Thursday, February 02, 2012

The Dawn of Empire!! (Um... Part Two)

Dawn of Empire? February 2007?? Sorry, I've been a bit busy with pirates...

In October 2004, I entered a digital drawing challenge on CG Talk called 'Grand Space Opera'. Although I never completed the challenge (because I moved jobs and I was also busy renovating a house for an impending baby), I did create a character called Rex, the King of Space.

The first drawing of Rex, for the 'Grand Space Opera' challenge (2004).

A short comic strip (drawn on the train), also for the CG Talk challenge (2004).

I've drawn Rex many times since, sometimes for fun and sometimes for work, and he's gradually evolved into a character that's important to me.

Some VERY rough doodles, adapting the character for syndicate-style strips (2005).

A darker look, thinking about 'older' comics... (2006)

A 'cleaned up' strip, with a new-look Rex (2006).

In 2006, I used 'The King of Space' as an example whilst answering a question in Imagine FX's Q&A section...

And in 2007, used 'The King of Space' for a poster workshop in Imagine FX no.18:

When I first visited Templar in the summer of 2007, I took The King of Space along as a possible book or comic idea. But Templar were keen on a piece of promotional art I'd done, that became my first picture book 'The Pirate Cruncher'.

So in January 2009, with Rex still filling my head with ideas and no published outlet for them, I did a concept design workshop for 'Computer Arts' magazine (also Future Publishing), with a retro take on Rex's Warbot:

When I went back to Templar in the summer of 2010 to talk about my second picture book, I took some sketches and ideas for 'The King of Space' again. But after some success with 'The Pirate Cruncher', the Sales Department were still keen on pirates, so I wrote 'The Pirates Next Door'.
The whole book in scribbled layout form (2010).

But when I traveled to Templar last Autumn, we finally decided that this would be a good time to do something with 'The King of Space'.

So a few months ago, I wrote a picture book all about Rex. I've drawn the roughs. I've pinned them all to my wall. And now I'm colouring-in.

Meanwhile, here's some work in progress from the first colour spread in 'The King of Space' picture book, due in all good UK bookstores in October 2012...

Rex, introducing himself on the first spread... More to come!

I'll try to keep on top of this blog, to give some insights into the picture book process (without giving the whole story away), but there's a busy few months ahead.... I'll post again soon!

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