Wednesday 31 December 2008

5 Obsessions

I got tagged by by my friend Mother and Bride to write 5 obsessions I have on me blog so I'll do that now-

Rob's 5 Obsessions

1- drawing comics (drawing comics is hard but I do it nearly every day, otherwise I feel sad and like i'm wasting my precious time. When I have a day off work I always feel bad and lazy if I don't get up early and get some drawing done. Unless I am hungover in which case I can happily watch rubbish on TV all day. I even did some on boxing day.)

2- reading comics (these obsessions are very obvious aren't they. But I like reading comics.)

3- seeing where I am on the google listings for rob jackson. (I am number 8 at the moment, it's a shame I have such a common name. I have talked to lots of other cartoonists and most of them do this too so it's not as egomaniacal as it seems.. or is it?)

4- Pedro the little cat (or as I often call him 'tiny wiggles' or 'wigglesworth') When he is asleep I wake him up every so often to make sure he is alright and he bites me.

5- worrying endlessly about everything in the middle of the night for no good reason

Tuesday 23 December 2008

Plans for Next Year

I don't have many plans for next year yet, I'm going to finish Bog Wizards 2 soon and then make the board game that goes with it (I have lots of good ideas for that). Then in March i'm going to the

which should be cool judging by all the great people that have booked stalls there. i'll have Bog Wizards 2 for sale and some prints. I've never made any prints before so that should be fun.

My other plans are secret.

Monday 22 December 2008

Website Shop

My website shop is now working. Why not go and try it out? Free postage in the UK, contact me for details if you live abroad...

Sunday 21 December 2008

My New Website

I've finally got round to re-doing my website. It's not finished yet, I still have to add links, a gallery page and a shop. I think it looks much better than the old one, and hopefully less '90's... what do people think?

Friday 19 December 2008

My Favourite Comics of 2008

Favourites of Year List 2008

This is my favourites of the year list, I’m not being fussy about when they first came out, its when I read them that counts…. in no particular order….

Jamilti – Rutu Modan
Skyscrapers of the Midwest – Josh Cutter
Tekkon Kinkreet – Taiyo Matsumoto
Little Nothings 1 - Lewis Trondheim
Curses – Kevin Huizenga
Travel – Yuichi Yokoyama
Goddess of War – Lauren Weinstein
Injury 2 – Ted May

Tuesday 16 December 2008

Kevin Huizenga - Ganges 2

After reading ‘Curses’ I thought I’d better get some of the newer Kevin Huizenga books so here’s one of them. ‘Ganges 2’ has two stories, the first one is a quite abstract one. It’s a computer game type story with two characters playing a game Huizenga has invented called ‘Fight or Run’. They change their shapes in order to fight. It’s very beautiful with a lot of black ink.

The second longer story is about when Glenn Ganges worked at a dot-com company during the internet boom, the company is clearly doomed as it doesn’t really do anything like a lot of those companies. The employees stay in work till very late at night playing a computer shooting game called ‘Pulverize’. It’s a great story with a really good and clever ending that is very touching, surprisingly as the game is about blowing each others heads off with sniper rifles and rocket launchers. The artwork is again really great.

Sunday 14 December 2008

How To Draw Bog Wizards - Part 3

And now I do all the rest of the inking. And that's the page finished!

How To Draw Bog Wizards - Part 2

Now I add the lettering and the panel borders.

Yuichi Yokoyama - Travel

There's the cover above and the colour picture on the inside of the dust cover.

I was a bit unsure about whether to buy this one, I had read his other book 'New Engineering' and liked it but though it was more clever than actually enjoyable. I'm really glad I did as I really enjoyed this one, it's great!

There is no real story, 3 strange men get on a train, ride it for 180 pages and then get off at their destination. There are no words. It takes them the first 40 pages to find the seat they want on the train. I found this book hilarious. Every tiny action is built up into a vast important deed, for instance a passenger opening his book, or the lighting of a cigarette. One of the funniest bits is the three men walking through the train and everyone in the other seats turning to stare at them. Everyone stares at each other with enormous intensity for the whole book. The train travels through different weather - sun, rain, lightning - and they all are shown beautifully, as is the very weird landscape the train travels through. It seems to be a science fiction sort of landscape often full of weird men going about their strange and intense tasks. The drawing is very unusual. It often reminds me of a colouring-in book, with the clean lines and white spaces.
It is definately one of my favourite books of the year.

Thursday 11 December 2008

How To Draw Bog Wizards - Part 1

Welcome to my exciting guide to how I draw Bog Wizards. Lets look at a page from Bog Wizards 2.
First I do a thumbnail sketch, in this case I have drawn it at work when I was supposed to be working...

The next stage is my exhaustive research into the drawings...

Eventually I am ready to do my very rough pencils, here they are. They are very faint and hard to see so try clicking on them to get a bigger image..

Next time, the excitement of inking!!!

8 Stories Review

There's a review of '8 Stories' here from Optical Sloth. Thanks Whitey

Kevin Huizenga - Curses

Woah this is good. It has the best of Kevin Huizenga’s stories from a bunch of different older anthologies in it ‘Green Tea’, ‘Curses’ and ‘Jeepers Jacobs’. He’s done some newer stuff since that sounds great but I haven’t got round to reading them yet. It also has the strange story ‘28th Street’ where Glenn Ganges goes to steal a feather from the feathered ogre that secretly lives in the downtown shopping center area so that his wife can have a baby, and the great story ‘Curses’. ‘Curses’ is about how starlings were introduced to the USA where they have formed immense flocks which cause loads of damage as they fly around. Also it tells how they are gifted mimics and make the urban sounds of cars, alarms going off and trains.

All the stories star Glenn Ganges and they all interlink in various ways, it’s very clever. The cartooning is lovely looking, I especially like the way he goes all abstract sometimes and breaks down the drawing into lines and shapes. I remember seeing him do this before in one of his minicomics I own. He doesn’t do it very often, only when it’s important to the story. There are some great pages of strip malls and shopping centres at night and in the rain. This is one of my favourite books I’ve read this year, and one I will read again a bunch more times as it’s nice and dense. Also I am very keen to get his newer comics.

Wednesday 10 December 2008

CF - Powr Mastrs 2

Just a few thoughts on this book….
Here’s a good review of this book at Jog The Blog which I mainly agree with.

I like it myself a lot, it actually is very funny in places. A lot of the humour comes from the way CF draws some of the characters, I like Naptha, the little archer fellow, and find the way he is drawn intrinsically funny. He’s drawn in a very childlike way. The colour sections are lovely looking, and I don’t think it goes to far away from trying to tell a story and into just random stoner type nonsense which is my worry with this kind of comic.

Sunday 7 December 2008

Emmanuel Guibert - Alan's War

This is a very good book and is the story of Alan Cope's Second World War experiences as a young GI. The drawing is very interesting, I read on the Comics Reporter that he first draws in water and then adds ink to the water to create his special effects. They look a bit like old photographs or perhaps murky photocopies of old photographs. It's a very strange effect i've never seen in a comic before. The faces are very simple but very precise, as are all the vehicles, tanks and uniforms. Alan Cope doesn't see much combat, I think he only gets shot at once, and talks in a very calm and measured way, I guess it's because he is talking about the war many years later when he's had a long time to think about everything, though he does see some horrible things happen, usually by accident. A lot of it is him talking about all the people he met during the war and how he tries to get back in touch with them later. I really enjoyed the book. Guibert talks about another book he is doing, about Cope's childhood in California, and I'd really like to see that too.

Sfar Trondheim Blanquet & Andreas - Dungeon Monstres Vol 2 - The Dark Lord

This is a very good Dungeon book, the best I've read for a while. The first story is drawn by Andreas, who I've never heard of before, and the second by Blanquet. They both draw the same scene in the stories, from the point of view of 2 different characters so it's fascinating to see the difference in their drawing, though they both have the same writers.
This book adds loads more details in to the dungeon story and does a lot of explaining about what's going on. Herbert the duck, from the first books, has now become an all powerful and evil dark lord, ruling with an iron fist, and has collected together all the seven objects of destiny, which we get to see in this book for the first time. I think you would need to read both the Dungeon Twilight books before this one though as it follows on from them two.

Thursday 4 December 2008

Bog Wizards 2 Character

I was pleased with how this character from Bog Wizards 2 has turned out. I am half way through it now. He is the leader of a band of knights.

Wednesday 3 December 2008

Yoshiharu Tsuge - L'Homme Sans Talent

When I first read this I was thinking it was too wordy to try and read in French, and that I should have waited for the possible English language version to maybe come out one day. But then I read a proper review of it here at Indy Magazine and all of my guesses as to what was going on were right, so I have changed my mind. It’s surprising how easy manga is to read in a foreign language, it’s a good sign about the cartooning I think.

The story is about a depressed and miserable bloke who has given up a life as a commercial manga artist to try lots of different crappy dead end sort of jobs. He is constantly trying to think of get rich quick schemes all of which are doomed to failure, as they are not very good. He is constantly listening to people listing the prices of things. He tries selling birds but his main try for making a living is looking for valuable rocks, the zen Buddhist kind of rocks that look like little mountains. He has a miserable wife and a small annoying child with a constant dribbling nose. The drawing is interesting and very strange, for instance we don’t even see his wifes face for the first 100 or so pages, just the back of her head. There is always a lot of mixing of realistic drawing and very cartoony drawing often in the same panel.

Tuesday 2 December 2008

Appollo & Lewis Trondheim - Bourbon Island 1730

Unsurprisingly I really enjoyed this book. Look at the second drawing above to see why. Trondheim's drawing here is amazing, just the kind of thing I really like. He has spent lots of holidays on Bourbon Island or Reunion Island and you can tell from all the nature drawings. The book is about an ornithologist who comes to the island searching for the last dodo. With him comes his young assistant Raphael who is fascinated with the pirates who used to live on the island. They meet various ex pirates who have become plantation owners now or drunks, slaves, maroons (escaped slaves living in the mountains , a bit like the more well known maroons of Jamaica, but not as successful) and other people. It's quite a strange story about the end of piracy and the end of early freedoms on the island as it is becoming more strictly controlled by the government.