Tharg cover

21 February 2012

I’ve always thought that Tharg was a bit naff but, being as how I’ve gone all Zen in my old age, I was delighted to accept this assignment from 2000AD editor Matt Smith.
This is the first thing I’ve done without ever putting pencil to paper. I knocked up a rough in Photoshop, inked that in Manga Studio, and then back to Photoshop for the colouring.
Skipping the pencilling meant that I was actually drawing in ink rather than attempting to trace a pencil line, a much more satisfying experience. Took a while but I would hope to speed up as I get used to the process. Quite pleased with it, to be honest!


26 Responses to “Tharg cover”

  1. Simon Fraser Says:

    That’s a great cover.

  2. delboydare Says:

    Lovely piece. Your Tharg has a great smugness about him. Very apt considering it’s been going 35 years.

    So which droid are you? I was trying to work it out.

    I love the mottled texture and colours on your PS final BTW. I love seeing the stages of artwork.

    I’ll have to pick up this issue.

    Thanks for sharing :)

  3. Iain Says:

    Superb stuff, as always Mr McMahon, – somebody said your last cover for the prog was way back in ’83? Gulp!
    Tharg needs to make sure the time inbetween are a lot shorter from now on , ;-)

  4. Shame you had to drop Alan’s sporran ! I find that I pencil looser in Manga Studio and draw more with ink , but I’n undecided wether that’s a good thing in my case.:)


  5. Dan Lish Says:

    Looks Great Mic! I’m still thrashing out ink pages the traditional way, but one day I’ll have a crack at Manga studio. I’m still in love with the process of throwing ink every where!
    Chat soon, Dan.

  6. Great stuff. Really punchy over the top of the logo as well.

  7. Kelly Says:

    Really nice !

  8. Martin B Says:

    I love the slipped in comic pages with a great Dredd face. Is it from any printed story, maybe the one inside?

  9. Tharg’s expression is priceless. Personally I’ve always liked Tharg, he stopped 2000AD from taking itself too seriously, when some other comics disappeared up their own bottoms.

    • mick mcmahon Says:

      That’s a fair point, I’ve never really thought of him like that.
      The original plan for Tharg was that he would be dropped once the comic was up and running. Obviously that didn’t happen, not sure why.

      • Martin B Says:

        Who designed Tharg? Was it Carlos? I think he worked well as a design and a personality. I think that is why he was kept. He gave the whole comic a continuous persona, while the stories were constantly changing, for the readers to identify with.
        I think other comics could benefit from it.

  10. I think he has survived many coup d’état and uprisings. Many of the megalomaniac dictators of our time have been overthrown, but Tharg still prevails! ;-)

  11. Alfie Says:

    Great, nice to see you on the front cover again after all these years, and with new-fangled Manga Studio skills too, which you seem to be mastering rapidly!

  12. Lew Stringer Says:

    Hi Mick! Hope you’re well. I’ve just discovered your brilliant website. Fantastic cover. We’re not worthy to sweep up your eraser crumbs.

  13. Martin Says:

    Fantastic work. Would you hate me if I said I see a little Ditko in there? You and Steve were it for me as a kid!

  14. SIM-R Says:

    Finding this blog as I have a cuppa this morning is just lovely . I wondered if you were ever going to do one .

    Mike – might you post some mutomaniac stuff ?
    Any early sketches etc would be great to look at .

    I still have the original issues and always wondered how the story was going to end …………

    Cheers .

  15. Matt Crossman Says:

    Quality work Mike, great to see you doing another cover for the Twoth. Walked 2 miles into town today (and another 2 miles back of course) simply to buy this version of the comic. Worth every step. Nice one!

  16. paul ashley brown Says:

    Ahh, Mr McMahon on the cover of 2000 a.d. The only thing that could be better would be to see you on Dredd again. Lovely stuff as always sir !

    By the way, couldn’t agree more about the possibility of seeing more of the Mutomaniac artwork-it was just terrific. Can’t say the same for Toxic I’m afraid.

  17. nulsh Says:

    Nice cover Mick!

    My brother made comment that it was 2000ad anniversary, which he thought was cool, but insisted on commenting “but that Tharg was a dick!”.

    I felt it unfair. But a few of my mates have a similar opinion!

    Especially having worked with Alan Grant – who is a great bloke – and in my mind he WAS Tharg!

    Liking the Manga studio process. What’s the prefernece to inking there rather than Photososhop etc.?

    Also liking the Banana on the laptop!!!

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