Friday, January 30, 2009


I should have blogged this days ago, but this week has probably been the most hectic on Holmes. HUZZAH!! keeps on rolling and at a fair old pace. It's not even February and already we're on Page 9. Exciting times. Go check it out! Rob Davis has just started a new chapter - 'The Claws of Xog', which introduces the wonderful Baron Kazam!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


(Thumbnail roughs for pages 40-47 by me
The Hound of the Baskervilles © 2009 SelfMadeHero)

When I started 'The Hound of the Baskervilles' I rushed out and bought a Moleskine (mol-a-skeen'-a) notebook. I've always wanted a Moleskine notebook but never been brave enough to draw in one. I usually work on loose sheets of office paper. As I've scribbled furiously over the past few months I've come to suspect that the reason I draw in blue pencil and the reason I wouldn't normally dare draw in Moleskine notebooks is because I have commitment issues when it comes to drawing. I can screw up a sheet of office paper, I don't have to scar a sketchbook by tearing out a page. And drawing with blue pencil, well, there's always been something less permanent about blue pencil over regular HB graphite. If you rub out blue pencil you still see the trace of your mistakes, but its not the horrible gray mess that graphite leaves behind (no matter how good your rubber is). And besides, its blue, and as all sensible boys know, blue's the best color there is. So that's the theory.

'Hound' from about forty pages onward has been scribbled in my blessed Moleskine notebook. As Holmes would correctly deduce, it took me till page forty to brave it. I didn't throw off all my clothes and rush head long into the roaring surf. I daintily dipped my toe. But hey, no turning back now.

I draw a cross in the center of the page and then allocate a page to each quarter giving me an eight page overview across two notebook pages (as above). I then scan these pages in their respective segments and import them into Manga Studio. I then roughly layout the lettering and work my pencil up accordingly - I figure out all my composition at this stage. After I have rough pencils I finish off the lettering with speech balloons and then return to ink the page.

I divide up my concentration throughout the art process. I don't work everything out at the pencil stage. I work briskly at this stage because I keep to mind that all I need is a roughly plotted course. So onward I go. I don't hang about because I know that I can come back to it at the inking stage and everything wrong will be right again. It's something to look forward to.

Inking can sometimes be equal parts tedium and joy. Tedium when you've plotted that course all too well in the pencil stage and the imagination at this point is sitting there in the back of my skull like some over-excited dog wondering why we've suddenly stopped playing. And joy when I find those parts of the drawing where I couldn't be bothered to figure them out at the time. Which is why, when I'm working to a tight deadline, inking is never tedious.

It's a golden rule. If I get stuck I don't stop. This is where the eight page overview comes into play. I know what's happening over the next eight pages. It's not un-navigated ocean. I know where be monsters. So if ever over those eight pages I get stuck I move on to the next panel. A panel I can draw. The complicated drawing gets thrown to the over-excited dog at the back of my skull like scraps from the kitchen table, and by the time I've finished drawing the easy panel, the panel I can draw, the problem returns to me magically resolved and I return to the panel I couldn't draw earlier and the sated over-excited dog takes a quiet nap.

It's then a quick export into Photoshop where I color the page up, re-apply the lettering with live type and that's that. Job done. Off it goes to my dear old chums in London town, to SelfMadeHero, where the book is laid out and proofed before it undergoes any revisions and finally goes off to the printers and hits the shelves in May!*

*The latter part of this process I greatly underestimate because by this point I'll be rushing headlong into the roaring surf and scribbling frantic thumbnails in my Moleskine for the next Sherlock Holmes adaptation Edginton and I are undertaking - A Study in Scarlet (due out in October this year).

Friday, January 16, 2009


My latest contributions to HUZZAH!! are on the HUZZAH!! blog, so go check them out.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


(The Hound of the Baskervilles © 2009 SelfMadeHero)

Monday, January 12, 2009


It's been a hectic week so I've not been able to post. I had a solid week slated for coloring which meant blocking out the light to my room and working through night and through day. I do not exaggerate when I say my eyes now look like red onions. Alright, I am exaggerating and they don't look like red onions, but a day or two ago they did look like Christopher Lee's eyes in Dracula. Is one eye being more bloodshot than the other a fair indicator of which eye works harder than the other? I have my suspicions. Thankfully that boat load of work is done and a good solid chunk of Baskervilles is in the bag.


Yesterday, whilst drawing Baskervilles, I drew the six-fingered man. A deliberate mistake, an Easter egg for my father-in-law to find. After he read The Picture of Dorian Gray I received a full report including notes. Bless! (he thought he'd found an anachronism but fortunately was mistaken). So I thought it only fair to now include 'the six-fingered man' in every book I do.

The six-fingered man originally appeared in a "Hornby Dublo" catalogue (1957) which he (the father-in-law), owns. It's a great picture of a father pointing at a railway set (I think the father's even smoking a pipe - that memory might be distorted - he's a very Church of the Sub Genius sort of father), only the artist has over compensated on the digits and the father has an extra finger. He (the father-in-law), loves this picture because its wrong. And so there you have it, the origins of the six-fingered man.

Right then. I've got pages to draw. I better be off.
(The Hound of the Baskervilles © 2009 SelfMadeHero)

Saturday, January 03, 2009


Quite a surprise. But also quite interesting and I think quite exciting. I like his hands. I reckon he'll become known as the Doctor with the hands!

Friday, January 02, 2009



We'll 2008 is now the year that was. And what a year it was! I knew 2008 was going to be a year of change, but boy oh boy, I wasn't expecting it too be so full of change!

Who Killed Round Robin? finally has the answer to that titular question (brilliantly concluded may I add by the wise and all too fabulous Colin Fawcett). And in its wake there's now a new round robin for 2009 named simply HUZZAH!! the first three plates of which I finished in time for the New Year launch. Please do go check it out. The rules are a little different to WKRR? taking many of the lessons we learned from that and hopefully setting the stage for something quite epic.

All the very best to you this New Year!