Merry Metal

‘The Spirit and the Flesh’, the strip I illustrated for Heavy Metal, is in the issue out on the shelves right this very second, the January 2010 edition:

Heavy Metal

Heavy Metal

(Comp copies are the perfect Christmas present! Bit like getting the Beano annual when you’re wee, even!) I was steeling myself for the strip about hairy-arsed cowboys to be surrounded by images of sci-fi and barbarian girls in bikinis, but no amount of mental preparation can quite fortify you for the impact of the finished article… The cowboys are set-up next to the issue’s beautifully drawn and coloured long-form piece, ‘Mortemer‘.

I’m pretty sure I listed all the reasons why being in Heavy Metal magazine made my nerdy little heart sing like a canary in a previous blog entry, and having the finished object in my hands and on the racks is even better. It’s good to have a considerable number of colour pages in print in a self-contained story, most of the work I do for comics is monochrome… Anyway, if it’s not in your local shop you can buy it online here. Enjoy. And watch out for Baron Saturday.

Very Heavy Metal

Now, I have to admit I was just a little bit ecstatic when I found out this had been green-lit… I got to do some work for Heavy Metal magazine – the American version of none other then your very own Métal Hurlant, the French comics institution set up by, among others, the perennial artists Jean ‘Moebius’ Giraud and Philippe Druillet, which bridged the outright fantasism of comics in the late seventies through to the mature comics boom in the eighties, producing a bit of a golden age we still tend to look back upon jealously even today…

Yeah, I’m a European comics nerd, so this whole things a bit like an overload for me. I can get away with saying that my work’s appearing in the same pages as the likes of François Schuiten, Enki Bilal, Jordi Bernet, Milo Manara and Tanino Liberatore to name but a few, and I wouldn’t actually be lying. Eee.

So anyway, here’s a few pages from my 12-page, full-colour story ‘The Spirit and the Flesh’, written by Josef Rother.

Heavy Metal

The story concerns the Haitian Voodoo god Baron Saturday going to the Wild West…

Heavy Metal

So yes, it’s Cowboys and Indians with VOODOO.

Heavy Metal

I’d like to show some more pages, but unfortunately, there are SPOILARZ.

Heavy Metal

You can’t really see it in these web-size versions, but I kept in all the little imperfections from the greyscale scans of the original art, which hopefully, along with all the little painty blemishes give the whole a warmer, more worn-in feel.

Heavy Metal

Interestingly, Heavy Metal’s current editor is none other than Kevin Eastman, half of the pair who not only created heroes-in-a-half-shell The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but also ran the highly esteemed publishing house Tundra, so to have him say he likes your work is pretty nice for a hapless lad from the English countryside to hear.

When’s it out? I’ve no idea whatsover. I’ll give you a shout when I find out though.

Heavy Metal

For this strip, I tried lightboxing the pencils from particularly tight (for me) layouts, which threw up a whole set of advantages and disadvantages. I probably should have referenced the layouts a bit more, because once they’re down the shape of them influences the tighter pencils and then even the inks… Ah well, next time.
Oh, and peek at some character sketches from my traveling sketchbook:

Heavy Metal

Heavy Metal

Heavy Metal