Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Happy Christmas!

I have no excuse for the pun.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Haiyan Typhoon Benefit Anthology

In the aftermath of the dreadful Haiyan Typhoon, a number of mostly European based creatives have been brought together to create a benefit anthology.

For myself, I've written and drawn a page for inclusion but ignoring that, there are some really talented and creative folks involved. The anthology is being promoted via Indiegogo, a Kickstarter-style site that's used for such causes, and should you wish and can afford to do so, donations can be placed there. $20 will get you a copy of the book, but you can donate anything from $1 upwards. Even if you've no interest in donating, please take a moment to have a look.

This link is to the Anthology's fund raising page http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/haiyan-benefit-anthology

Monday, 28 October 2013

Lou Reed

March 2, 1942 – October 27, 2013

Without Lou Reed there wouldn't be any of the music that soundtracks my life. No Clash. No Jam. No Bowie.

A true giant.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Frank Bellamy

A little while ago Norman Boyd was kind enough to ask me to write for his Frank Bellamy blog.

Ignoring my own input, Norman's blog contains a wealth of information on the greatest comic artist the UK has ever produced, and is well worth a visit.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

IRON news

I'm going to be holding off on doing any more to this IRON story for a while, as there's now a chance that it'll be published in some form or other.

More updates when I'm free to do so.

Monday, 26 August 2013

IRON page 07

Here's another page of IRON, and like page 06, it's currently unlettered. I find condensing down what I want to say into a managable form much harder than drawing pictures, so I tend to dither. The updated versions with text for pages 06 and 07 will probably arrive with page 08, since it's really the same narrative movement over all three pages.

This page - and the next really - follow the shift in viewpoint from the Saxon settlement up to the partially ruined Roman villa. That the peoples of the time abandoned the 'civilized' roman buildings and basically went to live in the shed is fascinating, and I think is also a cultural decision as well as a practical one. Yes, the skill and slave dependent lifestyle of the market economy Roman Empire would have been difficult to maintain, but I'd like to think that the locals - and the new settlers - wanted to move away from the Empire's beliefs. A lot seems to be written on 'what the Roman's did for us', but they also attempted to destroy the indiginous culture here. It's a miracle anything survived, and a lasting tribute to those who must have resisted Rome's influence.

I am very pleased with the centre warrior's helmet in panel 2.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

IRON and it's influences.

Page 6 of IRON.

An updated version with text will magically appear later...

I thought I'd take some time to spell out some of my influences for IRON.  I'm not sure how interesting it is, but I'm doing it anyway!

My influences for this are pretty varied, and include Frank Bellamy, Francis Prior, Eric Rohmer, Claude Chabrol, Dale Mettam, Dave Elliot, Marc Laming and Valia Kapadai amongst many others.

Frank Bellamy really influences all my work, and I suspect all the work I shall ever do. A brilliant draughtsman and a wonderful storyteller, he's also the reason I draw.

Francis Prior is an archaeologist, specialising in the Bronze Age, who is I suppose best known for his appearances on Time Team. I find his approach to looking at the ordinary people of history inspiring, and despite the shift in time period to the Dark Ages, IRON is heavily influenced by that desire to examine the ordinary wonders of the everyday in history. http://pryorfrancis.wordpress.com/

Eric Rohmer and Claude Chabrol were two of the leading lights in European New Wave cinema. Their revolutionary framing, pacing and storytelling transformed film making, and their influences are still felt today, in everything from blockbusters to art-house. I think it's interesting to look at their work through a sequential narrative lens, and try to take their lessons on board. That's certainly what I'm trying to do, but as to whether or not I have anything approaching the skill to so so, that's a different question.

Dale Mettam writes great stuff, and after briefly working with him on Jael he's transformed how I look at comics' writing. He's a nice chap too. http://dalemettam.com/

As is Dave Elliot, co-founder of Atomeka Press, head honcho, writer and editor on A1, and a ton of other stuff. When I was falling out of love with the medium his work rekindled it. He has been very kind about my doodling and knows who The Steel Claw was. http://deevelliott.deviantart.com/

Marc Laming draws wonderfully, and the inspired looseness in his inking and his terrific control of line are things I can only dream of getting close to. http://marclaming.deviantart.com/

Valia Kapadai is perhaps the nicest person I know who draws comics. Annoyingly she's also perhaps the most talented. http://neurotic-elf.deviantart.com/

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

More IRON!

Here are another couple of pages of IRON.

There are really a few reasons for me doing this little thing. It's a continuing experiment with this new style I've been working on - I want to see it in greyscale. Tacking both action and domestic scenes, and playing with how narrative might flow using it. It's also just to get the idea out of my head and onto a page, since it's no good to anyone stuck in my head.

I'd really love to be able to get some accurate and naturalistic dialogue going, but I don't think I have the ear for it, so I'm afraid we're stuck with the best I can do.

Which is a bit pants.

Still, who cares about all those words! Pictures is the bestest bit ov it.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013


IRON is just another of those 'when I get the time' things. It's only a short thing, set in Britain around the 5th Century AD, shortly after the withdrawal and collapse of the Roman empire.

I think it would have been an interesting, if terrifying time. People desperate to survive , scratching a living amongst the ruins of a fallen advanced society. If we wanted to look at a post-apocalyptic scenario, then go no further. It happened here.

Most of the work on these was done in MangaStudio, with Illustrator and Photoshop providing assists.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

A bit of magpie

We all have bits and pieces we work on I guess, and this is from one of mine. 'magpie' is a love story in three acts, and I've been playing about with it for about 20 years on and off.

It's been a comic strip, a novel, a comic again, a screenplay, an illustrated story, a mix of all three and now perhaps a comic again. It'll never be finished I suspect, rather it'll remain something I potter on when the mood takes me. Whatever incarnation it's been, I've always tried to treat it's themes - relationships and sex really - in an honest and realistic way.

I'm posting it here for a couple of reasons. Firstly, despite having worked in this for so long, it has no real physical presence. There are notebooks full of story and sketches. There are pages of pages, ranging from layouts to finished artwork going back years, in a variety of different styles and competence. There is, however, nothing that I've ever shown, and I think I wanted to post a page or two, just to show that it exists! Secondly, every now and again folks here will comment on stuff, and I find that very useful!

magpie is ©2013 Jonathan Wyke

magpie contains lots of sex and swearing.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Some more experiments and character design

This is really just some continuation of the style experiments I've been doing, together with an associated bit of character design.

The character work is really just for look & feel rather than the absolute specific look. Still, went quite well I think.

All work is ©2013 Jonathan Wyke

Monday, 6 May 2013

Back again (Finally)

It's been a while I know.

This blog has tended to get lost in the shuffle of real life, and after an autumn / winter of floods and varied family illness, there was an awful lot of shuffling.

Now I'm back and I've been playing with a new illustration style. It originally came about from my trying to replicate digitally the look of contè crayon on coloured paper that I have often used when life drawing. Once I'd got the look more or less right, I wondered how it would look when used in a sequential narrative. What follows are the early results.

There's not really a plot. If it were anything, it would be inspired by Marvel's Daredevil, before he put on his tights. A Daredevil Year -1 if you like.

All work is ©2013 Jonathan Wyke