Welcome to my blog! Here you'll find many samples of my finished art, conceptual work, unpublished material, and other miscellaneous jobs. You can find a complete list of my published books at this link.

I currently have signed copies of THE GREAT MONTEFIACO, WHACKO THE CHOOK, THE PUMPKIN EATER FROM PONDICHERRY, and THE SHIKKER COLA COWS available for purchase. For more info, please contact me at whackothechook@internode.on.net

Friday, July 30, 2010


I've always loved the look of old comics and strip cartoons. There's an oddly endearing quality to the limited palettes and dot patterns. I find them more appealing and far superior to the needlessly showy, air-brushed photoshop colouring prevalent in comics today. One cool aspect of black and white cartoons was duoshade and letratone, which were popular with cartoonists of old. I'm not an expert on it, as I never had a chance to experiment with it, and to my knowledge they no longer manufacture it, but I'll explain it as best I know. Basically, Duoshade is a special paper/board that has invisible criss-crossing lines (or dot patterns, textures, etc etc). Once inking is finished, the artist uses a developing fluid and paints onto the surface where shading is required, exposing the first set of lines. Then using a different developing fluid the artist paints where they want darker areas by exposing the crossing lines. Artists like Jack Davis and Wally Wood, and countless others used it to great effect in very early Mad. I really love the somewhat nostalgic look of it, so I've tried to mimic the process in photoshop. Here was my first experiment with it:

And a simple dot pattern...

Simply, I have several layers — The top layer is just the black line work, the next layer is a layer of white, then under that is a layer of dots or lines. Using the wacom I scribbled away at the white layer with the eraser to expose the pattern. Simple. The duoshade requires extra layers, but it's not hard to figure out. Some more experiments:

With the next couple of paperbacks I did incidentals for I put this technique to use...

I'll do a post about The Monkey Pirates soon...

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