Monday, 23 July 2012

Inside The Engine Room


Seeing how much you all loved my step-by-step Owl intro (slight sarcasm there :)
Here’s a step by step of how I designed the Swordsman intro page...

Again another character who’s not in that many comics with good big images to choose from (that’s why we commissioned a fresh cover), so some jiggery-pockery was needed to produce a page 2 (in my mind the second most important image needed after the cover, third being the main image on page 10 Amazing Secrets).

So I came across an old black and white pic from issue 7 of FOOM magazine (by Dave Cockrum).

Did the best I could colouring it up using my basic skills.

Then I thought “what if he was ripping through the page?”
Found this image from Essential Avengers. Perfect.

 Although it took some cloning and redrawing to get a full ‘rip’ image.

Cobbled together some Swordsman related panels as the backdrop. (I also economically re-used this throughout magazine as backgrounds).

  Took the word balloon from Swordy’s first appearance Avengers 19 (I also used the Kirby drawn figure on page 10-11).

Designed a simple logo.
 Fit all the pieces together (bust him over the text for full effect!) and you have an effective page 2 for your magazine.

Or you could let the professionals have a go...


Final Shaman cover art courtesy of Andie Tong

Final design WBN

Final design Vance Astro

Trapster Final design

Made the logo from this recent Deadpool cover. I think you'll agree it's gooey stuff.


Thanks for the forum poll and all your comments on who should be the final special.

Again I must re-iterate, EM management will make the final decision.

We haven’t come to decision yet, but we are narrowing the field down, I will reveal the final player in the game as soon as I know for sure.


Hey Stan’s a collector too!...

Thursday, 5 July 2012


Yippee! We have been given another special!

I have come up with a shortlist for the management to choose from.

They will be looking a price points (sizes) and overall saleability of the particular character, so we wait with anticipation their choice(s).

The 6 options we gave were:

Strong Guy
Groot & Rocket Raccoon (not a double pack - RR would be on his shoulder or something)

I looked at the forum polls as well as blog votes, also overall deserve-abiltiy and visual power.
I did want to maybe give the option of Red Hulk or Planet Hulk, but there seemed very little fan interest in those (although I would imagine they may sell well to the wider audience?)

I think this a good mix from which to choose from - EM management decision will be final (with a hopefully a little input from Rich and myself - I have my personal favs, but I'm glad it's not my final decision).

Thanks for all those still with us - there's life in the old dog yet.

'Variant' Covers

Every month Diamond Previews requests the latest covers for their catalogue, they work a good few months ahead of me, so as such I haven't always got a cover image ready to send them. So I do a mock-up cover featuring whatever artwork I can quickly get my hands on to create a realistic visual representation of the character. Here are some recent 'variants' that will only be used in Previews...

We had planned to commission new art for J.J.J., but hadn't got around to it by the time Previews wanted a cover, so I found this rather animated shot on google (later discovered it was from the Ultimate Spider-Man universe), Editor John Tomlinson kindly donated his signiture for the logo (which I later dumped for a font based logo).

Another one we were still to commission, eventually became the page 2 image. Actually makes a very fine cover...

Used the '80s handbook image for this one, with the cover to Avengers #19 for a background. Not bad but, not up to standards as a final cover. (note the 'the' was dropped on final logo). This pic of Swordy was eventually used on page 3.

Andie Tong will eventually do a fresh cover for Shaman, but for Previews I went with his figure sketch with a tundra background cribbed from Snowbird's issue. Again actually quite nice - but I'm sure Andie's new cover will be more dynamic and much bettererererer.

Hey, here it is...

We got Steven Butler to do the Terrax wraparound, but I threw together this cover in it's absence.

The final art wasn't ready for Tiger Shark so I did a quick colouring up of John Royle's sketch.
(NB. I didn't like my initial logo so went for some original comic book lettering on the final cover).

Hope your enjoyed this little trip through the inner workings of the CMFC.

 Th-th-th-the that's all f-f-folks!