My Comic-Strip Showcase Interview For ‘The Big Glasgow Comic’.

I was recently interviewed by The Big Glasgow Comic about my comic-strip, Al Cook’s “Necropolis”.
Enjoy!

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Al Cook.
Artist/Writer Showcase.

Name:
Al Cook.

Occupation:
Illustrator & Murderer.

Tell me a bit about your comic related work:
I write and illustrate a Horror comic-strip called ‘Al Cook’s “Necropolis”’. It is completely hand drawn with a black BIC biro pen and is set in and around Glasgow’s Necropolis. It started on Halloween, 2010.

Sometimes I think that it’s too sweary but a quick saunter down Glasgow’s High Street proves that it’s nowhere near as sweary as it could and maybe should be. I always tend to fight with myself over things like this. Although, I’ve already covered the subject of Necrophilia. So fuck it.

I’d like my strip to end up one day as a sort of Glaswegian “Tales From The Crypt”. Maybe I’ll rename it “Tales Fae The Crypt”…Heh heh…

Main Influences:
Glasgow, Glasgow Necropolis, night time, prowling around Glasgow Necropolis at night time, drinking red wine. Basically, I like to drink loads of red wine and prowl around Glasgow Necropolis at night time. That’s pretty much my main influences for this comic-strip.

Favourite Heroes?
All the Shakespearos and all the Robert De Niros.

Favourite Villians?
I’ve always liked how The Joker dresses.

Earliest memory of comics?
I never really read comics as a wee boy. I don’t remember them being as available as they are now. That said, I remember buying a few Terminator and Aliens comics in the very early 90’s on the Dark Horse label when I was about 12 because they almost always had cool covers. It was always a bit of a letdown when the inside artwork wasn’t as detailed as the cover but now I get why that is.

Favourite comic?
Well, even as an adult I STILL don’t really read comic books. Someone saw my strip and pointed out a book called “The Bogie Man” by John Wagner & Alan Grant to me. They assumed that I was trying to do something similar with my strip but I’d never heard of it. When I got “The Bogie Man” and read it, it impressed the Hell out of me. The patter, the story, the artwork, the lot! I think it’s a very under mentioned and underappreciated Glaswegian great!

I think the only full mainstream comic book I’ve read is “Watchmen”. I think that it’s a masterpiece. I especially like that it doesn’t treat you like you’re 8 years old. I’m completely uninterested in reading the “Before Watchmen” books.

I like almost anything that comes from the end of Robert Crumb’s pen and I always keep an eye on what he’s up to.

What are you working on at the moment and what is next for you?
Drawing my Necropolis strip with a biro pen is very time consuming as you can imagine so I’m working on a new way of doing it without turning to a computer to do all the hard work for me. I’d also like to develop as an illustrator and especially a storyteller because so far, none of my strips really have stories to them.

The next Necropolis strip has a story to it. It’s called “NAW” and should be available sometime in late November.

I also have a sideline strip about the singer Jon Bon Jovi. It’s called “SHOT THROUGH THE HEART! …The Completely Made-Up Life & Times Of Jon Bon Jovi…” and that’s exactly what it is.

LINKS TO WORK:
* Al Cook’s “Necropolis”
can be found HERE

* “SHOT THROUGH THE HEART! …The Completely Made-Up Life & Times Of Jon Bon Jovi…”
can be found HERE

You May Also Be Interested In…
* Behind Al Cook’s “Necropolis”: Blood Test
* Behind Al Cook’s “Necropolis”: Nailing Him Up
* Album Artwork: “Love Lust Tales”

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Tim Burton’s “The World Of Stainboy”.

For a wee while now, I’ve been trying to write an album worth of scary children’s songs. I have about 5 so far which I think I’m happy with. The idea is to write them, record them and then illustrate some sort of accompanying book for them all by myself and WHO KNOWS whether I will manage this but I it’s enjoyable and not very easy.

Whenever I get hit with writer’s block, I get ideas for drawings and whenever I get hit with whatever the illustration version of writer’s block is (Illustration Block?), the words pour out of me. It’s almost as if my brain can’t process those two things at the same time and that doesn’t surprise me.

One of my go-to books for inspiration during these blocks is Tim Burton’s “The Melancholy Death Of Oyster Boy And Other Stories”, a book of clever wee macabre poems written and illustrated by Burton himself. That’s where I stole the idea from you see. But he stole it from Edward Gorey first so it’s all allowed.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaanyway, one of my favourite characters from “The Melancholy Death Of Oyster Boy And Other Stories” is a poor wee unfortunate fellow called Stainboy and I’ve just discovered that Tim Burton wrote and produced a Flash Animation series called “The World Of Stainboy”!

I’m always late to the party. Burton did this in 2010 and even wrote the episodes based on ideas submitted to him on Twitter! I don’t know how I managed to miss that but I did and if you did too, here are all six episodes…

Episode 1. “The Girl Who Stares”:

Episode 2. “The Toxic Boy”:

Episode 3. “The Bowling Ball”:

Episode 4. “The Robot Boy”:

Episode 5. “The Match Girl”:

Episode 6. “Stainboy’s Day Off”:

You May Also Be Interested in…
* How To Cope With Death
* “The Tannery” By Iain Gardner
* Album Cover Artwork: “Love Lust Tales”

Behind Al Cook’s “Necropolis”: Nailing Him Up.

This feels like a wee secret art class!
But it’s not.

Today I’m going to show you the ‘Behind The Scenes’ drawings of “The Crucifixion“, the latest installment of Al Cook’s “Necropolis”, my comic strip. Actually, ‘Behind The Scenes’ isn’t exactly what this is. It’s more like a collection of daft and drunken squiggles and the illustration panels they turned into.

First thing’s first. I doodle ALL the time! Doesn’t matter where I am or what I’m doing. Whatever I’m doing, I’m usually doodling whilst doing it. I’ve been doodling images of Christ on the Cross since I was a wee boy and so it seemed like a good idea to use those as the basis for my next strip.

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I usually don’t like to plan things out as much as I did with “The Crucifixion” and I almost never do any ‘preparation’ drawings but here’s how it all happened…

* 2 scribbly drunken sketches done at a bar:

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* Planning for the layout of the first couple of panels:

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* The completed first and second panel illustrations:

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* Quick sketches to give me an idea of what should be in shadow etc…

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* The completed illustration panels:

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* Idea sketches for the look of the Roman headgear…

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* Halfway through applying the biro ink to the pencil lines of the final illustration:

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* The completed illustration:

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* A layout sketch done very quickly by the looks of it:

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* The completed illustration:

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* I found it quite difficult to illustrate someone removing a Roman helmet. The angle of it bugged me for a week. I must have drawn it 20 different ways before sketching out this idea:

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* The completed illustration (Which I’m still not happy with):

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* I wrote the comic strip as I went along and one of the main problems with that is that I don’t work in order. Like my brain, I’m sort of out of order. For instance, the first panel was first one drawn and then I worked from the middle panel backwards and then from the end panel backwards. It’s just the way that works best for me but sometimes, …sometimes I get stuck for a line of dialogue and have to improvise on the spot…

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* Note to self:

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* The final illustration before I drew over it with black biro pen:

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* Detail:

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* The completed panel:

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* I fished this out of the bin 3 days after I’d put it there. Sometimes the best ideas are the first ones!…

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* The finished illustration:

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You can view the fully finished strip HERE.

If any of this was of any help to you with anything drawing or illustration-related then please drop me a line.

You May Also Be Interested In…
* Behind Al Cook’s “Necropolis”: Blood Test
* Album Artwork: “Love Lust Tales”
* Al Cook’s Marketing & Poster Improvement Service

Al Cook’s “Necropolis”: The Crucifixion.

Awrite n’ that, big man?
Here’s the latest unfunny from my comic-strip, Al Cook’s “Necropolis”.
Share it with your pals if you have any.

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View this as it’s meant to be viewed by clicking HERE.
Keep up to date with the twits on Twitter HERE and if you have any hate mail or death threats please ONLY use the Facebook Page which is HERE.

You may Also Be Interested In…
* Behind A Cook’s “Necropolis”: Nailing Him Up.
* Please Give Blood
* Cracking Open A Cold One

Artist István Orosz & The Hidden Skulls.

Hungarian artist István Orosz has created some new illustrations for “Ship Of Fools“, a medieval book of satire originally published in 1494 in Basel, Switzerland, by Sebastian Brant and as you are about to see, all of the illustrations cleverly ‘conceal’ human skulls…

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View the full set on István Orosz’ site HERE.

You May Also Be Interested In…
* Cracking Open A Cold One
* Macabre, Weird & Wonderful Childrens’ Book Illustrations By Gōjin Ishihara
* Stop-Motion Animation …On A Vinyl Record!

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