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Friday, 13 May 2022

Grunt The Beserker - behind the scenes...


 I was just searching through some old files & found some of my preliminary sketches for Two Terrible Vikings & Grunt The Beserker my second collaboration with the brilliant Francesca Simon which I thought some of you might be interested in seeing the process around creating the cover

This was my very first version which I cleaned up a bit...


...to this which went over to the people at Faber - we all thought it looked a bit too scary so I gave it another go & rejigged the format to make it a bit clearer

I decided it would be less cluttered if Hack & Wack were separate from the terrible Grunt Ironskull so I doodled this in the back of my sketchbook...

...which turned into this...
It was thought that this version was too similar in colour to the first book so I decided to create a more brooding sky which I think works much better on the final book cover (see above)

For the back cover we'd decided to show Hack & Wack's pet wolf Bitey Bitey being menaced by Grunt's hound Muddy Butt - I drew a couple of versions - I rather liked the front on version but the final version works better with the text
Here's the final version...







Haircut?

 The perils of living hair!

Friday, 6 May 2022

Supernan's Day Out - behind the scenes

 

In celebration of the publication of Supernan's Day Out, the sequel to Superdad's Day Off & the 4th collaboration between me & the brilliant Phil Earle I thought I'd share some of my process & initial sketches for the book. 

Being brought up by the seaside reading superhero comics the British seaside resort & superheroes are subjects very close to my heart so in Supernan I had to opportunity to indulge myself in both so that's a bit of a bonus! I decided to base the seaside resort on an amalgam of Blackpool, my hometown Hastings with a little dash of vintage Coney Island into the mix


This was my very first sketch for the cover which is hidden away on the back of my sketchbook. At this point I hadn't read the book but I'd seen the precis & we wanted to echo the wraparound cover from Superdad's Day Off. Here's some more early pics of nan (on the back of an envelope!)
This was my initial rough which I sent to the publisher. They liked nan's styling but Phil thought nan needed to look a bit older & more frail so I had a little rejig.

They liked this version so I added a bit of colour...

(& added a sneaky cameo of me with an inflatable fish & an ice lolly shhhh!)

A few more sketches of the clifftop hotel being drenched by a tidal wave & my first sketch of Gladys, Nan's best friend




Monday, 2 May 2022

PUBLICATION DAY FOR SUPERNAN'S DAY OUT!

 

Supernan's Day Out by the brilliant Phil Earle & me is published TODAY! (Thursday 6th May 2022)

'An unexpected family secret has hilarious consequences in this action-packed story from Phil Earle and illustrator Steve May - perfect for superhero fans. Plane crashes, robberies and fires were not what Stanley was expecting on a day out at the seaside with his nan and the other residents of her care home!

Nan doesn't know about his superpowers, so Super Stan can't step in to help as it would blow his cover. Luckily, though, another mysterious superhero seems to be on hand, saving the day.

But who could it possibly be?'

This is the sequel to Superdad's Day Off & is full of colourful hilarious action. It's my 4th collaboration with Phil & publisher Barrington Stoke & I always relish our projects. 

I loved illustrating this book & it was huge fun relating the antics of Stan & his nan & reimagining a seaside town which was part Hastings (my hometown) part Blackpool with a tiny smidgeon of Coney Island in the mix somewhere. Being brought up by the sea reading superhero comics the British seaside resort & superheroes are subjects very close to my heart so in Supernan I had to opportunity to indulge myself in both so that's a bit of a bonus!

Nip down to your favourite bookshop & tell them me & Phil sent you (or alternatively you can order a copy here)







Tuesday, 15 February 2022

Draw Along 'Dirty Ulf' from Two Terrible Vikings


Here's me showing you how to draw Dirty Ulf, the grubbiest Viking in the village from the second Two Terrible Vikings book Grunt the Beserker by Francesca Simon & me published by Faber & Faber you can order a copy here!

More draw-alongs here

Thursday, 3 February 2022

Publication Day For 'Two Terrible Vikings' - 'Grunt The Beserker'

Grunt The Beserker

 "The world’s very worst Vikings are back to dash our hopes and fail our expectations!"

I'm extremely pleased to say that Hack & Wack, the WORST Vikings in the village are back in the second of the Two Terrible Vikings series Grunt The Beserker which is published TODAY - 3rd February by Faber Childrens!

In the new book the twins are forced to attend school & EVEN WORSE a fierce & stinky beserker warrior moves in NEXT DOOR!

How will the twins & their friends outwit Grunt & his vicious dog Muddy Butt?!?!

This is my second collaboration with the brilliantly funny Francesca Simon & was an absolute riot to return to draw the terrible Viking twins Hack & Wack along with their friends Dirty Ulf, Twisty Pants, Elsa Gold-Hair & of course Bitey Bitey their pet baby wolf!
In this new book I also got to draw the terrible (& rather stinky) Grunt The Beserker, his huge vicious dog Muddy Butt, Pecky Pecky the fiercest chicken in the Viking world & a plethora of angry puffins too! 

I frequently found myself laughing out loud when realising Francesca's hilarious text which is always a VERY GOOD THING!

Pop into your nearest independent bookshop & say hello or you can order a copy from here










Monday, 10 January 2022

Grunt The Beserker - cover reveal!


 Me pulling my BEST beserker face after receiving my copies of the new Two Terrible Vikings book 'Grunt The Beserker' by Francesca Simon & me! There's NOTHING quite as exciting as seeing an ACTUAL PRINTED COPY!

It's a very funny book, Francesca has such a brilliant imagination & turn of phrase  - I found myself laughing out loud at various things I was drawing which is always a good sign (even if my studio mates think I'm going mad occasionally!

All the old gang are back, Hack & Wack the terrible viking twins, their baby wolf Bitey Bitey, Dirty Ulf, Twisty Pants, Elsa Goldhair & some brilliant new characters! I'll reveal more soon, watch this space...

You can preorder a copy here



Wednesday, 5 January 2022

Grunt the Beserker...sneak preview


 Psst...here's a glimpse of the brilliant bookmarks to go with the publication of the SECOND Two Terrible Vikings books - 'Grunt the Beserker' written by the brilliant Francesca Simon & illustrated by me. 

(If you look closer you can get a sneak peak of the cover of the book which is published on Thursday 3rd February by Faber Childrens)

Tuesday, 4 January 2022

Out with the old...


 Here's to a better 2022 everyone!

Year of the Tiger!

 

Year of the Tiger (A6 ink & wash on watercolour paper)

Sladevent 2021 - ALL IN ONE PLACE!


 ALL of this year's Sladevent calendar for 2021 in ONE PLACE! Happy New Year!