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2000 AD Covers Uncovered – D’return of D’Israeli for Prog 2208!

Every week, 2000 AD brings you the galaxy’s greatest artwork and 2000 AD Covers Uncovered takes you behind-the-scenes with the headline artists responsible for our top cover art – join bloggers Richard Bruton and Pete Wells as they uncover the greatest covers from 2000 AD!

You last saw D’Israeli‘s art on the cover for 2000 AD Prog 2204 with Stickleback blowing holes in the opposition – he told us all about the making of that particular cover here. And now D’Israeli‘s back with Prog 2208, for another stunning Stickleback scenario, this time featuring the ‘kaiju’ battle taking place above the streets of London… it’s out on 18 November and it looks like this…

As the new Stickleback series, New Jerusalem, continues, we’re discovering more about the Pope of crime and his previous life as Sherlock Holmes!

What will the future hold for Stickleback Holmes? Will there be anything left of his beloved London by the time this series is over? All these questions and more might be answered by the end of Ian Edginton and D’Israeli‘s Stickleback: New Jerusalem!

So, over to D’Israeli, aka Matt Brooker, to talk us through his latest stunning cover to go with the incredible art he’s dishing up for us, full of his innovative digital work.

As is usual, D’Israeli got the word from Tharg to kick things off…

Each cover begins with a brief from Tharg-in-residence Matt Smith. The theme this time was the big “kaiju” battle between Father and the Bey Golem in Stickleback: New Jerusalem Part 8. I prepared 2 roughs, one close up from street level, the second with the combatants on the horizon.

D’roughs of D’Israeli

Matt went for rough no. 2.

D’landscapes of D’Israeli – noticeably more giant monsters than Constable or Turner

The next step was to tidy up the pencils (above) and then add blocks of colour underneath the pencils (below). The colour blocks allow me to make easy selections and drop in textures, also to act as masks to stop me colouring “over the lines” when I add digital “painting.”

The next stage is to draw in blocks of colour to represent the different textures I’ll be adding to the page (I call these “shadow masks”). Each shadow mask is on its own layer, so I can use select it easily (in Clip Studio or Photoshop, hold down CMD/CTRL and click on the layer thumbnail in the Layers Palette to select the contents of a layer).

I fill each selection with a different texture, and on underlying layers I fill with different tones of grey to give the overall tone I want

A bit of painting with Clip Studio’s digital Watercolour Brushes smoothes off edges and gives a bit of volume to the forms . The last step is to add some white rimlight to make the figures “pop.”

I export the finished file as a greyscale TIFF at 600dpi, then upload it to the Rebellion server.

Again, like I said last time, it’s difficult to describe the technique I’m using in words but the videos that show me at work on the cover to Prog 1835 may give a better idea what I mean!

And again, thank you to D’Israeli for sharing all that he does and we’ve added links to those process videos so you can see just how much goes into D’Israeli’s work. And you can grab your copy 2000 AD Prog 2205 from 20 October at the web shop!

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2000 AD Covers Uncovered – Oi! T’Rex… No! Alex Ronald covers 2000 AD Regened

Every week, 2000 AD brings you the galaxy’s greatest artwork and 2000 AD Covers Uncovered takes you behind-the-scenes with the headline artists responsible for our top cover art – join bloggers Richard Bruton and Pete Wells as they uncover the greatest covers from 2000 AD!

This week, it’s the return of the all-ages amazement that is 2000 AD Regened, where the best in comics take on the best of 2000 AD and give younger readers their first jolt of thrill power to hopefully set them on the path to becoming lifelong Squaxx dek Thargos!

Inside, you’ll see more all-ages tales featuring the early days of Judge Dredd in Cadet Dredd, the return of Psi-Judge Anderson, a wonderfully twisty and turny time tale of a Future Shock, a return to Nu-Earth with Venus Bluegenes, and a surprise return for a character not seen in the Prog for 37 years! It is, as usual, a special Prog full of zarjaz strips.

And you can get 2000 AD Prog 2206 in stores and from the 2000 AD web shop from 4 November underneath a dino-tastic cover from Alex Ronald, who’s here to tell us just how he put together this beauty…

So… over to Alex to spill the beans on this one…

Matt had given me a free hand with this, Cadet Dredd with whatever alien or monster I wanted. I used to really love all the Satanus stories so the chance to do something like that was too good to miss.

With this one I thought I’d go with a ‘High Noon’, Dredd v’s T Rex image. To tie into that idea I had drawn the first rough –

Down Fido. Good Fido. Dredd’s obedience training school gets off to a rocky start.

Reconsidering this I thought at the very least the T Rex head needed to be closer, more dangerous, filling the page.

I built up a T Rex in Z Brush and with my Dredd model I tinkered with various camera positions. For the final composition I adjusted the camera down low, and to have Dredd slightly offset.

Small Judge, big stick, bigger T-Rex – our money’s still on Dredd.

Then it was onto painting.

Rather for going more traditional earthy greens or browns for the T Rex skin I aimed for more colourful options to help it pop against the usual white background previously used on Regened covers.

Thank you for Alex yet again for giving us the look behind the curtain this time for that dino-tastic delight of a cover.

It’s the capper of a great year of Regened issues but fear not… we’ll have more for you in 2021, all kicking off with the Regened collection that’s coming out on 7 January 2021, collecting much of what’s featured in the Regened Progs including Cadet Dredd, Strontium Dog, Rogue Trooper, DR & Quinch, Finder & Keeper and more. You’ll also find a brand-new Cadet Dredd strip by Matt Smith and Neil Googe, all to be found under this cover from Neil Googe…

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2000 AD Covers Uncovered – The spider-man is having Dredd & Anderson for dinner tonight

Every week, 2000 AD brings you the galaxy’s greatest artwork and 2000 AD Covers Uncovered takes you behind-the-scenes with the headline artists responsible for our top cover art – join bloggers Richard Bruton and Pete Wells as they uncover the greatest covers from 2000 AD!

This week we welcome artist supreme Patrick Goddard to Covers Uncovered with his great cover for 2000 AD Prog 2205, out on 28 October – get it from the web shop!

It’s one to delight the arachnophobes amongst you, with Patrick giving us Dredd and Anderson having a little spider trouble – as seen in the second and final part of the Dredd tale, ‘They Shoot Talking Horses, Don’t They?‘ by Rob Williams and Dan Cornwell.

Patrick’s been part of 2000 AD since Prog 1220 back in 2000. His first credit was the Sinister Dexter story Lucky and since then we’ve seen his work on Aquila, Armitage, Savage, Mean Machine, Judge Dredd, Judge Anderson, and the raunchy recent adventures of Devlin Waugh in Judge Dredd Megazine.

This latest cover, as Patrick says, was pretty simple, with Tharg giving him a brief to scare the bejesus out of anyone with a spider problem… so, over to Patrick to give you the skinny on his latest bit of cover magic, as coloured by his comrade in arms, Dylan Teague…

Tharg asked for an upward shot of the pair hanging in the well with the threat of spiders coming towards them. There was no need to play with a variety of compositions so just did what I could.

How many ways can Patrick put Dredd and Anderson through the mill this time?

I had some ref of Dan’s artwork to help and played around with some ideas of say, having the Spiders huge in the foreground with Dredd and Anderson pretty small in the back ground. 

Tharg went for the mid shot of the figures so I used a bit of artistic license to add some webbing around them so I could show the spiders in more detail crawling towards them.

Uh, Joe, there are some nasty looking squiggles coming to get us…

I did a quick sketch of the figures quite small (as it’s easier for me to get the scale right), blew it up on my photocopier and lightboxed the pencils onto the art board.

Oh hell, bring back the squiggles, I prefer the squiggles Joe!!

Add some ink and it’s all done!

And then it’s over to the master colourist Dylan Teague who did a great job.

I hope that’s ok? It’s always pretty straightforward when Tharg knows what he wants.

Ok? Oh, it’s just perfect. Fear the 8-legged nightmares everyone!!!

Thanks as always to Patrick for giving us a look inside making this latest wonderful looking cover. If you’re after more Goddard goodness, be sure to check out the cover process for Prog 1865, Prog 2185, and Prog 2021. And be sure to follow him on Twitter – @PaddyGod1.

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Covers Uncovered – Nick Percival’s going to give you nightmaressss…

Every week, 2000 AD brings you the galaxy’s greatest artwork and 2000 AD Covers Uncovered takes you behind-the-scenes with the headline artists responsible for our top cover art – join bloggers Richard Bruton and Pete Wells as they uncover the greatest covers from 2000 AD!

The new Judge Dredd Megazine comes out on 21 October and features a terrifying wraparound cover from Nick Percival, currently giving us all nightmares with the new Dark Judges: Deliverance strip, written by David Hine.

For more on Deliverance, check out the interview with Hine and Percival right here, where Nick had this to say about what to expect from The Dark Judges this time around…

“You can eventually expect some more killing of course but there’s a lot to establish first. Since when we last saw him, Death was floating through space trapped in his Boing ™ bubble, forced to a tortured eternity of reading the entire works of Wordsworth.”

“It’s a unique look at Judge Death, who is worshipped, almost as a God on this new planet inhabited primarily by a perverted Death Cult called the Mortarians. Dave and myself were thinking of ideas of how to continue the saga of the Dark Judges, so I initially pitched two very rough ideas to Tharg and the one of Judge Death crash landing on a planet where he’s seen as a God and worshipped before all Hell breaks loose was the one that was green lit– Dave being the excellent writer he is, completely improved this very basic premise by about a million which is what with now have with Deliverance.”

Nick’s artwork is the perfect fit for The Dark Judges, full of hideous, nightmare-inducing details guaranteed to give you the chills. You know, this sort of thing from the first episode in Megazine #424…

Death wants to give you a kisssss…

He was good enough to share the process behind putting together his latest attempt to give us all sleepless nights on the cover of Megazine Issue 425.

I wanted to do a wraparound cover to give it more impact and expand the theme of Judge Death in sleeping ‘Nosferatu’ mode, being surrounded by the Sisters of Death and various dead souls, etc.

Also, it gave me an opportunity to include a large image of Judge Whisper in the top left-hand corner, since Part 2 of ‘Deliverance’ features his return – he wasn’t fully destroyed at the end of the Torture Garden series – (can any Dark Judge really ever die?) He’s quickly becoming one of my favourite new characters in the Dark Judges saga. There’s a kind of camp, evil menace about his personality. 

Judge Whisper’s Tinder profile pic – He can’t work out why no one swipes right.

Things didn’t radically change from the initial rough sketch through to the final painted piece – I don’t tend to change things too much.

My pencils are always very loose, just to get the idea quickly down on paper and approved by Tharg –then it’s just a case of cracking on and getting the final image done. 

Nick’s pencil rough for his cover. Shhhh… you’re going to wake up Death.

One thing that influenced me a bit was the scene near the end of ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’, where Indy and Marion are tied up, the Ark is opened and all the souls are freed, swirling around everybody – that’s a great scene and I think I was channelling some of that when I was designing it. 

I stuck pretty much to a monochrome blueish colour palette – it gives it a ghostly, ethereal feel which is what the Sisters of Death are all about whenever they appear to stir things up. 

Final wraparound cover – cue the nightmares.

I also have the wraparound Megazine Christmas cover coming up soon, again featuring the Dark Judges, but an image that’s not linked to the ‘Deliverance’ series – Just the evil gang terrorising Santa and lots of festive shenanigans…

The Dark Judges facing off against Santa? Oh great, now Percival’s going to make Christmas terrifying as well! You’ll be able to see that later in the year but before then, make sure to head to the 2000 AD web shop to get your hands on Megazine #425 from 21 October.

Thanks to Nick for giving us all a look behind the latest fear-filled Dark Judges cover there. And now, because he wanted to make sure that none of you slept well tonight – a look close-up at Judge Death from Nick’s cover!

Sssssweet Dreamssss…
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2000 AD Covers Uncovered – D’Israeli’s step-by-step guide to the (w)hole cover for Prog 2204!

Every week, 2000 AD brings you the galaxy’s greatest artwork and 2000 AD Covers Uncovered takes you behind-the-scenes with the headline artists responsible for our top cover art – join bloggers Richard Bruton and Pete Wells as they uncover the greatest covers from 2000 AD!

The Pope of Crime, Stickleback, returned to the pages of the Galaxy’s Greatest with 2000 AD Prog 2200 after a break of some six years, following the shocking revelation that the crime lord was actually none other than Sherlock Holmes. But just how have those years as Stickleback changed Holmes and what does the future hold for Stickleback and his criminal compatriots now that the truth is out? Well, those are questions that are unfolding, quite brilliantly, in the pages of Stickleback: New Jerusalem by Ian Edginton and D’Israeli right now!

Getting to see more of D’Israeli’s art in the Prog is ALWAYS a joy, whether it’s Stickleback, Dredd, or Scarlet Traces, and with Prog 2204, he’s delivered what might be one of the best covers of the year – where Stickleback makes a holey mess of the latest nefarious foe…

D’Israeli, aka Matt Brooker, is an artist whose work has evolved over the years, with each new appearance in the Prog or Judge Dredd Megazine showing us some stunning new look to his art. With this new Stickleback, his work is full of digital tones and some amazing digital collage effects, many of them coming from photographs of everyday surfaces and imported into the art.

We were lucky enough that D’Israel grabbed some time to send over the imagery that went into making the Prog 2204 cover and a glimpse into how the magic all comes together. For a lot more on how Matt/D’Israeli works, it’s definitely worth heading over to his blog. But without further ado… here’s D’Israeli…

As with all covers, it started with a brief from Tharg-in-residence Matt Smith.

This time I was to show the fight between Stickleback and the Ophidian from part 5. I prepared 3 roughs, two of which were new compositions and one was based on a panel from the strip (the view through the bullet wound).

Three different roughs for the Stickleback cover – Art by D’Israeli

Matt went for rough no. 3. The next step was to tidy up the pencils

Peek-A-Boo! Stickleback pencils by D’Israeli

After the pencils, it’s time to add blocks of colour underneath. The colour blocks allow me to make easy selections and drop in textures, also to act as masks to stop me colouring “over the lines” when I add digital “painting.”

If you had a hole in your head that big, you’d be a little green around the gills as well!
Adding colour blocks to the pencilled art.

Every time I do a new series of Stickleback, I end up changing the technique, largely because it’s so complicated I forget exactly what I did the last time!

The first episode of a new series is always a bit like doing a puzzle till I get back in the swing of things. This time round I’ve added a stage where I draw in blocks of colour to represent the different textures I’ll be adding to the page (I call these “shadow masks”).

The shadow mask stage of blowing a hole through a head!

In this case there are three shades of violet, representing three levels of a mottled texture that goes under all the blacks in Stickleback. Other textures like brick or tree bark get their own colours. I want the foreground figure to pull away from Stickleback in the background, to he’ll be in shadow, with black shading and a mid-grey everywhere else. Stickleback’s shadows will be lighter than the lightest tone in the foreground, creating planes of separation.

Each shadow mask is on its own layer, so I can use select it easily (in Clip Studio or Photoshop, hold down CMD/CTRL and click on the layer thumbnail in the Layers Palette to select the contents of a layer). I fill each selection with the mottled texture at different transparencies, and on underlying layers I fill with different tones of grey to give the overall tone I want.

Textured shadows really do bring out the mess Stickleback’s made!

The final stage is to add a bit of painting with Clip Studio’s digital Watercolour Brushes to smooth off edges and give a bit of volume to the forms.

I export the finished file as a greyscale TIFF at 600dpi, then upload it to the Rebellion server.

And there you go! The finished product, all ready to delight the readers!

It’s difficult to describe the technique in words: this 2000AD Covers Uncovered post  from 2013 includes links to a video that shows me at work, which may give a better idea what I mean!

Definitely go and see that Covers Uncovered from Pete Wells – but we’ve added in the videos for you below, a fascinating look at the artist at work!

Thanks so much to D’Israeli for sending us all that – stunning as always. You can grab your copy of 2000 AD Prog 2204 from 20 October at the web shop!

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2000 AD Covers Uncovered – Jake Lynch gives Dredd nowhere to hide for Prog 2203!

Every week, 2000 AD brings you the galaxy’s greatest artwork and 2000 AD Covers Uncovered takes you behind-the-scenes with the headline artists responsible for our top cover art – join bloggers Richard Bruton and Pete Wells as they uncover the greatest covers from 2000 AD!

This week it’s the return of Jake Lynch to Covers Uncovered with the cover to 2000 AD Prog 2203, featuring a moody, blue-mood Judge Dredd surveying his world. Inside, you’ll see Dredd and Maitland having a crucial heart-to-heart over Maitland’s discovery of the solution to MC-1’s crime problems in the finale to Arthur Wyatt, Rob Williams, and Boo Cook’s ‘Carry the Nine.

As seems to be the way of these things, the poor Lynch droid was, yet again, desperate for a little love from Tharg. But, as we all know by now, TMO doesn’t want love from or give love out to his droids. All he wants is the work. Luckily, Lynch’s work is there for you all to love on the cover of Prog 2203, out on 14 October and available from the 2000 AD web shop.

We caught up with the emotionally drained Lynch to chat about the making of yet another great looking cover –

I wanted to do a pic of Dredd that had ’nowhere to hide’, no foreground element, no trickery, just Dredd (hopefully) standing solid.  So that was the first challenge – the rough.

Thankfully, The Mighty One accepted it, reminding me that I am a snivelling worm.

The next job is to work out how the light is going to hit it.

Followed by a simple, non-distracting background...

And finally – massaging it all together I finally work it up into the colour version you see today!

By complete surprise I discover that the cover is being published on my birthday, 14th October.  I think for a fleeting moment that maybe, JUST maybe, Tharg doesn’t hate me after all.  I send an email in thanks, He asks me what the hell I’m talking about and to get back to work.

Happy b-b-birthday to me…*sniff*

Aw, poor old Jake. We love you at least. And we love seeing you on the cover of the Prog every time. Thanks to him for taking the time to send us the images for this latest mean and moody cover and hopefully his tears won’t be getting over the artwork for the next job for Tharg – you know TMO hates getting salty droid tears in the artwork.

Lynch has been regularly appearing in the pages of the Galaxy’s Greatest since his first Future Shock, Dying Wishes, with Eddie Robson in Prog 1862 (January 2014). Since then he’s become a go to artist for Tharg on Dredd, delivering the goods again and again, most recently in Judge Dredd Megazine 423 and the latest instalment in Lynch and Arthur Wyatt’s saga of Orlok, The Red Prince, and The Red Queen’s Gambit.

You can find more of Lynch’s excellent covers at Covers Uncovered for Progs 2017 and 2181. And we talked art, Dredd, Y-fronts, and more with Lynch for his stunningly silly Dredd & Zombo strip in the Sci-Fi Special earlier this year right here, where he stepped into Henry Flint’s art shoes for Zombo to become Mr Scribbly number two.

You remember that one, right? Where Lynch gets to draw ol’ Stoney face being his very best stoney… despite

And where we got to see Zombo deliver the immortal line…

You’ll next see Jake’s artwork inside 2000 AD with the second series of Proteus Vex as he takes over from Henry Flint on art duties. That second series is out later this year, but here are a couple of work in progress pieces from Lynch…

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2000 AD Covers Uncovered – Simon Coleby bites into Hook Jaw for Prog 2202

Every week, 2000 AD brings you the galaxy’s greatest artwork and 2000 AD Covers Uncovered takes you behind-the-scenes with the headline artists responsible for our top cover art – join bloggers Richard Bruton and Pete Wells as they uncover the greatest covers from 2000 AD!

This week, it’s all getting a bit nasty in the pages of the Prog, with the greatest of the great whites taking a big bite out of the tourist trade down in Cornwall. Yes, since reappearing in 2000 AD Prog 2200, Hook Jaw has been turning the seas red once more in the tale from Alec Worley and Leigh Gallagher.

But for the cover of 2000 AD Prog 2202, readers get even more of the ‘Jaw with this stunning Simon Coleby cover…

Simon’s been working in comics for a while now, with his first big break coming here at the Galaxy’s Greatest with the 1989 Future Shocks tale Rogan’s Last Ride (with Ian Rimmer in Prog 647). Since then he’s drawn Rogue Trooper, Judge Dredd, Venus Bluegenes, Bato Loco, Low Life, Sinister Dexter, and plenty more. He’s also drawn for Marvel UK, Marvel US, DC Comics, and Wildstorm on the likes of Warheads, Death’s Head II, Punisher 2099, Lobo, The Legion, The Authority, and Fringe.

Most recently, you’ll have seen his striking work on The Vigilant (with Simon Furman), featuring Rebellion’s super-team of classic British comic book characters and Jaegir (with Gordon Rennie), chronicling the other side of the Nort-Souther wars with Kapitan-Inspector Atalia Jaegir.

And now here he is, showing us the nightmare that is Hook Jaw. But how did the cover come about? Best thing to do is to go straight to Simon and ask!

So – Hook Jaw. During my three and a half decades of drawing comics, I’ve had the amazing good fortune to work on some really iconic characters. And getting to draw the Great White, SJW, snowflake, gammon-devouring eco-selachimorpha is up there with the very best of ’em. 

I did read Action as a kid – I suspect my rather conservative dad never really looked at what was in the pages behind the rather innocuous title. Controversial as the comic was, I reflect on my long years drawing gothic macabre art, collecting and playing aggressively metal guitars and enjoying the darker fringes of the death metal world, and I conclude that the comic had absolutely no negative early influence on my life whatsoever.

This is, of course, the title that was condemned as a moral disgrace on Nationwide by Frank Bough. That’s Mr. Bough who shortly thereafter was revealed as an enthusiastic wearer of ladies’ undergarmentry and a keen consumer of nose-candy. We all need a hobby, I suppose. Interesting to reflect that in current times Frank’s recreational activities would barely merit a third of a page of ranting in the Daily Express or more than a few moments on HIGNFY, and the comic itself would hardly provoke a ripple of outrage. How times change.

And so, the cover…

I began with the customary handful of fineliner rough sketches. I was looking at the broad theme of Hook Jaw targeting the usual rig-workers, polluters of the oceans and suchlike.

You’ll have someone’s eye out with that, mate.
What big teeth you have…
You’re going to need a bigger boat!

One of my ideas was a slightly cheeky bit of self-reference — harking back to one of the Dredd covers I did back in the mists of time, before I’d actually learned to draw.

Simon Coleby cover to Prog 758 (1991) – A different set of Jaws!

Old Green Bonce liked the first sketch, but asked for it to be a little more direct and impactful — to lose the (presumed) rig worker and the rig itself, and just concentrate on the shark’s head crashing out of the waves. I worked up a revised sketch based on that request, and that one got the thumbs-up from The Nerve Centre.

I should mention that at the time I did the sketches, I didn’t realise that the story would be running in ‘the Prog’ and had assumed it was a standalone project, which is why I placed the Hook Jaw logo on the pages. It’s about the same size as the 2000 AD logo itself, so that wasn’t a problem.

The rest of it was just a straightforward process of the usual tight pencils and then inking the piece — Hunt 102 nib, Daler Calli ink, brush pen and a few chinagraph pencil touches on A3 bristol board. Some of the white areas of texture were added digitally after the drawing was scanned.

Coleby’s first pass at the inks for the cover.

I did look at the piece the day after I’d submitted it, and I decided that the inks could be a little more energetic. And so I inked it again, and also sent that one over to The Nerve Centre.

The second set of inks – making that shark jump out of the water!

I preferred the second one, but Tharg went with the first. Who am I to argue? I don’t need a Rigellian Hotshot on top of the endless parade of delights that this year has already presented.

Of course, I have to thank Dylan Teague for his brilliant work colouring my drawing. I’m really happy with how it all came together.

Thank you so much to Simon for sending over those fantastic images and giving us a look behind the scenes. You can get hold of Coleby’s cover on 2000 AD Prog 2202 from the web shop right now!

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2000 AD Covers Uncovered – Tiernen Trevallion gets Fiendish again!

Every week, 2000 AD brings you the galaxy’s greatest artwork and 2000 AD Covers Uncovered takes you behind-the-scenes with the headline artists responsible for our top cover art – join bloggers Richard Bruton and Pete Wells as they uncover the greatest covers from 2000 AD!

This week, we chat to Tiernen Trevallion about his latest cover – 2000 AD Prog 2201, featuring the return of that Fiend of the Eastern Front!

The artist first appeared in 2000 AD with the Terror Tale, ‘Man Bites God‘, written by Al Ewing in Prog 1533 and in Judge Dredd Megazine with a Tales From The Black Museum written by Arthur Wyatt in issue 289. But it’s his work on the grumpiest Guv’nor, Harry Absalom that he’s best known for around these parts. The supernatural spin-off from Caballistics, Inc. began in Prog 1732 and ran for several stories before ending in a fabulously fitting finale in Prog 2143, all written by Gordon Rennie.

He’s also been working with Ian Edginton on the Fiends of the Eastern Front series, with the series Fiends of the Western Front running from Progs 2111 to 2115 in 2019. That six-parter was all blood and bats, with the Black Max guest-starring.

And now we’re back with another Edginton/Trevallion Fiends, returning once more to Romania in a new Fiends Of The Eastern Front – Constanta.

We chatted to an incredibly busy Tiernan about his process and putting together that eye-catching first cover for the new series!

Apologies, this is going to be pretty brief, partly because I’m busy but also the process is fairly straight forward.

I sketch it… ink it… colour it…

Alternate sketch version of the cover

The sketch I’ve included is an alternative version. The right side shows the coils of a serpent as opposed to the Wilson/bat thing.

I ink digitally, here using four layers, one for each of the foreground elements of the panels, and the fourth for the background. This layer is knocked back to give some distance, and make the foreground pop.

Colour: I’ve gone for a muted, contrasting tone. Pretty simple.

There’s a final layer over the top for the rain.

Thank you to the good Mr Trevallion for giving us the skinny on that great looking cover. You can find it on the shelves of your local comic shop or newsagent on September 30 – and, of course, you can get it from the 2000 AD web shop!

If you’re looking for more from Tiernen Trevallion – try these brilliant Covers Uncovered features written by Pete Wells – Prog 1748, Prog 1767, Prog 1809, Prog 2042, and Absalom: Ghosts of London. But first, the stunning cover to Prog 2112 – with the last Edginton & Trevallion Fiends of the Western Front strip!

And finally, the beginning and end of Harry Absalom…

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2000 AD Covers Uncovered – Paul Williams on Prog 2199’s death from above…

Every week, 2000 AD brings you the galaxy’s greatest artwork and 2000 AD Covers Uncovered takes you behind-the-scenes with the headline artists responsible for our top cover art – join bloggers Richard Bruton and Pete Wells as they uncover the greatest covers from 2000 AD!

This week, we chat to art droid Paul Williams about his latest cover – 2000 AD Prog 2199.

Paul was the winner of the 2000 AD art search competition at Thought Bubble 2017 and has since been published in Prog 2072’s Future Shock: Sunday Scientist. and in the DeMarco, P.I. 3-parter An Eye… in Megazine issue 410-413.

With Prog 2199, he’s created a classic Dredd image that fits perfectly with the finale to the latest Dredd epic, End of Days, that you’ll be able to see for yourselves from the 2000 AD web shop and comic shops when 2000 AD Prog 2199 hits the shelves on 16 September.

Now, over to Paul to chat about that cover…

Being a droid that’s fairly new off the production line, I wouldn’t expect to be the first person that Tharg thinks of when commissioning covers and so my approach has been to jot up an idea of my own and risk a Rigellian Hotshot by offering it up to The Mighty One on my own initiative.

It’s a risk you have to be willing to take when fighting for place in the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic and, fortunately, the reprimanding blasts have been kept to a minimum.

The trick with designing a cover that can be slotted in at multiple points throughout a year is that it has to be exciting and eye-catching as well as somewhat original, which can be difficult to pull off when you’re not working with any particular story specifics in mind AND there are also more than 2000 previous ideas you need to steer clear of (I recently had a different pitch rejected because it was unintentionally similar to a previous Cliff Robinson cover and, let’s face it, opening yourself up to comparison with a droid of that calibre is never going to end well!). In this case, I felt like I had a decent concept in mind so I began to jot down some early ideas in Procreate.

Initial sketch – Joe, you really should get that head wound looked at.

Here’s one trick I sometimes use when sketching with unusual perspectives, which is to find a shot with roughly the same angle I’m aiming for and take note of the line directions. I then used those lines alone to very roughly outline and place the city blocks at the foot of the image. At this point, I was unsure what style of city block I would go for, so they’re quite indistinct but the placement is pretty much locked in.

Tower Block mania sets in for the art droid.

Also of note, I always try and find a dominant “shape” in my compositions as I find those are the ones that I have the most success with, artistically. Here, I clearly latched onto the triangular shape that frames Dredd between the city blocks as I liked the way it would lead the eye with the inclusion of the 2000 AD logo atop. If you imagine that block of text across the top, the direction in which I intend to take the reader is like a big number seven across the page.

As much as I was getting a good feeling from that initial doodle, I didn’t think it worthy enough to pitch in that state so decided to draw it up with a bit more oomph.

Next, I took to the 3D modelling software Poser to create some reference for those city blocks, though sticking with that original placement I sketched out previously. The mesh of these shapes were then used as guidelines for carving out all the areas of detail, which is a process I always spend far too long on because it’s difficult to find the right balance between those and the areas you don’t fill in.

Every perp’s worst nightmare – Giant Dredd takes over the city!

With this one, in particular, I wanted Dredd to remain the focus and so didn’t want to add too much complex detail around him.

I also made a few other subtle alterations from the original sketch, including tilting Dredd’s head down a bit, enlarging the hand and making the skull look more like something that could actually possibly reside within a human head.

I also had to cheat a bit with the shape of the skull so that it would meet with the top of the helmet in a more visually pleasing manner but the logo will mostly obscure that so shhhh, don’t tell anyone.

Citizens… Dredd is ALWAYS watching over you.

So, that “oomphed-up” rough was sent off to Tharg’s delegate on Earth, Matt Smith, who deemed it worthy of adorning the cover of 2000 AD and the final version was inked (all on my iPad Pro) with just a few minor adjustments.

Thanks to Paul for letting us inside the making of his latest 2000 AD cover.

You can read an interview with Paul and his co-winner, script-droid Laura Bailey here and both Paul and Laura talk about their DeMarco strip on the Thrill-Cast here. And you can find Paul on Twitter and Behance.

And for an extra treat here’s Paul’s first 2000 AD cover – Prog 2146…

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Covers Uncovered Special – Into Battle once more with Nelson Dániel!

Every week, 2000 AD brings you the galaxy’s greatest artwork and 2000 AD Covers Uncovered takes you behind-the-scenes with the headline artists responsible for our top cover art.

But this week, there’s more than just 2000 AD – this week, we have the publication of the Battle of Britain Special ! We’ve shown you the making of the web-exclusive cover by Keith Burns yesterday, but now it’s the turn of the brilliant artist behind the regular cover that you’ll see on the shelves of your local comic shop and newsagents.

And that action-packed cover comes to you courtesy of Nelson Dániel.

Inside this new Battle of Britain Special you’ll find action and adventure, bravery and heroism, but also strips looking deeper into the tragedy of war and the terrible sacrifices involved. Amongst some incredible new strips from the likes of Alex de Campi, Alan Grant, Rob WilliamsSimon ColebyGlenn FabryPJ Holden, and Tom Paterson, there’s also a return to the pages of Battle for two classic strips – Rat Pack, by Garth Ennis and Keith Burns, and El Mestizo by Alan Hebden and Brent McKee.

It’s a must-have collection of the best war strips in decades and it’s out on 16 September from the Treasury of British Comics! If you get your copy from comic shops or newsagents it’s the Nelson Dániel cover you need to be looking for!

Nelson’s been involved in cinema, illustration, and comics for the last 16+ years. He’s worked as art director, production designer, concept artist and storyboard artists for feature films including Machete, Robotech, Fantastic Four, and The Green Inferno. As far as comics, he’s worked as an artist and colourist for Marvel and IDW, where he’s provided art and covers for the IDW USA Judge Dredd series.

This is his first work for 2000 AD or the Treasury of British Comics and it’s a great cover that jumps off the shelves – great visual imagery, perfect for what’s inside!

Unfortunately, Nelson was way, way, way behind with deadlines and couldn’t carve out the time to talk to us about his work putting the cover together. But he did send over the important part – the images of his process stages!

First up, the preliminary thumbnails for editorial to look at. Already fixed on the idea of a poor German gunner looking out at the deathly Spitfires, it was a case of the close-up or longer shot.

Preliminary cover roughs – with editorial saying yes to the one on the right

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Next stage is pencils, with a shift in position for the gunner and even more Spitfires!

Nelson Dániel – pencils for the cover

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Next, it’s time for putting down inks…

Nelson’s Battle cover – inked and ready for colour

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Everything in place and ready for colours now – two colour versions were produced. No doubt editorial saw the first and just decided it was time for more guns, more bullets, more effects, more, more, more!!!

Nelson’s first colour version of his Battle cover
Nelson’s Battle cover – added effects for a second colour version –
more firepower to the Spitfires!

And the end result of that work? Well, it’s the action-packed view through a Luftwaffe gunner’s turret as the Spitfire’s open fire – not a sight you’d like to see from that perspective at all – but a sight that makes a great cover!

Thanks so much to Nelson for chatting to us about this action-packed cover to the Battle of Britain Special. Be sure to follow Nelson on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and ArtistGO site.

And don’t miss out on the greatest Battle action in 30 years when the Battle of Britain Special is released on 16 September!

And finally, just a little extra – a glimpse at Nelson’s Judge Dredd work over at IDW…