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For the past month or so I've been doing art studies in order to improve my comic penciling.

This whole process has lead to many discussions with my friend about art as she's also learning. While critiquing a recent drawing she did, she was complaining about it not looking right. First things first, the eyes were too big, to fix that I said she should start drawing the nose first before anything else on the face, which puzzled her more than just a little. She starts with the eyes first. For me, this is wrong and this is why.

Before explaining I'll point out the obvious: it's actually the basic shape of the face you draw first. But let's assume you've already done that. Let's also assume you know about dividing the face up (a vertical line dead-center, and three equally spaced horizontal lines from hairline to chin), this tip is about what to draw next. Secondly, this is a tip for beginners. The better you get at drawing you'll find you can start drawing the face from any point because it's become so second nature to you. I've seen people start drawing a face from the ear or the lips. But let assume you're not a pro yet either. I which case this is my drawing tip.

The nose is what guides your proportioning and placement of both eyes and mouth. If you proportion the eyes wrongly to start with, then you'll find yourself awkwardly trying to place the nose in and you'll proportion your nose according to the eyes. If your eyes are too far apart, or too close together it will affect what you do with the nose. For anyone who has seen or heard tutorials on proportioning the face, you'll often hear the tutor use the nose as the guide for everything else: the inside corner of the eyes aligns with the nostrils. If you haven't drawn the nostrils, how do you know where to place the inside corners? From there the corners of the lips line up with the pupil of the eye. Presto!

To prove my point I grabbed a handful of photo's from online and drew straight lines from inner eye to nostril and pupil to mouth. They'll always be slight margins of error but overall the rule is pretty solid.

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Of course you can do it the other method; the space between the two eyes is equal to a 3rd eye. From there you can map out the placement of the nose. But if like my friend you haven't mapped out that 3rd eye space correctly to start with (different people have different methods after all), your proportions are still going to be off.

So to correctly proportion the features of the face, I recommend (once you've outlined the head) to map in the nose. Just remember to divide the face into 3 proportions first.

Hello watchers! It has been the longest of times. Last time I posted was in October of last year.

To be honest there’s so much going on that’s putting a demand on my time; I’ve been inking a comic, writing my own, doing commissions, editing as a freelancer and working 9 – 5.

Art I haven’t post much of my inking because all the inking I’ve been doing has been on a comic. I don’t want to give away too much before it’s published, even though the creator is very lax about it. I’ll post some eventually though. I’ve only 6 pages left to go but quite possibly I may be jumping onto another inking job afterwards.

Commissions have still been coming in, which is always nice but I’ve reached that point again with my pencils where I’m not happy with them. If feel, and want them to be better. I’d like to draw with more realism, but even when I try it’s like my hand won’t have any of it and it comes out cartoony. However, I’ve been inspired! I was watching a video and it’s inspired me. I know what I need to do, it’s just finding the time to do it.

Inking and commissions aside, my comic, SH, is still the biggest thing. Last week  I finished editing the 1st draft: 400 comments on 67 pages of script for a 32 page comic. Oh my God guys, the script is good! The writer did an awesome job. It was more like reading a novel than a script and it had moments of anticipation that I was genuinely wondering with excitement, what happens next! The fact that I know what happens and am still caught on cliffhangers I think is a good indication that the script is pretty darn good.

On the less glamorous side of the business, there is so much I’m finding daunting in terms of pitching and promoting. Making the comic is one thing, making it a success is another, but maintaining success is harder still. I believe very much in the potential of SH, but navigating the practicalities is proving challenging and confusing. We’ll figure it out though.

Last weekend was LSCC and Marvel were in attendance doing portfolio reviews. I got to show my work to David Finch, Brian Bolland and Humberto Ramos!!! I was particularly excited to meet David and had a total fangirl moment over Ramos! Ever since Stan Lee signed a copy of Amazing Spiderman, getting Ramos’ signature has been top of my want list and if finally happened! It was a dream come true meeting him as I love love love his art! The response from all 3, particularly from David Finch, to my portfolio blew my mind I must say. I’ve had some good reactions but I didn’t expect what I got from these 3 was truly humbling and something I’ll treasure for a long time.

I also got to meet Scott Williams and at the very last minute realized John Timms was there - JOHN TIMMS!!! Seeing his work in person was glorious! I only wish I had had more time to bask in it’s beauty. I do hope he returns for future cons.

Finally, welcome to all new watchers! It’s awesome having you here and I hope you enjoy my gallery and I look forward to bringing you more art!


Hello Watchers!

Christmas is fast approaching and I'll be taking commissions in the run-up.

If you're thinking of getting your friends or family drawn as superheroes for a Christmas gift, now is the time to place your order!

I'll only be accepting 3 commissions on first-come-first-served basis, with prices starting at £100 for pencils on 11"x17" Bristol board. 

If you're interested please send me a note :D

You can check out some of the previous commissions I've done:

Wedding Commission by TheInkPages Star Trek Cover Commision by TheInkPages 

Johnny Bravo Commission by TheInkPages Commission: Wolverine by TheInkPages
Hello watchers! Hope you're all doing well.

Gosh, don't remember when my last journal was but I know it's been ages! My apologies for that.

The last few months have been busy, stressful and enjoyable too.

In May I left my job as editor, not by choice, as did the majority of my colleagues. I've missed working with them, they were great people to work with and it's rare to click so well with everyone in the company. 

The upside was I got to spend the whole month with my Mum who I hadn't seen in 8 years! I did some freelance work which was just enough to fund her trip. Miss her already.

What's nice this year is that I've been getting more commission. I'm also now inking with MonsterBox Studios. I've also agreed to ink a comic for Zindan (www.thelastansaars.com/) and I need to follow up on that to see if it's still going ahead.

For those who follow me on Facebook you already know and pardon my repetition; next weekend there's a comic conference and I have a portfolio review with DC and Dark Horse. For the past month I've been working hard on getting my portfolio ready. Been waiting for this kind of opportunity since 2012! I'm super excited but a little nervous too, it's a good kind of nervous though. Keeping my fingers crossed that all goes well and hopefully better than expected.

SH is coming along. It's slow and there's still so much to work out in terms of pitching to publishers and also format (graphic novel or floppy) and how that will affect production. That aside, the plot for SH: Genesis is nearly there and I think it's pretty solid and exciting; it's got the tone I want. Just waiting for the writers feedback on my revisions before I can with 100% confidence say we've nailed it.

So that's everything new with me. Can't believe we're already at the tail end of 2015! Where did the year go?

As always, a big welcome to all my new watchers! Hope you've been enjoying your time here.

Till next time stay blessed.
Hello all, just a quick one.

I'm going to be teaching a friend how to colour and also it's a little project for me to do. I haven't coloured in the long time and want to keep sharp. It's a long term project as I'll have to fit it around everything else I'm doing.

Anyway, if you have any pencils/inks you'd like to suggest send me a preview in the comments. I'm looking for something relatively simple with bold lines; no complicated artwork. If it's pencils I'll probably ink it before colouring.

Thanks!
Hello all! 

Jumping right in, last weekend was the London Super Comic Con and I think it was the best one yet! Mainly because this year I was resolved to introduce myself to artists who were regulars but didn't have the courage to say hi to before. Turns out they don't bite! lol. But on a more serious note they were really friendly and I wondered why I took me so long to say hi in the first place! With each con I'm getting better though.

So who did I meet and what went down?

Returning people included :iconmahmudasrar: (thanks for the print!) , :iconcinar:, :icontoolkitten: (thanks for the DeBalfo variant!) and :iconrubusthebarbarian: who's Hercules piece I recently finished inking. I also got the chance to chat with :iconpant: although he's been a regular at the con I hadn't had the chance to have a proper chat before. He was very friendly and chatty and a lot came out of that conversation. :iconwillortego:, :icongiuseppe-cafaro:, :iconelias-chatzoudis: Joyce Chin and Art Adams, Neal Adams, David Roach, Cavana Scott, Maria Laura Sanapo, Marco Santucci and Gary Erskin (always!).

Some new people I met included :icondextervines:, :iconedmcguinness:, :iconcwardart:, :icondiablo2003:, Adi Granov, Mark Farmer, Ian Churchill, Christian Ward, and Klaus Janson.

Some surprise meets where with Jonathan Ross whom I was able to show my work to when he was signing with Ian Churchill. He was amazing to meet, very warm and friendly. Rich Johnston of Bleeding Cool. Though I've seen him often both at cons and at local comic meet ups, I hadn't spoken to him before; he was very enthusiastic about my work (as was Jonathan for that matter, lol). Dave Gibbons I met on the Friday event and we got talking about the company I work for and comics as children's literature which he is very passionate about.

The biggest surprise meets were on the Sunday and both were very casual and while I was chatting with the artists behind the table. First was Brian Bolland. I was at David Roache's table chatting when he came over. I didn't know who it was but David introduced me and I was totally taken off guard! He was very friendly and we started talking about inking line weights, lol. later that day was comedian Johnny Vagas. :iconfableimpact.: had said he saw him wandering round on the saturday. On Sunday he came to the table of :iconwillortego: whom I was chatting with. Took me a minute to figure how to break the ice without acting like a crazed fan so I went for a very soft 'so, you're into comics?', which prompted a brief but friendly conversation, during which I mostly nodded while I let him talk ('cos I had no follow up question in mind!).

With the exception of  from Mr. Vegas, Gibbons, Cavana (can't remember if I did show him or not) and Adi I think I showed show my portfolio to everyone I met! The response was amazing, overwhelming really, but I also got some constructive feedback from Neal, Klaus, Christian and Brooks, mainly that I need to work on my line weights still to push depth of field. The biggest take home, I think from Brooks, was to consider the page as a whole when applying weights, not something I had thought of before; usually I just focus on within a panel. Neal was quick to point out the detail I had missed, particularly in the faces and it didn't surprise me; last year I was printing out my bluelines far too light to avoid excessive and timely touch-ups when I scan but I kept loosing a lot of detail. 

The most frequent question I got was about how fast I was and the most frequent advice was to get to an American Con. I certainly intend to visit an American Con, most likely NYCC but I doubt very much I can do that till 2017 :(

I also attend the Pitching to Editors panel which was a little like going to church! So much of what was said I feel is what a lot of aspiring writers ignore! Or don't care about - and I find that baffling! Among the things said were the following:

'Ever seen the comic without pictures? 
If it's not drawn well why bother to make it a comic? Don't cheap out on the art, don't cheap out on the lettering. You can write a great story but you'll be judged on the bad art. But if you write a mediocre script with a great artist, you'll have a good story, so don't cheap out on the art.' - RON MARTZ


What he said certainly resonated with me as I see lot's of writers cheeping out on the art and, as I've already said, I'm all about quality. If you have good art to start with you've probably already won half the battle with an prospective publisher without having to say anything.

So all in all, a great weekend. It was a shame I had to cut my sunday short, there were still a lot of people I wanted to see. Only another 53 weeks till the next Super Con!!!
  • Listening to: My 2nd playlist of 2015.
  • Reading: Nothing.
  • Watching: Walking Dead Season 5.
  • Playing: Bioshock 2, when I get the chance
  • Eating: Do I have to answer this question?
  • Drinking: Coke. again.
... is it Christmas yet?

Seriously though, by week 2 of this year I was already wishing it was December already!

But, there's a lot to look forward to this year so I'll try not to be disappointed that it's only February. 

The year opened with another project with Bluewater Comics. Not sure who the artist is but there's loads of room for me to flex my inks which excites me. However it's double edge as I can't always make out what things (especially background stuff) are supposed to be to 'finish' it. In those instances I just ink the lines as I see them and hope it makes more sense to other people. There's been no complaint from the editor yet, lol.

Need to hurry and get it all done though as a project I've mentioned here a couple of times has kicked off. I suppose I can now say what it is but I really don't want jinx it. Suffice to say the colourist turned penciler (that's a clue btw) has started on a page. I suspect this comic is going to be very slow in the making but at least I'll be able to post wips once it does get started.

Bluewater doesn't permit me to show anything which is why I haven't been posting much artwork :'( I was even looking through my inks to send updates to some editors and noticed between my last update to them and this year there's only been about 2 new pages O_o !!! Well that's not prolific at all! but at least I have a good excuse, lol.

My main resolution for this year is to finish all the inks I started last year that have been in limbo for various reasons. 2 in particular are high on that list and very almost finished! I'll try and finish them in-between the Bluewater comic.

SH UPDATE

The plot for the first comic has now been finalised so it's on to the script (Yey!!!). Micky has been doing some awesome work with the character designs and if you haven't seen them make sure you check it out www.facebook.com/SHseries ;

I've been looking into publishers and my thoughts are now (prematurely me thinks) on the pitch. I think it will take time to put the pitch together and will involved a lot of re-writes and revisions to come up with the final draft for the publishers. I don't think it's feasible to pitch during the first half of the year as I originally thought but that doesn't bother me: I'd rather take a bit more time to produce a quality pitch (like a fine wine) than rush something together that ends up undermining our hard work in producing this comic. Which is why I'm starting on it now, so it has time to mature and be refined.

Anyway, that's all the update for now.

Stay blessed!
  • Listening to: My first playlist of 2015.
  • Reading: The bible.
  • Watching: All the cinema releases! and boy are there loads!
  • Playing: The Half Life series.
  • Eating: blagh! Bored of food.
  • Drinking: Anything but coke (cola).

Well, 2014 is coming to a close, much to soon perhaps? No, not really, 'cos I'm excited about what next year will bring! It is of course that time of the year when people get introspective, looking back on the achievements and failures of the year gone, and planning and hoping for the year to come.

So what did 2014 bring for me?

INKING

2012 and 2013 was a year of professional development: I chose to specialize in inking and spent those years trying to figure myself out as an inker: what were my goals? What was my mark? And what was my style? I experimented and within a short space I went from crawling to flying. 

2014 though was very different: I wasn't really experimenting any more with my inking but rather I settled with ease into a style of my own. I didn't have to fight or struggle with the question of 'my style' as I’ve done with my pencils. I think this was thanks mainly to just wanting to do the pencils justice rather than putting my own stamp on them. I discovered pencilers who's works were so sublime it wasn't a question of what I could add to the pencils to enhance it. It was a case only of falling in love with the lines and allowing them to dictate the work I had to do. Minimal effort, maximum impact. That's not to say there's still a lot I don't need to learn still or styles to try. There's always room for a new techniques.

PORTFOLIO REVIEWS

The convention scene was just as successful as previous years: feedback on my inks remained phenomenal and hugely positive (insanely so). I gained a few fans from within the professional comic artist circuit which was really cool and mind-blowing! As well as getting to chat with the very artist who shaped my viewpoint on comic book art when I was a kid! 

PROFESSIONAL WORK

As well as the positive response to my inks, this year also provided me with more paid freelance work than I've ever had before as well as my first professional gig as an inker. I'll be doing another comic with them in the New Year. Nothing too big and spectacular but nonetheless it's a good start. I hope in 2015 to build on this momentum and my resolution would be to land a bigger gig with a bigger publisher or two (fingers crossed).

CREATOR OWN SERIES

But while inking is my biggest passion and something I’m perusing diligently, the biggest news for me, and the biggest personal achievement is finally taking the steps to publish my own comic series. Even getting as far as I have with it is a big achievement for me: I’ve tired writing in the past but it always halted and stalled and the writing was fragmented with no clear direction other than trying to get the idea down on paper. For me, I believe I struggled with it because it wasn’t yet time for me to embark down that road. 

But this year the time was ripe, and I don’t know about you, but unless the time is right for me to do something I don’t do it. And so I got to work on SH . I didn’t intend to approach a writer or artist till next year but as circumstance would have it I got talking with a potential writer and we agreed to collaborate on SH together. Then I approached MickySketchBook who I’ve worked with in my job as art editor at Medikidz and he agreed to come on board. To be honest I feel extremely privileged to have him on board. It’s a great feeling to know your creations are in the safest possible hands.

And so 2015 for SH will be a year of full swing production: the plot for the first graphic novel will be finalized, script will be written, interior pages will begin being drawn and we’ll start approaching publishers.

UNACCOMPLISHED

So what fell through in 2014? Two things mainly that I was expecting to happen but didn’t.

One is collaboration on a comic book. This was not accomplished this year but it had more to do with the schedule of the other collaborators involved. They’re all very busy creators and this kind of took a back seat. Perhaps it will kick off next year or the one after, but I do look forward to the opportunity of working with them when they’re ready.

The other I’m not going to disclose the nature of. All I’ll say is that it’s still very much on the cards and it will be hugely exciting for me when it finally happens. You’ll find out when it happens but you may not know it’s the thing I’m referring to here.

2015

Those are pretty much my goals and expectations for 2015 where my art is concerned: get more professional inking gigs and complete book 1 of SH which is SH: GENESIS.

2014 has been a very good year, and 2015 is going to be better.

FINALLY…

…and for the last time, a big welcome to all my new watchers!!! 

:iconarctiel: :iconleighwalls-artist: :iconpeannlui: :iconmanuelpitt: :iconmbirkhofer: :icontiagomontoia: :iconjericpuntod: :icont1teeples: :iconbigboss400: :iconmtman318: :iconmr-kleen: :icongar0d: :iconnicchapuis: :iconbarkindji: ;iconLouisTheBassman: :iconzubingala: :iconkaokatt: :iconbrianskipper: :iconhorological-rex: :iconjoelpoischen: :iconimraazh: :iconscupbucket: :iconzak29: :iconjagoman169: :iconshapeman: :iconaurynpub: :iconl0305: :icontomwalkerstark: :iconshaun2186: :iconoicemano: :iconrayan101: :iconjesse-the-art-maker: :iconthesurfgod: :icondholms: :icondaniel-ragoon: :icontimothy-brown: :iconkurnalklank: :icontekitsune: :iconjtdixon: :iconflat-works: :iconryuuza-art: :iconjeffgraham-art: :iconravenmesanaarts: :iconkmg-photography-nj: :iconfieldhockeyfan: :iconerwinvoland: :iconmydole: :iconcoreyh2: :iconartoftdj: :iconowlhmmj: :iconbalder68: :iconpsycho-z01: :iconpauscorpi: :iconsharkeytrike: :icondrakelb: :iconcb-comicart: :iconlouiskotze91: :iconmaxpony: :iconrobshalda: :iconchrisrichdraws: :iconmadman1: :iconvarakienen: :icondiabolumberto: :iconibozun:

I’m going to lay to rest in 2015 the tradition of mentioning all my new watchers all by way as a personal hello and welcome, I don’t think I can practically keep it up.

Thanks to all my regular watchers who have continued with me in 2014. I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing my work and growth as much as I’ve enjoy going through it.

I wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas and a lovely and blessed New Year. I hope 2015 proves to be a better and exciting year for you. I’m sure some of you have had a very difficult 2014 but I pray things look up for you.

Merry Christmas.

  • Listening to: Custom SH Playlist
  • Reading: My own writing - eek!
  • Watching: Walking Dead Season 5!!! aw-yeah!!!
  • Playing: SH, over and over in my head.
  • Eating: microwave meals
  • Drinking: Still ye olde faithful - coke (cola)
I'm super excited to finally, officially, announce that the journey has begun and I cordially invite you to be a part of it on our newly published Facebook page www.facebook.com/theSHsaga

I'm more than pleased to announce my creator owned, futuristic sci-fi comic book series SH!

Originally created by myself and my younger brother Commercial-Murderer , this is a story that's been 20 years in the making and with me to bring it to life is David Head (writer) and MickySketchBook (art).

The Facebook page has now launched and 

Over the next year I'll be sharing a lot of behind the scene artwork, character profiles and world building as we make the first comic, SH: Genesis, a reality.


Please like and share this page and welcome to the future!

-JL-
  • Listening to: Custom SH Playlist
  • Reading: My own writing - eek!
  • Watching: Walking Dead Season 5!!! aw-yeah!!!
  • Playing: SH, over and over in my head.
  • Eating: microwave meals
  • Drinking: Still ye olde faithful - coke (cola)
My plans for this project were accelerated following a post I did on a Facebook group: I made an enquiry about writers rates so that I could start saving to pay a writer in the new year. The response was surprising with a lot of offers for free writing. While such offers were great it was (and remains) more important for me to do what is right for this project and if it meant turning down free offers in favour of paying a good writer I was more than prepared to do so (even though I would have taken friggin' ages for me to get the money together).

However a friend put me in touch with her colleague who was a fan of my work and wanted to work with me. Initially it was an introduction and I still had no intention of striking a deal with a writer until the new year. However we got talking about the project and the concept and themes of it and he was very interested to come on board and not only for the first comic in the series but for the long run too. After a few emails an agreement was reached and so I now have a writer! This will be his first foray into comics having written some small screenplays.

The other thing that was bugging me was which artist I would like to hire. I wanted a style that would pay homage to one of SH's biggest influences when my brother :iconcommercial-murderer: and I first came up with it: the Japanese cartoons by the company Manga. I didn't want an outright manga/Japanese style but just enough to pay tribute. However, I happened to know an amazing artist who I work with at my current job. He is the kind of artistic visionary SH needs and I knew the diversity of this comic would be right up his street. As I said, at every stage I will only do what is right for this project, even if it mean's sacrificing the art style I'd like, for the visionary I need. Again I wasn't going to approach an artist till next year after the script for the first comic would be pretty much done, but as is my way when an idea gets stuck in my head I have to act on it. So I sent him an email asking if he'd like to join the project and how much his rates would be. His reply wasn't more than I dared hope for and I saw so super excited to get him on board!!! Like, I was cloud-9 excited! 

And so I'd like to officially announce the creative team of writer David Head and artist :iconmickysketchbook:!

I do also have an awesome colourist on board but he has laid down a provision, so until that provision is met I won't announce him yet. He's worked with Micky many times at my current job. I often pair them because they're styles work well together and I'm more than happy to have that partnership continue on SH. Just need to nail that provision.

So with the base team of writer and artist in place, 2 Saturdays ago we had our first Hangout call to kick the project off and already the 2nd plot draft for the first comic is in the works. The concept art for the main characters is underway. Micky has already done an amazing job of capturing the main characters perfectly and I'd even say he's drawn them better than I ever did! Even my brother approves

My next update on SH will be an official announcement of the project as well as the launch of the Facebook page were we welcome to you follow the production journey from the start. We'll be posting concept art and character profiles and in due course sneak peeks and previews of the comic as it comes together.

This is going to be an exciting journey and if we do this well the story will be even better. Micky has already described SH as an onion even though he and the writer have only seen the outline for the first 3 graphic novels in the series. This is a good sign as it mean's the story depth is getting across even before the first script is done. I sincerely hope you'll stick around for it and ultimately enjoy peeling back the layers for yourself.

Watch this space...
  • Listening to: Custom SH Playlist
  • Reading: My own writing - eek!
  • Watching: Walking Dead Season 5!!! aw-yeah!!!
  • Playing: SH, over and over in my head.
  • Eating: microwave meals
  • Drinking: Still ye olde faithful - coke (cola)

I know you read those words and shake your head thinking 'oh boy, here we go again'. But this is not a rant actually but some interesting facts I found out via an online comic book course regarding the role and portrayal of women in comics during the Golden Age of comics.

WOMEN WORKING IN COMICSDuring WWII, like in most industries, when men were drafted, women had to fill the gap. This applied in the comic industry as well where there was a 3-fold increase in women working on comics as artists (the lecturer didn’t mention if it included writers and editors but I’m guessing it did). 

WOMEN READING COMICSUsing the example of a competition piece at the back of a comic in the ‘40’s: the lecture noted how the initial advert for the competition was accompanied by a drawing of 3 white men, giving the impression that comics were targeted at a male audience. However in the following issue when the 20 winners were listed 10 names were male, 3 initials and 7 female names with the 1st prizewinner being ‘Marion’, a possible woman (I didn’t know Marion could be a boy’s name as well).

These first two points are quite interesting as the general perception these days is that only now are women buying into idea of comics, either as a creator or as a reader. I think this shows women have always had an interest in comics as much as men. I'm guessing somewhere along the line things changed and it became male-centric, but I'd be interested to know at what point women involvement dropped which in turn gives us this view that women are only just coming into the industry.

SEXUALISING WOMENLastly and most interestingly, during this period when women drew comics they sexualised the female protagonists drawing them in skimpy outfits and alluring poses (I am referring to interior and cover pages, which were drawn with the same level of sexualisation and not the semi-pornographic pinups or fan art you see a lot of now). These were women drawing them this way - not men. It may be argued that their editors or the writing dictated they be drawn that way. It will take a bit of research to find out if these female superheroes where created by the women drawing them or if they were already established that way. In the example the lecture gave was for a comic character from Harvey’s Speed Comics called Black Cat, aka Linda Turner, styled after DC’s Catwoman (1940). Black Cat was the first female superhero drawn by a woman, Barbara Hall (Black Cat predated Wonder Woman). Nevertheless, it’s telling that women drew women in revealing outfits and sexualised pose.

Whether this excuses the practice of sexualising women today is debatable and I'd argue that it doesn't. After all we don't hold on to traditions that are wrong just because it was acceptable in the past. As we progress we know better and perhaps have some kind of obligation to correct the wrongs and erroneous practices and beliefs of the past. But this isn't about debating the morality of sexualising women and women equality, just some interesting insights into women's involvement in comics in during the 40's.

  • Listening to: London Grammar
  • Reading: My own writing - eek!
  • Watching: Walking Dead Season 5!!! aw-yeah!!!
  • Playing: SH, over and over in my head.
  • Eating: microwave meals
  • Drinking: Still ye olde faithful - coke (cola)
I'm now thoroughly entrenched in writing up the SH martial, getting deeper into the nitty gritty. However the more I wrote the more it niggled at me that I should combine the SH world with another of my 'universes' code name 3D. 

This was a bit much to contemplate on at first: both universes are huge and the prospect of combining them is daunting as it would require a deal of rethinking, not to mention it would completely change the main story of the other universe and drastically change the main character. However, what SH lacks 3D supplies and what 3D lacks, SH supplies. Plus the main plot of SH should remain largely unchanged, and the backstories to the characters in 3D would also remain largely unchanged. Win-win? Except the one person who would change drastically would be my flagship character - Zee (Zee: Final Piece) and the relationship between him and the other 3D characters which formed the story basis of the 3D Universe. Now I'll have to see in what way I can alter his story to fit in the SH Universe, especially considering the main plot of SH and the protagonist.

There are other more piratical and legal reasons why combining is a good idea.

This does delay completion of the background material somewhat but it will supply the writer with richer material to draw inspiration from in order to bring even more depth to the story.

So yeah, that's we're I'm at now.

I also have a super exciting announcement to make on this project but not sure if now is the right time? I did want to wait till work has fully begun but I may announce it next week (because I'm super excited to do so!).

So, back to the conundrum of seamlessly combining universes. Wish me luck!
  • Listening to: London Grammar
  • Reading: My own writing - eek!
  • Watching: Walking Dead Season 5!!! aw-yeah!!!
  • Playing: SH, over and over in my head.
  • Eating: microwave meals
  • Drinking: Still ye olde faithful - coke (cola)
A very apt title I think ;)

Today I finished plotting out SH from it's start to it's end with all the key points. This skeletal plotting helps me organise where stories fit in together and also helps me focus as I now go into the details of each story. 

Initially I was working on some kind of 'skeleton' but was going into basic details. The problem was the writing wasn't keeping up with how fast the plots where moving in my head so I started a new document and very quickly captured the broad points. I managed to get that done in a day and it will help me get back on track if details start wandering as I get into the nitty-gritty of it. So, now I have the threads it's time to knot them together - mwahahahaha!

One thing I'm stuck on is names - I'm no good at coming up with fictional names! And SH needs lots of them. I may have to develop a reference system until I can come up with names.

I also now have a idea of exactly how many g-novels this will span. That presents it's own challenges, mainly how to keep readers hanging in there for such a long story arch. I suppose that's what the writers job is for, lol. But now I need a guinea pig to test my base story on - I'm anxious to know, even in it's raw state, if it captures the imagination. There's another reason why I want to do this test.

I've also got a ballpark publication date, well, year - 2016. Okay maybe that's incredibly optimistic of me. At least if feels like it right now. All things are possible right? I think the biggest obstacle, for financial reasons, is getting the kind of artist I want.

Okay, back to writing now.
  • Listening to: Snow Patrol
  • Reading: My Bible.
  • Watching: Walking Dead Season 4.
  • Playing: SH, over and over in my head.
  • Eating: ???
  • Drinking: Ye olde faithful - coke (cola)
Apologies in advance for this one, but it is a rant.

These past few months or so I seem to be in a constant emotional state of ebb and flow. More ebb than flow really. I seem to be getting more morbid and more frustrated, particularly with world affairs and events and also with certain topics within the comic industry. 

As a rule and choice I never allow myself to become frustrated with things beyond my control. What's the point? Why exert energy on something that will never change? . But constantly being exposed to something I can have no impact on is wearing me thin. And the revolving arguments found in comics I can't even argue on anymore. I hate repeating myself (unlike my dad, lol!). If you're not going to make meaningful change, why argue on it? Like the topic of women in comics, the solutions is simple - hire more women. There, done, problem solved and issue but to bed. But no, we'll just continue arguing the issue rather than acting on it. That's just an example. And on top of that work has been getting me down too.

I admire the people who can and have been able to make meaningful change in the world. Maybe one day I'll be able to too. But I suppose this is why I turn to the escapism of fictional media and art - films, games, cartoons, comics - storytelling. For the brief moment we're wrapped up in these stories our mind can rest from the weary world we can't escape. 

I'm tired of having these thoughts in my head. I'm tired of seeing the world this way. Tired of hearing stupidity and malice on all levels. My thoughts have always been a happy place to escape to where I can create my own worlds and stories, so this invasion of world crap is not welcomed!

But I know of one place I can escape to where even the world's problems can't penetrate: Psalm 55v22, 1 Peter 5v7, Nehemiah 8v10. I must go there more often - I feel better already.
  • Listening to: Snow Patrol
  • Reading: My Bible.
  • Watching: The Strain
  • Playing: Nothing. No time for that.
  • Eating: Cupcakes!!!
  • Drinking: Ye olde faithful - coke (cola)
As mentioned in my last journal I'm going to share the journey of my first creator owned story, SH, from inception to publication, at least, publication is the end goal, lol.

So where was I? 

The SH plots have indeed expanded to their original form but that expansion has brought about consolidation on the major the story lines: suddenly all the plots are linking together nicely. Rather than the stories fragmenting and crumbling, they've formed into more concrete and solid story (at least I hope so!). Like with building a house, you need a solid foundation and so far so good. I'm quite amazed that this has happened, usually I think my stories to death as plot-holes become too big to resolve (this is the problem one of my other favourite story I created. I don't know if that story will ever see the light of day if I can't figure it it and that would make me sad indeed). 

There was one particular SH storyline I thought I was going to drop for sure: although it was originally the main storyline for I think the fourth SH story, it also seemed to be more and more irrelevant and pointless. The story could carry on without that particular plot point. In an effort to make it fit I did some re-thinking to see if remoulding it would help. It did and suddenly it snapped into place tying in with the main SH plot. Yey!!! 

But that isn't all, I was able to incorporate a formerly separate story (which I'd pretty much forgotten about) into SH and if fits in quite well to the main plot. Potentially, it could actually be a key factor but I'm still working that out. Key factor aside there are two ways it can fit into SH but either way it will work either as a prologue or epilogue spinoff allowing me to tell another story that I may never have shared otherwise (like I said I'd pretty much forgotten I had that story!).

Lastly, I've found the right art style that will suit SH. At least that's one less thing to think about :D

It may be a while before I post my next SH update. Soooooo yeah, that's all for now. :D
  • Listening to: Naugties - nostalgia.
  • Reading: Still reading Thanos titles.
  • Watching: Catching up on Broadwalk Empire
  • Playing: Nothing. No time for that.
  • Eating: McD's
  • Drinking: The usual - coke (cola)
More than creating the art, telling stories was the primary reason I got into comics.

Ever since my early teens, nearly 20 years ago now, my brother and I collaborated on many story ideas. These stories where part of our play time and we'd often spend the time after school running around the local country club (a combination of sport club and leisure centre) acting out our stories before the family headed home in the evenings.

I have since tried numerous times to write some of these stories down with little success. Now however, work has begun in ernest to bring one of these concepts, simply called SH, to life. It was the first story we created together and it's very fitting it's the first I'm going to be focusing on. The concept and potential for SH was vast as it was originally created was vast and never ending. Initially I thought I'd need to condense and streamline it in order for it to be published and to an extent that's still true. But having consulted with a group on Facebook there seems to be many writers interested and willing to pen SH with me which got me to reconsider streamlining SH. 

The way SH was set up by my brother and I all those years ago, it allows for many writers to come in and add their own story to the mix, expanding and enriching the SH 'universe'. I still need to write the backbone of SH and the key story plot, it's a plot that will cover around 10 graphic novels (in itself an indication of SH's potential).

But, small steps first.

Even without expanding the SH universe there's still a lot of ground work to cover and things to consider which are making my head dizzy:

Firstly, getting the right kind of writer for the initial comic. This is new territory for me. Not every writer will be right for the initial comic and it will required researching any writers. Although I got a few offers for free writing with a back end deal, doesn't mean I'd jump at the offer, and indeed I haven't. I still need to see what any writer can bring to the table and make sure their writing style is suitable. If it mean's I have to pay then I am prepared to do so. I've always been about quality and I'm more than willing to pay for it even if it means saving up a budget for the next year to pay a writer up front (+back end).

Then I need to think about the right art: I kind of know what I want from the pencils but it's going to be a toss up between the right style or the right visionary. I know a penciler who, although he's got a lovely art style and I would work with him in a heartbeat, it isn't quite the style I what. But he's a master at conceptualising and the depth he can bring to the art is immense. So what do I do? Which is more important at this stage? Aside from this, I then need to think about the colours: what do I want the colours to convey? Again I know an excellent colourist and he could work, but I do wonder if an experimental or artists style of colouring would suite SH more? Will there be inking? that very much depends on what kind of pencils I eventually settle on. Many assume I'd pencil SH myself but as I've told them that most likely won't be the case because a) my style wouldn't necessarily suite the subject matter, b) turns out I don't enjoying penciling sequentials and c) at every step my decisions will be based on what's best for the story and me penciling won't necessarily be the best.

Then, what would be the best way to publish it and with whom; do I keep it independent or approach some of the bigger publishers? I feel the best home of SH would be with a bigger publisher just because of the potential scope of SH, but it remains to be seen. But to hook a bigger publisher I need to make sure my story is solid and will catch their imagination otherwise it's a mute point. This puts more pressure on making sure I've got a solid writer. I'll have to see what independent publishers have to offer too.

And so the journey begins. I've got to say I am simultaneously super excited and horribly nervous. I still can't believe this is going to happen but it is - one way or another you'll be able to read SH one day whether it's through a big publisher or a limited run with an indie, it will get out there. I will blog about the process of getting SH published and I hope you'll join me on the journey.

For any creators out there I'd be interested in hearing your process when putting a story together. How do you go about organising your plot lines and ideas before writing the script? 

Cheers!
  • Listening to: Naugties - nostalgia.
  • Reading: Still reading Thanos titles.
  • Watching: Catching up on Broadwalk Empire
  • Playing: Nothing. No time for that.
  • Eating: McD's
  • Drinking: The usual - coke (cola)
OMG! My last journal was in April! That won't do, lol.

Well I sincerely hope you're all doing well and being inspired! 

I've started getting commission work so that's been awesome and also I got my first pro gig as an inker (yey!). 22 pages for Bluewater. Must admit some friends didn't have much good to say about BW but we'll see what happens. 

I've also been expanding my online presence but I may contract it again. I don't like having to manage so many accounts, I'll just tot them up -
DA - my main online gallery where art can be viewed in their full glory.
FB - where DA, Instagram and Tumblr collide in one neat package, but I find viewing art on FB limited.
Instagram - my online scrapbook to see wipe and random doodles.
Tumblr - which I'm building into my main website but where also I go into in-depth articles & blog discussions on inking and the comic industry.
Google+ - er... mainly just latest artwork, like DA.
Behance (which a may close) - portfolio for professional viewing.
Comic Art Commissions - this will be my main commissioning portal (I hope).
Twitter - meh.
LinkedIn (I finally caved on that one) - professional networking as well as a link to my in-depth articles and blogs. No personal ranting and silly meme's here (not that I do meme's).

I already think this many is too much. Thing with Google+ is it's not something you sign up for, you get it automatically with a gmail account. May as well make use of it right? Plus I still find it difficult to navigate. Perhaps in future it will come in handy for Hangout purposes. And just a reminder if you do want to follow me on any of them, there's only one name I use - TheInkPages. Veeeeeery easy to find.

I also got to meet :iconknytcrawlr: last month when he came to the UK and visited the :iconmedikidz: office where I work. He's such a lovely guy and the biggest kid I've ever met I must say! I don't think his girlfriend thanked me for taking them to Forbidden Planet. It was awesome meeting them.

Anyway, this month I'll be at DemonCon 8 in Maidstone for any UK residents who may be there. I booked my ticket today and this time it won't be the debacle of Con 7! (Don't get me started! I was going all round London trying to catch the train cos the ticket sent me to the wrong station which btw was closed!). I'll have prints to see as well as some trade card specials (which you can sneak peek on Instagram).

As usually I need to welcome new watchers but I've only get a few minutes left before I'm booted off the computer. For now I bid you all welcome and in my next journal I shall do my customary welcome of naming you all.

Stay Blessed.
  • Listening to: Coldplay - Magic
  • Reading: Anything Thanos related.
  • Watching: All the blockbusters this year.
  • Playing: Halo 4
  • Eating: Meat!!!
  • Drinking: The usual - coke (cola)
Hello awesome watchers! It's been the longest time since I've posted a journal even though I've been very active on DA. This has just been so busy and journals always take a while to write. Well, I hope you've all be doing well.

Well, like the title says there are exciting things happening this year for me: This will officially be the last year that I canvas the Comic cons to show my portfolio from table to table to artists and at portfolio review, there's only so many years you can do that before people wonder why you're not getting work. Fortunately the reason I won't be canvassing is not because I'm not getting work but because I am! and not just inking or drawing work either. The next time you see me at the con's I'll either have a table or be a full on punter there for the atmosphere and to socialise.

last year I set up :iconinkerschallenge: a group for inkers or all levels to learn and hone their skills using various challenges. This year the group finally kicked off but before the first challenge was even posted I got into talks with Bob Almond from the Inkwell Awards and we started talking about the group and affiliating it with Inkwell. After a couple of discussions we agreed Inkers Challenge would become the DA HQ of the Inkwell Awards and I was named as Inkwell's DA rep. It's really exciting news and will benefit the group greatly; I had great ambitions for the group and Inkwell will be able to help me realise them. If you haven't checked the group out, please do and join in the fun.

My other big news has been just over a year in the making: at last years Super Con I met who I consider to be the best colourist in the comic industry. She expressed her interest in commissioning me. A year later and we're going to be collaborating on a comic. A bit nervous about inking her work but I'm super stoked to be working with such a living legend and it's crazy that she's excited about working with me to - no pressure then! I'll announce more about the project once it's fully underway.

So those are the big news at the moment and I have an ace up my sleeve I can't show right now. I'm ever so grateful to God for everything, it's a bit surreal at times and I'm so grateful to everyone who's supported me and enjoyed my work - I hope I can keep inspiring you the way you inspire me.

Finally, (this is gonna be a long list!!!), a warm welcome to all my new watchers! I don't think I'll be able to keep up the tradition of mentioning you all in my journal but I'll keep going as long as I can :D So here's to:

:iconstivin121: :iconwerewolflove: :iconeunicegamboa: :iconyorkgod: :icontomasu815: :iconbarfast: :icontrinitymathews: :iconderrixo: :iconjbroger: :iconvalcy: :iconrhi-r: :iconbonertime: :iconaskyas41: :iconhairy-goat: :icongoneapostate: :iconrubusthebarbarian: :iconcreatureokinawa: :icondaddycool36: :iconix-s: :iconk4l-el: :iconmotorcitysmitty: :iconmarcferreira: :iconknoxblack: :iconeccentricem: :iconeremin: :icontheateles: :iconwilson-go: :iconhillmanarts: :iconkevinmccoy: :iconwillpetrey: :iconjamesleestone: :iconmajicwatts: :iconkremkaffe: :iconjonny5alves: :iconziggyman: :iconjclarkart: :iconjulienx: :iconimagesunplugged: :iconblurrdeep: :iconlightning-powered: :iconandreievicharts: :iconnesthorcolors: :iconsnakebitartstudio: :iconxedg3x: :iconshannyeight: :iconmikeexner3: :iconleovitalis: :iconrolloph: :iconmrgutierrez: :iconrosemcclain: :iconthatrogersguy: :iconth3rtyse7n: :iconjo-ink: :iconafowlerart: :iconstekinomai: :icondarkelixir: :iconbdixonarts: :iconmaxonmars: :iconhi-rez95: :iconk9squared: :iconzimprich: :iconvassya: :iconmoonbeam13: :iconriveiro15: :iconpencilsandstrings: :iconsteele67: :iconjddishmonart: :iconevoxten: :iconmikealanf: :iconforlen: :iconyangjiakang521: :icontitan-415: :iconacid-architect: :icongothpunkdaddy: :iconredgvicente: :iconandronicusvii: :iconstudiocombine: :iconoctavia-moon: :iconeddy-swan-colors: :iconalymar: :iconta2dsoul: :icongabrielenatussi: :iconjerzeeboi: :iconteebone007: :iconpipin: :iconkelbykross: :iconnaisaihtam: :iconj-skipper: :iconladyastrogah: :iconenigmaticenigma: :iconavisciciulli: :iconsplotchy77: :iconsomaticjack: :iconduffy33: :iconcherryzeppelin: :iconjoshj81: :iconrony1991: :iconv3dd3rman: :iconfranklinrodell:

Thanks for joining me on my journey.

  • Listening to: Coldplay - Magic
  • Reading: Anything Thanos related.
  • Watching: All the blockbusters this year.
  • Playing: Halo 4
  • Eating: Meat!!!
  • Drinking: The usual - coke (cola)
Hello dear watchers!

I'm now on Tumblr! Yey, another way for you to follow my art and wips.


Cheers.


  • Listening to: Stereophonics
  • Reading: Batman, Supergirl, Superior Spiderman
  • Watching: Star Trek Into Darkness (seen it 4 times!)
  • Playing: nothing.
  • Eating: junk
  • Drinking: water!!!
Now I'm open for commission and discovered the DA forum for offering your paid services, I was rather disappointed by some to the commission rates other artists were offering. Kind of makes it difficult to offer what I consider a fair compensation for my skill and time when others are offering to work for so little.

Nothing works up my friends nerve like people willing to sell themselves short and I have to agree.

Does it bother you as an artist? Has it affected your work?
  • Listening to: Stereophonics
  • Reading: Batman, Supergirl, Superior Spiderman
  • Watching: Star Trek Into Darkness (seen it 4 times!)
  • Playing: nothing.
  • Eating: junk
  • Drinking: water!!!