Today’s Art (31st October 2013)

Well, it’s Halloween, so here’s this year’s “Damania“-themed Halloween drawing (last year’s one can be found here). I’m really proud of it and I decided to use a slightly more “realistic” drawing style too.

Ooooh, I’ve also posted a gruesome three-page zombie comic on my other blog, PekoeBlaze Uncut [NSFW].

Anyway, happy Halloween 🙂

(This drawing is released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence)

"Happy Halloween 2013" By C. A. Brown

“Happy Halloween 2013” By C. A. Brown

(It was quite amusingly ironic to draw Roz as a vampire too. This because, when I originally came up with the idea for “Damania” back in 2011, I initially envisaged it as being a parody of “Buffy The Vampire Slayer”….)

New Horror Comic On “PekoeBlaze Uncut”

A (slightly edited) detail from page one of "Many Things"

A (slightly edited) detail from page one of “Many Things”

Well, since it’s Halloween, I thought that I’d post a fairly gruesome three-page zombie comic called “Many Things” on my second blog, PekoeBlaze Uncut [NSFW].

I made “Many Things” a couple of weeks ago and it took about three hours to make (and I got through about a quarter of a black pencil and half the ink in my pen when I made it LOL!!) I’m seriously proud of the art in it, although the story is slightly on the cliched side.

Anyway, if you like horror comics and/or zombies, then it can be found here.

Happy Halloween 🙂

Some Cool Songs For Halloween

2013 Artwork Halloween Playlist Sketch

Well, since it’s Halloween today, I thought that I’d write a list of excellent metal, punk and gothic (mostly metal and gothic) songs to listen to on Halloween (or, if you’re like me, any other day of the year too).

These might also come in handy if you’re having a Halloween party too – although I should probably point out that, like all good music, at least some of these songs probably aren’t suitable or appropriate for all audiences.

So, in no particular order, here here’s my list of great songs for Halloween. I’ll list them by genre and I’ll try not to have more than one song by each band (and not just because I only know one song by some of the bands on this list…). This should be interesting…

Punk Songs:

1) “Riboflavin” by 45 Grave
2) “Code Blue” by TSOL
3) “Halloween” by The Misfits
4) “Where They Wander” by HorrorPops
5) “Maria” by Harley Poe (this is a more acoustic/country-style punk song, but it’s ghoulishly hilarious)
6) “Nobody Likes You When You’re Dead” by Zombina and The Skeletones
7) “Beheaded” by The Offspring

Gothic Songs:

1) “One Winter’s Night” by Bella Morte
2) “Love Apart” by Ghosting
3) “Kissed by Death” by The Witching Hour UK
4) “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” by Bauhaus (well, I had to include this on the list somewhere)
5) “All Is Lost” by Vendemmian
6) “Maggot Drain” by Rozz Williams
7) “Fear Of The Dark” by Two Witches
8) “Decaying Beauty” by Inkubus Sukkubus
9) “Leaving The Light On” by Blank Dogs (well, this song kind of sounds a bit like a heavier version of Joy Division)
10) “When You’re Evil” by Voltaire
11) “Greensward Grey” by Cinema Strange
12) “Nachtbringer” by Blutengel (the video for this song is wonderfully vampiric too)
13) “Winterborn” by The Cruxshadows
14) “Mystery Hand” by Funeral Crashers
15) “One Hundred Years” by The Cure
16) “Gimme Shelter” by The Sisters Of Mercy (this cover is actually better than the original Rolling Stones song in my opinion)
17) “She Cries Alone” by Skeletal Family
18) “Shadowplay” by Joy Division
19) “Fungiferous Flora” by Chris Vrenna (from an excellent computer game called “American McGee’s Alice”)

Metal Songs:

1) “Fear Of The Dark” by Iron Maiden
2) “Sangue” by Theatres Des Vampires
3) “Nosferatu” by Bloodbound
4) “Nightcrawler” by Judas Priest
5) “To Eve The Art Of Witchcraft” by Cradle of Filth (in fact, pretty much anything by Cradle of Filth is worth listening to on Halloween)
6) “Drink With The Living Dead” by Ghoultown (this is more rock than metal though)
7) “Sweet Heresy” by Divinity Destroyed
8) “Halloween” by Helloween
9) “The Devil Is An Englishman” by Eibon La Furies
10) “Electric Funeral” by Black Sabbath
11) “Overkill” by Overkill
12) “Smiling Like A Killer” by Motorhead
13) “Horror Show” by The Birthday Massacre (this is more like very heavy pop music than metal, but it’s really cool)
14) “The Living Dead” by Paul Di’Anno
15) “Chemical Wedding” by Bruce Dickinson
16) “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas” by Mayhem (in fact, even the Wikipedia article about the album this song is from makes for some very disturbing reading…)
17) “Progenies Of The Great Apocalypse” by Dimmu Borgir
18) “All Nightmare Long” by Metallica
19) “Ghost River” by Nightwish
20) “South Of Heaven” by Slayer


Happy Halloween 🙂

Today’s Art (30th October 2013)

Wow, just wow…

"Poesis Automatica" By C. A. Brown

“Poesis Automatica” By C. A. Brown

I think “Poesis Automatica” is probably one of the best drawings I’ve ever made! I was originally just going to come up with an illustrated poem about inspiration and then, when I started drawing, this drawing just kind of emerged. I’m not sure why I added random tarot cards to the background, but I thought that it looked cool.

"A Soujourn In Perdition" By C. A. Brown

“A Soujourn In Perdition” By C. A. Brown

“Sojourn In Perdition” was a fairly random drawing – originally I was going to draw someone slaying a vampire with a sword. But, after I’d originally drawn the outline of the blood spatter, I realised that I couldn’t fit someone holding a sword onto the page. So, it ended up becoming a rather fiery drawing instead (it was either that or turn the outline into the top of a tree and.. well.. the flames looked cooler).

As usual, these two drawings are released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence.

Review: “Painkiller” (computer game)

“Painkiller” is a gothic fantasy/horror FPS game from 2004 by a studio called Dreamcatcher. Although I played a fair amount of this game about six years ago, I’ve only just got round to replaying it – so this review reflects my memories of the game and my impressions of the game so far.

You play as a man called Daniel Garner who dies in a car crash before the events of the game, his wife was also in the car at the time too. After he dies, he realises that his wife is nowhere to be seen and he isn’t exactly in heaven. But, surprisingly, he is approached by an angel who offers him a chance to go to heaven and see his wife if he kills four generals in Lucifer’s army(and anything else that gets in his way too) in order to prevent a war between heaven and hell.

Although the story isn’t central to the game, it is also expanded on in a series of fairly well-animated and well-written cutscenes between each “chapter” of the game.

Even though this game draws fairly heavily on Christian mythology, it isn’t a particularly religious game (so, don’t let the premise put you off from playing it if, like me, you’re not religious – although if you are religious, then you might be disappointed).

The gameplay mainly consists of killing all of the demons in a particular area of the level and then passing through a checkpoint to the next area of the level until you reach the end. These checkpoints only appear once all the enemies in a particular area are dead and, in many ways, the gameplay is pretty similar to what I’ve played of the “Serious Sam” games.

Whilst this game mechanic means that you won’t spend ages searching for keys, solving puzzles (well, apart from one sub-boss) or trying to complete missions, it can be slightly repetitive. However, there is a surprising variety of different enemies to fight (the manual lists 27 different enemy types), so you won’t be fighting the same enemies over and over again throughout the game.

Naturally, the level design is also fairly linear too – although there are secret areas and hidden items. Not to mention that many of the levels contain large open areas which are perfect for circle-strafing and for running away when you are face with large hordes of demons. This open style of level design is a refreshing change from the corridor-based design of many classic FPS games and, yet, the areas are never so large that you will end up getting lost either.

Although I can only remember a few levels from when I played it six years ago and I’ve only played less than half the game so far, most of the levels I’ve played look fairly gothic (in the traditional sense of the word). So, expect lots of old cathedrals, graveyards, catacombs, creepy 19th century mental asylums etc… The game also contains about twenty five levels, each of which will probably take you about 10-15 minutes to play, judging from what I’ve played so far.

One of the other interesting features is that the HUD contains a small compass which shows you where the demons are – so, you won’t get searching for that one last enemy you need to shoot in order to progress to the next part of the game. So, yes, the only times you’ll get stuck will be when you’re faced with large quantities of enemies and very little health.

The health system in “Painkiller” is pretty interesting too. Although you can pick up armour, the only health pickups you will find are small glowing green and gold orbs which enemies drop after they die. Picking up one of these will restore a small quantity of your health and, after you collect a certain number of them, you temporarily become invincible and extremely powerful (you can basically obliterate enemies with the power of your mind – this is amazingly fun).

Another cool thing about this feature is that you usually get a warning (the screen briefly flashes white and red) about two orbs before it happens – so, if you want to, you can wait until a later part of the level before you pick up the last orb you need to use to activate it.

In addition to this, you can earn “tarot cards” at the end of each level, which will give you certain powers. Each level has something different you’ve got to do to get a tarot card (eg: collect a certain number of items, use a certain weapon etc..) – so there is probably some replay value for people who want to collect all of them.

As for the weapons in this game, you apparently only get five of them. However, each one has a fairly useful (and very different) alternate fire mode. So, in practical terms, you have ten weapons and the focus on alternate fire modes means that you won’t have to waste valuable seconds switching weapons in the middle of battling a large horde of demons.

Whilst I’ve only found the first three weapons so far, they’re all fairly familiar, yet surprisingly innovative too. The default weapon is the “painkiller” – an ornate rotary saw- like weapon you can use to hack through less powerful enemies. However, the alternate fire allows you to fire the tip of it into a nearby wall or enemy and generate a powerful laser beam, provided that you keep the tip of the “painkiller” in your sights.

The shotgun is basically just that, a fairly standard videogame shotgun. Although one cool thing about it is that it will gib weaker enemies at close range. However, it has a really cool alternate fire which is fairly similar to the “freezethrower” from “Duke Nukem 3D”. Basically, you can temporarily freeze enemies and then shatter them with a single attack. Ammunition for the freeze gun is very slightly scarce though, although it isn’t rare enough to put you off from using it when you need to.

The third weapon I’ve found so far is a stake gun which you can use to impale enemies and/or pin them to the walls. This is pretty cool, although the rate of fire is very slightly on the slow side. The alternate fire is a pretty ordinary grenade launcher.

All in all, “Painkiller” is a no nonsense action FPS game. If you are looking for a few hours of mindless fun, then you can’t go wrong with it. Not to mention that, since it’s a fairly old game, you can probably get a new or second hand copy of it fairly cheaply too.

If I had to give “Painkiller” a rating out of five, then it would get a four.

How To Draw An 8-Ball

Well, for today’s instalment of my “How To Draw” series, I thought that I’d show you how to draw an 8-ball.

Just remember to leave a blank space between the two lines added in the third step of this guide (and add a shadow to the table on the opposite side of the 8-ball to these two lines).

This image is released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence

This image is released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence

Today’s “Damania” Comics (29th October 2013)

Well, I felt like making another couple of “Damania” comics for today. I’m really proud of both of these comics, although they ended up being slightly more …cynical than usual. You have been warned.

As usual, these two comics are released under a CC-BY-NC-ND licence.

"Damania - (Will Probably Be) Banned In The UK" By C. A. Brown

“Damania – (Will Probably Be) Banned In The UK” By C. A. Brown

“Damania – (Will Probably Be) Banned In The UK” was inspired by the fact that there almost always seems to be something about censorship in the news these days (and, yes the BBFC actually want to “classify” Youtube). Not to mention that, compared to America, we have chillingly vague free speech rights in the UK.

Oh, if anyone is puzzled by the musical references in the second panel, “So What?” was a song from 1981 by The Anti-Nowhere League (it was later covered by Metallica in the 1990s). Apparently, most of the copies of the original single were confiscated by the police for being “obscene”.

Plus, the conspiracy theory about how “God Save The Queenmysteriously didn’t make it to the top of the charts in the week of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee is probably fairly well known…

"Damania - Rox Dreams..." By C. A. Brown

“Damania – Rox Dreams…” By C. A. Brown

“Damania – Rox Dreams…” started out when I couldn’t really think of an idea for a comic and randomly ended up sketching Rox in a melodramatic action movie-esque pose (originally, she was going to be dressed as Duke Nukem – hence the shades and the cigar). After that, the rest of the comic was surprisingly easy to write.

Feeling Uncreative? Try This Exercise

2013 Artwork Remember creativity sketch

The Strange Story Of How This Exercise Came To Be…

Well, one night about a week ago, I wasn’t feeling that creative. Actually, that’s an understatement. I had a few hours to draw and write things but I wasn’t really feeling particularly motivated. With what I can only describe as dreary weariness, I listened to the same song on Youtube repeatedly and scrolled through article after article about videogame censorship and other fascinating topics.

I only seemed to be barely interested in what I was reading but I didn’t feel like doing anything else. In fact, I felt like I was a machine collecting data or someone gorging themselves on a free buffet long after they feel full. I was reading out of both a sense of jaded fascination and what I can only describe as mechanical duty.

At the back of my mind, my inner critic was saying something like “You should make something, you’ll fall behind on your blog!” and my inner cynic was saying… well, I won’t repeat it here…

One of the other thoughts which crossed my mind went something along the lines of “Maybe I’m just burnt out and taking a break?”. But, somehow, this didn’t just feel right. After all, it just felt like I was wasting time and pissing away moments I could be spending making things. But, at the same time, I didn’t really feel like creating anything.

This feeling was quickly followed by a a feeling of subtle, empty, meaningless horror. It is feelings like this which prevent me from becoming a nihilist or an existentialist, despite how cool both of these philosophies sound.

But, I shrugged and carried on reading, occasionally pausing to restart the Youtube video I was listening to. By now, the song which had filled me with awe and wonder an hour earlier had turned into a drearily boring dirge.

Eventually, with the slow reluctance of someone waking up, I picked up my sketchpad and started doodling until I had the bare skeleton of a drawing. Then, suddenly, I had a better idea for it. Then another one. In fifteen minutes, I’d produced a drawing which I was really proud of (it’s one called “Sojourn In Perdition” and it’ll be posted on here tomorrow, along with an even better drawing called “Poesis Automatica”).

This experience, this magical sense of making something amazingly cool and feeling proud of it, made me think about creativity in general. In particular, it made me think about why I create things. So, I decided to write a list. It surprised me.

Well, I knew it all already. But being reminded of it surprised me and it had the added benefit of making me feel extremely inspired.

So, I just write a list of why I create things? That’s it?

Basically, yes. However, there’s slightly more to it than that….

You have to be absolutely honest with yourself and you should focus on the emotional reasons which drive you to create things. As such, it’s probably best not to show the list to anyone else in case you think “I can’t write that” and start watering down your own thoughts for public consumption – in case anyone thinks that you’re “weird” or “strange” or “pretentious” or whatever.

Because, if you’re doing this excercise properly, at least some of the things on your list will probably sound fairly strange to anyone else. And some things will probably sound more than a bit pretentious to an outside observer too ( eg: one of the things on my list was “To build the world of my imagination”). So, don’t show your list to anyone and don’t censor yourself.

The interesting thing is that you don’t even have to finish your list for this exercise to work (I abandoned mine after writing nine reasons). All you have to do is to keep writing reasons until you feel like creating things is a deeply meaningful and significant thing which (to use a very pretentious and new-agey phrase) you have a duty to your own soul to do.

I don’t mean this in the sense that you have an “obligation” to be creative (that way lies countless guilt trips and creative burnout…), but I mean it in the sense that you should feel that creativity is part (or all) of your purpose on this earth and that creating things is an essential and fun part of who you are.

Because, let’s face it, if you’re worried about feeling uncreative, then creativity is almost certainly part of your purpose in life.

Yes, this exercise might not give you any new creative ideas, but at least it will give you a whole bunch of reasons to create something and remind you why you create things.

And, if you’re still not feeling creative or if you need some more practical advice, then check out my article on writer’s block/artist’s block.

You should probably also check out this awesome article by Carolyn Elliott too (it’s where I learnt the word “poesis”.)


I hope that this article was useful 🙂 (and I hope that it didn’t sound too weird either…)