Wednesday, 27 March 2013

just popping in to say hello/goodbye...

Hey bet ya thought I was gone forever?

I've been more busy than ever over the last month working on issues 8 and 10 of the Marvel Fact-Files (my first issues). Yes the secret is out - that's my destiny for the next 2 years!!!!

There are 4 of us (2 editors and 2 designers) split into 2 teams doing alternate issues to try and manage the weekly schedule. I work on the even numbered issues, but we all chip in and plan the issues together and try our best to make sure they are coherent and factually correct (not always possible on such a tight schedule!)

Like you guys, I was sceptical of it's merits in regard to the CMFC.
Having now worked on it for a month I am beginning to see how this could turn into a really nice collection. Of course it's never going to replace the CMFC, but as something to work on it's better than' Chandeliers Of The World' (I made that up btw). And it's something for Marvel fans to hopefully get in to.
The first issue has done better than expected and it seems to be a success at this early stage.
Bare in mind there are lots of new Marvel fans out that that didn't even know the CMFC existed!

I'm not a total EM drone, so I do have certain (personal) problems with it (mainly 32 pages every 2 weeks as opposed to the CMFC 16 pages, which takes a lot of work, you might say "ah but you don't have to deal with the figurines" But, I do have to commission the gate-fold cutaway artworks that grace every issue - so that takes up a shit load of time in research and communicating with the artists involved. (Just commissioned a War Machine armour cutaway and Dr. Strange's Sanctum Santorium.)
It's also very complicated trying to get your head around the way the thing comes together in the folders - every card has it's coded place in the chapters - so this can get a bit tedious. Also I thought a thicker even laminated card would be better than the thin paper, but hey who am I to stand in the way of progress :)

Here's a very, very rough idea for the Sanctum Santorium. This was scrapped in favour of a full length shot of the whole building with cutaway views of all the levels.

And here's just a detail from the War Machine cutaway...

I'm not going to turn this blog into a Fact Files advert - so don't worry I won't be updating regularly, just thought you'd like to know what's going on.

As for the competition I STILL WANT TO DO IT and I have a simple plan to execute, hopefully I will get around to it soon (imagines picture of Sonic the Hedgehog crossed arms tapping foot).

It will involve a 2 part question to be e-mailed with name and address and I will reward the first 10 with correct answers prizes beyond you wildest dreams (or a broken Crystal perhaps). I've got a box of various figurines that will be shared out amongst the luck few! PS the 10 winners will be in descending order of prizes (e.g first place gets 6 figurines, 2nd 4, 3rd 3 or whatever).

Anyway best get back to the real job. All the best for now and Make Mine Marvel!

Friday, 8 February 2013

It's been emotional.

I’ve officially designed my last bit for the CMFC (pgs14-15 for issues 199 (see pics). I’ve still got little bits here and there to finish off, but I’m pretty much done with this legendary collection that I’ve been proud to work on for the last 8 years of my life! Has it been that long?

Here’s a couple of other (unfinished) pages from Deathbird’s issue...

Sadly (for me) the honour of designing issue 200 (Hela) has been given to long time comics geek and EM design guru James Britnell (with my efforts reduced to the front and back cover) - What I’ve seen so far looks top notch. James has been working with us on the Marvel Figurines and the DC collections aswell as a lot of the web design for EM. Thanks for your efforts James. I'm sure we will work together soon...

Talking of soon... I on the other hand have been asked to start on another project asap. I’ll still be logging on to the blog from time to time (until they pull the plug permanently).
Still have a comp to do aswell at some point!!!

So this will be the last update in an official capacity (has it ever really been though?).

It’s been a blast. Dan out.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Flaking out!

Hello and welcome to 2013. I'm a bit late for the party, but I've been so busy getting the last three issues out in the time it normally takes to do two (go figure), I'm working at burn out speeds. (What I'm lined up to work on after CMFC will be even worse! but apparently it's the way things are going in the industry!

I've not had time to put anything of major interest together for an update (the full list of sculptors is a work in progress, and the competition needs an investment of at least half a day - but I will hopefully find time to pull it together soon).

Anyway, going back to the Deathbird cover I was struggling with before Xmas - I decided we had the budget for one last cover commission - So I asked Jack Lawrence to do one last girlie cover for us

Et voila...

Thanks Jack for your work on this and all previous covers (including: Valkyrie, Impossible Man, Moondragon, Viper, Jocasta, Spiral and probably some others I've missed?).


And here's the sculpt.
(btw I think she's got one of the best derriere's in the collection!)

So until I get time to breath again, make mine CMarvelFC!

Monday, 10 December 2012

Spidey on the web!

Thought I'd preview the final Spider-Man 2099 cover and figurine turnarounds...


With a bit of research I found this image (on the web) that I thought might make a nice cover.

So I did a quick lo-res mock up to see if it worked (removing the words balloons and background figure)...

It worked really well, there was space over his webbing cape for the masthead and a nice bit of room under his hand for his logo)! so I ordered the actual real comic (from the web), scanned it, cloned out the word balloons etc and removed all the colour (leaving just the black line art).

I can do basic colouring, but this baby needed a real pro job to bring it to life - Chris Blythe did the honours...

Amazing job Chris. 'nuff said.


The last one in the collection from Sculptor Dene Mason.
I was always impressed with Dene's sculpts, as he always wanted to make each one different and individual, I think he achieved it with this fella, quite difficult to give action and motion to a character like Spider-Man standing still (when we usually see him clinging to a wall of swinging through the sky). I think it's a beautiful sculpt and really shows off the characters excellent costume. I'm in the process of drawing up a list of what sculptors did what figurine for a later blog update, so you can see who did who!

Catch you in the web soon....


Friday, 30 November 2012

Hi chaps, as you know we are no longer working on any new figurines (I think we're waiting for final photography of Hela and Deathbird), so very little to preview for you guys. Here's some designs I've been working on this week.

My working design for the final issue. Nice bit of Art Adams.

Struggling to come up with a good Deathbird cover (these are very rough ideas so ignore wrong issue number and quality etc), the Jim Lee X-Men version seems to best, although she's in a different costume to the figurine (would have to get an artist to clone out the word balloons and re-colour).
The other one has Vulcan in it, so I'm not too keen on that either. Any views welcome!

Design for the Skurge box sleeve.

That's all for now.

PS been reading some of your replies and I'm not in management or marketing (I just do the figurines and magazines -  the fun stuff!), so I have nothing knowledgable to add to your comments and ideas about extending the collection. As far as I know issue 200 and Skurge will be the last CMFC issues and very little can be done to change that. Who knows in future they may relaunch the collection.


Friday, 16 November 2012

Movember's star guest is....


cover and turnarounds...

Alan Cowsill (original CMFC editor) now freelance editor (who does the specials out of house) came in earlier this week and we both went through our library of comics hunting down his appearances. Worryingly he's not got a great presence in comics (about 75 official appearances, although over half of those are pretty awful one panel flashbacks etc.). So good luck to Gary Gilbert the designer of this special (he's a legend so I'm not worried really).

This cover image was THE only hi-res image of him on Marvel's official art database, which luckily works really well as the cover (I think we'll also use it as one side of the poster).

Anyway, here are the full turnaround shots from our photographer Simon Anning...

A nice one for the specials to end on (what with Hela being the last regular).

Working covers for #197 and #198 (getting nearer to the end!)

 This is from issue 3 of his series by Rick Leonardi, I'm hoping to get it re-coloured so it will look a lot slicker in the final version.

 One of Jim Cheung's many amazing Young Avengers covers, I have (cleverly) knocked back the rest of the gang so as to highlight monsieur Wiccan.

All the best for now. I will return asap – with hopefully some more fascinating insights into the final days of the CMFC.