Saturday, 29 December 2012

Lovely Chrimbo present

I had the Joe Kubert's "Tarzan of the Apes" artist edition for Chrimbo.
And bloody lovely it is too.
Got meself the start of a collection I think.
Wally Wood's EC Stories,
Archie Goodwin and Walt Simonson's "Alien adaption"
and now this.
Jack Davis next I think...

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Making of a cover. Part 1.

Some thoughts and a bit of the process that goes into creating a cover.
I'd done about 5 sketches, different ideas, just getting a feel for it really
and sent them to Dave West (writer Extraordinaire) about his thoughts...
I got a favourite image but I wanted Dave's take on it...
It didn't take too long and we both pretty much settled on this one.

So I went back to the drawing board to do some figure sketches of the 4 characters: -

                                                        I really like the tentacles here.

                             To get Black to look like he was sinking was more difficult than I thought.

To get the proportions right and just to get the look of Black floating/sinking in the water (and believe me when I say it wasn't easy).
 Also, I wanted to nail the look of the mermaids and I really liked the look of them in the third image, with tentacles at the side of their mouths...
The better to grab on to Black's face but then I thought it might become a distraction, especially when the image is reduced to comic size...
Or worse becomes so indistinquishable as to what they were it would unbalance the picture.
Your eye would be drawn to their faces.
So finally, a bit of lightboxing and a lot of eraser use later and I get this image.
And I'm ready to ink.
I upload it in Manga Studio...create an inking layer and begin.
You can either reduce the transparency of the image or change it to another colour to make it easier.
Took it nice and slow and fourty minutes later...
 I like what I'm doing so carry on, if I hadn't I would have deleted it and started again.
And now I got this finished image of Black

Now I know I might have to alter the size later so I leave Black on a layer on his own and open a 2nd layer
for mermaid no 1...

Like so. Then opened another layer for mermaid no 2...

And finally a third layer for Mermaid no 3...

So that's the image finished (and the third mermaid is blue to help me see where she overlaps the other mermaids)..I can take out the blue anytime and turn it black again.
I need room for the title and credits, so I scale, twist and turn the three mermaids (each on their own layers) so everything will fit, like so...

For one final finished cover.
It now goes to Matt Soffe so he can work his colouring magic on it then to Andy Bloor who'll dazzle us with his design skills and add the title and credits.
And when I get those back I'll post 'em on this here blog.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Book 2 review

We got our first review down at the Birmingham Mail "Speech Balloons" fer WESTERNoir book 2 y'all...
Paul H Birch WesterNoir Book Two review at Maill:
Do ya self a favour and mosey on down to read what they gotta say about the book.
You ain't gonna be disappointed

Sunday, 9 December 2012

A little something to while away the time.

Not that I've got much spare time of late...
Got graphic novels coming out of me ears and of course, there's WESTERNoir,
but doing a few shorts and this is a page from one of them.
It's called "The Job". Written by Mark Cowling for "Dead Roots"
a zombie anthology.
Issue 1 is out now and you can find all about it here.

It's really is taking a bit too long to finish,but hopefully it will be done and dusted very very soon.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

WESTERNoir Book 3 cover

So book 2 is done and dusted, printed and on sale at Which means it's time to
start on book 3.
Script is mostly done, needs a bit of tweaking on Dave's part but I've
worked out the pacing and such and decided to start on the cover.

Did some sketches and then showed them to Dave and we discussed the pros and cons of each image
and finally settled on this one: -
So it's pencilled and next I'll put into Manga Studio and start inking it..
It'll be tweaked here and there...I'll probably reduce the mermaids slightly
and when I'm happy with it, send it off to Matt Soffe, who'll colour it.
He did such a cracking job on Book 2 that we definitely wanted him to carry on with us
if'n he was up or it.
And I'm pleased to say he is...
So now the next step is inking it...Which hopefully will be next week.
Actually might do abit of a "How I work" the cover being inked at various stages
and why I choose a certain way to do things.
Until next time...

Saturday, 1 December 2012

An Unlettered page 7

There's a lot of text that covers this page so I thought I'd show it
in all it's unlettered glory. 

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Book 2 OUT NOW

WESTERNoir book 2 is out now and available from those fine chaps at AccentUK
35 rip-roarin' action packed pages of Josiah Black VS them Gator Boys of the Louisiana Swamp.
Can't go wrong with that now, can ya?
So mosey on over at
'nd tell 'em I sent ya.

£3.50 plus postage an' ya can't git no fairer than that.
$5 USD fer them that live over the waters in that there United States of America

Friday, 9 November 2012

A Corker of a Review

WesterNoir Issue 1 gets a great review over at Book 2 is at the printers as I type so all's good fer Thought Bubble, which is next weekend 17th-18th November.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

WESTERNoir book 2

Here's another panel from book 2.
All the pages are being collated into a PDF and hopefully
sent to the printers ASAP.
All looking good.
Oh yes, and I've had a sneak peak at the script of book 3.
Can't wait ta start..

Saturday, 20 October 2012


A necessary evil I suppose...
 Book 2 of WESTERNoir is finished (bar the edits, spelling mistakes, grammar that sort of thing)
 I actually wanted to finish it end of September but alas it wasn't to be...
3 weeks overdue...
Lucky it was a deadline I set myself and hopefully it'll all be printed in time for next month's
Thought Bubble.
So latest news is...
 Had a bit of a mini editorial last night.
Met with Dave West (the writer) to talk some AccentUk stuff and WESTERNoir stuff.
It was the first time Dave had seen the completed Book 2...And I think he liked it.

We also discussed where we can take old Josiah...

We discussed up to book 8....(yea I know long way off, at least 3 years away but you gotta have plans in place).
And we are certainly gonna put Mr Black through the ringer (as they say).
He's up fer some tough times ahead of him.

So just putting all the pages in Dropbox to send it to the magnificent Andy Bloor to work his Designer skills on it...
And then on to book 3.
Oh that reminds me.
Better start working on the cover.
No rest for the artist is there.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

WESTERNoir Book 2 update.

I'm rattling through the pages of the second book of WESTERNoir.
Still on schedule to finish end of September...
All 35 pages have been worked on, some pages more complete than others and Dave West is happy with the art so that's all that matters.
Here's a panel from the beginning of the story.
And yes he's just finished "the deed"
Will post more images on a more regular basis...I hope.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

WESTERNoir Book 2

Here's the finished cover to Book 2 coloured by the immensly talented Matt Soffe.
Isn't it terrific...Certainly makes the image shine.
I love it.

Monday, 13 August 2012

R.I.P Joe Kubert

One of the all-time giants of the industry.
We will not see his like again.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Cover fer book 2

Here's the Black and white cover to WESTERNoir book 2.

Hope y'all like it.
The cover has been coloured by a rather special artist and I'll post it very very soon.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Starburst likes WESTERNoir

There is a review of WESTERNoir book 1 in the latest issue of Starburst magazine (issue 379)

and here it is.
Bugger now this means the rest will have to be better to top it.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

WESTERNoir Book 2

Plot plotted, script written and we're away for book 2 of Josiah Black's tales.
And here's a snippet to prove it.
Planning to have it finished for September and printed up to be released at Thought Bubble in November, although there might be a sneaky signing at Travelling Man in Manchester before then.

Friday, 6 July 2012

WesterNoir Review over on the Accent UK Comics Facebook group

Thought I'd post a review from Lazy Bones Studios' Ken Thomas that has been posted over on Facebook.
I asked for a non-spoiler review and Ken sure spades.
Cheers Ken....

WesterNoir by Dave West and Gary Crutchley. (Review)

I have always liked a good... western.........and loved a great western. Which brings us to WesterNoir. The hook was equally great between the Name as well as the Cover Art. All that was left was to actually read it.

Many a book are in my position with the intent to someday read. Unfortunate for most in that they will remain in that state of promise as titles like WesterNoir so easily claw their way to the front of the line.

To Mr. Crutchley & Mr. West I tip my hat in respect for a job not well done but rather extraordinarily so.

The tale WesterNoir is centered on a man, a hard man named Josiah Black. Josiah has spent his life on both sides of right and wrong. Some say Josiah's life has left his soul calloused with sin others say it is like his name, black & dead. In spite of his rugged spit in your eye disposition, it was always tempered with a sense of honor. A man of honor always pays his matter how great. These things are the essence of Josiah Black and are his driving force as that of the story.

This story works and plays out at a pace where you find yourself anxious to finish and turn to the page. My only regret is that I only have Book I and it has infected me with that itch, that question that begs to be answered "What happens next?"

Bravo mates, Ken (Lazy Bones)

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Hard County Update

I've had a bit of time and I decided to finish off chapter 3 of Hard Country.
Now this tale has been a time in it's tellin' and it's still not finished, another chapter to do yet.
But it's a project close to me heart and I aims to finish it soon.
But until that day here's a page all inked up from Chapter 3.
I hope ya like it.
No words cuz I wouldn't want ta spoil it fer ya.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

CKMT pin up.

CKMT is a cable show in the US that has a horror slot which shows movies, hosts live bands and reviews comics. Around Halloween time they plan to release a comic anthology...horror (what else?) and here's a pin-up I did for them. It was a rush job, last minute type of thing...Something to do with them being a page short so they asked me. I was also asked if I lay out a 7 page tale for the book, which I've done.
There will be more info when I'm told more but fer now...just enjoy the picture.

Friday, 8 June 2012

WESTERNoir review.

Josiah Black has been reviewed on
So why don't y'all jest mosey on over and lissen awhile.
It's a great review even if'n I do say so meself.
So along with and we seem to have got things right with it.

Friday, 1 June 2012

WESTERNoir on ya IPad.

You can now download WesterNoir on your iPAD, in advance of it going into PREVIEWS.

If you like it and want the physical copy then we'll be letting you know when to pop into your comic store and ask them to order a copy ... you can get details on LUSH Comics through their website at lush-comics if you don't already have the app.

Friday, 25 May 2012


2OMBIES went on sale at KaPow last weekend and it was a sell-out which is great news.
I'm rather pleased with my own little contribution HELLS NAZIS written by that talented bod, John Halfpenny.
We had a huge amount of fun working this tale out, so much so there is talk of bringing Sergeant X back.
I'd love to create a GORELORD's just the sort of comic Britain should be doing.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

We have a winner.

For the release of WESTERNoir from AccentUK last weekend at KaPow I drew an A3 pencil drawing of the main character Josiah Black, with the intention of raffling it off over the weekend.
Everyone who purchased a copy of WESTENoir got a raffle ticket (those that purchased the special "sketch" copy got two tickets.)
Now, I only attended Saturday so I missed the actual draw on Sunday, but Dave West and Colin Mathieson assure me it went all above board (which means Dave didn't win).
I don't know who did win they haven't told me yet but I hope he likes his page of art.
The only problem now is that they want a different image for every convention they attend, because it was quite successful and a lot of books were shifted.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Promo stuff

Not an actual review but a plot outline in it with no spoilers.
It's cracking  almost campared with the likes of Peckinpah and Lansdale...sort of..
But I'm taking it if the comparison is offered.

Monday, 14 May 2012

We settled on this one.

After a bit of tooing and froing Jim O'Hara  (the writer) and I have decided to go with this cover.
Quite minimilistic but hopefully one that will get noticed,
Here it is in all it's glory...

Friday, 11 May 2012

Everything comes to those who wait.

I've been after this Art book from the extremely talented Alex Nino for near on 30 years. It came out at the same time as Bernie Wrightson's "A Look Back" and I could only afford one of them at the time, something like £35.
Lot a money way back when...
I've seen it for sale on bookstore sites for silly money, cheapest on at the moment is a little under $500, so you can understand my joy at recently buying it on Ebay for a whole lot less, in fact just over double what I would have original paid for it many moons ago.
I am indeed a lucky sod and completely cock-a-hoop delighted.

WESTERNoir: -First review

Sunday, 29 April 2012

In me grubby little hands

Oh my and they do look good.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Who would have believed it.

Not too long ago I was contacted by an amateur film-maker wanting to adapt one of my short stories in to a short movie.
When I managed to pick meself up off the floor, I said yes.
So my 4-page Zombie tale of mourning over a past life "Job Satisfaction" is in production.
Pretty bloody amazing.
I did it,originally, the old fashioned way. Pencil and ink on real paper then I stuck down the cut out speech bubbles.
I had to redraw it because he wanted a version without speech balloons, so he could create a working storyboard and it took me about 4 days to do...
Easy really just a matter of tracing it in Manga Studio.
The film maker's name is Stuart Fitzsimmons and he's created a facebook page of the delvelopment of the movie... go on the search space on Facebook and type in...
 "Job Satisfaction: The Film"
There's lots of interesting stuff to look at and amazingly there's already 238 members.
I'm still in shock that this is really happening.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

We have a cover

Now the first issue of WESTERNoir is off at the printers, I can concentrate on other stuff...
like the cover to SIX MONTHS.
Here it is, in all it's black and white glory.

Friday, 6 April 2012

NOW it's finished.

So, here I am telling the world that WESTERoir featuring Josiah Black is done and dusted...
And it's not.
Not quite.
Dave West (writer and publisher) decided that he wanted to up the page count of the first book to 36 pages...
A printing thing...something about wanting it square bound and not stapled.
So we needed four extra pages,
I didn't want pin-ups, that would detract from the Beastiary (What's that you cry) and I thought
doing splash pages in the main tale would upset the flow, so I suggested we do a complete little tale
with one of the supporting characters...
And here it is.
Written by Dave, art and letters by yours truly...all done in four days...
Not to bad eh?

So finally (he said with fingers crossed) WESTERNoir book 1 featuring Josiah Black is finished.
(I hope you're listen' Dave)

Sunday, 1 April 2012


A picture of me yougest who wanted to be "Zombiefied" (go figure), so here's something I knocked up pretty quick in Manga Studio.

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Wally Woods EC stories artist edition

This came for me this week and it's wonderful.
I've spent the last few days lost in those glorious pages..

Monday, 26 March 2012


Josiah Black is done and dusted...all the edits edited, all my typos fixed and now Andy is working his magic to make it printable. I'll be having a final editorial meeting with Dave, Colin and Andy (AccentUK) on Friday over a drinks and some very tasty food.
So what's next...
Well I'm back on Hard Country and Six Months... trying to do as much as I can before other projects kick in. This is a detail from the first page on chapter 3 of Hard Country...but I'm sure you figured that out fer yourselves.
It's a very busy time and I love it.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Josiah Black Book 1

Well, Josiah Black is finished..Pencil, inked and lettered. Sent it off today to be fiddled with and tweaked and edited by Dave West and Andy Bloor...
I really hope they like it. Once I get the all clear I may show some more pages.
Of course I 'll update y'all about the printing process and such until I have a copy in me sweaty little hands.
And then, importantly, how to get one when it goes on sale.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Josiah Balck

Here's the cover of WesterNoir all coloured and designed up by the very talented Andy Bloor.
It's good in it?