Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Listening Pleasure

Just been spending the last half hour or so fannying around and listening to old C64 themes courtesy of this fine little app - Sidplay and hundreds of theme files courtesy of Lemon64.

The theme for nemesis the warlock in particular is amazing.

Have a hankering to go up into the loft and bring down the c64 again, sure emulators are cool but I miss my load times, you could read a comic, get a bite to eat, all sorts of things...

Batman: Police Sketch Artist

My take on this splendid meme from Dorian Wright

Optimus Prime speaks:

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Man Throws A Shoe At GW Bush in Iraq

Caught this video in a tweet from DJ Coffman and think it's one of the best things I've seen in a while. Almost removing the pain of the video in the Don't Look post on a week or so ago.

Anyhoo click here and rejoice.

Friday, 12 December 2008

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

You know I think these computer things may catch on

Time to dig the c64 out from the loft perhaps...

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Scotcon 2008

By now the annual TMUK Scottish meetup entitled Scotcon should be underway. No doubt there will be many drinks consumed, many tears shed during the evil Quiz of Doom prepared by the Quizfuhrer- Nick Davidson.

Sadly events conspired against us to prevent a new Scotcon comic but a convention freebie has been prepared as always. We've cobbled together a two disc dvd set featuring the best of Sunbow Transformers or as we've entitled it - THE LEAST WORST OF SUNBOW.

Here is the art and hopefully I'll be updating my Twitter stream as the day goes on.

Eagle eyed readers will know that the art is a homage to the cover for The Trans Formers (Issue 12 if you are american, or Issue 39 for the British) by Herb Trimpe. It is hands down my favourite Trans Formers cover and one of my all-time favourite comic covers.

Thursday, 4 December 2008


TMUK - or Transmasters UK has been going on for well over fifteen years now and as such the continuity of it has become a little daunting for new members. So an idea I discussed a few years ago has been resurrected. I'm asssembling a primer comic book going over the major beats of the Marvel era comics and of course the TMUK stories that are linked and extended from it.

I've enlisted TMUK Hall of Famer Martin McVay to do all the heavy lifting with the dialogue and text narration once it's all finished. As I write I am almost three pages in (looking like it may be a sixteen or so page comic when all is said and done).

Below is the first page:

In Communion Colours

And now with shiny colours, and instead of going all modern I've tried to make it look like an older comic book with the techniques used.

As you can see I have enlisted my good friend and frequent collaborator Ralph Burns to help me with the writing.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

In Communion Page 1

A page done today for something in the new year. Transformers fans will recognise the two characters as Primus and Unicron (as they were before they became entombed in metallic asteroids)they are rendered by me in a Jack Kirby like fashion. After all if you are drawing gods it's either him or Simonson really!

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

The Daily Longtooth - an explanation

Who is Rolph Baines you ask?

That is the drunken misstyped version of my good friend Ralph Burns, who is pretty much responsible for The Daily Longtooth. You see - he hates Longtooth with an abiding passion. As such when he wanted to name a month on The Hub Forum after a Transformer (he wanted Shockwave) many tried to get it named Longtooth. To sway votes I said I would do a daily Longtooth drawing for the entire month. It ended in a tie but we decided Longtooth won anyway and I for my sins have honoured my part in the affair by doing a daily Longtooth.

Ten more days left - how will it end? I have a vague idea right now so we'll just see.

The Daily Longtooth 22 of 31

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Dredd to Head Monochrome

That's the lineart done, I might go back and either add some grey tones or colour it at a later date.

Now if only we could see this crossover done at some point.

Dredd to Head 3

Almost done with the "pencil" stage now, just minor corrections and redrawing.

The Daily Longtooth 9 of 31

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Dredd to Head 2

Slightly more defined "pencil" version of Dredd. Still needs work on the jawline to smooth out a few rough lines before I start on Robocop.

Dredd to Head blueline sketch

An idea that's been bouncing around my head for a wee while now. Just the very rough blueline sketch.

The Daily Longtooth 8 of 31

I'd like to thank my friend and frequent collaborator Ralph Burns for lending a hand with today's installment.

Zenith stage 2

In between bits and bobs this morning I've tweaked the image somewhat. I'd drawn Zenith from memory and had a look at some images just to make sure and as a result made some minor corrections to his costume.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008


A quick sketch that I might just finish off at a later date featuring Zenith. Pretty much the only actual super-hero story that the mighty 2000ad has ever featured. Created and written by Grant Morrison, designed by Brendan McCarthy and illustrated by Steve Yeowell. A firm favourite since my youth and criminally not collected due to a contractual dispute between Morrison and tooth. Find the progs and/or the best of 2000ad's which collected the first two phases.

Hulk sketch

That was the Week that was Longtooth

Well seven days done and seven Longtooth images completed. As you can see, instead of going for random images I've given it some kind of narrative and if you can't guess I am pretty much making it up as I go along.

Aside from some very rough pencil sketches for Days 1 and 2, everything has been done on the computer with my trusty Wacom Volito and Photoshop CS3.

The Daily Longtooth 7 of 31

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

A Month of Longtooth

Following a typically random discussion on The Hub forum I find myself committed to drawing a daily picture of Longtooth.

Needless to say they will be done quickly and with tongue firmly in cheek. So check back daily for all your Longtooth needs.

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Hubris #6 review


Well it’s been a while between issues, although any comic reader they will simply scoff and cite Daredevil mini-series by Kevin Smith or Ultimate Hulk vs Wolverine as examples of delays. So how does the latest issue of Hubris measure up?

Well in terms of print quality it can’t be beat. 32 pages of US format comic book for £1.50 with a nice glossy cover and heavy stock interior. Arguably one of the best put together fanzines you will see. Sure something like Spaceship Away has the card cover but it’s about four times the price. (Can you tell I’m Scottish?!)

The cover is all Graham’s work as he uses Masterpiece Megatron as the basis for a suitably moody cover picture. I’m reliably informed it won’t be the only bit of art we will be seeing from him. Which is always welcome.

What about the contents?

Well it should come as no surprise that Hubris has continued along the same lines as before with a mix of comic strip, text stories, reviews and text features so there should be something to appeal to everyone. Instead of aping the old Marvel UK “TransFormation” page Graham has went for a new look which is very clear and uncluttered, there is the familiar Hubris PCB pattern at the top of the page.

Kicking off the magazine is All In A Day’s Work a two page comic-strip written by Josh Van Reyk (who handles the Mosaic project over on the IDW boards), lettered and coloured by Graham and drawn by me. Now I’m not going to review this, as that would be ego stroking but I just wish I’d done this after the animated series had started to air so I could have gotten a better handle on the characters. Still the story is nice and breezy and Graham’s colours are as lovely as always.

Booting Up Cold takes a look at the various starts to the Trans Formers printed incarnation from the Marvel comics, to Dreamwave through to IDW. Although sadly no mention of the true continuity i.e Ladybird (and no Ralph didn’t make me type that). Like Graham I do think the Marvel approach was the strongest and the first twelve issues do read like they could make one damned fine trilogy of movies. I could go on at length regarding my feelings towards the Dreamwave era but I shan’t bother.

From reading the comics and Graham’s article it’s clear that Marvel introduced the characters to the world. Whereas IDW’s approach doesn’t really seem to be geared towards new readers but to older ones. Using a lot of shorthand when introducing characters and giving them just as little attention as when they were introduced in the marvel line and counting on reader familiarity to fill in a great deal of the blanks.

Timecode starts up again with The War Without and we can see this alternate spin on events post G2 as becoming even darker. The characters are managing to be somewhat more unpleasant than they normally are without going all evil alternate reality beard on us. I’m looking forward to seeing how this one continues.

The Harvest is a suitably creepy tale as we see that some of the other Decepticons covet the nanomachine powers of certain members of their ranks. The ending does rather leave everything unresolved so I wonder if Graham plans on revisiting the tale at some point in the future as I am certain that Soundwave would not allow those assaults to go on unpunished. Especially knowing that he could potentially be next.

Hold Tight Iacon was the highlight of the magazine for me, both chapters were equally engaging. Browning’s usage was splendid and such a great idea for an assassin. I’m curious as to how that angle is going to play out. The second chapter has Blaster being much less of a dick than he will eventually become, so it’s a bit of a shame that we see him at his best knowing full well what the future holds.


The A-Z commentary is a nice touch and thankfully we still get a proper a to z on the back page and with some splendid art by Matt Dallas to boot. Always good to end on a high!

The reviews were a nice bag as well covering a good mix of toys, comics and cartoons.

Well was it worth the wait?

I think so and I am looking forward to seeing more issues later this year.

Hubris #6

The latest issue of this excellent Transformers fanzine is out now for £1.50 for 32 pages.

Ordering info can be found here

Friday, 20 June 2008


The other day there was some banter on The Hub (nothing new) about the upcoming Auto Assembly and Zudobug suggested that perhaps we could have something to identify the Hubmembers and suggested a cap with Hubcap on it. A splendid idea thinks the Hubmeister G and myself so between us we agree to do the illustrations for it.

A few emails were bandied about between us until the design was settled on. A quick search of Botch's Box Art archive for a reference pic and the above image was pencilled on A4 card.

A quick scan in photoshop and the image was converted to blueline and printed on another sheet of card and then to inking with my faber castell pitt pens and my pentel brushpen.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Review: Dogbreath #18

I'm a big fan of 2000ad's Strontium Dog and pick up Dogbreath produced by those chaps at Futurequake. It's now on it's 18th issue, which just popped through my door this morning.

It's A5 44 pages with a full colour wraparound cover for £3.00 (postage and packing will set you back £1.00). Nice glossy cover and suitably weighty paper stock courtesy of BG Marketing who've printed it.

Predominantly comic strip based with some reviews of Strontium Dog stories from 2000as as well as the Rebellion collections of the series. There is one text story with illustrations provided by former Strontium Dogs artist Nigel Dobbyn.

As you would expect from a fanzine the mileage you will get from each story is going to vary. Thankfully there is a good mix of done in one stories as well as ongoing serials and a few of the teams use the Strontium Dog premise and focus on all-new characters, while others favour using classic characters such as Johhny Alpha, Wulf Sternhammer and The Gronk.

The absolute highlight of the issue is Sun and Moon: Hunters of Bounty. Which features a mutant Sun and Moon hunting a giant rabbit in a sleazy dive called Warrens. The artwork by James Feist stays on just the right side of cartoony and the script by a chap called The Emperor is at both turns camp and sinister. I'm not sure whether continued tales of these two would be up to scratch but as a one off it's superb.

Berserker is a serial by Richmond Clements and Steven Hills focusing on Wulf Sternhammer separated from Johnny Alpha and trapped on a warworld 500 light years away. It's the second installment and so far it's been solid if unspectacular. The art is suitably moody and violent but so far the threat of this warworld doesn't seem as bad as some of the things Johnny and Wulf have faced in their regular tales in 2000ad.

Desert Tail by Eric Moore and Steven Denton has Johnny, Wulf and the Gronk on vacation on Earth and get tangled up in some problems with Sand Sharks. The art is bang on for this story but the tale is pretty inconsequential and also flies in the face of what is established regarding Strontium Dogs being allowed to operate on Earth.

Shadow of The Mutant by Alec Robertson and Bruce McLaren sees a trio of SD agents tackle a mutant leader called Visionary Lygate. It's the first part of a series and is readable enough but so far none of the characters really stand out too much.

The Most Amazing Thing is the text story by Richmond Clements with Nigel Dobbyn providing illus and features Sam Weasel joining up with Wulf and Johnny for a one off tale. Very enjoyable, Clements has an ear for Wulf's dialogue and the story zips along to a happy ending for once.

Interval by Eric Moore and Gibson Quarter takes place during the 2000ad tale The Shicklgruber Grab where Johhny and Wulf bring Hitler forward in time to stand trial before the Committe for Ultimate Retribution. It has Johnny and Hitler bounced out of time and ending up in the 1970's in the Top of the Pops studio where they are mistaken for Sparks. The art is nice, the story is only two pages and while I can see it's intended to be funny, falls far short for me. Though as humour is entirely subjective you might laugh at this.

There's a wee mini-poster in the centre pages as well.

So all in all what do I think. If you are a fan of Strontium Dog you'll probably enjoy this and think it was decent value for money. For the casual punter it might be worth getting a shot of someone elses first for a wee look see.