Monday, January 28, 2008


My good friend, Sarah heard I was leaving the country and decided she needed a Jason Badower original. In some of the best and most unique taste exhibited to date, she asked me to draw Mrs. Emma Peel from the Avengers.

Some of you may not be familiar with the Avengers (the tv show, not the comic). That's ok.

Some of you may only be familiar with the movie starring Ralph Fiennes, Uma Thurman and Sean Connery. That's not ok.

To recap, The Avengers is a sixties British espionage series. It's got some surreal sci-fi elements, witty dialogue and really pushed a lot of frontiers. If you've only seen the movie, either scrub your occipital lobe with a scourer or go rent, buy or steal the original series.

Mrs. Emma Peel was John Steed's most famous partner. Vivacious, witty and incredibly progressively written and performed by Diana Rigg. I was looking forward to this piece!

The thing about doing portraits of actual people (as opposed to fictional ones like Storm) is that I don't want to just draw a photo. I figure, the photo is already there. What we want is something new! So how to create a piece of art that is unmistakably both Diana Rigg and totally new?


I began playing with sketches. I re-watched a bunch of stuff on Youtube getting the feel for the series and the character again. I was trying to figure what an image would look like if it was created for the show today. Whats interesting is that women stand very differently today than they do back then. As beautiful as Diana Rigg is, she doesn't have the sort of postural modeling training that almost all female actors have these days.

Sarah went with my gut instinct which was A.


I liked pose A too, but it's a terrible sketch! Totally without life. I knew I had to add the trademark Mrs Peel spunk to it. Right now it just looks like some frump standing there.

A tilt of the hips and a little more butt and twist completed the pose for me.

It's almost shocking for me to look back on this stage of the picture. There's barely anything there! I'm stunned by how I'm relying more and more on the painting stage. I don't know if I will ever give up line work. I love my line work. I always associate line work with comic book art, which is where my heart is.

Here is where the majority of the work is done. I wanted strong, powerful lighting. I saw two lights, one from behind her, and one from in front of her. I also had a ball rendering the pvc trying to make it as as shiny, and reflective as possible. Again, it was really horrible looking at all the reference of chicks wearing skin tight pvc outfits. Because it was such an exhausting stage, and I'm so thorough, that stage might have taken longer than it should have.

The outfit is a little tighter than what Diana Rigg wore back in the 60's, but hey, a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do! But all the zips, buckles and stuff are in the right place.


I placed down basic colours and then got carried away painting her hair and started on her skin. But I was really worried that the piece colour-wise would be really bland. There was so little variation - hair, skin, pvc and gun.

I wanted something really bold and stylised. I remembered those two fill lights. And had a bright idea for them (pun unintended).


I went searching for a background and wanted something suitably 60s and English. What better than a big sodding Union Jack? I tried adding some patterns and circular textures and spirals but they just detracted from the design. The Union Jack also gave me my idea for the fill lights.

I used a lighter blue and a darker red to help both merge and pop her from the background. The blue was nice, and I almost left it at that, but the red totally brought the piece to life with a heavy stylised effect that I really liked. It gave her a third dimension that I found very convincing. I had to sit on this a while before I realised that this was the right direct


I proceed to imagine that the whites of the Union Jack were white neon tubes and proceeded to flare them out around her. I also added a whiter light coming from above her, and slightly to her left. I flared out all the pvc and the gun and it suddenly got a lot of punch becoming a lot more graphic - red, white and blue.


But the background needed something more. I created a trademark silhouette of John Steed and placed it in the direction of the light source. This helped both ground the image to the series and the 60's.

I added the lettering and it also helped to place the image and sell the limited colour palette.

I had pretty much finished this by the time I left Melbourne, but I gave it a once over when I hit London. I couldn't have come up with a more appropriate piece for my first finished piece of art in London.

Thank you again, Sarah! I can't wait to see it printed out and hanging in your place!

COMMISSIONS: Email me at for price and details. Doors are closing soon as I'm about to get back into Zero G (when my they raise my hdd from the dead).

SKETCHBOOKS: A couple left. Email me. $10+$5 postage.

LONDON: DAYS 10 & 11

This weekend was partying hard with JAn: The "Polish Meat-Grinder" and a bunch of his very cool friends: Sara, Ben, Jimmy, Jess, Sandra and Tom (I'd met Ely last week). The plan was to drink as much alcohol as possible before heading out to a club called "The Betty Ford Clinic".

Around 11pm, Shana (JAn's awesome house-mate whom I'd met last week) and her two friends Kristine and Alice walked into the room declaring that they were heading off as the bus was coming soon (they wanted to catch the bus as it was less walking and Shana was wearing 7.5" heels! She also had to lug her cds as she was DJing also). I turned to JAn and asked him if he knew how to get there. He replied he didn't.


The girls and I waited for the others and only Ben, Sandra and Tom shuffled out. Next thing you know I'm on the bus, JAn is nowhere to be seen and I'm feeling smaller than Shana's heels for leaving him behind. It turns out Kristine, the American was navigating. Stuck between bus stops for 20 minutes in the freezing cold, I was forced to ask, "Why the hell are we following the person with the wrong bloody accent?!"

Marooned at this bus stop, I bought a Smirnoff Ice to keep me company and Kristine asked for the, "Cheapest wine you've got."

I gotta say, I've had some pretty cheap wine before, but never had I had a wine that tastes of cheese. No, seriously. Cheese. That stuff was horrific, but Kristine stubbornly persevered, grinning through gritted teeth that, "It wasn't that bad".

It was. When the Anti-Christ rises that's what he's going to drink.

The Betty Ford Clinic was heaps of fun, but was merely an appetizer for Slimelight the next night. (LEFT: MAGGIE, ALICE and JAn - Shana has such a great eye for the camera).

We all reconvened at JAn and Shana's on Saturday. More vodka ensued. Getting to Slimelight was a little easier and double vodka's mounted an ongoing charge for the rest of the night.

JAn and I waded through a sea of familiar yet unknown faces. So many people reminded us of people back home.

Late in the evening, Kristine introduced me to Paul, her boyfriend. Unknowingly she unleashed the geekiest of conversations. Her eyeballs rolled, and she muttered obscenities under her breath as she realised she'd lost her boyfriend for the night. JAn, Paul and I geeked out to Comics, Transformers, Roleplaying, MMO's and Battlestar. I'm looking forward to catching up with Paul again. I'm going to try and adopt him as my comic book sugar daddy while I'm in London.

I regretted looking at my watch as I saw it was "Cinderella was about to turn into a pumpkin o'clock". The flak fire of abuse was heavy, but I dodged it darting between goths, "Yours*" and gravers, running for the door.

Sunday was... painful. But oh, so worth it!

* "Yours": The bitchiest game in the world, introduced to me by Emmy. It involves finding someone who has made a terrible fashion decision, tapping your friend on the shoulder, indicating said tragedy and then saying to your friend, "Yours!".

Friday, January 25, 2008


I'm skipping ahead in the queue here (bypassing Wolvie, Emma Peel, Deathblow & Grifter and Aragon & Arwen - boy, I've been busy!) cos I wanted to show I can draw a woman with large, but reasonable breasts. Although Emma Peel does have normal breasts too. But this is recent, so it's present on my mind and I can talk about it the best.


This piece is for Lee Ann (aka Ororo_Monroe who does incredible and tireless work for the Sarmy and the Give Life Foundation). I did a tshirt design for them, and soon as my hard drive comes back, I will donate 2 or 3 more designs. Anyway, Lee Ann previously asked me to do the first Batman piece for her nephew (left).

She was so happy with how Batman turned out, she planned to get a head and shoulders of Storm done also. Well the time came.


She wanted Storm looking up, grinning joyously into the rain. She didn't mind profile or front on.

But she sent me this Greg Land picture as costume reference:

Greg and his colourist had done a stunning profile shot. So I figured, if this piece was out there, what's the point of me doing the same thing?

I decided that a front on piece would be the way to go.


There was no sketchwork. I had a pretty clear idea of what I wanted to do, and Lee Ann trusted me to do the right thing. She said she wanted to see a "Jason Badower Storm". So, the gloves were off!

My driving goal was to have this huge long mane of flowing hair. I opted for a landscape orientation (horizontal) to truly capture this movement. I wasn't drawing a comic book cover here, I could do as I pleased!

What's of note at this stage is her lack of jaw. I leave things like this empty for later. It's taken a while to realise that certain things work better at certain stages. It takes an incredible amount of concentration to visualise the jawline when it's not there.

Also of note, is the crazy amount of detail on her hair. I felt that Lee Ann deserved something a little special. I could have easily phoned it in and knew that most of it would be obscurred later, but *I* know if it's there or not. Little things like this create a proportionate amount of pride for me in the work. It also makes for a nice design element at the black and white stage almost creating a shade of grey encircling the minimalist white figure.

Her eyes almost sent me to the top of a bell-tower with a long range sniper rifle. I must have redrawn them about six times. This is extremely rare for an artist who generally hits things the first time he has a smack at them.


Man, if someone was to go through my browser's history right now, they'd believe I had some sorta serious fetish for black chicks (that's not an invitation for you hackers!). I've got folders full of images of Tyra Banks, Beyonce and an assortment of other black chicks. I hadn't drawn a black woman in a while, and I wanted to really capture the unique and beautiful way their skin captures the light.

If you look at my previous pieces, I like extreme highlights and shadows. I like white whites, and very black blacks. I opted for a more mid-range less contrasting tonal range here. It was a huge challenge to hold myself back. I remember rendering the face and actually having to throw it out and start again. Again, a very rare occurance.

I'm really enjoying how I communicate different textures. The gold band, leather costume and skin all look like totally different textures to me, and I'm very proud of that.


Did I mention how much of a pain in the ass it was to draw this hair? Well, my computer decided it wanted to have a little bit of a lie down while I rendered her hair. I have a tendency to render things at a speed corresponding to the energy contained in my subject. At this stage, all the energy for this piece was coming from her hair. It needed to be rendered with quick flowing strokes to communicate that energy. My poor new uber-laptop (curse you Vista!) chugged along whereas my far less powerful tower running XP would have powered through this. Not enjoying my Vista experience so far.


Those of you who have followed me through previous processes know that I like to let my backgrounds dictate my colour scheme for my foreground. I ascribe to the theory that the light around us affects the palette that I use. Lee Ann didn't mind what I used as background texture. So I found this lovely lightning storm with such a unique palette. Blue and purple? Game on!


This stage is very straight forward. Generally I sample the colours from another picture of Storm for her costume and skin. I then play with them to get them to look just right. These are just basic colour flats with a COLOUR layer effect over my tonal work. In case you think it's cheating, you try and do that tonal rendering (where I spend most of my time).


The problem with just using flats is that they're very well.. flat to the eye. The first thing I do is try and bring life to the skin. I blend in a combination of pinks, purples and other similar skin tones to create some energy and the subtle variation for the eye that real skin tones have.

I then went back to all my reference. Yes, that's what us artists call the huge banks of images of beautiful women we have. I scanned it for women with the same skin tone and started looking for makeup schemes. I notice that most colourists draw women with blood red lipstick. The only women who wear that sort of lipstick these days are rockabilies, some old schol goths and well, shall we say... ladies of the night.

Modern makeup is a lot more subtle. I created a unique colour for her lips, and I was pleasantly happy with how glossy it looked. I then moved onto her eyes and as a girl once told me, "Blend, blend and then blend some more." So that's what I did. Blues, greys, purples and all sorts of stuff in there with a subtle skin tone over the top to even it out.

Finally I painted in the blueish purple fill light on her left side (her left, our right) which added a great deal of depth. I went for a very subtle fill light here, just enough to break up those dark shadows

Once I'm happy with my base, I create two layers. One 50% Screen, and one 50% Overlay. I find these two effects bring more depth and life to the flat Colour layer effect. I then go in and touch areas up that need definition and highlighting.


I added some subtle highlights to her hair, the odd bright skin area and the shine on her gold and leather. This is normally where I'd stop if I was doing this for myself (in fact, I sent this on to Lee Ann as an alternative version for her). But Lee Ann wanted her looking up into the rain. Rain, huh? I gotta tell you, I was pretty scared at this point that I wouldn't come up with the goods and that I'd ruin a perfectly good piece.


I had done rain once before on my Batman piece for Beau and Lucy. But there were two factors that made this a very different piece: Storm wasn't set at night, and it was a close up.

So again, Google images was my friend. I began studying photos of the rain, people in the rain, and even people (mainly women) in the shower (god, it just sucks to have to do some of these stages, you know?). I created a really nice texture cobbled from several photos using images of rain far away and close up. I think I pasted it over the top of Storm with a Lighten layer effect. I was quite happy with this, but it looked like a light drizzle not a STORM. It lacked drama.


Remember I said I was looking at photos of people in the shower? Well, it's pretty hard to find the impact of the sort of rain I needed. I wanted the sort of torrential downpour that sends people running, sweeps away houses and drowns your pet elephant. But showers... Now showers have the level of water impact I needed. I cobbled together a couple selections of water impacts and began painting and pasting them over Storm. At one stage there was over 15 layers of rain impacts on her. I flattened them all, blended them in, and Bob's your uncle, one serious mutha of a storm.

This communicated the level of drama I was looking for! I loved the contrast between her expression and the power of the elements behind her. She's revelling in it because she controls it. That was exactly the look I was hoping to achieve!


To blend background element and foreground elements, I took a sample of the background and overlayed a very slight Colour layer over the entire piece. This subtly shifts all the palettes in the same direction unifying the image by creating one lighting scheme. I also felt it added another level of drama as the light from the lightning seems to be closer, adding a level of proximity and danger.

Overall I had so much fun with this piece. What should have been a quick straight forward piece got more and more complicated. I was so pleased with the way it turned out. The organic nature of the rain on her adds such a sense of life, hyper-realism and drama.

Thanks for asking me to do this, Lee Ann!

COMMISSIONS: If anyone else wants a commission, email me at for my commission document, decide what you want and let's make the magic happen. You better get in quick though. As soon as my hdd is recovered, I'm throwing myself into Zero G and stopping all commissions for a while.

SKETCHBOOK: My lovely dad just mailed me five more. This is the last five I have to send off until you hunt me down at a convention in the US later this year. You better hope I still have these. Again, these have the only hardcopy prints of all my Heroes posters. $10 + $5 mailing.

LONDON: Didn't make it to the musueum. This is what I did instead. The museum will be another day.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Thanks to Lyn who had saved all the progress stages I mailed out. She kindly mailed them all back to me so I can take you through step by step.

The brief was for an athletic woman who uses an ancient amulet to fight crime as a costumed vigilante.

Lyn was quite specific about a pose - 3/4 pose of her with her hands up in some sort of martial arts pose. You can see that we went for C (which was my favourite):

Once we had the pose I then had to look at what this character looked like! Up til now I had been drawing pre-established characters. Now I had to go in and actually create a character's costume.

My inspirations were Daredevil and White Tiger. Lyn also directed me towards The Maiden from Aspen comics which had been the look that Lyn had been previously using.

Both Lyn and I wanted to acknowledge what had been established but personalize it for The Cat. I wanted a costume that was unique to her. The tough thing was to also stay away from the design sense of the White tiger. I decided to go with different lines.

I began with the mask. Lyn wanted something like the ninja turtles. My sensibility for costume design is to approach it the way it would look if it was a movie. A band around the eyes simply wouldn't work visually or practically. So I designed a face mask with eye slits (unfortunately) reminiscent of Halle Berry's Catwoman.

I never want things to look like a photo though. I like stylised over the top elements. So I drew the ends of the mask entwining around her billowing hair in an impossible dance.

Working down, her symbol is an Ankh. I initially had it strapped down with loops in order to stop it from flinging into her face, but Lyn wanted it to be easily removable so I removed the loops. I then started playing with crazy lines all over her. I was riffing off costumes like the X-men and Daredevil from their respective movies. I also came up with The Cat symbol on her chest and where her belt buckle would be.

Next up I sent Lyn this with the background I wanted: a New York rooftop. These are also known as my colour flats. Large expanses of area that I use to select in order to make more subtle colour and texture selections. You can also see in an earlier version she had a huge hood which both Lyn and I thought didn't work for her.

The purpose of this stage was to show Lyn what was skin and what was flesh. I also pointed out the brass knuckles on her hands. Normally Iwouldn't send this stage out, but given we were designing a new costume, I thought it would be prudent to get Lyn's opinion here.

Here's the final piece. The next thing I wanted to do was to start playing with textures unfamiliar to the classic movie superheroes we'd seen. Lyn stressed how sexy and cute this girl was, so I went for the standard pvc and piping. But the real inspiration came when I decided to include semi-transparent sports netting on certain panels. I showed Lyn and she loved it!

I think it makes her ridiculously sexy and she looks like a cross between a fetish goddess and a superhero.

As an aside, the breasts are HUGE here again. Look at the black and white line work. Lyn kept wanting me to make them bigger and bigger and so I reluctantly did (originally they were quite modest). And just like on the Gaia piece, Lyn was a little stunned by how big they looked when they were finally rendered. As such, I tend to not send the linework stage out anymore. I push straight through to the tones so you can see what I see.

A subtle yellow glow from her left helped merge her with the street lights from the background. Light airbrushing created a moonlit effect.

The Cat was a bucket of fun. I really felt like I did something innovative here.


I've been sitting inside drawing commissions all the time. So I haven't really got out much. Aragorn and Arwen and Storm are coming up.

I did join a Capoeira school today. It's a more aggressive, dynamic counter-attack based style which I love. In fact, I wish I'd studied it before the style I did. It's so much more my style of fighting and moving. The mestre is a similar build to me (long and lean) so it makes it easier for me to physically model off him, rather than the short solid guy I initially worked with. The session was awesome and I was amazed how much came back to me (I did it for 3 years about 5 years ago). Mestre Israel and his advanced students have some of the best and sharpest kicks I've seen in ages. I want those kicks! Mine are good, but they are incredible!

The only thing that intimidates me about Capoeira is the musical side. I did used to be a profesional dancer, but I'm not a musician. I have zero interest in learning how to play an instrument or sing.

Off to bed (I'm wrecked) and then off to the British Museum tomorrow! More photos tomorrow.

RIP Heath. =(

Monday, January 21, 2008


So this piece is for Lyn's partner (and longtime friend), Chris. Another character for their superhero roleplaying game. This character is a product of the Weapon X program (that created Wolverine and Sabertooth) but is more of a teenage slacker.
I just read Chris' brief and just knew what I had to draw. We were so on the same page, we could have said vows. I made the tiniest adjustments from his suggestions after I sent through the first version and Wulf was good to go! This piece was fun and fast. My favourite sort!
Both this and Gaia I actually coloured in the linework to creat a more toony feel to the piece. The characters seemed so much larger than life I wanted to make them seem more "comic booky". It visually smooths the pieces out and I really like the effect.

LONDON: Day 5 (Saturday) Public Transport Nightmare

Thanks to missed messages and jetlag, JAn and I missed each other Friday. But Saturday it was "go time". This was my first time around London without Linda. I was... apprehensive. She wrote me these fantastic little instructions in what JAn called "smart asian girl writing". And sure enough, the Underground line she told me to get on was down. I improvised and hopped the DLR (an above ground railway) which only added 15min to my trip.
JAn met me at Camden Town station and was looking great. He has lost heaps of weight. It was great, I was the last Aussie JAn saw in LA, and now I was the first he saw again in London. It was great. Even though it had been 6 months since we'd seen each other we just hit the ground running again like it had been a week since we'd caught up.
He told me we were headed to a goth/rockabilly pub and that as long as we were discreet we could bring our own alcohol. Given the Australian peso struggles against the English uber-pound, this sounded like a great idea. It also felt really 19 years old again. Hey, gotta do anything to feel young!
After a quick trip to the supermarket for bourbon and vodka we started drinking at JAn's house where I met his lovely girlfriend, Caz. JAn has had the hugest crush on her for the longest time, so I'm so glad they finally got together. We drank and chatted before smses started flooding in. Packing our alcohol we headed off to the pub.
The goth/rockabilly pub was called Big Red where I met a bucket of new people: Wendy & Peter, Elly, Umba & Ane (pro. Arn-aye), Joy and Peter. The drinking continued and I had a great time meeting everyone while spiking my cranberry juice under the table.
We then headed back to Umba's place (short for Umberto). We had a great time playing Guitar Hero 3 and Scene It. The manic Italian, Umba was a great host. I think I left around 430am (maybe slightly later) to begin my 3 hour wrestle with public transport to get home.
Luckily Umba's place was on the bus line my sister told me to catch to get to Trafalgar square (which I'm sure is really nice when you're not hallucinating cos you're so tired). I waited 20 minutes before realising that the night bus my sister told me to catch home had finished for the night. I then spent the next hour at Trafalgar square hassling people and bus drivers, jumping on buses, walking back and catching other ones before I found two meandering vaguely connecting buses that supposedly headed in the right direction.
My poor sister woke at 630am to find my bed empty. She thought I'd been kidnapped and so she called me to find me just as I was boarding the first bus. I eventually stumbled in the door at 730am as Linda was eating her cereal. She was bemusedly worried.
I was exhausted and I was supposed to meet my friend Xander for lunch at 1pm. I sent him a Facebook message and hit every one of his emails asking him if we could cancel lunch. Thankfully he was understanding about my public transport nightmare and we rescheduled.

Saturday, January 19, 2008



I do wish I had the step by step files, but they're all gone with my hdd. If I should recover it, I will repost this. This is a commission for Lyn for her roleplaying character called Gaia. A very physical elementalist.

Ok, I gotta get this out right away. Those massive boobs are NOT MY FAULT! Here's why:

My first take on Gaia was to make her fairly curvy. For some reason I had it in my head that she wasn't a front-line action sorta gal. I visualised a character more like Crystal from the Inhumans (a more regal and elegant sort). One of the things i like to do is to make my characters as unique as possible. As such, my first take on Gaia made her fairly curvy: big boobs and hips.

Lyn informed me that Gaia is nothing of the sort. She's rough, tough and ready and gets in there on the front line with blazing fists - literally! She asked me to lean her up all over but to leave the breasts. I was reluctant, but hey, the customer is always right!

Unfortunately, Lyn didn't realise how big they'd get once I went in with the shading. But hey, it's a comic book! Let's have some fun! So here is Gaia and her boobs. It's a fun piece and I like the feel of it a great deal. The two circles, with the smaller one above the larger one are supposed to be indicative of a lower case "g" in an abstract stylised sense.

From now on, I send out versions with the character toned so you can see what I see. I skip the lineart phase altogether.


The interesting thing about walking about London is realising the different thoughts and ideas that were inspired in this city. You walk around Melbourne and you know Bram Stoker wouldn't have set Dracula here let alone come up with the count at all. Parkour struggles in Melbourne because it's so wide. London is so incredibly vertical. Winding staircases, multiple levels, ramps and circuitous walk ways. I just look at everything and plan the most direct way through - jumping fences, walls and stairwells. My mate, Beau would love it here!

Today, lunchtime turned into beer o'clock as we met up with my sister's work mates. So these guys are on their lunch break and sink 3 pints of beer each! Now each pint is 568ml so that's about 4.5 stubbies over lunch. What the hell? The left looking exactly as they came in. I forgot to specify the size of the beer I wanted and got served a pint. I got through most of it before feeling a little queasy. Hey, I'd just had breakfast! Go easy.

Chilling that arvo my sister and I headed to the gym that night to begin her massive weight loss endeavour. She's not charging me anything to stay here, so instead my mission is to help her drop the weight she's always wanted to lose. She did great and I'm so excited for her. She's gonna look great and with all the training I've planned I'm going to turn into the most ripped sunavabitch.

I just felt bad cos there were some kids (about 17) working out at the gym and they just had terrible technique. I wanted to go up and say something, but they weren't being dangerous to themselves, just ineffectual. I just didn't think it was my place to say anything.

I was supposed to meet up with JAn last night, but due to miscommunicaation errors and my exhaustion we postponed it til tonight. I can't wait! I'm off to Camden.

COMMISSIONS: Game on! Keep em coming. Now, cos my excel file recording them all got deleted, if I haven't contacted you in the last week about your commission, please email me as it's probably been forgotten!

SKETCHBOOKS: Very few with me here in London. Let me know if you want one.

Friday, January 18, 2008

PSI: Page 5

Ah! the page without the punchline! JAn and I printed up an A4 page of tiny multi-coloured squares in the shape of acid tabs with the word, "YOURS" written on them. The tab was then glued to the tongue.

What I really dug was the number of people who read it and thought that we were handing out drugs or something! I'm thinking, "dude, if I could afford to hand out free acid tabs, we wouldn't be having this conversation."

Anyway, it achieved its goal. To get people to take comics so seriously that they were forced to question the reality of what they see. I had other people take the tab and later tell me it was the best trip they ever had. The power of suggestion, anyone?


Around midnight last night I suddenly bounced awake as my body thought it was 11am (my favourite time to get up!). I forced myself to sleep dreaming of warm weather and my fading tan.

Today my sister and I ventured off around London and saw some beautiful, amazing stuff. The thing that amazes me is the sense of history. Australia doesn't have anything over 200 years old. America is what, 400 years? You come to London and things go back centuries into millenia. It's incredible.
So this is what the traffic lights look like in London. It takes a while to get used to, but it's really quite straight forward once you get the hang of it.

Tower Bridge is beautiful. It's surrounded by these magnificent, grimy wharves and industrial islands in the middle of the Thames. What I love about London are all the pointless beautiful decorations on everything. Chains (kids dig chains), sculptures, reliefs, plaques, eaves, flaps and planks. All outdated and all oozing character.
I've seen some weird stuff, but this Starbucks really made me turn my head. Nestled looking over the St. Catherine's docks it looks like a mating disaster between a Roman temple and a gazebo.

I still wouldn't buy coffee there if you paid me.
Being a fighter, this is where I went to level up. They had a great deal on this awesome broadsword which they swore to me Aragorn used when he was my level.

St. Paul's cathedral was the most spectacular building I've ever been in. In fact, to call it a building almost doesn't do it justice. It's a monument to history, faith and art. One of the things that really took me aback was the honouring of the great national heroes, Nelson and Churchill. These great men rose up to combat great adversaries: Napoleon and Hitler and were revered by the country for doing so. we don't have great heroes anymore, even though we're surrounded by adversaries.

So I dragged my poor sister up the 434 steps to the top of the Stone Gallery of St. Pauls. See the spire in the last photo? Well this was taken on the balcony up there. It's really high. This is my favourite photo that I took up there. It's totally untouched by Potatoshop and I'm really proud of it.

This is my lovely, beautiful and amazing sister and I on top of St. Paul's. This is our favourite shot, except you can't see exactly how good my hair was today. =)

More shopping, an average coffee (Costas don't know how to do soy), more shopping and now, a beautiful dinner cooked by my sister (tuna steaks on roasted vegetable salad - I should really take a photo).

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

PSI: Page 4

Beaming at you live from Londinium, it's the all new 1000 Words, inspired by daleks, earl grey and bloody big standing rocks.
I'm going to divide this blog in half. The first half will be art and the second half, thoughts, observations and shout outs. I've got a bunch of people I really wanna let know what's going on here. So apologies to all those who came here just for artwork. Just stop before the self-indulgent crap. Those who couldn't give a damn about my art can just scroll down to my rantings.
PSI: page 4
The whole artistic approach of this issue of PSI was to move as fast as the story was written. It's minimal, incorporates photos and is a mixed media spontaneous mess. I like it. It has an immediacy to it that makes it really fun for me.
Those big dollops of liquid on the table are supposed to be tears. Don't even try and guess what they actually look like. Hey, it was 8 years ago! Go easy on me.
I have HEAPS of commissions and stuff to upload. Expect lots of pretty pictures to accompany my rants.
HDD Update: The best place in Melbourne said there's nothing they can do. So I left that village and headed to a real city. I'm hoping London can come to the party on some data recovery. It's just going to COST me. Hell, their service probably comes with mortgage forms. Better give me commissions. =)
FRIDAY: I was up at 730am to accompany my sister, Linda into Melbourne from Daylesford (a small town an hour and a half drive outside Melbourne). I took care of posting commissions and banking. I arrived at Simbo's at 11am where he drove me to St Kilda so I could do my printing for Corey (Deathblow & Grifter), Andrew and Ash (Wolverine). I lamented to the printing place about my lost HDD and they managed to go through their archives and find everything I'd printed with them for the last 6 months. They burnt it onto a dvd for me, and I was blown away. I had lost the psd's to edit, but I at least had printing quality versions of everything. Ater that we headed to Chapel st. where I dropped off artwork to Ash and Andrew (hi guys - I will go into Wolvy more when I post him) and bought more limes and cocktail shakers for everyone who could make the pre-drinks going away.
After a beautiful cafe lunch and drinks, Jay, Mitch, Beau, Nicho, Steve, Lee and Brett all settled back at Simbo's for my homemade mojitos (which rocked all over the cafe's). It was a colourful afternoon of mojito's and raucous debates inspired by the movie DOA as to whether Jaime Presley, Sarah Carter or Holly Valance (my vote) was cuter. We drank hard til 8pm then rushed over to my going away party at Cartel.
I couldn't believe how many people turned up! I should have taken photos. If I had to make a rough guestimate I'd say around 60-70 people turned up. It was unbelievable. I made a rule to myself - don't talk to anyone for more than 10 minutes and try to see everyone. I figured if I ignored everyone equally it would be quite fair. I ran into Jarrod from Classic Comics on Sunday and he said I looked like a madman; manically darting around, sweating profusely, wild eyes and vodka in my hands. Imagine going to a party where you knew everyone! It was wild and I wanted to be in every conversation. Huge thanks to everyone for the drinks and the presents! From there we headed to Q bar which was fun (thanks Rich!). We dragged ourselves home and I think it was around 6am when I got to sleep. I worked out I'd been up for 22.5 hours, drinking for 15hours and had around 18 drinks. Not bad for a little two pot screamer!
SATURDAY: I crawled out of bed around 1pm. I was staying at Simbo's so we dragged ourselves out to lunch and coffee. Much coffee! Did I mention we drank a lot of coffee? Eventually Lee, Steve and Brett rocked up and we had dinner from my favourite takeaway curry place. I booked a table at the Golden Monkey (vodka bar meets Chinese opium den) and we rocked up for drinks. Glenbo, Siobhan, Jacinta, Aurora, Clea, Beau, David and Jel rocked up. I kept sinking the vodka while everyone else tried the assortment of umbrella drinks they offerred.
Soon after we headed off to one of my favourite clubs, the total dodginess which is Deviate. We're talking an alternative metal floor downstairs (everything from Rage Against the Machine and Tool to Alice Cooper and Warrent), and a brilliant dorky 80's and 90's floor upstairs (from the Cure to MC Hammer). More drinking ensued. Finally around 330am I called it a night. I was exhausted. I said goodbye to my friend Kate who hugged me goodbye as C&C Music Factory came on. She grabbed my hand and said, "C'mon. One more dance."
We proceeded to tear up the dancefloor. It was easily the most fun I've had dancing with anyone. Exhausted, but with a massive grin we left the dancefloor to an unexpected applause. Beau commented, "That was the sexiest thing I've ever seen that I didn't have to download."
Here's to ya Kate. Get those dancing shoes on for when I call you out on my next visit back to Melbourne.
The guys and I shuffled back to Simbo's place like zombies after an apocalypse. Water took the place of brains and unconsciousness soon kidnapped us.
27 hours of travelling later and my lovely sister, Linda and I have touched down in London. 8 hours to Kuala Lumpur, 5 hours of standing around before finding a plug for my new laptop (17" Toshiba from from sister and parents! - 2.4ghz dual processor, 2bg RAM it's better than my tower!) then we watched "I am Legend" (thanks Chris and Lyn!) before jumping on a trying flight to London. 13 hours of extreme turbulence (having almost finished season 3 lost I had visions of being trapped on a mysterious island with Evangeline Lilly. I went from crapping myself to actually looking forward to the plane crashing). I watched Bourne Ultimatum (fun!), The Game Plan (I love the Rock!), Balls of Fury (Slapstick fun).
More on London next time! In the meantime I'm sooo-ooo tired.
Thank you for the lovely comments on the last post. I will get to them when my eyes can focus on my keyboard again.
THINGS TO DO: Start that bloody Facebook nonsense.
COMMISSIONS: Still taking them! I will start posting them after the final page of Psi next post.
SKETCHBOOKS: I took a few of them to London, so get in quick.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Apology post. I'm on dial up at my parents (the pain!), and my external hdd fell on the ground and now it won't read for me or any of my tech savvy friends. I've taken it to a special data recovery place and I'm waiting with bated breath for the results...

See the rest of you tomorrow night at Cartel. No dress code. No booking. One big room, just rock up and find me and I will introduce you to some fun people.

Monday, January 07, 2008

PSI: Page 3

A brief post as I'm cleaning and packing everything in preparation for my move. I fly out to London on Monday, and in the meantime I'm staying with my parents in the country.

The only anecdote I can remember about this page continues from the condom debate on page 1. I pointed to this page and said, "they ARE having sex! See?"

JAn just kinda gave me this sideways look like I really didn't get something.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Those of you in Melbourne who are interested should pick up Tuesday the 8th's Age Newspaper as it apparently will have an article featuring me! I'm pretty excited!

GOING AWAY PARTY: Details here again! It's sounding like it should be big. I can't wait to see everyone!

COMMISSIONS: Once PSI finishes I will show you what I've been working on in my spare time.

SKETCHBOOKS: Still hocking these.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

PSI: Page 2

My 250th post!

C'mon, that's a pretty decent effort. Thanks to everyone for all your support. Checking in every day to see that people are dropping by and saying, "Hi" means so much to me.

I'm also blown away that I've managed near 250 pieces of artwork too. That's a fair amount of production. And that doesn't include the last 60-odd pages of my graphic novel I'm working on either.

Page 2. I apologise for not drawing the gods in the order they were stated. I just had this composition in mind. On our left side, Eris (goddess of Chaos) is top left, Athena is to her right, below them Aphrodite looks up to the left, and Hel has the covered face. Erzulie is down the bottom. On the right, that's Eve up the top, Bast underneath (harder than you think to make a cat look effeminate and noble), Isis in the head dress and finally Lilith down the bottom.

All the goddess' are water coloured. Yes, you heard it right! I actually painted something without a computer. In fact this page is entirely hand drawn.

The Girl's tattoo comes from a design I came up with ages ago when I was reading Grant Morrison's Invisibles. Her tattoo is a chaos magick sigil. As I understand it, on some subconscious level you're powering some benevolent subconscious intention of mine.

It's all a bit complicated and I don't want to bore you with the details. Unless you really want me to.

GOING AWAY PARTY: Come one! Come all!

COMMISSIONS & SKETCHBOOKS: I will be posting a heap of new ones starting next week.

Friday, January 04, 2008

PSI: Page 1

As is kind obvious, it's about drugs and love. I'm not really into drugs. My stance is that I've yet to meet the drug that's worth the time it takes me to recover from it. I just don't have a day or days to waste feeling like crap. I have stuff to do. So I stick to alcohol.

So the trick was to give it a contemporary feel rather than your 60s summer of love sorta feel. It's chock full of in-jokes. All the dvds are labeled with my favourite movies. There's also a Calvin (from Hobbs) that I used to put into all my comics at the time. The video player reads, "STOP 3:16" as a reference to my love (at the time) of all things pro wrestling. In this case, Stone Cold Steve Austion, the second greatest performer in the squared circle (after the Rock, of course).

The script is just the dialogue/captions you see. There were no panel descriptions, nor panel breakdowns. It was basically just a page of dialogue. It was up to me to break down this story into images that I thought were appropriate. JAn still goes me for putting the open condom packet on the ground in the last panel. I still maintain that they might have opened it then not used it. Hell, they're on drugs! Like this guy remembers everything clearly! Remember kids, don't do drugs or you're going to forget the great sex you had.

If you're old enough to have sex that is.

GOING AWAY PARTY: Here's the details! Hope to see you there.

COMMISSIONS & SKETCHBOOKS: Thank you for all the emails! Keep them coming!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

PSI: Cover

I fired up the time machine and found a mini comic that writer JAn and I worked on back in 2000. Our goal was two-fold: to create comics that non-comic book readers could read, and to come up with a clever idea that would get people to take comics seriously.

PSI is my only foray into the world of mini-comics. And boy is it mini! It's a tiny A6 comic that could be slipped into your back pocket (A6 is when you get an A4 piece of paper, halve it to A5 then half it again to A6).

The title PSI came from the word/symbol/letter's versatility. I had to hit Wikipedia to remind me of all its applications to the themes we wanted to deal with:

1. A sub atomic particle: To us Psi would be an exploration of how things work.

2. The designation between a tangent and the x-axis: A measure of growth or decline over time.

3. It also stands for psychology, dealing with people's reactions to all these issues.

All the titles would be mis-spelled to include the word "PSI".

Unless I have to move out of my damn house, I'm going to try and post a page every day (8 pages in total including covers, inside and back covers).

GOING AWAY PARTY: Again, love to see everyone there!

COMMISSIONS: Still taking them! There's a bunch more like Batman incoming. I'm just waiting on my printer to get back from holidays. Email me for a price list.

SKETCHBOOKS: Still mailing these off every week. The pile is dwindling. If you want one, lemme know asap as I'd really like to not have to schlep any overseas.

Hope you all had a great new years! Mine was spent playing an unnecessary wing man for my best mate, Simbo at a party of total strangers. I had a great time and met some fantastic people.