How many people collected comic books when they were growing up? Whether it was the Incredible Hulk, Star Wars or even Spider-man? I think it is safe to say that everybody is drawn towards their creative minds and sucked into these fantasy worlds. It is an addiction that allows people to indulge in their desire to have superpowers, even amongst the SAA marketing department we were able to have a debate about which powers we would like to have, the general consensus was being able to fly or turn invisible, because who wouldn’t want to be able to do that?

For most of us this is as far as the action packed images go, simply flicking through the pages and diving into wonderland. However for John McCrea it goes much further than that because he is the illustrator who designs and draws the sketches for the comic books that we couldn’t wait to add to our collection.

You can imagine the SAA’s delight when we stumbled across this amazing Artist, and Gold member,  which just proves how incredibly talented the members of the SAA really are!

Here is a page from Spectacular Spider-man #212 published by Panini in the UK with the step-by-step guide designed especially for you by John himself.

"First, I get the script from the writer, Ferg Hanley. It details the panel court as well as what is happening in each panel and the dialogue. Then I do the layouts, I draw these A5 in a Moleskin sketchbook – I find it easier to figure things out when they are small, for example the proportions of characters and room for the word balloons etc….."

"I then scan the layouts and enlarge them, print them onto an A3 sheet and put them on a light box and do the pencils on a separate piece of paper. I tighten everything up; fix any errors in my anatomy including the background details. This is done using a 2H lead to get as clean a line as possible."


"After this the art is inked, using a Zig Scroll and brush pen, as a matter of strengthening up lines to bring figures forward, spotting black areas and generally making the art as clear as possible and easy to read."





"The Art is then coloured on a computer, sadly my photoshop skills are very limited so this is done by somebody else, in this case, James Offreddi. Finally lettering is placed on a separate layer and the finishing product is sent to the printers.The whole process for a page probably takes about four days."




I hope everyone agrees that it is well worth the precision and the wait for such spectacular creations to take place! To see more of John’s work please visit www.

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