Thursday, 1 December 2011

Beast killer and a beast of a blog post!

Here we go with the splash page from 2001 issue 1 “Beast Killer”:-


Regular readers will notice that I have attempted to hand letter all of the captions and dialogue, in a break with tradition.

I will be continuing this attempt for this entire project, as for why I have chosen to do that – there is more about this below see section “Thoughts and meditations”

But for the moment let’s focus on the art and what it is saying

It is a fantastic establishing shot of the character I guess the issue is in fact named after, even though that name is never used in context

The reason that name is not used in context is the dialogue of the characters themselves has been simplified to reflect the fact that they are somewhere between Stone Age and modern man and there is no word for beast or more importantly a need for a definition for killer. In the age depicted, to kill is purely and absolutely a question of survival, the only way to get food.

Which raises an interesting question which only just occurred to me, in the 2001 movie it’s established the ape-like creatures are trying to eat vegetables, moss / lichen stuff like that but are dying out, post monolith they are slaying boar and eating meat – so maybe it wasn’t just a case of learning to use tools, but also meat which was necessary for survival?

It does look like this is what Jack Kirby picks up on and runs with here in the next few pages –a few 100 thousand years (or so) later we have the next stage, a pre man who is specifically after harder to catch prey.

A pre man would not know that prey that is harder to catch would have richer meat as a result of having more developed muscle which would contain more protein and also as a result of the prey being a fierce killer in its own right, but here we have a character who is doing exactly that

I wonder what people who are vegetarians or similar would think to such conclusions? It would certainly make for a lively discussion, so feel free to comment below or send me a email

But the point is in this story back then all man knew about survival, not about the larger consequences, it would take many years before things like ethics would surface, something Jack Kirby makes very clear in this issue

The other clue that this issue is taking up where the movie left off with an ape using a bone as a club, is that “beast Killer” has a club of his own something much more obvious and pronounced and designed to a degree with its purpose in mind – but how effective is it?

Clearly Beast killer himself makes a significant impression in the drawing and is clearly determined and ready to pounce, a heard of creatures passing just below the tree he is perched on

We can all guess what happens next, right?

Well, let’s see – next week


Comics changed my life



In just over two weeks on Saturday 17th December I will be taking my first turn behind the table at a comics event since this blog started

I was surprised as anyone (possibly more so) that the organiser of this event readily agreed to give me a table and this was before I knew what distinguished company I would be in!

So I will be the odd one out and the table to politely (or otherwise) avoid but I will be there

So it will be a chance for a least people within a reasonable distance of Brighton to see me in person if they should so wish

Being me, I thought well I should at least try and get together something that would be worth having a table for but I felt that interest in what I was doing would be rather limited to say the least!

Interestingly enough I recently had the ever supportive Matt Seneca ask for a collected edition of the print version of Images Degrading Weekly which was a great gesture and good idea– also within days of that I got a request for some back issues.

Also I know by looking at this blog statistics that all of “aside” drawings I have done to date have been very popular

So with that all in mind this is what will be on offer on the day:-

20 FREE print copies of the Latest issue of Images Degrading Weekly (issue 12)

Unlimited FREE digital copies of any issue Images Degrading Weekly / free digital subscriptions

A very limited edition print run 4 copies of IDFW Collected Volume 1 this will contain issues 1 -11 of Images Degrading Weekly, the first half of the Frank Miller / Klaus Jason run these will be signed and numbered



4 x hand drawn “Sha-ka-ree” (from “Doubtland”) based on Steranko art , these will be signed, numbered and will be personalised with purchasers choice of dialogue in the speech balloon



4 x hand drawn “Daredevil” based on Janson / Miller art, these will be signed, numbered and will be personalised with purchasers choice of dialogue in the thought balloon



A very limited edition print run 4 copies of issue one of “Doubtland” my (very badly) redrawn and “reimagined” variation of Steranko’s Outland these will be signed and numbered (yes this is real it does exist and is completed) - each copy of this will come with a free hand drawn “Sha-ka-ree” as above


A very limited edition print run 4 copies of “BOOM”, based on Steranko art, degraded by me and then painted by Matt Seneca - these will be signed and numbered



A very limited edition print run 4 copies of “Copyright”, based on David Lloyd art, degraded by me, complete with text story - these will be signed and numbered



And finally

A very limited edition print run 4 copies of “Matt? Is something wrong?”- these will be signed and numbered



As most of you reading this will be unable to attend in person – I am dividing this lot in half (2 of everything) and offering these items to you online via ebay this will be apart from the print edition of the latest issue of IDFW or the unlimited free digital copies, anyone can get a digital copy of any issue or free subscription already just send me a email to robin.barnard@ymail.com

These items will be on sale this time next week and I will provide more details here at that time.

You may have noticed that most of the items are not free. I have been told that if I don’t place worth on what I am doing, then it will always be worth nothing; well okay let’s give that a try, but to satisfy myself all the proceeds will go 100% to Macmillan

Items on ebay will be on an open auction for one week and all will start from $1, I will let you all decide how much any of this is worth!

There will be more on “comics changed my life” next week and hopefully for a while to come

Images Degrading Forever Weekly

This week we have issue 11 – “Is something wrong“ where I rediscovered the passion in making something creative

It's available via digital subscription, just send me a email to robin.barnard@ymail.com and this (and any other issue) is yours absolutely FREE

Thoughts and meditations 

If you remember i said that there would be some all new material and this would only be appearing in images degrading weekly Starting in issue 13 which is due Saturday 17th December 2011 ?

To start of with, this will be a text feature called Thoughts and meditations

In this I will discuss various subjects and things that interest me or that I experience aside from the framework of my considering my current ongoing recreation

This will of course be focusing around creativity in all it's many forms

For example in the first instalment I will be responding to a question I recently got asked twice in the same day "why are the speech balloons left empty" as that is something I have done reasonably consistently so I feel that has to be an aside and then in the 2nd instalment I will be considering the difficulties inherit in releasing  any creative material from the point of view of how frightening this can be for a new creator and how overwhelming it can appear to be, what I describe as "the creative risk"

Anyway this will be a bit more open and free and hopefully interesting, so please either email me for a digital subscription or if you are very lucky you will find the print edition

After that I have a few ideas there's even a concept page I did but I don't know where I am going to go with that, it will probably get shuffled to the back of the pile as it requires me to draw and I am pretty busy in that area already!

That’s it for this week, see you next week

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