Gareth A Hopkins
email: gareth@grthink.com

These pages will be kept updated with forthcoming gallery shows and news on completed artwork.

Pages from my ongoing surreal/abstracted comic 'The Intercorstal' can be found here: The Intercorstal

My deviantart gallery, chock-full of my art, can be found here: grthink

Stories from my (old) walk to and from work can be found here: Trolleys In Odd Places

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

The Bug

Recently, in the queue at a 2000AD signing, I was lucky enough to meet John Osborn, a comics writer. We shared details and not long after that John sent me through some ideas of comics he was working on, one of which was 'The Bug', which was inspired by a nightmare he'd had. I drew it up, and we submitted for consideration for Dirty Rotten Comics' latest issue.

We didn't get in, but that's OK. I was really happy with how it turned out, as was John (he hasn't told me otherwise...?) so I'm sharing it here. I enjoyed working on it, too, although because for one reason and another it got a bit rushed toward the end. What I'm really glad works is the transition from 'light and ordered' at the start through to 'dark and chaotic' at the end with a bit of transition in between.






Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Inktober 2015

EDIT: The offer's still open for people to be sent any of these, for free. The one's that have gone are marked up as such.

Bit of an image dump, but that's just part of #inktober, I guess.

For those not familiar with #inktober, the idea is that every day during October participants do an ink drawing -- a sketch, or something more complicated, it doesn't matter. Just something. I did quite well, considering - as well as the normal inktober stuff I also did a page of Crosby & Syd for the ThoughtBubble art competition, as well as doing a page for Cops Vs Sharkwolves, my sketches for which I've balled up into inkotber.

In all, I managed 28 images, most of which were done on postcards which I'll send out to people if they want them. (If you want one, let me know at gareth@grthink.com and I'll sort you out).

There's some truly terrible nonsense in there. I'm almost ashamed to put that Magneto in there, but in the spirit of 'you've got to fail to succeed' I left him in anyway. But for the most part, it's worked out OK, I reckon.

Gone (to my daughter)

Available

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Gone (to my daughter)

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Gone (to Tony)

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Gone (to Simon)

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Gone (to Dan)

Gone (to Hilary)

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Unvailable

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Gone (to Sam)

Gone (just...gone)

Available (it's in the corner of a currently empty A4 sheet... if you'd like something else drawn on the sheet let me know)


Thursday, 22 October 2015

Intercorstal Commissions Open! (Introductory pricing)



Hello there!

For the next 3 weeks, up to the 12th November, I'm offering unique, by-request Intercorstal pages to anyone who'd like to commission one, with prices varying only by the size requested.

The way the process works is that you, the Commissioner, email me with details of the comic page you'd like Intercorstal'led (and wherever possible a photo or scan for reference) and the size you'd like it worked up at, and I'll take it through the Intercorstal process (which is covered broadly here). Once it's done, I'll post it to you along with whatever roughs/sketches/notes I've made along the way.

Prices are as follows, and are regardless of the size of the original page you wanted me to work from:
Postcard (standard, thick white paper): £8
A5 (Bristol Board): £15
A4 (Bristol Board): £25
A3 (Bristol Board): £50
P/P will be added on too, which'll be around £3 for 1st Class Postage.

Payments will be by PayPal, as a preference.

What you'll get:
The worked-up Intercorstal page.
A print-out of whatever reference I've been sent.
Notes used during the process - can't guarantee how much this'll include, unfortunately.
Digital copies of the page: 300dpi and 72dpi JPEG as standard, but I can provide others if required.#

Theses prices are at a pretty low introductory rate -- certainly a lot less than page-rate for a normal comic page, and will be going up substantially next year, so if you're interested, now's the time to go for it.

To order yours, or if you have any questions, email me at gareth@grthink.com.

Final version, based on 'Dungeon Fun' by Bell/Slorance
Here are some examples of what you might expect. Also, 'After Smith' is a good place to get an idea of what the finished page might look like, as is 'Neighbours Bring Food'.
Paper version alongside original, of Dungeon Fun by Bell/Slorance
Based on Revere by Smith/Harrison

based on The Amazing Spider-man by Lee/Ditko




Monday, 21 September 2015

'After Smith': The Intercorstal In Bremen


Regular readers will be aware that recently I travelled out to Bremen (which is in Germany) to hang and present 'After Smith', a set of Intercorstal pages all based on comics written by John Smith for 2000AD. It's just over a week since opening night, and with that in mind I wanted to relate, like some kind of society diarist, the ins-and-outs of everything that happened.

The reality is, I doubt you'll want to sit through 3,000 words of me saying how much fun I had, so I'll stick to bulletpoints, and if you get bored halfway through you can skip to the next one! It's the internet age, and I live by TLDR, and I'd understand if you do too.
Projektraum 404 from the outside

  • Bremen is LOVELY. I mean, it could just because I was seeing it through the filter of Gregor (the owner/curator of Projektraum 404) and his group of friends. But I had a great time. A lot of it was spent wondering the streets with my fellow exhibitor Florian, who I embarrased a fair amount by taking pictures of geographical and social features. There're bikes everywhere, and once I'd learned that I was standing on their bit of the pavement all the cyclists stopped being rude to me. Seriously, if you have a free weekend, I'd suggest spending it in Bremen. It's aces. I hope to go back soonish.
  • Opening night on the 11th was really fun. (I almost said it 'was a blast' but I don't really feel comfortable with that yet, I just don't think I'm the sort of person who 'has a blast' anywhere). I reckon about 40-50 people turned up. I'd prepared a book of the original 2000AD pages I'd worked from for After Smith and was forever coercing people into using it to compare my pages against. I also scared a few non-English speakers with over-excited 'youawrights' ("You all right?" but condensed) , which I use as a form of greeting but clearly sounded like nonsense to German ears.
    'After Smith' on a wall.
  • Florian and I were scheduled to give an artist talk on the 13th, which I think we were both quietly dreading. After kind of sorting out a projector, and making sure our selected images looked OK-ish, we quietly waited for everyone who'd said they'd come to materialise... 2 people did. So, in one respect, it was an abject failure. In another though, I had a great time ('having a great time' was pretty much par for the course, mind you). I got to wang on about comics to my heart's desire, and the food served by Kulturkueche was mindblowing. 
  • I've mentioned Florian - he's a French artist, who lives in Brussels. He's currently working on a 16-chapter comic, which is loosely about time travel, and includes a man becoming a new dimension when his time machine goes wrong. It's FANTASTIC (and also in French) and you should at least do yourself a favour by going to his website. For Abstrakte Comics 2, he'd also made a gigantic 'empty' comic which enriched everyone's lives.
    Florian's 'empty comic'. Probably the half-way pint between sculpture and comics?
  • The gallery, Projektraum 404 was in many ways my home for the weekend. It's based on the first floor of a house owned by a lovely couple called Jan and Julia and run by Gregor Straube, who I've mentioned. It's ambitious, fearless and also has a jam-packed calendar thanks to Gregor's work. I can't thank everyone involved enough for inviting me out and putting me up, and also putting up with me.
  • On the subject of 'putting up with me'. If there's one thing I've learned about myself from my trip is that if I'm allowed to talk unchecked, I'll usually end up eulogising about comics. Gregor and Florian both learned the magic phrase 'You're doing that thing again' but not everyone who turned up on opening night had that luxury, and I wanged on about 2000AD and John Smith to an extent that might be surprising... except from someone who'd just spent three months putting together an exhibition based on how much I love 2000AD and John Smith.
  • I also put up 24 pages from Intercorstal 2 which went across really well. People were able to take each page on its own merits, and people looking at them didn't constantly have me directing them to 'the book of originals'. I'm increasingly excited about '683', which is the natural step-up from Intercorstal 2, and is so far more cohesive.
    Intercorstal 2 up on a wall
I'll leave it there, now. If you're still here, and don't know what 'After Smith' is, you should go HERE or better yet just download the free PDF, with an introduction to my madness courtesy of Tom Whiteley.
Page 9 from 'After Smith' based on a page from 'Killing Time' originally by John Smith and Chris Weston.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

The Intercortal Dot Com

If you've not guessed from the title, The Intercorstal now has its own website: intercorstal.com

With 'After Smith' opening to the public in a couple of days time it seemed like a good time to give the project its own place, with room for it to grow, as well as to properly collect everything I've done so far.

You should have a look, it's alright.

Below are the two 'After Smith' comparison pages I've been sending out.

I'll tell you what, quietly: I'm really, really happy with how 'After Smith' has come out.



Monday, 20 July 2015

The Intercorstal: After Smith - where I'm up to

"The Intercorstal: After Smith" is a series of artworks reinterpreting comic pages written by John Smith. It will be exhibited at Projectroom 404 in Bremen from 11th September - 4th October 2015.


As announced* in my previous blog post, last month, I'm working on 10 pages for an exhibition which uses The Intercorstal to reinterpret** comics originally written by John Smith for 2000AD. Here's a quick update on what I've been up to. I've broken it down into steps to make it as easy for me as possible -- it's not necessarily chronological.

1. Spent a disproportionate amount of time trying to find the exact right shade of purple marker to use. Eventually I settled on 'Mulberry'.

2. Read and re-read an incredible number of comics to find the exact right pages to steal. The 'Final 10' has changed innumerable times. The last one's still not 100%. There's no set criteria for what makes a page 'right' but I wanted to cover as many artists as possible, make sure each page would work as well when reworked as an Intercorstal one, had made a palpable impact to me at some point in my life, and to look good on its own merits. The final 10 all meet at least 2 out of the 3 final criteria.

3. Measure each page, and calculate how much bigger it needs to be to fit an A3 page. There are probably computer programs that could that for me, or settings in programs I already use, but I did it all with a ruler, a calculator and a notebook. I suppose it felt more 'honest' to do it that way, as a part of me is still worried that 'stealing' pages for The Intercorstal is still somehow inherently dishonest. (here's a blog I did a while ago explaining why I 'steal' pages at all)
2 pages of Simon Harrison's work on 'Revere' get copied and measured.

4. Asked Tom Whitely, whose blog 'Suggested For Mature Readers' is at least partially responsible for the Intercorstal taking this route***, to write some notes on who John Smith is. He's exceptionally good at writing about comics.

5. I've used my calculations and measurements to transfer the layouts of 9 out of the 10 pages to A3. I've even done the black and Mulberry areas. This is probably the most important part of the project, as it's the actual work, but I've not got very much to say about them yet. Here's 8 of them laid out on my living room carpet:
Looking at this now, the one from New Statesment is very obvious, as it's a totally different format to the others.
 6. Made a very rash decision to present Tom's writing using a layout stolen from the illustrated text story 'Touched By The Hand Of Brendan', which was illustrated by Mark Buckingham,l appearing in the 2000AD Sci-Fi Special 1991****. I desperately wanted to include Tyranny Rex in 'After Smith' somewhere, but I couldn't find anything that really met the criteria from point 2 (above) quite as well as TBTHOB, and it also makes a handy way to present whatever Tom comes up with. This decision has of course increased my workload somewhat. Here's the cover drawn up, without any text yet, next to the original cover:



Aaaaand that's it for the moment. All I have to do now is the actual really hard work of turning the blocked-out pages into finished work, with all of the squiggly lines, dots, circles and stripes that entails.



*'announced' seems like a very grand word to use. Being naturally predisposed to humility and/or humble-bragging I'm still not really comfortable with it. But it's the correct word to use, I think, and can't think of a better one.
**'reinterpret' doesn't feel like it covers the ground I need or want it to. But it's the correct word to use, I think, and can't think of a better one.
***Without it, I'd never have read 'Still Life', which means I'd never have done this.
****Someone's typed the whole thing out here, if you're interested: http://homepage.eircom.net/~okku/tyrannyt.htm

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