paddybrown.co.uk

16th Dec 2018

From Hell – now in colour!

You may or may not be aware – there doesn’t seem to have been much publicity, especially compared to Peter Jackson’s They Shall Not Grow Old – but Eddie Campbell is colourising From Hell, the monstrous graphic novel he did between 1989 and 1998 with Alan Moore, for the Kindle. Two installements of the From Hell “Master Edition” are currently available from Amazon, containing the prologue and first four chapters.

Chapter 4, page 9. Not much has changed, but suddenly this panel is awash with sunlight.

This doesn’t sound like something that would work – Campbell’s art on From Hell is very black-and-white, and evokes a very sooty and grimy Victorian London. But it does.

Chapter 4 page 12: colour creates both sunlight and depth.

Campbell’s colouring, like his art, is rough and ready in places, but that’s always been part of the charm of his work. It’s subtle and fairly simple – he lays down flat areas of colour, and rarely does any kind of modelling with it. But, combined with tweaks to the line art and occasional outright redrawing, it’s remarkably effective in creating a sense of place. Where black-and-white Victorian London was a distant, alien setting observed from afar, coloured-in Victorian London is a place you can imagine yourself into.

Chapter 4 page 14: simple, flat colour creates more space.


And in chapter four, the tour of London chapter, Campbell pays particular attention to time of day. The chapter starts before dawn with washed-out colours. As the sun rised, the colours become brighter and more contrasting. A shower of rain, and things become oppressive and grey, and as the rain stops, the colours become cold and washed-out again, before darkening as evening draws in.

Chapter 4 page 15: same again.

I wasn’t expecting it to work, but it really does. Highly recommended – and gives me a few ideas…

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15th Nov 2018

It’s been a while

I’ve just noticed I haven’t updated this site for more than a year. I’ve also been thinking about how the internet is becoming centralised on sites like Facebook, Twitter and Youtube, and it was better when people had their own sites, so I really out to put my money where my mouth is. So, here we are.

It’s been an eventful couple of years. I’ve moved house, and been promoted in my day job. My band has risen, fallen, and is in the process of rising again. I got a bit estranged from comics, and got pulled back in by my writer mate Mark McCann and the local 2000AD-based fanzine Sector 13, edited by Peter Duncan and Lawrence McKenna.

Comics

Sector 13 is created by a fantastic group of creative people, and operates with 2000AD‘s blessing so long as it doesn’t make a profit, and stays kind of tangential to what they do. So we have stories set in the worlds of 2000AD characters that don’t focus on those characters – judges who aren’t Dredd, that kind of thing – and “Future Shock”-style short strips that don’t bother anybody’s copyright. As well as your standard drawn and/or painted comics, there are also digitally-edited photo-strips featuring our legion of cosplayers and prop-makers.

My first strip was in issue 2, published in November 2017. Mark had written a strip called “Humane Options”, a time-travel crime-and-punishment short, and I think the artist who was orginally slated for it wasn’t able to do it for some reason, so Mark asked me if I would draw it. I did, and really enjoyed it.

Sector 13: Humane Options

Mark gave me another script, called “Zero Sum Brain”, for the next issue. But then we had a conversation in rather poor taste about the Dark Judges and the “safe space” movement in universities that made us both laugh, and inspired Mark to write “Terminal Apotheosis”, a story about some cadet judges getting catastrophic hold of the wrong end of the stick during “Necropolis”, when the Dark Judges took over Mega-City One. I drew that one for issue 3, which was published in May 2018.

Sector 13 issue 3: Terminal Apotheosis

Issue 4 is in preparation, and I’ve drawn “Zero Sum Brain” for that. It’s an alien world civil war brain transplant story, and I’m really pleased with it. I think it’ll see print late this year or early next.

Sector 13 issue 4: Zero Sum Brain

The other thing I’ve noticed in perusing my site is that I started re-serialising Ness, the prequel to The Cattle Raid of Cooley, in March last year, got seven pages in and stopped. That was about the time I moved house, and it evidently fell by the wayside as I had other stuff to do. I’ll have to get that restarted.

Music

The Proposition at the American Bar, July 18

My band, The Proposition, started out as the Proposition Blues Band a few years ago, but we changed the name as our repertoire became a bit more varied. The core of the band is myself on vocals and guitar and Anne Duffy on vocals. We had a stable line-up for a while – above is us playing the American Bar in July 2017 – but our drummer and bass player both decided to quit a few months ago. We’ve recruited a new drummer, Stephen Campbell, and a new bass player, Brian McCoy, and are rehearsing towards a private gig in December. Onwards and upwards.

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23rd Oct 2017

The Proposition Blues Band at the Sunflower

The Proposition Blues Band return to the Sunflower, Union Street, Belfast, Friday 10 November 2017, from 9pm, £5 in

My band, the Proposition Blues Band, play the Sunflower bar, Union Street, Belfast (map), on 10 November 2017, from 9pm, £5 in.

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01st May 2017

Ness page 7

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The Ulster Cycle: Ness page

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Page first published 15 May 2007.

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24th Apr 2017

Ness page 6

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The Ulster Cycle: Ness page 6

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Page first published 15 May 2007.

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17th Apr 2017

Ness page 5

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The Ulster Cycle: Ness page 5

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Page first published 15 May 2007.

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10th Apr 2017

Ness page 4

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The Ulster Cycle page 4. 1. Dáire pushes the bed to one side and reveals a concealed tunnel. 2. Dáire takes hold of Ness's shoulders. She's close to tears. Dáire: It comes out in a secret place in the forest. Ilann knows the way from there. Run to your father. Don't stop for anything, d'you hear me? Anything. Ness: Snf. 3. Dáire turns to Ilann: Ilann. Guard her with your life. Get her safely to the king, and all your family's obligations to me are discharged. All the cattle your father has of me will be his property. Ness is my witness to that. Ilann: Sir. 4. Dáire turns to go back into the main hall. Dáire: Get going. We'll hold them here. Ness: Papa Dáire? Aren't you coming with us? 5. Dáire: This is my house. What sort of host would I be if I wasn't in to visitors?

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Page first published 15 May 2007.

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27th Mar 2017

Ness page 3

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The Ulster Cycle page 3. 1. Dáire hears something, and positions himself in front of Ness. Dáire: Shh. 2. The fianna gather outside the house with flaming torches. 3. Dáire puts his hands protectively on Ness's shoulders and turns to face the others. Dáire: Ness, stay close to me. Fiacha, what have we got? 4. Fiacha, a guest, holds a spit and a carving knife, disdainfully: Spits. Carving knives. The fire. 5. Dáire guides Ness through a door into a side-chamber, and calls to Ilann, who pays attention. Dáire: Ilann! Grab a carving knife and come with me. Ilann: Sir. 6. Inside the side-chamber. Dáire, Ness and Ilann approach the bed, a wooden box with a cloth-covered straw mattress, pillows and a fur cover.

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Page first published 15 May 2007.

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20th Mar 2017

Ness page 2

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The Ulster Cycle page 2. 1. The chief reaches up and a bird alights on his hand. 2. He holds the bird close to his face, and it sings a note. 3. The bird flies away. Chief: Thank you. 4. Chief, close-up: Okya, lads. Take your positions and wait for my signal. 5. Back in the house, Dáire: Now our little girl is growing up fast, and it can't be long before Eochaid finds her a husband, so this might be the last chance we get to do this. 6. Dáire puts his hand round the shoulder of Ness, a pretty young teenage girl, and raises his drinking horn, as the other guests raise theirs. Dáire: So let's hear it for our Ness! 7. Outside, the fianna storm the gates, killing the guards.

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Page first published 15 May 2007.

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13th Mar 2017

Ness page 1

I’ve had some website problems lately. Readers let me know that they could no longer follow links from one page to another on The Cattle Raid of Cooley – I’ve fixed that, it should hopefully work okay now, but if there are still problems let me know and I’ll look into them. The prequel, Ness, was also messed up. It was originally drawn in red, but run in black and white, so I’ve decided to re-run the whole thing in red, rescanned from the original art. Check back every Monday for a new page!

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The Ulster Cycle page 1. 1. Two fianna, cloaked and armed young men watch a settlement from an overlooking hill. A chariot arrives at the settlement, a roundhouse surrounded by a circular palisade, and the passenger steps off the back. The host welcomes him with open arms. Fianna 1: That's the twelfth. Tell the chief. Fianna 2: Righto. 2. Inside, a teenage boy servant, Ilann, roasts a pig, while middle-aged noblemen gather around with drinking horns. The host, Dáire, addresses the guests: First off, let me welcome you all to my house. It hardly seems like twelve years since the king put his daughter into our care, but we've all played host once, so I suppose it must be. 3. In the forest, the fianna sit and stand around a campfire. Their chief, a tall, shaven-headed man, stares off. Fianna 2 arrives with his news: Chief! They're all here. 4. Close in on Fianna and the chief, who continues staring into space. Fianna 2: Chief?

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Page first published 15 May 2007. Original comments included.

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