Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Pork Chop

A paper / ink cartoon this time, at the request of Hans & Ulrike Twardokus, who have been collecting pig-based cartoonists signatures for over 20 years - I hope you like mine... :)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

So sorry for the lack of updates recently...

...but I've been so busy. Not only has my day job been demanding, but I've finally started to get some cartooning work (thanks Annette), so my input into the CCGB compo has been limited,but there is news on the horizon...

Commission work seems to be popular, and I've had several enquiries lately for cartoons, including some on canvas (something I hadn't thought of), so coming soon will be a new look Hypervox website, complete with portfolio, and online ordering of commissions! I'm looking at offering cartoon and caricature commissions in serveral formats, including A4 framed prints, canvas paintings and so on. I don't know how far this will go, but the ride looks fun...!

2012 looks like it could be a good year for me - let's hope so, eh readers? :)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

CCGB #121

Saturday, November 19, 2011

CCGB #120

Saturday, November 12, 2011

CCGB #119

Saturday, November 05, 2011

CCGB #118

Friday, October 28, 2011

Tales of Tablets - Part Drei...

Yup - I'm back with an update!

Thanks to the guys at Speedie Computers, I'm now the proud owner of a Fujitsu Stylistic ST5112 Tablet PC...

Forgive the quaility of the pictures, as my phone is not the best. As you can see, the Fuji comes with a rotating stand (great if you want to do portrait stuff). It's faster than my old TC1100, and has more memory. Not only that, but it's a Dual Core machine....

My beloved OpenCanvas now seems more responsive, making it much more fun to draw. I used to draw my cartoon roughs on paper, scan them in, and then colour on the tablet - now I'm able to do everything on the tablet. It's not perfect - it has sometimes has problems with the digitizer when it comes out of hibernation, but all in all, I'm very happy with it.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

CCGB #116

This was my original one this week - but went with this...

Saturday, October 15, 2011

ccgb #115

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Freddie Mercury

Got a massive 12 points for this one - WOOT!

Saturday, October 08, 2011

ccgb #114

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Tales of Tablets - Part Deux...

I was hoping by now to have done a few cartoons, and be able to enthuse about the speed, reliability and overall goodness of the Fujitsu tablet...

... but I can't. On the day of the last post, I arrived home to find a power supply, and with mounting exitement , pressed the "ON" button.

Only nothing happened - but it happened suddenly mark you!

I tried absoloutely everything I could think of, but no joy, so I've arranged for it to go back for them to attempt a repair - only it's not been picked up yet. And it's been nearly a week.

I am rapidly losing patience with the company concerned - if it's not collected today, I'm gunning for blood...

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Tales of Tablets...

You've probably noticed that I'm churning out more cartoons these days - that's because I'm using a HP TC1100 Tablet PC as my main creation tool now. The TC1100 gives me a "mobile studio" that I can take wherever I want, whenever I want, and that allows me to draw cartoons faster than I ever have before. Combined with Portalgraphics OpenCanvas software, it's been a major boon, and although I had problems initially, I've now got to the point where I can't imagine using anything else.

That was, until last week, when I was given the opportunity to purchase a Fujitsu Stylistic st5112 Tablet PC. The Fujitsu is (supposedly) faster, more expandable, and possesses a larger physical screen (12", rather than 10.5"), all of which should give me a better working experience. Unfortunately, due to a delivery mix up, the tablet arrived without it's power supply or stylus, so I can't even test it out yet. Hopefully though, these items will arrive in the next few days, and I'll be able to give you guys a full report.

Another interesting thing, is that PortalGraphics has released Mangalobo, their own take on the "create manga professionally" software market that is currently dominated by Manga Studio. Although I have Manga Studio, I've never liked it, and after having a quick play with the Manalobo trial, I'm pleased to report that it looks promising. I'm looking forward to installing the trial on the Fujitsu, so I can write up a full report.

On a personal note, you'll have noticed that for the last few CCGB compos, I've created more than one cartoon, and I've also expressed doubts about the ones I've submitted. I've put this down to the "not believing in myself" or "going for the safe option" school of thought. I've been doing this for nearly three years (at the time of writing), and I know we cartoonists are a deprecating bunch, but I really should trust my own instincts when it comes to which cartoons to use... :)

Monday, September 26, 2011

CCGB #112

Think this one was better...

Monday, September 19, 2011

Another day at work...

CCGB #111

Here's another take on it...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Not Again - #2

Saturday, August 20, 2011

CCGB #107

21 Points, and a third place - WOOT!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

CCGB #106

A respectible 13 points, and a fourth place...

Friday, August 12, 2011

Digital Cartooning - Update...

Anyone who reads this blog regularly (I know some of you do) will remember me whining on about not being able to draw on my Tablet PC. During the last couple of weeks, I've managed to overcome my problems with it, and I thought I'd share my experiences with you...

Firstly, make sure you have the right software that suits YOU. Cartoonists love to compare software with other cartoonists - it's a form of penile waggling (which we all admit too), but it can sometimes cloud the issues. There are lots of art packages out there for the PC, and they all have something to offer, but how you get on with them depends upon several factors...
  • How computer-literate you are
  • How powerful your PC is
  • What sort of finished artwork you want to create
I will not recommend one package over another - that's for the individual to decide, but I will give you a run-down of what I use...
I chose these programs because:
  • They are all cheap / free
  • They work well on older hardware, so they don't interrupt the creative flow...
  • They produce great results.
Secondly, try to make your computer work flow as similar as possible to your traditional. Choose software that helps you work the way you want, rather than force you work in a way that is uncomfortable.

Thirdly, choose an input method you can work with. I used to use wacom desk-based tablets on a standard computer, but I always felt "disconnected" when drawing. I now use a Tablet PC (a pc version of an IPad, with a pen), so now, I'm drawing on the screen, which eliminates this problem.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

CCGB #103

Friday, July 22, 2011

Lan Party Night...

Years ago, I spent WAY too much time playing the best (IMHO) multiplayer game for the PC ever - Unreal Tournament. Myself and young Chrissy Boy would spend out lunch hours regailing to the sound of sniper rifles, redeamer explosions and "Multi kill...Ultra Kill... MOOONSTER KIIILLLL!". As we used the Unreal4Ever mods too, I was always the little red teddy character - MR. Ted.

Anyway, last week, my lovely wife announced that she was going out on Thursday night. The plan was formulated in my mind - why not have a lan party? My boys are around 18-20, so I had players that would be interested. I planned on 4 players, which meant I had to have 4 computers. Luckily, my middle son has a working laptop, I have a netbook, which meant I had to find 2 more. I just happen to have 2 laptops, but both are quite old, and I have no windows licenses for them. But I do have PCLinuxOS, and Unreal has a linux binary available, so 2 quick installs later, and I had 4 machines (in the end, I could have had 6 players, but I was limited by the number of mice I had).

Come Thursday night, and it was matter of 15 minutes to plug in the laptops, connect them to the wireless network, and setup the players (including one of the boy's mates). We began at 7.30 p.m.....

... and finished sometime after 10.00! MR. Ted was once again on fire, showing the young whipper-snappers a thing or two (although they did start getting their own back towards the end). I haven't had so much fun in years, and it seems that everyone enjoyed it. In fact, there's even talk of a rematch...

My thanks to Thomas, Daniel & Sam for a great evening - love you guys! Also a big thanks to PCLinuxOS, because it wouldn't have been possible without it!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

ccgb #102

Thursday, July 14, 2011

ccgb #100

ccgb #99

ccgb #98

Monday, June 06, 2011

CCGB #97

This is a re-worked version of my entry for this weeks cartoon, as I didn't like my original colouring. This is done with Promarkers...

Friday, May 27, 2011

CCGB #96

Thursday, May 26, 2011


A hard theme to do this week, but I'm happy with the result, as it raised a few chuckles. This is also the first real piece where I used my latest purchase - McNiven & Cameron Waverly nibs. These are vintage nibs with a lovely upturned nib, making them very smooth to draw with. anyway they can't be that bad - Quentin Blake uses them!

Friday, May 20, 2011

CCGB #94

Friday, May 06, 2011

ccgb #93

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Dip Pens...

It's funny how things change. When I first started this blog over 3 years ago, I was cartooning with a dip pen - to be precise, a leonardt dp250 nib in a Manuscript holder. I loved the lines I got, but hated the mess, and the inconvenience. Since then, I've tried technical pens, fine liners, brush markers - you name it, I've probably tried it, and during that time, I've never been really happy with my work.

Recently, I've been using Letraset Promarkers for some of my colouring, and they can be fussy about what inks can be used with them. As an experiment, I tried japanese sumi-e ink and my dip pen... and I was astounded at the result! Since then, I've been using dip pens more and more in my work, to the point where I've started to order new equipment. My favourite combination at present is a Leonardt DPGEN nib (sort of like a Deleter Manga "G" nib), speedball holder and tesco premium printer paper (it's very smooth), with FW acrylic or Sumi-e ink.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The MOST frustrating thing...

I cannot draw on a computer.

I've tried using wacom tablets, tablet PCs, IPads....

It's so frustrating. This week I bought some extra memory for my HP Tablet PC, hoping that I could use it to create a good cartoon - I gave up after 3 failed attempts, because I couldn't get it. It didn't feel right, and I couldn't get my co-ordination. Not sure if it's the computer failing to keep up, or just me.

What's even more annoying is that it doesn't mean I can't create art using my computer - I can. I can take a cartoon I've created, scan it, convert it to vector if required and color it. A lot of the cartoons on this blog have been created the same way. I just can't draw - it feels wrong.

If I get the chance, I'm going to try and create the cartoon the old fashioned way tonight, and see if I feel better...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

ccgb #91

Saturday, April 16, 2011

ccgb #90

Thursday, March 24, 2011

CCGB #87

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

For parents everywhere...

See - it happens to the best of us!

CCGB #85

Monday, March 07, 2011

I've been doing this for nearly three years now...

The title of his entry really says it all - I've been actively cartooning for nearly three years. Looking back through this blog has been an interesting experience. I've recently had a lot of self belief problems regarding my cartooning (you know the sort of thing - am I getting any better, any funnier...) to the point where I almost gave up, but looking through my own little archive here, just proves to me how much I have progressed. Next week, I'm starting a proper cartooning course, to help me with the problems I think my work is showing, but at least now, I know I'm not wasting my time.

CCGB #84

Monday, February 28, 2011

Saturday, February 26, 2011

ccgb #83

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A couple of quick cartoon tests using a new pen - Edding 3.5 Calligraphy Pen (as used by Peter Crocker - webcartoonist on youtube). Interesting, because it's a hard squared-off felt tip, you can get thick and thin lines by varying the angle of the pen whilst drawing. Not only that, but the ink isn't bad either (semi waterproof / quick drying), and the pen is quite cheap...

All in all, not bad - I think I'll use it to do this week's CCGB compo...

Friday, February 18, 2011

ccgb #82

Monday, February 14, 2011

Animation Project

Something I've been thinking about for a long time is an animation project. Well, it's took me a while, but I've started work on it today. The pipeline (I've decided) will be Inkscape Artwork -> Synfig animation -> Blender video compositing, with music by Orion Pro / Experimental Scene pro Audio (if I want to stay completely open source). The first thing is to get my characters right - I have three main characters in "Duke Lukem" - Luke (a small boy), Cat (a cat - funny that...) and Mum (or "Mom" if you're from the colonies). This is going to be a Duke Nukem spoof - could be interesting...

Friday, February 11, 2011

ccgb #81

Friday, February 04, 2011

CCGB #80

The latest entry...

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Caricature - Pete Postlethwaite

CCGB #79

Here's my entry for CCGB #79. It's a quick entry, because my first one I wasn't sure about. The theme as VENTRILOQUISTS, and once I'd completed my original entry, I wasn;t sure it really fitted. here is my original for posterity...

Which one do you prefer?