Well, my time off work is nearly at an end and I decided to just unwind and relax a bit after so long working my arse off and getting artwork done or BICS. I've done the odd bit of drawing but it's not really gone to plan. I've been admiring Tone's Photoshop technique and have been struggling to achieve anything near his level so we agreed to collaborate on a pic for fun: I'd draw it and Tone would colour it, and we'd see how things work out.
The art had to be done in two stages to make things easier for the way Tone colours, so my first choice was Flash Gordon. I was struggling for a subject so looked over my bookcase and my Alex Raymond Flash Gordon collections caught my eye: I'd just been perusing Dave Sim's Glamourpuss issues which seemed to mainly be his thoughts on comic art history, following a line from Raymond through Williamson to himself (something I never saw before but can now see clear as day). I did the line art, scanned it in and was then about to shade it before rescanning when I lost interest: the rocks don't fit right (even though they ARE alien rocks!) and I didn't line up my compass right, ending up in a circle that should have bisected the pair of planets now touching their circumference and throwing the whole composition off.
I then returned to my bookshelf and flicked through my Steve Rude Commission books and after settled on Emma Frost as I'd never drawn her. I wasn't keen on the top half of Quietly's design and the Cassaday cloak line wasn't inspiring me either so I went back to the original corset design, but decided to soften it up a bit with lingerie more reminiscent of later 80s hellfire club stories.
Just as I was nearing completion of the pencil shading, it suddenly dawned on me that having a character mostly dressed in white isn't much use in a colouring exercise, so it was back to square one again (although I used this for an experiment with "colourholds" that proves I need further practice!).
Cracking open the Rude books again, I passed over characters such as Leeja from Magnus (too much solid black) and fell back on the boring choice of Supergirl. As uninspired as the choice was, the art came out OK (though the pose is a bit dull) but Tone's colouring makes it look pretty spiffy. I'm sure there'll be another collaboration soon now that we have a feel for what we're doing.
Talking of Alex Raymond, after getting drunk while playing Guinness World Records on the Wii (and I'm presuming either the game's really unpopular or we're pretty ace gamers as we were consistently scoring regional championships on our first attempts), I crashed over at my sister's then made a mad bomb up to London to meet up with some old pals--not everyone turned up and I had to leave early as I was knackered, the beer was shooting through me like a fart in a wind tunnel and there were signal problems causing delays on the underground--but it was great to meet up again. Now the pub's only 10 minutes walk from what I call Comic Shop Corner (four comic shops all within minutes of each other) so I had to pop in, didn't I? As orbital was out of my way, Forbidden Planet was kinda out of my way and Comicana's crap and I was in a rush, I only ventured into Gosh.
FP has a larger selection of merchandise as it's honking big but Gosh has a more interesting selection. I came across a reduced copy of The Art of Alex Raymond but while it had some nice work, it was more a biography with photos and text, not as much concentrated art as I would have liked so I passed it over. After looking at the Euro collections, in particular any Valerians--still can't believe I'm a Wikipedia fact now in relation to that!--I walked out with the first Thorgal collection and the first prince Valiant hardcover collection. Although he's a master, I've never really looked at any Hal Foster so I decided to pick up the first volume and lose myself in his sumptuous art. The strip's still going today and still looks pretty good, one of newspapers' last adventure strips.
In addition to those books, the final Wally Wood collection I was after also arrived from a special rare art (particularly comic, animation and illustration) book dealer in the States: it was more expensive than I would have liked but a damn sight less than the £111 asking price on Amazon! I managed to find another Wood book for £20-odd a few months ago, over £100 less than Amazon's price, so hopefully one day I'll find me a copy of the Rocketeer Adventure Magazine collection...