Thursday, 26 January 2012

Dr Floyd I presume / On the Racks

Lets start of with this week On the racks!

For the first time ever, on 17th January 2012 – material that I have produced in print form has been put on sale in a proper comic book shop!

Orbital Comics have very generously agreed to stock copies of Images Degrading Forever Collected Volume 1, which are currently on the small press spinner rack just outside the entrance to the West Wing :-

So if you happen to be in London, why not pop in and pick up a copy!

While your there have a look at the front counter at orbital, there you will find the FREE print copies of IDFW there as well, which continue to do very well!

I am very happy to make this next step and I am now (I suppose officially by definition) am a (very) small press publisher, I can only hope with good material and interest from people willing to buy it that I can sell a few copies to offset the cost of printing

I am hoping to ensure that each title I will be printing on a monthly basis will be available in a comic book shop for sale as well as eBay- this is a another new years resolution

So far I have the material ready for new titles that will be printed and sold for each month this year up to June, so keep your eyes peeled...

I will be announcing February’s title 1st of February – of course in the meantime…


 …is Images Degrading Forever Collected Edition Volume 1 Month - this item is on sale here at £3 a go and The "Feedback competition" is on, full details are here  ...

Images Degrading Forever Weekly
This week we have issue 19 which concludes the all new essay "making the creative risk" in which I examine the fear that all creative people have to deal with to some degree - as well as the ongoing run of Frank Miller Klaus Janson Daredevil "Breaking the forth wall / jive talking" in which Turks use of street language is somewhat debatable, but not as debatable as his suddenly increased musculature when wearing the stilt man costume…

As ever this is completely free digital publication, just email me at and I will email you back the issue, it couldn't be any easier

Next week in IDFW- The extra special page drawn by Alexander Hunt Finally makes it to print and digital, get your orders in now for a chance to see a much better artist than me turn his hand to a page of DareDevil

Now --- without any further ado - onto the main event

Dr Floyd I presume?

So here we are- half-way through the adaptation of 2001 and as has become traditional for my projects, this week I will be taking a drawing (or a part of one) from the project and seeing where I can go with it and how far…

For new readers this is third time I have done this

Firstly during my attempt during adapting Steranko’s Outland (painted by Matt Seneca)

Then mid-way through Daredevil, I came up with the rather different “Matt? Is Something Wrong?” (based on a real life experience of Matt Seneca)

So what can I do for Jack Kirby’s 2001?

Well there was one drawing from Kirby’s actual movie adaptation I was really looking forward to as it was a single page massive drawing, complete with a far out background, representing the moment Dr Haywood Floyd encounters the monolith for the first time:-

So I thought I would try this drawing but with a completely different background and I was hoping that maybe one of you would like to have a try as well, so for the first time I will list out the process used in a “how to” fashion, you can skip almost all the stages apart from the Stage three if you prefer, its entirely your choice

If you do have a go at this, please email me the results, they will of course be featured here!

As well of offering any item from the various prizes I have on offer for feedback I will also give away my finished drawing (below) to the best entry so it’s worth having a try

Finally this drawing marks the first time I have attempted to use a brush, Thanks to Ryan Cecil Smith for the suggestion!

Stage one: - Pencils

You Will Need: - 1 pencil, 1 sheet of white craft card, light box, blue tack, Computer with internet access and printer

Download the image below (yes these are Kirby's original pencils) and print out onto standard copier paper – try and make the image take up as much of the paper size you can manage (the bigger the image the easier it is to trace).

Take the printed sheet and tack print side facing up onto the underside of the craft card using blue tack

Take the combined printed sheet and craft card and place on top of the light box, craft card upwards

Trace what you can see onto the craft card using the pencil

These are my pencils below, note I have already decided which bits of the drawing I want to keep and which I didn’t

Stage two: - Ink

You will need: - 1 Brush ink pen or a fine line technical pen, your choice

If you did do stage one take off the printed paper sheet and the blue tack from the pencilled drawing

If you did not do stage 1 print out the pencils above onto thin white card using a Computer with internet access and printer

Use the brush pen to line all the pencils. If you find using a brush a bit daunting use a fine line black Technical ink pen (.01 will do)

This is my brush work on top of my pencils below, not looking too bad considering

Stage three: - background

This is the part where the experimentation comes in; you can do whatever you like for the background, the wilder the better – as to what I did…

To my eye the shape of the Dr Floyds space helmet suggested that something should encircle him in the background, kind of halo like, but obviously a bit off kilter so it wasn’t an actual halo

As it was a circle I was thinking about I instantly also thought about what is referred to as” Kirby Krackle” as that is endless circles of all sizes within each other, forming like a pool of bubbles - there was plenty of Krackle in the comic so it made a lot of sense

But I wanted to take that concept in a different direction (otherwise it would be just as if I put in the background Kirby actually drew to a degree), so I decided to do a series of circles surrounding Dr Floyd increasing in size to the edge of the frame and around each circle to draw a set of full circles  proportionally spaced along the edge of the surrounding circles, increasing size of these circles as I worked outwards, so the smallest complete circles would be closest to Floyd and the biggest the furthest away

I used a compass and a pencil to do the big surrounding circles and a plastic circle set (which had increasing circle sizes) to pencil the complete circles

To give this another dimension, contrast and even depth I wanted to introduce colour to each big surrounding circle, for this I actually used a packet of day glo highlighters, traditionally used in the office. I cycled through each colour once per surrounding circle in order and continued cycling until the edge of the paper was reached

I purposely left Dr Floyd himself black and white to emphasise the contrast between copied art and new drawing

I then used the brush pen to brush the pencilled surrounding and complete circles ending up with this piece below, which I have decided to call “it’s full of stars”

I was pretty happy with the finished result I would like to know what you think!

Thanks to Douglas Noble for inadvertently naming this (before it was even drawn)

Why not have a go, I would love to see what concept you can come up with, or even your attempt at inking, colouring, painting or doing anything creative, there is only one rule – have fun whatever you’re doing!

It is one of my hopes that I can not only get people interested in comics and let them see what a vital and impressive medium comic is but also to hopefully inspire other people to have a go at doing their own creative thing as well as that make the whole process so much more enriching for everyone!

Next week its back to 2001 proper and we will see a jump cut of several million years…

Thursday, 19 January 2012

You never finish being a student of life as there are always new things to learn

Is something that applies to the next completed page of Jack Kirby’s 2001:-

(which is the first page in which I have attempted to adjust the way I ink, Thanks to Ryan Cecil Smith for the feedback here)

Let’s pick up from last week, when “he who hunts alone” was tackling a Saber Tooth with the very first hand designed sharp weapon

By sheer force of will and multiple stabbings “he who hunts alone” does manage to take down a saber tooth, a very impressive feat – of which some of the emphasis is shifted away from by alluding to the fact that a saber tooth has never been afraid of a human before

Which suggests this could be one of the many things that may change as a result of “he who hunts alone” now possessing such a deadly weapon

“He who hunts alone” now returns back to the monolith both proud of his achievement and equally unafraid to show it in his own tribal / barbaric kind of way

So far so good right?

Possibly - Until we get to the next caption – “Does the stone spirit scoff?”…

This first thing to note is that this caption is representing “he who hunts alones” internal thought processes at this moment in time

So it is “he who hunts alone” who is attributing what he is experiencing as being a reaction from the monolith

I guess we just have to overlook that “he who hunts alone” would not know what to scoff means and neither would his ancestors for this to be true, but I suppose that’s a minor point

But let’s focus instead on the idea of defining the monolith to any real degree or giving it motivations, if we go back to the splash page there was an open statement – that if we “read on we would behold it’s (the monoliths) awesome secrets”

On reading this initially I thought this would be at least a bit hyperbolic, as the whole point of the monolith is that it is a literal definition of the unknown - it is supposed to be undefined, its literally a shape for something that has no shape, it has no texture and is black to imply a void,  it is a nothing that means something, something clearly unknown and indescribable, it has no single purpose, but possibly infinite purposes, there is nothing to ever state it has any intelligence or motivations as such, at best it could possibly described as being a tool which has many purposes

Which is something that was much more clearly defined by the sequels (both in movie and book form) that followed 2001, but of course Jack Kirby wouldn’t have known this at the time

Still I have to wonder if the idea of making the monolith “a character” is part of the reasoning here, the monolith is the central point to this issue and most of those which follow it and I suppose making a comic book around “a lead character” that is undefined makes it harder for people to understand simply without having to experience the entire comic to get the idea, right?

Sounds suspiciously like that might have not necessarily been Jacks idea....

Of course the whole raison d'ĂȘtre of the 2001 movie was that it was something to be experienced by the viewer and defined by their own sensibilities and deliberately avoided as many specifics as was possible to achieve this

But the point is in this comic Jack could have easily just said that the monolith hung silent and motionless as that would have been impetus enough for “he who hunts alone” and would not have implied anything else other that the monolith only responds when it has achieved the goal it has set previously

The reason I am focusing on this possibly more than seems necessary is the so far still unexplained reason for why only “he who hunts alone” the loner and outcast who does not hunt in a pack being given the impetus to develop weapons by the monolith – this is now been given more possible emphasis by even implying an ascribed reaction from the monolith

Leaving that aside for now, “he who hunts alone” is off and already making the next generation of weapon, having his previous attempt rebutted, what shape and form will this new weapon take?

And what will be the consequence of this next step of development?

We will find out in 2 weeks time!

Next week join me for the halfway point through the 2001 Project and the now traditional special out of project drawing by myself and for the first time I will include a how to make article so you make your own if you wish!

January Madness
Just a reminder that - January is Images Degrading Forever Collected Edition Volume 1 Month - this item is on sale here at £3 a go and The "Feedback competition" is on, full details are here...

Images Degrading Forever Weekly
This week we have issue 18 which continues the all new essay "making the creative risk" in which I examine the fear that all creative people have to deal with to some degree - as well as the ongoing run of Frank Miller Klaus Janson Daredevil "Some enchanted evening" in which Foggy Nelson and Heather Glenn have a Romantic evening - or do they?

As ever this is completely free digital publication, just email me at and I will email you back the issue, it couldn't be any easier!

That's it for this week!

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Necessity is the mother of invention / Crazy Captions

"Necessity is the mother of invention" is an expression I will be examining on the next completed page of Jack Kirby’s 2001:-

Previously “he who hunts alone” had already shown enough intelligence to think that his chances of getting food would be increased by using a long sharp tooth like a saber tooth instead of using a club, down at least in part to the influence of the monolith

But what we see here on this page is a series of massive leaps in intelligence and for want of a better expression technology as “he who hunts alone” builds an almost complete designed knife from the monoliths suggestions

To our mind possibly this does not seem much, (Kirby describes this as a “crude tool”) but consider the likely reality that each component of the knife would have been a question of a lot of trial and error, the right kind of wood that is strong, the right material to fasten the point on the end, making a point in the first place and making the point sharp enough all of these process would have taken place over months if not years or generations of refinements

Yet in this page almost of this is deal with in just 3 panels so it is clearly not just a case of compressed story telling or a montage but most obviously a direct statement as to just how much influence the monolith had in this particular process – “he who hunts alone” just asked for a tooth and instead he got something a lot more advanced

Which does raise an interesting real life question – taken literally if a man has got to the stage where he has a tool that can help him kill and get food, the only obvious impetus to push him forward to constantly refine the tool in terms of a survival instinct is self-survival, that is survival at the expensive of anything or anyone else – this instinct bringing out both the best and worst in man

The worst being the need to refine further simply because a competing tribe has just made a refinement and they don’t want to be left behind (a rather obvious example) and the best being a refinement that is offered to everyone willingly and openly (something which is always approached with a lot of suspicion)

“He who hunts alone” is clearly completely into self-survival, he is a literally outcast, a loner and the sole beneficiary of the monolith’s influences

This is underlined further by “the others” bewildered reaction to seeing “he who hunts alone” making a spear (comparing it to possession)

Which brings me back to an earlier question I raised, is it being stated in this story that the monolith is responsible for some of mans darker traits – the line is getting increasingly fuzzy on this one, but let’s proceed for now and let events unfold...

Having made his weapon “he who hunts alone” decides to tackle what is described as a Saber-tooth or a Smilodon – hang on let’s check out “Wakipedia…”

Smilodon often called a saber-toothed cat or wrongly a saber-toothed tiger, is an extinct genus of machairodonts. This saber-toothed cat was endemic to North America and South America, living from near the beginning through the very end of the Pleistocene epoch

Oops,  Jack did it again!

 Just to remind any late comers this story has been established as taking place (by a very large caption on page 2) in New Orleans in the Miocene age! So okay right continent, but out by several hundred thousand years (at least)

But of course that’s not quite the only thing out of place as the drawing of the cat in question appears to be rather like Zabu, the “saber-tooth” created by Stan lee and Jack Kirby in X-men issue 10 (the first appearance of Ka-zar) who appears in the drawing below rendered by none other than Barry Windsor smith

Now Zabu – well where do we start – let’s just say he is not really a Smilodon,  Zabu is both bigger and particularly a whole lot more intelligent than any Smilodon would be – and he has long tail (which a saber tooth did not have) and is referred to as a tiger (which is wrong, a saber tooth is more closely related to a lion) of course he is a fantasy creation living in a fantasy realm nothing to do with reality at all, the issues of ka-zar set in 1970’s new york served as ample reminder of that – so the cat in question can’t be Zabu, can it?

Anyway back to the “reality” of 2001 which is increasingly becoming its own fantasy world, “he who hunts alone” has taken the proverbial tiger by the tail in a battle to death – who will win?

Find out next week!

January Madness
Just a reminder that - January is Images Degrading Forever Collected Edition Volume 1 Month - this item is on sale here at £3 a go and The "Feedback competition" is on, full details are here...

Images Degrading Forever Weekly
This week we have issue 17 which includes the all new essay "making the creative risk" in which I examine the fear that all creative people have to deal with to some degree - as well as the ongoing run of Frank Miller Klaus Janson Daredevil "NYPD Blue" in which I compare Dennis Franz to Lieutenant Nicholas Manolis and ask does Daredevil care what he is doing?

As ever this is completely free digital publication, just email me at and I will email you back the issue, it couldn't be any easier!

Crazy Captions
Time for some more feedback, of an anonymous variety...

Last week in the comic book shop where I give away the print copies of IDFW (orbital) I found a copy of IDFW that someone who works in the shop had written their own dialogue for!

I thought this was a really great idea and a big compliment that anyone would feel creative enough to do this:-

Just in case you cannot quite read it, the dialogue says the following:-

"Mainly I just like crime, I guess.  I dunno, uh…"
" But I mean, It's Hard - High School was real tough"
"I didn't always look as I do now" 
"Not everyone can be voted most likely to marry young"
"Poor little Wilson"
"Like 'aw'"
"! NOT FAT!"
"! NOT NOT !"
"Your weren't there, man"

That was cool! I always wondered what if Al Pacino played the role of Stilt man… Now I know!

Unfortunately I don’t exactly know who did wrote this brilliant dialogue so I can’t thank them in person here – sneaky…!

But it’s a really great idea, if anyone else out there would like to have a go at writing their own dialogue or maybe even do some colouring or anything else creative with issues of IDFW I would love to see it, just email me with whatever you have done

Any entry will count in the on-going Feedback competition, so if Mr Anonymous would like to send me an email I can send them the prize of their choice from here

Thats it for this week - at least here - what else would I be doing?? hmm… Watch this space is all I all say for now :-)

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Open your eyes / A Brush with greatness

"Open your eyes" applies to “the others” in this weeks completed page of Jack Kirby’s 2001:-

Whom all of a sudden get a bit busy in the decision making department, apparently deciding to follow “he who hunts alone” and to see if the monolith is real for themselves

At least as far as I can make out from what has proceeded before I am uncertain that "decision" is really the right word, as this implies a thought process which by implication of events shown thus far might not actually be totally possible by “the others”  - certainly not in the way we would define a decision

That aside it’s more of case of myself thinking that it is the impetus for survival which provokes “the others” to follow “he who hunts alone” and that possibly more precisely that their need for food actually outweighs any fear (baring in mind they have all just been soundly beaten by “he who hunts alone”) they feel in making this move. Obviously the fact that they make this move as a pack rather than individuals pushes this along as well.

Also “the others” motivations are vocalised,  they see a clear need to find the monolith and take it for their own, seeing it as being key to their survival. So this is a consequence of “he who hunts alone” attacking them earlier, that action being the proverbial straw that broke the camels back.

Still they clearly remember the attack and their fear of “he who hunts alone” is right on the knife edge of them actually carrying out anything other than observing at a safe distance and as stealthily as they can manage.

At which point they all experience an epiphanic like revelation and "the others" eyes get opened both literally in the 3rd panel and metaphorically in the story as it goes on, as they see the monolith is real

The Others obviously had in their mind that possibility the monolith was a figment of “he who hunts alone's” imagination to some degree or another, or maybe it was just simply they needed to see it to believe it, as the monolith not only clearly defies belief but also understanding

Not just their neo-man definition understanding but the understanding of anyone

Still “the others” seem to know enough that the monolith works telepathically

Meanwhile at the moment blissfully unaware that “the others” are around “he who hunts alone” apparently gets his instructions on “how to make a tooth” from the monolith , concluding with “I know what to do now” implying that before he did not

This suggests that something else than just a tooth is going to be the end product as previously “he who hunts alone” had made the logical connection between the tooth and the sabre tooth tiger it comes from

So what will be the end product and how will this affect “the others” and most significantly (as this the focus of 2001) the evolution of the segmented species, we will find out hopefully as we go along...

January Madness
Just a reminder that - January is Images Degrading Forever Collected Edition Volume 1 Month - this item is on sale here at £3 a go and The "Feedback competition" is on, full details are here... Speaking of feedback...

A Brush with Greatness
I got some feedback this week, from none other than Ryan Cecil Smith, the brilliant creator of SF SF, which you can check out at Ryans Web site

Yes he is the greatness in question!

Over to you Ryan:-

Hey Robin, I've been meaning to say that your hand lettering looks GREAT in these pages.

I also would suggest that you try using some different tools in these drawings. It's just my opinion, but Kirby has a cool PUSH and PULL effect that is fun to try to recreate by alternating thick pens, thin pens, a brush pen, or even a brush if you want to try it. Just an idea... hey why don't I try it??? That's cool right????

Right indeed!

Ryan -Thank you very much for your feedback

Please chose the item you would like in the "feedback competition" part of this blog post:-

I am very glad that you can read the hand lettering, let alone that you actually like it ! I am not using any method of blocking out or spacing the lettering per se but i have only just started to even try doing the lettering

Using brushes is something thats been lurking around for a while, I have actually brought a set fairly recently with the idea of using them for something different or special which would be my mid point special piece of art which will be presented on this blog in 3 weeks time

This will give me a chance to try the brushes out on something stand alone without going into the ongoing adaptation I am attempting, as this will be my first use of brushes! If it works out well maybe i will try more brush work

But yeah I agree that my inking needs some work - if you keep looking you may see that for example the pages to date if anything was probably over inked to a degree (with a rollerball!) something I have noted and attempted to correct from page 9 onwards which hopefully have a bit of "cleaner" look - mind you I don't know if thats going in the right direction! 

I still don't really know what i doing here, my methodology (at drawing) is somewhat unusual i know that much

I would love to see your or in fact anyone's attempt at using a brush which will be undoubtedly better than mine - in fact if you like we can make it interesting and we can all make the attempt at the same thing!  

I have got some scanned kirby pencils from the 2001 movie adaptation of a page I really liked the look of 

What I want to try for the mid point special is to take these pencils and ink with brush, while at the same time completely replace the background with something else entirely but you or anyone else can do whatever you like, no rules other than have fun!

In return for anyone sending in their version of this in I will give away my hand drawn original finished version - if there are several entries then i will do a print of my finished version and the best one will win a print and my hand drawn original - I hope that sounds okay?!

Images Degrading Forever Weekly

This week we have issue 16 of the ongoing Janson / Miller Dare Devil Adaptation:-

"Beneath this Gruff Exterior There Beats a Heart" in which i discuss the influence Frank Millers revision of The Kingpin of crime and DareDevil in general affected a number of things that followed it and ask is that a good thing or a bad thing

As usual this is completely free digital publication and all you have to do to subscribe is email me at

It is worth subscribing as each issue will only be free for on week and will go on to form part of Images Degrading Forever Collected Volume 2 which will be print only and sold at print cost (and will come out later this year)

Thats it for this week, see you next week

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Happy new year, now here are some fireworks

Happy new year, now here are some fireworks

No not those kinds of fireworks, though apparently there was plenty of them

But just one or two less than subtle announcements from yours truly, so hopefully the fireworks will be in the comments section / emails I get?

Well one can only hope!

Firework number one:-

January is Images Degrading Forever Collected Edition Volume 1 Month

On sale from today is the second printing of Images Degrading Forever Collected edition volume 1 - collecting together Issues 1 - 12 of Images Degrading Weekly

28 A4 pages with a color glossy cover

Containing the first half of the my attempt to recreate by my own hand Frank Millers and Klaus Jansons’ DareDevil 186 combined with my thoughts and consideration to comics, art, Frank, Klaus and the story ongoing a fanzine for anyone who reads, enjoys or wants to know more about comics

The process of learning shared as I make the journey of learning myself, sprinkled with abstract idiosyncrasies and pop culture references

This is what Matt Seneca of Death to The Universe had to say about the text :-

“His process posts are in-depth and absorbing, and the odd little non sequiturs and ideas he throws into almost every sentence he writes stick in the brain like velcro made of thought.”

Here's a little promotional video to watch

This collected edition costs £3 (postage and packing are extra) and is available directly from ebay

There are only 8 copies in this print run and the auction will remain ongoing for 30 days or until all 8 copies have been sold

From today also, the earlier blog entries which go to make up at least part of this collected edition will no longer be available and also back issues of the free digital fanzine between issues 1 -12 are being withdrawn. Its unfair to expect anyone to pay for something when its free, so its not free anymore. That really could be firework number 1 - you tell me

Before anyone asks this is being sold at cost, there is no profit in this item

Firework number two:-

Feedback Competition
Starting today and carrying on as long as i have something to offer as a prize I am launching a Feedback competition 

Its very very simple to enter and get this anyone entering the competition will win something!

All you have to do is either post a comment on the be log or send me a email to containing some feedback on this blog. It does not have to be that in-depth or long, but it does have to contain some rationalisation  / explanation / justification for the line of thought

For example you would need to say why you thought the blog was bad or good

This is the list of prizes an entrant will be able to chose from, on a one prize per person first come first served basis so you stand more of chance of winning something you want by entering sooner rather than later

LImited Edition signed and numbered First Printing of Images Degrading Forever Collected edition volume 1

Limited Edition hand drawn signed and numbered "Sha-Ka-Ree"

 Limited edition hand drawn signed and numbered "Daredevil"

Limited Edition signed and numbered Print Doubtland colour edit 01

Limited Edition signed and numbered Print "Matt, is something wrong?"

Limited Edition signed and numbered Print "Copyright"

A A4 sized original hand drawn commission by myself, this is currently estimated to be worth around £8 - £10 on the basis of the last ebay sale - The last commission i did was this Swamp thing to give you an idea

Every entrant will also have the chance to get their words into the print edition of Images Degrading Forever, subject to my consideration

This competion will remain ongoing at least for all of January, subject to there still being prizes left to give away

Firework Number three:-

Images Degrading Forever "On Tour"

In the first of what will hopefully be a few similar announcements, I am pleased to say that my next personal appearance will be at the London Super Comic Convention.

This is on February 25th and 26th at the Excel Centre in London Docklands - more details at to the event are at its web site

Of course i will be in the small small press area on a tiny table in the corner somewhere!

More details of what i am planning or will be doing for this event will be forthcoming, but there will be one new publication for sale which has not seen print before!

Firework Number Four:-

For those of you who follow Douglas noble on twitter you may have seen a tweet from mentioning Images Degrading...

Which is only reason I mention it here. But its going to be a fair while before this is going to be unleashed on this blog with any detail at all, but there is plenty to see and enjoy in the meantime

Thats it for now, have a Happy New Year

and see you hopefully in a few days for more Jack Kirby 2001!