Sunday, 22 November 2009

Kronos City is Winner

Alex and I have just returned from the Thought Bubble Convention in Leeds. We had a brilliant day, beginning with a talk by Nigel Dobbyn about the way comic art has moved from traditional to digital, with the pros and cons of each. We also attended the cosplay event, to see what everyone had come up with. It wasn't quite to the same standard as the London MCM show, but we still has a great time. My personal favourite was Laguna from Final Fantasy VIII, who began shouting the fanfare and the whole room joined in.
Alex and I were able to meet Jim for the first time, which was brilliant. The Karl pictures were brought along in a portfolio and shown off. We'll definitely have to run another of those at some point!
In the evening we attended the after show party with friends and went to the Dr Sketchy Leeds Burlesque Life Drawing. It was incredibly fun, beginning with 5 quick sketches and leading into two competitions. The first was a left handed (or right handed if you are left handed) competition, which Alex won! The next competition was drawing in the style of your favourite artist. As I didn't have acrylics, canvas and varnish and a good few days I decided to go with the event and draw in the style of whoever drew Jessica Rabbit. On telling my friend Lou this, she asked if that was Beatrix Potter, so that's what I ended up with. I was given second place for my efforts and was awarded with a balloon dog, which Alex and I named Dogsvin.

Overall? A brilliant weekend!

Thursday, 19 November 2009

How Do You See Karl? The Results!

Well, this has been a fun fortnight watching the entries come in! I think all of us were very worried when we started this non-Competition that there would be nothing to show here! The idea of creating pseudonyms and new art styles was tossed around, but luckily it did not have to come to that. There's a really different range of art here, which was exactly what we were after! We'll be taking all of these to Leeds tomorrow so we'll be posting soon after to show how it all went!

All of us at Kronos City want to say a great big thank you to everyone who got involved. We know a lot of you who sent in work have a lot on the go so we really appreciate the effort. We'd also like to say a special thank you to video game folk punk band Elfonso who all got involved!

The entries are listed in the order they were sent in, with Joe Willes doing his Karl the day after the non-competition was announced, and Stephen Downey sending his literally minutes before we put this blog up!

Keep checking back to the blog, as there will be more of these non-competitions to come, and who knows, we might even turn them into actual competitions, with prizes!

Mark Hanna's Karl

Illustration for Children (MA) Student


Josie Clouting's Karl
Fine Art Student

Aiden Smith's Karl
Illustration for Graphic Novels Student
(the background is the 1981 ablum 'Heaven Up Here' by Echo and the Bunnymen)

Comic Artist/ Graphic Designer/ Illustrator
James is working on the upcoming Insomnia novel "The Ballad of Frank Sartre" by James Peaty.
Illustration Student

Nathan Sharp's Karls
Illustration Student

Graphic Designer

Studio Engineer

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

The Kronos Process

Hi folks! We thought we'd post a blog outlining the Kronos City art process. Above is the base of operations for Lauren and myself. On the right hand side is our lovely little Macbook which I use to view the script and find the odd reference image. (Also, note the lovely comic page by Nigel Dobbyn hanging above my desk - a continuing source of inspiration for me).

Anyway, on this side of the desk I take Andrew's script and from that make a quick sketch (too shameful to picture) to plan composition, flow etc. Once this is done I rough out the composition on the actual page. Once I'm happy with the sketch, I neaten it up with a mechanical pencil, scan it and zip it over to Andrew for approval (see below image).

In this instance Andrew had a few ideas about the page.

"Can you add in a couple of different shapes, like hexagons and rhombuses, rhombusususes, um, rhombi? Apart from that, this is good to go!"

Good idea Andrew - the page looks much nicer for it! Pictured below is the inked up version complete with background shapes!

The inking is done with a Pentel Pocket Brush. This lovely little brush pen was reduced from £12 to £6 and I LOVE IT! It may not be the most expensive brush pen in the world but it does the job just fine! It's really nice to use - much nicer than the cheap disposable brushes I used to use at uni! The finer details like the bubbles and shapes are done with a 0.3 and 0.1 fineliner.

Once the page is inked, I usually scan it, arrange it on the digital page and then Lauren does her thing. This page however is set under water and the colouring technique for water in Kronos City is a little different than straight forward digital colour. At this stage we need to take a trip to Staples - which is actually really far away! Here we get the page photocopied onto heavy weight matt paper. This is so that when Lauren adds the water colour the ink doesn't run.

I'll hand over to Lauren to talk about the colouring.

In Kronos City I used two different styles of watercolouring, messy and neat. In this scene Sally is fully in the water so I use a style that I hope shows this. It's done in the same way that the first few pages of the book are painted, as here all the images are formed from the water. In other scenes the Kronos water is just part of the images, for example page five of Chapter One, so the water colour is quite neat and contained.
When it came to this page, I already knew what colours I would be using as this page preceded a scene I had already coloured. So the blue and yellow? So far I've been told that the Kronos City colour seems to be brown/red. As this scene and the ones after are set after a huge storm I decided to give the next seems some fresh colours, to show how a storm can really change and cleanse things. I like to layer up colours to create more depth in the picture, which is something that can be seem in the bubbles and shapes in the water.

Back to Alex.

So there we have it, from pencils to coloured page!

And on that note, I'm off to pencil page 6 of chapter 3.

By for now,

Alex x

Thursday, 5 November 2009

How do you see Karl?

Alex's Karl

Andrew's Karl

Lauren's Karl

Recently Team Kronos City decided to compare their characters. Everyone sees a character differently so here are our versions. Here at Kronos City, we'd also like to see your ideas of Karl, which will be published here on the 19th of November, just before the Thought Bubble Convention where they will also be on display. Here's a description of Karl:

'Karl is a vampire, but one of the Donor Movement ones so he doesn’t hunt. He’s actually kind of anorexic, and doesn’t really eat at all. He’s about as threatening as a kitten wearing a top hat. He’s tall and very, very skinny. He wears very tight black t-shirts and jeans, so tight that you can practically see the bones through them. He has a cute button nose and tiny fangs. Vampire eyes are bigger than human eyes, and very expressive, but they are totally black, no whites or irises, and the pupil is a white dot. He has very pale white skin and pronounced cheekbones, and black spiky hair that looks like he spends far too much free time on it in the mornings and far too much money on hair product on it. He moves very gracefully, almost effeminately. He has pointy little ears.'

Please send all your pictures to, along with your name and any internet contact details you'd like us to link to. Hope to see the interpretations!
EDIT: previously the submission date was the 20th, please send it by the 19th to ensure it can be printed for saturday! Thanks!

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Doodle Planet

Just some Kronos City doodles I did at Doodle Planet - Telford's Warehouse, Chester 29-10-09