Deepest darkest



I wanted to write my own version of notes on the Wicked + Divine issue #17 that I did with Kieron (& Jamie) Kieron’s notes are here. 

I sent in these rough covers ideas first. — Kieron mentioned doing a version of the top right one but with cats in place of the humans.


(I also found this 1st failed cover pencils)  “why the long arms Sakhmet?”


In the final cover I just drew her in the same outfit Jamie had on his cover.

wik cover

The writing on her hand is Elvish from the game Dragon age– Ar lasa mala revas: “You are free.” Marian was deep in this game when I was drawing this cover.

Also there’s a yugioh pyramid thing on the chains on the left.


I also put the yugioh thing in my Pillow fight book –a porn comic I did in 2005. (it’s a magic box that gives a lady a boner) I dunno what it does in yugioh. I’m gonna say it has the same power.

SOoooooo the guts of the issue: I wanted to show Kieron how everything would look so we could work out the storytelling stuff before I went to paper. I did the same kind of drawn in photoshop layouts I do for Prophet issues.


Along with the script and lots of reference links Kieron also supplied some photos he took for the opening scene. I worked a few into the layouts and drew them pretty closely in the finals. I think It killed any guilt about this since Kieron took them just for this issue.


And here’s some early sketches of characters that show up in the issue.


I was kind of wary of how different teenager Ruth looks from the Sakhmet god she becomes. Hopefully it works in the story ok.

The 2 major scenes I wanted to put some detail into in the issue are the post orgy scene and the concert scene. Here’s a jpg of some of the orgy reference I was looking at for the orgy. (thanks internet)


There’s a Divine picture in there, of John waters Drag queen fame. I like Divine a lot and thought it would be fun to sneak a lot of her into this issue. (her birth name Milstead shows up as the brand name of the jerky Sakhmet is eating on page 6)


In Catface Mewoser’s Stargate room there’s a Cigar’s of the Pharaoh symbol, Corto Maltese, Divine, Major Grubert’s Helmet and Tintin. Maybe the panda stuff is a nod to Genma in Ranma 1/2 since Sakhmet’s shirt on page 7 says Ranma in Japanese on it.

The concert! Kieron set this in the Brixton academy which made it easy to find reference for. Also cool to be able to use maps on the internet to look at the neighbourhood around it for the outside scenes.



There’s another Drag superstar Divine appearance  in the crowd. and wayyy up near the green balcony cat there’s a Star wars Ewok, Wicket so I could amuse myself with “The Wicket + The Divine” –also a guy in the foreground has a Lucifer tattoo. ( maybee my favourite WIK+DIV character)

I remember reading a Moebius quote where he talked about there being two ways to impress a reader. Either with simple beautiful images or to hit them with so much detail that they couldn’t deny it. The later is easier in some ways and I think looks louder. I wanted these pages to at least give the impression that  what this god did was a big deal.


For the sound effects of the music I was thinking of an old 2003 zine my pal Corey Lewis did called Apollpnia NO! where to show how loud a concert was he tripled up the lines to make them look like the whole place was shaking.


I feel like showing music in comics is one of the hardest things to do. Especially if what you’re trying to show is that sound sounds cool and loud. Cool is not universal and lines are not sound. My personal favourite rock and roll in comics is the  Atsushi Kamijo manga To-y (トーイ)  Often in the manga  Kamijo will show To-y doing an impressive physical stunt before he plays (he backflips to catch a mic and kicks off a shoe)  so that the cool of the music isn’t just based on the reader assuming that a guy with an open mouth in front of a microphone sounds cool.

This scene I think is more subtle and sooo well done.


The white screentone over the last page there just makes it look like white noise to me.

Anyway, Wik +Div– the post concert scene.I really enjoyed Kieron’s descriptions in the script he sent– “a mixture of annoyance and boredom. Is she was a cat, her tail would be twitching.” I kept drawing a lock of her hair like it was an annoyed cat ear.

chrix n flux

This page has a nod to Flux Pavilion, a UK musician who I’m friendly with (and whose music I like) I based the interviewer off of my pal Chris Eng, who is a fantastic writer and did some magazine work in his past. also I put a Ziggy poster in the hallway because I love Ziggy.

A couple other things not pictured– I put a Star Blazers/Yamato on page 13. Page 16 is solid black because I changed up the page turn on page 18 by making the concert a 2 page spread. I love how something like that changes the storytelling and is something that I would never think to do in my own work.

page 18:

page 17

in the script and roughs Sakhmet has stripped off her clothes. Marian talked me out of drawing the page like that and me and Kieron both agreed that it works better this way. She still managed to lose some jewellery and her shoes.

The final scene in the issue was fun, just drawing a room that Leila DelDuca had drawn in the issue before this was a blast.

And past what I drew Jamie, Matthew and Clayton  took over  on the last last page. I roughed it out but handed it off to them in the end because of deadlines.

last page

Anyway, working in Jamie and Kieron’s world was a blast for me. It felt like getting paid to draw fan art. Thanks dooodes!

As far as my own stuff, I’ve been slowly plodding away at Multiple Warheads. Here’s a page from the 3rd part that’ll run in ISLAND (mosscows)


Prophet Earth War #1 comes out January 27 (a week from now)


also out on January 27, is ISLAND #6


Here’s the contents page for that issue:

island6 intrfixo

Also here’s a blank cover I drew for someone this week.



Aside from comics I’ve been playing a lot of DOOOOOOM this month.

Doom - How we made the classic game

I like the mix of space and hell. It’s like the movie Event Horizon (but I like Doom more)

It’s nicely bleak and interesting. the thing that I find the most scary in the early Dooms is the power up item :Soul Sphere. ” The Doom Biblenotes that “the soul sphere contains the life energy of a human soul“” So you’re eating a soul for life energy. Jeeze doom dude!


It reminds me of the Berzerk Manga Behelit– that rubix cube face of terror that brings forth hell! AHHHH!!

It all also reminds me of the excellent Wayne Douglas Barlowe’s version of hell


More of his hell stuff here.

Anyway, I just played through DOOM 3, from 2004- making it the newest game grampa Brandon has beaten in his life. Sooo cool to see updates on the old Doom monsters

doom 2 vs 3

I think there’s like a post game -game that I need to play next. hmmmmm






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11 Responses to Deepest darkest

  1. This is great. Thanks for posting stuff like this with your process. It’s very encouraging and cool to see an “inside” peak.

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  4. Aku says:

    Truly excellent!
    Thanks for sharing this, as a wannabe artist (mainly a writer) who is trying to learn how to draw so I can draw some of my own more… oddball ideas 😀 things like this where amazing artists like yourself share the process and the thought that goes into it and share your influences helps a lot – because nothing helps like taking in a greater variety of images, ideas and such to draw from and expand your perspective (except of course lots of practice..!)

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  8. Ivo Steijn says:

    I did spot the Corto Maltese reference, you scoundrel. Well done. And I’m looking forward immensely to Prophet Earth War.

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