Self Care & Vegetables… And Being a Bit Brave

Good afternoon all!

So, it’s done. It’s actually done-and-sent-off-to-the-printers done. That’s right, the mystery project I’ve been clocking away at for the past few months, from its conception in April to completion this week… is done. Done done done done done.

Working on something autobiographical has never been my strong point. I love imagination, myths, nature and journeys, I like working with mood and tone, atmosphere and textures. However, when faced with the challenges that life brings, sometimes it’s necessary to step back from things and reevaluate.

So, a relationship broke down. Who cares, right? I’m fairly private, I don’t divulge the details of my living in a spare room for the past five months, and I certainly don’t tell people that some days, at my worst, I struggled to find the strength to eat. I come from a family of not talking about things, and a big reason my four-year relationship broke down is because we never talked about our problems.. so, why do this?

There are many things I’ve learnt so far this year, and one of them is the importance of honesty; not only with other people but with myself. I spent a long time not realising I was unhappy, a costly mistake which has taught me a lot about who I am as a person and what I want out of life. By extension, working through the situation I’ve found myself in and creating a physical record of what has happened – whilst using new materials and techniques – has helped me beyond what words could, and that’s where Self Care & Vegetables came in.

It’s been challenging to look at creating this comic/zine objectively – writing my experiences into a narrative script and editing down my own heartfelt moments. It’s not something I’d describe as pleasant any day, so.. again, why have I essentially published a drawn journal detailing every breakdown?

Well, I realised I’m not alone. Some of the things I experienced were akin to poor mental health and learning how to get better was something I struggled with for many, many months. I guess it sounds overly enlightened, but in a similar way to Cosmos, if I can help someone relate and make them feel less alone, it’s part of my duty as a creator to do so. This isn’t my Sistine Chapel, and it may not be a best seller, but for a limited run of 100 copies it’s 40-pages of all my anxieties and recovery following the fallout of a four-year relationship.

…sound appealing yet?

 

Self Care & Vegetables is now available to pre-order on my Etsy store! The zine is officially released at this year’s Thought Bubble Festival on Saturday 23rd September, with pre-orders being sent out on Friday 22nd.

And, if you feel a bit bummed out after reading what is normally a lighthearted blog, here are some nice things to recover with:

  • Emoji Aquarium is my new-found instant smile maker. Every few hours a new one is posted!
  • My mum showed me a video from Mary and her dog Secret, who do yoga together. I melted, and now I want an Australian Shepherd dog.
  • Terry Pratchett has amused us all by asking for his hard-drive to be destroyed by a steam-roller in his final wishes.
  • At the moment of me typing this the sun is shining in Manchester. Which, is a rare feat and must be acknowledged.

And that’s it for now! Next week I’ll be back with more news and gossip, so until next time.. over and out!

 

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One Month Countdown

Good afternoon all,

Comic creators, this is your four-and-a-half week warning for Thought Bubble, I repeat, this is your four-and-a-half week warning:

Official Thought Bubble Festival banner, with artwork by Jen Bartel.

That’s right; one of, if not THE biggest UK independent comic festivals is just around the corner, as the words “It’s nearly Thought Bubble” strike fear into anyone who’s working on a project to release at Leeds’ epic weekend comics celebration. As I mentioned last time, I’ve been getting back to the grind to complete my new zine – the plus-side of not using any paint this time around (yes, yes it’s been a painful but important thing to temporarily let go of gouache and my brushes) is that the final artwork is a lot quicker to create. So, with a few finishing touches it should be going off to print before the week is out!

Here’s some previews..

Next week pre-orders for the zine will open and the full announcement will be made, so keep your peepers peeled!

In other news, the latest Pipedream Comics Pull List went up this month, titled Discover Small Press – including an interview from yours truly! Here’s what they said about it on the site:

We were inspired to celebrate Small Press after a visit to the East London Comic Arts Festival in June and so we’ve picked five of our favourite creators and talked to them about their inspirations and the stories behind their books. These include Jonathan Cape award-winner Matthew Dooley, Avery Hill’s new superstar Ellice Weaver, Human Garbage creator Josh Hicks, NPC-Tea’s Sarah Millman and Cosmos’ Rozi Hathaway. All five of these creators encapsulate what is great about the world of small press and we hope that by discovering their work you can embrace the wonders of the community, too. We also have an amazing cover from Sub Diablo creator Darrell Thorpe.

Discover Small Press with the new issue of indie comics fanzine The Pull List – ON SALE NOW!

The Pull List by Pipedream Comics – available now.

Click above to get your digital copy for £0.99!

And finally, as well as working on the zine I’ve also been working on something more illustration-based for a submission.. Well, three things to be precise. Have a peek:

I’m planning to finish these up this weekend, so all will be revealed soon!

And, that’s about it for now. Have a good bank holiday weekend all – I shall be partying with my paints! Laters.

 

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Self-Care & Vegetables

 

Self-Care & Vegetables is an autobiographical zine detailing my recovery from the fallout of a long-term relationship, after relocating far away from friends and family.

Printed at on Cyclus recycled paper at ethical, local Manchester printers MARC, Self-Care & Vegetables is 40-pages of anxieties and progression, printed at A6 on their economical inkjet printer. Created without paint or textures, the zine was drawn with just two Kuretake brush pens.

Details/progress can be found on my blog.

Pre-order your copy of Self-Care & Vegetables here!

Launching at Thought Bubble Festival on Saturday 23rd September 2017, with all pre-orders shipping on Friday 22nd September.

 

 

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Nearing The End

Good afternoon all!

So, we’re nearing the end of summer already. September is technically autumn, which is practically almost winter, which means that rainy Manchester has given me approximately one week of good sunshine weather this season. At least it’s consistent? This also means it’s nearing the end of the time needed to finish my new zine I mentioned in my last update, which will be launched at Thought Bubble Festival in six and a half weeks!

Six weeks..

Six..

Gulp.

Progress has been slow on the zine in the past couple of weeks, as I’ve found working on this project to be a bit up and down – not to mention having an incredibly annoying cough and feeling like garbage for two weeks. Not feeling great made it hard to work on this zine, so instead I opted to spend my time on crafty things I could do in bed, like sewing. Yes, I’m turning into my mother. And yes, if you knew her you’d realise that’s a great thing.

The zine, an autobiographical story, is something totally new for me. A different way of working and a different way of writing, and working on something autobiographical is a lot harder than escaping into the realms of magical foxes and stars in a jar. I dabbled in stories relating to my experiences in Cosmos & Other Stories, but this zine is definitely a new challenge – wholly to the point with no abstraction. Luckily for me, time is running out and I work a lot better under pressure, so it’ll be done before I know it! I hope.

Without trying to sound too much like 1960’s newscaster – keep an eye out for more as this develops.

In some other excellent news, a half-table space opened up at Bristol Comic & Zine Fair on Saturday 7th October, and I was asked if I’d like to exhibit! I will admit, I was kinda upset when I didn’t get into BCZF – but like ELCAF, this event really has an incredible collection of artists so I was more than happy to tag along with the Good Comics gents and take up some space on the communal table. But, luck turned in my favour and I’ll be there. Exciting stuff! Check out the Facebook event page for all the deets.

Bristol Comic & Zine Fair is two weeks after Thought Bubble Festival (23rd-24th September), with Loogabarooga (21st October) two weeks after Bristol – so it’s going to be a busy month-or-so with lots more travelling. It’s a good thing I’m well rehearsed in napping on trains and coaches! Zooming down the M6 catching flies is my best look..

And that’s it for now! I have my work cut out preparing this zine in the next few weeks, but I’ll keep you all updated with what’s going on. Until next time, have a good week/weekend all.

 

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