The Lurgy Arrives

Good afternoon ghosts and ghouls,

So, I’m blessing you with my presence today whilst battling a fearsome autumnal cold. I’ve been awaiting this beast that’s been going round for a while, and I’ve been managing to happily avoid it until now. Marvellous. Don’t colds just have a way of appearing at the most awkward time? It’s not like I have presentations to give, with the need to think about complex educational things, right? Instead, the inside of my brain is made of marshmallows and I look like Beetlejuice. But hey, I’ve been eating vegetables galore so hopefully I will battle this demon lurgy in time for the weekend!

This past week I’ve started making some headway on ideas for a new project, the Folio Society and House of Illustration Book Illustration Competition. The Book Illustration Competition is a yearly jobby that’s been going on since 2011, though this year is the first time I’ll be entering. This year’s book is War Horse by Michael Morpurgo, and I shall be creating three inner illustrations and the book cover design for this, for completion is early January. So it’s quite a big task, but an exciting one nevertheless. Last week I made some collagraph printing plates ready to do some illustration backgrounds to draw back into; unfortunately I’ve felt too awful to stand in the print room at University and get inky, but fingers crossed my human-self returns soon and I can get my print on. Below are my printing plates, textures and all, ready to go! Aren’t they lovely.

Also, in my eternal search for new and interesting textures that I can add into my work, I had a go at some DIY nail varnish marbling! Because I’m too frugal to buy marbling inks, and I have a sizeable collection of nail varnish already, I decided to give this method a go after finding it on Pintrest. Now, I didn’t use anywhere near as much colour as in the tutorial (see previous point about frugality) to do mine, but they turned out pretty interesting all the same. These experiments are all going towards the preparations for The Next Big Thing..

Who says illustration just needs to be drawing, huh? All of these types of things I like to scan in and add as a layer behind an image to give it a bit more of a textured and interesting look sometimes. Plus it’s kind of fun to try these things, apart from the inevitability of being gassed in my living room by nail varnish. It’s all part of the fun!

In other news, I popped into Travelling Man in Manchester on Sunday to drop off some copies of Sneaky Business! They now sit alongside a remaining copy of The Red Road (first edition), and right underneath Keara Stewart‘s nightmare anthology I created a comic for, A Bit of Undigested Potato. How EXCITING! Don’t forget, you can pick up the last remaining copies of The Red Road from Gosh London, Travelling Man Manchester, OK Comics in Leeds! Sneaky Business is still available to buy from my rather shiny Etsy store, as well as in Gosh, Orbital Comics and now Travelling Man.

And with The Red Road re-release getting ever closer, I’m slowly getting prepared for the two-day comic bonanza that will be Thought Bubble Festival! For those of you travelling to Leeds for the occasion, the comics festival at the weekend is looking absolutely spectacular. I’ll be in New Dock Hall on table 73b, with lots of lovely and talented people around as shown on the map! I have some exciting things up my sleeve for the event, so be sure to pop by and say hello if you’re in the area.

Finally, following the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer being released last week, (and subsequently having to sit through it multiple times) I decided my better half’s excitable squealing was too entertaining to pass up on as inspiration, so I put pen to paper and made him this. Pretty spot on, if you ask me! Anywho, that’s it for now. I need to feed myself something magical to run this cold out of town. Until next time, happy Halloween and stay spooky! x

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The Red Road – Round Two

Goooood morning folks!

So, another week vanishes in the blink of an eye, and more sadly, another weekend vanishes even quicker than before. However, lots of good things are brewing here at Rozi HQ, (most important of all being herbal tea) and the excitement takes off the edge of the autumn chill.

Speaking of which, I am incredibly excited and happy to announce that The Red Road is going to print for a second edition run! I’ve been working away in between university assignments to add bonus content to the existing book, and really make it the best it can be. The story remains the same, though there are some new treats in store, including unseen sketchbook work and more..

I am so grateful for everyone who helped make The Red Road a sell-out success in just nine short months! It’s strange to think that this time last year I was beginning to unfold ideas to start creating Bear, Coyote and Lark, and the girl who holds the story together. It’s something I’m very proud of, and I’m not ready to let go of it yet. Watch this space for news of the official re-launch, coming November 2015!

In related news, The Red Road has kindly been reviewed over at Big Comic Page by Kirsty Hunter. Yay! Here’s some lovely extracts;

“A complete sucker for traditional media comics, I fell head over heels for The Red Road from my first look at its simple and striking watercolour cover. Burned skeletons of trees, silhouetted against shadowy mountains with a blazing red sunrise just breaking above these – the image nicely encapsulates the story’s blend of light and darkness.”

“Overall, The Red Road is a quietly powerful reading experience and a sure-footed debut from Hathaway. There’s more than enough here to get me really excited for whatever she brings out next as I think her ability to depict difficult emotions with a light touch will translate to a variety of projects.”

– Kirsty Hunter, Big Comic Page (read the full review here)

Lovely stuff! The Red Road scored a 4 out of 5, and is happily added to my small collection of reviews alongside Andy Oliver’s review from Broken Frontier earlier this year. Fingers crossed another important review might be coming this way soon..

Also, this week my Sneaky Business buddy Samuel C Williams has released the front cover image for his forthcoming zine, Dead Singers Society. To be released at this year’s Thought Bubble festival in Leeds, Dead Singers Society includes comics, illustrations and writing, with my submission being a single page illustration of Muddy Waters (sneak peek below). I always really enjoy working on small pieces for print, especially as a thanks to Sam for his work in Sneaky Business. So, if you’re around Thought Bubble next month be sure to swing by and see Sam’s stall (before you head over to spend all your pennies with me, of course!).

Finally, in some very exciting news, Kripa and Elena have absolutely smashed the target for Art Aid Nepal, finishing up with a whopping £3’300 in donations and over 100 backers! Well done everyone for being a part of something so amazing, I can’t wait to get my hands on my very own printed copy and see all the amazing work that’s gone into this multicultural bonanza of an anthology. Thank you so much to Kripa and Elena for letting me be involved!

That’s it for now, folks! I have a stack of books that need reading and analysing before I can do fun drawing things, and the pile of books seem to be ever growing.. University life. Stay tuned as more awesome things are coming in the weeks to come.. Over and out!

x

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Under the Sea

Good afternoon happy campers!

So, another seven days have clocked past and I’m feeling more comfortable with being up to my chin in assignment work. Final year stress? It’s a breeze! Ha.. Famous last words. But whilst I’m enjoying this false sense of security, I have my most recent project to show you all!

So, two weeks ago us happy third years were given a choice of articles to illustrate for an editorial brief. I chose one which was around the idea of the road, the space between places. Entitled ‘Toward Portland’, the already published article is a first person thought trail from an author describing over the course of a one page essay how the road is the place between places, also referencing other non-place places, like the twilight, midnight and abyss zones of the deep sea and all the spookies that reside down there. The writer also mentions his interest in travel starting from a young age, trying to dig to china in his back yard. Out of the two images we had to create, the only real constraint was that the first image, in a magazine setting, would have a crease running down the centre. This basically means I had to offset the image and counterbalance it, so that nothing ‘essential’ would be lost in the middle fold. All good practise, though! So, with all that in mind, you can see finished images below (click for bigger version);

There’s always something exciting about researching a new idea or topic. The deep sea concept jumped out at me immediately, and thanks to this awesome interactive animation I stumbled across on the BBC, I now know far more about the journey to the centre of the earth than I ever have. Fascinating stuff! The antikythera wreck and mechanism immediately jumped out at me, and I used theoretic diagrams in the second image. Also, those deep sea spookies you can see are the likes of amphipods (which didn’t make the final cut, sorry amphipods), the marine hatchetfish, and deep sea jellies such as the comb jellyfish and a sinister looking siphonophore. That last charmer can be up to 40 meters long with millions of stinging cells which it deploys in a net to completely obliterate anything that drifts towards it. With that in mind, I can safely say that I’m more than content on land, and plan not to meet these particular creatures any time soon. But yes, this was a nice change and a fun project full of complex and enticing ideas. Refreshing!

In other news, the ‘HOME’ themed Art Aid Nepal anthology has been reviewed by Andy Oliver at Broken Frontier this week! Check out an extract from the review below;

“Home also provides contributions that invite the reader to construct their own narratives around a single image. Katriona Chapman (Katzine – her page right) is another artist to emphasise that our relationships are integral to our sense of home while Rozi Hathaway (The Red Road and one of our ‘Six UK Small Press Creators to Watch in 2015’) provides a quiet but poignant moment of finding one’s place in the world amidst chaos and disorder. Asia Alfasi similarly highlights the importance of memories in relation to the thematic heart of the anthology.

To a degree it feels almost redundant if not inappropriate to be critically analysing a compilation of work that has been created with such altruistic intentions. However, regardless of the origins of its existence, Home is a reflective and contemplative collection of evocative work that all readers will relate to. Great comics and a great cause in one package. This one deserves your support.”

Andy Oliver, Broken Frontier review of Art Aid Nepal HOME Anthology

As I mentioned last week, this is something I’m incredibly proud to be a part of. Elena Vitagliano and Kripa Joshi have done a fantastic job at raising the hoped £2000 so far, but with 6 days to go there’s still a chance to make more of a difference. Here’s what they say about it..

“By raising £2000 we hope to provide workshops for the children in these temporary shelters. But we don’t want to stop at that… we have bigger dreams too.
If we can raise £2500 we will give each of those children a journal and art materials so they have tools for creative outlet. And if we raise more than £3000 we would conduct teacher training in the worst affected area to equip them with skills on how they can bring creativity into their classrooms through some very basic and easily found materials.
The more money we raise, the more areas we will be able to reach with the training. With your help we hope to reach as many children as possible and continue to provide support.”

You can still donate to the Kickstarter project until Monday 19th October, and you can do so here!

That’s it for now, folks! The Next Big Thing is in the beginning research stages of compiling what I have so far before I progress onto creating the story. Exciting stuff! Well, for me it is, anyway. Until next week..!

x

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Hello, October

Good afternoon ladies and gents!

So, with a sweep of windy and rainy weather we are now knee-deep in October. University has thrown me into the cold, harsh realities of becoming a final-year student, and with an entire eight months of work laying in front of me it’s all to easy to be intimidated. However! Now I have unshackled the responsibilities of part-time paid shelf-stacking work I am feeling somewhat stressed but also somewhat Zen. I will survive this year. I will. (I hope) -sob-

After a small editorial brief which will conclude next week, most of the work I’ll be producing is long-term projects. With that in mind, I will shortly be taking off my top secret cape! Meaning, you can expect a lot more of the work-in-progress kind of posts from me, along with quiet-yet-public-mental-breakdown posts and drunk-on-camomile-tea posts. Although I have to give a fair amount of concentration to all projects and briefs this year, the main focus of the next eight months is The Next Big Thing. My yet-to-be-named longer length comic will be the final push, incorporating everything I’ve learnt over the past two and a half years since I really started my comics career with HOAX: Psychosis Blues, up until the Top Secret Project which is due to be revealed next month.

First things first, this past rainy Monday I headed on down to The Big Smoke for half a day to visit the bees knees of comics shops! Sneaky Business is now available at both Orbital Comics and Gosh! Comics in London – yay! Don’t forget that Sneaky Business is still available from my online Etsy shop for just £2, perfect for those people who have everything, yet you still need to get them something for Christmas. Cuh, you know, THOSE people. Awkward souls.. Anyway, whilst I was in Gosh I dropped off the final five copies of The Red Road in a proud yet slightly sad moment. My children have flown the nest, and are all out there in the great wide world! So, that’s it folks. All one hundred copies are gone, with a few remaining at Gosh!, Travelling Man in Manchester (and last time I checked, there was one copy left at Nostalgia & Comics in Birmingham).

Final Page Image

Do not fear, though; Bear, Coyote and Lark are far too special to disappear forever. Keep an eye out on my social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) over the next couple of weeks for some exciting news, and of course here on the blog you’ll get all the insider gossip too!

November is turning out to be a pretty exciting month, with Thought Bubble on the horizon and Top Secret Project’s grand reveal.. and now some The Red Road news? Well, who needs Christmas! On that note, time to get back to the grind! Don’t forget to back the Nepal Art Aid Anthology if you haven’t already – the clock is ticking. For now, as always, over and out.

x

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