Patron of stuff

Patreon is great, I support fantastic creators and get awesome stuff in return, what’s not to like? (shhhh don’t mention the extortionate creator fees, payment processing fees, the annoying VAT thing or the estimated annual revenue of $50-$75 million).

I really hope patreon is worthwhile for the people I follow, seems like a lot of work to maintain a page on top of what is already a very busy freelance workload.

There is so much pressure for artists to work continuously these days (newsletters, social media, livestreams, online shops, the list goes on) and I often wonder if I’m just adding to that heavy burden by subbing. I can imagine that, particularly on patreon, creators feel obligated to provide ‘value for money’ spending time on posts at the expense of some other area of their life/work.

On a more positive note, I get a lot from my memberships – inspiration, tips, recommendations, exclusive peeks and goodies like the stuff below.

I spotted Ewan’s entry for the 2000AD art comp a few months back and immediately started following his work on patreon. Ewan works primarily in acrylic and his style is violent, frenetic and visceral, I love it! I’ve started dabbling with paint again for the first time in years as a result of seeing his process vids and I’ve also started sketching along with his hang and draw podcast.

Russell Mark Olson’s patreon page is immense. I recently started following and found I’d unlocked years of process posts and incredible artwork. One of my favourite things to do before bed now is read through his archive from the beginning, Russell’s writing is full of insightful observations and critical analysis.

The Gateway City Quarterly is a gorgeous 16 page newsprint format posted to members of the Sub-Editor tier four times a year. I’ve received two now and the latest edition has a fantastic bonus backup by Gavin Mitchell (above). If you’re not already on Russell’s patreon I can’t recommend it enough.

Gavin Mitchell has also been creating some nostalgic riso prints and offered first dibs to his patreon supporters. I nabbed a wee hero quest print and cheekily added a copy of his self published Spatchcock mystery “The final curtain” to my order. Gavin posted the entirety of final curtain on his patreon as he produced pages and I couldn’t resist buying a print copy, it’s fantastic!


I lucked upon a yellowed copy of Jeremiah this week in a local Oxfam stuck between a bunch of back issues that were probably donated by the FPI across the street. Published by Adventure comics (a division of Malibu Graphics) in the early 90s the book has a peculiar format but the art is unbelievably good.

The Belgian artist Hermann Huppen (better known as Hermann) is new to me but his work has clearly had a big impact and influence.

There’s not much available online about Hermann’s process or tools but I gleaned a few things from this video watching his effortless line and mastery with a brush, just incredible.

End of year lists

I don’t usually bother with end of year lists or top tens but I enjoy seeing other peoples books and pull lists so what the hell, why not? Not a comprehensive list of everything I read in 2022, just a few personal faves.

First up, Short and Curious by PJ Holden available on gumroad.

I know, I know… I’ve posted about this before but I bloody love it! I also wanted to show off the lil A5 copy I printed on the big old duplex copier at work… even dusted off my long arm stapler too.

The Essential Guide to Comic Book Lettering by Nate Piekos. While the book primarily focuses on using Adobe Illustrator there’s lot’s of useful guides and info. I’m really gonna have to make time to try out the stuff here and see if I can adapt the workflows in Affinity Designer.

Cyberpunk 2077: Blackout by Bartosz Sztybor and Roberto Ricci was a must-buy for me after seeing Roberto’s process posts on twitter.

The Dragon Path by Ethan Young was an absolute delight from start to finish. Some fanart is well overdue for this fantastic book.

Dream Fossil: The Complete Stories of Satoshi Kon. I’ve had this on my bed side table for the past year and have read it now at least ten times. The stories collected are simply phenomenal, from the eeriness of ‘Guests’ to the sheer joy of ‘Beyond the sun’.

Kroma by Lorenzo De Felici. One of my favourite books on the stands at the moment, Lorenzo is producing something incredible with Kroma.

SKYBOUND X has been on my pull list since it started and issue 25 was excellent. Battle Beast, Kirkman, Ottley, need I say more?

Ok, that’s enough of that, happy new year dweebs!

Recommendations – October 2020

Lot’s to talk about and recommend this month but here’s just some of my favs from the last few weeks.

Joe Palmer – Comic book artist

Joe Palmer posted this AWESOME Spider-man fanart at the start of the month on instagram, really like his take on the character!

Criminal: UK (2019- )

Criminal: UK (2019- ) available on netflix

Missed this brilliant anthology crime series when it was initially released in 2019, love the format and performances by the stellar cast.

Cory Walker

Cory’s scatchblag blog is sadly no more but occasionally, just occasionally he drops some of his sweet sweet art on instagram.

Chris O’Halloran – Comic book colourist

LOVE these warmups by Chris, be sure to check out his colours on the recent X-Men Marvels Snapshot #1 as well, spectacular work!

Ghosts: Series 1 (2019- )

Just finished series 1… I know, I know, how did I miss this? it’s been out for ages!

Almost impossible to pick a favourite character from the terrific cast, this is a must watch for fans of Horrible Histories and Siblings.

Ghosts (2019- ) available on BBC iPlayer

Big thanks to Gavin Mitchell for posting this fanart of Ghosts at the start of the month, really piqued my interest in the show.

Gavin was also a guest on the Captain Fishbeard youtube channel in September, it’s a great chat with Tom Sparke about comics, process and Mike Tyson in spaaace, well worth a watch.

Joe Todd-Stanton – Children’s book illustrator

I’m lucky to see a lot of amazing new children’s books at work but these recent titles by Joe Todd-Stanton published by Flying Eye Books really caught my eye this month. Joe posts regular sketches and illustrations on his twitter and instagram.

Deftones – Ohms (2020)

I’ve been listening to Ohms on repeat, a stonking return to the 90s nu metal production style of the bands early work.

Marco Ferrari

Italian comic book artist Marco Ferrari has been blowing my mind this month, check out his work on instagram and twitter.

Big F#@k off Worms is back!!!

Big F#@ck off Worms was one of my recommendations back in May so I’m very excited to see what Matt Garvey and J Francis Totti have in store for Petey in issue 2!

Recommendations – September 2020

Haven’t done one of these in a few months so thought I’d share some of the stuff I’ve been enjoying during September!

The Breadwinner (2017) Director – Nora Twomey

The Breadwinner (2017) available on netflix

Absolutely adored this beautifully animated film by Cartoon Saloon.

Parasyte – The Maxim (2014)

I recently finished watching this series based on the science fiction horror manga by Hitoshi Iwaaki. It’s produced by Madhouse Inc. the studio behind the first season of one punch man.

Black Widow Vol. 1: S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Most Wanted – Marvel

Holy crap! This book grabs you from the first page at break neck speed and just doesn’t let go! Highly recommended for fans of Chris Samnee’s artwork, the fight choreography and explosive action sequences are something else!

Fire Power – Skybound

One of my favourite ongoing series atm, I picked up the prelude OGN along with issues 1 & 2 and immediately added it to my pull list the next day.

Pan Nowak – Illustrator and graphic designer

Really love Krzysztof’s work, be sure to check out his instagram!

The Hater (2020) Director‎ – ‎Jan Komasa

The Hater (2020) available on netflix

An unnerving and tense Polish drama thriller, Maciej Musialowski is fantastic as the nihilistic Tomasz Giemzo.

Possessor (2020) – trailer

I’ve been avoiding the details about this film as much as possible before it’s release. If you’re not familiar with director Brandon Cronenberg I’d highly recommend watching Antiviral (2012).

The Mandalorian Season 2 (2020) – Disney+ trailer

I watched the first season during lockdown and LOVED IT! Really looking forward to the release of season 2… this is the way.

Making Comics with Matt Garvey

Matt’s infectious enthusiasm for comics and storytelling shines through as he breaks down the comic writing process into easily digestible chunks of sheer positivity. As a fan of BFOW it’s also been fun to hear him discuss some of the characters from the first issue and his future plans for the series with cocreator J Francis Totti.

OTOMO: A Global Tribute to the Mind Behind Akira – Published by Kodansha Comics

This is a gorgeous book featuring full colour high resolution reproductions of original art by more than 80 artists, illustrators, and comics creators. There’s a preview gallery here at publisher Kondasha Comics and also a great review by Vong Yonghow on his Halcyon Realms blog.

Glenarriff Forest Park

Glenariff forest has become a regular weekend walking destination for me (I’ve been 3 times in the last month). I find it’s best to get there early to secure a parking space and avoid the afternoon crowds.

Recommendations – May 2020

First up is Write it in Blood by Rory McConville, Joe Palmer, Chris O’Halloran and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou. A fantastic crime noir set in rural Texas about brothers Arthur and Cosmo, two hitmen on one last job before retirement. The colouring by O’Halloran really set’s the tone, a limited palette and subtle texture throughout really gives the book an iconic look. I loved this miniseries, definitely one of my favourite titles of the year so far, Write it in Blood #1-4 is available now on gumroad.

UPDATE 01/09/20 – Write it in Blood will be published by Image.

Deficit is a surreal martial arts comedy from Joe Palmer. If you’re not familiar with Joe’s other brilliant creator owned comics such as Grind I highly recommend visiting his website and gumroad. Joe also posts amazing artwork regularly on instagram, his daily warm up drawings are all kinds of awesome!

Long Rain by Artyom Topilin is a tense and compelling adaptation of the Ray Bradbury short story that lingers with you long after reading. Simply brilliant, I can’t recommend this comic enough, make sure you grab a copy from his gumroad.

If you haven’t been following Big F#@ck off Worms by Matt Garvey and J Francis Totti, you’ve been missing out on a fun and frenetic daily comics fix during lockdown, it’s clear that both creators are having a blast on this.

Also, be sure to check out these two great comics by Asaf Hanuka and Jesus Alonso Iglesias… essential reading right now: