Tag Archive: artist


This blog’s been untended even longer than my main writing blog, but as well as me getting back into the writing groove, Mark’s pressing ahead with the art for the next Ostragoth publication. At the moment, he’s aiming to have a first draft by the end of the month, but art doesn’t always go to plan. This one’s more of a standard comic length (hence cheaper – doesn’t it sound more appealing already?) and yes it does have a werewolf in it, but this is Ostragoth – you know it’s not going to be that straightforward.

Two announcements, one is that if you’re a member of Bradford libraries, you can now borrow a copy of our graphic novel Boys Don’t Cry (see the catalogue entry for details). The other is that Ostragoth (in the form of artist Mark Pexton) will be at Bristol Comic Expo next week (Saturday 14th May).

I urge and encourage you to borrow Boys Don’t Cry if you can, both to support the library and to make us slightly excited when we see that someone’s taken it out (we don’t get any money, so don’t go thinking that’s why I’m asking. If we were in this for the money, we wouldn’t be in this at all).

For those living further south who are getting tired of all these parish notices about local libraries and comic shops, get yourself to Bristol next Saturday and not only can you buy a copy of Boys Don’t Cry or one of Mark’s prints or postcards, but you get to meet the artist himself. What could be a better reason for attending? (surely not the impressive list of guests?). Admittedly I’m not going along this year, but hopefully next year.

To those of you nowhere near Bristol or Yorkshire, I can only apologise. But have you seen our fine online shop?

We have a fully working website! OneMonkey has spent 3 days working at html and javascript and other technical things (I added a couple of links, my html skills are fairly basic) and now there’s a wonderfully themed site for Boys Don’t Cry at www.ostragoth.co.uk so check it out and let us know what you think.

Two and a half days left

Less than two and a half days really – today’s almost over, which leaves Thursday and Friday, then on Saturday morning we’ll be on an early train to Leeds for Thought Bubble. At last. And after a couple of nail-biting weeks our debut graphic novel Boys Don’t Cry arrived from the printers this morning.

Graphic novel and postcards

Graphic novel and postcards

Prints and postcards

Prints and postcards

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have a tablecloth, business cards, some change, and A4 envelopes to put prints in. We know which train we need, we’ve arranged a time to meet, and I have a list of things we need to remember to take with us on the day (I do like lists).

At today’s final Ostragoth meeting before Thought Bubble, we were discussing Mark’s different styles, and the conversation got round to the caricature of me that he did not long after we met (the caricature which stayed on my office door for about 2 years, just so people knew who was in there), so I’ll leave you with that…

The artist's impression of the writer

This time I asked Mark who (or which era of which comic) he would have liked to work with if he’d had the chance:
I’m tempted to say I would’ve liked to have worked with Stan Lee in the ’60s then I could have got no credit like all those artists! But seriously, I think 2000 AD of the late ’80s/ early’90s is my favourite period of comics, it would’ve been great to have been part of that. I wouldn’t have been in the same league as those people. I would have also liked a run on Daredevil especially under the under-rated DG Chichester years, Lee Weeks‘ work was great so I couldn’t have done better and I couldn’t have done 30 pages a month but it would’ve been fun to do one issue!
And the same question relating to current possibilities:
Tough one. Writers wise I reckon I’m already working with my favourite šŸ™‚ . But working with John Wagner & Alan Grant on a Judge Dredd would be cool (even though it probably wouldn’t suit my style), or Neil Gaiman on a Sandman story (which I reckon would *hint Mr. Gaiman if you’re reading*), or Clive Barker on a fetish horror comic,Ā  or a run on Daredevil written by me! There are lots of current artists I admire but I wouldn’t want to work with them as they’d show me up: Alex Maleev, Ben Templesmith, Glenn Fabry, Arthur Ranson to name but a few. Also I’d like to work with anyone who will give me..erm what’s it called..ah yes…money.
For the record, though I enjoy working with Mark (there’s the flattery, for one thing) I’d be prepared to stand aside for a Pexton-Gaiman partnership.

Further insights from sci-fi, fantasy and comic artist Mark Pexton – today he invites us (metaphorically. I don’t think we’d all fit) into the studio to watch him work. Or as OneMonkey put it, he answered my next couple of questions on techniques, tools and timescales (OneMonkey does love his alliteration).

Technique is usually the same: start with a pencil drawing, usually from a photo reference since life models are difficult to find. I prefer using photos I’ve taken but often I end up using stock photos from deviant art which sometimes is quite inspirational, I specialise in parasitising other people’s talent! Once I have a pencil drawing I scan it and mess about with it – I usually use Paint Shop Pro 8 for colouring, inking. I’d prefer to do everything traditionally but digital allows me to hide my multifarious mistakes and to do it all much quicker. I can usually do a page [of a comic] in a day or so if I’m in the mood, about the same for Interzone type things as well.

I figured it made sense to interview the star of our show, the artist Mark Pexton. In this first instalment he shares his earliest comic-related memories. Take it away Mark…
I first got introduced to comics by my Dad, at the local corner shop – for some reason in the early ’80s they used to stock some Marvel superhero comics, Spider-man and things – he used to read Marvel comics as a kid and I guess that inspired him to treat me and my brother to them (even though money was tight he was always spoiling us). The first issue that caught my imagination (it may have not been the first I read) was a copy of Daredevil. I loved (even as a 7 year old) the more serious tone to it than most other superhero comics (the issue I first remember reading featured the hero’s heroin addicted prostitute girlfriend and him losing his career and having his home blown up!). The issue in question was part of Frank Miller‘s return run on Daredevil (I didn’t know who Frank Miller was until much later) and featured great art by David Mazzucchelli (I remember clearly the beautiful panels he drew of Daredevil running across snowcovered brownstone rooftops, hisĀ almost photorealistic style still influences me today).
Subsequent to this first introduction I read comics off and on (but not regularly from issue to issue) until I made a friend at middle school (Ben Robinson, who even atĀ 12 had his own jazz band), he was very much into Judge Dredd and 2000 AD, something I had not come across before. After seeing one of his issues (aĀ trade paperback of the Judge Child quest featuring the wonderful art of Ron Smith and Brian Bolland)Ā I was hooked and started collecting them (even though my brother teased me that it was immoral to buy 2000 AD since Fleetway, the publishers, were owned by well-known crook Robert Maxwell!). I loved the dark humour and satire of Dredd (and the scantily clad sci-fi babes didn’t hurt either), and 2000 AD for years was my weekly treat (facilitated by the almost infinite patience of my Dad getting it for me from newsagents far and wide). 2000 AD showed me what was possible in comics: fully painted artwork, adult storylines, irony. The wonderful art of Glenn Fabry and Simon Bisley, and Simon HarrisonĀ inspired me, but most of all the brilliant dark scratchy ink art of David Roach on Judge Anderson. His work really was exceptional. I produced my own comics, (mostly just copies of 2000 AD) based on that.
Ben and I decided to create our own comic, he was a talented artist much more original than me, unfortunately it never came into existence and I lost touch with him.