Off Grid

I tend towards using a grid system for panel layouts, as I think it helps clarity of story telling and allows you to get a start on a page without getting too stuck on thinking about the blank page. Occasionally, I break this rule. When I do, it looks like this:

This is a page from the 86ers story ‘Grendel’ (c) Rebellion Development. For context, all proceeding pages and those that followed where strictly grid based. This page isn’t. Part of that was I wanted the dog fights to feel like they’re happening in Zero G – with the reader’s sense of balance thrown off by the panel borders, when there’s no up or down in the page, these panels could be straight on or at a dutch angle. The panel shapes and objects within them favour a zig zag style of reading. But, interestingly, not the normal left to right zig zag of comics but, rather a up down zig zag, allowing me to get some really long panels in there.


This is a slightly skewed grid. I’m not sure if it’s as successful as the previous page – in the sense that reading from panel one, my eyes slip out of it and onto panel 3. Here a plain grid may have been better.


More 86ers in space. This is, basically, a slightly skewed grid panel. So It’s hardly off grid. Next!


I think this page is a flash back to the previous page. Though this shows off a stylistic tic that I’ve been using recently (and by recently I mean very occasionally in the last few years) which is to draw a curved panel border for the bottom panel. I have no idea why that is, nor do I know why it seems to lend itself to some things and not others, but, at some point in the future, I’ll collect them and we can figure it out together.

New York New Portfolio

New York tomorrow, so some serious last minute prep…

My portfolio is a simple A4 book, with pages inserted into plastic leaves. I also have some leave behinds – copies of Happy Valley and print photocopies.

The portfolio is broken into two halves:

First half: Artwork to impress.

Starting with the opening 6 pages of Happy Valley ep1. A Garth Ennis book and some nice art and great little scene starter.

Next, 9 pages of the Judge Dredd Lost Cases I did with Alan Grant for the Megazine. I like the quirky art and the ink style, and it’s a big contrast to Happy Valley.

Next, we start into the Creator Owned area with the opening gambit of ‘Monsterology’. More as I’m allowed to talk about it, but it’s 7 pages and has dinosaurs, evil little bat creatures and weird alien worlds with dead astronauts. People like it so far.

Next Number Cruncher, written by Si Spurrier and appearing in [censored] soon. Four page scene starter, that works really well given it was taken out of an 8 page strip.

And, finally, Murderdrome. Old faithful.

Basically, it’s too much stuff. But, if I can hook an editor onto Happy Valley and the express an interest in Creator Owned work (as Dark Horse has done in the past) I have three very different projects to hit then with.

Anyhue, wish me luck!