Sunday, June 16, 2019

I have spent most of my Getting Some Art Done Time playing in bits of Photoshop I have known about for a while but never really explored - seriously it's a maze. I have pay out string to find my way back to my desk sometimes.

I have this idea that I want to make my next comic - paper one - look like a real comic. Printing technology is getting too good. I like the texture of old fibrous absorbent wood pulp paper and the sloppy soaked-in inks they used up until the 80s? 90s?

These days comics are printed so well, on such good quality paper, that people can use gradations of colour and detail unheard of 30 years ago. If you want imperfections you have to build them in. You can't rely on rattling old printing presses shaking something loose or overworked underskilled careless printers to randomly do it for you.

Comics look too slick these days.


So I've been messing around channels and coming up with groovy new ways to make my art look messy(er). The big break was finding a button that splits a flattened CMYK image into editable greyscale images each one corresponding to a different channel... I can see your eyes glazing over but this is seriously exciting stuff for me. That and finding the option in Illustrator (that I could have done with knowing about ages ago) that lets me preserve transparency when autotracing imported PSDs.... Trust me. It's been a good night.

Friday, June 14, 2019

New Comic.

Is on it's way to the printer!  (To be utterly accurate it's at the printers waiting to be printed.)

Now the hard bit. 


Thursday, June 13, 2019

The Brute # 2

When I'm not drawing comics I'm often reading comics.  All sorts of comics.  Superhero comics, French cowboy comics, long confessional autobiographical self-indulgent waffle comics.  Sometimes I really slum it and dig out the box in which I hoard my Atlas Seaboard collection:

Previous dips into my box of Bloody Awful Atlas Seaboard comics can be found here:

and where were we?  Issue 2 of The Brute:

Previously, a thawed-out superhuman prehistoric pre-human (The Brute) has thrown several people to their grisly deaths (and possibly eaten a couple) and is fleeing captivity - redheaded, pipe-smoking police chief Frazier has sworn to kill him on sight (sometimes, he keeps changing his mind).

The Brute's only 'friend' is ace anthropologist Dr Ann Turner. At the end of the previous issue the Brute has stowed away in the undercarriage of light aeroplane Songbird 5HI7... and now, somehow, is on the plane's roof....

A page later the Brute throws the other guy out. "He had no way of knowing," says our narrator, "that these flyers meant him no harm... that their plane but a machine, not a fearsome pteranodon!"

How the hell the Brute would know what a pteranodon was is an interesting point as he was shown battling mammoths in the last issue.  Either the Brute has wandering around in defiance of evolutionary theory since the late Cretaceous when dinosaurs roamed the earth or the author is an ignoramus and/or a Young Earther.

Needless to say, a plane without anyone flying it, and half a ton of pre-human ape-beast sitting on the cowling, is bound to....

Within two panels a pair of shadowy mysterious figures are at the crash site.

As luck would have it, the Brute has landed smack in the middle of an Ed Wood Re-enactment Society get-together.  The two shadowy figures turn out to be Dr Speer and his hunchback assistant Eric.

"Examine the wreckage carefully! We must salvage every electronic part that might possibly be of use in our work!", says Dr Speer.  "The engine for example!"    (er... ok...)

Doctor Look--!  I can stick my finger right up my nostril!

Weird salvage is soon forgotten, however, when the two discover the Brute lying within the wreckage.  "It appears that he is still alive! Ha! Ha! Ha!" -- "After some minor surgery he will fit in perfectly with my plan for vengeance!"

Who is this mysterious Dr Speer? and vengeance upon whom?  Good questions.  Luckily the not so good doctor spends the next three pages telling us exactly why, what, and whom in a long, rambling, Ed Woodesquian monologue.  This monologue is delivered to the faithful Eric (who must have heard it all a thousand times before) who manages to squeeze in a couple of  "I know"s in at the corners of  panels in the hope the crazed old loon will take the hint and shut up.

Basically, Dr Loon has been; "persecuted by the scientific establishment" for trying to create a race of amphibious 'REPTILE MEN' which would allow the human race to survive the coming nuclear annihilation. He has had his "Licence to experiment" taken away by "jealous scientists" after his experiments to convert "Bums, derelicts, hobos," and other "men of no value" into the Creature From the Black Lagoon ended up with them all dying.  "We must stop him!", you can almost hear these other scientist cry. "If he continues on at this rate there won't be any helpless dregs of society left for OUR deranged experimental programs!"

So, deep in the woods Dr Demento has perfected his technique and needs new victims.  He will implant a 'mind control electrode' (I think they stock them in Radio Shack) into the Brute and use him to kidnap members of 'the academy' so he can convert them into REPTILE MEN! Mwahahaha!  By the way we have now segued from Ed Wood's Bride of the Monster land to Ted V Mikels' Astro Zombies land.

"Meanwhile, several hundred miles away..." Hunky Police Chief Frazier has had another extraordinary flip flop about the Brute and no longer wants to shoot him dead on sight (which is what he wanted to do for a lot of last month's episode before changing his mind several times - mainly because he fancies the tits off  blonde anthropologist Dr Turner - who is determined to save the Brute from being shot dead on sight).  This man is the Boris Johnson of comic book police chiefs.  "Yes! Yes! Anything! Just let me in your knickers!"

The chief tells Dr Turner that he's had radio reports about a 'monster' on a missing plane and, though he can show her 'map coordinates' of where the pain has crashed, he's not bothering to go up and take a look until morning and if she can get there first maybe she can save the Brute from being "riddled with police bullets!" - What kind of fucking cop IS he?  "I have a crashed air-craft, two missing possibly dead civilians, and yeah whatever... I'll go up in the morning.  While you are there if you see a couple of dead aviators lying about just shove them in body bags and send them to the Civil Aviation authority will you?  And if you could do a full crash investigation while you're at it...? 


To test if 'the mind control' he has implanted in the Brute's brain worked and "see if my brilliant operation has been successful" (Will it still be a 'brilliant operation' if it doesn't?)  Speer gets the Brute to smash that standard piece of lab equipment, a huge isometric cinder block balanced on two 1960s TV stands.  There was one in our school chemistry lab.  We never dared ask what it was for - but there were rumours.

Needless to say the cinder block gets smashed. "Yes! Brilliant operation! I win! I win!". And then, to doubly check, Speer gets the Brute to smash poor Eric against a wall because the good doctor is fed up with him.  "You have outlived your usefulness" (to the plot).  That and the poor, misunderstood  Brute hasn't pointlessly murdered anyone for seven pages.

Somewhere else:

Dr Frederic Bertham's current line of research involves pointing small cannon at his forehead for some reason - possibly in an attempt to cure his horribly dislocated right shoulder.

Dr Bertham is hijacked on his way home from work by the Brute, carried to Speer's remote lab,
and operated on.  Mwahaha!

Another somewhere else:

Quite how 'Nuclear Physicist Dominic Beckman' is preparing for bed in this panel is a open to conjecture but, after smoking a cigarette, while pondering the 'news announcement' of Dr Bertham's mysterious disappearance, the Brute hijacks him from his own bed, carries him to Speer's remote lab,
where he is operated on.  Mwahaha!

And, somewhere else again: 

"This is Dr Legrand... " 

That ellipsis after the doctor's name represent the author's attempt to come up with third kind of scientist, " Molecular Biologist... Nuclear Physicist... and... and... oh crap! there has to be another kind of comic book scientist... erm... erm... whatever... I'll come back to this..."

Whatever kind of scientist Legrand (or later, 'Le Grand') is I hope it isn't in the field of electronics - unless this is THE Dr Legrand.  Inventor of that phone where you talk into the earpiece.

And that poor cop.  "Wha--?" indeed. As if throwing custard on the bugger was going to stop him.

Needless to say:  Dr Legrand... Brute... Hijack... operate... Mwahaha!


Dr Ann Turner has arrived at the crash site - which means that ALL of that Scientist ... Brute... Hijack... Operate... Mwahaha!  stuff happened in ONE NIGHT. Wow!  That's some going even for a homicidal Neanderthal and a crazed scientist named after Hitler's architect.  A crazed scientist who now gets to deliver one of the greatest lines in comic book history:

"I'm going to give Dr Le Grand the face of a platypus."

Sheer poetry.

The knock on the door is, as you would expect, Dr Turner who is looking for--

Oh, there he is...

Dr Speer, is delighted that find that scientists are now delivering themselves to his front door without having to send the Brute out to fetch them. (Tesco's have been doing this for years in our area.)   He immediately hatches a wizard wheeze.

 Nice of the mad bastard to take his hand away from her mouth long enough for her to have a quick "=gasp=" there.

Instructed to strap the girl to 'that other operating table', the Brute rebels!

(Forget Bride of the Monster and Astrozombies, we're in King Kong and Ann Darrow territory here.)

So, with all the pieces finally in place (apart from the police chief who isn't due to saunter up to the woods some time in the morning and who is, probably, at this very same moment, actively ignoring three drive-by shooting and a bank robbery in progress), and with only 3 pages to go to wrap this up - we can finally get on with the Brute vs Lizard Men action promised on the front cover.

The anticipation....

The Lizard Men are released!  At LAST!  Prehistoric Cave Brute faces the 'MONSTROUS PERIL' as he is  ATTACKED by AMPHIBIOUS REPTILE MEN!  The titanic battle twixt mammal and ex- mammal fish/beast/lizard things is HERE!

...and that's it.

"The pathetic reptile men are no match for the prehistoric ferocity of the beast man..."
Two panels.


Well, Doctor Speer, obviously, who gets hurled into the Mk IV Acme Machine Most Likely to Explode standing in the corner of the lab'.

 "The Rancid oder of searing flesh"? I would guess the author is either: slipping in some vegetarian polemic there, or he has never been to a BBQ. And if it's purely a human flesh thing, I can tell you from personal experience - I once gave myself a really nasty burn with a blowtorch - that cooking human flesh smells delicious.  Just like roasting pork.  It was a very strange moment.  I was in extreme pain and simultaneously very hungry.

And 'oder'?  The Oder is a river in Poland.

So Ann flees.  Lab goes boom!  Ann is sad that the Brute is dead.  Ann goes home.  Brute emerges from the wreckage to continue his next Littlest Hobo adventure; "Not knowing WHERE to turn who he can TRUST... truly... ALONE!"

And I think that's enough of that.  I'll put the box of Atlas comics away for another few months.  Even my addled brain can't take much of this.

Saturday, June 08, 2019

I really find it hard to understand how I gave up drawing for so long.  For years I just didn't draw.  The occasional doodle, sketch-maps, or rough diagram but not real DRAWING.  Now I find I really can't stop.  I really do love to draw. Here's some rampaging nuns I just threw onto the page at daughter number 2's suggestion for something to fill an awkward space in the new comic's back pages. (It relates to one of the stories in the book.)

It's not the greatest drawing in the world.  I will be the first to admit that.  But it flew off the end of my pencil in minutes and was coloured just as quickly.  I think I might JUST be starting to get a handle on this cartooning lark

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Stupendous Stories

Oh this is a good omen.

After spending a couple of hours hand-crafting, from the finest, high quality pixels that money can buy, the cover for my next book. Then lovingly, tenderly, folding them into a superb, bespoke PDF format with just a zest of hyperbole to tingle the eyebuds - I actually go look on - the largest Comic Book Database in the known universe - to see if anyone has ever made a book called Stupendous Stories before. 

They haven't.

They have now.


(The regular reader of this blog - a wonderful construction that sounds like I am addressing each member of a large group individually, when I really know for a fact there is only one of you - the regular reader of this blog will have noticed that this cover looks nothing at all like the cover I was drawing "for my next comic" a few posts ago.  That's because this comic isn't that comic. The editorial staff of Gosh Wow comics (Merriol) decided that we were doing an all superhero comic this time instead of the mixed bag anthology Derek I was planning, or the all-SF Tales of the Unaccepted I haven't got enough material for.  So we've started a new title just for the superhero nonsense.  One of these days I'll get round to working on the second Geeks book.  I have a story plotted out - mostly - and pages of dialogue written and thumnailed.... One of these days. )

Missing CD? Contact vendor

Free CD
Please take care
in removing from cover.

Copyright (c) 2004-2007 by me, Liam Baldwin. That's real copyright, not any 'creative commons' internet hippy type thing.

(this copyright notice stolen from

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