Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Adaptation Pt. 2

There's an interview with myself and Scott Tipton(writer) over at www.comicbookresources.com
where we chat some more about the upcoming 'Not Fade Away' adaptation. Give it a read if so inclined.
Tis the season!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


So I'm knee deep onto the first issue of Not Fade Away, working on page 18 as we type. It's a fairly nondescript page(illustration-wise) featuring a section of a conversation between Wes and Illyria. The real challenge for me so far on this book has been trying to stage the action in a somewhat original way. The episode itself is so well crafted that the angles and shots employed by the director(Jeff Bell) for any given scenario tend to be the best and most obvious choices in each instance. So I'm left with the question, do I use the same shot used in the episode, or try and come up with my own method for staging the scene? How much should I tinker, if at all? I'd certainly rather draw each piece using my own storytelling and pacing, but I still have to serve the script and intent of the writers. Also, I'm sure the readers of the book aren't going to simply want a shot by shot reconstruction of the episode(which isn't really a legitimate concern in this instance, since we'd need a lot more than three issues to pull that off), but that said there are certain beats and images from the episode that you most certainly have to hit.
The settings have to remain the same as the episode, since the locations aren't changing and neither is what happens.
So where I'm finding that I can express myself most is in the shot choice and pacing on any given page. To (literally)illustrate my point: Panel 1 on this page was described thusly in the script:

Illyria touches her bandage while Wes approaches her with another.

1. ILLYRIA: Then why—

2. WESLEY: Don't I go off and have one last perfect day? Smell the flowers, or sky-dive, or have a go with Mistress Spanks-A-Lot... or whatever the hell one is supposed to do in this situation.

3. ILLYRIA: Mistress Who?

In the episode, we see Wes approach Illyria as she sits on the bed, the camera behind Wes so we can see her front and his back.
I thought that maybe it would be cool to see the expression on Wes' face as he speaks, and Illyria's reaction, as opposed to just Illyria's face, so I shot it from over Illyria's shoulder.

The next panel description reads:

Wes applies another bandage to Illlyria.

4. WESLEY: There is no perfect day for me, Illyria. There is no sunset or painting or finely-aged scotch that's going to sum up my life and make tonight any... There is nothing that I want.

5. ILLYRIA: You want to be with Fred.

In this instance, I stuck pretty much with the kind of shot employed in the episode, as we need that close up of Wes as he delivers such a heart-breaking line. No room for me to mess around with this, nor did I want to. The one thing I did was to widen the shot to include Illyria's noggin.

Wesley has finished with Illyria, and is wiping his hands on a hand towel. Illyria is looking down as she speaks.

6. WESLEY: Yes. Yes, that's where I'd be if I could.

7. ILLYRIA: I could assume her shape, make her come alive again this once for you…but you would never ask me to.

In the episode, we have fairly wide medium shot of both Wes and Illyria as they converse, as well as intermittent close ups on Illyria . I chose however to focus more on Illyria's downcast, cold expression(as well as drawing it from a slightly different angle to increase the sadness a little)as she makes the offer she knows Wes won't accept. Once we continue to establish Wesley's proximity to her by showing his hands in the foreground our staging is fine. I wanted the emphasis here to be Illyria as opposed to the both of them.

Wesley speaks to Illyria kindly while Illyria touches her bandaged neck.

8. WESLEY: The first lesson a watcher learns is to separate truth from illusion. Because in the world of magics, it's the hardest thing to do. The truth is that Fred is gone. To pretend anything else would be a lie. And since I don't actually intend to die tonight, I won't accept a lie. Is it better?

9. ILLYRIA: It's better.

In the episode, Wesley has stepped away from Illyria slightly as he delivers this speech, and the camera focuses on him. I liked the idea of having Wes lean in and say it softly to her in a warm way, a little more affectionately. I want to be able to feel the tension between the characters.

So that's a few examples of how I'm trying to bring a little of my own personality to the proceedings. To be honest on this particular page I changed things up quite a bit, as I didn't think it was making anything less powerful than it had been in the ep. With most pages I can play around with two or three panels, and otherwise stick fairly rigorously with the shots from the episode. On one or two occasions I was loathe to change anything at all because it was all shot so perfectly, maybe just pulling the camera back to incorporate more of the setting, or slightly changing the acting or some such.
Its a tricky process, and lord knows how difficult it is for Scott to try and break such a dense episode down and then squeeze everything into 60-odd pages, while all the time letting the right scenes breathe and in some instances(this is where the real fun begins) extending and embelishing. I can't wait for some of the stuff he has planned, where we delve that little bit deeper into some particularly favoured scenes...

Anyhoo, sorry about the post being so long-winded, thought it might be interesting for folks out there to have a little window into the proceedings.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Angel: Not Fade Away

So my next book is indeed an adaptation of the amazing, nay, sacred, final episode of Angel.
The original script was by Jeffrey Bell and Joss Whedon, and is being adapted for comics by uber-scribe Scott Tipton(who certainly knows his way around an Angel script). Joining me on the art chores as colourist is the very talented(and Irish!) newcomer, CiarĂ¡n Lucas. We hope to knock your socks off.
Do we hope to expand upon certain scenes that left the viewers gagging for more?
You bet yer sweet bippy we do. I'd hate to do something like this that was purely a straight re-telling of the episode. So worry not, we'll try and squeeze whatever extra content we can in there! Its a very dense episode, so we'll only have a limited amount of instances to elaborate on existing scenes, but we'll do our darndest to make those instances well worth it.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

How About Now?

Chris has given me permission to announce the new book. I think people will probably get it from the full version of this cover.
Big hint: It is indeed an episode adaptation. That said, there's only one episode I would consider adapting, and this is it.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The God-King is Pissed

So here's our favourite smurf, and she don't look best pleased. Also, she appears not to be a giant armoured squid-creature.
Which is a plus.
This is a detail of one of the covers for my upcoming Angel Mini-series:
'Illyria: Before the Aftermath'

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Dublin Comic Con: Aftermath

Con was great; really enjoyed meeting everybody again and getting our fun on. Met amazing proper artists like Tommy Lee Edwards, jaysis can that guy draw. Spent most of the two days paneling, sketching and drawing with fellow IDW Micks Thompson and Nick Roche, and of course the legendary Declan 'Widescreen' Shalvey. Met loads've people into Angel and the like, knocked out some decent sketches. Mostly of Hal Jordan for some reason, but I sure ain't complaining. The lady fans like their Spike drawings but after the fiftieth-odd one they do start to take their toll...
Speaking of sketches, if anybody who got one could scan it in and send it to me here at stephen@moondog.cc that'd be super, ta!

So I've started on my next book, an Angel mini-series for IDW. FINALLY I get to draw badass Wesley, my personal favourite.
Three issues, and then, who knows...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Dublin City Comic Con 2008 + Angel 14

Myself, Thompson, Nick Roche and Dec Shalvey will all be guests at this years Dublin City Comic Con in Smithfield this weekend, along with actual comic stars like Dan Slott, Adi Granov, Olivier Coipel, Tommy Lee Edwards and many others. If you're in the neighbourhood ye should stick yer heads in and help us give Dec a hard time.
Linky: www.dublincitycomiccon.com

Also, the final issue in my arc on After The Fall is out today, hope you guys pick it up and dig it. I loved working with Brian on the comic of my favourite show of all time, and can't wait to get going on our next book together.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Details Are Sketchy

Hey sports fans,
Here are a couple of recent Angel related sketches. I recently worked on a run of alternate covers for the current Angel series. The concepts for these covers were chosen by members of the Slayalive.com fansite(hell of a site). Each month Slayalive ran a contest to see who could conjure up the best cover concepts, with the winning concept being voted on by the members of the site. I'd then get sent the winning concept and try to do it justice through artistic execution(I assume whenever I eventually croke it'll be as a result of artistic execution...). Some of the concepts were really strong, and we produced some pretty decent covers between us. Anyhoo, the winners of the each cover competition were supposed to have their names immortalised in the artwork of the covers themselves. Through circumstances beyond anybody's control, a few of the winners' names got left out of their respective covers. So I tried to make it up to them by offering to draw an original sketch for each slighted person. Here are two of these sketches as requested by Erin Waggoner(Willow) and Alan Mulqueen(Illyria).

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Done and...Dusted?

Hey. Finished up the art on my last issue of Angel: After The Fall last week and the feeling is bittersweet. This is a book that I'd been dying to get onto for ages, and now that my part has ended I miss it already. Wait'll you guys read issues 13 and 14, holy-moley. The sucktacular thing is that I'd had the inside scoop, I'd been privy to the the inner workings of 2 madmen, Brian Lynch and Joss Whedon, and now they've stopped sending me the scripts and I've no fricking idea what happens in the final arc! Aaargh.
Still, I'm incredibly grateful to Chris and Brian for giving me a shot at one of my dream projects, I had the best time.
So what's next? Well lets just say myself and Brian's collaborations are only just beginning, the book coming next from us...
Well, it's bad-ass.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Cut To The Chase

Issue 12 of Angel was released last week and seemed to go down pretty well with the fans. Lots of 'best issue yet' etc. I'm under no illusions, this is down to the incredible revelations in the story this month, but a decent amount of people seemed to dig the artwork too, which is a huge relief. I'm so delighted that I got to draw this particular arc because it features the return of the best female Angel character IMO, the one, the original Cordelia Chase.
Sigh, how I love her so...
Here are a couple sample pages from the issue showcasing the sassy lassy.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Greetings From Moonbase 1

So here I am, married and mortgaged up to the eyeballs. That was sudden...
The wedding was a huge success, everybody had a great day, especially myself and Jackie. The honeymoon in Rome was amazing, everywhere you look the architecture and design are simply awe-inspiring. I loved it. Settled into the new house and studio now properly, well into work on Angel: After The Fall issue 14. I love this book. Its incredibly well written by Brian Lynch and Joss Whedon, and we're actually shaping the events that follow the classic 'Not Fade Away'. Issue 14 is my last(of three), but it looks like I'll be working with Brian again very soon. Which suits me down to the ground.
As for the image here? These are the credits for my Angel issues. Yep, Whedon and Mooney, together for the first(and probably only) time, because nobody demanded it. At least I can die happy now.
Angel 12 lands in the shops tomorrow, and its a doosy. Pick up several.


Monday, August 4, 2008

Get Me To the Church on Time

Hey, moving house this morning, lots involved. Then on Thursday I get married to Jackie. Then off to Rome for the honeymoon.
Busy week.
Here's a pic of the new gaf, I'll post better pics when upon my glorious return.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Angel: After The Fall 12 Variant Cover

My cover for the twelfth issue of After The Fall. Kinda an 'Irish wake' theme, appropriate since ol' Liam is from Galway. Really cool getting to draw the original three characters, still my favourites along with Wes.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Interview With The Vampire (drawer)

Hey guys and gals, just wanted to give you the heads up about an interview I just did with Mummy scribe extraordinaire Joshaua Jabcuga, over at his 'Squib Central' column at Comics101.com. Josh is a hoot and real value, while my answers are blandly accurate. What more could you ask for! Head on over and give it a read when you get the chance!
Here be the link

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Couple of new Angel covers, both for Issue 11 as far as I know. One is a regular variant, while the 'chess' themed piece is from another cool suggestion from the good folks over at the Slayalive site. They come up with some great concepts. The man behind this one is Graham Batten, nice work Graham!

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Incredibrennans

Hiyo. So its been a while since I last posted anything, busy busy at the mo. I'm working away on an arc of a book I love, and I couldn't be happier. Also, there's the whole getting married in seven weeks thing, and the house being in the final stages of construction. Poor bloggy doesn't get a look in. Hopefully I'll start some more regular posting as of now, I've a couple new Angel covers in the bank that I'll trot out soon. Was at the 2d comic con in Derry last weekend, and it was yet again a brilliant weekend. I've already confirmed for next year, so maybe see ye there.
This is a piece I just finished for one of my girlfriend's sisters, it's her family as the Incredibles. I LOVED that movie(love anything Brad Bird touches) and it was great fun trying to keep them on model. Reminded me of the old animation days.
Righto, that's me off.

PS- I hope everybody is picking up The Mummy series! Its great, trust me.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Angel: After The Fall 7, The Mummy Prequel 1 Out This Week

Hey-hey, two books of mine on the shelves this week, I'm all excited! The first is the new issue(7) of Angel: After The Fall. It contains the second half of the story started in issue 6 starring Connor and... somebody else. I'm really happy with how it came out, and Brian Lynch reckons its one of the best things he's ever written, so go buy!
The second book is the first issue of a series I've been working on since January with a great writer called Joshua Jabcuga, 'The Mummy - The Rise and Fall of Xango's Axe'. It's a hell of a fun ride firmly in the old-skool pulp vein. It'll buckle yer swash and no mistake. Get out there and pick it up!
Here's the pencils to the cover of the new Mummy book.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

New Angel Covers

Couple of recent 'Retailer Exclusive' covers for Angel: After The Fall issues 8+9. Still really enjoying working with these characters, I just watched 'Not Fade Away' with Jackie and Charlie the other night, what a show.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Angel: After The Fall 6

Hey-hey, today sees the release of Angel: After The Fall issue 6, which has stories drawn by myself and John Byrne in it, both written by Joss Whedon and Brian Lynch. I think there'll probably be a third story in there too, but not sure by whom. I drew this Connor tale for issue 6, and a surprise character type jobbie for issue 7, so dying to see how they look in print. I love, love, love these characters. The new Angel series has been a phenomenon, garnering many a fan and selling bucketloads.
Here's hoping I don't feck it up...
This page has been released online already in a preview over at Aintitcoolnews, so should be ok to post here.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Deuce and a Half

A panel from early on in issue 3 of The Mummy. Man, I love drawing this stuff. Beaten up old army trucks and dude's in old-skool aviator goggles. Sign me the hell up.

Friday, March 7, 2008


Ahoy-hoy. Here's the cover for Issue 4 of The Mummy, just in from Lisa. Like this one.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Darkness Falls

Working away on the second issue of the mummy, its great fun. Love this type of swashbuckling pulp. Right up my alley. Here's a little random panel, as I don't wanna spoil anything. The lights have just gone out... and the fit's about to hit the shan.


Wanna direct people to a blog of an artist friend of mine, Gillian Comerford. Gill and I were in the same class in college for 5 years, and we worked together in Boulder Media here in Dublin for a couple more years after we graduated. Gill is one of the founding members there, and has directed episodes of ridiculously great shows like 'Foster's Home for imaginary Friends' for Cartoon Network, and 'El Tigre' for Nickleodeon. She's one of the best lead animators in the country(seriously), and her blog contains some simply unbelievable stuff. She's also one of the nicest people in the world and I love her lots. Check out her blog over in the links section.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Angel: After The Fall 6+7 Variant Covers

Here's the inks for the next two Angel covers, one featuring Wesley and the other with the holy triumverate of Connor, Spike and Lorne. Really happy with the Wesley one, came out pretty much as I saw it in my head, which is very rare. That and he's my favourite tv character ever. I like the drawing on the other cover too, but wish in hindsight that I'd made it a little more dynamic.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

2008 Eagle Awards

The Eagle nominations are upon us again(top UK comic industry awards) and I just want to encourage people to vote for a few of your friends and mine in certain categories. First up, nominated for 'Best Newcomer' is the one and only Declan Shalvey, of Co. Clare. Dec won an Eagle last year for his Indy book 'Hero Killers', and thoroughly deserves this award also. He's currently working away on a Frankenstein adaptation for Classical comics and it looks really, really good. He's a total stand-up guy too, as anybody reading this probably knows.
Next, there's surely no other choice for 'Best Editor' other than IDW's head honcho Chris Ryall. Chris gave myself, Nick Roche, Len O'Grady and Stephen Thompson a home at IDW, and is a helluva fella to boot. And he's also by far the best editor I actually have worked with. Vote Irish I reckon.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, is Bob Byrne's nomination in the 'Best Writer/Artist' category. Bob has been doing outstanding work in the field for years now, and deserves this sort of recognition. He currently writes and draws 'Bob Byrne's Twisted Tales' for 2000AD, which are fantastic little tales of intrigue and lunacy, and last week his long-awaited original graphic novel 'Mr. Amperduke' was launched, and by golly is it good. I'd urge all the oirish types to vote fer Bob here, as there can never be enough Dubliners in the Whitehouse.
Here be the address(can't get it to link for some reason...my incompetence probly):


Do it to it!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Smokestack Steeples

Hey, just wanted to point folks in the direction of the blog of my new writer and chum Josh Jabcuga. He'll be chronicling all things Mummy related over there, so give it a look-see at some point and drop him a line. Josh also wrote a very well-received 'Scarface' prequel book for IDW, 'Scarface: Devil in Disguise' with lovely noir artwork by Alberto Dose, you guys should seek out the trade. Read more about the creation of that book over at Joshua's ongoing column at Comics101 - 'Joshua Jabcuga's Squib Central'. Josh covers all sorts of topics in the column archives and they're well worth a read. Tell 'im Mooney sent ya!
Here's the cover for Mummy 2, just to give you vultures something to gawk at. I don't like this one quite as much as the covers for 1 and 3, mostly because Lisa wasn't available to colour it and I think it misses that a little. Still fun to draw though, I could pop out pictures of Rick O'Connell for days. Sigh... he's so dreamy.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

The Mummy Issue 3

Cover to the third issue of The Mummy, out in June. Colours by the delightful Lisa J.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Webwise cover

Here's the cover image for that story I drew recently for an Irish magazine. Apparently its been very well received. Which is cool!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Angel: After The Fall 5 Variant Cover

Angel: After the Fall retailer variant for issue 5. As always, pencils and inks by me, full glorious technicolour by Lisa Jackson.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Angel: After The Fall, The Mummy

So IDW have just solicited both my new books, and they both start in April. First off, I'll be illustrating two Angel short stories written by Joss Whedon(!) and Brian Lynch(BRILLIANT writer) which will appear in Angel: After The Fall issues 6 and seven. These stories are brilliant, the best things I've ever worked on, and I think some of my best work ever(for whatever that's worth!). I love, love, love the new Angel book, and can't believe I get to be part of the interior art team as well as provide variant covers for every issue. There are some unbelievable other guys working on these issues with me, folks like John Byrne(yes, THAT John Byrne) and Sean 'Cheeks' Galloway, who's one of the absolute best artists working today in my opinion. Thanks are due as always to Chris Ryall, my super-dooper editor at IDW for giving me these gigs. A very happy camper am I. And then...
In April my next full mini-series, 'The Mummy - The Rise and Fall of Xango's Axe' begins. The script for this one is phenomenal, I love it. Its written by a man called Joshua Jabcuga(yes, superb name), and has that fantastic, swashbuckling matinee adventure feel throughout. I've been dying to draw something like this for years, since Raiders is my favourite movie ever, and if I can't draw Indiana Jones, well Rick O'Connell is a pretty close second. I'm well into the first issue, and I think it looks pretty good. So hopefully folks'll pick up both books. Here's the first Mummy cover, coloured by the lovely Lisa Jackson, who's colouring the entire Mummy series as well as both of the Angel stories. She rocks.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Moondog Express

There's not much I can post at the mo, since as far as I know neither series I've been working on this year has been announced yet. I think both books debut in April, so that could be fun. Haven't had a book on the shelves since September last year, so they're a long time coming. Anyhoo, I think I can show this. The book I'm working on now is a period-piece, and I had to design this steam train for some of the opening scenes. I like how it came out, and took a long time, so just bloody look and appreciate ok? Jeezuz, I give and I give, for what?... Oh, Dec Shalvey(great Irish artist who took over Freakshow and is now drawing a kick-ass Frank-n-stein adaptation for classical comics) wrote up a cool end of year comic roundup/review over at his blog, its a good read. The link is over yonder.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


Here's a short story I drew over Christmas, notable for the fact that its written by fellow dub Bob Byrne. It's a cool little short promoting safe usage of personal sites like bebo aimed at teens, and it'll be published in a magazine here for schools.