Tuesday, 30 September 2014

"MEN OF MYSTERY" Embassy Of The Fist - Part Three Post One

Having built up to this rematch between Yamamoto and Cheng Fu in the previous episode I wanted to show that the British martial artist, no longer swayed by the anger he felt at the deaths of some of his fellow secret servicemen, was every bit as skilled as the Chinese mercenary. However within the confines of my style I found it rather difficult to show his evasion of Yamamoto’s strikes without resorting to a simple ‘Duck’ sound effect.
Now that it was clear Kam Lo was not the target of the International termination warrant, I felt the Chinese criminal gang leader was an unnecessary distraction to the battle between Kung Fu fighters, so simply had him killed off by the American black ops team. I thought this worked quite well as a twist to the story, and added to the sense of frustration and desperation the American’s were feeling having seen their own operatives killed by Yamamoto.
As Sensei Cheng Fu and Yamamoto trade strikes and kicks, their battle becomes increasingly deadly as they become the target of a .300 Winchester magnum bolt-action rifle...

Monday, 29 September 2014

Mooretoons - "Doctor Who" - The Meddling Monk - Part One

I’m rather confused as to where my inspiration to use ‘The Meddling Monk’ in my “Doctor Who” cartoon strips came from. It could have been some chance glimpse of a short clip from the British science fiction television series, but I doubt it. For although the character of the Monk, superbly portrayed by actor Peter Butterworth, appeared in two stories during William Hartnell’s tenure as the (First) Doctor, neither would have made it to VHS Video at the time I first started drawing my interpretation of the villainous Timelord. Indeed it wasn’t until 1992, some six-seven years after Mooretoons were born, that the surviving episodes of “The Dalek Masterplan” were released on PAL video as part of the “Daleks: The Early Years”, and the 1965 story “The Time Meddler” was not available on tape for a further eight years until June 2000.
As a result I’m far more inclined to believe that I took such a deep interest in the character from his 1983 appearance in "Doctor Who Monthly", when the Monk teamed up with the Ice Warriors against the Fifth Doctor. Whatever the reason, my Monk was a decidedly different creature from that of proper Doctor Who lore, for although he still retained some of the quirky humour Peter Butterworth invested into the television character, my Meddling Monk most assuredly wanted the Doctor dead.
Initially appearing towards the end of my first run of comic adventures in “The Fall of the Daleks”, the Meddling Monk was a skulking manipulative villain, who watched from the shadows as the TARDIS crew inadvertently stumbled upon (yet) another Dalek city on the planet Skaro. I clearly wanted the Monk to stand out from my usual drawing style, and as I wanted him to be simple to sketch (as I needed to draw him a lot) I went with a monk’s robe complete with blacked out hood and penetrating eyes. In many ways not dissimilar to the appearance of Jawas from the “Star Wars” motion pictures. Indeed with hindsight I distinctly recall previously drawing the adventures of a Jawa Bounty Hunter named Volcano as a child, so it could be George Lucas’ influence over the look of my Meddling Monk could have been stronger than I initially thought. Suffice to say the evil cloaked figure fails miserably to cause the Doctor’s death in “The Fall of the Daleks” and instead is blasted himself blasted to death by the Masters of Skaro.
It was quite a considerable time later, well within my third phase of drawing Mooretoons, that I finally brought the Meddling Monk back and in doing so I set the ground work for a series of stories that would take me the best part of two - three years to draw. “Id?” was a single page, eleven panel teaser story, designed to lay the foundation for a much longer twelve-page adventure I planned to draw a short while later.
Sketched in (trendy) red ink with yellow pencil panelling, the tale simply established that the Monk had survived being shot by the Daleks, and had remained on the planet Skaro building a Commodore VIC-20 home computer. Somehow this 8-bit machine was capable of sending a mind-beam into the TARDIS and momentarily disorientate the Doctor..?
Having briefly appeared at the conclusion of the following story “Stronties Rage”, a re-imagining of a 1986 “Strontium Dog” serial from the British science fiction comic “2000 AD”, The Meddling Monk would feature throughout “Game-Ball”; the longest “Doctor Who” adventure I ever wrote and drew…

Saturday, 27 September 2014

"MEN OF MYSTERY" Embassy Of The Fist - Part Two Post Three

The conclusion to the second episode of “Embassy of the Fist” is all about setting up the rematch confrontation between Yamamoto and Cheng Fu. As a result the Chinese martial artist dispatches the American secret servicemen with relative ease, whilst providing me with an opportunity to manipulate my Kung Fu kick pose using my graphics editor once again.
The final panel drops the cliff hanger that the rematch will be to the death… as the International Arrest Warrant, thought all this time to be for the criminal gang leader Kam Lo, is actually for his bodyguard Yamamoto.
It is Sensei Cheng Fu verses Yamamoto Part Two and the winner will be the only man left alive…

Friday, 26 September 2014

"MEN OF MYSTERY" Embassy Of The Fist - Part Two Post Two

The first panel of this sequence is an attempt to once again break the ‘side-on waist-high’ look of my comic strips and include some driving action. Indeed it’s actually a reimagining of an overhead car chase look I used to draw a few years back but brought somewhat into the 21st Century by using Paint Shop Pro 8 as opposed to simply drawing them by hand. To try and capture a bit more motion I even rotated the vehicle layers so my graphics editor would slightly distort their edges and make them look a little blurry.
The next two frames introduce a rogue American black ops team, who decide that because the British are taking too long to execute the international termination warrant on Kam Lo, they’ll don balaclavas and take matters into their own hands. It’s a bit of silly nonsense to be honest, but most of the World’s Governments have these secret teams lurking throughout the plots of my "Mooretoons" stories. I guess I’m a big conspiracy theorist at heart.
Finally, it’s another solo shot of Cheng Fu racing towards the action. Originally I actually had the martial arts British intelligence serviceman running past the lion statue in Trafalgar Square, but changed this as I really wanted to maintain the illusion that he was leaping from rooftop to rooftop in his desperation to reach Yamamoto.

Yamamoto takes on the American Secret Service. But can the Chinese martial arts expert defeat them before Cheng Fu arrives for a rematch..?

Thursday, 25 September 2014

"MEN OF MYSTERY" Embassy Of The Fist - Part Two Post One

I included this particular scene in the story in order to try and show that Kam Lo is well aware he is a target of the British Intelligence Service surveillance, and that he has no problem in ordering the deaths of any person whom he considers a threat. He is a cold-blooded murderer. In addition I also wanted to portray Yamamoto’s character as that of a loyal and honourable assassin, but one who still has some semblance of a conscience.
The final panel is actually one of my favourites, as I actually spent ages working out its composition. This is a little sad I know, as the frame consists of Cheng Fu simply scaling a drain-pipe but it took me ages to discover a photograph of London at night with which to create such a lovely deep blue background.
Kam Lo appears certain to escape back to the safety of the Chinese Embassy. But the Triad Boss has reckoned without the interference of a second foreign covert surveillance team…

Monday, 22 September 2014

Mooretoons - Early Original "Doctor Who" Monsters

Alongside entertaining myself and friends by depicting ‘all-new’ confrontations with the Daleks, Sontarans, Ice Warriors and Zygons, I also created a fair few original monsters for my “Doctor Who” to battle. However in the beginning I was still heavily influenced by the BBC science fiction series and as a result, many of my ‘own’ adventures were based upon what I had watched on either television or VHS video.
“The Mutant Rampage”, a seven-page reimagining of the first ever Dalek story, is a good example of this. To begin with its name was actually taken from the working title of the Skaro-based television production - “The Mutants”. Whilst its plot, the tale of two races, one living in a technologically advanced city whilst the other survives on the fruits of the land, is straight out of Terry Nations’ storyline as well. Even the Canabalsans, the large jelly like inhabitants of the planet Danos in the year 3029, are little more than oversized Kaled mutants – the creatures which operate the Dalek travel machines.
Following on from this I wrote/drew “The Maddening” a simple two-page tale of the TARDIS being struck by asteroids in the time vortex causing the (first) Doctor to suffer a head injury. Upon recovering the Time Traveller becomes a homicidal maniac and attempts to murder his companions. Once again this is very similar to the two-part television adventure “The Edge of Destruction”, where the Time Lord (and to a larger extent a scissor-stabbing Susan) appears to want to harm his ‘friends’.
It therefore wasn’t until “The Treemen of Tremolius”, two-thirds of the way through my first drawing phase, that I finally created a couple of aliens I’d actually call ‘my own’; and even then they were… inspired. The first was a dragon-like creature called the Glasmhmore, a fearsome looking yet ultimately timid monster, who was possibly based upon my love of the Drashigs from the Jon Pertwee television story “Carnival of Monsters”. The second, long before Groot and Marvel Comics’ Guardians of the Galaxy motion picture, was the Treemen (and women) of Tremolius. These walking talking tree-people were almost certainly inspired by the Ent, Treebeard, following multiple viewings of the VHS video release of “The Lord of the Rings”; a 1978 animated fantasy film version of J.R. Tolkien’s famous book trilogy. Neither were terribly successful though and neither would ever make a return appearance in my “Doctor Who” Mooretoons.
However I still had plenty of other sources of inspiration for my monsters, such as toys, vegetables and even snooker players..!?!

Saturday, 20 September 2014

"MEN OF MYSTERY" Embassy Of The Fist - Part One Post Three

These final panels of Part One were written to set up a second (final) confrontation between Yamamoto and Cheng Fu for later in the story, but also to try and convey a flurry of Kung Fu moves all based upon speed of the hand. So there’s a strike, then block then double strike before a devastating kick.
The contents of the final frame were significantly scaled down in size as I wanted to show the movement of the assassin’s kick and the reeling effect it had upon Cheng Fu. In addition it really let me squeeze in the gorgeously colourful ‘London at night’ photograph I was using as the background for the scene. Yamamoto is still quite upright and static in his pose but I rotated all of his opponent’s limbs, torso and head to put across the force of the blow.
Victorious Yamamoto returns to his Master’s side. But has Cheng Fu really fallen to his death from the London rooftop..?

Friday, 19 September 2014

"MEN OF MYSTERY" Embassy Of The Fist - Part One Post Two

This posting includes my first attempt to depict a ‘flying karate kick’ and some of the ‘wider’ shots I included in order to hopefully ‘show’ some martial arts action. I actually drew a few bare foot kicks, with limited success as anatomy is not one of my strong points, before I realised that if I simply manipulated the limb using the rotate tool on Paint Shop Pro 8, then I could simply reuse the same foot over and over again and just tweak its angle for different kick attacks.

Unfortunately rotating any layer within my graphics editor does cause it to become a little blurry, and thus badly contrast with the clean pixelated look of the rest of the Mooretoons in the frame. To solve this problem I just slightly reduce the picture within the panel using the resize tool on its smart size resampling setting, and although this then gives the entire frame a slightly distorted look it does blend all the layers back together.

Although the majority of (my) super-heroes wear a standard costume, I wanted Sensei Cheng Fu to stand out a bit more during the action scenes and so decided that although he’d wear the same tunic and face mask in each adventure, I’d re-colour it for every story to ensure he contrasted with his opponent. In “Embassy Of The Fist” he was going to be predominantly surrounded by both dark coloured assailants and backgrounds so I sought out a bright green Chinese cloth weave for him.

In the next posting it is Yamamoto verses Cheng Fu, and it will be a fight to the death…

Thursday, 18 September 2014

"MEN OF MYSTERY" Embassy Of The Fist - Part One Post One

This second adventure of my "Men Of Mystery" series was written as a ‘test piece’ to see whether my Mooretoon style could do justice to an action-packed martial arts story. Greatly inspired by the likes of “Marvel” comic book titles “Master Of Kung Fu” and “Iron Fist” as well as the superb Bruce Lee motion picture masterpiece “Enter The Dragon”, I had originally intended to cram each episode with a variety of different Kung Fu stances, kicks and punches. But quickly found drawing all these poses accurately was very time consuming. In the end, rather disappointingly, I settled on just a couple of new moves, and crammed the dialogue, worryingly heavy at the best of times, with as many references to the different forms of martial arts as I could muster.
This four-parter also caused me some of the accent issues I encountered with “Burning At Baiame Cave”, as I wanted the Chinese criminals dialogue to differ in font to that of the British secret agents in order to indicate they were speaking in the Beijing dialect. Ideally I’d have liked to use a font that resembles logograms but I simply could not find such a font small and legible enough to fit within my word balloons. I also wanted to show that the deadly assassin Yamamoto, although able to speak English, had a heavy Chinese accent when he did so, so as a result whenever he spoke I applied the Cambria font.
Attacked by the very man they had hoped to ambush, the British Intelligence Service must turn to their own martial artist, Cheng Fu, to save them…

Monday, 15 September 2014

"MEN OF MYSTERY" Burning At Baiame Cave - Part Four Post Three

As endings go I must confess that this one was rather rushed. Having had an enormous build-up to this confrontation, one which basically started when Langloh betrayed Doctor Horton in episode one, I found myself quickly running out of panels and as a result the fight between Agent Unknown and Carpet Snake is disappointingly brief. However it does set the scene for a rematch...
Unfortunately both the design and drawing of Carpet Snake himself was also quite a hurried affair as at the time I was eager to get started on the next story in the series, featuring the Kung Fu master Sensei Cheng Fu. As a result Dhakken's agent isn't quite as reptilian in look as I would like, despite being based upon the characteristics of the Morelia Spilota.
In the next "Men Of Mystery" adventure, martial arts action abounds as Sensei Cheng Fu attempts to battle the Chinese Triad through the streets of London...

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Mooretoons - Early "Doctor Who" Monsters

Although I was determined to try and introduce my own cartoon creations into my “Doctor Who” comic strips, my second adventure “The Mutant Rampage” featured the large blubbery Canabalsans, the lure of using the established foes of the time traveller were irresistible to my teenage imagination. And whilst Terry Nation’s universally famous Daleks were quickly encountered by my TARDIS crew, for me, still in awe of the 1985 television story “The Two Doctors”, the alien race that was to dominate my cartoon capers had to be the Sontarans.
“Deadlock of the Daleks” was the fourth “Doctor Who” story I drew, its seven-pages so inspired by the multi-monster mash-up of the 1983 broadcast “The Five Doctors” that it introduced not only my version of the Daleks [n.b. no Davros allowed], but the cloned humanoids of the planet Sontar; albeit these were to be based upon the far larger version seen during the science fiction serial’s twenty second season.
Having turned to black ink for my drawings as a result of my blue ink ballpoint pen running out I then drew arguably one of my favourite early stories “Ode to a Sontaran”. The plot itself is rather thin with the TARDIS simply landing onboard a Sontaran spacecraft in order to rescue Barbara Wright, one of the Doctor's companions who had been abducted by the aliens during their earlier battle with the Daleks. However my drawing style remained reasonably consistent throughout, and even lead to me daring to colour the opening two parts with pencils.
I’m not entirely sure why the last monster to appear during my first foray was a Zygon. I have a great love for the old VHS (video) “Doctor Who” story “Terror of the Zygons, but that was released in 1988, a few years after I drew the six-pager “Julius Caesar”. Looking back on the black and white drawings depicting a Zygon invasion of Pompeii, I can still remember a specific evening at my Nan’s scribbling away inside each pencilled panel border. I was particularly proud of the detail I put into the Roman’s Galea (helmets) and would later come back to these sketches when drawing the sixteen-part serial “Pax Romany” twenty years later.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

"MEN OF MYSTERY" Burning At Baiame Cave - Part Four Post Two

The Rainbow Serpent took quite a while to sketch out, scan and then clean up on Paint Shop Pro 8, and I was then faced with the problem of giving the giant reptile an appropriately colourful scaly skin. I was initially tempted to simply use one of the pre-made flood-fill tools already included on the graphics editor but I felt that such an important reoccurring character warranted some additional work and effort. As a result I took a photograph of a piece of shiny Aztec-inspired patterned cloth, ‘cut out’ the shape of the huge snake from it, and then merged the two together. I liked the combination so much that I even reduced the size of one of my drawings, where Dhakken spits out the malformed Langloh, in order to incorporate more of the Rainbow Serpent in the panel.
In the final posting its Agent Unknown verses Carpet Snake and there can be only one winner…

Friday, 12 September 2014

"MEN OF MYSTERY" Burning At Baiame Cave - Part Four Post One

The final twelve panels to “Burning At Baiame Cave” are somewhat different in tone to the previous two mystically-based parts, and far closer resembles the majority of my super-hero adventures. It also shows Doctor Horton, his burns heavily bandaged by Baiame, acting as an agent of the Sky Father. Indeed, in my mind at least, his identity as an archaeologist has been ‘burnt away’ by the stomach acid of the Rainbow Serpent.
Agent Unknown’s super-power, the light from the crystal of Kunmanggur is pure ‘Sorcerer Supreme stuff’ and actually took quite a few sketches to get right.
But the Rainbow Serpent hasn't finished with the favoured of the Creator God yet, and indeed decides to create an agent of his own...

Thursday, 11 September 2014

"MEN OF MYSTERY" Burning At Baiame Cave - Part Three Post Three

This series of panels predominantly utilises thought boxes instead of my usual speech bubbles, but still sticks to my usual ‘dialogue sandwich’ format. The skeletons are an old pose I created way back in May 2008 for an Undead Pirate adventure entitled “The Bones Of Charles Vane”. In order to try and show Doctor Horton being burnt by the Rainbow Serpent’s stomach acid I flood-filled his face and clothes with a mottled red/brown pattern.
With hindsight I’m not entirely sure the flow of the action in the last few panels is really that clear as one minute the archaeologist is inside the giant reptile’s belly and then he’s stood in front of the Sky Father, back in the Dreaming. What I was hoping to portray was that as soon as Doctor Horton took hold of the jewel inside the Rainbow Serpent, he was transported back to Baiame. As a result, having tinkered with the disappointingly dark heavy rain effect I've used on some of the earlier panels, I've also subsequently added a minor 'Bink sound effect’ to this teleportation sequence.
In the final episode of this adventure, Doctor Horton is transformed into the agent of the Sky Father and faces the man who caused his ‘transformational’ journey to occur…

Mooretoons - Comic-Reading Friendly Mirror Site

Having sought and received some feedback from websites such as DeviantART, the Webcomic List and Comics Fury, I plan to make a few changes to the layout of this blog. These’ll take a few days to implement but once in place will hopefully make it easier for you to read my cartoon stories without both my comments and copyright getting too much in the way. In addition to a change in format and larger cartoon panels (just by clicking on them) I’ll be running a more comic-reading friendly format over at http://moorteoons.thecomicseries.com/.
This website is specifically designed to follow comic strips on the web but probably not so accessible if you want to follow my thinking behind why I drew something a particular way. As a result I don’t plan to post most of my musings onto the webcomic. In addition, this blog will still be where I’ll be (hopefully) daily posting story panels. Only once I have posted a full episode will I copy the images over to the comic series website.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

"MEN OF MYSTERY" Burning At Baiame Cave - Part Three Post Two

I must confess to having been rather disappointed with how some of these panels initially turned out. The original superimposed heavy rain effect detracted quite a bit from the sudden demise of Miss Kyle and the first (supposedly colourful) appearance of Dhakken, the Rainbow Serpent. As a result I subsequently replaced the rainfall filter with this far lighter layer making it far easier to see what is taking place within the panels.
As I’ve mentioned before I wanted to do some things a little differently with the “Men Of Mystery” series, so instead of showing Doctor Horton simply being swallowed by the Rainbow Serpent, I’ve tried in the final panel to show his ‘journey’ down the reptile’s throat. In order to try and do this I’ve even utilised an actual photograph of the inside of a stomach as the background.
Eaten alive by the Rainbow Serpent, Doctor Horton faces a slow painful death. But instead of this being his end, could it actually be the beginning of something heroic..?

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

"MEN OF MYSTERY" Burning At Baiame Cave - Part Three Post One

I utilised the scaling ability of Paint Shop Pro 8 for the opening panel to Part Three of “Burning At Baiame Cave” in order to try and ‘squeeze’ in more character movement within the single panel; as well as spotlight the cute little marsupial in the background by DeviantART(ist) Sharkaholic. Resizing my cartoons can actually take a considerable amount of time to ‘get right’ as I find the graphics editor really only works best when the image is a single layer image. As a result I have to position my characters appropriately without a frame and then save the scene as a bitmap before using the programme’s smart size feature upon it. As a result I often find I have to manipulate the original sized composition a couple of times as well as find the right percentage to reduce the image, before I’m finally satisfied the panel conveys all the action I want it to.

The final panel of this posting superimposes an actual photograph of rainfall upon the scene in order to try and show the sudden torrential downpour the Rainbow Serpent has created with his temper. My first attempt at this wasn't that successful as I made it just a little too dark trying to show the detail of the rain and as a result it was quite hard to see what is going on, especially within the printed version of the story. This version is much lighter.
Desperate to reach the top of Mount Yengo, Doctor Horton and Miss Kyle must battle more than heavy rain as something sinister slithers beneath the very ground upon which they stand…  

Monday, 8 September 2014

"MEN OF MYSTERY" Burning At Baiame Cave - Part Two Post Three

Originally I did plan for these panels to use photographs of the landscape surrounding Mount Yengo. But as the characters were still firmly based within the spirit world I eventually utilized a superb piece of aboriginal-inspired art by Sharkaholic on the DeviantART website. A link to the original posting can be found here: http://melemel.deviantart.com/#/art/aboriginal-art-15474419?hf=1. This mural fitted my needs perfectly as not only did it show a mountainous landscape with trees and undergrowth, but also contained some beautifully drawn Australian animals; a few of which I tried to incorporate in my panels, peering out at the wandering archaeologists.

Like Baiame, Birrahgnooloo was inspired by some original aboriginal paintings, and coloured with a similar palette to the Sky Father in order to tie-them together.
In the next part Doctor Horton and Miss Kyle must run the gauntlet of the Rainbow Serpent himself or be swallowed alive... 

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Mooretoons - The Inspiration and The Beginning

The inspirational ‘light bulb’ moment for me, when I first decided to start trying to write and draw comic book stories was in 1985, sometime after the rental release of the BBC Video “Doctor Who: The Seeds of Death”. Back then, still a young teenager, I was obsessed with the time-travelling BBC television series and had been imagining a slew of adventures whilst playing the video game cartridge “Bezerk” for the Atari Video Computer System. Frustrated by being unable to record the exploits of my pixelated Timelord, and having created an additional mythology whilst pretending my collection of Kenner “Star Wars” action figures were really “Doctor Who” characters, I started to scribble down the highlights of my battles with Daleks, Cybermen and Ice Warriors. From here “Mooretoons” were born…

“Doctor Who and London Nights Of Terror” was a four-page adventure drawn ‘right off the cuff’ which, despite its title, only concerned itself with the First Doctor spending a single night on the streets of London in 1965. It introduced the television series’ original TARDIS crew of Susan Foreman, Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright, as well as the stranded Ice Warrior called Catus. Drawn with a blue ink ballpoint pen, the quality of the artwork is increasingly erratic throughout the story as I started to development my own style. Indeed, at times the look is considerably different from my current method, as the mouth is actually visible beneath the enormous nose and the hands have no fingers, just some scratch-lines to represent digits. However it already contains some of the elements which dominate my cartoons’ approach today, such as the closely set eyes, the wrinkles and the side-on waist-level viewpoint.
I’m not sure how long it took to sketch the four pages. I would not have thought too long as most panels lack any sort of a background, even those set within the TARDIS. What I do know though is that the finished product motivated me to quickly draw a second seven-page adventure, and then another and another, until, after a few years, I had built up quite a collection of original “Doctor Who” stories covering the wanderings of the first three incarnations of the Doctor…

Saturday, 6 September 2014

"MEN OF MYSTERY" Burning At Baiame Cave - Part Two Post Two

One of the things I do find hard to find are good Fonts to use within my dialogue boxes. I always like to use something 'different' when a person speaks with an accent different to the standard 'Arial font' English tongue I imagine they use. Unfortunately legible minimalist fonts which allow me to squeeze two-three lines of reasonably long dialogue into one of my word balloons are difficult to identify on the free font websites, and I've lost loads of hours trawling through their libraries for the odd font I can use. Fortunately for Baiame, whose voice I imagine to be something akin to the whistling of the wind, I went for the rather bizarre 'Bionic Comic' font.

In addition this posting shows one of my more recent attempts to use one of the distortion effects within Paint Shop Pro. Although simple enough, albeit a little pixelated, the composition of the frame actually took a long time to 'get right' as I needed the three main characters to all be 'in panel'.
In the final posting of Episode Two, Doctor Horton and Miss Kyle come face to face with Birrahgnooloo, the wife of the Sky Father, and she doesn't bring good tidings for the archaeologists…

Friday, 5 September 2014

"MEN OF MYSTERY" Burning At Baiame Cave - Part Two Post One

As much of “Burning At Baiame Cave” actually takes place within The Dreaming I really wanted to try and show what a colourful and magical place it is. I’ve therefore utilised a number of photographs of aboriginal art as the background for my panels, in an effort to try and capture the mystic feel of the impressively detailed environments imagined by legendary artists Steve Ditko and Gene Colan in the “Doctor Strange” Marvel Comics of the late Sixties.

But will Doctor Horton and Miss Kyle survive their time with the Sky Father Baiame? Find out just why the Creator God has rescued the pair in the next posting...

Thursday, 4 September 2014

"MEN OF MYSTERY" Burning At Baiame Cave - Part One Post Three

One of the things my cartoon style does not allow for are character’s looking straight forward (right out of the page towards the reader). The next four panels were an attempt to break that rule, and were reasonably successful. Certainly the ‘face-on’ look to Baiame provides the Sky Father with a very different look to how I normally draw my figures. As I’ve said before the whole purpose behind creating the “Men Of Mystery” series was so I could do something a little different from my usual scribblings.

Baiame’s appearance was inspired by some of the surviving Aboriginal cave art which has been interpreted as representing the Creator God. Coupled with his ‘flat look’ I thought this really made him look especially odd and ‘jar’ with the ‘normal’ world I like to depict in my carton strips.
Will Doctor Horton and Miss Kyle burn to death in the cave along with the Sky Father? Find out in Part Two...

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

"MEN OF MYSTERY" Burning At Baiame Cave - Part One Post Two

Drawn in November last year, these opening panels of “Burning At Baiame Cave” actually took far longer than normal to ‘get right’ despite depicting a straightforward ‘talky’ scene. The main problem was I initially drew the excavation’s moneyman, later revealed to be called Langloh, with a rather large moustache. Having completed these panels I then realised that not only did the character’s facial hair clash with the goatee of Doctor Horton, but that Langloh simply looked plain silly. As a result I redesigned him and then had to replace my earlier drawings of him in the previous seven panels. 

In addition the first few frames actually use some photographs of the Baiame Cave site in Australia as the background. When the expedition move into the lost cave however, I placed my drawings up against a picture of a crystal cave, in order to try and give the location a more unique appearance and tie-in better with the idea of it being the hidden location of a large gemstone.
In the next four panels to be posted Doctor Horton will face the Sky Father himself, and only one will walk away from the encounter unharmed…

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

"MEN OF MYSTERY" Burning At Baiame Cave - Part One Post One

With such a wealth of material already drawn over the past three decades I was somewhat at a loss as to what adventure to start posting first, and what would look good over the next few weeks to show what "Mooretoons" are really all about.
Quality was also an issue. It may be that at some point I post scans of my old hand-drawings but they aren't all that great in many cases, and those stories I did think were entertaining I've since retold using either updated computer-enhanced characters or incorporated as part of totally new adventures. As a result I figured something recent would probably be the best place to begin. But what subject matter...?
Super-heroes seems like a good bet, as they appear to be especially popular at the moment, and as I'm currently working on my seventh season of "Alternate Heroes" tales I've certainly got plenty to post; not counting four years worth of "Heroes Of Godwinson" stuff too. However I've very recently sent one of these stories, an eight-pager, to a fellow blogger and although fun, I felt it necessary to write out a 'story so far' introduction for him as part of the PDF. I don't really want to do that here and now so below is the first post of the three it'll take to cover Part One of "Burning At Baiame Cave".

This is the opening tale of "Men Of Mystery", a series I started to write and draw last year, and which I'm only now currently finishing off. Interestingly, to me at least, I created this particular collection of stories to try and do something different with my trusty "Mooretoons" formula. So as a result some of the plots are a little weirder and the movement of the characters a little more exaggerated as I try and breathe some dynamic life into some of the panels.
Hopefully the adventures of Doctor Horton will hook you and you'll be back for more. I'll post up another four panels tomorrow...

The Purpose Of This Blog - What Mooretoons Are All About

For the past thirty or so years I have been drawing Mooretoons...
To begin with they were little more than a teenage boys rough ink scribblings that were penned as I went, using blue, black or red biros. Numerous panels were crammed together on a single page and the dialogue was hastily written, poorly spelt and hard to read.
Nonetheless it gave me the opportunity to depict the Earth being frequently saved from alien invasion by a certain time-traveller in a blue box and the super-hero Campaign continually battling such notable baddies as Deaf Woman, Captain Sumo and The Sword.
For the next ten years my style developed and stabilised into pretty much what you see today, but with the introduction of a personal computer I was able to hand draw my characters on pre-printed panel layouts, have my text neatly printed inside respectable-looking bubble balloons and introduce colour sound effects. There was even the odd partially coloured story.
As a result the aliens of Beorge were able to plot the adventures of their Earth Timeman to ensure the smooth passage of time, the British Police Service established a covert department designed to thwart and hide any alien incursions, and in the near future a spaceship was launched to establish whether there was a tenth planet at the far edge of our solar system. Oh... and in the far future the Human race fought squidgy tentacled aliens for oxygen-rich planets.
For the last decade however things have got really busy, as although all my characters and props are still hand-drawn, they are now scanned into Paint Shop Pro, cleaned up, coloured and all placed on the computer. As a result a lot of the movement and dynamism of my earlier drawings has been lost and replaced with relatively static chest height up panels. But, in my opinion at least, the quality of my comic images these days are far more consistent and colourful than their predecessors ever knew.
Certainly without the change in technology I would not have been so prodigious in my output, and therefore the ancient Romany Empire would not have unleashed a horde of gibberlings upon the ancient world in "Pax Romany", the World governments created a legion of super-heroes and villains in "Alternate Heroes" and "Heroes Of Godwinson", the saviour of souls defeated numerous risings of the Undead in "Ermin Meonstoke" and the fourth agent of Beorge ultimately sacrificed himself in Nineteenth Century New Zealand in order to save the Earth in "The Rambler".
What in the World am I talking about? Well hopefully over the next few years or so you'll find out...