Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Attack of the 50 Foot Japanese Lesbian by Bridgeen Gillespie
Bridgeen! Hooray! I first met Bridgeen after witnessing a Curb Your Enthusiasm-style email faux pas she made (I won’t embarrass her by revealing the details, but it was one of those mistaken ‘reply to all’ things) – I sent her my sympathies and we had a laugh about it and got chatting and became mates. Her work had actually caught my eye a few years ago, when she made a comic based on the Kate Bush song Rocket’s Tail, which is a great idea.
Bridgeen is one of the friendliest people in the small press, and everyone seems to know Bridgeen! She does comics about her creations Mr Maximo and Rabbit (www.koniption.blogspot.com and you can check out new stuff here http://www.derrywalls.blogspot.com/) and she’s worked on a specially commissioned project called ‘Stranger Danger’ which is a safety comic for kids. You can also see some of her creative writing here: http://www.elephantwords.co.uk/
Bridgeen only came on board Japandex on Sunday, but got this lovely pic together for me nice and quickly! So glad to have her involved!!
Okay, just one more pic to go, might take a couple of days…Plus a little something extra special… Stay tuned!
Monday, June 28, 2010
Japandexbot by Mark McKenzie Ray
Mark is another of my colleagues! He sits opposite me and we are both huge comic fans and Mark is an aspiring artist who is starting to draw more and more.
Mark worked on this for me and I absolutely love it - and it's the kind of thing that I could never really draw myself, as I am allergic to rulers an...d technical drawing. I think this pic sums up what I like most about Japandex - it's clever (it's fun working out which limb corresponds to which team-mate), it's good, it's cheeky - it sums up Japandex pretty well.
Okay, I wanted to wrap up Japandex on Wednesday (last day of the month) as I don't want to become a Facebook irritant - but I had a couple of late entries worth waiting for, so it might go on for a couple more days... Stay tuned!!!
PINK NINJA WAVE by John Riordan
Now this is something else, isn't it? When John sent it to me he said that he's happy to be able to finish drawing Pink Ninjas now - and after Spandex issue 2, I know exactly how he feels lol! But wow, this is amazing - the detail, the idea, the Spandex depictions, the colouring... it's pretty much geniu...s.
John got in touch about Japandex and we chatted about what he could do, and he suggested doing something with the Hosukai wave, and I think he pretty much nailed it!
John's current big project is a new comic with Dan Cox called Hitsville UK. It's available from the etsy shop on John's website http://www.johnriordan.co.uk/ or you can read it here http://issuu.com/johnnyfighters/docs/hitsvilleuk.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
JAPANDEX by MARTIN EDEN
It's me again! I just wanted to get this out of my system, just a nice black and white pic of the team, with all their names written in Japanese. If you're new to my comics, you won't know that my previous series, The O Men, was all black and white, and with Spandex I'm actually getting used to doing colour comics. So this is me going back to basics! It's also a nice opportunity to show the characters' names in Japanese lettering.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Mushishi/Musashi by Jay Faulkner
Jay got in touch after being told about Japandex by Stephen Downey (who he is working on 'stuff' for www.talesofthe.com/). Jay mentioned he might do a Neon Musashi image, and I mentioned to him a gorgeous movie poster for the film Mushishi (http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_RqFhu7CWo58/SDnQ-Hky9pI/AAAAAAAAA3I/VVE3pxr9D58/s400/MushishiDVD.jpg), which might look good with Glitter in it - and Jay did both! Although instead of the eerieness of Mushishi, Jay went for a nice calmness and cherry blossoms. Jay only wanted me to put Mushishi up, but I've surprised him and put both up - a first for Japandex, a double whammy!
This is the first time that Jay has put paint on paper in form of a water-colour in nearly ten years - as he spends most of his time either writing his own published stories or publishing other people's work in his art inspired online magazine, 'With Painted Words' (www.withpaintedwords.com) - but loved the idea of Japandex so much he dipped his toe back in the water (when that didn't work he used a brush as every sensible artist does!) and has caught the bug again.
To find out more visit www.jayfaulkner.com
I am going to finish Japandex on Wednesday (last day of June) and a couple of people have dropped out (or at least gone quiet on me lol), so I have one slot left to fill, so if you would like to do a pic and have time, I have a couple of great ideas - first come, first served!! email@example.com
Friday, June 25, 2010
PAPER PINK NINJAS by PHILIPPA RICE
If you’ve been to any comic cons over the past couple of years, you may have bumped into this talented lady, Philippa Rice. She is a bundle of unbelievable creativity. She does loads of comic projects, but her current main ‘thing’ is My Cardboard Life, which is a strip about a group of paper characters and it’s all put together by hand by Philippa. It’s pretty unique and it’s absolutely adorable and hilarious.
You can check it out here:
She does a new one every weekday.
I knew Philippa would do a knockout job with the Pink Ninjas idea, and of course what she came up with was super kawaii (cute)!
P.S. ‘Interesting’ (?) anecdote: I actually knew Philippa’s sister, Kate, before I knew Philippa. Kate joined my Japanese class in my second term and was with us for a few more terms. I was at the UK Mini Comics/Web Thing and couldn’t believe it when I bumped into Kate – I thought it’d be the last place she’d be lol! But Kate joins Philippa at loads of comic cons, which is how I discovered My Cardboard Life. Interesting eh hehe?
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
HARAJUKU GIRL AND SALARY MAN by ROGER MASON
I’ve known Roger for a while, since my first Bristol comic con a few years ago. I love his art – it’s very bold, very stylish, very clever. A lot of his work is in black and white, and one of his most well known graphic novels, The Mice, is a great example of this. Roger has also had graphic novels published in Europe (jealous!), done storyboarding for TV and advertising (jealous!!), and most importantly, he drew a lovely cover for an anthology issue of my O Men comic!
You can check out all of Roger’s work at www.looksgoodonpaper.co.uk – go on have a look, it’s awesome.
I invited Roger to do a moody drawing of two of my J-Team characters (I love those guys!) and I was pretty stunned by what he came up with. He nailed them pretty well and makes me want to do a J-Team comic even more!!!
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
TOKYO LIBERTY POLICE by DAVID WITHERS
David contacted me about Japandex, and suggested a couple of ideas, and I really liked his idea to do a take on Tokyo Gore Police, starring Liberty. Lovely, eh?
David’s work can be found on Deviant Art under the name Chaingunchimp. He’s currently working on projects with talesofthe.com and Berserker Comics, and has also written a strip for Zarjaz.
He is currently writing three graphic novels, two of which are horror and one is a ‘twisted superhero’ story, and he’s also working on loads of short stories. Busy guy!!
Sunday, June 20, 2010
AKIRA STARRING PROWLER by GARRY MCLAUGHLIN
Garry got in touch and we chatted a bit about what pic he could do, and he suggested this one - a take on a famous Akira poster. It's a freaky coincidence as that poster is actually above my bed!! Garry adapted the poster to feature Prowler and the Pink Ninjas - I love it! Love the colours!
Garry creates his own comics, and the best place to find out about them is here:
He published a horror comic called The Abortion and is currently creating a 'Year of Fear', with a comic called Yellow coming up! Check 'em out!
Thursday, June 17, 2010
SOMETHING FOR THE WEEKEND? by Dan Bell
Dan is another creator who got in touch when he saw a Japandex shout-out, and he put this together for me. Hehe very cute and fun!
Dan has done loads of books with Underfire Comics, check 'em out here: www.underfire-comic.com/online
BATTLE ROYALE by MARTIN EDEN
It's me again! I have a couple more pics up my sleeve too lol...
When people get in touch about contributing to Japandex, I am now struggling a bit to think of any more ideas, but there are still probably loads more obvious things out there. Battle Royale is a pretty obvious one, but I didn't think of it until last week. I invited someone to do it who I thought would be peeerfect, but he had something else in mind, so I did it myself!
If you haven't seen Battle Royale, go and watch it now, it's amazing! It's about a bunch of Japanese school-kids who get stuck in a bizarre game on an island. They are each given a weapon and basically have to kill each other until only one of them is left!!
The pic was a good opportunity to draw Diva in a Britney Spears school uniform (as Britney was partly the inspiration for the character!).
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
BUTCH AND MR MUSCLES by JOHN WORKMAN
Did you ever read Grant Morrison's Doom Patrol? Or Walt Simonson's Thor? How about the new Turf series by Jonathan Ross and Tommy Lee Edwards? Well if so, you know John Workman, cos he's one of comics' Lettering legends!!!
I worked with John in my day job. When I worked on the John Barrowman comic strip in the Torchwood Magazine a couple of years ago, the artist, Tommy Lee Edwards, wanted to work with John Workman, so we did, and I've used John on every subsequent Torchwood comic strip since!
John's great - we email a lot, and he has soooo many anecdotes about the comic industry. He was also art director of Heavy Metal magazine, and created and drew many of his own comics. After I saw his work, I invited him to do a flashback page in the Torchwood comic, which he did such a good job of, and on the back of that, I invited him to take part in Japandex.
John came up with this image, which is so nice, so striking, and I love the fact it features Butch and Mr Muscles, because they don't get as much attention as some of the other characters.
Tomorrow: Battle Royale...
Monday, June 14, 2010
TOKYO STORY by ANDREW CROSKERY
Andrew was another person who got in touch when I put a Japandex shout-out...out. He suggested this take on the movie poster for the classic 1953 movie Tokyo Story (http://www.ukquad.com/tokyo%20story.jpg) and I loved the idea! He submitted a greyscale version - in keeping with the original poster - but also sent this colour version, which I think works so nicely. Thanks Andrew!
Andrew is writing a new graphic novel and you can check it out here http://kronoscity.co.uk and you can check out a showcase for Irish talent, set up by Andrew and Stephen Downey, here: www.talesofthe.com/
He's also doing some illustrations for a new culture magazine which will be launched in Ireland later this year. You can also have a nose at his work here http://andrewcroskery.blogspot.com
Sunday, June 13, 2010
THE J-TEAM by GRAHAM PEARCE
Graham Pearce has written and drawn his own comic, Sgt Mike Battle, for yeeears, he's part of the backbone of the UK small press scene, and we are occasionally table-mates at comic conventions.
I invited Graham to do a Japandex pic, and thought he should take a stab at the Japanese superteam, The J-Team, who were introduced in Spandex issue 2. I love the team, and hopefully they'll come back into the comic soon. They consist of the leader Salary Man, Harajuku Girl, Mr Tokyo, Facemask, Su Mo, Geisha and Fuji. Graham put together this stunning cover, and PJ Holden did an amazing job with the colours. I'd love to see them do a J-Team comic and have it on the news-stands tomorrow!!
Anyway, you should definitely check out Sgt Mike Battle as it is a hoot, a total parody of comics and a satire on current affairs stuff - have a look here - http://www.sgtmikebattle.co.uk/
LIBERTY by MELISSA SELBY
Melissa was one of the first people to get in touch with me about Japandex and we had a lovely chat about manga and anime. She did a li'l Diva pic for me, so sweet, Diva in the rain, and she did this pic for Japandex too - Liberty with a manga twist. Sweet, eh? Melissa is actually doing her GCSEs at the moment, but wants to be an artist when she is older. You go, girl!!!
(Got some DOOZIES coming up this week!!! Stay tuned!)
Saturday, June 12, 2010
INDIGO by TONY McGEE
Tony is one of us small pressers/indie guys. He's currently working on an excellent medieval sorcery witchy epic called Outcastes, which boast some of the most stunning covers I've ever seen on any comic. Beautiful! You can check out Tony's goods here: http://truestories.awardspace.com/
I invited Tony to take part in Japandex and he came back with this lovely shot of Indigo, with a li'l Japanese twist.
(Still need maybe five Japandexers just to make sure I fill out the month, but no biggie if I don't! firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thursday, June 10, 2010
'NEON V SANTA' by PAUL RAINEY
What can I say about Paul Rainey? Well, first up, he's not a colleague of mine! He's a friend I met through various comic conventions over the years, and our friendship has 'blossomed' into sharing comic con tables and being comic con travel buddies (don't ask about the 'KFC incident' and when I almost killed us both on the motorway journey to Leeds).
Paul has been doing his own comics for years and years. He did stuff like Memory Man, and more recently he published his first book, the Book of Lists, which is a laugh-a-minute look at the awkwardness of life (including tips on snubbing a colleague on the stairwell). He did a very funny strip, 'Telephone Thing', about a guy who starts dating a sexline lady, and he also did a '2000AD prog slog', where he read and reviewed every issue of 2000AD. He's currently bringing his epic series, There's No Time Like The Present, to an end, with the final issue due out soon.
If you see him at a comic con, buy stuff, cos it's so funny and you won't regret it. Alternately, you can order stuff through here: http://www.pbrainey.com/
I liked seeing Paul's version of Neon - good package, Paul!
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
MARTIN EDEN - '2046 SPANDEX'
It's me! Ha ha, well it is my party, so I'll take part if I want to!
I love the posters for the movie 2046, so I really wanted to have a go at doing a Spandex version. Look at this - swoon - http://filmandmusicfashion.com/_wizardimages/2046.jpg
I used quite muted colours for this, and it's my old scratchy O Men drawing style, and I also didn't darken the picture in Photoshop like I normally would.
Eagle-eyed readers will point out that 2046 isn't actually a Japanese movie - but the Japandex brief does stretch to Asian culture...!
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
'PINK NINJA ASSASSIN' BY BARRY SPIERS
I first met Barry a few years ago at a Bristol con, where he was showing his portfolio around. Such a talented guy! Soon afterwards, he actually became (no prizes for guessing...) a colleague of mine! Barry is a designer at my workplace, but he does a hell of a lot of illustration work, and has provided loads of covers and artwork for Transformers. He was also one of the artists who contributed to last year's Com.X book, 45.
It gets even more complicated when I tell you that he is the boyf of the artist of Japandex Day Two, El (Li'l Japandex - http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=183778&id=137375331859&saved#!/photo.php?pid=4890682&id=137375331859).
I invited Barry to do a Pink Ninja Assassin piccie, based on one of the Ninja Assassin gallery images, and, like El, he disappeared for a few weeks, and then suddenly I got this stunning piece of painted artwork! Cooool!
You can check out Barry's other artwork here: http://barryspiers.carbonmade.com/
Tomorrow: A little something from me!
LIBERTY BY BETH STRAKER
Today's picture is by - yes you've guessed it - another workmate hehe (and there are more to come!).
Beth works full time as a designer and also works a lot as an artist, so I invited her to do a li'l Liberty pic. Nice eh?
You can see all of Beth's illustrations here: www.bethanystraker.com
Tomorrow: PINK NINJA ASSASSIN!
Sunday, June 6, 2010
ANDREW JAMES - '20TH CENTURY BOYZ'
What can I say about Andrew? Well first up, he's yet another of my workmates who's contributed to Japandex - I work with a lot of talented people, don't I!
And secondly, I don't know how he does it... He really is a talent. At work, he'll do paintings for people's birthdays or leavings...but he'll most...ly just get on with it, often without telling anyone, and we suddenly get a work of art the next day. Incredible.
Andrew wrote and drew his own web-series Dubious Tales for several years, you can read it all here: http://www.dubious-tales.com/
Like most of us, he fancied a break from that long-running series, and now he focuses a lot these days on freelance stuff and doing the aforementioned stuff for work, and relaxing (?).
We chatted briefly at work about this picture. Andrew is a massive, massive fan of the 20th Century Boys manga, and he often wears the 20CB t-shirts at work. We had a chuckle about different title possibilities (ask your nearest Japanese chum what the lettering here actually means lol).
I was so pleased with this pic. He based it on this:
I think it's stunning. Neon looks as cute and fluorescent as he always should - actually, he probably looks cuter than I've ever drawn him myself, curses!
MEMOIRS OF A DIVA by GARY SIMPSON
This is one of the first Japandexes I received, aaaages ago! It’s by my very good chum Gary Simpson, who lives in Newcastle. Gary’s a hugely talented writer and has had a ‘Future Shock’ published in 2000AD! Jealousss!
He currently writes horror stuff in his spare time, some of it is illustrated, like ‘Slaughterhouse’ and ‘Beast’. I reckon he could be the next Stephen King!
Saturday, June 5, 2010
MANGA DIVA by LANA SAOUD
Meet Lana Saoud. Lana got in touch with me really early on, and her style was the most exciting and innovative thing I’ve seen in a long time. I asked Lana to draw a version of a Diva pic I did a while ago, and she did it really quickly. I looove the hair. Love it.
Lana lives in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. She tells me she got into manga first, and discovered DC and Marvel comics when she was 17, fascinated by how colourful they all were. One issue that really affected her was a Wolverine Giant Special with story and art by Tsutomu Nihei - a beautiful cross between manga and US comics. It really made her want to do her own comics.
Lana says she hasn’t seen comics sold anywhere in her area, but still manages to get them from Ebay - and she particularly loves Arkham Asylum and the Batman villains. I’d love to see her draw a Batman comic - it’d be wicked!
Lana’s currently working on a new project, but in the meantime, I highly recommend you check out her other art - it’s so unique and strong. Love it.
If you’d like to contact Lana, she is at email@example.com
NEXT: Memoirs of a Diva
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Japandex in June - Day Four!
'SPANDEX SWEETHEART' by Martin Stiff
Martin saw my shout-out for Japandex artists on Facebook and we started talking about it - we're colleagues at my day job, Martin is a designer there.
We were chatting away and Martin mentioned that he really liked the novels of Haruki Murakami which was such a weird coincidence as I was currently reading The Wind-up Bird Chronicles - my first taste of the author.
Martin said he'd like to do a take on the cover to Sputnik Sweetheart, and I really love that cover - although there are different versions of the cover, and I'm not sure if Martin had a different one in mind. I really wanted this one!
His pic is beautiful - reminds me a lot of David Mack.
Martin is currently working on a graphic novel called The Absence, and you can read all about it here http://absencecomic.blogspot.com/. It's great - I'd say it's Eddie Campbell meets Strangehaven. (I really don't know how Martin does all this with a very young daughter and a lovely wife - I can barely find time to draw myself, and I live alone!!)
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
STEPHEN DOWNEY - 'SEVEN SPANDEX'
Like Cosmo White, I met Stephen at the Birmingham comic con last year. My god, this man should be working at DC or Marvel NOW!!!! His artwork is amazing, very fresh, very detailed, pure genius.
I asked Stephen to have a go at this particular pic - it's a take on one of the movie posters for Seven Samurai which I had on my wall for quite a while - gorgeous colours. I love what Stephen did with it.
Stephen did a graphic novel with Insomnia, called Cancertown, and he's providing art for a Torchwood Magazine comic story - issue 23, which will be out in August. But I think the world needs to see more of his artwork, definitely.
You can see Stephen's portfolio here http://stephendowney.carbonmade.com/projects/2275828 and contact him here firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Still room to join in on Japandex if you want to! It'd be nice to fill the month of June, so I'd need about 10 more people. Go on, give it a go! Artists of any standard are most welcome!!)
Tomorrow: SPANDEX SWEETHEART...
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
EL KANAOURIS – ‘LI’L JAPANDEX’
Isn’t this amazing?
I work with El, she is a designer at my day job place, and she said she had a little idea and went away, and I didn’t hear much about it for a while… So to suddenly get this turn up in my email inbox… Wow… Cute eh? I particularly love Butch and Mr Muscles, and I love the fact that Diva has no boobs ha ha!
It’s so good that I am developing a small project called ‘Li’l Spandex’ with El, which should be a lot of fun. Stay tuned for more details!
If you would like to hire El for any artwork (do it, she’s awesome!!!), just drop her a line at email@example.com