Scenes from my current project. Painting a mural up eight flights of stairs in the studio building where I work in Dalston, Hackney. The mural is designed to show how the Bootstrap Company (who runs the building) engages with the local community, helps start-ups to thrive and provides below-market-rate studio spaces. It’s a great place to work, and I have been here going on seven years now. April 2016
My brother George, who is a paramedic in Sheffield, commissioned me to draw a cartoon about some of the stressful encounters met by the ambulance service. It was specifically intended to show how noisy and chaotic some scenes can be, and in all this, the medic is trying to think clearly and responsibly.
I am really pleased with this. It feels like it hits the mark, showing lots of noise and confusion, yet in a legible manner. Pen and ink on A4 marker paper.
Page detail from book three which I really like. It’s funny how some drawings start by being unimportant to me – just something to get out of the way to get the story to progress – but after some work and some patient inking, they end up being my favourite.
This scene where Harry and Venus show up and surprise the group is a drawing I am very proud of. It’s great how Venus’s skirt creates a dynamic composition.
Diana’s face in the top two frames are beginning to show the fruits of my studying US comic artist J Scott Campbell’s women. The Mice by Roger Mason Posted 17/7/15
Watch the film here:
These storyboards were commissioned by Unit 9 to describe a promotion which took place in Manchester on 10th September. A football juggler dressed as a samurai, and being chased by ninjas, juggled a football through the streets and ended up at Old Trafford, cavorting about on the pitch. They have to be some of my favourite recent drawings, and some of my coolest storyboards to date.
|Frontispiece illustration for the new Jasper Fforde book, The Eye of Zoltar|
Here is the complete illustration which is in Jasper Fforde’s new novel, the third in the Last Dragonslayer series, called the Eye of Zoltar. It features one of the characters, who happens to be an australopithecine, hanging onto the underside of a giant, flying beast.
It’s the frontispiece, so appears before the text. Fforde also asked me to draw three images for a promotional postcard set which I am hoping to get my hands on any day now. I am a big fan of Jasper’s books, the Thursday Next series in particular, and have enjoyed very much the Last Dragonslayer stories. Any fans of Harry Potter and His Dark Materials are well advised to check them out.
Whoops, left it a bit too long since my last post, what with the Christmas period and taking time off. I also wanted to leave the advert for The Mice book at the top of the pile as well.
Moving on into 2012, appropriately enough here’s an image I produced last summer. From time to time I work for Big Smoke Media, who are a London-based promotional company who create and stock the postcards that you find in a rack in restaurants, bars and cinemas in the South East, often while on the way to the loo.
It’s been great to know them and they have been kind enough to pay me with my own distributed postcard when I do an illustration for them. This is one for them, a take on the royal wedding. The postcard I had made subsequently featured the grinning soldier you will have seen at the top of this blog and I hope that if you have been in the city you may have seen either of them and taken one.
The Mice: The Factory Menace is now available to buy from Scar Comics online shop, here . £7.99, 80 pages, black and white, it is a complete story and also the first book in a proposed series of four, with the second book almost completed.
It tells the story of the giant alien factory Order Nine, and the humans who live there, who are treated like vermin and trying to fight off the aliens who, it must be said, don’t much care and hate their jobs. Humorous, action-packed, romantic and deadly, here are some reviews:
“Small press comics at its absolute best… 9 out of 10.”
“This is a gem and worth seeking out.”
“Roger Mason’s fully-formed future scenario pits tiny terrorists in the Land of the Giants against occupying alien forces. A rollicking SF epic brought to life with splendidly fluid chiaroscuro brushwork by one of the UK’s most exciting young talents.”
Gary Spencer Millidge, creator of Strangehaven
From 2007, when I was working with Red Bee Media at White City on the branding work for the TV channel BBC Three. The idea was to create a planet that the idents would feature different parts of and I was asked to help visualise this world.
Here are colour visuals of various parts of this imaginary world, including a rough layout, useful to let the team know I was on the same wavelength as them before investing more time in the image.
Recently I drew this commission for the boyfriend of a dancer who had won a part in the Batman Live Arena Tour, a significant career step and something to be marked. I came up with the concept, which was to feature Harley Quinn — I added Catwoman — and placed Michelle, the dancer, in between the two hellcats. After that, it seemed to create itself with these strong characters demanding me to go their way. Indian ink on A2 bristol board and a lot of fun to do.
I’ll be taking some time off from tomorrow, to re-charge my batteries after a particularly hectic bout of storyboarding, so I thought I would go out with a bang. To anyone who this image comes to as a complete shock I recommend you look at the DC Vertigo comic Preacher by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon.
A chap called Ryan Ballard is putting together a compendium of sketches based on the afore-mentioned comic, and I jumped at the chance to produce my take on Miss Oatlash and her sexual preferences. Ryan’s blog: http://thepreacherproject.blogspot.com/
Preacher is, in my opinion, one of the best entry points into modern comics and a highly entertaining, stomach-churning thrill ride with humour and a body count to match. Great story-telling from Dillon and a pin-sharp script from Irish writer Ennis, both of whom used to work for 2000AD. Apparently Ennis thinks his run on Judge Dredd wasn’t much cop (no pun intended), I thought it was great.
BICS went very well, sold 12 copies of The Mice and put one in the hands of Dave Gibbons.
Recently I produced seven key frame illustrations for film-maker Craig Murray who is making a music video for the band Set the Destroyer. I had fun with this, depicting a wasted young girl staggering up Kingsland Road, being sucked into a floor in a bunker and then being re-born up on a rooftop as a blond.
I think I need to see the video to work out what’s going on here and if you want to find out more about Craig’s work then go to www.youcameinhereastranger.com. Craig sits next to me in my studio in Dalston, in the Bootstrap Building, home also to the Dalston Roof Park. He doesn’t drink tea but isn’t averse to instant coffee in a plastic beaker, trivia fans.
This piece of paper has been flapping around in the drawing board vicinity for a few weeks. The judge’s face was originally facing forwards so we would be unable to see her face. It took me some time before I figured out that for me to be interested in taking it further, I would want to see her face, so I turned her head.
Many minutes have been spent on her bum and right leg. This is not a commission, I am just enjoying drawing female judges and am wondering if this is somehow not done to use an existing property on one’s blog – because in a way the Dredd tags may bring people to me, so will I get a snotty letter? – plus I’m musing on the fact that once upon a time I would have started inking this by now, rather than writing about it here.
Talking of kapows, another one has come along. Quick plug to say please have a look at this flyer, I will be hosting a life drawing class in Bromley by Bow this Sunday afternoon, mixing observational drawing with cartooning techniques that will help approach the figure and get better results. All are welcome.