Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen.
So, it’s very nearly December and even the bah humbug’s amongst us have realised that Christmas is almost upon us. I’ve had my first mulled wine of the year at the European markets here in Albert Square, whilst shoehorned into a corner amongst the Mancunian masses. There’s nothing quite like being uncomfortably sandwiched in between drunk strangers whilst trying to buy a bratwurst – that’s what Christmas is all about, right?
In some exciting news, the mail art I created for the Salford Zine Library‘s PENPAL exhibition that I mentioned last week is up on display! I popped to the Nexus Art Cafe last week to check it out for the first time, and I was pleasantly surprised to see my work there, alongside Alex Hahn‘s (Blop creator and continued Sneaky Business friend) submission too.
How cosy! Having never been to the Nexus Art Cafe before it was a really nice little cosy corner to find in the middle of the Northern Quarter, and I’ll definitely be heading back soon. It’s also conveniently right next to Manchester’s Travelling Man store! Although I didn’t manage to get any photos, Travelling Man Manchester now also has glittery copies of Ø alongside copies of Njálla and Sneaky Business vol. 2. So, pop on down and check out their selection of small press and mainstream comics if you’re in the area, then pop your feet up and read your new purchases in the Nexus Art Cafe next door. Perfect!
In other news, work has continued on the short stories collections I’ll be releasing in the Spring with Good Comics. After the year or more I’ve had of constantly creating something for either a submission or self-publishing, by the time I got to Thought Bubble at the beginning of this month I was all ready to take a long nap through winter and worry about creating something new in the new year. However, my brain doesn’t seem to shut off, and I got so excited at the thought of working alongside those Good Comics chaps that I’ve just been tackling this new collection story by story, piece by piece. I’m not sure how other people go about writing a collection of short stories, but aside from the ones I’ve written and am currently working on, I have no idea what the other ones will be yet. I think my brain currently only has space for one short story at a time, so I’m going with the flow and working hard to make this collection the best thing I’ve ever done, one bit at a time!
Honestly, there’s some bad habits I’ve gotten into in the past – mainly when feeling a bit rushed – in that I don’t refine my sketches enough or I don’t spend enough time working on poses and postures to make sure they’re absolutely correct. I guess it doesn’t help that I get a bit impatient at times, excited to move onto the next stage. But this time I’m actively making sure that all my pencil work is 100% before moving onto inking and painting, and I’m treating each short story the same way I treated Njálla – working on practice colours and tones, playing with size and composition, and trying to push my work to the next level.
It’s made for a lot of redrawing early on, and a lot of refining, but it’s only going to make everything I’m working on now stronger than anything before. It wouldn’t be right to be completely shroud my work in a veil of secrecy, so above are some sneaky shots on some of the things I’ve been working on for the past couple of weeks! It’s going to be interesting to complete each comic I’ve worked so hard on and not be able to show anyone for such a long time, but all the hard work will pay off in the end.
Speaking of hard work, the speed at which I’ll be bashing out work will be decreasing shortly as I’ve finally rejoined the land of the working masses with a new job in the city! So, I hope you all haven’t gotten used to the amount of consistent work I’ve been making for the past 3+ years, as you and I are both going to be in for a bit of a shock. But, change is good and I’m excited. Hopefully this’ll also mean I’ll be far more efficient when I do get back to work on my comics… Instead of web-window shopping and getting lost down the research rabbit holes of the internet.
And, that’s where I leave you all for now! I shall be back next week with more progression news and some other bits and bobs, but until then have a good week everyone.