While writing and drawing Rock In Purgatory, I did plenty of research into some odd things. I have read up on the urban myths I knew about various bands and discovered some that were new to me. I’ve also looked at some bizarre deaths and gory ways to meet your end.
Along the way, music has also inspired me. Bands like Cannibal Corpse have some distressingly violent imagery to their songs, and it may have been the over-saturation of murderous lyrics that led me to see this visual pun waiting for me in a Bon Jovi song.
The idea came to me when drawing the Thunder Lynx comic strip for Rock In Purgatory. It seems so obvious now, but it took me quite a while to realise that a literal interpretation of the opening line from You Give Love A Bad Name would be a great sketch to accompany the comic.
This simple but effective piece was commissioned by fetish video production house Giantess Productions. I had a great time creatign this and a few other commissions for them, and it always puts a smile on my face when they pop this up as their Twitter profile pick.
I’ve done a fair bit of giantess illustration work over the last couple of years. I’m fascintaed by the possibilities that it provides. It’s not just the giant woman over a cityscape idea that’s fun to draw, but the camera angles you can play with are something you wouldn’t normally entertain.
I did start drawing a giantess comic before Rock In Purgatory started to gather momentum. I’m thinking of re-visiting it or trying a new giantess comic idea. Let me know if you think I should give it a go!
Time for something specifically Christmassy, as glam rock legends Mute Cheeta switch on the Christmas lights.
I never intended to have seasonally themed Rock In Purgatory strips (not even Halloween) but as the Christmas edition of Popcorn Horror magazine rolled round, I felt compelled to get into the festive spirit.
The premise for this story is based on real events. My friend Usman Hasan once upstaged Def Leppard by switching on the lights himself when they were booked as the main attraction in Sheffield. Usman was there representing the local university radio station and go coerced into dressing as Santa for the event. Before Def Leppard could do their thing, Usman had pressed the button and kicked off Christmas for all of Sheffield.
Of course, no band members were killed in the original story, but this being Rock In Purgatory they all had to die. Look out for the little reference to Usman in the second panel.
Five days into Radvent and we go back to the start of Rock In Purgatory for a second look at hardcore band Bludgeoner.
The very first Rock In Purgatory comic of the series is still one of my favourites. It is actually based on an experience I had with my own band Circus Diabolica. They always say ‘write what you know’ so thats’ exaclty what I did with Bludgeoner.
When my band played at Water Rats in Kings Cross, London, I spent half the set swinging from the chandeliers (literally). The following day, the ceiling collapsed during a sound check, narrowly avoiding the band who’d just set up. It was a great tale to tell and was na obcious choice for how I should start this comic off.
Tally ho! My silent Toad of Toad Hall comic is today’s radvent calendar post.
The awesome Heather Chapman encouraged me to try out for the Undiscovered Voices challenge from Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) this year. Among the briefs to choose from was a single page silent comic giving a modern re-telling of a scene from Wind In The Willows.
I immediately went straight the washer woman scene. I always found this to be a hilarious scene. For those that don’t remember it, Toad is locked up for reckless driving and tries to get the washer woman’s daughter to lend him a wardens outfit so he can escape. The only clothes that will fit him are her mothers, which he doesn’t want to wear, but relcutantly puts on so he can leave with her.
My version explores what else may have been in the laundry hamper. What would it be like if she happened to be carrying a clowns outfit? Or a suit of armour? What would Toad look like if he dressed as a Minecraft version of himself?
Going back to the origins of Brutal Bombshells, today’s radvent post is Hacked Off Hayley.
I love Hayley, not just because she is used for the cover image of the Brutal Bombshells comic, but also because she stylistically sums up the comic. Brutal Bombshells is a femme fatale anthology in the spirit of EC Comics. For me, his image best encapulates the stories within and the tone in which they are told.
Hayley’s story in the comics was actually one of the hardest to produce. The original concept seemed good when wirter Craig Jex and I came up with it, but when we started scripting and thumbnailing, it just didn’t gel at all. With our release deadline rapidly approaching, we ditched the first drafts and re-imagined the entire story. The resulting tale was simpler, but worked so much better for it.
It’s the first day of my radvent calendar, where I will be posting a comic page or illustration each day until Christmas.
For your delectation, here is a brand spanking new Rock In Purgatory comic. This is one of my bloodiest comics, with a good ol’ fashioned slasher vibe told through the mediums of comics and death metal.
The band lead band in this comic are death metal legends Bonefuckers. The name for the band was decided by public vote, as is the way with most of the bands in Rock In Purgatory. The twisted mind of Isaac Keith Martinez came up with the winning name, and he’s set to make his mother proud now that it’s been published here for all to see. Thanks also to David Dubrow and Marc Snaith for their suggestions too – better luck next time guys.