Tag Archives: Issue Zero Origin

…Okay, so if you’ve been following my Twitter feed (@hesir) you might have seen some of the work I have been producing for the new book (see last post also). If not you can find a whole bunch of process work, sketches and page layouts by either just following me @hesir, or checking out the #TheCthulhiad hashtag on twitter.

I thought it might be interesting to show a slightly more ordered version of that process, including what happens both before and during the production of those pages etc (and that’s all this is, I’m not suggesting that this is the best method, but its the process that is working for me – at the moment).

So here it is…

Rough Script:

This might be loose notes done during research phases, at this point maybe just notional lines of dialogue, or the names of characters etc. All joined together with arrows denoting the beginning of a plot or scene direction.

Typed Script:

This is the culmination of an editing stage, bringing all the script ideas and plot points together in order, then editing out all the unnecessary ideas and scenes that would work better later or in a different book maybe.

This doesn’t mean its the end… I’ll often add more hand written edits and notes to a script as I get ready for the thumbnailing/layout phase.


These can vary in size, from actual thumbnail sized images (3.5x2cm) through to these my average sized images, which are usually about 7x5cm.

Mostly this is about pacing the story, breaking the script up into visuals, single images that incorporate several pieces of dialogue or multiple narrative.

Script edits might still be happening at this stage on my own work, visuals might spark connections, that suggest dialogue or narrative additions, I tend to just add the notes to the sheets and then look at incorporating them fully when I get around to adding the balloons…

Pencils and Inks:

My pencil work is pretty loose as its really just for me to decipher. Usually I pencil up from the thumbnails, and then scan these, then print off a blue line version to work over in ink… this builds in a redundancy and is less destructive over pencil originals.

Sometimes these scans are resized to actually print ready size, allowing me to add type and balloons and SFX in a separate layer, meaning the finished art can simply be “slipped underneath”.

See this example of balloons and PS boosted pencils >HERE< from the previous post.

Sometimes though, I work straight in over the original pencils.

Below you can see this latter process.

You can also see that once the pencils are complete, that even that might not stop changes happening.

Whether to pencils (see below where I have rubbed out the original panel centre and replaced the extreme close up of the figure with the camera with a midshot)

And the inks of the panel in which we see the shooting victim (above) which just felt a little “pedestrian” once complete…

and so I sketched out a new composition in my sketchbook,

…and then made a “paste-over” (a piece of white paper stuck over the previous artwork) added new pencils based on my sketch and inked it up…

The inks are then rescanned, any flashbacks of previous panels added, and the artwork cleaned up in Photoshop.

Here (below) are the most recent pages I’ve been working on.

Then its just a case of adding these scans to the existing text/ballooned files and adding any final tone/colour examples of which can be found >HERE<.

…and so on, and so on, usually for me in small cycles, finishing batches of pages then going back to thumbnail a new section.


Below is the probable artwork (minus the odd twitch and bit of finessing) for one of this year’s Cthulhiad books, and book that will contain three interlocking narratives looking at some of the catalysts for the events in the previous (and ongoing) Cthulhiad books.

Comic Cover Oil Paints 3

Three broad chapters, namely “Issue”, “Zero”, and “Origin”, that make up the handy over-Title “Issue, Zero, Origin”, in which we’ll find out a little more about Harry, find out where he went after leaving Hamburg, and be a fly on the wall as Detective Malham gets to meet motormouth, “Backbone” McKendry.

The art above was predominantly painted in oils (a medium I’ve been playing with a little of late) with Graphic finishes in PhotoShop, including the warning sign in the foreground of the field.

Painting The cover

It would be interesting to play with this or a similar medium to create a full set of internal artwork at some point… just maybe not this year, laughs.

The book should debut in time for Thought Bubble 2016 (we are hoping to have a table again this year), along with a second Horrere book from Little O and Madius, a follow up to the King’s Leap (another Viking tale), and the culmination and third book of the St George cycle of Cthulhiad books “Theogeny” – which concludes the story set out in The White Ship and last year’s “Drakon”.