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The very final part (6) of Salsa Invertebraxa was delivered to Heavy Metals' NY offices the other week, the culmination of its run as a serialization. What an amazing time it's been for me, it is not every day you're asked to be a part of a legendary publication, and especially under the scrutinizing eye of DC mega-scribe Grant Morrison.
It's been a challenge to re-configure Salsa's ultra-landscape pages into A4 portrait format without losing the flow and the effect, and with no compromise to quality, - and of course it was a good opportunity to tweak the text where I felt it needed some help (quite a bit to be honest, kxx)

Here's a few of the double page spreads submitted over the last year, ...

Salsa 80-81-logo by m0zch0ps

Heavy-Metal-07-a8f81 by m0zch0ps


Salsa-Invertebraxa-by-Mozchops-HM pages-35--36 by m0zch0ps



Salsa-Invertebraxa-by-Mozchops-HM pages-43--44 by m0zch0ps

Salsa-Invertebraxa-by-Mozchops-HM pages-29--30 by m0zch0ps

Salsa-Invertebraxa-by-Mozchops-HM pages-63--64 by m0zch0ps


If you'd like to catch up with the series, back issues and digital versions of the magazine are available from HeavyMetal  
Note; for Salsa you need issues 280 - 285, 280 also has an alternative cover from yours truly.

Copies of the original hardback book are still available, and can be ordered and signed on request, here www.pecksniffpress.com
Peace n love x
Mozchops


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Dear Moz Watchers! Some.VERY.big.news.

I'm proud to announce that the legendary Heavy Metal Magazine will be serializing the entirety of my graphic novel 'Salsa Invertebraxa' in 6 bi-monthly chunks, along with some awesome comics from big hitters including DC mega-scribe Grant Morrison!

HM 280 001 MozChops CVR (hi rez) by m0zch0ps

This month see's the herald of his first issue as Editor-In-Chief, as he steers HM into taking a renewed leap into the punk-fantasy-phasmagoria that it was famous for.
There's a great twist if you're already familiar with Salsa and its ultra-ultra-widescreen format, as I'll be re-mixing it into the traditional comic 'portrait page' format, along with a few tweaks of text here and there, lets just call it the Salsa Vertical Metal Remix, so this will feel and play a little different than the one you already know :D 

And if that wasn't enough to give me arrhythmia, I scored a cover too with one of the 'Prophets of the Ghost Ants' illos! Jeff Krelitz reminded me I've just joined the ranks of Moebius, Giger, Bisley and Richard Corben- one of the most prestigious honors that can bestow an artist.

The EW article has it all, here's the link! EW Heavy Metal feature
The final eBook file for Prophets of the Ghost Ants is very close to going live, exciting times! Which prompts me to upload some more work in progress, here are some of the colour roughs of the cover, the map of the immediate geography of the area showing the various ant tribes and some other scenes from the book.
The moonlit scene half way down was partly a nod to a scene painted by one of my favorite concept artists, who worked on the biggest sci-fi series of them, any ideas who that might be? :)

Ch00-PotGA--Cover-colour-rough-by-Mozchops by m0zch0ps     Ch00-map-31C by m0zch0ps

Ch08- Prophets of the Ghost Ants --Britasyte-Camp- by m0zch0ps

Ch06-Priests-of-Dolgeeno-colour-rough-by-Mozchops by m0zch0ps


More stuff coming v. soon, (including more character sketches)
Mozchops

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Hello Peeps,
Been wanting to do this for aaaaaages, the site I cooked up years ago on greasy old Dreamweaver is at last 'toast' - Here's a newly-minted-brand-spanking-box-fresh Mozchops website, Mozchops.com

Mozchops-website-screengrab by m0zch0ps


Some pics in the galleries not yet seen on DA, and there's a gazillion pictures yet to be uploaded plus other pages yet to be built, so forgive the current sparseness. Expect frequent uploads in the near future including more paintings for the Prophets of the Ghost Ants project, and the Heroes of Might and Magic VII game, also sketches and various graphics, logo's, cartoons and stuff. I may even post up a bunch of photos and sculptures, but some of those go back twenty years to my college days, they've waited this long for exposure, a couple of weeks extra wont hurt.

Onward and upward :)
Mozchops
I try not to listen to anything when I work, but when I do, its this kind of stuff -

www.youtube.com/playlist?list=…

Here's a short sequence of images in building up the design of one of the key characters for PoTGA (Prophets of the Ghost Ants), the original idea came from a loose character sketch done shortly before the project design phase went into full gear, and as with most artists, I think I share the habit of keeping a big visual database running 24/7 in the back of the mind, like a mega-rolodex, for just such a scenario, so I ran through all the possibilities and combinations and this first sketch was a perfect fit. It just needed to go through various tweaks to arrive fully formed, semi-realistic and have a distinct culture of its own.

the initial sketch where the idea was born, and the first ant riding sketch
PoTGA-old-character-sketch by m0zch0psPoTGA-Dranverite-army-sketch-01 by m0zch0ps

The author, Clark Carlton, and I discussed a lot in detail, how best to portray the rider, the armour and the ants, and of course how the scale and interaction is conveyed. The book's description of the ants is that they are quite real, and not mechanical, but they have a lustrous red-metallic surface, reflective, almost car-like in its quality, that if it was a car, it would be the Ferrari of ants, so we took that further and added small elements that suggest a high performance marque, the vents, exhausts, pseudo-spoilers and aerodynamic curves. But not going too far, and de-anting it, it had to remain very ant-like in its overall appearance.

PoTGA-Dranverite-army-sketch-02 by m0zch0ps

The rider/commander was given a custom armour makeover that reflects the interlocking components of ant chitin, with the same flow of curves and panels. The antennae was a challenge. All the ant-co-habiting societies in Prophets survive only if the humans wear the pheremone scent of their specific ant kin, via two soaked rods. Of course, if you just put any old feelers on the head, they'll look silly, so the usual permutations of design had to run its course before we found just the right look (and feel?).

PoTGA antennae-variations by m0zch0ps

The scene requires that the character is in charge of a large organized group (trying not to give any spoilers away here), so you need elements to suggest organisation, hierarchy, military, traditions etc. that it's a well practiced and dsiciplined force and is built upon generations of history and experience, so markers are needed, insignia and pageantry. This also has to work in the context of tiny people who live in the world of insects, so materials feel cellular and natural.
PoTGA-Dranverite-army-sketch-03 by m0zch0ps
The scene is full of action, so I drew up a very rough rough, to give Clark some idea, and to work out the aspect ratio (this is being viewed as an eBook illustration onthe Kindle primarily), but we're keeping the full finished scene under wraps as it is spoiler heavy. You'll have to make do with this.

PoTGA-Dranverite-army-colour-01 by m0zch0ps


Some more stuff coming soon
Mozchops

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Update on all things (most updates get posted here - Mozchops
Still have a handful of paintings to finish for Clark Carltons epic "Prophets of the Ghost Ants", I've got a sequence of sketches waiting in the wings for the next update, which is just around the corner. It's been a really busy year, doing websites, promo displays, business logo's, and quite a lot of game work. This year I was brought on to do new designs and 
character sheets for Ubisofts' next installment of 'Heroes of Might & Magic", VII, < I think the release date is early next year>. Some of the characters (sometimes referred to as orthographics or ortho's for short) are now up on Ubisoft's website, this is only a fraction of what was done. I'll post some of the color work when clearance permits. Enjoy :)
Mozzy


Haven Justicar by m0zch0ps


More ortho's of yours truly at the Ubisoft site  - (everything except the Wolves)
Heroes of Might & Magic VII Part 1
Heroes of Might & Magic VII Part 2


Haven Cavalier by m0zch0ps

Haven Abbot by m0zch0ps


Mozchops on twitter




Hello friends, some very exciting news, I've been working on the illustrated e-version of Clark Carltons' epic Game of Thrones-esque micro-world fantasy book "Prophets Of The Ghost Ants", a tale of human survival in future earth, millions of years ahead in the future, where Darwinian evolution has reduced us all to the scale of ants where we must compete not only with a very frightening new world of predators, and lots of them, but also with each other (some habits die hard don't they!) 

Female Warrior on Ant by m0zch0ps     Ch05-Book-Cover-rough-02 by m0zch0ps


Most of the societies have aligned themselves with a chosen ant species, either domesticated or semi-wild, or other insects, such as cockroaches. Having slipped down the evolutionary rungs, we've lost technology, reverting to a middle-ages or a neo-classical caste system of slaves and hierarchical societies, with dominating religions and mysterious cabals of power, controlling the mindsets of all, including the worshipping of Insect Gods.

Body-type-+-face-01 by m0zch0psFace-shapes-01 by m0zch0ps


Obviously there's a lot more to Clarks book, he's already completed book 3 and there's a German translation of the first on the way. (Amazon link for english edition below). 

We'll post updates here and on the official FB page (link below), if you're a fan of building strange new worlds and designing new races and cultures, this might be the nectar you need.
Personally, I LOVE this kind of world building, and can't get enough of it.
Moz

Prophets Of The Ghost Ants available on Amazon.com
Prophets Of The Ghost Ants on Facebook
Mozchops' on Facebook
Damn,
Another creative god moves to the next celestial plane, one of the biggest influences ever in the realm of sci-fi and movie-making - thank you, HR Giger, for not diluting your vision, and thank you Dan O'Bannon (also RIP) for introducing HR to Scott, who knows if we'd have seen anything of his incredible work, will we ever see someone like him again in our lifetime? Who's the next Bosch?



Giger by m0zch0pstumblr me9g43TeDT1qbq021o1 500 by m0zch0psHr Giger At Work by m0zch0ps
Hrg1 by m0zch0ps



Have a safe voyage out there Hans Rudi,
Mozchops
  • Listening to: Reload - Enlightement
sneak peek of the brand new project,  ...

first look Mozchops' new project by m0zch0ps



more will be revealed soon, I'll be updating the Facebook page too, 
Mozchops FB

Mozchops
  • Listening to: Black Dog - Pot Noodle
If you haven't heard by now, one of the other great portfolio sites out there, CGHUb closed its doors last week without any fanfare, warning or formalities of any kind. If you had an account there, my sincere condolences....it's utterly irretrievable.

This has forced hundreds of artists to find new pastures, relocate their contacts and set up fresh portfolio's, not an easy thing to do at zero notification. But like the forest fire, such a meltdown can work wonders for manure and sowing the buds of re-growth. The biggest lesson learnt from this is the classic "don't keep all your eggs in one basket".

There's been a tremendous upswing in activity as sites clamor to fill that vast gap in the jungle.
DA is of course the biggest out there, so I have no doubts it's been picking up survivors.

But new domains have been popping up recently, almost spookily.
One of the best I've found so far is Drawcrowd, which is just pure eye candy from pixel a to pixel z. If you have an account there already, or want to set up a new one, swing on by when you're done, I've set up a new gallery @ drawcrowd.com/mozchopz0de8
and i'll be happy to follow your portfolio. 

Drawcrowd-page by m0zch0ps

Another couple of places in the offing are Artstation, www.artstation.com/ which is very similar to Drawcrowd, but promising to offer more in terms of community interaction, your own website portfolio if you wish (with pro accounts)...

Artstation by m0zch0ps

...and Zerply, zerply.com/, which offers artists a more "Linked-in" type of experience, with job offers, professional contact circles and whatnot. Have a sticky beak at these places, you might find something useful.


Zerply by m0zch0ps

Of course, none of this is to replace the great resource that is DA, simply to share your work in different formats, and to ensure your web presence is earthquake proof and be able to withstand sudden collapses :)
If you know of other sites please drop us a link,
Onwards and upwards,
Mozchops
We have a winner! It seems Queenofeagles is aptly named, as the Eagle Eyes are hers! Well done Queenofeagles! And in true spirit of the challenge she has not 'spoilered' for everyone else.

There's a huge hint over on the FB link, i.e the picture in question.....www.facebook.com/SalsaInverteb…

21 Salsa Invert Delights by m0zch0ps




Ok, so armed with the clues and replies mentioned, when you find the Hidden Skull, be sure to keep it to yourself, send me a note/pm to identify the right part of the picture! mwahahahahah :)


Dear Mozwatchers,
I have a really big challenge for you.
As some of you know, my book is entirely about insects, fantasy one's, the jungle they live in, with a couple of glimpses of mammals, birds and protozoa. I was fascinated not only with the idea of a book about insect life, and their microcosmos, but also about creating a world without signs of human existence.
During the painting of a certain scene, I was suddenly inspired to acknowledge us, and as it happened, it became the ONLY reference to humans in the entirety of Salsa Invertebraxa.

Somewhere in the pages there is a human skull. Can you find it?

The first clue; It appears on a colorful double page spread. And it's among my DA gallery of course.
2nd clue; it's not on the "Termites Go To War" image, sorry that doesnt narrow it down much, but it might help :)
3rd clue; 
it is most definitely, unequivocally, a skull, and was painted as a skull - it's not exactly hidden, but more as a mimicry.
4th clue; Jodie Foster
5th clue; Hans Holbien


Happy Hunting :)
Mozzy



Dear Moz watchers, just to let you know I've been posting up some exclusive (rare) sketches of the book, character studies and never before seen stuff over on the Official Salsa Invertebraxa Facebook page,
jump here
if this floats your goat, be sure to hit the link and stay tuned, there's plenty more in the catalogues, some juicy insights into the creative process that went into the design of the book.
Early designs for Pestle by m0zch0ps

...the Official Mozchops website has been added to (in no short way) in the last couple of days, and today was the crowning point with a ***brand new*** sketches page, something I'd be meaning to get uploaded for ages. A lot of my stuff from video-games, fantasy cards, personal work, commissions etc. click the likes if you really like, or leave a query or nugget of insight, (like why are there so few spaceships!?!?!?!?!?!?!)
Mozzy

Giant by m0zch0ps

www.mozchops.com/sketches.htm
I'm uploading some sketches to the FB page of Salsa, head on over if you want to see some rare and unused shots from the book. Some preliminaries + detailed studies, getting acquainted with insect biology and putting insects into unnatural poses whilst trying to keep them grounded in reality. Enjoy!

UPDATED with bigger scan - I should've posted this up aaaaaaages ago, Imagine FX magazine published a double-page tutorial of "Low Tide Ghost" and asked me to explain my creative process, sadly not much room to really go into details, but it skims along nicely,
Mozzy


paul imagineFX82 by m0zch0ps


Forgive me friends, I should've made note of this a short while back. Award winning author Clark T. Carlton was keen to catch up and have a chinwag about the makings of the book, which is always agreeable as I discover more about the process in 20/20 reflection than my thoughts and concerns will allow at the time of creation. It was very good to talk with Clark, as he's a very creative writer and thinker and he brought some insightful questions to bear.

Hit the jump at the bottom for the whole article, enjoy :)

Clark - "Would you tell us more about the title of your book? "Salsa Invertebraxa" sounds like 'Latin dance of the bugs' or 'sauce of arthropods.' Is it also a reference to Abraxas, a Latin root for 'moth' or is it in reference to the deity Abraxas that Jung called "a God higher than the Christian God and Devil, that combines all opposites into one Being"?  Your book does depict one world of light and its darker counterpart.

Moz - Your interpretation is as good as mine, actually better, especially the Abraxas details. Originally it was going to be called Chitin, (but spelled Kaitin) the material from which all insects/arthropods are made from, and then I thought that would be too vague or esoteric. Then Dance of the Invertebrates was considered, but that sounded too much like a documentary, so I pondered on my own take of insects and thought to just twist the phrase to the same degree I twisted the insect designs, so that the suggestion was still there, but it's clearly of a different world.

Clark - Could you tell us more about your name "Mozchops?"  

Moz - Mozchops is another skewed word, from the Permian era animal Moschops, which I named my cat after. It stuck to me when I used it for network gaming. Moschops, the cat, mysteriously disappeared years ago, without a trace or a goodbye note, somewhere in the Australian bush, so the name keeps his spirit around at least.

Clark - Please tell us more about your process. How much do you paint each day? Is all your work digital or do you do any actual painting?  What programs and computer do you use? 

Moz - Lately I've been doing commissions, more fantasy oriented for online games etc, but as a whole, not so much painting as before. I'm spending a lot more time with the family, after so many years enslaving myself to the project. I would be spending up to three weeks per painting for Salsa Invertebraxa, going to sleep at 3am every night for years. Now I do all my work digitally, as it's easier to work in layers and control all the separate elements, and re-arrange the composition. 
I start with pencil on paper, and then digitally scan, and from there Corel Painter with a Wacom Intuous tablet, on a desktop PC, with a ginormous Syncmaster monitor. Which is all great, but ultimately there is no short cut brush strokes still require the same patience, trial and error in digital as they do in analogue painting. My ctrl and z keys need constant replacing.

Clark - You have a very successful background as a concept artist and designer for video games and other media. For the six years that you worked on S.I. were you also working on other projects?  Were you able to devote yourself purely to Salsa?

Moz - It was a modest career.  I left the industry pretty much as unknown as when I started, except for the Re-Volt community, who have kept the game alive for over 12 years, which is remarkable given the brief lifespan of digital entertainment. The video-games paid really well, enough for me almost to survive for six years living on the cheap in SE Asia, so that allowed me to focus entirely on S.I. But I did try to work on it while I was full time employed, with only sporadic progress it was impossible to make significant progress. S.I demanded all or nothing from me."

Continued @ Clark T Carltons Tumblr blog here ....clarkcarlton.tumblr.com/post/5…



Anyone heading to this weekends London Film and Comic Con? The Pecksniff Press table will be in full effect with hardcover copies of the book, T-shirts and exclusive signed prints (limited numbers) of various paintings by yours truly. Bundle offers were going like hotcakes at Londons MCM expo in May, (A free Mozchops signed art-print of your choice, or T-shirt, with each book @ 20 <and a 10% discount on top for any cosplayers>) we'll be doing the same again at LFCC. Comics artist Lorenzo Fiorini aka ErolDebris, will also be at the table with his new comic Nighttrains and Homecomings. 



More info on the London film and Comic Con @ www.londonfilmandcomiccon.com/

LONDON FILM AND COMIC CON IS BACK AT EARLS COURT!!
Friday 5th - Sunday 7th July 2013
The event is open 6pm - 9pm on Friday, and 9am - 6pm Saturday/Sunday. For early and standard entry times check out the TICKETS page www.btowstore.com/epages/Store…

Just re-did the Dusk video, original was in adobeRGB mode, so the colors were flat. New music, new resolution.
As with most of my paintings, the vision is in my head, (like an earworm) so I never feel obliged to get the focus of the picture done first, (the main character), I'm always confident about that part anyway. But getting the canvas covered, and setting the mood, working the background and foundations first, the ambience, works for me best. 
Another vid (big landscape) posted v.soon, stay tuned.

Mozzy

pecksniffpress.com


Ok, this is the real Indiana Jones stuff going on. Not concept art, or fantasy....forget that. This is very real.

As some of you may know, I've been living and working in Cambodia with my family for a few years, not far from the temples of Angkor, and I'm proud to mention the news that one of our friends, Damian Evans, archaeologist, has just revealed the work he and his team have been doing in uncovering a pre-Angkorian city further north in the mountain area of Phnom Kulen.
There's a video and more info here...

This is a lifetime achievement and the culmination of many years work, and words can't express how happy I am for him and the team. It is unbelievably exciting news!
Lets just hope UNESCO gets there before the looters.