Friday, 23 December 2011

How To Make (Christmas Holiday) Comics

Tell me about it.

As a special Christmas present to the world in general, the brand new issue of Waitrose Weekend magazine - available free by the tills in branches of Waitrose nationwide - features an exclusive brand-new page of How To Make (Awesome) Comics, by ME and featuring my colleagues Professor Panels and Art Monkey. In case you haven't met them before, they are...


The strip features a competition to design a character and get it printed in the Phoenix Comic, so - if you happen to find yourself or your family at a loose end at any point over the holidays, why not have a go? You can find all the details about the competition here:

And here's a quick peek at the mag!


Waitrose Weekend magazine. Contributors: Heston, Delia, Neill.

May I just say, it is a profound honour and the realisation of a lifelong ambition to be sharing page space in a publication with a personal hero of mine: Gregg off Masterchef.

And if that doesn't keep you busy, remember you can always visit the Mo-Bot High Facebook Page and while away the hours thinking up ridiculous entries for my Giant Robot Competition!

Right, I think that's about it for me, this side of Christmas. Merry Christmas, Everyone! May you all Function With Relative Ease, and I - and indeed Prof P and Art Monkey - will be back very soon with the most preposterously exciting start to 2012 you could even imagine...

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

COMPETITION: Win the giant robot of your choice!

Mo-Bot Blog Week Header
Mo-Bot Competition 600px

I very much enjoyed drawing Giant Robot Judge Dredd and Giant Robot Harry Potter this week, so I thought it would be fun to do another in this little sort-of-series. But who to turn into a giant robot next?


Yes, I thought it might be fun to turn it into a little competition, and give you YES YOU the chance to win a piece of original, custom artwork depicting a Mo-Botized version of the comics / movie / pop culture character of your choice. The winner will get an A3 full-colour poster print of the finished piece, as well as the ORIGINAL pencil sketch / whatever scribbles and roughs I do to get started.

TO ENTER: all you have to do is go 'Like' the Mo-Bot High Facebook Page, then say who you would like a giant robot version of. THAT IS IT. Closing date of January 15th, 2012, at which point I will use a combination of random number generation and deciding which one I most want to draw to pick a winner. (i.e. if the suggestion 'Batman' wins, and there are 20 entries saying 'Batman', I will pick the winning entry using a random number generator).

PS I'm not saying 'Batman' is going to win, that was just an example. Although I DO totally want to draw Giant Robot Batman.

Go enter! It will be FUN.

(If you're not on Facebook - oh, go on, just leave a comment here on the blog. But Facebook entrues MUCH HANDIER FOR ME, so would be appreciated.)

Mo-Bot Facebook

Mo-Bot Week rolls on tomorrow with the funnest and - by far - most ridiculous entry yet!

Monday, 19 December 2011

Mo-Bot Hogwarts

Mo-Bot Blog Week Header

Mo-Bot Hogwarts RGB 600px

Because much as I love the work of J. K. Rowling, I can't help but feel it could
use more giant robots.
Big Version of this pic right here.

The SECRET ORIGIN of today's entry in Mo-Bot Week*: so aaaages ago I made a Funny Joke on twitter, announcing my delight at the news that I'd landed the assignment of producing graphic novel adaptations of all seven Harry Potter novels... but that I would of course be making some changes.

This was essentially just an excuse for me to make up lots of silly titles: Harry Potter and the Unusually Large Baby, Harry Potter and the Drunk Jellyfish, that sort of thing. Anyway, comics writer, journalist and tweeter par excellence Chris Sims chimed in with "Harry Potter and The Hell With It, They All Have Giant Robots Now." And lo, my mind was blown.

I'm only sorry it's taken me this long to actually draw it.

Look, I even made 'character designs' for this one.
sketch harry
sketch hermione
sketch ron

In the unlikely event that they do ever license the Potter books for comics versions, I can only imagine the creative team would be like Neil Gaiman and Dave Gibbons, or generally the famousest and most expensive creators imaginable. But I'd just like to say: I WOULD DRAW THE HECK OUT OF THAT $#!£. Holla at me, Bloomsbury.

sketch snape
sketch dumbledore
sketch gryffindor-bot

And hey, if the idea of a school filled with plucky kids having adventures with cool magic giant robots appeals... well. Do I really need to spell it out?
xmas Mo-Bots
More Mo-Bot Week* Fun-ness tomorrow!

*Yeah, yeah, so Mo-Bot Week kind of morphed into Mo-bot Fortnight - my son got chickenpox so schedules have taken a bit of a tumble all round. He's on the mend now, hooray!

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Pirate Ninja Mo-Bot Molly

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Pirate Ninja Mo-bot Molly

Ace comics reviewer for the Forbidden Planet International Blog Molly Bruton recently had a bit of a disagreement with a trampoline and by all accounts busted up her arm pretty good. Anyway, fine comics artist Adam Cadwell decided to #drawmolly to cheer her up, with this marvellous picture. And that seemed like such a good idea that I thought I'd join in, too.

Molly - and her Dad, Rchard - wrote some very nice words about Mo-Bot High back when it came out. I don't mean to set a precedent here, that I'll draw a picture for anyone who gives my comics a good review and then injures themselves in a trampolining accident.

Actually, you know what? I think I am okay with setting that precedent.

Get well soon, Molly!

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

A Child's First Guide To Giant Robot Construction and Repair

Mo-Bot Blog Week Header

blog pic

Longtime readers of this blog may remember around this time last year when, for the Mo-Bot High Book One launch party I made up some cool little cardboard mo-bots. This is what they looked like back then:

Cardbot 2

Anyway, we discovered very quickly at the launch that they were not in fact going to be used so much for 'display purposes' as for 'my son playing with and having fights with and generally bashing into things' purposes. I was not about to object, because- well, because frankly there is not much in this world more heartwarming than watching one's son enthusiastically recreating scenes from one's own book with a homemade toy cardboard giant robot.

On the other hand, they are only made of cardboard. And after a year of such play, Logan's mo-bot looked more like this:

mobile 141

Clearly, it was time for some repairs. I actually had one cardbot kit spare from doing some school events, so we decided this morning to cannibalise it for parts.

mobile 142

Logan was very helpful, holding bits and generally offering useful direction and motivation. ("DADDY IS HE FIXED YET FIX HIM FASTER")

mobile 143

And before you knew it, Red Mo-Bot was as good as new, and ready to hang out with his best friend, "Other Red Mo-Bot".

mobile 147

It's funny to be doing this a year on; inadvertantly, getting scissors and glue out and making cardboard mo-bots seems to have become as much a part of my pre-christmas preparations as putting up the tree and re-watching Lord of the Rings for the bazillionth time.

Anyway, it was lots of fun and if you would like to build - or indeed repair - your OWN cardboard giant robot, handy kits to download and print off are available for the very reasonable price of FREE over on the Mo-Bot High website! And you can check out more pictures over on the (still brand new) Facebook page!

More Mo-botness tomorrow!

Tuesday, 13 December 2011


Mo-Bot Blog Week Header

Judge Mo-Bot

Judge Mo-Bot! You want a bigger version? HERE is your bigger version.

Here is today's drawing for Mo-Bot Blog Week! Enjoy!

The SECRET ORIGIN of today's drawing: I was at the 2D festival in Derry, and I remember a couple of fine comics artists - Rufus Dayglo and Rob Davis, if memory serves - saying that they'd never really found "their" Judge Dredds; that whenever they tried drawing him, Mike McMahon's version came out, so profound was the influence of that great artist and his defining work on that character.

Anyway, that resonated with me. I've tried drawing Judge Dredd a couple times but it's never really worked - largely, I think, because I've never found "my" version either. (Not due to McMahon-influence in my case; much as I love that guy's work, I was always more of a Bolland kid. Make of that what you will). So I started thinking: what would my Judge Dredd look like?

Well, obviously he'd be a massive neon giant robot. I can't believe I didn't see it right away.

More Mo-Botiness tomorrow! Follow along here or go like the brand new Mo-Bot High Facebook Page for more fun stuff!

Judge Mo-Bot Sketches

Monday, 12 December 2011

Mo-Bot Santa Presents...

Mo-Bot Blog Week

I suddenly felt like it's way too long since I drew either of my two favourite things:
(1) Mo-Bots
(2)) stupid nonsense for my blog when I ought to be doing real work instead.

Anyway, as a bit of an early Christmas present to myself, I'm going to spend this week making up for it with Mo-Bot Blog Week, where I shall be posting all sorts of fun drawings and bits and bobs with a Digital Mobile Combatsuit-y flavour! Do stay tuned - hopefully there'll be at least one cool thing a day, and if I manage to get it all done, the thing I'm hoping to post for Friday should be a bit special.

While I'm here: question I've been asked a lot lately is "when's Mo-Bot High Book 2 coming out?" and, while I am unable to give you a concrete answer to that question (it's complicated, and I have rather a lot of pirates and dinosaurs to draw first), I thought I'd offer a list of things YOU can do to help it happen as soon as possible. Undertaking any one of these actions will qualify you for entry in Team Mo-Bot, and earn my eternal undying fondness.

Mo-Bot Facebook

  1. Go 'Like' the new Mo-Bot High page on Facebook! Just set this up; I'll be posting all sorts of stuff here, and thought it'd be a good place to try out some fun ideas I have for the future - go along and Like the heck out of it now to get on board early!
  2. Write a review on Amazon! I mean, assuming you liked the book. If you hated it: well, it's a free world I suppose, buddy.
  3. Tell your friends! Your actual real-life friends. Hey, you could even give them a copy for Christmas, right?
  4. Develop the technology to actually create real digital giant robots that launch out of mobile phones, and then lead an army of them marching through central London, waving 'Mo-Bot High' banners.

Extra points if you manage that last one!

Anyway, check back tomorrow for our first bit of Fun Stupid Giant Robot Nonsense!

Monday, 5 December 2011

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: Some Christmas Shopping Ideas That You May Wish To Consider

Many people, myself included, find this a very difficult time of year, as we are supposed to not only PART WITH MONEY to buy things for our "loved ones", we are expected to actually "think" about what they might "like". Exhausting.

Anyway, I am here to help any other lost souls stuck in this terrible predicament by offering the following suggestions for AWESOME THINGS that would make EXCELLENT CHRISTMAS PRESENTS!

1) A subscription to THE PHOENIX

The big one, the greatest, the gift that keeps on giving. Head over to the Phoenix site to check out subscriptions ranging from a £10 'taster' to a full year's worth of issues - £99 for a years' worth of fantastic comics!

And hey, every week you'll be getting a double-dose of my own work, with weekly instalments of The Pirates of Pangaea and How To Make (Awesome) Comics! If you happen to like that sort of thing.

So maybe you want something to actually open and read on Christmas morning? Why not buy this rather excellent graphic novel - "a fantastic, uncontrollable riot of a story, absolutely brilliant fun", in fact*.

Pick it up for a snip on Amazon, or better ask your local bookshop or comics shop. Or you can always get a copy direct from the author who might even draw a nice little picture in it for you.

* review by Richard Bruton, Forbidden Planet.

3) Christmas Cards

Okay, you'd better be quick, but there's still just about time to order a few of these delightful, if nerdy, Christmas Cards of Awesomeness! Perfect for the Giant Robot / Gorilla / Batman / Cthulhu / Kierkegaard / Kitten fan in your life.


Look, I have Christmas presents to buy too, so while I probably shouldn't, I'm opening up a couple of slots for commissions. Say perhaps you, or someone you know, enjoyed my A-Z of Awesomeness series, and would like your very own bit of original art of your favourite comics character doing something ridiculous. Well sir / madam, I can make that happen for you.

This week only, and they'll be drawn and posted by the weekend, so get in quick!