Thursday, 13 December 2012

The Atomic Society (of Justice)....

Having completed his chapter, Zone of Destruction, for Evil Hollywood Over Subterrania in March, Production 'Brawbot' Rob Miller returned to his work on The Atomic Society of Justice and, noting how awful the pages were - you'll know if you happen to own this comic - redrew the bulk of them, in some instances just hardening up the spot blacks and in others replacing whole panels. It's what good ol' Agent Johnny'd call an "academic exercise", being no stranger to "doctoring" earlier artwork himself....


Just recently Rob stumbled across the second of his two Radioactive Pin-Ups and wondered if it was the final version or, as in the case of the first, had actually been completely redrawn prior to publication. It hadn't! So here's the work in progress, the new version sketched out heavily on top of the (thankfully completely obscured) original. It's very likely these 9 "refreshed" pages will debut here as we count down to the launch of Evil Hollywood sometime next year and will eventually be reprinted as we collect all the Evil Wee Comics titles into a chunky book thereafter....

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

The Amazing Mr. X....

Production 'Brawbot' Rob Miller has, on occasion, some time to himself to work on his own pages and this proved to be the case once again with this year's Dundee Comics Prize, where he managed to knock out the requested mock cover and 2-3 page strip of their Mr. X reboot.


Their pitch was pretty simple, allowing creators the opportunity to re-interpret the character - the first home-grown British superhero, long since near-forgotten, who appeared in 14 installments in the Dandy between 1944 and 1945 - for the 21st century.


As ever Rob came a close 14th (or so) and was fortunate enough that his piece - with its sly nods to some of DC Thomson's familiar-ish characters - be invited to join 13 other creative teams in the Universe and DC Thomson publication, The Amazing Mr. X.


....and it is! The winning strip - which the judges felt "undercuts the tone of the usual superhero story with a playful satire on the mythology of the superhero" - is by Steve Marchant with one runner-up being provided by the team of Darren O'Toole and A. Kaviraj  and the other by Gavin Boyle. Another entry worth noting is that of Barry Thomson, one of my fellow Studionauts at Hope Street.


Above is Enrique Ardito's cover for the finished book - taken from his entry - described as being "of interest to devoted Dandy fans as well as no doubt proving to be something of a curiosity to students of old British comics." by Downthetubes. The cover price for this 76 page, US size, spine bound collection is an entirely reasonable £8.00 and copies can be ordered from universecomic - at - gmail - dot - com.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Brawview! Unfamiliar new faces....

Well it wouldn't be doing, ahead of Braw!'s arrival, to keep the new characters under wraps. So here's the new faces who'll be making an appearance within the pages....


Ah, Dominoes, our new 'teen geenyus' who'll be entertaining us with his mannered and considered exploits....


So this'll be Mandi Dingo then, all set to take us on the ride of her life, thanks to the mystery guest star from 'The only way is Weegie'....


So here's Bovro who's little more than just a guy hanging about doing what guys do. No harm in that, ay....



And finally we have The Ballad of Peely Wally, a cautionary tale of (all) sorts....

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Brawview! Familiar old faces....

Ahead of Braw's imminent arrival (courtesy of UK Comics) it's about time to reintroduce those old faces set to appear in this forthcoming issue (it has been nearly 2 years after all)....


If it's not Luvvable'lex, who'll be appearing in his longest story yet, 'Blues 'n' Rhythm' a slightly larger riff on his appearance in ImagiNation: Stories of Scotland's Future, featuring a few new characters in themselves....


You can't keep a good man down (or deid!) as no Rob Miller comic would be complete without Big Moff taking a starring role. Amazingly he's been resurrected since his untimely death in Khaki Shorts #28, prompted by us all to keep the franchise alive....


Hmm, bit of a transition here as SuperScott did indeed feature in Khaki Shorts, but in this incarnation (originally submitted for the Dundee Comics Prize, fact fans!) he just so happens to look exactly like the much missed Jonathan The Cape (most likely Paul Gravett's favourite comic character ever, em, not!)....

Friday, 30 November 2012

A Chronicle of Doom....


Positively one of the best swills of the year at Ice Station Zebra yesterday, huddled round the electric fire as the leery soundtrack to our lives played out. Page 5 of Agent of S.M.E.R.S.H now totally fully inked (Ivan, ho ho ho!) and the pencils on Batman: The Black Suitcase rubbed back sufficiently to allow colouring to begin. It looks great, some nice delicate drawings of Bruce Wayne going on. Nice to see the 'copy fer approval' of the coloured page of Sandie Shaw pinned to the wall next to the drawing board. Finally, amidst all the chaos, great to see Agent Johnny's bed being delivered just in time for the winter lockdown. Finally, Johhny showed me his scrip for a proposed Dan Dare submission for Spaceship Away.

Sounds: Through the Looking Glass and Superstition by Siouxsie and The Banshees: Zabriskie Point: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (various artists) - twice!: Sometimes 7" by Erasure: See Those Eyes by Altered Images, Remembrance Day by B-Movie: Point Me At The Sky by Pink Floyd and See Those Eyes (again!) by Altered Images....

Erasure - Sometimes

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Life in the Buckfast Lane....

Perfect jumping on point for the online BFL strip featuring Luvvable 'lex, as a new story featuring Davie kicks off today. Pop over to the blog and check it out....


Tuesday, 6 November 2012

A Chronicle of Doom....


Great wee swill at Ice Station Zebra yesterday. As you can see from the wee sneak preview above, Sandie Shaw has emerged from the 'Realm of Ghosts' to be added to the production pile. Colouring instructions were  discussed and hopefully by the end of the week Agent Johnny'll have a copy 'fer approval'. Agent of S.M.E.R.S.H. is now onto its 5th page, all pencilled and about 50% inked in. This is looking really nice - the lost notes have been recovered and the tale continues apace.

Sounds: The British Psychedelic Trip vol. 2, 1966 - 1969 (various artists): Opel by Syd Barrett and The Lebanon by The Human League (lined up as the 'grande finale' upon leaving....)

Keith West - On A Saturday

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Mad Mentol MacBams march past....


"Dave Alexander has been creating amazingly detailed and genuinely funny comic strips in the Glasgow comic scene for longer than most folk can remember. So when Rob Miller of Hope St studios mentioned a collected work was in the offing I immediately got myself a copy and sat down for a laughter filled trip down memory lane. I first discovered Dave’s work within the pages of the now defunct yet still marvellous Electric Soup and a later on in Northern Lightz, titles he shared with talents as diverse as Alan Grant, Jamie Grant, Jim Stewart (aka Ganjaman) Rob Miller and Frank Quietly to name but a few."

And so begins the first review (other than those of the unofficial, overheard sort, the richly deserved congratulatory efforts along the lines of, "this is the greatest collection ever!" and, "there's never been a book better than this in 30 years!" which are of course far too unreliable and spurious to quote here) of A Trip Down The Temporal U-bend With The Mad Mentol MacBam Brothers (or ATDTTUbWTMMMcBB for short....) courtesy of the lovely chaps over at the Talk Comix website. To read the review in full, please click on the link....

Saturday, 13 October 2012

A Chronicle of Doom....


Short visit to Ice Station Zebra yesterday with the anticipation controls set for the heart of the sun, knowing that the completed Sandie Shaw page was ready and waiting. Indeed, Agent Johnny shuffled back and forth from the drawing room and eventually premiered this rather lovely single pager, finished by the dawn's early light only hours before and still 'dryin' oot' for copying next week. 2 more outline scripts for the conclusion to Evil Hollywood Over Subterrania were also in the offing, and have been added to the Section 2 files back here in Glasgore. Aside from that there was a slightly subdued view to a swill, the triumphant mood somewhat dampened by the loss of a page of notes relating to the conclusion of Agent of S.M.E.R.S.H.

Sounds: Zabriskie Point: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (various artists): Superstition by Siouxsie and the Banshees and The Lebanon by The Human League

Pink Floyd - The Crumbling Land, Zabriskie Point OST

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Sunday, 23 September 2012

MacBamvert alert!

Okay, we had to pull a tune from the vault, but here it is at last!

The Collected MacBam Brothers, 1982-2012

Saturday, 8 September 2012

A Chronicle of Doom....


Excellent visit to Ice Station Zebra on Thursday, the place in tip-top shape and Agent Johnny much the same - genuinely the best form he's been in for months, fair enjoying his recent comic readin', telly watchin' and record listenin'. Drawin'-wise it seems things have ground somewhat to a halt, but with the shadow of 'internal alterations' hanging over BASE he's likely determined to sit things out before returning to work on Agent of S.M.E.R.S.H in peace, undisturbed by any 'workies'. There were tentative negotiations as regards a single page featuring Sandie Shaw for the forthcoming Big Moff title, so here's hoping.  Aside from that it was business as usual, swilling and jawing in a most relaxed fashion....


The discovery of a dozen or so issues of the 'Out of the Blue' fanzine by John's old pal Larned Justin was a nice surprise.... as to whether the discovery of a previously unseen page of artwork, together with 5 spot illustrations (4 of which were used to bookend 2 typed short stories) could be considered a nice surprise, who knows? Certainly, any US fans waiting to get copies from John Porcellino's Spit and a Half distro service are in for a treat, as the 2000-2011 book has since been updated to include 4 new pages, adding the accidentally omitted Captain Zappa goes to Newcastle together with (the never included by choice due to space restrictions) Britpop Brainwash together with these mysterious new discoveries!

Sounds: Europe '72 by Grateful Dead, Baron Von Tollbooth and The Chrome Nun by Paul Kantner, Grace Slick et al, See Those Eyes by Altered Images and Happy Birthday by Altered Images (lined up as the grand finale just upon leaving....)

Altered Images - Happy Birthday

Thursday, 30 August 2012

(sort of) MacBamvert alert!

With our own in-house MacBamvert currently languishing in the 'to do' file, this'll have to suffice for now, an oddity we stumbled across whilst sifting through the debris of Youtube....

The McBam Brothers In Heil Caledonia

Monday, 20 August 2012

A Chronicle of Doom....


Highly successful Saturday signing at a simply bustlin' Deadhead Comics, Agent Johnny and Zander making for a truly heavyweight underground presence. Thanks to all who came along to buy books, chew the fat, grab a photo op, sit in the sun or just swally some swill, it was much appreciated. Extra props to Gaf Austin for hosting us over the course of the afternoon (and likely well into the evening after I left....) Deadhead poster art by Graham Manley....

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Dave Alexander signing, Deadhead Comics, Edinburgh....

Next Saturday in Edinburgh's Deadhead Comics Dave Alexander will be signing copies of his new, 30 years in the making, MacBam Brothers Collection....

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

A Chronicle of Doom....


Oh, what a day! A lovely trip to The Newhouse Hotel with Agent Johnny and Gavin Lees yesterday, our man recounting tales of his childhood - one filled with comic reading, drawing and a myriad influences, all part of the unique tapestry that makes him the artist he is today. The sun was shining, the tape was runnin' and latterly the swill was flowing....

Friday, 3 August 2012

A Chronicle of Doom....


First visit to Ice Station Zebra yesterday in a long while and, after our 'meeting with ye high council' at Mount Olympus, it was great to see the place still in tip-top shape. In fact, the same could be said of Agent Miller who, despite repeatedly apologising for having 'done nothing' in the interim, was on great, chatty, form, chuntering away throughout the long-awaited 'view to a swill'. We talked at length about The Doors and The Byrds (specifically relating to our man's current trend of buying any record of their's near enough from week to week at Backbeat Records) before moving on to discuss Spirit's Twelve Dreams of Dr Sardonicus and The Family That Plays Together. The visit to Lanark indeed came off, Agent Johnny swilling one evening with his old pal Paul Archibald, and we lined up a rather special visit to the Newhouse Hotel this coming Tuesday for something top secret relating to our friends over at Graphic Eye - more on that as and when....

Sounds: (Skull and Roses) by Grateful Dead, Zabriskie Point: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (various artists): Soundtrack from the film 'More' by The Pink Floyd and See Those Eyes by Altered Images (again lined up as the grand finale just upon leaving....)

Pink Floyd - Come In Number 51, Your Time Is Up

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

New Autumn Collections....

At last, our fashionably desirable autumn collections have arrived!

First up, it's those ever enduring MacBam Bros, survivors of many a comic lost in the mists of time (i.e. disappeared doon the pan!)....


Dave Alexander has been working (like a dog!) in the Glasgow comic scene for over 30 years, and was instrumental in co-creating not only the influential early 90′s adult humour comic Electric Soup, but also the Scottish underground title that followed, the dope-themed Northern Lightz. This long awaited and suitably hefty (and historic!) collection gathers together all the strips from the MacBams humble half-page origins in the 80′s to their truly epic Euro Dismal saga and beyond, illustrating (thanks to its quite beautiful illustration) just why the man they call ’Zander’ is so revered and respected.
11.99 GBP inc. shipping, 170 pages, A4 book format, b/w interiors throughout.

Second and thirdly, we complete our John Miller trilogy with his 80's and 00's collections....


This 1980 - 1989 collection is truly a thing to behold, featuring many strips published for the first time in years, and accompanied by a new cover specially created for this volume. Here John initially displays a more serious side, the artwork and stories longer, more complex and intense, but never less bold or fiercely intelligent than his later output. As the decade wears on his style slowly opens up, the pieces shortening, the message artfully balanced with the consistent and surprisingly offbeat humour.
11.99 GBP inc. shipping, 120 pages, A4 book format, b/w interiors throughout.


This third and final (for now!) collection, 2000 - 2011, brings us bang up to date, the work here thoroughly evolved, often bombarding the reader with art at times best described as ‘violent’, such is the sheer attack on the senses the raw imagery provokes. We’re deep into space comics and secret agent territory here, the playfulness of Ghosty and Captain Zappa giving way to a slightly darker and harder feel, some strips verging on the uncomfortable – at times one can only recoil and imagine the inner turmoil that prompted the putting of pen to paper – but but never less than fascinatingly so.
11.99 GBP inc. shipping, 156 pages, A4 book format, b/w interiors throughout.

All titles available here, and are suggested for mature readers.

Friday, 6 July 2012

A Chronicle of Doom....


Purely social visit to Ice Station Zebra yesterday - all the recent 'social drama' concluded to what seems to be everyone's satisfaction - nothing on our minds but sitting back in our chairs and having a relaxed 'view to a swill'. Agent Johnny was quite chuffed to receive his complimentary copy of the new Collected MacBams book from Dave Alexander, casting his approving eye over it several times in the course of the afternoon. Aside from that we discussed the lasting first impression of Star Trek: The Original Series at length, before talk turned to our Agent's recent trip to Newarthell and The Newhouse, and his proposed visit to Lanark to see the folks....

Sounds: Anthem of the Sun by Grateful Dead, The Warlocks by The Warlocks, Live Dead by Grateful Dead, Spirit of Eden by Talk Talk, World Service by A. More and See Those Eyes by Altered Images (lined up as the grand finale just upon leaving....)

Altered Images - See Those Eyes

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

A Chronicle of Doom....


Productive visit to Ice Station Zebra yesterday, shifting comics and books and papers in line with recent, strict (but not entirely unreasonable) 'conformo' demands made upon Agent Johnny. Sincere thanks to the crack team who helped out over the course. Again, despite the tremendous upheaval Our Man in Pester Whailes retained his sense of humour, cracking jokes and helping out (aches and pains permitting), somehow managing to avoid sinking into despair and bemusement as his vast collection was boxed up haphazardly before his very eyes! In part this is likely due to the 'powerful influence' of the ongoing Agent of S.M.E.R.S.H pages, of which a further 1/4 page has been duly pencilled and more is promised soon. The leery Batman page also seemed to have been attended to in the meantime. Thankfully, the further copies of Inkling that were uncovered in the tidying process did not have any never before seen surprises therein, meaning everything is in order for this weekend's West Coast book launch at the Glasgow Comic Con. There was even time for a 'view to a swill' once the decks were well and truly cleared, meaning feet up and contented chuntering.

All that remains now is the arrival of The Collected MacBams - fingers crossed the Brothers make the big event in time!

Sounds: Anthem of the Sun by Grateful Dead, Long John Silver by Jefferson Airplane and Planet Earth Rock and Roll Orchestra by Paul Kantner.
Visions: Well, we saw the floor in the 'drawing room' for the first time in a few years....

Paul Kantner - Circle Of Fire

Friday, 22 June 2012

A Chronicle of Doom....


Another absolutely vital jaunt to Ice Station Zebra yesterday principally to discuss 'bureaucratic business', meaning it'll be all hands to the pump next week to try and keep the wolves from Agent Johnny's somewhat battered door.... Erk! In spite of this the man himself was in good spirits, minding his 'Ps and Qs' and not crying off 'seek' under questioning or duress. Page 4 of Agent of S.M.E.R.S.H has progressed slowly, stalled somewhat by some extensive letter writing in the meantime, but plans to 'dredge' this startling tale out for a 5th page and beyond are underway. Furthermore, Adam J. Smith's Evil Hollywood pages, featuring Cosmic Woman and Atom Girl are coming together. Hopefully he'll make a July start on these and with any luck this entire work might be out in the 'Fall' as originally mooted on the cover (er, 3 years ago?)....

Sounds: Steal Your Face by Grateful Dead: Radio K.A.O.S. by Roger Waters: Obscured By Clouds by Pink Floyd and Flying Doesn't Help by A. More (lined up as the grand finale just upon leaving....)

Pink Floyd - Obscured By Clouds

Friday, 15 June 2012

A Chronicle of Doom....


Yet another expedition to Ice Station Zebra yesterday, lending a sturdily gloved helping hand to something of a much needed clear-out, shifting the debris, sorting through the wreckage, so to speak.... Still, there was plenty of time for a post-traumatic swill, both discussing the revised dummy copies of the new Collections (good to go!) and the first 'widescreen' opening panel to page 4 of Agent of S.M.E.R.S.H, the 'projection lines' already pencilled in place for the continuing action....

Naturally my eye was caught by a smart looking fanzine atop a heapa books in Agent Johnny's bedroom. Should I look at this rare copy of Inkling? Of course I did! ....and, yes, as I suspected there were 2 never-before-seen strips secreted therein. Thankfully, I was entrusted to take the book into my possession, scanning the pages on my return to Glasgore, and have already fired them through the production process, allowing an order to be placed thereafter. Not long to wait now....

In other related news, the Mad Mentol MacBams dummy arrived in the same package on Thursday morning, and already 3 of the 6 blank pages are completed, meaning this opus should be ready for print beginning of next week! Amsterdam is making all the right noises, and the sights have to be seen to be believed (we're sure the smells are pretty sweet too!)! Master craftsman Zander and myself will hook up later today to apply the finishing touches....

Sounds: Steal Your Face and Workingman's Dead, by Grateful Dead

Grateful Dead - Dire Wolf

Monday, 11 June 2012

We've (completely and utterly) got it covered!

Well, what a weekend, as local underground legend Dave Alexander delivered the component parts for the cover to his eagerly anticipated Collected MacBams book on Saturday.... Then, after a bit of digital-pokery on Sunday the file was winging its' way across the water to All Star colourist Jamie Grant, all ready for just the sort of professional sheen only he can provide....

As such, here's a sneak preview of the flat colour version, likely being given the requested 'psychodelic' treament in Amsterdam as we type....

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

A Chronicle of Doom....


Brief expedition to Ice Station Zebra yesterday, proudly showing off the (99% perfect) dummy copies of Agent Johnny's two new collections, spanning the '80's and '00's. A few instances of minor doctoring required, but overall each book passed muster with the master himself. A 4th page of Agent of S.M.E.R.S.H. is underway - the 3rd was 'dryin' out' at the time, with some 'op art' spot blacks yet to be added.

Sounds: Spitfire by Jefferson Starship and 2001: A Space Odyssey, Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (various)

Jefferson Starship - Cruisin'

Friday, 1 June 2012

A Chronicle of Doom....


Ho ho! A hefty afternoon session at Ice Station Zebra yesterday, swillin' and chewin' the fat about Evil Hollywood and the much anticipated 'John Stark: Agent of S.M.E.R.S.H.' pages - the third now completed and ready fer photocopyin'. No sign of page 4 just yet, but instead there was the pencils for the first (splash) panel to an intriguing take on Batman (drawn on an actual piece of D.C. paper, no less, as kindly donated by FQ). Further discussion involved Chapter 4 of EHOS, the script now in the capable hands of Adam J. Smith. Finally, we got round to talking about the dummy copies of the impending books, presently sitting waiting to be picked up (today!) at the Baird Street sorting office.... to be continued!

Sounds: Live at Leeds by The Exploited: Flying Doesn't Help by A. More: Zabriskie Point: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (various artists): Ballad of Easy Rider by The Byrds: Red Octopus by Jefferson Starship: Forever 22 by TV21 (lined up as the grand finale just upon leaving....)

The Byrds - Ballad Of Easy Rider

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

We've (finally) got it covered, part 2....

Well, it's really part 3, but here's the mock of the cover for the third John Miller Collection, 2000-2011, featuring two of that decade's staple characters, Captain Zappa and Jimmy Hendrix.... Production crunching on the finished versions for print will start in approx. ooh, 5 minutes....

Friday, 4 May 2012

We've (finally) got it covered....

Ah, here it is, a quick mock of The Collected John G. Miller, 1980-1989 cover.... The '00's up next!

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

A Chronicle of Doom....


Oops, it's already nearly a week past since my last visit to Ice Station Zebra (Thursday the 26th April) and I still haven't really had a chance to write about it. Well, that's the covers for Agent Johnny's next 2 collections sorted, the original taken away under strict instructions that, unless salvaged at that point, then excessive (and you could say what looked like somewhat needless) "doctorin" would necessitate a time consuming redraw (and it was clear neither of us wanted to go through that ordeal again, else we'd both end up "bubblin").... In addition Johnny handed over his 7 pages of Chapter 1, "BattleKat meets The Atomic Society", 5 of which have since been fired through our "digital processor", ready for publication. Keep your eyes peeled - we'll get these cover previews up very soon!

Sounds: Radio Forth then Waiting For The Sun by The Doors.

The Doors - Waiting For The Sun

Friday, 20 April 2012

Timeship Volto....



A little exclusive here of sorts as we've been production crunching on "Evil Hollywood Over Subterrania" this week.... As it turns out the above drawing of 'Timeship Volto' from Chapter 2 didn't quite meet with Agent Johnny's exacting standards, moving him to write, "somebody must be really pushin' the 'wood panelling over there (Glasgow)." As such, it's presently on a redraw, pending approval sometime next week. Anyhow, here's the original, something of a stylistic taster for what's to come....

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Elexendvert alert!

Ah now, maybe if Elexender Browne had been a progressively more depressing catalogue of one ugly individual's personal failures amid his pointless, self-loathsome existence soundtracked by some sort of malfunctioning keyboard, stripped of all semblance of soul then, well, maybe this would've been the perfect theme tune.... As it is, consider th- Actually.... this is the perfect theme tune!

Friday, 6 April 2012

Trudvert alert!

Ah, perhaps of Star Trudge had been a French animation soundtracked by something akin to a fledgling Spacemen 3 (but taking from their later, softer period) then, well, maybe this would've been the ideal theme tune.... As it is, consider this "ST 32"....

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Shugvert alert!


Aha, perhaps if Polis Story had been set, say, a little more to the East (like, perhaps, er, Hong Kong) and concerned itself more with, um, Kung Fu rather than actual Policing, then, well, maybe this would've been the ideal theme tune.... As it is, consider this "The McKenna Connection"....

Monday, 2 April 2012

Hi-Excellency....

Big thanks to everyone who bought some books from us, chatted to us, bigged us up, browsed and even gave us a nonchalant sideways glance at the weekend - all very much appreciated! We sincerely hope you enjoy the comics and books you purchased as, well, that's ultimately why we do it....

And, of course, big thanks to the organisers who very likely gave up their free time to make it happen and the folk who attended who gave up their hard earned to make it (what certainly seemed like) a resounding success for all....

Rob and Karol

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Great Hi-Expectations....

Aha, hopefully it won't prove to be too grim up north this weekend as Braw Books descends on Hi-Ex, sharing a table with our good friends at Polygo Books / New British Comics.... There isn't much else to say really, except, em....

Friday, 23 March 2012

A Chronicle of Doom....


Another timely visit to Pester Hailes housing estate yesterday, spending a leisurely afternoon assisting at Ice Station Zebra. The missing pages of the 80's tale Renegade X, Android Smasher, 1988 A.D. were finally unearthed (meaning the related collection is now complete and, well, production won't now have to take place from scans of aged, scabby, degraded comic pages) and the impending cover is now 75% inked and looking very smart (and suitably intense) indeed. Add to that a few conversations about revising the appearance of Dan Hunter's "Timeship Volto" in the now drawn 2nd chapter 2 of Evil Hollywood, "Zone of Destruction" and there's a pleasant day's events right there.

Sounds: Live at Leeds by The Exploited: Hang 'em High, Original Motion Picture Soundtrack by Dominic Frontiere: Blows Against The Empire by Paul Kantner, Grace Slick et al: Music From The Body by Ron Geesin and Roger Waters: A View to a Kill (7") by Duran Duran: Seconds (7") by The Human League: Bits and Pieces by The Dave Clark Five: Sky Pilot (7") by Eric Burdon and The Animals: Room To Move e.p. (7") by various.

Dominic Frontiere - Hang 'Em High

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Monday, 12 March 2012

We're covering your back (cover)....

With Monday upon us, here's a sneak peek at part of the proposed back cover for Evil Hollywood Over Subterrania, a snapshot into the fascistic homeworld of Zzador....

Monday, 5 March 2012

We've got it (bonus) covered....

As promised, here’s a sneak peek at the cover to the forthcoming sequel to The Atomic Society of Justice, titled Evil Hollywood Over Subterrania....


In addition to this cover treat we’re happy to announce that during a recent visit to Ice Station Zebra (on the 23rd of February) Agent Johnny announced he has begun working on the cover(s) for his new collections, one concentrating on his ’00′s output and the other on his 80′s output (plus anything we happen to have missed out in the meantime as we’re both finding new art all the time!). They’re shaping up just great, and since the pencils were premiered he’s informed me over the phone that he’s “cracking on” with the inks.

Sounds: Blows Against The Empire by Paul Kantner, Grace Slick et al: Bear’s Choice (side one) by Grateful Dead and Psycho, original motion picture soundtrack (side one) by Bernard Herrmann.

January 26th, 2012....
Agent Miller visited 'Section, 2', Glasgore on Tuesday and a day was spent conversing in the Attic regarding upcoming projects. Doctoring of Secret Agent X4 for publication was discussed and resolved, and the Crimesmasher amendments approved. This means the interiors for The Collected John G. Miller, 2000-2011 are now complete.

In addition, notes for Chapter 4 of Evil Hollywood Over Subterrania provisionally titled BATTLECAT versus Subterrania were begun, the sheer volume of ideas meaning this may take a while to shape into a coherent storyline. However, a few main plot threads were established.

Sounds: Two from the Vault by Grateful Dead, BBC Sessions '68-'69 by The Pink Floyd, Record Store Bonus Disc (feat. various artists) from Wooden Shjips, Blows Against The Empire by Paul Kantner, Grace Slick, et al. Caravan (track) and Rox (track) by The Aliens and Darkwave Driver/Big Drill Car (track) by The Brian Jonestown Massacre.

The Aliens - Rox

January 13th, 2012....
Another leisurely Happy New Year's swill at Ice Station Zebra with Agent Johnny yesterday. A recent letter contained the final 6 (of the 8 ) pages of Zone Of Destruction, 'fer me to draw', and page 1 of John Stark: Agent of S.M.E.R.S.H. is about 80% complete, some inking aside, with the entire tale roughed out over the Christmas period.

Too Many Criminal Idiots was discussed and, with the copies sent now registered 'officially missing', we agreed it falls to myself to make a few 'minor tweaks' for approval prior to publication.

Sounds: A Saucerful of Secrets by Pink Floyd, Soundtrack from the film 'More' by The Pink Floyd, Zabriskie Point: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (various artists) and The Best of The Pink Floyd.
Visions: Batman Original TV series and D.C Showcase Presents: Doom Patrol, Vol. 1

Friday, 2 March 2012

We've got it covered....

Aha, February proved to be quite a month for revealing upcoming covers, so here are all 4 (and an older one) in one bumper bundle! Next week, as we move into multi-posting tandem, we've another new cover to show off, courtesy of John Miller (and, no, it's not what you think!)....

BRAW! (at last!)

Aha, and so February was draws to a close with a preview of the in-progress Braw! comic cover which we can guarantee will be a special wraparound effort, so you'll need to at least see a copy, if not buy one, to find out just who that mysterious hand belongs to!

ELEXENDER BROWNE

....and as Friday is finally upon us, it's time to make good on our promises and pop up another cover preview, this time featuring no one's favourite, Elexender Browne, preparing to make an impact in his very own collected works, from his earliest beginnings to his later (more indulgent but) better drawn edventures.... Colours t.b.c. as ever....

STAR TRUDGE

Early in progress cover for the forthcoming A5 format 'exclusive special collectors' limited edition edition'....

BIG MOFF

As promised (and as due to the fact we have a few books with no actual covers), here's a brand new cover with, em, no book! Only kidding! This 24-28 pager has just hit the production line, along with this month's other goodies.... Stay tuned.... (all colours, finishes etc. t.b.c.)

BRAW!

Finally the time of 'Braw ...presents... #1' approaches.... Of course, (part 1, or indeed any part of) the mooted Kounter Kultyer Kevn opus (pictured) has yet to materialise, but the bones of a first issue anthology, 32-36 pages, are now all but, er, fleshed out.... The theme is likely very Scottish, with a second issue centering around a vast Big Moff tale, 'Strap On Japan' and other musical (od)ditties set to follow.... More soon....

Thursday, 1 March 2012

The best of 2011....


Aha, is it too late to post this, I mean, we're only 1/6 of the way through the year, so....

Production-bot Rob Miller was honoured to be asked by the kind chaps over at Graphic Eye to submit a 'best of....' list for the year gone by. You can read his musings on the past 365 days' worth of comics here.

Check out the site for more 'best ofs....', 'round-ups', etc. courtesy of the (Scottish) comics scene....

Or, if you like, the full piece (with 2 tiny revisions and some extra links) is below....

Thanks to the relative luxury of working at Hope Street Studios I have access to all sorts of comics and graphic novels that perhaps I wouldn't necessarily pick up, so with that in mind....

Jeff Lemire's Essex County came with a heavyweight reputation, and although I greatly admired the structure, theme and could see what he was doing, I found the art just too raw, a bit too primitive overall for my liking. So I approached volumes 2 and 3 of his Vertigo title Sweet Tooth with some trepidation, but found it to be excellent. The art is occasionally quite patchy - I can only picture a single truly striking, memorably rendered scene across the 3 books, but there is an odd, cumulative effect - but the writing is very well paced, strong and genuinely affecting. I went back and picked up Book 1 to complete the set (so far.... I can't wait for more....)

Speaking of the 'New 52' we've been very lucky in that Frank Quitely has been generous enough to share his comp box with us, allowing the Studio the chance to indulge themselves in all things 're-boot'. Hmm.... Really there's been nothing to tempt me back to (reading) mainstream comics, but Tony S. Daniel's work on Detective Comics #1 showed improved confidence, managing to reference both Jim Lee and Frank Miller (aided by some lovely, restrained colouring) whilst stamping his own authority on the character, especially (and perhaps unusually) in the more subdued moments - 'he is the goddam Batman artist'.... ....only the quiet, sketchy subtlety of Greg Capullo's work on Batman slowly crept up on me too. Of particular note was his attention to peripheral characters, with some lovely facial expressions and body language throughout. Then again, in spite of its obvious slick look, there were some outstanding, moody pages to be found in the heavy blacks of the Batman and Robin title, courtesy of Patrick Gleason with Mick Gray's inks. So Bats wins the art wars hands down, so many of the other titles are of course technically brilliant, created by talented teams, far beyond anything I could ever hope to aspire to, but in their own way everything's just a bit flat and uninspiring.

It's no surprise that writing-wise Grant Morrison's Action Comics is already by far the best and most interesting of the bunch, and the art is great too (although, typically of bonus features, the roughs for #1's cover had much more life, energy and verve than the actual finished, polished product).

Two other artists who leapt up in my estimation were Cameron Stewart (yep, that's that Frank connection again!), who I knew primarily from his Seaguy (despite the story passing me by) and Batman and Robin work, but the exclusive sneak peek of his forthcoming Batman Incorporated pages blew me away - just gorgeous! I cannot wait to see these collected and put out as a trade. Again, Doug Mahnke's work on Grant Morrison's Frankenstein also made a real impact - I hadn't been all that taken with his chunky work on Final Crisis, but I loved this stuff, the art really contributing to the book's appeal.

A bit late, but my art discovery of the year was Edvin Biukovic, who contributed 4 issues of Human Target in 1999. In fact, an earlier Star Wars book aside, this was about all his contribution to mainstream comics as he died suddenly from a (just diagnosed) brain tumour aged 30. Take it from me and hunt it down - you won't be disappointed, it simply gets better with every viewing.

I've always followed Fables, and it's been a joy to watch Mark Buckingham grow into a sublime artist from the earlier books, whilst enjoying what is some of the best adult comic writing from Vertigo, both pacey and intelligent. In saying that, I can't help think the book has peaked, and the last few trades (whilst still entertaining) just can't hit the heights of the war against the Adversary and the death of Boy Blue. Even the art, much as it pains me to say it, seems to have simplified to the extent that, rather than looking like a controlled, skilled use of minimal line and spotted blacks with excellent composition - it all just looks a bit sparse, occasionally samey and you catch that slight sense Mr Buckingham's 'coasting'. But in all fairness, in a recent collection his art somehow managed to make that of Mike Allred seem rather flat and pedestrian by comparison, so y'know....

Thanks to someone having a clearout at home (guess who?) the first 4 trades of Eddie Campbells' Bacchus have now surfaced in some sort of order, so I'm currently marvelling at the sheer scope of that. From the moment I first spied the character (the sort you wished you'd visualised and created) in passing; his worn look, the suggestion of warmth, a life lived, I've been anxious to get to grips with this mammoth saga. Lucky for me It seems all 1000+ pages are set to be reprinted by Top Shelf in 2 volumes next year, so I'm very much looking forward to that.

It'd be most unfair of me to think back over the year without mentioning the publishing bete-noire of the last twelve months, so here goes....

Ham-fisted
Offensive
Lazy
Yet

Tremendous
Essential
Raw
Repulsive
Ordinary
Rubbish

I finally got round to buying some comics from sometime Khaki Shorts contributor Noah Van Sciver (who cut me a great deal, sending me 2 issues of Blammo together with The Death of Elijah Lovejoy and Dueling) and he certainly merits a mention here. I enjoyed his little comical / serious vignettes, and rate his drawing, a great sense of environment and sweetly emotive and expressive when needed. Elijah Lovejoy and Dueling were to prove the springboard for his forthcoming 182 (give or take post-editing) graphic novel The Hypo, about Abraham Lincoln, so that'll be one to look out for next year.

Talking of next year and the underground, it's no surprise that 12 months sporadically working on 'digitally transferring' the comics of John Miller, Dave Alexander and Frank Quitely (for sometime 2012 publication - front covers to all pending!) has seen each of them grow even further in my estimation, whilst knocking my own confidence tenfold. The opening 12 pages of The Collected John Miller, 1990 - 1999, was nearly enough to have me hanging up my pens for good - simply astonishing, quite unlike anything! So if that wasn't depressing enough, a few months of chipping at 80 pages of The Greens, et al, followed by 150 or so of The MacBams it's a surprise I can be bothered to put pen to paper ever again! It's amazing how close working reveals the hitherto hidden skills and layers of drawing at play, be it composition, style, technique, etc. and how one's own art develops all the better for it.

Glasgow Comic Con in June provided the opportunity to meet the very charming David Lloyd, another of my artist heroes, and Kapow! afforded me the opportunity to see beyond the clouds of (oddly smelling) smoke that often envelop the Glasgow comic scene - such a range of work on offer from my underground contemporaries down South made for a very humbling and shaming experience, which has changed the way I look at such comics for good (and for the better).

Finally, it'd be unfair to not mention Curt Sibling publishing his 5th (and best) Total Fear collection (I know, one day I'll get round to working up the courage to ask him about collecting all 7 issues of the earlier, mid '90s series of this....), which didn't disappoint. Furthermore, it was nice to see him branching out with the fantasy tale King Evil and collaborating on Hiss, also notable for featuring the sublime art of youngster Stephen McShane - the new kid on the local block, and a definite talent to watch. Amazing to think of all the great comics out there, but when it comes down to direct influences, and people who inspire you to push your work on even more, they most often than not can be found scribbling in the next room.... For all his fleeting sightings, I have to mention Jean Pierre Lapeyre - the snippets of his work I've seen suggest that his forthcoming weighty tome will be the underground book to look out for here next year. Shades of John Miller and a whole host of arty and original thought - this is without a doubt the one I'm waiting for.


Oh, and big thanks due to Tom Campbell, that's for sure, a former local artist (responsible for the Alex Ross approved Freedom Collective) who adapts Red-Eye pens for ink, and is probably in an odd way the most influential person presently at work in Glasgow comics - his home-made brush wares have made ripples with the manufacturer and found their way into ink work by Gary Erskine and Frank Quitely. By encouraging me to take up these mighty pens he's been directly responsible for an incredible loosening up of my own work, in turn opening up a new avenue of personal expression and creativity. Thanks Tom, you're my comics guy of 2011!