Inktober Day 31 – Miss Scarlet

Maybe a writer shouldn’t pick favourites, but I… saved Miss Scarlet for last!

Red was a bit of a muse for me – I really enjoyed writing her and the way she’d take over a scene – either with her outrageous humour or actions. She was also very human, often saying or doing things she comes to regret later. A lot of the O Men’s themes tie in with Miss Scarlet, and a lot of the series’ mysteries involve her. You’ll find out a lot about Miss S in the penultimate issue, and I hope people like it!

And that’s it for Inktober! I wasn’t going to do inktober at all, but got a little inspired by some music (like I often do) and then thought it would be a fitting tribute to the O Men series. It’s also been a great learning process for me – learning from some of the weaker drawings and being motivated to do better. I’ve also found it interesting to see what people respond to the most – there was one pic I was actually struggling with and was on the verge of scrapping it – and it turned out to be possibly one of the most popular pics – that’s the UK Ultra Knights one!

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Inktober Day 30 – The USAviors

The USAviors (at one point called The Hard Corps) were my all-action American superteam. I did like them and their super-names. elite was the all-guns-blazing leader, Hotfoot the flighty/sexy member/sometime partner of elite (and daughter of Hotfoot, who joined Kelly’s O Men team at the start of volume two).

Kamikaze and Girl VII were the cool Japanese brother and sister duo (Girl VII was named after a St Etienne song).

Sugar I loved, she was my Rogue-type character, and she represented my homesickness sometimes (when I first moved to London from Birmingham, I would get homesick very often for a long time), and Underdog was kind-of my savage Wolverine/Midnighter character.

I wanted to do quite a bit with the team in the final issues but didn’t have as much room as I wanted – the plan was for Sugar and Underdog to join the O Men at one point, but this didn’t really happen. Keep an eye out for the USAviors in the final issues though, and a twist with Underdog.

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Intoner Day 29 – Malice

Some of the early O Men stories were heavily influenced by 90s Vertigo, and Malice was definitely a 90s Vertigo stye villain. She allowed me to do some fun things quite early on in the series, and feature quotes and extracts from some of my favourite books and comics at the time, such as Stephen King’s The Regulators, The Invisibles and Akira.

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Inktober Day 28 – ?

I don’t normally do spoilers on my comics, but this is a pic of a chap who turns up in the last issues of The O Men. He was a very last minute addition to the story and I just really, really enjoyed drawing him (which is weird, because I usually prefer drawing the ladies). I’ll give you a clue, he does appear in a very early issue of the series in a different form…
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Inktober Day 27 catch-up – The Insect League

Well I did this yesterday in a meeting, forgot to do anything with it, then was out all night watching the Aladdin musical, so it’s my first Inktober ‘fail’. Here it is now, anyway.
These guys were just a bunch of fun super-criminals I made up, but they were kind of my ‘Wrecking Crew’ throughout the series (ie, if I wanted a generic bad-guy team to just do something, I could just throw them in).
Beezlebub is the leader – he is the ‘lord of the flies’ (they come out of his mouth!), Dragonfly I thought was quite cool-looking, Flea is fun, bouncing around, Money Spider is a weird Spider-Man/burglar type person, Spidra has huge hair, Arachnid is a huge, weird freaky spider guy, and Mistress Web creates webbing – I did love her hair and costume.
I threw in a little extra explanation about them in the penultimate issue.
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Inktober Day 26 – The UK Ultra Knights

The UK Ultra Knights probably needed a series to themselves, really. There were a lot of mysteries and secrets surrounding them, some of which were revealed and some of which weren’t. I enjoyed Union Jack’s presence in the series – he was mysterious, stoic, and kind-of horrible. Ruth/Ultramind was a pleasure to write, dignified but a little bit bitchy. Shadow and Density were good, reliable, noble characters. And as for Starman and Doctor O, well, you know about them…
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Inktober Day 25 – Kelly (or Vixen or Britannia)

If you’ve read the O Men series, you probably know how I absolutely adore Kelly as a character. In some ways, I think her and Rob (her brother) are different sections of my own personality – Rob is the upbeat side who likes to see the good in everything, and Kelly is the more anxious side who tries hard but doesn’t always succeed. There’s a little speech Kelly makes in issue 2.1 (where she’s talking to Liberty), and there was a lot of me in there. I think a lot of O Men becomes Kelly’s story – even though she’s not technically in the early issues, that’s her narrating the very first page, and the series soon becomes about her ‘journey’. I do have a soft spot for Kelly – when I was writing The O Men, I always wanted her to succeed and tried to watch out for her whenever I could. (Incidentally, my brother is called Rob.)

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