It's been a long time and a lot of change since writer Martin Hayes got in touch with me in autumn 2015 to work on a project for Aces Weekly digital comic. Elevator pitch; The Sweeney meets Hammer House of Horror. It's been a bit stop start going through three volumes and approx 120 pages of art drawn and coloured in that time. In that time I've experienced leaving London after 10 years, relocating up north, bouncing through a job or two, home ownership, Brexit, Trump, Boris and a global pandemic. And in that time also our Gentlemen Ghouls have chased vampire overlords, decked dodgy occult-lovin' rock stars and been dragged through it by the scruff of their pointy 70s lapels.
It's been really enjoyable spending time in the company of these characters again on this third volume, especially the coppers Pike and Roach; they're car-crash creating areseholes but they mean well, relatable. And the world of 70s London grime and seediness and shoddy decor and clothes is a treat to work within. I've really enjoyed pencilling and inking this stuff but have had a bit of crisis of confidence when comes to colouring. I feel more and more like a pretend colourist and begrudge the time-swamp of colouring eating into drawing time. On this material actively tried to make it a bit garish and... shite. Wanted to create nods to the over-saturated stylised colour schemes you'd get in a good over the top Hammer production twinned with ropey colour printing limitations of the 70s time period. It becomes a very fine line though between creating controlled bad work and plain bad work.
Martin Hayes has really wrapped things up a treat on this third volume. Things get batshit crazy along the way, he must have dusted off some devious dusty occult tomes and VHS cassettes for this one. The letterer Bram Meehan does his usual lock it down hassle-free lettering, it's just right for the project. Been a treat working with these two gents along the way.
Hopefully will get a chance to return to these characters and the demon-riddled dark streets of 70s London. The Gentlemen Ghouls: Lord Of This World begins in volume 47 of Aces Weekly starting 7th September 2020 and runs through volume 48.
|Opening page for the first installment - 'Leper Messiah'
which featured in Aces Weekly vol. 21
|Opening page for the second installment - 'What Is And
What Should Never Be' which featured in Aces Weekly vol. 31
|Opening page for the third installment - 'Lord Of This World'
which runs in two parts through Aces Weekly vol. 47 & 48