Merry Christmas Everyone :) [And Upcoming Comics News :) ]

Well, merry Christmas everyone 🙂 Have a fabulous day 🙂

For today, I thought that I’d make a quick digtally-edited painting of the characters from both my old “Damania” webcomic and my more recent “Diabolical Sigil” and “The Horror Of Hardtalon Hall” comics. This cartoon was originally also going to include dialogue, but I couldn’t quite think of any.

For fans of the series, you’ll be pleased to know that these characters (well, except for Horace [the green creature]) will be returning in the spring for – at the time of writing – two webcomic mini series and one B&W narrative comic (starring Harvey [the guy in the trenchcoat] – it’s about time he got his own comic).

Normal daily articles and daily art posts will resume tomorrow. I’m also not sure if I’ll be reviewing the “Doctor Who” christmas special sometime (it depends on time, enthusiasm etc.. it’s probably best to assume that I won’t, but it’s possible that I might – although it will probably be late if I do). Anyway, have a wonderfully festive day 🙂

As usual, this painting is released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence.

"Merry Christmas 2015" By C. A. Brown

“Merry Christmas 2015” By C. A. Brown

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NEVER SEEN BEFORE! More Failed Paintings And A Page From My Sketchbooks

2015 Artwork sketchbooks September 2 sketch

Well, I was running slightly late when it came to writing today’s article, and, well, I was in too much of a stressed/panicked mood to write a proper article (I don’t know, I really don’t react well to time shortages of any kind).

So, instead, here are two failed fan art paintings and a random page from my sketchbook (with some of my abandoned plans for a sequel to my “Diabolical Sigil” comic). Sorry about this, but hopefully, I’ll write a proper article or review for tomorrow.

This was a (miserably failed) attempt at making a fan art paitning of the "Dopefish" character from an old computer game called "Commander Keen IV". Since the Dopefish turns up as an easter egg in lots of other games, I wanted to see if I could paint him in my own art style. Unfortunately, I can't...

This was a (miserably failed) attempt at making a fan art paitning of the “Dopefish” character from an old computer game called “Commander Keen IV”. Since the Dopefish turns up as an easter egg in lots of other games, I wanted to see if I could paint him in my own art style. Unfortunately, I can’t…

This drawing was originally going to be the basis for a gothic "Dracula"-themed painting. Unfortunately, I quickly realised that I couldn't draw Drcalua holding his cloak in the traditional movie-style way. So, I ended up abandoning this picture a while after I started it.

This drawing was originally going to be the basis for a gothic “Dracula”-themed painting. Unfortunately, I quickly realised that I couldn’t draw Drcalua holding his cloak in the traditional movie-style way. So, I ended up abandoning this picture a while after I started it.

A while after I'd finished making my "Diabolical Sigil" comic (posted here in late July/early August), I'd planned to make another comic featuring the same characters. This comic would have been in the style of a 1920s/30s "Wordless Novel". As for the characters, Roz  would be a communist agitator, Harvey would be a Gendarme, Derek would be an office clerk and Rox would be a film noir-style "femme fatale" character.

A while after I’d finished making my “Diabolical Sigil” comic (posted here in late July/early August), I’d planned to make another comic featuring the same characters. This comic would have been in the style of a 1920s/30s “Wordless Novel”. As for the characters, Roz would be a communist agitator, Harvey would be a Gendarme, Derek would be an office clerk and Rox would be a film noir-style “femme fatale” character.

——–

Sorry for the short blog post today, but hopefully I’ll write a proper article or review for tomorrow 🙂

Comics And Hidden Influences

2015 Artwork Hidden Comics influences article sketch

Well, I thought that I’d talk about comics, and about what can influence your comics without you even knowing, today.

Although I’m going to spend quite a while talking about my own comics (yet again), there will hopefully also be some stuff later in this article that might be useful and/or interesting to you. But, you might want to skip to the last few paragraphs if you aren’t interested in reading about my comics again.

Anyway, even though it’s been six days since I finished posting my “Diabolical Sigil” comic here, I started to think about what influenced it and about the subject of influences and comics in general. I should warn you that this article will contain plot SPOILERS for “Diabolical Sigil” though.

One of the things I noticed after I finished making this comic was that it was far more influenced by manga comics than I expected.

Although my art style has used a few small elements from anime/manga styles for most of the time that I’ve been drawing (this was probably due to watching “Pokemon” on TV when I was a kid ), there were a few manga-like things about my comic that caught me by surprise.

Most of these things were kind of subtle, but they certainly stood out to me. One of them was the rather convoluted, and vaguely “Death Note” – like mystery at the heart of the comic.

If you’ve never read “Death Note”, it’s a supernatural thriller series by Tsgumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata about a high school student who finds a book that will kill anyone whose name is written in it (since it orders a creature called a “Shinigami” to kill them) and about an amateur detective who is trying to track him down.

It’s a really cool comic – it’s filled with plot twists and (slightly convoluted) schemes and tricks. It’s a story of a battle between two highly sophisticated minds and it’s incredibly compelling.

Anyway, it’s been about seven years since I read all of “Death Note” and I certainly wasn’t thinking of it consciously when I was making this comic. But, somehow, I ended up making something of a parody of “Death Note” without even noticing (after all, I’d just set out to write a comedy/horror comic). See what I mean:

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] Yes, without even realising it, I'd made a parody of "Death Note".

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] Yes, without even realising it, I’d made a parody of “Death Note”.

Not only that, I also noticed that the panel layouts and style of my comic (eg: using black gutters between each panel etc..) was also heavily influenced by manga comics in general.

This is probably due to the facts that I made this comic in black and white and quite a lot of manga comics are traditionally printed in black and white (I’ve obviously read non-manga B&W narrative comics, but at least half of the B&W narrative comics I’ve read were manga ones).

In other words, I’d picked up a lot of tips about how to make comics in black and white without even consciously realising it until shortly before I wrote this article.

Hell, even some of the humour in my comic was at least slightly manga-like in nature, like this:

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] I was puzzled why the humour in this page was different to my usual cynical sense of humour. Now I know why - I'd been influenced by manga comics.

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] I was puzzled why the humour in this page was different to my usual cynical sense of humour. Now I know why – I’d been influenced by manga comics.

So, yes, there was a lot more of a manga influence in my “Diabolical Sigil” comic than I even realised and – well – this made me think a lot about the subject of hidden influences.

As this excellent punk song by Bad Religion points out, everything that you read or encounter will leave some kind of impression on you.

This means that, for example, things that you really liked a few years ago (but have almost forgotten about) may still have an influence on what you create. This is for the simple reason that they’re part of your own personal definition of what a “cool” comic/movie/novel etc.. looks like.

To a certain degree, you can consciously use this process to your advantage. For example, after reading the holy trinity of cool novels (“Lost Souls” by Poppy Z. Brite, “Neuromancer” by William Gibson and “Crooked Little Vein” by Warren Ellis), I noticed a significant improvement in the narrative voice that I used when I wrote fiction. I’d read some cool things and I wanted to write stories that were like – but also very different to – them.

But, this process is far more interesting when it happens completely unconsciously. It’s at it’s absolute best when you finish a creative project and then suddenly realise “hey, this is a bit like that really cool thing I read a few years ago“. Seriously, it’s really fun when this happens.

Experiences like this make you realise that all creative people are just “standing on the shoulders of giants” – but that, to a certain degree, we all get to choose which giants we stand upon.

————

Anyway, I hope that this was interesting 🙂

The Complete “Diabolical Sigil” – All Eight Pages Of The Detective/ Horror/ Dark Comedy Comic By C. A. Brown

2015 The Complete Diabolical sigil

Well, in case you missed it, here are all eight pages of “Diabolical Sigil” (plus the cover).

If you don’t know what it is, “Diabolical Sigil” was a detective/horror/dark comedy comic that I’ve been posting here for about the last week or so.

It is also something of a re-imagining of my old “Damania” comics from 2011-2013. It’s wierder, slightly more cynical and there are some subtle character differences though. Even so, it was really fun to make 🙂

(Apologies again about self-censoring the second panel of the first page, it was originally supposed to feature a cynical political cartoon that likened the UK Indpendence Party to the dystopic government from “V For Vendetta”, but I kind of wimped out about it and self-censored at the last minute).

Anyway, enjoy 🙂

As usual, this comic is released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence. Likewise, you can click on any page in this post to enlarge it.

"Diabolical Sigil - Cover" By C. A. Brown

“Diabolical Sigil – Cover” By C. A. Brown

"Diabolical Sigil - Page 1 (edited version)" By C. A. Brown

“Diabolical Sigil – Page 1 (edited version)” By C. A. Brown

"Diabolical Sigil - Page 2" By C. A. Brown

“Diabolical Sigil – Page 2” By C. A. Brown

"Diabolical Sigil - Page 3" By C. A. Brown

“Diabolical Sigil – Page 3” By C. A. Brown

"Diabolical Sigil - Page 4" By C. A. Brown

“Diabolical Sigil – Page 4” By C. A. Brown

"Diabolical Sigil - Page 5" By C. A. Brown

“Diabolical Sigil – Page 5” By C. A. Brown

"Diabolical Sigil - Page 6" By C. A. Brown

“Diabolical Sigil – Page 6” By C. A. Brown

"Diabolical Sigil - Page 7" By C. A. Brown

“Diabolical Sigil – Page 7” By C. A. Brown

"Diabolical Sigil - Page 8" By C. A. Brown

“Diabolical Sigil – Page 8” By C. A. Brown

Today’s Art (5th August 2015)

Means! Motive! Opportunity! What else could it be, but the shocking conclusion of “Diabolical Sigil”? I hope that this comic has been as fun for you to read as it has been for me to make. In case you missed any pages of it, I’ll post the whole thing in a single post later tonight.

Anyway, I’ll probably go back to making “ordinary” daily paintings/drawings – for a while at least. I’m not sure when I’ll make my next comic (it could be a few days, weeks or even months. I’m not sure).

As usual, this comic page is released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence.

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] "Diabolical Sigil - Page 8" By C. A. Brown

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] “Diabolical Sigil – Page 8” By C. A. Brown

Today’s Art (4th August 2015)

Shocking accusations! Daytime television! What else could it be, but page seven of “Diabolical Sigil” my lazy reboot modern re-imagining of my old “Damania” comics from 2012 and 2013 (and, thinking about it, 2011 too)?

Stay tuned for another dramatic page tomorrow 🙂

As usual, this comic page is released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence.

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] "Diabolical Sigil - Page 7" By C. A. Brown

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] “Diabolical Sigil – Page 7” By C. A. Brown

Today’s Art (3rd August 2015)

Adorable homicide! Monstrous indigestion! What else could it be but page six of “Diabolical Sigil” my unimaginatively cynical reboot clever re-imagining of my old “Damania” comics from 2012 and 2013? Stay tuned for page seven tomorrow 🙂

As usual, this comic page is released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence.

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] "Diabolical Sigil - Page 6" By C. A. Brown

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] “Diabolical Sigil – Page 6” By C. A. Brown