A.B.C tribute art, part 5: Deadlock in the style of Ken Walker

Medium: acrylics

Thought it’d be Hammerstein today? Well the power of Khaos can be deceiving, what’s order when you can jump the cue using magic and mayhem at your disposal?

Todays subject is Deadlock, originally created by Pat Mills for 2000AD comic, he is a wizard anarchist who serves Khaos to spread mayhem throughout the galaxy. Concepts like order, rules and obeying superiors is alien to Deadlock, for he despises such things that stands in his way. He has on occasion been at odds with Hammerstein due to both being polar opposites to each other. Hammerstein is a solider who values loyalty, order, respect, laws, rules and honourable combat. Deadlock on the other hand is an anarchist, he seeks mayhem, freedom, individual choices, power and sacrifices to Khaos.

He’s even got his own series (because he was such a badass), and he’s also met Nemesis the Warlock.

Whilst I couldn’t achieve the brilliant standard that Ken Walker did for the Hellbringer arc (it took him a month to paint six pages worth of story!) I could at least try to paint Deadlock as best as I can.

Next up, this time I will be doing Hammerstein!

-Bjorn

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A.B.C Warriors tribute art part 1: Mongrol in the style of Mike McMahon

Original inked artwork using fine ink pens, ink colour pens, inks and blue glaze.

Photo editing version

Final artwork using Procreate art app

This blog post series is a tribute to 2000AD’s Sci-fi war series, The A.B.C Warriors written by Pat Mills and various artist who have illustrated the team over many decades.

I wanted to try this art project for two reasons, 1) I haven’t done an art project since my Kray Twins art project a year ago, I’m getting rusty from a lack of consistent art work. My break from art is long overdue. 2) I’ve always wanted to try and recreate the A.B.C Warriors ever since I first read them back in 2013, the first work of Pat Mills that I’ve enjoyed reading and got me into reading more of his 2000ad work. I liked how unique each character looked that suited their personality, like Hammerstein for example having a masculine and heroic physic wielding his heavy hammer. The members of the A.B.C Warriors personalities really adds weight to the story, and how each of them has a story to tell (well Blackblood is the least sympathetic bot of the lot).

The artists like Kevin O’Neil, Mike McMahon, Carlos Ezquerra, Simon Bisley, Clint Langley and many more have always made fantastic artworks for the A.B.C Warriors. Whilst the group have had big visual changes of the years stylistically, they still however retain their personalities and design over the past decades. From Bisley’s punk 80’s comic book art to Langley’s blockbuster Sci-Fi digital art, the A.B.C Warriors have a refreshing appeal for every decade and artist interpretation.

Inspired by the original cover art for A.B.C Warriors book one by Mike Mchaon, I wanted to recreate Mongrol in a similar style to Mikes work. I’ve gone for inks as I like the different effects it has when applied. Like the colour ink pens are great for covering big areas in a flat colour, and ink paints to shade areas like shadows and background. Sort of like old comic book art, but using more modern tools for the job.

The photo edit and digital art is used to refine the artwork and add a finishing touch. Hopefully this artwork will be at least a good enough tribute to the brilliant artwork of Mike McMahon.

My next subject is Joe Pineapples, one of the coolest and deadliest members of the A.B.C Warriors. I might do him in the style of Simon Bisley’s Black and White ink work, or try the deep end and go digital art like Clint Langley’s version of Joe.

Until next time!

-Bjorn

Topic of the week: Confession of a comic collector 

We all have something that we want to collect, from trading cards, to stamps, stickers, books and so on. For me, trading cards are one thing (I’ll get on to that in a future post) , but collecting comics is another but stronger obsession of mine. But not just any comic, no, I’m talking about 2,000ad comics!

It can be said that 2,000ad has gone through a lot of changes during its time, from paper material, to comic content and tone. But what hasn’t changed is its continuing focus on one particular mascot (if you could call him that, probably against Mega-city one laws), Judge Dredd! He’s a recognisable character, even when he’s aged a lot through the decades!

I’ve started collecting 2,000ad since way over a decade or so (2003/2004?) buying my first issue when I was really young (couldn’t really understand it back then to be honest). Then I brought my next issue in 2009 when I noticed it was in my local newsagent, and finally I found a whole stack of old issues at an antique shop in 2013. As to this day I’m still hunting down any classic issues that might appear in car boot sales or antique shops.

Why do I collect 2,000ad comics? It’s because I feel connected to the publication more than Marvel and DC. Yes, both publishers are top of the comic book industry and influence in the industry. However, I’ve lost interest in these two after reboots to their universes, which made me feel like I’ve wasted my interest in their characters and lore progression.

2,000ad on the other hand is different, it’s main star, Judge Dredd is a continuing story that throws all sorts of story’s and situations in the post apocalyptic America. For example in Prog 507 (prog meaning ‘program’) story about an Italian mobster boss known as Giovanni, who wants a Taxidermist to stuff his deceased goons body’s without the judges knowing. weird right?

However, the publication does have its flaws, as many antagonist characters in the story arcs are killed off or in prison, making it hard to re introduce these foes to the story. Whilst Judge Death is an eternal character, he can’t be overused for every story, or else be a boring villain. But never the less, Judge Dredd is certainly an interesting and unique comic run that aims to show no mercy to it antagonists. 

But what’s my favourite 2,000ad prog series? Well it’s actually a weird name to those who have never heard of it, but my favourite series is the ABC Warriors! Why you may ask? It’s because of the many personalitys that are shown within the featured characters in the series. Some are badass, others tragic, and some just plain psychotic. 

Whilst I’ve only glimpsed at a few combined issues from the series, it’s still impressive how much efforts the writers and artist put into each story part in the series arcs. My personal favourite is Prog 581, an absolutely jaw dropping display of art work by Simon Bisley. I recommend having a look at this issue yourself, as I can’t describe how detailed the art is in my own words.

[off topic paragraph on the Dredd movie, skip to the next paragraph if your not interested] I’ve even seen the Dredd movie (not the Stallone one……) which really captured the essence and tone of the Judge Dredd universe. Karl urban nailed the performance of Dredd from its source material, and for once was a film that was really enjoyable. Sadly, as many of you will know there won’t be a sequel due to its low box office result. Such a shame, the film was probably the best cinematography I’ve seen. Personally, I feel it should have had a second chance to really show itself as a contender in the comic book movie industry. But I guess it’ll be just a dream now.

Anyway, back to the subject. I think now is the time to show you guys what comics I’ve collected on 2,000ad. [Note: issue cover art, content and publication belong to 2,000ad and its respective creators. I dont own the art nor content within the issues. These are shown for visual display only]

Yup, quite a few comics, not a horde of comics but just a few in my collection, Spanning from 1986 to 2014. The reason why I haven’t brought any new issues is due to being distracted from buying them, and spending more time getting books and Table top miniature collection. But then again, do I need to buy new issues?  Feel happy with what I’ve gotten, incomplete story’s yes, but never the less a pleasure to look at now and then when I want to see some nostalgic comic books. 

Not only that, but I want to preserve these comics to future generations who want to see a piece of history. I feel it’s my obligation to make sure people see what creative talent was like back when the issue was made, showing what comics were like back in that decade it was produced. 

Whilst comic books of today have evolved from the use of inking and colouring to newer digital mediums, i still think the traditional use of comic book art is still amazing even to this day. 

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I hope you guys have enjoyed this very personal blog post on my particular interest in 2,000ad comics. I felt it was a great way of introducing old and new reads to something that they might want to have a look at. 

If you have stories to share on your experience with this subject, or even post you have made on your collection. Don’t hesitate to share your thoughts and opinions. 

I hope to see you guys again soon!

-Bjorndovah

[Note: I do not own the following; characters, story arcs and series mentioned in this post. They are owned by 2,000ad and its respective creators]