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 3: Ro-Jaws in the style of Kevin O’Neill

Line Marker sketch

Digital art clean up and changes

Light grey shading

Colour version using digital art app Procreate

Today I have a third tribute artwork based on the creation of Pat Mills A.B.C Warriors, this time I’ve done everyone’s favourite loud mouth, Ro-Jaws.

I did Ro-Jaws in the style of Kevin O’Neil because I liked how Ro-Jaws looked In Kevin’s artwork in Nemesis the Warlock (also created by Pat Mills and Kevin O’Neil). The style is simple yet full of character for characters like Nemesis, Torquemada, Ro-Jaws and many others.

Next up, a tribute artwork for both the late Carlos Ezquerra and one of the A.B.C Warriors most sickest monster, it can only be General Black Blood.

Until next time,

-Bjorn

A.B.C Warriors tribute art, part 2: Joe Pineapples in the style of Simon Bisley

Rough sketch using one of Simon Bisley’s artwork of Joe as a reference (the one where he’s holding his badass rifle!)

Using Line Markers (0.3/ 0.8) to trace over the pencil sketch, then erasing the pencil marks to clean up the drawing.

Originally I was going to use a black pen marker to fill in the shadows, but I didn’t have any to spare and my line markers won’t be good enough for the job. So I used Procreate digital art app to fill in the shading areas in an oriental brush.

Continuing on with my A.B.C Warriors tribute art series, I’ve done my second artwork in the style of Simon Bisley for the best assassin bot, Joe Pineapples.

Joe Pineapples is a A.B.C Warrior who first appeared in the the series first prog, written by Pat Mills for 2000AD back in 1979 in prog #119. It wasn’t until Simons art run that Joe had a redesign to make him look more punk and sleeker, emphasising on his assassin qualities.

I wanted to recreate the scene where Joe uses his sniper rifle, but I’ve cropped my recreation as I’m terribly bad at full body anatomy composition. Originally I was going to use pen and black ink, but I didn’t have any black ink to spare, so I used digital art to cover the bigger shaded areas.

Next up, should I do Ro-Jaws or retired version of the A.B.C Warriors leader, Hammerstein? I think going for the Ro-Busters era would be awesome to try out!

Until next time,

-Bjorn

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

Book reading challenge 2019, progress so far

Back in February I did a post on my 2019 book reading challenge, after last years biggest record of reading books of twelve in total. This year I wanted to beat that record by reading more books, and expand my interests into literature.

So how have I done so far?

Well, I’ve done a lot of reading so far, a lot more faster than I used to read. In fact I’ve noticed how quicker I am at reading books and how I’m more imaginative reading the action/ character developments.

Here’s what I’ve read so far this year.

  • The Rats, by James Herbert
  • Lair, by James Herbert
  • Domain, by James Herbert
  • Chacarodons: The Outer Dark, by Robbie Mcniven
  • The Horus Heresy: Galaxy in Flames, by Ben Counter
  • The Horus Heresy: Crimson Fist, by John French
  • Nagash: The Undying King, by Josh Reynolds
  • Legacy of Dorn, by Mike Lee
  • Elric of Melniboné, by Michael Moorcock
  • A knight and his horse, by Ewart Oakshott

Ten books read so far! It’s only month four of twelve and I’m already near over the record mark! I must admit I wasn’t sure if I could read as much book with enough enthusiasm and interest. But I’m actually enjoying reading books now that I’m using instrumental music as background noise when I’m reading, as well as setting daily/weekly goals to read a certain amount of pages.

I’ve still got many more books to read yet before the year is done, I’m now planning on setting a goal of re-reading books I’ve read years ago. This is a fun way of having a new perspective on books that I’ve read before, and learn things that I’ve missed out on my first read.

For example, I’m currently reading Warhammer End Times: Return of Nagash, by Josh Reynolds, which covers the first of five stories in the apocalyptic event that broke the Old World. Last time I read this book was way back in 2014/ 2015, so there’s been enough of a gap since I’ve read it to consider trying it a second read. Oh Mannfred, such an ambitious schemer and a fool you were!

Until next time!

-Bjorn

The Rats and The City

Today I’ve found an old comic book from a comic store, but this isn’t your usual superhero story or even a Judge Dredd story (but I was very close to getting a Judge Dredd comic today!). Rather than buying my usual favourite comic books by 2,000ad, my eye was attracted by another comic that was just barely visible in the stacks. What I found was none other than The City, by James Herbert.

At first glance I thought I’ve found an Alien comic with strange alien, like architecture similar to the space jockey ship interior. However when I pulled it out of the comic stack, I was shocked to see this was actually a post apocalyptic comic book story.

I’ll be honest and say that I didn’t flick through the book to see if I liked it before purchase. It was in a protective pocket and I didn’t want to open it case the shop owner got angry. Anyways, what made me but this over Judge Dredd Yearbook (I think it was 1994?) was the sheer enormity of the front cover with it’s beautiful illustration. The back synopsis whilst very short was also very tempting to take a read.

So I brought this comic book and began to follow the isolation of a travellers journey into the city.

My impressions on the book overall?

The story telling is very limited throughout with only a few texts in each page, describing the journey the Traveller goes on. It’s difficult understanding what the characters goals are as it’s not mentioned until halfway through the story. By then, once it’s revealed that the protagonist is trying to rescue his family in the city, the empathy for the horror that takes place only works for the shock value. Any character building and the relationships is none existent, making you feel like you’ve missed out on those connections.

However, this isn’t to say that this comic book isn’t worth reading (well visually looking since there’s hardly much reading involved) as the art is the books strongest aspect. Ian Miller’s artistic talent is outstanding in the way he illustrates the downfall of the city from the landscape to the people who inhabit it. The buildings are crumbling with contorted structure that look eerie, with a mix of abomination like faces like a nightmare brought to life.

The use of colours is also used to great effect in the way Ian uses a mix of greys, dark blues, blacks and other dull colours to create a morbid and degraded city scape. Contrasting with the blood red sky really impacts the visual presentation of an alien like world, far from what our worlds environment and city scape looks like.

The main protagonist is also designed and coloured in a way as not to be a heroic good guy, or a badass action hero, but a lone man in a tin suit of armour. His humanity is hidden behind the suit disguising his true emotions throughout the first half of the story. He is an alien to the city, for he is a rust orange tin man in contrast to the grey and dull world that he contrasts to. When we do eventually see his true identity in the flesh, even he looks as dead and defeated as the rest of the people that suffer from the post apocalyptic nightmare.

As for James Herbert’s story telling, whilst I’ve mentioned above that there’s a lack story telling, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. These days we get dumped exposition in movies and books that drivel on about too much information, and by the time that’s done you feel bored or just distracted. However, The City gives you hardly any exposition dumps, instead the city and the action tells the story that you can piece together the world you see.

The back synopsis combined with the story makes sense as to what the story is about. It’s not a revolutionary story telling by no means, and it does lack context as to how the apocalyptic war started. There a reason why there’s a lack of information, but I’ll elaborate on that later on.

Overall, I’d recommend giving this a try if your into the illustration story based comic books, the art is worth observing and see the effort that’s been done to illustrate this story’s world. The story can be a downside to the book, it’s not terrible to the point of unreadable, it’s good if your wanting a short story to read.

What I found out afterwards

After reading this comic book, I wanted to find out more about this comic book and its creators. So I did some research and was surprised at what I’ve found, and it made more sense now that I look back on The City.

The City is a loose continuation of James Herbert’s best selling book trilogy series that started with his first book written, The Rats. Now I haven’t read The Rats in full, nor the two sequels from the series, but from what I can gather it’s clear what James had crafted.

The City is the result of what takes place from the trilogy, it’s a visual aftermath of what happen after the apocalypse, the main threat was the Rats. It’s the first and only graphic novel for The Rats book series, and the last story in the franchise.

I’m keen to find the books and read them myself now that I’ve found out more about the fictional world that James had created. If I didn’t pick up The City today, I would never have known about this flawed but beautiful and dark graphic novel.

With that, I’m going to wrap up today’s post and call it a night. Thank you for reading this post, and if you know about James Herbert and Ian Millers works, or The Rats trilogy, share your thoughts below in the comment section.

Until next time!

-Bjorn

12 days of Winter: day ten, change of plans

Originally I was going to dedicate day ten as a gathering of my Sacrosanct Chamber and Nighthaunt models into a photo final. However, plans were changed after I found this softcover comic….

A first edition print by Titanbooks in 1983, Judge Death collects all of the ‘Return of Judge Death’ storyline created by John Wagner and Brian Bolland. This softcover comic collection features Judge Death, a Dark Judge from alternate dimension called Deadworld, who punishes all for their crimes by living, and sentenced to death!

A lot of the imagery in the storyline is iconic not only in the history of Judge Dredd, but also for the Dark Judges who have been a thorn in Dredd side for many years. The first introduction of the Dark Judges is quite horrifying and cool at the same time, as they stand together in a two page spread like they’ve got your attention (almost like a horror film).

My first proper introduction to the Dark Judges was The Dark Judges book one: The Fall of Deadworld, a prequel story that explores the decline and nightmarish world of Deadworld. It’s a fun comic book story which shows your a darker world that’s even worse than Megacity one’s average citizens life. I’m still waiting for book two to be released at my local book shop!

I’m eager to read this story along with the Judge Dread Megazine comics through Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

That’s all for today! I think this year has been a 2,000AD thrill ride finding old comic, and buying new progs for ABC Warriors and Savage storylines. I’m hoping 2019 will be just as good if not better!

Join me tomorrow as we reach the second to last 12 days of Winter post series. Until next time!