Keeping it going…

November 11, 2015

The nice thing about finishing a comic page (eventually) is that it opens up seemingly limitless opportunities for the next one:


Suffice to say I’ll try to make the following ones a little more regular ;)

Issue 3, Page 2

September 22, 2013

Oh my that was a shameful hiatus…


I’ll spare you the BS; it’s been 2 months or so since I posted anything and some very good and very bad things have been going in my life simultaneously, the common factor being that both ends of the spectrum pulled me away from working on Branch seriously again until just recently. I very nearly held off on posting this so I could think up a more witty excuse but it seems important that I get things moving again ASAP.

Putting aside the page’s lost-at-sea-suffered-amnesia-wife-remarried level of MIA downtime I’m actually quite happy with how it turned out; the perspective and composition are quite unlike most of its predecessors making it a distinct and hopefully standout jump into more actiony stuff. The colour work and use of SFX could perhaps be a little tighter but considering how daunting I found this one it didn’t turn out half bad.

Now the real trick, to actually get back to regular updates again…

Issue 3, Page 1 (+ Bonus Ranting!)

July 25, 2013

BranchISSUE3page1jWell, here’s to a solid start for Issue 3 but then why wouldn’t it be after so bleeding long?

Seriously; I know I’m terrible for making excuses but this has not been a good month for me. Right from the start I’d decided to force out regular releases no matter what and give my working process the nitro-boost it oh so desperately needs. For a plethora of reasons, that simply never happened. I feel like I owe answers as to why this is being held up so much, but I really don’t want to degenerate into self-indulgent ‘why me?’ whining either; plenty of people I know do comics as an aside from their day job and still manage to keep up a decent production rate, so that excuse really won’t fly.

Still, I like to be honest about my thoughts and feelings so getting to the point I have to admit I’ve been in something of a dark place lately. There have been plenty of commitments and set backs along the way, but it’s my motivation that’s really taken a beating these past few weeks.

Indulgent as it may sound I draw as an outlet first and foremost, there isn’t a huge amount I can claim to love about my life but creating comics, breathing life into a story that I can claim is truly mine gives me a glow inside that almost nothing else can. Whether what I create is any good is up for debate and perhaps on some level this will all sound pretty damn selfish, but considering how submissively I live the rest of my life, how often I get shoehorned into things I don’t want to do, am told I can’t do things or am told I’ve failed or missed the mark it seems a small thing to ask.

It’s maddening that I keep missing my own deadlines, but that may well be the root of the problem; they are my deadlines and mine alone. When a work related e-mail lands in my inbox, when someone asks me a favour, when an argument kicks off the pad closes, the pens go away, the file is shut and another day’s delay is slotted onto my release schedule.

It hurts not just because I want to finish what I start and see the story through to the end, but also because this is the only way I feel I can express myself without compromise. Something that is entirely me and not what someone else wants me to be, wants me to do, or wants to hear.

Sure, I want people to like what I make – I doubt many people can claim otherwise – I welcome constructive criticism and hopefully by meeting my own standards I can meet some of my readers’. Regardless the top of the agenda remains the same; I just need to get more done in less time. Maybe I need to say ‘no’ to more things, perhaps I need to reign in my OCD tendencies some, one way or another I know it can be done. A page a week, at least.

I need to make it happen and I need to make it happen soon.


Issue 2, Page 5

April 18, 2013


I’m running late and have a full day of stuff tomorrow so I’ll keep this brief…

The good:

– Second panel came out EXACTLY how I wanted it; has just the right combination of motion and sexy murder eyes 0_O

– I seem to be getting better at design and placement of SFX.

– Curt’s expressions of horror continue to amuse me.

The bad:

– Backgrounds are a little too sparse this time around.

– Panel three could have done with more exaggeration and breathing space.

The ugly:

Perspective and anatomy on the guard is waaaay off in the last panel.

Till next time ;)

Issue 2, Page 4

March 27, 2013


Hey folks! Stuff on the jobbing front has been quite intense lately so unfortunately I had to put this page on the back burner, particularly frustrating given that I’ve had it sat on my hard drive in a near finished state for a week or more.

On the bright side, for my first real shot at action this turned out remarkably well and there was even room for some experimentation along the way.

Besides the anatomy and poses – which I covered in detail a couple of posts back – I spent a long time mulling over exactly when I’d break the tension and how I would make the transition over to an action sequence. I settled on going big, bold and sudden to maximise the impact and perhaps communicate some of Curt’s evident shock over to reader; I doubt that it was too hard guessing that this was coming but my hope was that in going from 0-100 mph in a single page I’d have a shot at creating a real surprise.

More importantly a major shift has taken place here, over on The Duck someone commented on this being ‘the page that defines your character’ and now I think about it they couldn’t be more right. I gave this moment a whole page and extra effort not because I want to make a masturbatory display of excessive violence but rather because this is the point where we begin to get a sense of who Scratch is. Up till now she’s been little more than a scowl and trench coat; crude and unpleasant as it  may well be, this is the first genuine expression Scratch makes and it’s one that provides the lead in for much of her future character development.

Lest I begin to sound too pretentious objectively speaking there are some areas that could have used some reworking: The background is a little sparse, the  floor shadow appears to be fractionally off and I felt like I was forced to include the SFX caption to maintain stylistic consistency, but considering how much I’ve dawdled with releases this would be an ideal point to really push forward and rekindle my production efforts as things kick up a gear.

Now forward! Like an elbow to the face! THWACK!