Sunday, 3 August 2014

Wallace Wood and the Art of Self Promotion

I can vividly recall the first time I encountered the work of the late, great Wallace Wood at his full-on, no holds barred, sci-fi driven best. It was within the pages of an almost impossible to acquire (at least if you were living in the UK in 1969) publication which went under the title of 'Witzend'.

'Witzend' was Wood's brain child, but by the time the story to which I refer appeared, he had pretty much consigned the editorial and publishing duties to his friend and assistant (one of many), Bill Pearson.
The story in question was titled, 'Spawn of Venus' and was breathtaking, it was a hitherto unpublished story for the legendary EC comics line and had been intended for publication as a 3D comic. But EC comics were in the last stages of succumbing to the forces of self-righteous indignation as US senators and upholders of morality railed against a publishing company whose output was unashamedly focused on tales of grand guignol horror and science fiction.

The tour de force moment of Wood's delineation of this story occurs right at the start of the doom laden epic, to put it quite simply it's all in the splash panel. Here you only get to see the reaction on the faces of the space explorers as they gaze in horror at the ghastly thing bearing down on them.

Here you can see Wood's splash page in all it's 'original' glory and here is a series of snapshots of the self promotional artwork I created, clearly still heavily under the influence of this amazing art some 45 years later.

Now come the time for a little competition—the winner of which will receive an A3 signed print on quality matte art paper of this little meisterpiece (comes mailed in a sturdy cardboard tube to the address of your current domicile).
But to find the question you need to answer you must journey over to my new blog—so click here and all will be revealed!

Monday, 26 May 2014

More of the Nerdmeister and his Pink Guru

Here are a few more images of Boffin Boy and his pink and spiky sidekick Wu Pee. One of the benefits of working with small publishers such as Ransom Publishing who produce the fabulous Boffin Boy series, is that work is not subject to death by committee. Which means that you get to have fun with ideas and not have to worry about endless re-draws:

Sunday, 18 May 2014

The 14 Year Old Dweeb and a Runty Oriental Sage

I first encountered the wonderfully weird world of Boffin Boy some eight years ago when I received a manuscript from Ransom Publishing about a delightfully nerdy and bespectacled geek called Boffin Boy and his runty oriental sage and mystic pal, Wu-Pee, who was going to save the world from a host of hideous menaces including, Monsters From Outer Space, Killer Bees, Ninja Assassins, Man Eating Sharks, Giant Robots, Death Worms, Poison Gardens, Floating Brains and a star studded cast of recurring villains such as 'Red Wolf', 'The Wizard of Edo', 'Doctor Daffney', 'Mogon the Mighty' and 'The Red Wolf'.

Written by the supremely talented David Orme, the script were a delight to work on—an inspirational blend of the absurd and surreal underpinned by David's strong characterization and his wry sense of humor.

When I commenced work on the first series of six books, I was still cutting my teeth in the relatively unfamiliar world of vector drawing. I had tired of working in Photoshop and craved something a bit less intuitive and a bit more graphic—Adobe's (perfectly monickered) Illustrator seemed the ideal way to go.

The job was created at breakneck speed (anything up to five images a day) and by the end of the work I knew a hell of a lot more about Illustrator than I did when I commenced.

Now into it's third series of books, Boffin Boy has once again been selected for the 'Book Buzz List' and has also been nominated for a Kate Greenaway Award and is on 'The Times Top 160 Books for Boys'.

It's good to know the stupidity is spreading.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Heros The Spartan—A Peek Inside

A week ago I posted that advance copies of the eagerly awaited 'Frank Bellamy's Heros the Spartan' had arrived at Book Palace Books HQ. Having shared the photos of the book's covers that we received from our printer, we have been looking forward to sharing with you some of the contents of this publication and that moment has now arrived.

Both editions of this book are a delight to hold, the smell and feel of the matte archival paper makes leafing through the book a real pleasure. The sewn binding again just exudes quality and means that the book will open and reveal all of the pages right into the gutter. This is something which other books attempting to reprint spreads from UK comics have often made problematic, with crucial dialogue and artwork often becoming irretrievably lost in the process. In the case of 'Heros', our printers Prolong Press, went to extraordinary lengths to ensure that the signatures of pages butted up cleanly and precisely with each other so that all of this extraordinary strip was visible to the reader.

As regards the print quality, I am pleased to say that the weeks of painstaking restoration work has been really well realized by virtue of superb repro from our restorations and the matte archival paper ensures that not one line of Bellamy's pen work has been obscured in the process as these close-up photos reveal.

The penultimate photo shows one of the 11 original boards that appears in the sumptuously bound red leather edition with gold blocking, of which there are only 120 copies.

I won't witter on any more about these books, other than to say, that we feel that this book is the best book we have produced so far and response to it has been tremendously positive with over half the entire print run sold before publication day. On the subject of which, we had another notification from our printer to say that we could expect to take receipt of these books on 15th October, they are still at sea but getting ever closer to these shores.

Here again are the links if you would like to order copies of the book:

More pictures can be seen on the Marvel Masterworks Fan Site:

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

The First Photos of Book Palace Books 'Frank Bellamy's Heros the Spartan'

I am delighted  to say that we have just received  these mouth watering photos of the long awaited Heros, direct from our printer in far away China:

They are sending out two copies of each book via FedEx tomorrow so that by next week when we have received them, we should be able to post more photos, including the insides.

The main consignment is scheduled to arrive at Book Palace HQ on October 10th.

The waiting is nearly over and many thanks for you support and forbearance, whilst we fine tuned this epic production.

Here's the link if you feel the urge to place an order, we have already pre-sold a sizeable chunk of the print run.

The regular edition is limited to a print run of 600 whilst the leather edition is 120: