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the 9 lives of a cat panel…

I thought I’d share the steps it takes me to produce these cat pages using just one panel as an example. Besides, I’m currently going through these steps for chapter 5 so I don’t have any new drawings for the blog.

1: I doodle on Grant’s script that I’ve printed out. Just trying to get general placement of word balloons and characters.

I’ve also doodled on the back of the script to try to envision the layout of the panels for that page.

2: I do all of the lettering in a program called Comic Life and place the balloons, without tails, into their general position in the panel.

3: In a 3D program called SketchUp, I managed to find a ward room that was very close to what I had used in the last chapter. I added some other elements that I needed including the 3D figures. Most of them are the same figure but that doesn’t matter, they’re just there for size and position.

4: I use Shelley as a model (here in my bathrobe) and photograph her from the same angle that I’ve place the characters.

5: I then cut and paste from the photos onto the SketchUp figures and cut and paste cat heads onto everybody from a 3D SketchUp cat. I adjust the word balloons closer to where they’ll finally end up.

6: I print out the layouts full size and trace them using a light box onto the drawing paper adding lighting and shading.

7: Then I ink it.

8: Then I colour it.

9: Then I scan it back into the computer (saved in a file folder called ‘cat scans’, naturally). I adjust the contrast, add highlights and any other special effects I may deem necessary, and the final word balloons.

You may think that this is a ridiculously complicated way to do these pages… and you’d be right.

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Cat Chapter 4 done…

Panel from chapter 4 of Grant Morrison’s ‘the smile of the absent cat’:

And here’s what 8 finished pages look like:

To be able to read ’em though, you’ll have to get the upcoming issue of Heavy Metal. Or wait for the 48 page book, when and if it’s finally done.

I’m starting on chapter 5 and still waiting for the final chapter from Grant.

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Colouring cats…

We’re back from Chatham, a fun one-day show, featuring our borrowed
Super Mario Bros Legend of Zelda bed sheet table cloth! We were the envy of the show.

I’m still colouring cat pages. Here’s a couple sample panels:

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Road Trip!

On Friday, we’ll be hittin’ the road for Saturday’s show:

Check out their website HERE.

If you’re in the neighbourhood (that would be Southern Ontario or Northern Michigan) come on by!

* * *

Here’s a couple panels from the inked ‘absent cat’ pages:

Now, on to colouring!

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still drawing cats…

I’ve finished penciling chapter 4 of ‘smile of the absent cat’ by Grant Morrison and have started inking. Here’s a penciled panel from page 7:

This weekend, have a happy First Sunday After the First Full Moon After the Spring Equinox! (Which somehow involves a rabbit hiding coloured chicken eggs… or something.)

Next weekend:

Click here for more info.

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cats continued…

After quite a gap (involving issues of non-payment and having to first catch up on commissions for which I did get paid), I’ve resumed working on Grant Morrison’s ‘smile of the absent cat’ story. I have the scripts for chapters 4 and 5 and am awaiting the final chapter.

Here are the pencils so far for the first 4 pages of chapter 4:

…okay… on to the next 4 pages.



Click here for more info.

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Got my Fiddler’s Green

I just received a copy of Fiddler’s Green which contains my illustrations for Eldred Wormwood’s ‘The Confederacy of the Green Door’. It looks great!

The magazine, billed as: Art & Magic for Tea-Drinking Anarchists, Convivial Conjurors & Closeted Optimists, is printed on luscious paper and features copper foil titling, and 52 pages of art and magic.

Check it out and buy a copy here.


And coming up fast:

Click here for more info.

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Spring has sprung! (at last)

Here is the weather out our window for the last two months:

Clearing up just in time for the start of the spring session at Pride Stables:

And now back to work on ‘smile of the absent cat’, the Grant Morrison story for Heavy Metal. I have the script for the next 16 pages and am working on those while awaiting the final chapter.

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Dino Card & More Monsters!

Jake asked me to do a card for his birthday.

His only instruction was, ‘I like Jurassic Park.’

So (after spending a long time in postal limbo) this is what he got:


In other news…

Greg Hyland is launching another Monster Atlas!

If they reach their next stretch goal, some of my art will be included in the book. Here are some examples:

Pledge now, pledge often!

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‘Take On Me’ finished

I finished colouring the ‘Take On Me’ pages. I’ve been asked to hold off posting them in case a publisher might be found. I have included the coloured version of page 2 in the following step by step GIF:

And here are Brian’s complete musings on the subject:

Page One

Page Two

Page Three

Page Four part I

Page Four part II

Page Five