The Margin – a fantasy comic / work in progress

Well, I’m still trying to figure out what this might look like on the site as it progresses. But I thought rather than leaving everything in script limbo, I might as well throw some art down, even if these things/pages are little more than scrappy or rough thumbnails. It will at least make the task quicker and more fluid as I pull any final version together. But here we’ll be able to watch the early version unfold (even if things change as it turns to print), and that might be fun.

So firstly, what is The Margin? Well if you read the rambling post that was “Making use of this thing”, in the latter portion I talked about wanting to do a fantasy comic, something a little more high fantasy, probably allied to my rekindled love of playing, writing and running fantasy TTRPGs, but also part of something older that I started writing way back (on the BBC Writing site and DeviantArt under the name Hesirion). Regardless, this new effort is definitely allied to the ttrpg art I’ve been making of late.

So this, *gestures broadly with arms*, will be that. Likely as not it will be a little clunky, as it’s an experiment, a little more freeform and meandering than even my usual standard, but it will be a way of working the kinks out of the visual storytelling whilst still, making/finishing something… even if that something I’d less polished and, well… finished. Or that’s what I’m going to tell myself. So, I guess I’ll sett up a page in the side bar dedicated to this one particular storyline, and we’ll see where we go from there. It will be something I’ll be doing between other more pressing (ie paying) projects, but it will hopefully trundle along at its own pace. Oh, and it will be in rough colour too… here the first few pages.

So “Welcome to Azhereon”…and The Margin.

Making use of this thing…

The Pandemic… Lockdown… it feels like it was an event horizon. It pulled a whole bunch of time toward it, stretching it, making it both vast and now weirdly disconnected and disorienting as we figure out how to go on.

In all that time it seemed like I was busy with other things, I seem to have just utterly failed to use this blog, this site, whether to update anything about my comics work of late, or to just post the occasional piece of art.

I need to change that.

Going forward, it would be good to use this thing not only for promoting work or the thing I’m currently working on, but to add process stuff and again, and maybe get back to doing some reviews of other peoples stuff.

But changes are afoot. The livery of my show stands has been pretty CONsistent for the last few years… with that clunky old b/w image of Harry from The Cthulhiad making my stand look like an old grainy silent movie cover on a shelf full of contemporary blue rays, laughs.

But this year I’m going to look at changing it up, to try and match the way my work output has changed…

The images above show the artwork for my new Con/Event Banners.

It’s odd, but I had a whole bunch of plans for my comics, first just before Brexit, then just before the Pandemic Lockdowns, both events unceremoniously brushed those plans off my drawing board and into the bin beside it… these plans may get revived at some point, but at this moment it’s not really worth going over.

Then, as happens, other things turned up. I’m not going to go into too much detail, but my work sort of diversified. No sooner did it seem that I decided to go full time in comics, and had started to build up a steady-ish stream of work and on going projects, things that I could showcase at Comic Cons and other events than the lockdowns seemed to close some of those doors. But as those doors creaked half-shut, occasionally banging against the doorframe, another set opened. Namely those into the world of TTRPG art. I’d been a fan of fantasy art since I first was able to buy my own books. And my early art output was definitely influenced by that genre. I’ve always kept a hand in, but this was a chance to really go for it and try to split my work down the middle.

On the one side, my expanding work in comics, mostly indie, mostly black and white, with a typically historical, 18th/19th century illustration influence, or with a focus on creatures/monsters, and other genre stuff.

On the other, full colour painted, fantasy art, whether as illustration for ttrpgs or as prints (and maybe somewhere further down the line even a high fantasy genre comic (check out lower down the post for more details on that).

All of this allowing me to lean into my love of fantasy art and characters that you can see in my Sketches From The Margin sketchbook (above), and in my supplement for DMsGuild (ad’ video below).

So, that’s that for this post… not much more than a regret that I haven’t posted more, a note on how my work output has split into two distinct types of work, and a tease that I might well be looking at writing a drawing something akin to a fantasy comic…

And on that note, some fantasy comic art in the wings…

…who knows? Maybe these will amount to more than just Half Of Something.

Fizzz! – A new(ish) Sketchbook


Okay, Fizzz! quietly launched at Thoughtbubble this year, its my second A5 sketchbook compilation, we have Concept Art, Characters, Western and SF themed imagery and everything from thumbnails to fully worked up sketches, traditional and digital and some that are “a little from Column A, and a little from Column B”. 28+ pages b/w, just £2.50.

Check it out, if you like it the next place you should be able to pick it up is Nottingham Comic Con… See you there!