Wednesday, 16 December 2015

It's OK to cry, said the thief...

Jim Munroe is the author of such wonderful books as Angry Young Spaceman and Flyboy Action Figure Comes With Gasmask. He's also one of my favourite authors, which is why I was thrilled to be included in his current project.

Jim is writing a series of one-hour stories, and asked if I'd like to attempt a one-hour illustration to go along with one of them. I immediately agreed. As I said, I'm a fan.

Here is the result of that collaboration - first is the story itself, then my illustration. I was perhaps a little over-ambitious, as was certainly attempting to channel the spirit of Will Eisner (ahem). I was delighted to give it a go, and I only wish I were good enough to do the words true justice.

Jim Munroe links:
Website: No Media Kings

Story ©2015 Jim Munroe
Illustration ©2015 Jonathan Wyke

Monday, 20 April 2015

Last little tease

These are the last three pages of the preview to the book I'm working on with Dale Mettam.

It's violent, sexy and sweary, so if nothing else it'd probably fall foul of Blogger's censorship if I posted any more of it...

Jael is ©2015 Dale Mettam and Jonathan Wyke

Monday, 6 April 2015


Just a couple of teaser pages for a new strip, co-created with the terrific Dale Mettam.

Dale's writing on this is so good it's shaming me rather into trying to pull out all the stops. Obviously this makes me as slow as a very slow thing.

It's something of a departure for me, in that it's set in modern times and uses more than two colours. Just on these two pages there are three colours! Three! It's crazy.

©2015 Dale Mettam & Jonathan Wyke

Monday, 30 March 2015

A Man Without Fear

Every now and again I forget that I don't really get how to do superhero types, and, risking life and limb, have another go. I thought of doing this when, out of nowhere, I had an idea for how to show ol' hornhead's radar sense.

This one's more successful than most I think, and it's supposed to be Marvel's Daredevil. Please bear in mind I'm a long way behind anything that's happening in comics these days, so any inconsistancies are the fault of my bad reading...

All done in MangaStudio, all using a BIG FAT PENCIL!

Drawing done by me, character © Marvel Comics & just used here in a fan-arty way!

Saturday, 28 February 2015

IRON, now in colour!

Here's the first page of a new (very) short IRON strip.

As with all of these, it's real purpose is to try and teach me stuff, and for this one, I'm attempting a more conventional looking strip. With inking. And colouring in.

I've attempted a sort of semi-painted look here. I did try to do the airbrush style colouring that seems to be in vogue in comics at the moment, but found it really, really didn't go with the drawing style. Perhaps a better colourist than me would have more luck.

I found this style took me a hell of a lot longer, but I suspect that's for a couple of reasons - I'm not used to working in this way, and I was still producing ultra tight pencils as I didn't trust my rather shoddy inking. I'm hoping practice will speed the process up.

IRON is ©2015 Jonathan Wyke

Wednesday, 25 February 2015


None of my work is pornographic, but it often contains mature themes and language, and also nudity, both male and female.

Now Blogger has announced it's going to ban explicit content. Who is judging what is ban-worthy and what isn't? Nude photos and videos banned. What about drawings and paintings next? Or literature? Would the next 50 Shades of Grey be banned from the site? Which culture's standards are being used to determine what's suitable and what isn't? Are we all now subject to the puritan right wing of American politics?

I am against exploitation in any form. I am against anything that hurts the participants against their will.

I am also against blanket censorship. I am against arbitrary decisions that blow with the political wind.

The following drawing was done by one of the greats of 20th century art, Egon Schiele. It's one of his milder ones. Will that be banned too?

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Page Eight, the final page of IRON!

This is the last page so it's now all done. It too way too long for eight pretty simple pages, and literally nothing happens in it, but it's finished.

I've done three of these short little strips, all set around the same time, with fundamentally the same people involved, and in my head they're really all primers. They're all set in the British Dark Ages. Following the fall of Rome and the withdrawal of it's infrastructure, troops and market economy, Britain really collapsed. We don't need to look to science fiction to see a post-apocalyptic society. It's happened. Here.

I'm interested in just following normal people as the go about their lives, and was hoping that the setting would at least provide enough visual interest for people to want to look at it. This past strip is simply a small group of people who've been called to the funeral of their king. Nothing more or less.

Each one of these strips has also served to answer questions I'm having about my own art. For this one, I've really tried to push the boat out with my drawing. I've literally spent days on each page, treating the drawings more as paintings than simply pencils. The average length of time taken to draw each of these pages was 3 1/2 days. I must admit, I'm still not sure if it was worth it.

Having said all that, I've enjoyed doing them.  All comments and crits are gratefully received!

IRON is ©2015 Jonathan Wyke

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Pages Six and Seven

Two more pages of my IRON short-story...

IRON is ©2015 Jonathan Wyke

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Another page of IRON

Here's page five of IRON.

I'm just trying to tell small human stories in an unusual setting, and I hope it's working.

IRON is ©2015 Jonathan Wyke

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

IRON, and what I'm trying to do...

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 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. Through Dan Dare, Heros the Spartan, Thunderbirds and Garth, Bellamy drew real people in fantastical situations.

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. He used a fantastic phrase for the scatter of finds people come across while field-walking; "The background noise of history". That's really what IRON tries to be, the background noise of the big stories.

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, is very funny and after briefly working with him on Jael has transformed how I look at comics, especially the writing. He's a nice chap too.

As is Dave Elliot, co-founder of Atomeka Press, head honcho, writer and editor on A1, and a ton of other stuff, including being heavily involved in deviantArt these days. When I was falling out of love with the medium his work rekindled it. He has been very kind about my doodling and, more importantly, knows who The Steel Claw was.

Valia Kapadai is perhaps the nicest person I know who draws comics. Annoyingly she's also perhaps the most talented. Seeing Valia's work always makes me burn with envy, and force myself to try harder and practice more!

There are a string of others: Marc Laming and his lovely linework, Gail Simone's wonderful work on Red Sonja, Ian Struckhoff for suggesting I draw his comics an age ago when I was more pants than now, The British Museum for having such great stuff to inspire and on and on.

I wanted to do something I'd be proud of, which is why I'm spending so much time drawing each page. It's only going to be a short strip - around six pages, so the same length as the previous two IRON stories, but at least it'll hopefully be something that's the best I can do at this time.

IRON page four

Here's another page of my new IRON strip.

Still putting the hours in on the drawing - the chain-mail, although time-consuming, is something I'm pretty pleased with. It's currently made up of 5 separate layers of tone, but I think it's working in that it gives it a feeling of real depth. Just wish it was faster.

IRON is ©2015 Jonathan Wyke

Saturday, 10 January 2015


Here's page three of the new story.

One of the things I'm trying to do is show the difference between the epic legend that grows up and is told in stories and the actual experience of the ordinary people involved.

Pilgrimage is a good example. We have our own preconceptions of what Pilgrims were and the harsh treks that were involved, but from first hand medieval reports it seems to have been more 18-30 holiday than religious trial. A young woman, pregnant outside of marriage was said to be 'on pilgrimage'. I think that language usage, combined with, say, Chaucer's tales give us a pretty clear idea of what went on.

In a lot of the books I've read, where the eminent archaeologist rattles on about strong community leaders bringing all the people together for a great spiritual effort to create the rampart / henge / mound what-have-you, I always think 'bollocks'. It's people. Our motivations are almost always sex and beer.

IRON is ©2015 Jonathan Wyke

Friday, 2 January 2015


I'm working up a new IRON short story, based around a simple journey. As in all of these, I just want to show ordinariness in an extraordinary time.

This time around I'm really trying to push the boat out somewhat with the art, and am spending considerably longer on it. Page two here took over three days I'm ashamed to say. Nevertheless, I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out, and hope to keep at least this level going for the rest of it.

IRON is ©2015 Jonathan Wyke