April 19, 2017
A couple of seethes from an urban sketch crawl in Coventry. The Brittania Hotel is one of the grimmest Brutalist buildings in Coventry, a hotel chain voted the worst in the country, built on concrete pillars across the road to the bus station. What’s not to love?
The second picture is the interior of Drapers Bar, an example of good modern architecture, and local craft beer. I used coffee to colour this picture- it didn’t really work. Maybe need to start drinking espresso?
April 16, 2017
I haven’t updated much lately because I’ve been working on my new webcomic, which debuts tomorrow, Monday the 17th April. Updating twice a week, Mondays and Wednesdays.
You should check it out!
A comic of ghosts and gunpowder, set in 11th Century Japan. Guaranteed to be the best web-based graphic novel about Japanese exorcists that you’ll read all week.
Genza, a exiled nobleman-turned-monk, is offered a chance to redeem himself by undertaking a perilous journey to Heian Kyo. Will Genza be prepared to confront his own demons in order to save the life of the man who exiled him, will his daughter Masako make a new life for herself in the city, and does a stranger met on the road offer a chance for a new way forward?
The Historical Setting
Heian Japan ran from roughly 780 to 1160 and is seen as a golden age of Japanese culture. It produced arguably the first novel, Murasaki Shikibu’s Tale of Genji, and one of the most famous ancient diaries, Sei Shonagon’s Pillow Book. The authors worked as ladies-in-waiting to rival empresses. There’s a snide reference in Murasaki’s diary criticizing Sei’s writing as “presumptuous” and “full of imperfections”, and a small but active modern Sei/Murasaki slash fiction fan base.
The Heian period is also known for the art of writing poetry, the founding of the modern city of Kyoto (Heian Kyo) and the beautiful costumes worn by high ranking court ladies.
I was introduced to Heian culture as a teenager by Liza Dalby’s novel The Tale of Murasaki, and read as many books written and based in the period as I could get my hands on. Several years later, on the bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto, I wondered what it would be like to make the same journey a thousand years before. Eventually that thought became this story.
April 15, 2017
Two of my pictures are in an exhibition at the moment in a Kenilworth gallery. No, not my Kenilworth castle sketches, but my comic artwork. Check them out until the 20th May!
February 15, 2017
The rather amazing Astley Book Farm and coffee shop.
They also serve wine.
Favourite place ever.
February 8, 2017
Six of the best from Dr Sketchy’s Birmingham “Brides, Prejudice and Zombies” afternoon sketching session. Not too happy with these but the event was great, closing with a memorable “Zombie Twist competition”. Some amazing costumes that I don’t do justice to here, thanks to all who organised!
On an unrelated note- inked the final page for Chapter 2 Beneath the Clouds. Yay! And, what do you know, Dry January has finished too 🙂
These are actually from before Christmas. Annoyingly, I prefer the caricatures of my classmates more than the full face portrait I spent an hour on. I love drawing people drawing.
RIP Carrie Fisher. I’m a big fan of Riz Ahmed (watch Four Lions) so here’s also a Bodhi Rook cartoon
Sketches of the rather nice views I spotted through banks of impenetrable mist. Lovely subtle colours up on the hills which I tried to catch in the first sketch.
January 4, 2017
2017 is the year of the comic. My online graphic novel Beneath The Clouds (a story of ghosts and gunpowder) is coming in the spring. The best online comic about 12th century Japanese exorcists that you’ll read all day!
Here’s a sneak preview of the cover.