Monday, November 06, 2017

THE BEANS PODCAST


I'm the guest on the latest episode of The Beans Podcast.
Have a listen here.

Information from the website:
"Once a month we bring a guest into the studio hear stories from them about their work! This month it is maker of comics; DAVID ROBERTSON!
Here are a couple of links where you can explore his work:
www.fredeggcomics.com/
twitter.com/FredEggComics
If you want more info & links on this story, go to thebeanspodcast.com and look it up on our blog! You can also find us on Twitter: @thebeanspod and email us stories you’d like to see covered at thebeanspod@gmail.com
Our show is hosted by Valerie Mullen (@v_glenmullen), Sam Gonçalves (@SidlingBears) and Erin Farley (@aliasmacalias).
Music for this episode was created by Alex Auldsmith, whose work you can find on alexauldsmith.bandcamp.com/ and themicroband.bandcamp.com/"


Sunday, November 05, 2017

TREEHOUSE COMICS PODCAST 7.1: The Lakes Comic Art Festival / Stan Sakai

Logo by Neil Scott.

The new episode of the Treehouse Comics Podcast is now online.
Have a listen here.

From the website:
"Welcome to part one of a special two-part episode about the Lakes Comic Art Festival. Neil Scott and David Robertson discuss a visit to the festival in October 2017.  We cover the controversy in the run up to the festival (for those interested, a useful run-down of the criticism and subsequent Twitter storm can be found here: https://twitter.com/shallowbrigade/status/919318461339316229 )
This episode also features a talk given by the legendary Stan Sakai (Usagi Yojimbo) at the festival.
We also discuss Melinda Gebbie (Lost Girls), the world's greatest comics covers and Mad vs Viz.
Stay posted for part two coming soon!
Cheers for listening :)"

Friday, November 03, 2017

DUNDEE SHMUNDEE! #8



My eighth Tay Bridge disaster strip is now online over at the Dundee Comics Creative Space website.


Have a look here.

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

STAR JAWS #23 - The final issue

Cover by Martin Hand.

The latest issue of Star Jaws is out now.

It's the final issue, and I am honoured to have a story in there. It's a personal tale regarding a lifetime of being a devoted fan. It's called, "Goodbye, Star Wars"

Here's a preview:



Read the rest of the story in the new issue here.

Robin has been putting Star Jaws out for a few years now. It's a fun, bizarre, surreal read. I'll miss the regular issues.

If you haven't read them, they're all collected at Robin's website Images Degrading Forever.

Thanks for having me, Robin. All the best for the future.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

WILMA


Cover by Ashling Larkin.
A new anthology has been released featuring comics by Olivia Hicks/Katie Quinn, Joan Ormrod/Zu Dominiak, and Julia Round/Catriona Laird.

During the summer I worked on a project for the MLitt comics course which included making a photostrip. This caught someone's attention, as I was asked to shoot and put together another one for Wilma. I was sent a script written by Alexandra Craven, did pencil layouts, and shot the pictures. I then cut and pasted the thing together.

Here's a wee preview of the finished page:


Thursday, October 12, 2017

KIRBY & ME


My Kirby 100 painting (discussed here) is now being exhibited online at the Kirby & Me website.

Have a look here.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

24 HOUR COMIC DAY Volume 3

I took part in this event again this weekend, making 24 pages in 24 hours. Alongside Zu Dominiak and Olivia Hicks, we started at 10am Saturday, working through the night in the Ink Pot studio within Dundee Comics Creative Space.

As last year, I charted my progress online in real time. Here's a summation of how it went, with my photos and comments from Twitter and Facebook:

11.26am: Oh boy. It's 24 hour Comics day again. Let's go!

12.15pm: 24 hour comic day continues. 10 pages of layouts done. Pages 11 to 24 planned out.
12.58pm: 24 pages layouts done. Lunchtime!
3.23pm: 6 pages black and white artwork done. Gonna splash some colour paint on these once all 24 are done in b&w.
5.17pm: Page 7-9. Going out for a walk now. 24 hour Comics, ye bas!
7.51pm: Page 10 and 11. It's time for junk food.
10.58pm: Presenting pages 12 to 14 of this 24 hour comic venture.
1.56am: 24 hour comic pages 15-20. Giant dog.
3.20am: Last 4 pages inked for 24 hour comic day. Gonna take a break and then put some paint on.
8.54am: 24 hour comic day day done and dusted. I love doing this - it's insane. Over and out til next time!
Well done to Zu and Olivia who also completed their 24 page comics.
I hope to take part in this again next year and beyond.


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Friday, September 22, 2017

LOVE BITES #2

Cover by Rebecca Horner.

The new Love Bites! anthology is out in time for Thought Bubble, featuring comics by Zu Dominiak, Olivia Hicks, Katie Quinn, Kit and Pup, and Megan Sinclair.

Here is a preview of my four page contribution:


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

HABITAT: BIG BROWN EYES


The new Big Brown Eyes Collective anthology is edited by Freya, Karis and Emily Lambert, and alongside their own comics also features Ryan Boylett, Mark Brady, Dennis Coyle, Rozi Hathaway, Joe Latham, Ryan Morrison, Emma Raby, Nathaniel Spain, Sam Taylor, Myfawny Tristram, Anja Uhren, and Jade Wall.
I’m pleased to have a comic in there too. A wee preview:

The anthology is on sale at Thought Bubble, Bristol Comic and Zine Fair, and the Lakes International Comic Art Festival, before going on sale online here. 

Friday, September 15, 2017

ORCHESTRAS

What a thrill it was this week to work alongside the magnificent Scottish Ensemble to present a new comic story entitled, “Orchestras”.
The event was the latest DeeCAP (Dundee Comics Art Performance) held at the Dundee Comics Creative Space, and featuring fellow local comics creators Zu Dominiak, Andy Herd, Damon Herd (no relation), Norrie Millar, and myself!


I took the opportunity to premiere a new comic I made specially for the event, designed to work as a comic in its own right and as a performance piece accompanied by the Scottish Ensemble.

Here is how it turned out on the night. I hope you enjoy it…
I think you can see how much I enjoyed hearing the music from that vantage point. A truly exciting event to take part in.
Many thanks to Tom Stewart of That Comic Smell podcast for filming.

Saturday, September 02, 2017

THAT COMIC SMELL: Jack Kirby Appreciation continued...


The new episode of That Comic Smell is now online.
Have a listen at iTunes, Soundcloud and YouTube.

From the website:
“We continue our appreciation for Jack one more time.
We discuss what the publishers have done for his birthday celebrations. Also what some of our particular "Best" moments of Kirby are.
We run as a 3 man team for about the first 20 minutes waiting for everyone else to arrive, in the time we talk about the great "Ann Nocenti" , the general layout and folks that were at the Glasgow comic con. We also speak about the elusive Previews catalogue and Giuseppe has a run in with a mystery shop online.
All this and more on the only podcast to bring you Kirby crackle in the ears... think about how that works for a second.
That Comic Smell!!”

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

THAT COMIC SMELL: Valerian / Jack Kirby


Two new episodes of the podcast are now online.


Episode 13: Valerian

From the website:
"In this episode the folks here talk "Valerian" The comic series created by Pierre Christin & Jean-Claude Mézières.
We go into the likes and dislikes of the series, what other projects the series inspired and whether they think it will make for an interesting film.
We weren't long back from the Glasgow comic-con in July, so we talk about the various books and goodies we acquired whilst there.
Plus! There is an added bonus review from our very own Tom at the end.
So plug in those headphones. Get ready to ride the podcast roller-coaster to the wonderful world of comics.
That Comic Smell!
*Music: Domiciles - Nothing's Ever Changed in the Whole Time That I've Been Here*
domiciles.bandcamp.com/
twitter.com/domicilesband?lang=en
en-gb.facebook.com/domiciles/
Some of the other titles we discussed:
The Mighty Women of Science (Claire Forrest, Fiona Gordon)
Dragon Ball Super (Akira Toriyama)
Toxoplasmosis, Parasites, Sleeping Sickness (Jaime Hall, Edward Ross, University of Glasgow)
Hot Schitt (Gordon Johnston)
Misc Fits, Hourly Comic Day 2017+2016 (Sammy Borras)
DTH RTL II, DTH (Bob Turner)
Left (Steve Ingram)
Sol (Rebecca Horner)
Video Games for Good (Various Artists Compiled by Claire Hubbard)
Space Captain (Michael Park, Chris Baldie, Dave Morrow)
Modern Slorance: The Canada Issue (Neil Slorance)
Digital Memories (Norrie Millar)
RASL (Jeff Smith)
The Bionic Man (Kevin Smith)
Superman Blue+Red (Dan Jurgens)
Leaf (Daishu Ma)
Reworking Walter Scott (Various Artists)
Sea Creatures: Reef Madness (Christophe Cazenove, Thierry Jytery)
Rostam: Tales for the Shahnameh (Bruce Bahmani, Karl Altstaetter)
Settle Petal (Alfie Pound)
The Demon (Garth Ennis, John McRea)
Boy Commandos (Jack Kirby, Joe Simon)
Love Bites (Zu Dominiak)
Transformers Collection (Various)
Kids Are Weird (Jeffery Brown)
Terra Obscura (Alan Moore, Peter Hogan, Yanick Paquette, Karl Stor)
Daredevil #283 August 1990 (Ann Nocenti, Mark Bagley, Al Williamson)
Valiant 1966 (Various)
Providence (Alan Moore, Jacen Burrows)
The Amazing Spider-man Annual 21 (David Michelinie, James Shooter, Paul Ryan, Vince Colletta)"



From the website:
"Happy 100th Birthday Jack! From all of us here at "That Comic Smell"
I'm sure I speak for the world of comics when saying that, without you the comic world would not be what it is today and possibly wouldn't even exist. You were a creation genius and an inspiration to everyone and anyone within comics, whether they know it or not.
In this episode we talk all things Kirby. There is not much more to say except to sit back and absorb all the Kirby chat.
We are also joined by an extremely special guest: Comic Artist, creator and all round good guy Mr. Dan McDaid.
Enjoy Folks.
*Music: Chart Smasher - Play*
chartsmasher.bandcamp.com/releases"

Monday, August 28, 2017

KIRBY 100

In 2015, I became aware that it was going to be Jack Kirby's 100th birthday in a couple of years, and I felt I wanted to mark it in some way, being a huge fan of his work.

An image came to me of a large canvas, with his name in bold and some of my favourite panels painted very large indeed. I could take my time deciding which panels to choose.

I sketched out a rough idea of how I wanted it to look...

Now, I never paint. I've never touched a canvas, never mind put paint on one. I went out and bought the biggest one I could find, along with tubs of acrylics, a set of brushes and a palette.

Armed with this, I set out to begin.

Are you supposed to sketch on a canvas with a pencil? Can you rub it off? Who knows?


Off I went. 

Slapping the black paint on – KIRBY



I put the blocks of colour on first, then once they were on, paint the black on top. I thought this intermediate stage looked nice...


It's interesting the way that a canvas pushes back onto your brush. This doesn't happen with paper, of course. You need to factor this movement into how you apply the paint. I was starting to get the bug for painting on canvas.


As I worked, I listened to Jack Kirby being interviewed. The man was present in the room while I painted. 


Oops, I spilled a bit.


Coming together now...



I covered the spill with a bit of Kirby Krackle added to the background of the panels...


The four panels were originally in the following comics:
Captain America #213
Mister Miracle #6
The Incredible Hulk #1
The Losers #153

I worked on this painting 31st December 2016 into 1st January 2017. I painted my way into the new year; the centennial year of Jack Kirby. It was great.

I still haven't signed it. It exists to celebrate Kirby. I'm thinking I'll write, “David Robertson 2016/2017” down one side of it. Not on the front.

Happy birthday to an astounding talent and inspiration. Much love to Jack Kirby.



More on Jack Kirby:
Click here for an article on Jack Kirby as a writer, here for a favourite comics covers piece, and here for thoughts on a specific Kirby page.


Sunday, August 27, 2017

THAT COMIC SMELL GUEST POST: Fernando Pons

For a few weeks, I've been running a series of guest posts from my friends over at That Comic Smell podcast. The pieces have been any length, style, whatever. The only brief I gave was to write something about comics. This time around, it's Fernando Pons.

Happy 100th birthday Jack!

I didn’t like Jack Kirby’s art. There you have it, I said it. It’s out for everyone to read it. So you’re probably thinking that’s fair enough, I have my own opinion, but... probably you don’t agree.

How could I dislike Jack Kirby? The creator/co-creator of Captain America, Fantastic Four, Hulk, Thor, the Avengers, the X-Men, the Inhumans, Galactus, Doctor Doom, Silver Surfer, Nick Fury and the Howling Commandos, the New Gods, Mister Miracle, Forever People, Darkseid, Kamandi, OMAC, The Demon, The Eternals, Machine Man, Devil Dinosaur...

Well, if you have few minutes and you aren’t bored so far, I’ll explain why.

Let’s go back in time, Spain 1980. Not much going on in entertainment for a 6 year old: There were only 2 TV channels, no computers, no videogames and I lived in a small town in an island in the Mediterranean Sea.

As one of many modest working family households, we didn’t have much money, but comics and magazines were cheap are ready available at any newsagent.

T.B.O. , Tio Vivo, Mortadelo, Zipi Zape, Hazañas Bélicas, Capitán Trueno, Don Miki..., all of them created in Spain by Spanish artists and writers, with the exception of Don Miki (the Spanish equivalent to the Italian magazine Topolino), a magazine reproducing the Disney comics by Carl Barks, Floyd Gottfredson, Romano Scarpa and Giorgio Cavazzano, amongst others.

Like many other kids of my generation, I learnt to read with comics. My parents encouraged me to read more, and one of my aunties, another comic reader, used to lend me many of her magazines, in particular Hazañas Bélicas, a black and white war comic by Boixcar.

Tintin and Asterix followed fairly soon. Many birthday and Christmas presents were hardback editions of these 2 European comic giants.

So there you are, no superheroes, no American comics (with the exception of the stories from Don Miki), no Kirby.

Let’s move forward to 1985: La Patrulla-X #8 (Containing Uncanny X-Men 146 & 147), my first superhero comic.

I had heard of Superman, Spider-man, la Masa (Hulk)...thanks to the TV series and the cinema, but not Patrulla-X. Heroes born with special abilities, mutants hated by the people they are trying to protect. It absolutely blew my mind. The art was by Dave Cockrum and Josef Rubinstein. The writer was Chris Claremont. That was the first series I started to collect.

John Byrne’s Fantastic Four, Romita JR and Layton’s Iron Man, Mike Zeck’s Captain America and Walter Simonson’s Mighty Thor followed my favourite mutants. Then I discovered Arthur Adams in the X-family annuals and Longshot, and eventually, I managed to read Frank Miller’s Daredevil. I also tried some DC superheroes: The Teen Titans by Wolfman and Perez, Batman and the Outsiders by Mike W. Barr, Jim Aparo and Alan Davis.

The art of all these comics was amazing. I was mesmerised. I started to follow the artists. John Byrne was my favourite. I started to collect his Alpha Flight too. Then I managed to get Byrne’s stint in Captain America and his Uncanny X-men comics, when Classic X-Men was eventually published. He was, and still is, one of my favourite artists.

The more superhero comics I read, the more I wanted to know about them. So I started to find out about the origins of all these series. Stan Lee was introducing all the Marvel titles in Spain (“Stan Lee presenta: “), so his name was familiar. The magazines said that Stan Lee created practically all the Marvel comics, with the help of someone called Jack Kirby and another guy called Steve Ditko, but their names were not introducing any titles on any magazines.

Very occasionally, the Marvel magazines would publish an article about Kirby. If you were lucky, you would get 1 or 2 illustrations, or perhaps a cover and that would be all the art you would see. I was used to the fine art of the likes of John Byrne, Alan Davis, George Perez, Arthur Adams, Walter Simonson, Frank Miller...I didn’t like the defiant-gravity bodies, the massive fists, the big rectangular fingers or the box-like faces of this Kirby guy. His art wasn’t refined and his figures weren’t svelte.

“Okay, he was the first artist to draw them, but things are different now and the artists I like are better”, I was telling to myself.

Eventually, Comics Forum (publisher of Marvel Comics in Spain at that time), started to publish classics Marvel stories, which had been edited or mutilated by previous publishers, or never seen before in Spain. The Kree-Skrull war (Thomas & Neal Adams) or the Death of Gwen Stacy (Conway, Kane and Romita) were some of these stories.


Then, one day in one of these magazines (Marvel Héroes #35) I found this story written by Stan Lee and drawn by Jack Kirby. The tale was from Super Villain Classics #1, which in turn, it was reprinted material from Fantastic Four #49, Thor # 160, 162, 167 and 169. The story told the origin of Galactus. This was the comic that made me realise how good Kirby was. The energy effects (later I found out it was called Kirby Krackle, in honour to his creator), the shinning armours, the outlandish machinery, the mythologically influenced aesthetics, the larger than live characters, the fantastic locations...


With time, my appreciation for Kirby and his work has been growing exponentially. I realised how much John Byrne’s Fantastic Four was inspired by Lee and Kirby’s Fantastic Four. Looking at Walter Simonson's art, I realised how much influence Kirby had in his art. I also appreciated how much Miller’s heavy and older Dark Knight had inherited from Kirby. Jim Steranko was heavily influenced by Kirby’s art, so was Keith Giffen too, at his stint in The Defenders during the late 70's. More modern artists have been influenced by Kirby too, for example: Erik Larsen (Savage Dragon), Jose Ladronn (Hip Flask and Elephantmen), Tom Scioli (G0dland) or Fabian Rangel (Space Riders).




And many more, but we don’t have time to go over all of them.


Kirby was a force of nature, a unique artist, a comic-book genius. The quality of his workload was outstanding. The volume of work he produced is incredible; even now we still find some unused cover, poster, pages... He wasn’t a realist, but his figures exuded energy and drama. He knew how to project the emotion from the page to the reader. He was the master of the splash page. He knew how to draw the reader’s eyes to the character. His big scenes did not lack detail, not even on the backgrounds.


As a writer, Kirby brought a mix of slang, science fiction, myth and biblical references to the reader. Perhaps at the time, this cultural cocktail was too heavy for the readers, but his vision has lasted. Writers like Jim Starlin (Dreadstar) and Grant Morrison, amongst others, have been influenced by Jack Kirby’s storytelling.


All these feats didn’t make Kirby a prima donna. Fellow artists who knew him say he was an honest hard working guy, very down to earth, very respectful to others artists and very respected by fellow artists.

So, if you are interested in comics, especially superhero comics, regardless of your age, go and check this Kirby guy, believe me when I say, you won’t be disappointed.

Happy 100th Birthday Jack Kirby!

Stan is the Man, but you were, are and will always be the King.



You can listen to That Comic Smell podcast on iTunes, Soundcloud and YouTube.