I have launched the new Band Of One Store where you can grab the Jack Astro comic book. A few A5 Art Card prints and various sketch cards from my morning warmup sketches which I’m posting on Instagram.
The store can be found here: https://bandofone.square.site/
If you are buying anything for Christmas I would order in the next couple of weeks to be sure of delivery before the 25th.
I just got back from exhibiting at Thought Bubble Comic Art Festival.
It was such a joy to be able to talk to people about my work and show them the Jack Astro Comic Book in person.
A huge thank you to everyone who stopped by the table and either chatted with me or listened patiently to my pitch for the book. The response was really great and I’m still on a bit of a high having such a positive reaction from people both for my artwork and also the general concept.
I made this comic for myself really. Or to be more accurate for my 12 year old self. I would have been a massive fan of this comic if someone else had created it. It was especially exciting seeing youngsters around that age and a bit older looking so thoroughly psyched about the book.
The show was run amazingly well and all the precautions in place for Covid made for a great and safe show. Thought Bubble really cares about the artists and comic creators and there was SO much incredible talent on display. I wish I had more time to hunt around. I know I missed out on meeting and buying stuff from a few of my favourite creators.
Since the weekend ended I’ve been totally fueled with inspiration to get working on my next projects. I’ve got a few exciting things in the works including a spin-off version of Jack Astro for a kids magazine. And a new long form project that will be a bit more in the fantasy genre. A middle-ages setting, knights, dragons and my usual injection of weirdness and silliness.
I will definitely be hoping to attend next year’s show and hopefully one or two others throughout 2022.
After watching the Documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune, and reading the novel Dune, I knew the next port of call down the rabbit hole was reading The Incal.
Jean Giraud aka Moebius is an artist who I’ve long admired, and yet I had never read any of his work. I think possibly the availability of translations from the French was a hurdle.
My main exposure to his art was indirectly through the Heavy Metal movie. The series of shorts in the film are mostly taken from comic series in the magazine of the same name (Metal Hurlant in French).
Harry Canyon, the story of a New York taxi driver, was based on the Moebius’s comic, The Long Tomorrow. And Taarna was based on Arzach.
That movie had a huge impact on me. There are some cool short stories in it. But mainly the visuals were something totally new to me at the time.
I suspect I heard the name Moebius in the DVD special features. There was a making of documentary, before the days of the Internet this was a source of valuable insights. There was a period of time where I consumed making of’s and audio commentaries hungry for information. Now I guess it is podcasts!
At the end of Jodorowsky’s Dune they mention that all of the pre-production work for the abandoned Dune movie, they eventually re-purposed and put into the comic book The Incal.
The book is written by Jodorowsky and illustrated by Moebius. It is a Sci-Fi tour de force with so many interesting ideas crammed into its pages. Both philosophical conceptual ideas from Jodo as well as incredible genre defining visual ideas from Moebius.
After reading, I felt like it was one of the greatest graphic novels I had ever read. The last time I felt so overwhelmed by a comic book was probably after reading Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns.
Definitely a book to remind you of the potential of the medium.
Eleven days to go in the Jack Astro Kickstarter and his final physical manifestation is already assured. We are at 340% funded.
If you want to grab yourself a copy of the hardback comic book go HERE.
It was fun coming back to the characters for this silly little promo comic. But I’ve also been working on a side project involving Jack Astro. I’ll be revealing more info on that as soon as I can.
I thought I’d share some process from the above comic page. Below are my thumbnails. I scribbled these out in pen on some old animation paper I have lying around. I have boxes and boxes of this paper, so most of my loose sheet scribbles – as well as shopping lists and work notes – end up on this type of paper.
I was trying to keep this very loose and spontaneous. And you can see that I matched the thumbnails pretty closely in the final artwork. I think it retains an energy that feels fun.
Jodorowsky’s Dune follows his attempt to bring the novel Dune to the cinema screen. It has sparked a huge journey down the rabbit hole for me. Along the way I’ve discovered artists and stories I didn’t know anything about.
The science fiction novel Dune is one that I’d never gotten around to reading. It’s regarded as a classic but until I watched this movie I had not read the book. Similarly Moebius is a hugely influential artist whose work I admired, but I had not actually read any of his books.
I’ve been falling headlong down the rabbit hole, investigating and discovering various works mentioned in the film. Each avenue I head down leads me on to more and more discoveries. I intend to cover each of these individually in more depth in later posts. For now though, if you’d like to join me down the rabbit hole, Jodorowsky’s Dune is a good entry point.
I am a huge fan of documentary filmmaking. It is similar to my love of reading biographies of artists and musicians. It gives such a great glimpse into the life and work of creative individuals.
Jodorowsky is a fascinating character. He is a true artistic visionary in the way that only a Frenchman can pull off. He is passionate and wildly eccentric. And he has a tendency to shoot from the hip which obviously gets him in trouble. This seems to be a major factor in why his film version of Dune never made it into production. Hollywood just did not know how to handle this man.
What Jodorowsky did manage to do, was to corral and inspire a group of artists. These insanely talented individuals were his “Spiritual Warriors.” H.R. Giger, Chris Foss, and Jean ‘Moebius’ Giraud worked on pre-production art and storyboards.
As a Director, Jodorowsky was able to draw people into his world and vision. In the same way that Walt Disney inspired his artists, Jodorowsky seems to have been able to draw great work out of people. He attracted many like minded creatives onto the project, then he fuelled them to create some of the best work of their careers.
His cast included Orson Welles, Mick Jagger, David Carradine and even Salvador Dali whom he lured with the promise of being the highest paid actor of all time. He had Dan O’Bannon on board for visual effects. The only thing O’Bannon had done up to that point was Dark Star, and he went on to have an incredible career.
Check out my first piece of Dune inspired artwork here
Caution: Making recommendations to people is a bit of a minefield. Over hype something and you can ruin the person’s experience of it. Under-sell it and they won’t bother to track it down. Having said that, I’m going to use this blog to gently nudge you in the direction of some stuff that I believe is worth some consideration.