Crowd scenes, casting and articles

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Haven’t blogged in a little while, but that’s because I’ve been hard at it working on comics and story development. And drawing crowd scenes. And crying…

Heads! issue three is coming on very nicely and is nearly finished. This one has taken me a lot longer than the previous issues, but for good reason. The art is the most ambitious I’ve gone in respect of comics, for a start. Those who have been following the story will be pleased to know that this issue is where Datsun confronts mysterious doom metal band Vortex Face in an attempt to rescue the kidnapped husband of his latest client. This all culminates in a ten page scene at a gig, which of course means crowd scenes! Quite aside from the fact that most panels contain a lot of people in the background of some crazy action sequences, I chose to open the scene with a double page spread crowd scene featuring 82 people. It’ll look amazing when it’s done, but it’s taken a long time. I can’t sit and do too much at once, otherwise everyone ends up with the same face. So, I’ve been doing four or five people every few days or so to keep it fresh. I took this scene as an opportunity to practice my portraiture skills, so you’ll find some metal related cameos, including Slayer’s Kerry King, Monster Magnet’s Dave Wyndorf and Motley Crüe’s Vince Neil, to name a few.

I’ve been pooling references and influences lately. Two things that I find really useful in making comics is casting and soundtracks. Yes, I’m aware Heads! isn’t a Netflix show (yet). But when I consider how the characters behave, I find it useful to consider who would play them in a movie or TV show, so I can play out scenes with those actors. Similarly, I play music when I draw and find certain songs and styles help me develop characters and scenes. I’ve been considering which songs would fit together well as a soundtrack to Heads! and have nearly finished a scene by scene soundtrack for the first issue. Check back soon for an update on that which can interact with your comic reading experience.

I’m also reconsidering the blog, and trying to decide if its worth putting effort in here, if people would prefer to subscribe to a newsletter, or whether regular short videos on YouTube would go down well. Let me know which medium you prefer and the sort of things that you’d like to see from me.

Heads! Into The Vortex is LIVE on Kickstarter!

BACK IT NOW ON KICKSTARTER!

I launched the campaign this week, and at the point of writing this post it is already 50% funded! The campaign ends on 15 February so if you want to be among the first to get hold of the new issue you haven’t got long to do so.

For Heads! newbies there are reward options which include the first issue, and one that gives you Rock In Purgatory as well. This issue introduces villain group Vortex Face, who made their first appearance in Rock In Purgatory in 2018.

Prices start at just £1, so head over to the Kickstarter campaign and back it NOW!

Motivational sharing

End of the year has rolled round and I’m enjoying several large brandies each day, might even break out the cigars. In an odd turn of events, despite a very positive and productive first ten months of the year, the end has been quite frustrating for me in respect of keeping the momentum up.

When I posted back in November I wrote about finding ways to get out of a slump. This did work for a bit and to be honest the more recent weeks have been under productive due to lack of opportunity to dedicate time and focus to finishing page art off. Whenever I have had the chance, its been great, and looking back on the sparse amount of work I’ve produced this month, I’m really pleased with what I’ve come up with.

Sometimes you just need as bit of a random boost to keep you moving though. I was lucky enough to have that just the other day. I was drawing Heads! pages and panels in one of my regular coffee shops and a new barista saw my work. She came over for a really quick chat, saying how she liked the stuff I was drawing, that she’s a huge comics reader and loved the fact that I was sitting there, where she works, drawing comics. I gave her a business card and a fist bump and carried on mainlining espresso and churning out art but with a bit more of a motivated buzz.

It occurred to me that I’d got into a bit of a vicious loop; by not having much chance to draw I also hadn’t shown anyone my work lately, spoken to anyone about it or posted updates online. As such, no-one was talking to me about it. I don’t expect people to be waiting with baited breath for my next issue, but like anything if you don’t mention it then less people ask you about it. Because of that I felt kind of isolated in my work, and therefore didn’t feel like anyone would care to listen if I talked about it. So the little I was able to do seemed all the more less.

That quick encounter over coffee was enough to remind me that there are two reasons I create comics:

  1. I want to do it
  2. I want to share it with people

It’s the same with writing and playing music as well. I love the music I play and I want to play it for people so that they can enjoy it too.

In the spirit of sharing (and it is Christmas after all), I’ve decided to give away Heads! issue one as a digital download until New Years Eve. The next issue drops in early 2019, with issue three in autumn, so get clued up now and join the party. If you like what you read it would be awesome if you would buy a print copy.

Download Heads! for FREE

Buy a copy of Heads!