Wednesday, 14 July 2010


...and Robin.

Hello, friends. Yes I hardly ever blog here, but that's because I are too busy doodling or trying to tidy Irving Towers to sit down and compose my thoughts. It's not because I don't want to...those of you who know me will be well aware of exactly how much I can talk and how many opinions I have on everything, not to mention the seemingly endless stream of anecdotes cribbed from other people that I never tire of repeating. Oh and the bad jokes.
But blogging is different, as I feel I need to show something pretty as well as waffle on endlessly. A lot of that is controlled by the release dates of work I have been making, which is how I come to be here now: since the last post I have been working on some Batman comics, the first being The Return Of Bruce Wayne issue 2 (which came out a coupla months back, cover is posted below) and the other one is issues 13-15 of Batman and Robin, which has only just been published.
So now that the cat is semi out of the bag, I can dish out some more sketches and doodles for you to while away the minutes with.

Here be the first sketch idea submitted. The brief was quite broad...basically "an iconic image of Batman and Robin" which had me scratching my head for a while because such broadness usually leaves me staring at blank pages for days. I decided something simple, with the feisty new Robin charging angrily at the reader whilst the new Batman kinda hangs back and does his mentor thing. This sketch was kinda nice in that it showed that Robin was far more unruly than the older Robin, pushing Batman's cape aside so he could charge at us.

Unhappy with the lopsided composition of my first sketch, I did something simpler and more symmetrical with far less narrative aspects. Not knowing what the contents of the issue would be at this time I couldn't draw anything that related to any actual events so it had to be really basic. It kinda referenced some very early Batman images, with the cape flowing out in a Dracula-esque manner and the beaming lines in the background...possibly from the old 60s Batman TV show...and ultimately this one won the battle and so then all that remained was to render the thing.

First up was drawing Batman. Thanks to the magic of Potatoshop I can draw entire characters on separate layers and compose them later, which saves much hassle and time spent re-editing images if stuff looks out of place. My take on Batman was still forming at this point in time, but I had already decided that the cape and cowl would be far darker that current versions, more of a black than a blue except when strong light is blasted onto it. The face was tricky, as I knew this Batman had to look different than the Bruce Wayne I was drawing in the other book at the time, so I chose a slightly different jaw shape than ol' Brucie.

Less Dredd,, slightly pointy chin and pouty lips.

Sketching in Robin, I modified the expression to be less snarly and more frowny at the request of the Boss. Even tho he's 10 years old I figured his build would be more developed than the normal 10 yr old, what with all the crimefighting and stuff. And hey, he's Bruce Wayne's kid. 

This is what I ended up with after the first day. The bright shapes of Robin's face and cape popping out of the shadow of Batman's cape etc. It still wasn't quite what I had in mind so a simple tweak...

...and the cape shape changes to give it a little dynamic that the original lacked. the final version printed a little darker than it appeared on my screen (a situation that has now been remedied) so the rich oranges in the background didn't throb quite as much as I expected, but the overall contrast worked fine with the head and the cape, so I was satisfied.

Man, there's so much art I could show you Dear Internet, but alas I cannot until it has seen the light of printed day, so you will have to wait to peep behind the artist's curtain for that.

Before that day passes, however, I will be attending the San Diego ComiCon, or SDCC as twitter likes to call it. I have a few spots where I'll be sitting down and signing stuff, yakking and waffling as I do, so the current list of commitments is thus:

Friday 23rd July I'll be on the Batman: The Return panel at 1:45 till 2:45 in room 6DE, then after that I'll be signing at the DC booth from 3 till 4 pm.

Saturday 24th July I'll be signing at the DC booth from 11am till noon, and then I'll be at the Roddenberry booth signing from 1:30 till 3.

Sunday 25th July I'll be at the Roddenberry booth again from 10:30 am till noon.

That's all so far, as more stuff gets lined up I'll update this page. Ok, now it is lunchtime.