October 2013 was a keystone month for me.
Less than twelve months after returning, seriously, to the illustration and creative fray I was urged, by Owen Michael Johnson, to take a table at the Lakes Comic Art Festival in my home county of Cumbria.
Based on the more ‘art’ driven European festivals, such as Angeloume, I found myself rubbing shoulders with the likes of Jose Munoz, David Lloyd and Bryan Talbot, and by Christmas had been offered space in David Lloyd’s Aces Weekly Volume 9, in the following February.
With a remit that allowed almost total freedom to create a seven week story arc on any subject, within in any genre and in any style, I chose a safe option, and imagined a character who might have fulfilled the early, pulp driven, escapades of one of my favourite Lloyd creations – Night Raven.
Thus was born – Bullhawk!
Bullhawk – The Alleyman, ran a self contained, 24 page course, introducing a plethora of lead and supporting characters, in an illustrative style inspired by 1920s bronze figurines: an approach which, on the whole, was well received. A follow up tale – Bullhawk – Song of the Somme is in preparation.
Subsequently, I was asked by David to submit another story, for Volume 12. I accepted the honour gladly, and produced a somewhat angst ridden opus, reflecting on my relationship with my family, after the death of my father. The 40 plus pages of Scars runs across Volume 12 and 13 of Aces Weekly and proved to be one of the most cathartic, and empowering projects I have yet produced.
As I write this, I am producing art for yet another story for Aces Volume 19.
The subject matter of The Bridge lies somewhere between the dark mood of Bullhawk, and the internalised ruminations of Scars, and I can only thank David Lloyd for allowing me into his fold to tell the tale.