Beat Writer's Block by placing your story in a ‪‎Science Fiction‬ universe...

Picture: Comic art from Terminal Dark graphic novel
Picture: Comic art from Terminal Dark graphic novel

Phillip K Dick, author of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, summed up the power of sci-fi when he described it as "the genre of ideas". I believe that science fiction, more than any other genre, allows an author to explore absolutely any aspect of any idea in any way they see fit. It does this because it gives us license to create the perfect universe, tailored to the specific needs of our story, with no compromises. The idea behind Terminal Dark was to write a story exploring where the misuse of emerging technologies might take society. It's a story that required a world with cultural, political, and technological aspects that don't yet exist. It could only have been a science fiction novel, because sci-fi removes all obstacles to expressing your ideas. And the idea, for me, really is more important than anything. Some authors focus on character, others plot; for me, the idea drives it all, dictating plot, characters, mood, and everything else. A great idea can change the world. So if you've got an idea for a story, but your struggling with the nuts and bolts of writing it, consider creating a customized universe within which you can express that idea in a more succinct, and direct way. The results could surprise you. And if you do, come back and tell me how it went; I'd love to hear about it, and I'm happy to give feedback. You can leave a comment here, or email me on the Contact page.


Peace & love to you :)



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Graphic Novels: Why do the covers often look so much better than what’s inside?

When I browse the shelves of a comic book store, looking for something new and different to read, I scan them fast. My eyes only stop moving when they hit a cover so beautifully illustrated that I just have to grab the book and look inside. I’m not talking about any kind of beautiful; what leaps off the shelf at me is the kind of atmospheric artwork that looks like traditional painting. When I see that, I immediately flip the book open. And, 9 times out of 10, my heart sinks. Because what’s inside isn’t more pages of that fully-painted art. Instead, it’s the conventional inked lines we’re used to. Great work, often rendered beautifully by very talented artists. But it’s not like the painting on the cover.


There have been exceptions: Early Dave McKean (Violent Cases, Arkham Asylum). Some of Simon Bisley’s work. The stunning Spawn: Architects of Fear (artwork by Aleksei Briclot). But aside from these few, it’s hard to think of examples of books where the actual pages live up to the promise of that gorgeously rendered cover art. So that became my goal: To make a graphic novel that grabs you with the cover, then matches - or surpasses - that quality of artwork with every one of its 124 pages.


At some point, as I laboured like a madman, I began to realise why there are so few fully-painted graphic novels; they take forever to do! The average comic book artist can pencil 1 or 2 pages of high quality art per day, which they usually hand off to an inker to complete. Depending on the complexity of the pages, painting can take much, much longer. So if you ever decide to make a graphic novel, and are tempted to render every page in that same lavish, painterly cover-art style…My advice is ‘Don’t’. Be kind to yourself and pencil it instead.


But, since I went ahead and tried to make each page as visually appealing as the cover, maybe you can tell me: Have I succeeded…?

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Comic art: Future London cityscape

Hi sci fi fans! As promised in my previous post, here's a peek at some more artwork from the dystopian London of 2093 AD: The City of Westminster, where politicians conspire with corporate CEO's, and shady deals are made that shape the lives of millions. I wanted to include some landmarks from present day London in these future cityscapes, to make them feel more real. It's also a great shorthand for establishing geography and scale. In this pic, you can see Big Ben and the London Eye. If you know England's capital, you'll spot futuristic versions of many real London locations peppered throughout the book! My personal favorite is the macabre nod to Victorian era Whitechapel, and the Jack the Ripper murders. Stay tuned for more artwork coming soon - And If you like this, check out the graphic novel, available on Amazon kindle: Amazon even lets you download a free preview! Health and happiness to you!


Concept art for the derelict Lower London area

Hi #scifi fans! I have a little peek behind the scenes for you today. This is an early concept I did for one of the many locations in Terminal Dark. Those of you who've already read the graphic novel will probably recognize that this is Lower London; a derelict borough, now populated only by criminal elements and the homeless. Though the look of Lower London has since evolved as the script was refined, I still think this captures the essence of the mood and atmosphere I wanted to convey. From the muted color palette, featuring hints of toxic green, to the rusting industrial architecture shrouded in thick smog, I hope it presents a suitably stark contrast to the luxurious penthouses of Westminster - But that's a subject for another blog post! Thank you for your time! Stay tuned for more artwork coming soon - And If you like this, be sure to check out the graphic novel, now available on Amazon kindle. Health and happiness to you!


Greetings, science fiction / graphic novel readers, and welcome to The Dark...

Hi there, fellow sci-fi fans! I'm Dave, and I'd like to talk with you about the future. In fact, if you'll spare a little of your time, I can show you exactly how the future is going to unfold...

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