Thursday, July 2, 2009

First post - Dredd!

I thought I would take the opportunity with the first post to introduce myself to the readers and followers of this blog. Makes sense to know who's art you're going to be looking over and hopefully commenting on.

Been drawing professionally now for nearly twenty years and have worked for Marvel Comics, DC and Vertigo Comics, Dark Horse, and Image amongst others (some since departed and no more) and contributed character designs and storyboards for television, commercials and games development working on licensed properties such as Star Wars, Terminator, The Mask, Dreamworks characters (including Shrek and Madagascar) and for Sony. You can keep in touch with my current events and travels on my blog at or by visiting my Facebook Fan Page.

For my first post I thought you might like to see a personal colour piece from last month. Still learning to use Photoshop for colour and must admit to being very cautious initially. It has been so long since I last painted anything (with acrylics) and a digital pen and mouse is hardly intuitive to me. This image of Dredd is something I had wanted to do for ages and is an unashamed steal from the 70s movie Straw Dogs (directed by Sam Peckinpah and starring Dustin Hoffman and Susan George) Thought it would make for an iconic Dredd image or cover. The close cropping works especially well in creating a claustrophobic urgency to the overall image (motion blur helps too) and there is a hard confrontational attitude to Dredd with the close proximity of his face. The original image features a whole helmeted Dredd head (allowing for a more traditional view if prefered) and the base colour layer was taken from a photograph of my own face (but with a helluva lot of editing) The nose is smaller and the chin much bigger for Dredd. Additional filtering and over painting was necessary to finish the piece. The final lens flare (placed for this blog only) was a very guilty pleasure.

My favourite part of this image is the fact that you can see Dredd's eye through the cracked visor without revealing his identity. It kinda humanises the character in a way that most Dredd images don't. The sense of a previous menace or conflict also heightens the drama.

Anyways. That's all for my first post. Hope you like the Dredd cover and look forward to tomorrow's blog by Thomas Crielly.


  1. Niiiice! He looks really mean. Great stuff.

  2. Dreddfully nice mate. When did you last work on Dredd? Or excuse my ignorance have you ever drawn the mighty chin for 2AD?

  3. Typical. Someone takes our idea and does it better than us.

    Curse all o' ye Scots!

    Seriously though; there's some mighty talent on this blog. Looking forward to checking in every day. Try not to shame us Micks *too* much.

  4. Thank you for your blog comment! Mace might not be a bad idea, lol. Loving your work on here.
    This blog is a great idea and has a great look already (of course!)x

  5. Hi Gary-great piece of work. Any chance of reprinting the Dredd strip you did years ago of a Michael Jackson type character which was very dark & atmospheric? It caught the Jackson legend perfectly! Maybe 2000ad can give you permission? Thanks.

  6. Mike, I only ever did one Dredd (back in 1992) with Garth Ennis. Twin Blocks was a spoof of the Twin Peaks television show with Dredd investigating the alarming disappearance of block residents and an exponentially growing business of blueberry pies. Sorry, but that was the only Dredd I ever did. Would love to be invited back to 2000AD for a story. We'll see.

  7. I think the story you might be thinking about Mike was drawn by Gary Leach.

  8. Got my Garys mixed up-apologies! Surprised you didn't do more Dredds. Hope you get a go at him again.