Features whispering-8th

Published on March 15th, 2013 | by Patrick Riley

The Whispering Gallery: Jon Wesley Huff

We’re back!  Drop everything and look at this right now!

Jon Wesley Huff is a graphic designer, artist, and writer with numerous fanzine and comic illustration credits to his name.  We first spotted him a couple of years ago on the cover of Daniel Gee’s Fish Fingers and Custard, back when Matt Smith was just getting started as the Doctor.  Before and since, Jon has created a nice range of imagery in a variety of styles and formats showing off both the classic and new eras.

We worked with Jon to compile the below gallery, which we think you’ll agree is rather dazzling to behold! As our goal with every Gallery is to take a holistic look at each artist’s career, we’ve included Jon’s depictions of Doctor Who as well as his outside interests, and he was gracious enough to include a bit of insight behind the development of each.  We also snuck in a mini-interview with the fella, his responses to which you may find surprising!

So leave us your hat, grab a bite, and be our very special guest as we admire the work of Jon Wesley Huff in this week’s Whispering Gallery at Kasterborous Towers!

The Four Doctors

The Four Doctors, 2010
Digital

“This was a teaser poster I did after Big Finish announced that their subscriber bonus for 2010 would be The Four Doctors. The Eighth Doctor was the only one I’d ever drawn before, so I was pleased with the way this one turned out, and I like the overall mood of the piece.” -Jon

Flesh and Stone

Flesh and Stone, 2010
Digital, 1000 px × 1552 px

“This was created for what I had intended to be a series of images – one for each episode of Series 5. I didn’t get too far into the series, sadly, before I trailed off. I do really like the mood of this image, though.” -Jon

“The Moment” Page 1, 2010
Digital

“This is the first page of a short fan comic I did showing the regeneration of the Eighth Doctor to the Ninth Doctor. It was created shortly after it was revealed in the TV series that the Doctor had used “The Moment” to end the Time War. This is my depiction of those events. I was very happy with this not just from an artistic standpoint, but also from a writing standpoint. You can read the full comic here.” -Jon

What elements of the Whoniverse do you most enjoy making into art?

Hmmm… that’s a really great question. I tend to bounce around a lot, depending on whatever is foremost in my mind at the moment. I’d say I’ve done more art from the new series than anything, but it really just depends on whatever strikes me at the moment. I tended to get very hyped up when a new series was coming, and making art was part of the expression of that. I don’t do that quite as much any more. I don’t think it has anything to do with looking forward to the series less, just that I’m more used to it now. It’s been a very long time since I’ve done anything new, though. I would like to do some sort of art for the 50th Anniversary. But now I’m trying to invest more time in creations of my own devising, so there’s less time for that!

Melancardia

Melancardia, 2012
Digital
Created for a contest on the “Melancholia” Facebook page.

“I really loved Lars Von Trier’s captivating movie Melancholia and when the Facebook page for the movie had a call for entires of fan art for the movie I couldn’t resist. In the movie, the two lead characters are definitely a study in opposites, and the playing card theme reflects that.” -Jon

Battle For Eternia

Battle For Eternia, 2012
Digital

“This is a two-page spread from a fan “mini-comic” I created for the Masters of the Universe figure “Battleground Teela.” It is in the style of the very first mini-comics that came with the vintage Masters of the Universe figures, which were more like storybooks. You can read the full mini-comic online here.” -Jon

Cyberman Triumphant

Cyberman Triumphant, 2007
Pen and ink with digital colour, 1000 px × 1552 px

“An older one. I find the colors a bit garish, now, but the main subject is fun. I’ve always preferred the Cybermen to the Daleks, yet they eternally play second fiddle to them!” -Jon

2nd Doctor and Zoe

2nd Doctor and Zoe, 2008
Pen and ink with digital colour, 600 px × 758 px

“I can’t remember if this was created for the fanzine Shooty Dog Thing, or if they just liked it and picked it up for use on the cover. It ended up being one of a couple of illustrations I did for them. It was my first attempt to draw the Second Doctor (and possibly my only attempt so far!) and he looks kind of terribly cartoony to me, but it was a lot of fun to draw something from this era. I should do more, as I’ve really grown to love the team in place at this time.” -Jon

What kind of planning/preparation/time goes into each of your pieces?

Very little planning! Usually it’s just an idea that pops into my head. Sometimes I just sit down at the drawing board (or Cintiq, these days) and start drawing and see what’s coming out. Of course, for a full-blown fan comic like The Moment or Dark Tide, a lot more planning goes in because I have to figure out the story, work out the basic layouts, and all of that before creating the final comic. And if anyone who reads this is wondering… I AM finally in the process of finishing up Dark Tide! It’s been too long, but I’m making an exception to my rule of only creating my own stuff to finally go back and finish that story!

Fortress of Mystery and Power

Fortress of Mystery and Power 2011
Acrylic on canvas, 18 in × 24 in

“I have not done a great deal of non-digital painting since college, but I created this for PowerCon’s first annual charity auction. The interior of Grayskull is meant evoke the card art from the classic Masters of the Universe toy line. As a child, I always imagined Castle Grayskull contained unimaginable powers and mysteries and tried to capture that here.” -Jon

Blake's 7 Lost Comic

Blake’s 7 Lost Comic, 2012
Digital
Created for the Blake’s 7 fanzine Star One

“I have had a good relationship with the creator of the Whotopia fanzine, having contributed to it a few times over the years. He was putting together a new (sadly now defunct) Blake’s 7 fanzine, and I was able to create this for that. I decided to make it look like an old Marvel comic, something I’d done for the Victory of the Daleks episode a while back [seen later in this gallery] and I had a blast replicating the look. The look of the headline treatment is very much based on the Fantastic Four comics of the 70s.” -Jon

Imogen

Imogen, 2007
Digital

“This is a digital painting of Imogen Heap, live in concert. It was one of my first efforts with digital painting. Although there are parts of it that make me cringe now like her left hand, I’m still pretty proud of the overall piece.” -Jon

Last of the Time Lords

Last of the Time Lords, 2007
Pen and ink with digital colour, 900 px × 1165 px

“Another old one. It was an attempt at a “movie poster” style illustration. The Face of Boe looks a bit like a strange growth coming out of the Doctor and Master’s heads! But I still like the general layout and the way the Time Lord was made to look like part of the mountain behind him. It’d be fun to re-do this one some day.” -Jon

Fragments – “New Era” – 2010
Digital

“This is a comic page created for another writer. This was for Martin Fisher’s Doctor Who Fragments series of fan comics that told a quick story in one page. I couldn’t pass up the chance to draw the Fourth Doctor and Romana. A lot of firsts here. I wish I could have gotten Lalla Ward’s features down a little bit better here. But overall I was pleased. You can read the full comic with dialogue here.” -Jon

Grace & Witherbloom Cover

Grace & Witherbloom Cover, 2012
Digital, 8 in × 12 in

“This is a cover I created for a book series I created. It’s about Helen Grace and Josiah Witherbloom, who have sci-fi adventures in Victorian England. The stories were released separately in digital form, and then collected in digital and print in November of 2012. I wanted to create something bold, that felt a bit of the period but also fresh. I also wanted to leave room for readers to fill in what the main characters looked like in their own heads, hence the outlined figures.” -Jon

Which are you first – a writer, as demonstrated by your Grace & Witherbloom novellas, or an artist?

For most of my life I would have said “artist.” I’ve made my living as a graphic designer (now art director) as an adult, but that really was meant to just be a back-up for becoming a comic book illustrator. But, I discovered I really didn’t have the patience for being a comic book artist. It takes me too long, and I’m never satisfied with the result. Eventually, I realized that telling stories is what I loved the most. I love graphic novels and comics as a medium, but I’ve always been an avid reader too. So, writing has stemmed a lot from wanting to tell stories but being frustrated with the speed and quality of my art. So, today, I’d say I think of myself as primarily a writer. I’ve tried pitching to a few places like Big Finish, because I’d love write an audio for them someday. But for the most part I’m concentrating on my own creations. Right now, I’m just exploring my options. I’m writing three books at the moment, and I feel like at some point soon a time will come when I need to pick on one of them and run with it!

The New 8th Doctor

The New 8th Doctor 2010
Digital

“Very shortly after Paul McGann debuted his “concept” costume at the convention in New Zealand, I did this piece. I was very excited when, a couple of years later, it became the official new costume of the Eighth Doctor starting with Big Finish’s Dark Eyes.” -Jon

Giant-Size Daleks!

Giant-Size Daleks! 2010
Digital, 1000 px × 1552 px

“I still like this one a lot. It’s an homage to the classic Giant-Size X-men, which seemed appropriate for the new, very large Daleks. It was a lot of fun recreating the typography from the issue as well as the main image.” -Jon

For lots more great stuff from Jon, explore the links below:

Named for the 2009 IDW comic, The Whispering Gallery is a semi-regular feature here at Kasterborous that seeks to showcase the careers of unique, distinguished, and talented Whovian artists in a museum-style format.  Miss a previous exhibition?  No problem!  Just strap our pre-programmed vortex manipulator to your arm and have a glimpse at past Whispering Galleries…

Know of a great Whovian artist you’d like to suggest for a future exhibition?  Tweet or email us!

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About the Author

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Patrick is a temporal hitchhiker who spends most of his time in the future. His favourite Doctor is the Fourteenth. If you're especially lucky, you might even hear him tweet to all you merry folk in the past @10PatrickRiley.



5 Responses to The Whispering Gallery: Jon Wesley Huff

  1. avatar Bradondo says:

    Compared to other artists you’ve featured Huff’s work looks a bit amateurish. His composition and use of color are first rate but he seems to have a great deal of trouble with facial features and expressions. He draws “things” beautifully–Cybermen, Daleks, the TARDIS console, etc., but his Doctors and companions are largely unrecognizable and his postures are sometimes awkward. I feel that he’s got the potential to become a first rate artist but he really needs to work on these areas.


    • Hey Bradondo – I wouldn’t disagree! That’s why I’m not a professional illustrator. :D It’s just a fun thing I like to do. I enjoy art and drawing but not enough to make it a profession, which is part of the reason my skills only ever developed so far. Some of the stuff here (as you’ll know if you read the captions) is very, very old. But even my newer stuff has some issues like stiff figures. I think my likenesses have gotten better, personally, on the newer stuff like the Blake’s 7 cover. Certainly since the time I did that Second Doctor pic! :) Part of the issue is that I don’t draw for long periods of time. To be a great artist you have to pretty much draw every day. So a lot of the time it’s just about shaking the dust off and getting back to where I was rather than progressing. Anyway, thanks for your feedback.

      • avatar Bradondo says:

        My comments were meant to be constructive although rereading what I wrote it sounds a bit harsher than I intended! I’m an amateur artist myself (more comic strip oriented than comic book) and I struggle with all the same issues you describe. I never do a big project (at least one where posture is going to be an issue) without figure drawing reference materials at hand! It’s also definitely harder when you don’t go at it on a daily basis, yes. Sometimes my hands seem to forget how to draw if I’ve gone too long between project. Unlike myself, though I think you really could go pro if you were so inclined. That was what I meant to get across. :)


        • No worries at all! I definitely took it as you intended. I thought it was very well put. I appreciate you taking the time to take a look and comment. :)

  2. avatar Philip Bates says:

    Oh, that Giant-Size Daleks one is exceptional!

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