the other Micks at this point, the book simply wouldn't be what it is nor what it aspires to be without the input and sounding board facilities that these fine fellows constantly offer. I've been working on HPD now for the guts of eleven months, in somewhat of a void. The work is certainly being done, but until now there was no clear endgame, and the encouragement and criticism from the guys has been invaluable. Very hard to know what track you're on at all without such solid opinions to bounce stuff off.

Now the deal is done with IDW we can set some hard and fast deadlines, and I'll have more concrete targets to aim towards. I'm hoping myself for a May release next year, but that's yet to be discussed with the publisher. I'll keep updating here in the buildup to the release, with any news I get, both positive and negative. But hopefully much more of the former!
If we do shoot for a May release (I want the book to feel like a summer blockbuster), I'll be on the last issue when the first hits stands, so I GUARANTEE (not a gaurantee) that regular shipping will not be an issue. I've always loathed missed deadlines/shipping dates on books I'm collecting, so I'll be making absolutely sure that isn't the case with mine. Getting the whole series finished before release means basically eighteen months without a real paycheque, but that's what you sign on for I guess. Awfully glad I put away all those savings in order to try this now! Plus of course, unless the book breaks even or moves into profit there'll be no paycheque at the end, either, but you plays the cards yer dealt. I know it sounds hokey that the main reason I'm doing this is for me, but it's the truth. I'd fallen a little out of love with comics over the last couple of years, and the process so far on HPD has really re-stoked that fire for me. It's so much fun working on something that you genuinely LOVE. It's a cliché for a reason. Money is a hell of a reward, but it's not the biggest reward. What I'm after is an end product I can be really proud of, one which I did mostly on my own, with contributions from people (mainly Jordie, but also several ridiculously talented and high-profile as-yet unannounced guest cover artists) that I TRULY respect and have long wanted to work with. If I can manage that, I'd at least be satisfied, and happy.

That said, shedloads of cash on top would be gravy.

So, getting back to the panel; it all went really well. The room was pretty full, and people asked a lot of questions and seemed genuinely enthused by the prospect. I think the crowd mirrored my own feelings that there might just be a place for a high-adventure pulp book like this in the marketplace, and people will at least give it a chance and support it when appears. That's my major hope in any case. One thing I can say beyond doubt is that there's nothing quite like Half Past Danger out there on the stands right now, so hopefully that will afford me the good graces of curious and interested readers. I reckon if I can just get them onboard for the first issue, I can hook 'em.

Another snippet of info from the panel was the news that Dec Shalvey of Marvel and DC fame will be providing a backup tale for the series, and it'll be co-written by Dave Hendrick and myself. Dave will be handling the lion's share, and I feel that he's a major talent in-waiting. I've read many of his scripts, and they're genuinely fantastic. I wouldn't let anybody I didn't trust implicitly near these characters, and Dec and Dave are two of the best. Can't wait to see what they come up with. The backup tale will be on top of the 26-30 pages of story in each issue, so it should provide plenty of bang for the readers' collective bucks.

So that's that for the moment, massive thanks to the Hendrick boys for putting on a great show, and even more-massiver thanks to Dec and Jordie for all the sterling help with the panel, and more importantly with the book in general. Those guys are the real heroes.

Well, except for me. I'm the REAL real hero.

 Cheers to Deccles for the photos!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


So, the DICE show and HPD panel went REALLY well. I'm just waiting to get some pics back from the panel, at which point I'll get back here and do a proper write-up. But the main piece of info that came from the show was this:

Thrilled with the fact that my favourite publisher are partnering up with me on this. More in-depth news to follow!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

D.I.C.E Panel Update

The final schedule for the panel talks at DICE is up now over at the Turns out the HALF PAST DANGER panel is actually on on the Sunday at 1:30pm, not on the Saturday as previously reported. Sorry about any confusion, hopefully anybody that had been planning to attend can still make it! The talk will consist of myself and Jordie yapping about all things HPD, including the announcement of the book's publisher. I'll also be showing lots of unseen art from the first two issues of the book.
Asking the questions and cracking wise will be fellow Eclectic Mick, Dec 'Here-To-Help' Shalvey. Please come along to listen, ask questions and hurl abuse. Not to forget the FREE prints that each attendee will receive. Those bad boys will cost cash-money after the panel, so get 'em while they're gratis.

See ye at the weekend! The show is gonna be fantastic, I'm sure of it. Major kudos to the lads at The Big Bang for putting the whole logistical nightmare together! Check out the panel listings below, there're plenty of great choices. Reckon I'll end up going to half of them myself!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

D.I.C.E Print

Here's the final print for the upcoming DICE show in 2 weeks. Can't say how delighted I am with the job Jordie did on the colours, she absolutely nailed it. This print will be available FREE to anybody that attends the Half Past Danger panel on saturday the 29th at the show(time tbc), and then for sale at my table at the show if I have any left over.

Speaking of the panel, we have lots of interesting tidbits lined up,  as well as a special guest moderator who's one of Ireland's leading names in the comics world. That, or Declan Shalvey.
I'll also be revealing the publisher for the book, which I'm really rather excited about.

The whole show is shaping up to be a fantastic one, with some amazing guests. See ye there!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Issue 2 Panel

Stuck this chunk of a panel from early on in the second issue up on the Eclectic Micks blog yesterday, figured I'd slap it up here too and keep all of the snippets of artwork in one place.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

D.I.C.E (Dublin International Comic Expo) Print

This is the inked version of an exclusive con print that's going to be given away to attendees of the Half Past Danger panel at the upcoming Dublin International Comics Expo next month. I'll stick the coloured version up when I get it back from Jordie.

Details of the con can be found here.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Teaser Inks

This is a teaser page I drew for inclusion in the upcoming Though Bubble anthology book that will be published in conjunction with the fantastic Thought Bubble comics festival in Leeds next November. You'll also hopefully see the teaser popping up here and there soon enough once the book's publisher is announced (still ironing out the fine details on that score, but there IS a publisher committed, and they are BIG. Top five in the US big.)

There's a coloured version of this page that the lovely Miss Bellaire and I collaborated on, but I'll save that for after the Thought Bubble book sees print, just so I'm not stealing the thunder on that front.

Half Past Danger is getting closer...

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Pin Your Colours To The Mast

...Something had to give. More and more recently it's been dawning on me that there's no way that I can continue to produce the book at the pace I've set myself if I don't find a way to compromise somewhere along the production line. And since the entire series is already written, and there's no way I'd let anybody else actually draw any of the thing, it comes down to colours. The colouring process, while thoroughly enjoyable, has been really slowing me down. As mentioned in a different post, sometimes it's ending up taking me longer than the pencils and inks on a given page combined. Which is nutty.

So long story short: I panicked. Then I asked good friend and ridiculously-talented pro colourist Jordie Bellaire if she'd have any interest in coming aboard. Jordie had long assured me all throughout the first 8 months on HPD that if I needed any help with the colouring that she'd be there to bail me out. But I was always (A) utterly determined to do the whole thing myself, and (B) afraid that she was simply too busy to take on another project. Jordie's colouring skills are in massive demand at the minute throughout the entire American comics industry, having worked over the past 18 months for the five largest US comic labels; Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, IDW and Image.

They all want her, and I've got her.

As of the second issue, Jordie will be clambering  aboard the good ship HPD to apply her mad skillz to the colours. She's aiming to take what I did with the colours on issue 1, and give them her own twist (read: improve them no end) in issue 2, while maintaining consistency of mood and palette with  the colour direction I've already established for the project as a whole. The tone and feel of the story are right up Jordie's alley, and she seems delighted to be a part of it. Jordie loves all (well, most!) of the same movies and comics that inspired this series as I do, and we're certainly more than simpatico on the page.

This is undoubtedly a good thing for the book. Simply put, Jordie's one of the best.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Irish Comic News Article

Heres a link to an article I wrote a week or two back for the Irish Comics News website. It gives a little more insight to how the book came about, and breaks down how long I spent on each element of production so far.


Publisher Update

Two weeks ago I sent the PDF of issue 1 and the pitch material to the three most progressive publishers of creator-owned material out there (in my own opinion!). Have heard very positive noises back from the first two, and have yet to hear back from the third, although apparently these guys are known for taking their time due to enormous volume of submissions. So the book is in a good place right now. Everybody who's seen/read it has offered very favourable responses, which is certainly tremendously gratifying after all the hard work so far.

Turns out maybe this thing has legs.

I had a call with the publisher that I'd probably prefer yesterday, and it went really well. So maybe some good news very soon.

More to follow!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Issue 3 Cover Inks

Inked this up today, pretty happy with it. Colours tomorrow I'd wager.

Incidentally, that's a Deinonychus that John is wrasslin', not the more ubiquitous Velociraptor. They're very similar beasts, being from the same family (dromaeosaurids), but the Deinonychus was a little bigger, with a broader skull and bigger eyes. So there.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Irish Comics Appreciation Week: Competition Prize

The good people over at the Irish Comics News website are running a week of competitions to promote their Irish Comics Awareness Week. This is my contribution to the cause, an upcoming variant cover for one of the issues of the book starring MI6 Agent Elizabeth Huntington-Moss.
If you'd like to win the piece, simply head over here to the site and answer the terribly difficult trivia question, to which I may or may not have just provided the answer in the previous line. The line about Elizabeth Huntington-Moss.

Irish Comics News is an invaluable asset to the burgeoning Irish comics industry, with bang up to date commentary, previews, news and opinion. I visit pretty much every day to keep abreast of the comings and the goings, the haves and the have nots. I'd seriously recommend that anybody reading this with even a passing interest in the Irish scene head over and take a gander.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Issue 3 Cover Pencils

Currently working on the cover for the third issue; pencils above. Trying not to get too nervous/excited about the fact that prospective publishers are running their critical eye over my book.
Struggling to maintain my calm exterior while sweating the proverbial bullets.

Updates as events warrant...

Thursday, June 7, 2012

And now we play the waiting game...

So the pitch is finished. All seven (negotiable!) issues are fully written, and the first issue itself is written, pencilled, inked, coloured and lettered (phew!). In all, it's been about seven months work so far. My target was six(I saved ten grand last year to take half a year to myself to have a proper stab at this), so I guess that's just about within acceptable parameters. While I managed to get all of the pages drawn in the projected timeframe (2 months for 26 complete inked pages), I did however get bogged down a little in the colouring process. I'm chalking that up to a steep learning curve though, and as it stands I'm pretty happy with the results. We'll see how long that lasts...
Certainly, the following issues should and will be completed at a much faster clip, since much of the behind the scenes design and preperation work is also put to bed.

Below is the back cover of issue 1, which also contains the blurb for the project, or the 'back of the dvd' which I persist in calling it for some reason. I think it gives a good overall flavour of the high adventure, pulpy feel that I'm shooting for. Massive thanks to fellow Eclectic Mick Nick Roche for that killer tagline, and the whole flavour of the blurb, really.

And so, off to prospective publishers. Well, not quite yet. First I'll send the PDF around to the other Eclectic Micks and a few others for feedback and the inevitable pointing out of glaring errors (step forward Mr. Shalvey.).
After any final edits then it'll be sent to various publishers, with the hope that a few will bite. I have a couple of preferences, but I'll keep my cards close to my chest for the moment, in fear of public and humiliating rejection.

Wish me luck!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Last Couple of Pages...

Down to the last couple of pages to colour now. For whatever reason the colouring has taken me longer than the pencilling or inking, but that said I'm pretty satisfied with the results. Above is my take on the New York harbour skyline of 1943. I always found something incredibly romantic about all of the human stories that must have taken place in that town at that time. Something otherworldly about it all.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


I'll be at the Kapow convention in London this coming weekend; saturday evening and all day sunday. I'm situated at Table 167 in Artist's Alley (alongside fellow Mick/knuckledragger Dec Shalvey) where I'll be signing, sketching, and chatting about (and showing lots of unseen pages from) Half Past Danger to all and sundry. Say howdy if ye're about.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Progress Report

Today I start colouring the final scene in issue one of Half Past Danger. This means that in the next week or two I'll be ready to assemble my pitch packet and punt it speculatively towards any prospective publishers out there. I certainly have a couple of preferences, but I'll keep them close to my chest for now out of pure, sweaty fear of rejection.
On the plus side, some teensy-tiny inroads have already been furrowed toward getting this thing out there, mostly down to the fact that some incredibly helpful and like-minded people have taken an interest in the project and it's genesis (they know who they are, and again, thanks guys). So more info on whom, if anyone, will be publishing the book as it comes in. It's both nerve-wracking and exciting. But far more of the former.

Back to the colouring side of things; man, do I have a newfound respect for pro colourists. It's not so much the doing of the thing, but the doing of it at speed. I'm pretty happy with how the colours have looked so far on my pages, but they're taking far longer than I anticipated. My plan going into the book was to let the work breath, ie to allow the process to simply take as long as it took. Lately though I've begun to recant on that stance a smidgen. I figured I could give myself a full three days to complete each page of coloured artwork; one day to pencil it, the next to ink it and the final to colour it. Well, I guess two outta three ain't bad. I completed the pencils and inks for pretty much each and every one of the twenty-six pages of issue one in the allocated two-day timespan. But the colours have really slowed me down, some pages taking a day and a half to colour, and some even two full days.
I realise that this is mostly due to the fact that I've never coloured interiors before. I coloured a lengthy run of ANGEL covers, but you are afforded more time with a single cover illustration(even though there tends to be more actual work involved in an interior storytelling page, at least in my experience) and in those cases spending the guts of a day colouring the piece seemed fine, nay, expected. But colouring interiors has presented a whole slew of new and challenging factors; keeping a consistent palette, day/night colour schemes for each character and setting, gradually and naturalistically segueing from one colourscheme to the next as a scene changes and evolves etc. All worthy and interesting stuff, but boy does it take time to learn to do properly. In one way, if I gain nothing else from this attempt at a creator-owned book, I'll have certainly improved my colouring skills significantly.
At this juncture, I must once again offer HUGE thanks to my good friend and colourist to the stars, Jordie Bellaire. Jordie's been kicking ass and taking names on high-profile books like John Carter of Mars, Hulk, Angel and Faith and many others in recent months. She is unbelievably good. And so, so fast. That's the most impressive part for me, the speed with which Jordie turns stuff around. It beggars belief, because from what i can tell, there is simply ZERO drop in quality, even when she has to turn entire batches of pages around in mere hours. I mention Jordie because she has been instrumental in showing me (more than) a few tricks of the trade, and her knowledge and help really has been invaluable on colouring Half Past Danger in particular. Any time I need to turn to somebody for assistance with the colouring side of the book, I'm bloody blessed that she's made herself available to me. Thanks Jordie!

So yeah; getting there. As I say I'll pop back here when I have the first issue/pitch done and dusted, and post the entire lettered nine-page preview to (hopefully!) whet peoples' appetites.

See ye then.

P.S.- Here's the coloured/lettered version of a panel I posted a ways back. Just for a little visual stimulation and whatnot. Plus, y'know, dinosaurs eating dudes.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Page 9

This is the last page of the preview for issue 1. Turned out to be a lengthy enough chunk of the book at ten pages(of the first issue's 26), but I figured it was the most natural cut-off point in that it's where the action really starts to kick off, and I wanted folks to be excited as to where the story would go from there.

Looking again at the past few pages I realise I've got the lettered versions of the previous two or three up, but not the rest. I'll rectify that very soon with a single post containing the entire lettered preview in sequence(all the lettering for issue 1 is already done).

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Page 0

This is the very first page of issue 1, I guess kind of a chapter heading and establishing shot. I used to love when Warren Ellis and Tom Raney opened each issue of their seminal run on Stormwatch in the 90's with these type of letterbox shots, and then later when Brian Hitch used a similar tac on the Ultimates. Gives projects a nice, filmic quality that I like.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Delicious And Nutricious

I posted this panel over on the Eclectic Micks blog earlier this week, so I figured why not stick it up here too, and keep everything related to the book in one place. This panel is from a page further into the book, where this big guy chows down.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Creator Owned Day

Today is officially Creator Owned Day, yet another indicator that creator-owned books seem to be currently looming large in the consciousness of the comics populace, both readers and creators. I'm delighted to embrace this fact, as this book is the first creator-owned property I've ever attempted, and I really hope/feel that it can be a big step in the right direction career-wise for me. As mentioned in previous posts, I was getting more and more frustrated at the lack of control/input in the work-for-hire realm, and working on my own story and characters has been a huge breath of fresh air. So viva la Creator Owned Day! Hopefully things like this will raise the profile of independent books in general and encourage more comics fans to stray a little from the beaten path and maybe give something else a try every now and again.

Here's the cover to the first issue with the logo included. The placement/colour scheme is still a little preliminary as I try different positions, but this is where it's at right now. I've completed the cover to the second issue too, so I'll stick a glimpse of that up here at some point soon.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Page 9 Thumbnail

Here's my original thumbnail layout for the page I recently posted. Thought it might be interesting to see how  the art starts out. I draw these things right onto the script usually, at pretty much the size you see here, then scan those in and arrange them on a page consisting of a grid of eight pre-ruled layout spots. I'll do any tweaking necessary on the thumbnails at this stage. After that I'll grab the required layout and blow it up to drawing size. I then print that out and lightbox the finished pencils from it. Sometimes I'll decide at that point that I think an aspect of the drawing could still be improved further, and will try a new element during the pencilling, like changing the angle of the dino's head on this page. This inevitably leads to a slightly muckier final page(in that it consists of an awful lot more erasing and re-drawing, I like to have most of that stuff worked out at the layout stage), but them's the breaks. Dunno if this seems laborious or not to others, but it's a system that works for me.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Page 9

Dino attack!
This is the last page of the preview, where the fit really starts to hit the shan. I'll continue to post coloured and lettered versions of these pages as they get finished. I'm currently inking page 17 (of 26) of issue 1, so loads more stuff that I can't wait for people to see down the line.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Page 8

Eighth page. One more after this and that'll be all of the preview pages from the first issue(9 of 24). I think the ninth page leaves it in a pretty tantalising place, all going according to plan.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Page 7

Page 7. I know I posted this a while back, but here it is again in the interests of keeping the pages in order.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Page 4

Here's page 4 of issue 1 (sorry about the randomness of the page sequences so far, the coloured, lettered pages shall definitely be posted in proper chronological order). In this sequence the marine squad stumbles across a hidden Nazi base camp, where you can see my most blatant nod to Raiders yet, the Flying Wing. The plane used in Raiders of course wasn't actually a real Nazi design, Raiders production designer Norman Reynolds designed the plane purely for the film, based on proposed Nazi 'Flying Wing' projects of the time, specifically the Northrop Corporation designs and drawings for the Horten Ho-2-29, which was to be Hitler's great secret weapon, a stealth plane that could avoid the Allies radar.
So I figured, in for a penny, in for a pound! Was lots of fun to draw.

Monday, January 16, 2012


Apologies for the lack of new posts these last few weeks, I had to divert my attentions to some work for a different company. That'll be the last break I take from this book until issue one is done and dusted though, so ye can expect fairly regular posts from this point forward. I'm planning on completely finishing the first issue (ie ready to go to print) before pitching Half Past Danger to any prospective publishers, just to be able to put my best foot forward when offering it around and to give any potential suitors a real feel for the flavour and tone of the series.

This art is for the frontspiece of the first issue, to run with the credits and indicia. I've always enjoyed it when there are these kind of extra little bits and pieces peppered about a book, so I figure go with what you know, right?