Monday, December 22, 2008

Its beginning to look a lot like...

Ho! Ho! Ho!
Well, my favourite time of year is almost upon us again - I am just a big kid after all - so I thought I'd put in a quick entry to my recently neglected blog just to make that little guilty feeling go away. Lots of comic news for you all. First up, the colour covers of Celtic Knights Issue 1 have arrived & Stephen is dilligently dispatching them to comic book shops as we speak. So If you are doing some last minute Christmas shopping in Dublin City Centre, pop into one of our great cities fine comic book establishments and ask for your copy. If they don't have it, tut and shake your head disapprovingly. They might be guilt-tripped into picking it up!! If you are elswhere in the country, just drop myself or Stephen a line & we will be glad to post you out a copy. We are those kind of guys. We do hope to be able to distribute to comic shops around the country in the New Year, so watch this space!

The reviews of issue 1 are in! David O' Leary, of Comic Related wrote this review for the website:

"Book Summery: 90% of Earths superheroes are either dead or in hiding. This is the best of what's left.

I wasn't sure what to expect of this when I first got it. What drew to me to it before anything else in my stack was the homage cover to X-Men #11, I had been picking up a lot of smaller press items recently and some of it was lukewarm but this; By issues end, I wanted more. As in now!

Stephen Paul Coffey is a published novelist of Zodiac: A Rosemary Herbb Adventure and a very capable comic writer. I adored the idea of an Irish superhero team and was very curious to see if it could be pulled off. The story opens at the International Mega-Human Headquarters in Dublin where we learn that 90% of the worlds superheroes are dead or in hiding after the fail safe files on the heroes were stolen with the purpose of wiping out the heroes by the villain "The Broker" General Blake then sets about recruiting the best of what is left and what is left is a rag tag bunch of misfits. Coffey injects a wit and enough sharp dialogue that it was a genuine laugh out loud read. I cannot tell what it was like to read a superhero comic where places like Dublin and Tallaght are referenced and the accents are written as they sound and the jokes are funny to those who know the region and to those who are not. I now know how New Yorkers feel when the read Marvel Comics! Now that the set up issue is out of the way I hope that we see a continuation of the book soon. Coffey's cast of characters are not exactly what you would call world class. Take for example Fallout a guy from a galaxy far away, who has all the powers of an A-lister buy whose control over gravity is unreliable. Or Rapid who has an overbearing over protective mother who comes along to the recruitment meeting but has to walk because the militaries vehicle has its wheels stolen while in Rapids house. Viciously fuuny!

Ger Hankey is currently involved in the "Transformers: Mosaic" projct run by the IDW publishing. So far he has been invloved in the production of six pieces for the project. This is my first exposure to his work though and I found the black & white interior art suited the story quiet well. His art is very easy to follow and where needs be the facial expressions of just about all the characters are well suited to the story allowances. There is a very strong base here for Hankey to build on .

I was very surprised to find that the book was as strong as it was. I have great hope for the book as it was a very funny read with a lot to draw in a local audience. If anyone overseas can get hold of this book then I very much recommend that you pick it up. As for Stephen Paul Coffey and Ger Hankey, bravo gentlemen."

Well thats about a good a note to end the year on as any, I suppose! I'd like to thank both Stephen and Barry for all the hard work they put into both projects, and hopefully we can do it all again bigger & better next year!
I'll leave you with a couple of recent Transformers pictures. I'd like to thank everybody for your support & praise, and I hope you all have a great Christmas & a very Happy New Year.
Now, where are those presents...

Monday, December 1, 2008

So now what?

I know that I'm a few days late updating the blog this week, so apologies. I wasn't going to bother at all this week but I wouldn't want you all thinking I was just using the blog to sell comics at the convention.....
It all went very well actually. Both comics were very well received, with Celtic Knights selling out of all the copies we brought with us!! There are a few more copies on sale in Sub City, Exchequer St. here in Dublin, and once our second print run arrives it should be in a few other places too. I'll keep you posted so watch this space!! I got to meet a lot of fellow Irish comic creators (there are too many to mention by name, but I was very impressed with the standard of Irish independent comics out there) and a few of the bigger names in the business. Irelands own Nick Roche, of IDW Transformers fame, did a great sketch for me (have a look below), and was showing off artwork for the first two issues of his latest project "Maximum Dinobots", which looks great.
I spent most of the convention sketching robots for people & trying to force sweets on them, so if you bought a copy of either of the comics or some artwork- thank you, and I have the number of a good dentist if you want it...
So next on the agenda are some more robots... I have a commission piece and another mosaic to do before I get cracking on Issue 2 of the Knights. I'm taking a break from anything too pressing between now and Christmas though, so I'll probably not get anything at all done...
No picutres by me this week, but one of me! Top one is Ultra Magnus by Nick Roche, and the bottom one is the Celtic Knights/Rosemary Herbb table at the convention. I'm the one in the middle about to get a smack on the head from Stephen, with Barry wisely staying as far away from it all as he can. Next convention, I'm sitting on the end...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Get comics, check. Tidy portfolio, check. Write blog...

Well, its the last blog entry before Dublin City Comic Con kicks off, bright and early on Saturday morning. I'm all(most) ready to go, I've pretty much done everything I can at this point, so all that remains is to turn up and enjoy the weekend. There are one or two panels and workshops I'm looking forward to seeing, and one where we get to "launch" the comic. I'm a little nervous about that one, but not too worried. If we manage to sell a few comics then I'll be a happy bunny. That said, I won't turn any of the major comic companies away if they offer me a job either!
Apart from the comics, I'll be selling a few pictures, (mostly transformers stuff) I have done, and doing a few sketches on the day. If you are coming, make sure and pop by to say hello, I promise I won't bite (though I can't make any guarantees about Stephen....)
Also going on sale at our table will be the fantastic "Rosemary Herbb: The Return", worth buying if only to look at Barry McGowans jaw-dropping artwork (the lettering is pretty good too, though!), and a few posters. Actually, when its all written down like that, it looks like I'm in for a very busy weekend!
Well, with all that to do, I'll leave you all to it. I'll no doubt have a post-mortem of some sort (hopefully a good one) next week, but till then I'll leave you with a quick sketch I did of Judge Dredd, just to keep the old fingers moving...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Well, with little over a week to go to the Dublin City Comic Con & the launch of the Celtic Knights comic, I'm happy to say that everything just might work out ok! The comic has been sent to the printers (with two different covers, no less), so I'm just polishing off my portfolio & stuff at the minute. For those of you not able to make it to the con, the comic will be on sale in some comic shops in Dublin, and we are making arrangements for those of you further afield, too. I'll update the blog with details as soon as I get them.
Aside from selling the comic (and tempting you all with sweets), I'll be doing sketches and selling of a few of my original drawings too (at a very reasonable price!!). Have a look at my DeviantArt page, and if anything takes your fancy, let me know and I'll keep it aside for you.
Thats is for now, this weeks preview is the the coloured comic cover (so you know what to look for!!). Till next week!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

And we're done!

Well, by tonight, I will be! I'm just putting the finishing touches to the cover, and then its off to the printers with the Celtic Knights! After five months of hard work, I'll have some of my spare time back. For a little while, anyway.
Well, a little over two weeks to go to the Dublin City Comic-Con. It should be a fun couple of days. There are a couple of people going that I want to meet, and basically have a good nosey at what everyone else has on offer. So if you are there, make sure and drop by and say hello, we will be the ones with all the sweets!
Right, I'd better get off and actually finish this cover so. In the meantime, here are the pencils for the cover for you to have a look at. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Starting to breathe again!

And more importantly, sleep!! I have finally finished the internal artwork for Celtic Knights, and I'm working on the cover and other little bits and bobs too. All those late nights, early mornings, and luchtimes without lunches are paying off and I'm starting to see light at the end of the tunnel. Now if we can get a few people to buy it, I'll be a happy man...
Rosemary: the Return is now ready to buy online, for those of you who wont be at the convention or near a Dublin comic shop. You can buy it here now, and its well worth the money, believe me. We will be doing the same thing for Celtic Knights in due course, don't you worry.
As for the convention itself (now a frighteningly close three weeks away), not only are we selling the comics at our table (as well as original artwork, sketches, and a bucket-load of sweets to lure you in with), Barry and I will also be attending a "New Title Launch" panel, where we will give a presentation of the comics, and have them reviewed by C.B. Cebulski, former Marvel editor. So, you know, no pressure or anything...
I have a preview of some actual artwork from the actual Celtic Knights comic for you this week (I haven't done that in a while, have I?), its the page with the first meeting of all the Knights. Enjoy!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Fingernails? What fingernails?

Well, the convention & launch of the Celtic Knights comic is now less than a month away, and I'm suddenly filled with a slight sense of panic. I'm not sure why, I'm actually a little ahead of the schedule I set myself for finishing the drawings, but I find myself squeezing in a little bit more every chance I get. Before I go to work in the mornings, on my lunch, my first instinct is to pick up a pencil or a pen. Just in case....

Rosemary has been sent off to the printers now so that's one worry off our backs at least, and Barry has finished his Celtic Knights poster/cover painting. Its very funny, check it out;

I did my first online interview this week, for Jazma Online, a comics newsletter website. Its a bit surreal answering questions like "what tips would you have for aspiring artists?". I'm pretty sure I'm still an aspiring artist myself (unless Stan Lee keeps calling my old phone number or something). Still, every road to super-stardom has to start somewhere, right? It should be posted up in a couple of weeks, I'll make sure and post a link to it then.

I totally forgot to mention it, but last Saturday was Irish free comics book day. A load of Irish comic producers give away free samples of their comics to promote their work. Its pretty self-explanatory really. Yours truly did a 2-page strip which featured in a 'zine given out on the day. If you are in town this week, pop in to Sub-City, Tower Records, or Forbidden Planet and they might have a few copies left.

I had another Transformers Mosaic piece posted up this week, this one is called Closure, and is written by me. It seems to have gotten a pretty good response with the TF fans. Check it out;

Well, its lunchtime now, so you know what that means; back to the drawing board!!

Till next week!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Its the final countdown (or any other appropriate 80's power rock song title...)

Well, after a couple of hetic weeks of lettering and colouring (and drawing the Rosemary cover and the Celtic Knights poster), its back to the everyday mad scramble of getting the rest of the pages for the comic finished. I'm going at a pretty good pace, and if I manage to keep this up I might even be finished before the convention!!

The graphics tablet is working out great, I'm still getting used to using it, but its great fun. I coloured both the Rosemary cover and the Celtic Knights poster (which are below) with it.

Stephen has already finished the script for the second issue and is pressing on with the third, so I'm going to be very busy next year. Im sure I told him I have a wife and kids....

On that note, it was my seventh wedding anniversary last Monday. I'd just like to say to my lovely wife Hazel, thank you very much for seven wonderful years. I couldn't ask for a better person to spend my life with. I love you loads!!

Well, thats all folks. See you next week!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

There's something about Rosemary...

What a week - loads of work & no sleep. I'm very cranky...
I finished the lettering for Rosemary Herbb after a couple of very late nights. The lettering itself didn't take all that long, its the waiting for things to load up in Photoshop which is the killer...
At least I put all that time waiting around to good use! I did the linework for the Celtic Knights poster & the Rosemary Herbb cover - who says men can't multi-task? Just have to colour them now, which means I get to play with my new toy - a graphics tablet. I'm still trying to get used to using it, so I'll let you know how I get on & post up the results.
Stephens back on his feet after his operation so I'm just wishing him a speedy recovery, I'm sure he will be thundering along promoting the comics before long.
I reckon I'm going to have a very busy few weeks ahead of me - two covers and a poster to sort out and the rest of the Knights sequentials. If I don't answer any emails or phone calls for a while you'll know why!! I have promised my wife I'll take a bit of a break from the drawing when I'm done. I'm sure I'll need the rest but something tells me there will be a long list of stuff that needs to be done around the house by then....

Friday, October 3, 2008

Panic Stations!!

Just a short entry this week - I'm so busy its unreal!! I'm actually taking a little break from the Celtic Knights sequentials in order to do the lettering for Rosemary Herbb - Stephen & Barry's comic. The artwork is just stunning, I believe Barry painted it, and it really looks fantastic. Have a look:

On top of the lettering on my week off (HA!) I'm trying to get a cover done for the Rosemary comic and a Celtic Knights poster too. Stephen is recovering from surgery this week and wants to kick the promotion into high gear when he is back on his feet, so I thought I'd better give him something to promote with.
Thats all for this week, I'm off to letter like a crazy person (well, maybe not, then it would just be gibberish...)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Right under my nose all this time..

Isn't it amazing the things you can find when you aren't really looking? I was running out of inking pens last week (Celtic Knights is my first fully black & white comic and I'm going through pens like crazy lately) and I thought I would have to go into town to get more as there is no decent art supply shop near where I live. Since we have six kids and my wife works pretty much most hours that I dont, going into town is not as simple as jumping on a bus. As with most things in the life of people with large families, it's a massive organisational operation with the type of split-second timing you would be hard pressed to find at a NASA launch. Needless to say, it seemed like a lot of trouble for some pens, so I wasn't looking forward to it, but you gotta do what you gotta do. Or so I thought.

My wife was in the local school book shop (another bane of the large family, but thats for another blog) buying a book for our son that the school told us we din't need and then changed their minds. As she was waitng for the book, she noticed they sold my inking pens! Cheaper than the art shop in town too - and literally ten minutes walk from the house. I'll have to pop in there soon and see what other goodies they have...

I've had a bit of a slow week on the drawing front. For some reason or another I haven't been able to put pen to paper as much as I would like. Hey, I'm allowed an off week once in a while, right? It wasn't really even an off week, as I have been photoshopping & lettering the pages I have done so far. I have every intention of getting fully back on track for next week (touch wood!).

For those of you reading this who haven't already, you should join the Facebook group. Stephen will be doing a good chunk of the promotion from there, and I'll be adding in a few goodies too, so its well worth a look.

Two preview pics for you this week; Rubinette's slinky entrance and a little bit of General Blake, just cause I thought it looked cool. Enjoy!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Tick tock, tick tock...

Its dawned on me that Monday is two months away from the convention. I'm starting to panic now. Not about the comic, but I haven't decided what to wear yet! Since Stephen has been making a worrying number of refrences to bikinis & evening dresses lately, I think I need might need to set him straight & let him know I'm strictly a jeans & t-shirt type of artist.. I wonder if he is giving Barry this type of attention too?
On a slightly less disturbing note, things are working out quite well at the moment. Apart from the usual chaos that is my life (as any other hard-working comic artist who also has six kids and a full time job will tell you) I havent had too many disasters with the comic front. I did a big scanning session during the week, so I have no excuse not to post up a few previews over the next couple of weeks. I'm planning to do a couple over on the Facebook group too, so make sure & go over to check them out! In the meantime, here is some freshly scanned Junker goodnes for you. Enjoy!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

You know you have no social life when....

My wife and I realised that the only times we have been out lately is to go to christenings! (None of our own though, had enough of them thank you!) So we managed to organise a babysitter & got out to the cinema to see the Dark Knight. Finally. And I have to say it was well worth it. It definitely lives up to the hype. I didn't even mind the "growly" Batman voice that everybody seemed to complain about, but I did have one little thing that bugged me (that nobody else seemed to mention at all) - why was the Mayor of Gotham alway wearing mascara?!?
And by the way, a little tip for you all - if you do forget to turn off your phone before you go in to the cinema, just make sure your ring tone doesn't sound like a dog barking. That just freaks everybody out!!
Well, enough of the stuff I said I'd never talk about here & on to business. I'm just about at the half-way stage in the Celtic Knights comic & things are going relatively smoothly. No doubt that now that I've said that, some disaster is bound to happen & I'll end up panic drawing at the end, but for now, its still all systems go. I've just finised Junker's big scene, and I have to say that Iv'e really enjoyed doing it. He is probably my favourite of the Knights to draw, there is just so much potential with a smelly vagrant crime fighter...
We have also realised that Celtic Knights will be doing something of a worlds first with comic book super-heroes (we think). At some point in the comic one of our heroes will do something that I'm pretty sure no comic book hero has ever done before. What is it? I'm not telling, you'll just have to buy it in November & find out!!

No Celtic Knights previews this week, I wanted to show off a Transformers: Mosaic piece instead. I gave a little preview of this a couple of weeks ago and IDW forums have launched their TF: Animated project this week so I can post the whole thing up now. Click on the pic below to see it all nice & big and readable-like. Enjoy!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Yay! I'm famous!!!

I've finally made it! I have an entry on the Irish comics Wiki! Granted it doesn't say much bar the fact that I exist and am doing Celtic Knights, but still, there I am. Enshrined for all eternity amongst the great Irish comic book creators. Suppose I'd better start producing something so....

On that note, the art is coming along nicely. Its looks like the comic is going to end up being a few pages longer than originally intended, which is no bad thing for the readers I suppose. And only one & a bit splash pages (so far) to boot! (for those of you who might be reading this who are not up on comics terminology, a splash page is a page with a large "pin-up" style picture that takes up most or all of the page).

My lovely wife bought me a proper portfolio case thingy the other day (up till now I have been keeping all my stuff in a wooden art box that doubles as my drawing board). In the process of moving all my stuff from one folder to another I came across a couple of issues of my first self-produced comic, Hybrid. Its very, very old (I think I did the first one when I was about 17), and very amateur-ish. Its coloured in markers & colouring pencils because I'm pretty sure you couldn't colour pictures on a computer back then!! For some reason though I'm still quite fond of it and over the years I have always intended to re-draw the whole thing using all the tricks I have learned over the years. I did at one stage manage to re-do the first three or four pages before something else got in the way. I'm half thinking of posting it up as-is as a web comic, if anybody would be interested in having a read. Let me know & I'll see what public opinion is like before I litter up the internet with any more of my rubbish. In the meantime, here is the cover I did for Issue 0 (2006 ish, still pre-photoshop) to whet your appetite.

Dont judge me on the fake tan look there, I blame the limited resources at my disposal at the time.....

Another Celtic Knights Preview for you too now; this is Fallout's impressive entrance into the comic...

Till next time!!

Friday, August 29, 2008

The little comic that could...

So I finally managed to get the scanner out this week & scanned in all the Celtic Knights artwork I have done up till now. Kind of glad I did, as I had a couple of days where I wasn't in the mood for picking up a pencil (in my defense, it is a heavy pencil) so instead I did a bit of cleaning up & lettering. Which means you finally get a preview of the comic!! Make the most of it - I'm not going to be spoiling you like this every week, there wouldn't be much point in going out & buying the comic then, would there?
Stephen has started his promotional juggernaut this week (yes, I know its a little small press comic, just humor me and I'll go away soon, ok?) by starting up a Facebook page for the comics. So if you are on Facebook, go check it out, join the group, get the tattoo etc...

Next on the list; Happy Meal Toys!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Busy busy busy busy.....

Well, the big news this week is that Dublin City Comic Con has been officially announced. Its on the 22nd/23rd of November in the Park Inn Hotel in Smithfield Square, Dublin. You can check out the details at . We have our table booked, so we will be selling the Celtic Knights comic, sketches, other artwork I have and maybe a kidney if the price is right!!
Stephen, the writer of Celtic Knights, is also working on a new comic for his character Rosemary Herbb with artist Barry McGowan. I got to see some of the stuff he did for it and it looks fantstic. You can check out his work here. We are doing covers for each others comics (its not to make you buy more stuff, honest!!) and both will be on sale at the con. If you cant make it there, don't worry - its going on sale in comic shops too so you can pick one up when you are in Christmas shopping. And I will be giving you all gentle reminders when the time comes....

As for me, I've had a bit of a crazy week on all fronts. It all started on a bouncy castle... (don't ask)

I've been putting the finishing touches to my Transformers: Mosaic piece and a two-page strip I did for the free comic book day zine, as well as motoring along with Celtic Knights. I'm hoping to have a preview of the sequential art ready for it for next week, but in the meantime, heres a bit from the comic, and another Transformers Mosaic piece which should see the light of day in the not too distant future.

Till next week!!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Three weeks in and I've already run out of witty titles.....

OK, a couple of different projects to show you this week. I'll have the usual Celtic Knights preview, but first something a bit different.

Some of you may know that I am involved in a project called Transformers: Mosaic. Basically, a bunch of talented fan artists have gotten together to produce a series of one-page comics about everybodys favourite giant Transforming robots. So far I have been involved in a couple which you can see here. (All the other ones can be seen here). Some of them have even managed to get printed in the official Transformers comics. None of mine though.... yet.

So currently I have two more in the works; one based on the old Marvel comics I used to read when I was a kid (its amazing the standard of art they used to carve on to those stone tablets, all the same...) and one based on the new Transformers Animated cartoon, which, by the way, is an excellent reason to start getting up on a Saturday morning again!

This is a preview of the latter one, written & drawn by me and coloured by the very talented Linda Song. The comic is called "Public Relations" and I'll post the whole thing up when the TF: Mosaic boys let me.

I know last week I said I would post up a preview of the comic for the free comic book day project, but the truth is I've been too lazy to bother taking the scanner out this week. If you are lucky I'll update this post with it later. Probably won't though...

So another Celtic Knights preview for you now. This is the final design sketch I did for the group, and its of Rapid. He's a super-fast hero and probably the most typically Dublin of the Knights (just say his name in a northsider accent and you'll see what I mean!!). Aswell as the 'tache and the runners, he also has the typical Dublin mammy. Stephen has a few good bits in the comics for her, but I'm not going to spoil it for you...

Right, thats your lot for now. See you next week!!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Another week, another helping of delicious comicy goodness for you all!!

(Sorry, I've had a bout of insomnia this week & I seem to be on a bit of a sleep deprived buzz. Still, I'm getting loads done!!)

Apart from the Celtic Knights comic, I'm also working on a 2-page strip as part of an anthology comic for which should also be out around the time of Dublin City Comic-Con in November. I hope to be able to give you a quick peek at that next week, after I actually manage to pencil to paper!!

Over the course of the weekend I'm hoping to sort out some type of a gallery here on the blog, to show off some of my other comics from the past (and one or two others I have in the pipeline). In the meantime, if you are really desperate to see some more of my stuff (and lets face it, you'd want to be desperate!!), you can have a browse here: On top of all that I'm still finding time to do the odd commission (like I said, no sleeping, its the only way!) so if you are interested, let me know.

Anyway, on with the preview. First up we have the dynamic duo of Fire & Ice. They are a married super-hero couple, kind of like Spiderman & Mary-Jane.

Except they hate each other.

And as much they might like it, they won't be making any deals with the devil to just pretend it never happened (sly dig at Marvel there, folks. They deserve it though...)

Then theres Fallout. He's your typical Super-Guy, strong, fast able to fly, etc, etc, etc... except he has a minor problem. He occasionally cant control his balance & gravity powers. It would be a minor problem, if he wasn't flying through the air like a speeding bullet at the time....

Well thats it for now. Lets hope I get some sleep over the next few days or God knows what gibberish I'll be spouting in next weeks post....

Friday, August 1, 2008

Shameless self-promotion

Morning All!
Another day, another blog (well, for you lot maybe, its actually my first). But this one is a little bit different.
Well, lets face it - you aren't remotely interested in what I had for breakfast, what I think of the state of the bus service or or any other pointless rant I may have. And believe me, I've got a few.
No, this blog is here to show off. Sort of, anyway. You see, I am currently working on a new comic called Celtic Knights, which is written by Stephen Paul Coffey that we will be launching at the Dublin City Comic Con in November.
"What's it about?" I hear you ask. Well, imagine a world thats protected by Super-Heroes. The best of the best keeping you safe at night. Now imagine somebody manages to get rid of them all in one fell swoop, leaving everything at the mercy of any criminal & super villan who wants it. Who do you turn to?
You turn to who's left. The dregs of super hero society, the people you would never ask for help unless your life depended on it. Well now it does, and God help us all...
I'm going to do a few previews as the weeks go by, so I'll start with some of the character designs. First up is Junker, who is sort of what Batman would be if Bruce Wayne was a bit down on his luck. We also have The Rubinette, who thinks she could be Wonder-Woman, but, well... just see for yourself.
Well enjoy, & I'll keep things updated as it progresses. Come along in November and buy a copy of the comic. I'll even sign it for you, who knows it might end up being worth something....