Monday, 29 November 2010

Twelfth Night - alternative US cover

Abrams publishes SelfMadeHero's Manga Shakespeare titles across the Atlantic and I was given the chance to do an alternative background for the cover of the US version of Twelfth Night.

Originally I modelled the landscape in Twelfth Night on the dramatic mountains and valleys of certain regions of Switzerland and once I told my father that I'd love to go travelling there. My parents now live in Norway and my father, who's been to Switzerland, scoffed and said that I didn't even have to cross the border to see that kind of landscape.
When I redid the background for the cover it was not long after I'd visited the beautiful Geiranger fjord, just a few hours' drive from my parents' town, and that proved immensely helpful. Often I find that the most frustrating and time-consuming part of painting is searching for that something that you can't quite grasp, probably because of a lack of understanding or knowledge of what you're trying to paint. In contrast, when you have a clear idea of what you want you can avoid a lot of false leads and pitfalls, and shoot straight for that image in your head.

If you ever visit the fjords, make sure to pack warm clothes. It gets surprisingly nippy, even in the height of summer. This was July.

The memories of the fjord were put well to use when visualising the colours and atmosphere for the painting and it was an enjoyable and surprisingly agony-free experience to paint.
I'm not sure which version of the cover I like the best. I like showing the landscape in the US cover, it adds to the story, but the title and the characters stands out more in the original cover.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Ikea Man

A doodle done while video chatting. I thought he might be a savannah explorer at first but the stripes on the tie suggested otherwise. His distant gaze turned into a puzzle over what to have for lunch.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Second Sky characters

These are the main characters from Second Sky, the comic that I'm working on right now, written by the talented Mr Fehed Said. It's a comic that has been "in development" for a long time without really getting anywhere, the problem being entirely my own, but things are finally starting to pick up and I can't wait to share some pages with you soon.

The comic has given me quite a few challenges to tackle. The first and most important one being the character designs, which I felt needed to be different from anything I've done before. August's design went through the most revisions. A 36-year-old Asian delivery man is surprisingly hard to pin down.

August Zhao

May Zhao


Monday, 1 November 2010

MCM expo haul

This last weekend was another MCM expo and I shared a table with John Aggs on Saturday (who has a just started a new developmental blog for his personal comic, Liquid City) and Belinda Leung on Sunday. I met Belinda at the MADE art symposium in Berlin this summer and hadn't seen her since so it was particularly nice to catch up. :)

Last expo didn't leave me any time to do shopping so this time I wanted to correct that, but still managed to fail at planning and ended up having to cram all the shopping into the last 45 mins before closing on Sunday. Thus, the expo haul is not big, but oh so sweet. 

Firstly, I need to plug Paul Duffield's new self-published artbook/visual poem/narrative Signal. The artwork is beautifully emotive and captivating. If I could I would want to stick every spread on my wall. The book is a string of wordless narrative - part comic, part artbook, all gorgeous.
I also bought some beautiful art prints and postcards from Zarina Liew and Yuri Kore, both whose art I absolutely adore.
Nikki Stu is a new discovery who amazingly lives just up the road from me. Her comic was packed in a brown envelope and reminded me of why I love home-made stuff.

And here's another great find, Kenji from Naoki Urasawa's 20th Century Boy. Spot on dude! 

Big thanks to everyone who came by and bought books, prints and commissions. Love you all! :)