Thursday, August 30, 2012


Great news, a selection of original comic art is now available for sale on my website  Pages are available from Orcs: Forged for War.  The prices are very reasonable and shipping is free in the US.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Orcs Is Out Today

JOE:  Orcs, Forged for War is officially out in stores in the US today. I highly recommend going to you local comic book store and picking up a copy. But if you're not into the whole brick-and-mortar experience, it's also available at

STAN:  What a long, strange trip it's been.  But very creative and enjoyable.  From conception, when it was entitled Fit For Purpose, to the glowing, finished product freshly released.

We shouldn't let the day pass without a tip of the helmet to all the great people at First Second Books, not least Mark Siegel, Calista Brill and Gina Gagliano, who made this trip not only possible but smooth.

 The book doesn't belong to us anymore.  

It's emerged blinking from the spawn beds to confront one of the toughest bunches the Wolverines have ever faced.  

It's up to the readers now.  

JOE:  I would also like to thank the good people over at First Second, especially our book designer Colleen AF Venable.  I'd also like to thank Elizabeth and my good friend Matt, I could not have done this without their constant support.  Sadly this will mark the end of daily updates, but not to worry, there will be an occasional post, plus I'll continue to upload new drawings and projects to my Facebook or Google page or what ever people will be using disseminate information in the not-so-distant future.


JOE:  I saved the best for last, Jennesta, the evil tyrant and sorceress, who has enslaved the orc race and forced them into her war against the Unis (orcs would probably want to fight the Unis regardless, it's jus that Jennesta has the tendency to execute those who don't follow her orders to the letter.) It's almost impossible to talk about the Orcs books without mentioning this character. Not just because she's the main villain, but because of her recreational activities. Her monstrous and gruesome acts are done not only to replenish her magical ability, but to satisfy some horrible need to exert her power over what she considers to be lesser beings. She is not only powerful and cruel but she is uncannily beautiful. And not beautiful a traditional way, but in an unnatural way you just can't put you're finger on, that makes you uneasy. This was the main difficulty in designing her character. I did lots of drawings of Jennesta that just focused or her cruelty and she came out
looking too ugly. Her ugliness needed to be pushed just under the surface. She is also a sexual being and I wanted her sexual power comes from her confidence. I gave he a wide, almost masculine stance, also having her wear next to nothing
doesn't hurt either. 

STAN:  There's a sense in which I love Jennesta.  Though not in a I'd-quite-like-to-meet-her sort of way.  OK, I might have gone a bit over the top with her, a little pantomime, perhaps.  But she is, after all, a villain, and writing villains is often more fun than writing heroes.  It's easy to get carried away.  I'm pleased that Joe managed to make her both alluring and repulsive, and that he overcame the problem of presenting a character with a demanding physical appearance - she being a kind of hybrid.   

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Goblin in Charge

JOE:  Eegett-Qinx is the goblin sorcerer, who is in charge of the operation, Stryke and his war-band have been ordered to carry out. He is an unpleasant guest among the Wolverines, but they are under orders to do whatever he says. Eegget-qinx also possesses what the orcs do not, magic. He can create a protective coat of flames around him and lob firry orbs of brimstone at his enemies.

STAN:  This character was envisaged as a bastard.  Joe's captured that perfectly. He also looks like a pretty convincing wizard.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Two-Faced Little Pricks

JOE:  This is how Haskeer refers to goblins, when he learns his war-band will be responsible for escorting a group of them in order to test a new weapon for use in Jennesta's war with the Unis. This is the focal plot point of the Orcs, Forged for War. Even though the orcs are supposed to protect them, the goblins are still hostile towards the war-band and this is the source of most of the conflict in the book. The long road they have to travel is full of danger, and these mean-spirited, petty and secretive lil' sons of bitches don't make it easy for Stryke and his Wolverines.

STAN:  Haskeer has a way with words.  When he isn't involved in slaughter he's busy working on a book of etiquette.  As should be apparent by now, just about everybody's hands are turned against the orcs.  But if they have a particular set of antagonists - apart from rapacious humans, of course - it's goblins.  The animosity between the two races goes back a long way.  Part of it stems from their widely divergent natures.  Where orcs are plain-speaking to and beyond the point of bluntness, goblins are duplicitous; they revel in meanness of spirit, whereas orcs recognise a code of honour, however crude; goblins derive pleasure from sadism, while orcs favour a clean kill.  The two are oil and water.  And oil burns on water.

Friday, October 7, 2011


JOE:  These are the drawings I overlooked or just had no where else too put. I've got the highest ranking orc in Jennesta's army, Gen Kysthan. And a nightmare Uni from a dream sequence, where he severs an elf's head a drinks the blood.

STAN:  The General's exactly how an orcs commander should look.  This guy's solid as a rock.  The dream sequence excerpted here is one of the graphic novel's more vivid, almost hallucinatory sections.  It has a pleasingly nightmarish quality.