Tuesday, March 31, 2009

DRACULA cover progressions

Nope, not to the upcoming big illustrated novel of it, but a little foretaste of it. One of those "do your own covers" which I really get a kick out of. Just so nice to do a random illo on an actual book sometimes. Great to take a break on from the pressures of the regular work.


Here's basically how it went, from start to finish. If you like the end result, I put the final book up on ebay. I dig doing these book things but have no desire to just keep it to myself. Figure there's someone out there who'd probably like a Drac cover by me so... see the listing here.

DRACULA in progress...
Sketchy sketchy.
DRACULA in progress...
Inking with a fine artline pen. A 0.1 basically.
DRACULA in progress...
Filling in the blacks. When in doubt, black it out.
DRACULA in progress...
a bit of black watercolour. Some drips for the background. General washy-ness.
DRACULA in progress...
White pen time. Just a little.
DRACULA in progress...
Finally a dash of red for the eyes and title.
DRACULA in progress...
And another little doodle in the front of the book just because.
DRACULA in progress...

DRACULA in progress...

Monday, March 30, 2009

Behold, the updated online store section.

Phoebe Phoenix

Finally! I know I plugged some of the new prints I put up in my Cafepress On Demand store last week, ( Of which the image above is one ) but finally the store section on my actual website ( You know, www.templesmith.com ) is now a little more current too. All the major stuff that's currently in print ( err, unless it's now sold out ) like Wormwood, Fell & 30 Days are now up with convenient little links to their Amazon pages and a few of the Cafepress prints nd sketchbooks are as well.

Don't know what I'm on about? Well this blog stuff gets put in a variety of places, like:


...but ultimately shows up on my *actual* real site, you know, the one with an online archive gallery, appearance schedule/dates and yes, links to how you can actually get some of the stuff so I won't get quite so much email saying "I really want it but I can't find book X, please how can I get it?" which actually happens quite a bit.

I should be adding a bunch more stuff to the online store over time now, so if interested, keep an eye on it. Now I have to work. Monday's are best taken out back & put out of their misery in a quiet & dignified manner, possibly with a shotgun.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Bad Kids interview thingy.

Surprised how mega tired I look in this interview. Also, I was almost at the point of losing my voice. I was literally on my last legs but had a lot of fun. The guys over at "America's Bad Kids" did this up.

If you can't see the vid ( viewing this on my main site for instance which doesn't seem to like Youtube right now,) here's the link.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

New Wormwood Prints

New Wormwood Prints

The time has finally come. I'm clearing out my Cafepress store. From tomorrow, all the old prints will be gone and a whole bunch of new ones, which are already up, will be what's left. Put up quite a variety this time. Cafepress isn't too bad for prints, though be advised these aren't the fine art prints I do up myself, these are a POD type deal. Give em a click and see what you think.

This here is a new image to celebrate it.

Next step is to finally have some t-shirt/extra stuff up. I've neglected this sort of stuff for too long! I have plans...oh do I have plans...

More Dracula



Some more work in progress shots of a bunch of the art.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tsarist Bank Notes.

Tsarist Bank Notes.

Tsarist Bank Notes.

Tsarist Bank Notes.

Things of beauty.

I often forget the small things that inspire me. One of them is old currency. I have a small collection. These are pre Bolshevik revolution Rubles. The further back you go in time, you can literally see why we call these things "bank notes". They literally used to be these huge notes from a bank saying "yeah, we agree to pay blah blah X amount".

The artistry and style that goes into these things is amazing. And even better, you can pick up these little bits of history really quite cheaply from a bunch of places.

Have I posted these before? Aww, I don't care. I like em.

Why I work on a mac.

If you're a Windows OS fanatic, best to stop reading this post at this point.

For everyone else, specifically artists, interested in actually being productive, I went Mac a few years ago, at the insistence of M'lady...who dragged me into the store kicking and screaming almost. ( And this was after I'd had a PC, with all it's cheap generic hardware fail me, destroying a months worth of work I had to quickly get redone in a week. )

Once I got one and experienced some sort of functional, user friendly OS for the first time in my life, I never looked back.

Now I'm onto my third Macbook Pro. This little baby you see here arrived last thursday. Damn near 3 GHz, with 8 GB ram.

I'm lucky enough to make artworks for a living. I finish them off on computer. I really found if I put the money into a quality machine, I end up recouping the costs pretty quickly.

I use macs because I want to be productive. If I buy a car, I don't expect to have to have the knowledge of a mechanic just to drive the damn thing. Yet this is pretty much my experience with Windows. I want to be productive 100% of the time I choose to be on my computer. My MBP gives me this around 98% of the time. If it's 3am and I have a deadline, I am not interested in anything else.

And yes, Macs are not good for games. Boo hoo. That's why Mac allow you to dual boot, allowing me to even do that if I want to. But this is primarily a work machine. If you want to be serious with your work, I definitely recommend investing in your work flow and going mac unless you're some sort of specialist that for some reason really does require a PC.

Look at that. They're interested in communicating clearly with you.


My old Macbook Pro and my new one. When you upgrade a mac, they have this thing called Migration. With 3 clicks you basically transfer your old laptop ( not just the contents but your user settings, passwords, literally a carbon copy of your old machine ) onto your new one. It's painless and easy.

And then I went back to work.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Wormwood just made the New York Times bestseller list

Wormwood: Deviant Edition Volume 01

Bloody hell, I don't know what it is about my little book Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse but it just doesn't seem to die. It's into it's technical 5th printing now of volume 1 ( with that basically sold out now too and hopefully a new one coming ) and we just did a hardcover version. Now that the New York Times is nice enough to give comics some love and respect with their own bestsellers list, I've made it onto there for the first time, which is super nice. It's actually one of the books I'm most happy with too. Gave it a complete redesign, lots of extra material/backmatter...so really, this is just icing on the cake.

Huge thanks to all of you who've ever checked out Wormwood. It really is a labour of love for me. Been through so much with that little book. Had a bunch of award nominations, some from completely unexpected quarters ( like the International Horror Guild ) but really, what makes it most worthwhile is meeting the fans that dig the book and tell me it actually makes them laugh. So cheers. Here's to more Wormwood in the future. Look for a new miniseries and then TPB next year, probably called "Bingo Night in Valhalla "

Graphic Books Best Seller List (Hardcover)

1 WATCHMEN, by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. (DC Comics, $39.99, $75.) This epic tale from 1986 signaled a new maturity in comic books.
2. JOKER, by Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo. (DC Comics, $19.99.) The Joker, newly released from Arkham Asylum, deals with the rivals who have carved into his territory.
3 BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE, by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland. (DC Comics, $17.99.) This critically acclaimed story from 1988 offers a possible origin for the Joker.
4 ALL-STAR SUPERMAN, by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely. (DC Comics, $19.99.) These stories, free of the barnacles of continuity, include an encounter with Zibarro, the only sane resident of the Bizarro world.
5 BATMAN: R.I.P., by Grant Morrison and Tony Daniel. (DC Comics, $24.99.) Thomas Wayne, the father of the caped crusader, is cast in a sinister light.
6 HUMBUG, by Harvey Kurtzman and others. (Fantagraphics, $60.) The 11-issue run of this satirical magazine from the 1950’s receives the hardcover treatment.
7 TARZAN: THE JESSE MARSH YEARS, Vol. 1, by Gaylord DuBois and Jesse Marsh. (Dark Horse, $49.95.) Witness the Golden Age adventures of Tarzan.
8 EERIE ARCHIVES, Vol. 1, by various. (Dark Horse, $49.95.) The gruesome magazine, following in the steps of its cousin Creepy, in a hardcover collection.
9 WORMWOOD: GENTLEMEN CORPSE, by Ben Templesmith. (IDW Publishing, $24.99.) Humor and horror team-up in this series about a maggot that animates corpses and solves supernatural problems.
10 THE COMPLETE PEANUTS: 1971-1972, by Charles M. Schulz. (Fantagraphics, $28.99.) Sally Brown is the cover girl in this latest collection of newspaper strips.

Want a signed one?

And now for the shameless plug. If you want a copy, I personalize/sign them for free ( since I'm currently in the IDW offices, ) over at the IDW online store. It just costs a bit for shipping is all.

Some more Dracula




Some more images from the Bram Stoker's Illustrated Dracula

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Groom Lake #1 hits stores today


Well, Groom Lake #1 hits all good comic stores today. ( And if it didn’t ask your retailer why and tell them you’re perhaps willing to kill and eat small children if they don’t use the order code: JAN094293 and get one in for you. Diamond still has plenty copies for just such things currently.) For those of you nice enough to Mr Ryall and I to pick up a copy, hope you dig it! It’s an odd little book, but not as odd as others I’ve done. This one actually has some coherence to it, thanks to Chris’s writing. Hope you’ll be along for the ride with #2!

Just had a review pointed out to me over here.

If you want to get an extra special signed/personalized copy, you can find them on the IDW store here. Since I’m currently in house, all orders of works with my name on it get a complimentary signature/note.

If you did enjoy #1, you can still order #2, incidentally, as IDW have staggered the release to make it easier for retailers to know the response to the initial issue. Often second issues get a huge drop off due to the fact no one even knows if the #1 is any good, ( which is hard enough to gauge support but at least it has a fancy #1 in front of it. )

If you want in on the crotchtasms, let your retailer know the order code: MAR094324

In Poodle We Trust

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


I want to use this quote to describe my art from now on....

From their 20 Graphic Novels You Should Read (After Watchmen):

Fell, Volume 1: Feral City
Written by Warren Ellis; Art by Ben Templesmith

Fans of the parts of TV’s Homicide that played like a hardboiled No Exit will dig this book. Eight mordantly funny short stories about Richard Fell, a misanthropic police detective keeping what passes for the peace in a bleak and bad-mojo-ridden municipality called Snowtown. It’s full of tense close-quarters showdowns in dimly lit spaces and illustrated in a gloomily gorgeous color palette that runs from toxic-sunset violet to busted-nose red.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Groom Lake #2 cover in progress

Here's another peek at how I drunkenly veer from sketch on a piece of paper to a final cover finished on the computer. This one's for Groom Lake #2 by crotch enthusiast, Chris Ryall and I. Like it? Like #1? Then tell your friendly retailer ( and the not so friendly ones too that it's code to get a copy in for you is: MAR094324

Groom Lake #2 cover in progress

Didn't get a shot of the basic sketch/pencils. Here it is with some of the basic line work laid down. If I paint things up I usually don't bother with much in the way of line weights. At this point though I didn't know if this image was going to amount to amount to anything usable.

Groom Lake #2 cover in progress

Laid down some watercolour. This is after a couple passes, letting it dry each time. Think I arsed up the sky.

Groom Lake #2 cover in progress

Adding in some white paint. It's water soluble oils. Just trying to get a feel for what I want.

Groom Lake #2 cover in progress

Fine tuning and adding some details. You can probably tell, I don't give a crap about warping the paper. This is still just a rough thing, I plan on doing more to it once it's scanned in. Never really care about making something look "impressive" as just paint on paper. It's just production to me here.

Groom Lake #2 cover in progress

Add in the elements, especially the sky...darken//lighten bits and add a little airbrush.

Groom Lake #2 cover in progress

Added some washy colours...and of course some smoke, messed with the lighting a little. Whalaaaaah...I liked it enough and so did Mr Ryall, the writer so off to being a cover it goes.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Machine guns & Dracula

Desert Eagle
I went to Las Vegas last weekend for a whirlwind birthday trip. We did a bunch of things, among them, shooting a bunch of Uzis, Tommyguns and Greasguns. Lots of fun. The results for me? Not so good. The best I could do with 2 shots from a Desert Eagle. One complete miss and this....

Machine Guns
At least I don't totally suck with machine guns.



Some images from the upcoming Bram Stoker's Dracula I'm providing some illos for.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I have a problem.


Done for my 10,000th tweet on twitter. I guess I have a problem.

Yeah, I talk a lot. I was on there before it was "cool" though.

If you ever want to ask me a quick question, hear me rant about genitals, politics & disturbing weird news feel free to follow me on twitter here.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Bram Stoker's DRACULA & Jane Austen's EMMA

No, not the official Illustrated Bram Stoker's Dracula that I'm doing for IDW ( more on that later ) I just did up these blank book cover novel versions of it and Emma for a couple good friends as super late gifts. ( Yes I am rather overloaded when it comes to doing art for gifts for things but they happen within a year or two of when they actually need to, honest. )

Bram Stoker's DRACULABram Stoker's DRACULAJane Austen EMMAJane Austen EMMA

Wednesday, March 04, 2009



Well yeah, just maybe. See, the nice folks over at 1492, Chris Columbus's outfit, have decided to option my little Werewolf prison romance book. News just went up at Variety. Officially the first thing I've ever written to get a sniff of hollywood basically.

I'm also bloody chuffed Variety gives a mention to Wormwood:Gentlemen Corpse too. Heh.

And as a shameless plug ( Hey, I can't grow a beard as well as Billy Mays but at least I'm not as loud ) if you still want to pick the book up you can grab it off Amazon of course, or if you really want to, signed/personalized editions off the IDW Publishing online store.