Thursday, August 20, 2009


Thanks everyone for keeping me updated on the Deviant Art situation. It looks like they asked that person to take the artwork down. I hope that person finds other ways to channel their creativity. I'd feel bad if that person's find the experience so hurtful that they wanted nothing to do with their creativity.

On the other hand, that experience and Crystal from Deviant Art has prompted me to have a closer look at Deviant Art. I have to confess that when I looked at Deviant Art back in 2006 it was a forum for amateurs. It just seemed like it was where kids went to put up their pictures of Dragonball or whatever manga was hot at the time (as an fyi I was into Dragonball back in 1984 and had to get my mum to translate copies I would import from Hong Kong. Pretty industrious for a nine year old, huh?). But maybe I missed a memo, but Deviant Art is kicking some pretty serious booty. Adam Hughes is on there. Jim Lee is on there. Sweet.

I played with the interface a bit and really enjoyed myself. I still think the blog is the best place to talk about process. Here the focus is on the journal entry as a whole, wheras Deviant Art focuses on each piece of artwork. This makes it a bit tedious to post all the process sketches as they all come up as separate pieces of artwork rather than as a subsection of the finished piece. No matter. Every tool for every purpose, right? I'm thinking I might post more of my personal, non-commissioned work up there.

So back to this page. I would say that I didn't do a great job with Molly or Micah here. They're serviceable, but they're not outstanding by any measure. Why would I let something like this through the door? If I remember correctly I was drawing this while I was in Vegas. I woke up every morning at 9am and started drawing. My buddies woke up a lot later and headed down to theHOTEL at Mandalay Bay's wave pool, sat in the sun and started drinking. As each bucket of beers proceeded the next the texts they sent me got more and more inflammatory and insistent. So with this is mind, I may have been a little distracted while drawing these pages. I hope you can forgive me.

I'm happy with my likenesses of Claude. I know Tarot is always keen to see new Claude so I always try to deliver with him.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Well! It's finally up and I must say that I am very happy with how it turned out. I think I got some good likenesses there, the characters seem to interact really well and I like the backgrounds. It was fun playing with the different scenes, and I remembering commenting to Jim Martin (the writer) that he covered a hell of a lot of ground very, very quickly and effectively while still leaving room for the character interactions that make these stories and the show so much fun.

I really enjoy the palette of the opening sequence. I'm quite happy with my outdoor coloring. I'm still working on inside coloring that isn't too dramatic.

People have asked me what reference I used for Molly. Basically I just used the final episode of season 2. I think that was the last time she was seen. I don't know how much time has passed, so I just drew Adair Tishler as she appeared back then. To be honest, I didn't even contemplate the idea that she'd grown up. I know Micah has grown up, so maybe I dropped the ball on that one. I guess you're the judge of that.

Regardless, I think the last panel turned out to be quite a nice likeness. It was important for me after the wide establishing shot of the second panel to make sure that there was no doubt that it was Molly who was speaking.

Who names their kid "Molly" anyway? It's a great name for a kid, but not so great a name for a grown woman.

I had fun drawing the wrecked train. I'd never drawn a train before, but I had drawn a lot of wrecked stuff, so I kind of started there. I think it turned out rather well. That's one of the fun things about doing commission artwork, you always get asked to draw stuff that you've never drawn before and perhaps wouldn't have considered drawing. I think that's why I like drawing comics in general. There's always new stuff to draw to keep you on your toes artistically. And that keeps it fresh and exciting.

Toni (Acidburn133) sent me an interesting Facebook message today. She noticed that a person on Deviantart has run some filters over some of my artwork and posted it as their own work:

I had a long think about how to approach the issue. Roy Lichtenstein has a notorious popularity for taking comic book panels blowing them up and recoloring them. They hang in galleries for millions of dollars while the poor original artist sees none of it. While I don't necessarily agree with Roy's art in this aspect, it is still perceived as a valid artform. I'm not sure where running some filters over my artwork lies, but my signature still sits at the bottom of the artwork, so there's no doubt who did it.

After some deliberation I contacted Deviantart asking them to get the person who posted the artwork to credit myself and provide a link to the orginal piece of artwork (which you can find HERE.) If they refuse, then I asked them to get them to take it down. See, I don't know if it's some kid, a person with a disability or someone who is just trying to be clever. As long as they credit me, don't do anything offensive with it (a subjective guideline again assessed by me) then I don't really have a problem with it.

I hope they credit me and all ends well.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

WANTED page 6, 7 & 8

Well it looks like my next HEROES story is going up tomorrow. I woke up last week like a kid on Christmas morning all ready to see my story lettered and there was still Dennis Calero's train crash. Oh well. Apologies to anyone that I mislead. It should be up tomorrow.

I love reading it for the first time, it's a totally new experience. I'm finding that the better I do, the closer the finished product is to what I imagined it to be. Before there used to be a huge deviation between what I planned and what I saw. These days the gap is closing and any deviations are usually pleasant surprises from the collaborative process. There's something really satisfing about seeing the lettering in place. It's like it becomes a real comic when there's words.

It's funny looking back on the way I depicted the characters. In 141 written by Timm Keppler on page 3 panel 4, the agent says, "This ain't no place for you kids...". Now, I'm not sure if Timm is intending on being funny, or the characters are actually kids. In which case, I feel a little bit weird (a lot weird actually) drawing them wearing this stuff! See, I thought that the characters of Sparrow and Abby were based on Kat and Abby, Zach and Ollie's girfriend and fiance respectively. I mean, wouldn't it be a bit weird if Abby is getting married to Lee and she's underage? I'm hoping that the agent is just being casual here. Otherwise it's all gone a bit weird.

Regardless, when you see 142, which should be up tomorrow, you can see how I've really toned down the outfits. The main reason is that apparently they were very distracting and generated too much discussion in an area that I didn't want people to be considering. Therefore, it was a poor costuming choice on my part. I hope you find their new outfits cool, sleek, simple and a lot more appropriate.

I had so much fun with these pages though. Harrison recommeded the tavor that Thompson Jr is carrying and while I normally hate drawing guns because they're so damn tedious, I really enjoyed drawing this gun. It's so different and so modern. I also particularly like the dust particle effect all over the place from the caved in wall. I don't really like movement lines (I find them a bit guache), so I like to try and create movement in other ways.

Page 7 was a blast. I hadn't really drawn many action scenes before HEROES and I'm really enjoying them. I like going wide, especially when there's a bunch of people running around. Panel one is a good example of me trying to set the scene. Originally Sparrow just punches Thompson and knocks him to the ground. I was concerned that if he was just lying on his feet in front of them he would stand up and just attack them again. By knocking him down through the floor it not only shows that he is literally "beneath" our main cast, but that he has no recourse against them. I mean, what is he going to do there? Throw rocks at them?

The panel where she punches him through the floor with a big rock fist turned out extremely well. It's the sort of widescreen action that I love to try and get away with. You're going to see some more widescreen stuff from Sparrow in the next story too. It gets very fun.

I promise to start showcasing all the sketches I did over Comic Con (both good and bad) right after this. I might attach a couple at the end of every post after the next installment of Rebellion that goes up.

I will also talk about the preview pages that are up for BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA ( after the next 8 pages of HEROES: Rebellion.

I've also been offered my first long-term writing gig courtesy of I was asked to write and draw the first issue for their series ORBIT. The plan was that they wanted to approach a different artist and writer for each issue to get totally different takes on their characters. Marcus, the creator of the Flex Champions wanted me to create personalities and a world for his characters. I worked closely with him and came up with a world and a first issue script. He then asked me what ideas I had for future issues and I shot some back at him. He liked the ideas so much he asked me to write the next 4-5 issues. My brain has been ticking away and I've got some really exciting and fun ideas. The stories are about children and the pressures from their parents, choices, a love triangle, a top secret covert black ops organization and a dash of terrorism. Shake it up, serve with lime and you have my pitch for ORBIT.

The problem is that I can't draw all the issues. So if you think you can draw similar to my style and have 4-5 sequential pages you can show me, email me at with the subject line "ORBIT SAMPLE PAGES" and I will have a look and see if you're appropriate for the gig. Or maybe you know someone that might be able to do the job? Put us in touch. You never know, you could be a part of making the magic happen.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

WANTED page 4 and 5

Above: Page 4 of WANTED written by Harrison Wilcox. I think this is one of my best coloured stories.

Oh man, I have so much to chat about, I have no idea where to begin. There's a LOT of links in today's post, so don't get lost. Make sure you come back and get them all! While I don't want to turn this into one of those whining, "And then I..." blogs, I have had an action filled July. It started with my bestest buddies, Simbo and Nicho arriving on Independence Day. We proceded to head to the beach for the very Australian activities of drinking a heck of a lot, lounging on a beach and getting very sunburnt.

<- Me and my boyz! To my left, Nicho and Simbo at the Pink Taco in Los Angeles moments after seeing Paris Hilton.

Over the next few weeks we partied and frollicked (while I desperately tried to do some drawing) and eventually made our way up to Vegas, to meet the third member of our sordid team, JAn. It was a sublime experience for me to have four of the people I hold closest to me in the world in the one country together. There we also met up with Kate and Jas, friends from Australia who had stayed with me earlier. Together we managed to destroy Vegas. Well, Simbo, Nicho and JAn did. I was home early so I could take early advantage of the all day buffet Simbo had managed to organise.

<- A fuzzy photo of three of my favorite people in the world. From left to right, Heather, Simbo and JAn.

Our last days in Vegas Simbo had managed to swindle $99 per person per room with all you can eat and drink at THEhotel at Mandalay bay. Days consisted of me waking up early to draw and the guys texting me increasingly illegible texts from the pool as they made use of the unlimited drinks. I usually joined them by mid afternoon when they were just warming up.

From there it was to San Diego Comic Con. And boy, was that a bucket and a half of fun. The only downside was that there was SO many people it was virtually impossible to get into any panel unless you wanted to wait 2+ hours for it.

I had two signings on Friday. In the morning it was for the announcement of my top secret project BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA. Written by Evan Bleiweiss of the SHIELD. You can find a preview at I can't wait to see what people think. I'm incredibly proud of the work.

<- Ollie, Abby and I at the HEROES/Nissan booth in front of my artwork and the portrait of Abby. The second signing was for the HEROES fan access organised by a whole bunch of girls who rock the house: Willow, Meaghan, Jennifer and everyone else did an incredible job. I was signing with Ollie Grigsby, fellow HEROES webcomic and Marvel artist, Dennis Calero and David Lawrence XVII (Puppetman). It was a great afternoon. But what really rocked my world was seeing the HEROES Nissan booth. It was covered in my artwork! It was amazing to see my art being the focus of a major booth at Comic Con. I also wanna thank the awesome cheerleaders at the booth that lavished mountains of comics on me when they heard that I'd drawn them.

But wait! There's more! Driving around San Diego at the time were four Nissans covered in my artwork from graphic novel 138. Amazingly enough that graphic novel won Best Graphic Novel Tie-In Story: "Rebellion"at the HEROESSITE awards. You can go check that out at:

If you search the other awards you will find out that Ollie Grigsby was voted third best writer after Brian Fuller and Tim Kring! Huge congrats buddy! You really deserve it! Couldn't happen to a nicer, more talented or committed guy.

<- I spent the weekend literally chasing these cars down, running across traffic and through crowds to hail them down. Heather took this photo of me in front of one we managed to catch.

It was totally surreal seeing my artwork used so much. I'm so glad I pulled out every stop and made it the best graphic novel I could have drawn. It's a fair feather in my cap and I'm really proud of it. Check it out:

I also just finished graphic novel 142 written by Jim Martin. It's going up tomorrow morning and I hope you enjoy it. He covers a hell of a lot of ground in 8 pages and I think he does it really well. The big question is will it end the REBELLION story arc that has consumed our summer graphic novels?

I also might have an announcement with Deviant Art too, which should be a heck of a lot of fun. Justin Barlow is lining up an interview with me too. If you have any questions you can add them to the list:

Above: Page 5 of WANTED written by Harrison Wilcox. Micah brings the pain to Thompson Jr.

Friday, August 07, 2009


Thanks to everyone who came and saw me at my two signings over the Comic Con weekend. I had a ball and I hope you did too. I met so many amazing, inspiring people who radiated energy.

I have so many photos, announcements, links and reports to make. But right now I have a huge HEROES deadline for the latest part of REBELLION. The script is written by the inestimable Jim Martin and it's a kicker. So please bear with me. I'm planning on blogging properly Sunday or Monday.