Pencil art for the unpublished Wildcats YR1.
Unused pencil art for the 'Kraken's Wake' story published by Penthouse Comix.
The story was originally intended to be a nine page comic strip concluded in a text segment with spot
illustrations. Fortunately sanity prevailed and the entire story eventually featured as full comic art. These
two pages show the unused spot illustrations, some of which I used as panels in the final version.
“‘Birdsong’ Mickey’s day out.” was an illustrated text story for a UK Batman
Annual (1985)-- which was primarily filled with US reprints. All of the illustrations
were full colour but these black and white photocopies are all I have left-- or at
least all I have uncovered so far.
The peculiar thing about the commission was that the editor insisted I change
my Jim Aparo style Batman into something more 'Adam West' so as not to
confuse the UK audience.
ERB's Mars books have been a favourite for many years and I have often thought about how I might handle the stories.
This was one attempt to come up with a slightly different look from the usual comic book versions of the characters.
I have always had a fondness for all of the usual mythology and legends from around the
world but 'Journey to the West' is a particular favourite. I first discovered it through the
Japanese TV series, 'Monkey', that achieved cult status in Britain during the seventies.
The story, written in the sixteenth century by Wu Ch'eng En, mixes religion, politics, myth
and magic in an epic tale that is funny and fantastic on the surface but has layers of satire
for those who are willing to delve into the story. The nearest western equivalent might be
George Orwell's 'Animal Farm'.
The strength and broad appeal of the stories and characters in ' Journey to the West' has allowed for an incredible
diversity of approaches when creating visuals of the characters. Aside from the cult Japanese series there have been
Chinese TV series and movies of every type from animi cartoon to Chinese opera. There is an even greater spectrum of
choice in printed material from traditionally illustrated books to comics aimed at every age group.
Over the years I have experimented with visual cues and genre types to see how I'd like to draw the characters if the
opportunity ever arose. The drawings on both pages are all of Monkey with slight mood and emphasis variations.
These are felt tip sketches. A broad cartoon version and a more 'realistic' approach rendered with Bellamy-esque
There are plenty of sites to check out for anyone interested to know more about Monkey or the various books, comics and
DVD's available but one I'd highly recommend is Gene Yang's wonderful comic adaptation which can be found in the
'American Born Chinese' site at... http://www.moderntales.com/