Friday, 30 March 2012

Thursday, 29 March 2012


Here's a comparison between the layout for the SPLOTCH page (Grace's chemistry set accident)
and the final line art. I moved some of the panels to an earlier page and tried to make the finished thing as dynamic as possible.


Wednesday, 28 March 2012


Prof Roboticus replaced another villain in the first Catastrophe Calling story. Kelpto-Maniac was going to rob the Pick 'n' Mix on his pogo stick. Titanium Dioxide and the other ingredients were lifted from a real pack of sweets. Nothing tastes sweeter than Diglycerides of Fatty Acids. Yum!


Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Monday, 26 March 2012

Mad Dog

When the playground bully was replaced by Prof Roboticus in Catastrophe Calling I reworked those pages and had to lose some fun snippets of dialogue.

CHERYL: Don't mess with Mad Dog Tyler, he's psycho.

GRACE: His nickname kind of gives it away.

CHERYL: Mad Dog's his actual name.


Friday, 23 March 2012


A very rough attempt at the final Catastrophe Calling cover.


Thursday, 22 March 2012

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Cover designs

These are some of the early cover designs with rough Gum Girl poses and logo idea. It's the kind of thing I can endlessly play with, eventually though, the book needs a cover.


Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Where's Professor Roboticus?

In an earlier version of the Welcome to Catastrophe story Grace was thrown into the deep end of life at Calamity Primary. She immediately faces the school bully in the playground. That was okay, but it wasn't Gum Girl enough. I introduced the Titanium Avenger as the playground bully. Giant robots will make any story better!


Monday, 19 March 2012

Sample Pages

Another sample page from early on, this time using pen rather than a brush. The upper case lettering is still there, better, but not good enough. From here I switched to lower case.

I had to get out of the habit of using dull colours, as Gum Girl needed to be bright and fun.

A bit better but I sill needed to work on the colours so they popped a lot more.


Friday, 16 March 2012


After I've written a story, but before drawing it, I make rough pencil versions with lettering of every page. They're called layouts because it's a chance to figure out the size of each panel, how many speech balloons there are and where they're placed on the page.
If things aren't working out then I try another layout to solve any problems. It's quicker to re-work a pencil sketch than a finished page.
As a comparison between the layouts and the end product, you can see the coloured page below.


Thursday, 15 March 2012

More logos

A few more of the many logos I messed around with for the Gum Girl books.


Wednesday, 14 March 2012


Here're some of my different attempts at a rough Gum Girl logo. Designing logos is a lot of fun, so I did quite a few. In the end, Ben the designer came up with the best one, so we used that on the cover.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

More try outs

Another look at some early Gum Girl pages. Grace and Gum Girl have been designed but the lettering is still rubbish.
The colours are improving, though.


Monday, 12 March 2012

Try Outs

  When I first began Gum Girl I needed to show what the book might look like, so did a couple of try out pages. Here's a very early example using a brush and capital letters in the speech bubbles. The capitals looked rubbish, so I scrapped that. Also, after these test pages I decided against using the square caption boxes to explain what was happening in the story, choosing to rely on what the characters said.

Here's what the page looked like in colour. The palette is a bit dull so we decided to use brighter colours later on. The school is a modern design here, later I thought it'd be fun to have an old looking Calamity Primary that was falling apart. This is also the first mention of villain Octopus Prime. He doesn't appear until August in book 2, Tentacles of Doom!


Friday, 9 March 2012

Calamity Primary

This was early attempt at Grace's school, Calamity Primary. The basic design is based on the school around the corner from where I live. As you can see, I don't have any of the fun things that are in the later version, bomb shelters and robot teachers and stuff like that.


Thursday, 8 March 2012


Here's a page of designs I wanted to share with you so you can see the Gum Girl turnaround
at the top. A turnaround is often used in animation, but is useful for comics too. All you do is
draw the same character at the same size and imagine they're spinning on a roundabout in front
of you. This is useful because in comics you have to draw characters not just from the front,
but from all angles. If a character is drawn from the same angle in every panel on a comics page it
can look boring and static. So if you want to get a better look at your character, draw them from
all sides!


Wednesday, 7 March 2012


Here's an early sketch of Grace (on the left). At first I thought she would go to a well off school where the girls wear those straw boater hats. I soon realised that wasn't the kind of place where
a superhero like Gum Girl would have a lot to do. Instead I came up with Calamity Primary
where things always go wrong, where super-villains come to teach and where a crash-landed
space probe is stuck in the roof!


Tuesday, 6 March 2012


Today's sneak peek is a look at some early designs for Grace's friend Billy Fisher. From pretty early on I thought Billy would be a 'hoody', someone who you wouldn't immediately think of as a good guy. He's a bit of a rebel and not the best student in the world. Somehow he gets away with not wearing the green shirt and tie that's Calamity Primary school uniform. He wears his favourite hoody in mid winter and high summer. He will roll up the sleeves of his top when it gets really warm.
These were drawn using a brush and ink which gives a smooth thick line.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Gum Girl costume

Here are some more Gum Girl costume designs. They're almost there with the stripey tights, mask, belt and so on. The V shaped boot detail is nice but doesn't fit in with the rounded shapes used in the rest of the outfit.

Hope you've enjoyed this peek behind the scenes. I'll be back next week with more.

Don't forget you can read all of Gum Girl's origin story here

And the book is out now to buy!

keep on chewing,


Thursday, 1 March 2012

Gum Girl out today!

I'm very excited because today is the release of Gum Girl out into the world. Yay!
Hope you like the books and will let me know what you think of Grace and her adventures in Catastrophe.

Here are some more of my early Gum Girl designs, much closer to the final look of the costume.
There's also an early design for Grace and her school uniform. I wanted what she wore at school to echo her superhero costume, so it's a similarly shaped dress with the all important lunch box to sneak her precious gum into school!

Remember, you can read all of Gum Girl's first adventure for free here.