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.



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:



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



* The completed first and second panel illustrations:



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


* The completed illustration panels:



* Idea sketches for the look of the Roman headgear…


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


* The completed illustration:


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


* The completed illustration:


* 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:


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


* 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…


* Note to self:


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


* Detail:

Unfinished 8

* The completed panel:


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


* The finished illustration:


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

Daily Doodle By Anna McDonald.

What a talented girlfriend I have.

For 2 years, I used to live an utterly Dickensian life and you woudn’t believe me if I was to tell you some of my tales of utter poverty but Anna drew this picture of something that once happened to me and even though it still gives me nightmares, it’s completely on the money…

You May Also Be Interested In…
* Post-It Monstre By John Kenn Mortensen
* Artist: Paul Kenton
* Al Cook’s “Necropolis”

Robert Crumb’s “A Short History Of America”.

Thundercats & Jessica Rabbit’s Dress.

I was watching “Thundercats” the other day and reliving my youth a wee bit and was surprised at how good it still is.
No seriously it is!

I was thinking about all the effort that got put into cartoons in the 80’s.
The time it must have taken to draw a single episode etc…
It’s all up there on the screen and it looks good.

Big long flashy colourful animated opening credits,
Big matte painted background scenery and a big 80’s theme tune with loads of whamy bar guitars on it!

That’ll do for me!

“Thundercats” came out when?

Long before CGI took over the entire world and fucked it,
I used to wonder how animators and artists made things look shiny and sparkly.
Things like lightning and twinkles on metal.
It never looked like it was just painted or just drawn.
Know what I mean?
How was that done?

I still don’t understand it really…

Here’s some screen shots incase you’re wondering what the hell I’m talking about:

It’s the same with Jessica Rabbit’s dress in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
How did they make that sparkle?

Someone once told me that the film was physically scratched into by hand to create the sparkle on that dress but know what?

I don’t think I believe that.

Movie Review: “Kick-Ass”.

I went to see “Kick-Ass” a few days ago.
I fucking well loved it!

I’m not one for Superhero movies and I’m not much into reading comics either but “Kick-Ass” was right up my Street!

I recognised Aaron Johnson up on the screen as “Kick-Ass” from the film “Nowhere Boy“.

I thought that “Nowhere Boy” (Where Johnson portrayed a teenage John Lennon) was okay in parts but ultimately full of silly scenarios which didn’t actually happen.
I also thought his English accent sounded off.

But there’s me in the back of the cinema watching “Kick-Ass” and Aaron is doing a spot on American geek accent!
I was confused about where this guy comes from and get this!
He’s English!

“Kick-Ass” is loads of fun.
It’s hilarious and over the top violent and makes Sam Raimi look like he takes things far too seriously.
Sam Raimi!

The great Nicholas Cage puts in a fucking star turn as ‘Big Daddy’ and plays it for laughs all the way with a very good Adam West impersonation.

The whole picture would have been Cage’s had it not been for this wee lassie:

Hit Girl“.
A 13 year old insanely violent hit girl who has a mouth like a sailor.
She’s played by Chloe Moretz and I wouldn’t fight her.

There’s no way you can’t have a sequel to this film.
Treat yourself to a laugh and go see it.

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