140 CHARACTERS is a small sketchbook of some of the drawings I ‘ve posted on Twitter. This is the first of a series of posts showing what’s in the book and giving some extra information about each drawing.
When I joined Twitter in 2008 I was doing a lot of comic workshops in schools around Bristol, following the publication earlier in the year of The Bristol Story, a 200-page comic book history of the city written by Eugene Byrne and drawn and lettered by me. It was also the year of a couple of Italian-set comics, Caravaggio and Romeo & Juliet.
Pencil on paper, digitally coloured.
This drawing started life in 2006 as one of a set of illustrations for a book of short stories about Isambard Kingdom Brunel. My favourite in the series, I came back to it and altered it to make a limited edition giclée print. (At the time of writing, there are still some left.)
For a long time I preferred to draw digitally with vectors rather than bitmaps. Of the vector graphics software available to me, I found Flash a lot easier to use than Illustrator. (Now I use Manga Studio, which has vector and bitmap options.) The five characters here are all imaginary, except Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Southey • Plimsoll • Friese-Greene • Edwards
PITT Artist pens on Bristol board
These four historical figures appeared in The Bristol Story as ‘Dead Famous Bristolians’. The scanned artwork was overlaid with flat grey tones for the book, but these unpublished versions use halftone lines instead.
Romeo • Juliet
Pencil on watercolour paper
These were, at the time of scanning, works-in-progress. Later cleaned up and coloured in Photoshop, they were part of a Romeo & Juliet comic strip for Oxford University Press.
Drawn in Photoshop
From M, a fictionalised account of the painter’s life.
Caravaggio’s patron, jailer and model
Pencil on paper
More characters from the Caravaggio comic strip.
In the next part I’ll have notes on the 2009 chapter of 140 CHARACTERS.