Along with the concept of book/album combo projects come the fond memories of Jeff Wayne’s ambitious War of the Worlds, or even those great Book and Record Sets from the 70s with their excellent short stories, accompanied by soundtracks and effects that bathed you in sonic atmosphere. Such were my hopes for Captain Rugged, the new graphic novel by Native Maqari with music by Keziah Jones, that starts the story of a modern-day super hero set against the urban sprawl of an abandoned African city.
Released amongst Marvel’s current tirade of adolescent, quasi-mythical nonsense Captain Rugged is a welcome departure from the norm, but still suffers from the over familiar tropes of typical super hero origin stories. I enjoyed Maqari’s illustrative style of loose, nightmarish and inky blacks, that brilliantly set an unsettling tone and present a shanty town of Lagos that’s buzzing with activity, corruption and political unrest. It’s certainly a dark and desperate tale, but satisfies only as a prologue for now, setting the scene for hopefully more to come.
The music provided by Keziah Jones on the other hand feels much more upbeat with it’s combination of jazz funk and African rhythms mixed with a touch of Motown, that makes for a lively, accessible and highly accomplished set of tracks. Whilst the book and album can claim their own success they do feel disconnected. And where the storytelling might leave you a little cold, the music delivers on its own terms and is deserving of repeated listens. An interesting if not completely satisfying start to the story with the music stealing the show.
Captain Rugged by Keziah Jones and Native Maqari
Hardback 210 pages
24.4 x 17.3 x 1.5 cm
As 2013 comes to a close and we all look forward to a well-earned break (and time spent with a good book) i’ve taken a look back at this year’s book reviews and compiled the Wing’s Art Top 10 Books of 2013 - a list made up of classic animation, vintage travel labels, comic book […]
I count myself among a strange breed of pale thirtysomethings – over exposed to TV, horror films, video games and all those other bad things supposed to rot our brains – but specifically amazing film poster art. Born of the home video generation, with daily life coloured by films such as Blade Runner, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, […]
Get those Halloween invitations ready with this set of spooky vector cartoons! 8 popular monster characters are included featuring favourites such as Dracula, Wolfman, The Mummy, Zombie and Frankenstein. All are included in both editable vector (eps) and high resolution jpg formats. Minimum requirements for the use of the vector format is Adobe Illustrator version […]
Sure, it’s not the most modest move naming the book about yourself The World’s Best Artist, but those looking for the class on subtlety in Mitch O’Connell’s school of self-promotion won’t find it. It’s this tounge-in-cheek and unpretentious approach, backed up by stellar illustration work that makes me a fan, and the promise of that title and the book’s […]
Character designers, animators and illustrators throughout the ages have all shared the wisdom of one simple truth; that adding an eye-patch to a character provides an instant coolness upgrade. From ‘the man in the Hathaway shirt’ to countless cowboys and Kurt Russell’s portrayal of Snake Plisskin, the eye-patch fits the bill whether you’re looking to […]
With the anticipated release of the new Superman movie, DC’s status as a leader in the comic book industry remains as strong as ever, with its success only really comparable to that of Marvel. It’s testament to the power and longevity of their characters that the very same Man of Steel started it all with […]
With the sun beginning to tease with ideas of long days spent at the beach and hanging out at that unrealistically cool and imaginary surf shack, my artistic cravings start to lean towards the work of legendary surf artist Jim Phillips. No other artist captures the feeling of easy-going summers better, with his eye grabbing […]
I was thrilled to have been invited to contribute to the Mail Me Art project for 2013 and after much procrastinating popped my C5 effort in the post yesterday. I eventually decided on a fashion portrait inked on parcel paper with black and yellow acrylics with white gouache for the hair. A very loose, sketchy […]
With Dave Stevens’ The Rocketeer Artist’s Edition, IDW introduced it’s range of high-end books for the comic collector, featuring reproductions of raw artwork from some of the worlds most renowned comic book artists. So acclaimed (and limited) was this first edition of Stevens’ beloved creation that it sold-out within days, leaving die-hard fans (like myself) […]
During the reading of The Art and Making of Peanuts Animation I found myself watching all of the classic 1960′s TV Specials and subsequently listening to the excellent Vince Guaraldi soundtrack which has been pretty much playing on repeat ever since, so infectious are the characters and stories created by Charles Schultz and brought to […]
Creating the Filmation Generation tells the story of the famous animation studio that coloured the airwaves of the 1980s with its classic Saturday morning cartoons such as Batman, Star Trek, Archie, Flash Gordon and my personal childhood favourite He-Man and the Masters of the Universe! Told by its co-creator Lou Scheimer, the book covers in detail the […]
If I may, i’d like to introduce you all to Ernest, my humble pet, studio regular and now star of his own cartoon in what i’m calling Tales of Ernest – The Troublesome Spaniel. A particularly naughty and greedy English Springer Spaniel, this first drawing describes what became a regular occurrence over the holidays, in which our muffin thief of […]
The Art of Wreck-It Ralph is the next in Chronicle Book’s excellent behind the scenes series, this time taking a look at Disney’s latest video game inspired feature. Maggie Malone and Jennifer Lee Monn introduce us to Wreck-It Ralph, a Donkey Kong like figure and baddy of the 8-bit era, on a journey to prove himself through all […]
Sketch Travel from Chronicle Books is a hardback reproduction of an ambitious and collaborative project started by artists Dice Tsutsumi and Gerald Guerlais. For the benefit of children in need and the non-profit literacy organisation Room to Read, one solitary red sketchbook travelled 75,000 miles across the globe passing through the hands of 71 accomplished […]
Illustration Friday’s theme of Whiskers led me down the path of Catwoman, and specifically Michelle Pfeiffer’s version of Catwoman from Tim Burton’s Batman Returns. After all the different Batman movies including Christopher Nolan’s excellent trilogy, Batman Returns remains my favourite (I could even say that Michael Keaton is my prefered Batman) with its festively dark atmosphere, […]
The first time I became aware of John Buscema was via the compilation magazine Hacoc that was released by Marvel in the early 90s. This magazine collected a some of their edgier stories such as Deathlok, Ghost Rider, RoboCop and most importantly, the Buscema illustrated Conan. This story was beautiful to look at and oozed an […]
A little Thanksgiving special this week with another John Hughes classic, Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Probably my favourite of the Hughes movies and a masterpiece of mixed emotions; what an ending! I can’t imagine anyone who could pull of the role off Del as well as John Candy. Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving. I’m now taking […]
For the demographic of those around the age of 30, the mention of Jim Henson provokes a warm glow with memories good times spent with The Muppets, The Muppet Babies, Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock and The Storyteller. I’m still a little astonished to find anyone who doesn’t love (or dare I it say hasn’t seen) […]
A large range of design, illustration and art prints are now available from my online store over at Society 6. Decorate that special space above your desk or bookshelf with posters, framed prints, canvases and cards. You’ll also find iphone skins, tote bags and even t-shirts available in all shapes and sizes featuring my illustration work, […]
Illustration Friday’s theme of ‘Tree‘ offered the perfect reason to use John McTiernan’s classic Predator as the next Comic Book Movie. If there’s one film that features a lot of trees this is it! Still up there as one of the most enjoyable and quotable action movies ever made. I’m now taking requests for upcoming […]
In my first ever Comic Book Movie ‘by request’ I bring you Stephen King’s classic tale of boyhood friendship and dead bodies, Stand By Me. Many thanks to Tina Mories for suggesting a film that frankly, I should have thought of a long time ago!
I was recently commissioned by the New York based children’s toy and accessories company Skip Hop to produce an eight page comic book for use as a fun way to advertise their products at an upcoming trade fair. I jumped at the opportunity of working with the company whose celebrity fans include Selma Blair, Ricky Martin and Joel Madden, […]
How can you do a Halloween special without talking about John Carpenter’s brilliant Halloween. A classic that spawned several sequels of mixed quality and a terrible re-make, the original remains one of my all-time favourites and is the last of my Halloween flavoured Comic Book Movies. Happy Halloween everyone! For more Comic Book Movies visit […]
In the second of my Comic Book Movie Halloween specials, I bring you another favourite The Monster Squad. A light-hearted homage to the classic Universal Monsters, Dracula, Wolfman, Frankenstein and Creature from the Black Lagoon mixed with the teenage adventures of the Goonies. Another absolute classic and perfect Halloween viewing. Enjoy and come back tomorrow […]
The countdown to Halloween starts here with my first of three horror favourites leading up to the fright filled day. Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho is a classic example of sophisticated horror that manages to get under your skin by the use of clever visual design, music, and ideas; never having to resort to cheap gore or […]
Darwyn Cooke (born 1962) is an award-winning comic book artist, writer and designer best known for his work on Catwoman, The Spirit and (one of my favourite series of books), Richard Stark’s Parker. He has also worked on various animation projects including Batman: The Animated Series with Bruce Timm, which became a cult favourite among […]
Steven Heller, author and editor of several books on art, design and popular culture including; Menu Design in America, Advertising from the Mad Men Era and Typography Sketchbooks, presents this new peek into the minds and working processes of contemporary comic book artists in; Comic Sketchbooks – The Unseen World of Today’s Most Creative Talents. Over […]
It’s been a busy past few weeks here in the Wing’s Art office. I’ve just put the finishing touches to my first commercial comic book which i will reveal very soon, but i have managed (if not a little last minute) this quick sketch for Illustration Friday’s theme of Book. I offer you one of […]
The dust has settled on the release of The Dark Knight Rises, Christopher Nolan’s final part of his Batman trilogy and I think it’s safe to say that we all thought it was great; possibly one of the finest movie trilogies of all-time. So a definitive ‘making of’ book would be a welcome read and […]
In a brilliantly overacted performance by Bruce Campbell in a scene from Army of Darkness, Ash spawns a twin! This week’s Comic Book Movie working to the theme of ‘identical’ as set by Illustration Friday, is a more developed drawing than my usual sketches, but i’m pretty pleased with how this one turned out and was […]
Dolph Lundgren’s character in Rocky 4 is more than just tall. Up against little Sly Stallone he looks like a giant! Rocky 4 is this week’s Illustration Friday submission, on the theme of ‘tall’.
John Hughes 80′s classic The Breakfast Club took a while to grow on me, but is now one of those films that seems to get funnier every time I watch it. There are great one-liners from the character Principle Vernon, played in a brilliant hard-ass fashion by Paul Gleason, who seemed to have reprised this […]
Regular readers of this blog will already know that i’m more than just your average fan of pin-up and comic book artist Dave Stevens. I’ve already featured the excellent biography Brush With Passion and The Complete Sketchbook & Studies on this very website, and he’s also been part of my Artist Spotlight feature. My hunt […]
Thinking up something for this week’s Illustration Friday theme of Bounce was surprisingly tough. In my usual style I wanted to link it to one of my favourite movies and my first thought was White Men Can’t Jump. That proved harder to realise than I thought, but the basketball theme lead me rather bizarrely to […]
Friday nights as a youngster for me was all about classic horror. The BBC, for a short but memorable period used to show a brilliant selection of Hammer Horror and Roger Corman movies every Friday night at 10pm and I absolutely lapped it up. Many evenings were spent in company of Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing […]
Christopher Nolan’s final part of his Dark Knight trilogy hits cinemas across the UK today and will no doubt own the big screens this weekend, so I thought it an appropriate time to take a look at a book that traces the origins of characters such as Batman and Superman all the way back to […]
Mark Schultz (1955) is an American comic book writer and artist famous for his creation Xenzoic Tales (otherwise known as Cadillacs and Dinosaurs) in which a world altered by ecological cataclysm is now inhabited by both humans and dinosaurs, not to mention all sort of other strange creatures. His work combines rip-roaring adventure stories with […]
One of my all-time favorite movies of the 80s The Lost Boys is my Comic Book Movie this week and works to the theme of lost as set by Illustration Friday.
My Comic Book Movie posts each week are made up of a quick brush, pen and ink sketch working to a theme set by the collaborative illustration website, Illustration Friday. Each drawing takes on average 1-2 hours to complete and serve as a great warm-up to get me started for the week, and also serve […]