Helmandblog photostream

DMOCCCT-2009-004-I-102, originally uploaded by Helmandblog.

I’m looking for photo reference for my next comic, part of which will take part in Afghanistan. Luckily the Army has its own Helmand blog, and that has its own photostream on Flickr. I think this should be good for making the kit and vehicles accurate.

Shall We Take A Trip? is now available

Shall We Take A Trip? Front Cover 6"x9"

This is the revised cover for Shall We Take A Trip?, now available in 6 by 9 inch format at a sensible price. You can buy a printed version or a downloadable one from the Mary Tales shop at Lulu.

Be warned, this new comic, and everything else in that shop is sexually explicit. I call it erotica, you may think of it as porn. It’s one of those judgement calls where two people can look at the same thing and have completely different reactions. I may redesign the cover again for distribution through Amazon and others, but for now I’m going to go and work on a comic more suited to all ages.

Shall We Take A Trip? covered and uploading

Shall We Tak A Trip? is uploading to Lulu right now,despite a number of false starts getting a pdf together. After the contents are properly transferred it shall be time to send the covers. This is the front cover-

Shall We Take A Trip? Front Cover

It’s a variation on one of the original ideas for the cover, with just a tape instead of the other music formats. This is a tweaked photo. Probably the main problem with it is that it doesn’t give any hint of what sort of story is inside.

Shall We Take A Trip? Back Cover

This is the back cover. I’s more obvious from this what the story is about. I may yet flip the covers so this is the front.

Update I had planned to sell this book through Lulu as an A5 size publication. However, I’ve just discovered the cost for printing that size is exorbitant, so I’m going to resize everything to 6″ by 9″. So that’s another few days work. I may do another cover as well whilst I’m about it.

And it’s raining.

And my ulcer’s been playing up for the last few days.

Excuse me whilst I go away and swear a bit.

Creative Commons License
Shall We Take A Trip? by Ian Pattinson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.

Work in progress- some early design work for my next comic project

The front cover and page layout of Shall We Take A Trip? haven’t been completed yet, but I’ve decided what I want my next comic project to be. It doesn’t have a title yet, I’m just calling it my Space Comic. But it has a premise and a few key scenes.

After being attacked by pirates a space transporter, and most of its cargo, crash lands on Earth. The ship accidentally swallows a farmhouse before recovering and the crew recruits the humans in the house- father, mother, early twenties son, teenage daughter and two of the son’s friends- to help them recover the cargo and convince the world’s governments to work together before the pirates get turned around and come back to lay waste to the planet and steal whatever they can. The battle with the space pirates will be book one, with enough left open for possible future tales.

After doing an adults only comic this one’s intended for most ages. In film rating terms it should fall somewhere between a 12A and a 15- some violence, a little strong language and a bit of innuendo.

I did a few sketchy bits of very early design over the weekend. Final versions will probably be completely different to what’s below. (I’m selling some of the pages from my sketchbook as I go. If you’d like the navigator or the space ship below they’re £5.)


The spaceship’s navigator/pilot. I’m working on the idea of the ship being flown by what looks like a box of worms. When they’re in close contact the creatures that make up the intelligence communicate very quickly. Different coloured worms would have different functions and they’d rearrange themselves depending upon what they’re calculating.


An early space ship design. It’s pretty, but not really what I want.


The humans- the younger ones at least- get power suits. The alien technology adapts to suit each individual wearer and evolves over time based upon how they pilot it and what it’s used for. These feel a bit generic, I’ll come back to them when I’ve done some character design.

I’m going to try to document the creation of this comic from beginning to end. It’ll be like a “making of” book about it.

Crabs should be the only animals to wear hats!

My contribution to the Drink and Draw comic jam.

Learn something new every day

In early 1977, Joost Swarte defines what is probably the most important comics art style to have come out of Europe. No-one had a name for it before: the ligne claire. The Clear Line. The style of Herge, of Tintin. I’m sure you can picture it. The style where all extraneous lines are eliminated, and only the lines that do work remain. A single line of exquisite clarity and control, producing deceptively simple and open figures in a method that is in fact extremely hard to do. You can’t hide anything, in the Clear Line. Every shape must be rendered in the minimal amount of ink, but not at the expense of detail. There’s little or no weighting on the line – making the line thicker or thinner to create spatial bias in the panels – no crosshatch, no shading, and no skimping on the realism of backgrounds. The characters, especially in Herge, tend to be a little cartoony: in combination with the detailed background work, the effect defined by Scott McCloud as “masking” comes into play.

I knew what ligne claire is, I’m trying to take my art in that direction a bit. I didn’t know who named it.

From Warren Ellis’ Do Anything column at Bleeding Cool.

Pick the cover design for Shall We Take A Trip?

I have two designs in mind for the first issue of Shall We Take A Trip?. I’ve done some roughs and I’d like to hear what people think.

Shall We Take A Trip? cover rough 1

Version 1. As the story is partly about nostalgia and takes place on the set of a movie set in the ’90s this cover is meant to show the progress from then to now. From home made compilation tape to home made compilation cd to carrying your music around digitally. The bottom image may become a generic mp3 player.

Shall We Take A Trip? cover rough

Version 2. This is a black and white rough. The final version will be in colour. I may even do it as a photo. The elements are taken from the book’s first sex scene. In fact, I think everything’s there apart from the copulating couple. As the comic’s all about sex it’s more honest about the insides than version 1.

Fonts and type colours are open for change, obviously. The ones used are there to give an idea of text placement.

So, which one’s your favourite? Which one do you think will sell better? Any ideas for improvements/ better designs?

Mongrels mini comic 1

Mongrels mini comic 1, originally uploaded by spinneyhead.

Part one of Who Let The GODs Out? Originally drawn for mobile phones, now available as colour mini comics. You can buy a copy at Zibbet or order one direct-

A (clean) page from my dirty comic

Shall We Take A Trip page 18 inked
Click for a larger version.

I’ve been meaning to do an erotic comic for years, and I’m now drawing Mary Tales as well as my phone comics. This is page 18 of the first part of Shall We Take A Trip?, the first Mary Tale. It’s a fair way from professional quality, but I’m very happy with it.

I’ve been experimenting with techniques and materials for a while. This is the second time I’ve drawn this page, which was originally number 20 before I decided to move the preceding two pages to a later part of the story. It’s the second page since I decided to switch to hand lettering whilst cutting down on post production computer shading. And I think it’s far better for it. There will be some grey or halftone shading, but I’ll put a bit more thought into it than I have with other pages. Then I’ll go back and change those pages based upon lessons learnt.

Because it’s a dirty comic, the sight they’re gawping at in the last three panels is very rude. But I haven’t drawn it yet, and I wouldn’t show it off here if I had.

Bandes Dessinee en Anglais? S’il vous plait!

For all the American, and Japanese, comics I’ve read over the years I can’t help thinking that anything I produce will be much more European in tone, subject and style. Cinebook publish translated European comics for the English market. It seems wrong that it takes a foreign publisher to give us so English a character as Biggles. There my be some purchases in the near future.

via the Forbidden Planet blog

Where are the girls?

Where are the girls?, originally uploaded by spinneyhead.

I ink pages in two stages. Weapons, hardware etc. is done with technical pens, characters and more organic shapes with a dip pen. This is the second page of episode 5 of Mongrels- Who let the GODs out? after Rotrings but before nibs.