Friday, 19 September 2014

Good words for Long Gone Don from UtterBiblio!


Dan over at Utterbiblio very kindly took the time to give Don a thumbs up review earlier this week, and we wanted to share it with you! You can read the full review HERE, just scroll down until you see the Don cover. Many thanks, Dan!

Lorenzo!

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

INCREDIBLE colour versions of my robots by Etienne St-Laurent - PART ONE!

Remember THESE AMAZING COLOUR VERSIONS  of my concept cars from last month? Well, the exceptionally talented artist behind them, Etienne St-Laurent, is back with some astounding colour work on my Wooden Robots...


In fact, these are so good, I'm going to split them into two posts, with part 2 coming next week. A huge thanks to Etienne for working his magic over my lineart and creating something truly new in the process. Oh, and you can see my original lineart below!

Lorenzo!

Monday, 15 September 2014

The Etheringtons Live @ Cheltenham Festival - Tickets available NOW!


If you are free and up for some fun, Lorenzo and I will be travelling to Cheltenham for the annual Literature festival on the 4th October to perform our live show shenanigans in conjunction with the mighty Phoenix Comic, and generally have a hoot.


















For those of you unfamiliar with Cheltenham, is a cracking festival, with a huge array of talented writers and speakers, comedians and performers, for adults and children alike. Lots to see, lots to do, lots of inspiration for young minds and old. And they have a rather tasty green room for the attendees too...

Even more awesome than free cake (!) is the fact that this festival will mark our very first public signing session for Long Gone Don. Everyone present will be able to get their copies of the Monstrous Underworld, and Von Doogan's first amazing puzzle adventure, sketched and signed by us both. WHOOP!
















And if that's not a reason to get out of bed and travel to Gloucestershire, then I don't know what is.

Hope to see you on the 4th of October! Tickets are selling fast but there are still some available HERE!

Friday, 12 September 2014

Fine review for Long Gone Don on Page45.com!


Those good folks over at the awesome Page45 independant comic emporium have taken the time to write a great review for Long Gone Don. You can read the full review HERE (scroll down until you see the Don cover) and you can buy Don through the page 45 store right HERE.

Lorenzo!

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Brand New Release! Let's Make Comics - OUT NOW!


It's been a busy production year for us Etheringtons, with the release of the first Von Doogan and Long Gone Don graphic adventures, new book covers from Lorenzo and dozens of comic stories all over the place (not to mention all the projects we CAN'T yet talk about).

But now we're another exciting new book title to announce, and this time for our youngest readers.

Today sees the release of Let's Make Comics, published by Oxford University Press as part of their Reading Tree inFact range. It has been written by me and illustrated by the ever-fantastic Zak Simmonds-Hurn.






















This colourful fun-filled guide was created to give younger readers, aged 4-7, a great introduction to making and creating a comic strip story. Through ten easy-to-digest chapters we cover the basics from Bright Ideas to Bubbles, from Scribbling to Sound Effects, and every page is lovingly brought to life by Zak's fantastic art ... and our very own superhero bear, Captain POW!

We'll be sharing more samples and news about the book later this month, but if you've a young son, daughter, nephew, niece, brother or sister who loves to draw and write, THIS little book holds the key to opening their minds to the excitement of comics. And that's no bad thing!

You can order individual copies via Amazon, and a mixed pack for your school (including five other amazing books!) via the OUP site HERE!

- Robin

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Friday, 5 September 2014

New book cover with art by Lorenzo


The excellent novel The Boundless was released yesterday, and it comes wrapped in a brand new cover by yours truly. This is one of the last few book covers I completed before stopping undertaking such work to focus on my own series. I have one more book cover to show you, but it's a bit of a biggie, and is thus protected by an epic non disclosure agreement at the moment, so I can't say any more just yet!

For now, here's some pics of the colour variations the Boundless cover went through, and the final design...

Lorenzo!


Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Friday, 29 August 2014

Making Long Gone Don: Creating an Underworld - part 2


Happy Friday to you all!  Today we present our final post of Long Gone Don month.  We've been celebrating the release of our latest graphic novel adventure with a host of posts looking at the art and story and work behind Book 1: The Monstrous Underworld.

And it's to the Underworld itself we now return.  Last week, in THIS feature we looked at our early processes for designing our latest cartoon Universe.  Today, in our final behind-the-scenes post, we take a further delve into the environments and settings of our epic ongoing adventure, and discover why contrast is so important in comics.

Let's start by taking a look at Corpse City's prison and a large courtyard area. Oh, and a nice big fight ... because ... well ... why not?



You'll notice the use of stone, slate, blue hues and grey; colours that are, in fact, reflected in the uniforms of the City's army, as seen in that great big fight (I knew there was a reason we included it!).  These colours are solid, regal, dependable. The buildings are rooted, they are impervious to change.  Corpse City needed to feel like it was built to withstand an invasion, but it also needed to feel a little self-important.  The buildings are always tall, imposing structures. The designs utilise Renaissance architectural details to make everything that little bit more beautiful and clean than the city's counterpart, the slums.

Speaking of which, let's visit those slums, and specifically take a peek at an exterior and interior shot of The Demon Drink, our heroes headquarters.



We wanted warmth to exude from every corner of this tavern and the library beneath. Lorenzo used wood, straw and soft materials in abundance to make the building feel as inviting as possible.  This is a safe home for Don.  A place he can catch his breath.  In contrast to the cool solidity of Spode's City, the Demon Drink is a reprieve from the madness of the underworld.  But that doesn't stop the odd brawl from breaking out when no one's looking.










Nice. We do love a good dust-up.

We hope you've enjoyed our month of exclusives.  There are more releases on the horizon, and live events and exciting news, so stay tuned for all the fun.

And in the meantime, if you haven't already done so, rush out and buy a copy of LONG GONE DON, the adventure that Forbidden Planet reviewed as:

"The Etherington Brothers when they’re really on form. There’s so much to enjoy in Don, a manic energy ... loads of quick-fire dialogue ... great action, great art..."

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Long Gone Don Model sheets!

Time for part TEN of Long Gone Don month! Today we're looking at some of the model sheets I created for Lewd, Viktor and Spode!

Lorenzo!



Friday, 22 August 2014

Making Long Gone Don: Creating an Underworld - part 1!


Long Gone Don: The Monstrous Underworld month continues!  Today, a little World Building. Nothing too ambitious then...

Very early in the LGD creative process, Lorenzo and I sat down to discuss what we wanted the land of Broilerdoom to look like, to feel like ... even to smell like.  As with all our books, the adventures of Don and his best friend Castanet had to take place in a living, breathing universe.  The land, though fantastical, needed to be constructed on the solid foundations of a sort of pseudo-reality.  Gravity works the same, buildings stand upright, the citizens have jobs and homes and worries and dreams.  The fact that talking crows and giant worm monsters also live there is almost beside the point; Broilerdoom, and it's capital Corpse City, had to feel like they were entirely possible.

And so, by combining architectural styles from across the world and across the span of human history, Lorenzo got to work. With the heat on his junior alchemy set turned all the way to 'HOT SAUCE', he began to bring the world to life in eye-popping detail.


But architectural style is only one aspect of the creative process.  Colour plays a major part in our design approach, and never more so than in defining the Krapookerville Slums, where our heroes eventually find a home.

We wanted to use a sort of twisted adobe style for the majority of buildings in this sector, reflecting the simple lives of the inhabitants. But their outlook on life is amusing and positive, and so Lorenzo used a vibrant palette, with pinks and yellows and blues. He then peppered the whole design with bright green plant life.




















































Scale was another important consideration. How big was the city? How many people lived there? Now, we don't like to paint ourselves into a corner, so although we actually feature a map of Corpse City in the first book (see below) we made sure that the scale of the drawing was so small that it left a LOT for us to discover in future adventures!  And then of course there's everything outside the city walls ...



Ripley's organic home (centred above) and the walls separating the slums from the city (directly above) inspire drastically different feelings. One is warm and one cold. One welcoming. One intimidating. This sort of contrast is used throughout our world design process.  It might seem obvious, but for a fictional city to truly work in the mind of a reader, you need to be able to easily differentiate between the realms. It can be as subtle as the choice of curtains in a window or as visceral as piles and piles of skeletons lying about the place, but each area should feel new, distinct and always exciting.

We'll have more soon, when we delve further into the art of world building!

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

36 CASTANETS!

Remember when I showed you how to draw Castanet HERE? well, today is part 8 of Long Gone Don month, and I thought I'd share a few more poses for you to have a go at!

Lorenzo!