Based on a conversation with a four-year-old, Moon is an original comics story with plenty of imagination, a look at familial relationships, and a nod the Chinese legend of Chang-e and the Mid-Autumn Festival.
…Our first port of call was to catch up with some familiar faces, and we started off with Good Comics’ Sam Williams, Rozi Hathaway and Josh Hicks who were all bunched in on a row together. Rozi was showcasing her new book Moon and this was our first chance to see it in print and the newsprint finish really made the most of Rozi’s beautiful artwork.
What’s that I can hear? The soothing sound of a free calendar? That’s right, the last two festivals of the year have been and gone, and what excellent festivals they were.
Thought Bubble Festival was held over the weekend 22nd-23rd September in central Leeds, it’s newer location for the second year running. This year I was in the very large ComiXology marquee, with David B. Cooper (colourist: Alex Automatic, Sleeping Dogs, Pirate Fun) to my left, and my dearest Good Comics on my right. I felt particularly smug this year as normally I travel up the morning of Thought Bubble feeling ridiculously tired and worn out before the 8 hours of day one tabling begins. This year, however, as I was driving from Bournemouth to Leeds, Sam and I travelled up on Friday and spent the evening in Leeds with the other half of Good Comics – Dr Paddy. We ventured across to the pre-Thought Bubble party gathering at Travelling Man in Leeds for the Avery Hill launch of Katriona Chapman’s Follow Me In and Kristyna Baczynski’s Retrograde Orbit, which was fun!
Thought Bubble itself was excellent; I had the opportunity to meet so many new people and see some regulars, with people who bought comics from me last year coming back to see what was new and say hello. I also had a nearly tear-inducing moment when one person bought a few of my books, went away and read them both in a café before coming back to tell me how much she enjoyed them. This, folks, is why I do what I do.
As you may be aware, Thought Bubble was also the official launch for my newest self-published newspaper comic, Moon. I’ve had so much positive feedback so far, I’m really glad everyone’s enjoyed seeing something a little different. Creating Moon in such a short space of time was incredibly isolating and also meant I didn’t have the time to talk about it in blogs or beam about its progress on social media, so launching it at Thought Bubble and being able to sit back and listen to people’s feedback was really, really nice.
Speaking of Moon, it’s now available on my Etsy store with additional stickers and temporary tattoos! Have you been plastering yourself with Moon temp tattoos? Send me some photos, I’d love to see how they turned out!
Moving onto the last festival of the year, one of my all-time favourites Bristol Comic & Zine Fair (BCZF) was this past Saturday 5th October, held at The Station in Bristol. BCZF is excellent for many reasons; for one, it’s free entry for the public so anyone can wander in and discover the breadth of different comic genres around. Secondly, it’s in Bristol so the creative scene there is always great, and finally, they have some of the best food around. Again, I had some really nice chats with people and the atmosphere is always friendly. Thanks so much to both the teams at Thought Bubble and BCZF for all their hard work in putting on excellent shows!
Whilst in Bristol Sam and I stayed with Mike, who has recently started Assembly Press, a risograph printing studio in Easton, Bristol. We played around with his older risograph machine in years previous, but this year he has upgraded to a two-colour machine, meaning we could quickly and easily try out some two-colour prints! I reused a design I previously ran through the riso, with amazing results. Check it out! (fluoro orange and yellow; fluoro pink and fluoro orange).
If you’re into creating work on a risograph printer or if you’d like to give it a try, Assembly Press has a special offer running until the end of August for 50xA3 prints for £30. Contact AP via Instagram for any enquiries!
That just about rounds it up for now. Phew, it’s been a busy one!
Now, I’m not going to pretend that this kind of concept is a good idea – it was a pretty stupid idea because it meant I had to juggle an already busy existence with a very short deadline. I took days off from work here and there and spent my evenings at the desk too, but it was so, so worth it.
The campaign for Moon went really well; it was 50% funded after two days, and then had a steady increase of 1-2 pledges per day to reach the original target of £800, then onward and up to a total of £1082. The campaign itself was really short so that I could get the comic printed and out in time for Thought Bubble Festival. But, regardless of the rush, it all worked as planned! The only real comparison that I have with Kickstarter is Njálla; but that feels like an exception to the rule, as that was fully funded on the first day (and something I never expected to happen again)!
Given how little time I gave myself, the creation side of the comic went really well. I did my usual process of thumbnailing out the comic, pencilling it up on big layout sheets, and then inking straight onto artist cartridge paper and painting on the same page. Moon is a total of 24 pages, 17 of which are painted story pages. Check out a little preview here:
What’s next? Well! First thing this Monday morning the print files were sent to print at the Newspaper Club. Tuesday night the rewards were sent off to print (A5 prints, temporary tattoos and stickers – you guys who pledged are in for a treat!), and now comes the waiting game. Digital review copies are being sent out on Monday 17th September (get in touch here if you’re keen to review Moon), digital comics are being sent to backers by Tuesday 18th, and all of the physical stuff should be arriving by Wednesday 19th. On the morning of Friday 21st September I’m (gently) throwing all of my wares in the boot of Billie the car and driving up to Leeds to launch Moon at Thought Bubble Festival on Saturday 22nd September. Phew!
It’s certainly been an experience, but this comic has been so much fun to work on and I truly wouldn’t have been able to work to this crazy schedule without the faith of every single Kickstarter backer who helped me make Moon into the physical comic I wanted it to be. Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to release it any time soon, or even dream of making sweet temporary tattoos of shipping containers.
And that’s about it for now! Remember to keep up with my more regular blogs over at Patreon, and until next time… Peace out!
Moon is an ethereal and enchanting original comic story about childhood, curiosity and love. In the usual Hathaway style, this comic is very light on words, with it aiming to be a comic more of tender experience than heavy literature. If successfully funded, Moon will be printed as a 24-page, full-colour newspaper comic, in a limited run of 200 copies, staple bound. The mini-tabloid newspapers are printed through Glasgow-based The Newspaper Club (check them out – really cool!), printed on 55gsm newsprint (super touchy-feely). It’ll also be bigger than my usual comics, at 160x280mm. Click here to check out the campaign on Kickstarter!
I came up with the idea from one of many conversations with my partner’s four-year-old son when we saw a large disc inside a storage container on a building site and he told me it looked a lot like the moon. As we all know, childhood fascination and discovery are something I will always enjoy making stories about, and this is no exception! It’s definitely been a fast-moving production as I spent weeks perfecting the story, then spending all-hours drawing up the roughs and artwork for the pages. But we all know I like a challenge.
It’s been just over two years since my Kickstarter for Njalla and it’s been a nerve-wracking experience to try and launch a new campaign. A lot has changed in two years, and the support from the comics community isn’t what it used to be. Although it’s somewhat terrifying to consider whether this project will still succeed or not, it’s also incredibly empowering to see how well it’s done up to now. And this is helped so much by everyone who has supported Moon – so thank you! You all are making this happen!
Here are some snippets below:
You can find the Kickstarter campaign here, along with details of all the rewards. I really really REALLY wanted to include temporary tattoos of moons and storage units in each pledge, but I’ve had to put it as a stretch goal as sadly, I can’t afford to do it otherwise. So.. let’s aim for £1000 and we can all have the matching temporary tattoos, yeah‽
I decided to create this story because I think we all need some child-like fascination and magic in our lives. My wish is for someone to pick up Moon and be transported away from his/her/their troubles and become lost in a dream. There is always time to worry about school, work, money or relationships, and we all deserve to escape – and sometimes just looking at the moon in the night sky does that – but sometimes it takes a story too. If you believe that too, then you know what to do.
In other exciting and unrelated news, my good friend and client Recettes Sucréees 1859 is off to the Hampton Court Palace Food Festivals this bank holiday weekend, with her fresh two gold stars from Good Food Awards and her illustrated postcards! More on this next time – but if you’re in the area or visiting the festival, be sure to check them out at stand R15 (and pick up a drunken squirrel brownie if you can – it’s delicious).
And that just about rounds it up! Until next time!
Did you see the news? Did you? No, not the news about a babies with teeth; the news of my newest project going live on Kickstarter this month! I know, I know, I like to give myself an unreasonable amount of work to do in a short amount of time, but I have a new story underway that I can’t wait for you all to see. It’s title: Moon.
After creating a few short stories for anthologies this year that haven’t yet been released, and the second edition of Cosmos & Other Stories, I’ve been really keen to push something out in the second half of this year whilst I’m dipping in and out of on The Biggest One Yet (my next, full-length book due out in 2019/20). I’ve been lucky enough to develop a beautiful story to tell, and I just. couldn’t. wait.
What do you need to know?
Moon will be Kickstarted, with the campaign launching soon.
This brand-new 24-page story will be printed in mini-newspaper format.
Crikey, it’s mid-July already. It’ll be Christmas before we know it. It’s been busy as ever over the past four weeks, with my first ever keynote speech done and dusted, another comics’ fair under my belt and a short zine lovingly crafted, printed, stapled and bound in my own living room. But, I’ve still had time to enjoy the summer months down in Bournemouth with plenty of swimming in the sea and running around on the beach! Here are the highlights:
Since last time:
I attended and spoke at the International Graphic Novel and Comics’ Conference
My sketchbook for codename: The Biggest One Yet (TBOY) is becoming plumper still
I tabled at the South London Comic & Zine Fair with Good Comics
Sam and I made a new zine together
I was accepted into Bristol Comic & Zine Fair in October – woo!
And, I picked up an old car called Billie. Road trips!
First up, the International Graphic Novel & Comics Conference (IGNCC) was a blast. Julia and the other organisers did a wonderful job, and once I’d stopped shaking from my speech, I had a fantastic time listening to other people present their papers and keynote speeches, all on varying subjects within the field of comics. Having studied illustration at university I’m fairly well rehearsed in listening to comics’ being talked about in depth in such a way, but it was still such a powerful, inspiring experience to hear about so many subjects within a few days.
Mid-speech at the IGNCC
Sadly I did miss a few things I really wanted to see; Woodrow Phoenix’ exhibition and talk on She Liveswould have been spectacular (but the downside of a new car was the pre-booked MOT taking up valuable conference time…). But overall it was an excellent few days! Thank you so much to the whole IGNCC team for hosting such a great event – and right on my doorstep too.
Next up, I spent this last Saturday in the overly muggy climates of Croydon, at the South London Comic & Zine Fair (SLCZF)! Between Paddy, Sam and myself we managed to eat a Caribbean feast whilst selling comics and zines to the throngs of people strolling past our table. Although, the heat did seem to affect my brain so my apologies to anyone who felt like they were talking to a spongy wall – that was just me!
The Hathaway Corner
For SLCZF, Sam and I decided to make a little hand-printed zine together as we haven’t had the chance to make one before. As Sam is a parent, we have split custody and both work full-time jobs, the time we actually have alone together is precious. Before I relocated to the coast and we were long-distance, we had a sketchbook that we posted back and forth to each other with all the things we’d like to do together when we finally lived in the same place, and this new zine felt like an extension of that idea, and finding peace in the time we get which is truly ours.
We hand-picked some G. F Smith paper and printed it all up on my laser printer, then Sam stapled and trimmed each one by hand. You can pick one up from my Etsy store for £2 plus postage! And yes, the cover is one example of me balancing things on Sam’s head whilst he sleeps.
Finally, my sketchbook is still well underway for my new project under the codename The Biggest One Yet (TBOY). Although with the conference and the zine I’m a little behind, you can still find all my progress over on Patreon. I also have another project coming up which will be really exciting, so sign up now before you miss anything.
And that’s about it for now! Me and Billie the car will be planning our next research adventure… watch this space.
This humidity/hayfever combination has me all a’funk. Even more so when I sit down to write my blog, and can’t recall what I ate for dinner two days ago let alone what I’ve been doing for the past nearly six weeks. I can hear you all now, reading this, muttering affectionately… “ah, that’s what happens when you start getting older”. Thanks.
Thankfully I’m a lady of lists, so here I am to look back through them all and get you up to date at what’s going on at HQ.
Since we last spoke:
I’ve been researching and writing my keynote speech
My sketchbook for codename: The Biggest One Yet (TBOY) is becoming plumper
I went to Bournemouth University’s Festival of Learning
I’ve been on a copywriting course through my work (expect jazzier headlines in anything I write from now on)
And, drove around my living room swerving to avoiding Pokemon and wild animals*
So! Keynote speech. It sounds impressive, it feels impressive, and a solid 10% of me is not nervous at all.
Genuinely, I’m really looking forward to speaking at the International Graphic Novel and Comic Conference; it’s something I couldn’t have ever dreamed of doing a few years ago, and really, to talk about comics for half an hour to a keen audience is practically a dream. Try introducing yourself as a comics artist to anyone who isn’t a comic artist – it’s exhausting. Even trying to answer the question of ‘what kind of comics do you make?‘ is a tricky one, as really, people only know of a very few genres. Superheroes, political/newspaper cartoons, and possibly if they live in a metropolitan city with an excellent bookshop, they may also know of autobio/biographical and journalistic comics. All-ages-anthropological-sociological-travel-fantasy is a bit of a jumble, let’s face it. So being able to talk to a semi-engaged audience sounds delightful!
The theme of the conference is Retro! Time, Memory, Nostalgia. My speech is on Retrospective Storytelling: From Childhood to Characterisation, on Wednesday 27th June. So if you’re booked onto the conference please do come and say hello! You can find the full programme here.
Next up, I’ve been chugging away slowly at a sketchbook I picked up specifically for working on my next comics’ project in. For The Biggest One Yet (TBOY) I really wanted to grow an idea though sketching and external inspiration, rather than starting with an idea. I have a few things I’d like the story to encompass and a route for it to take, but the finer details are something I’d like to stumble upon during the process. I’ve been posting regular updates and sketchbook pages on Patreon, so if you have FOMO of TBOY then YKWTD: https://www.patreon.com/rozihathaway
I couldn’t possibly leave you with nothing, so here’s a taster:
This past week I also made a special trip on the number 17 bus to Bournemouth University for their Festival of Learning. They’ve had a whole host of interesting events on, but the only one I could make it to was the fantastic Storytelling from India talk from Tara Douglas. Sadly I couldn’t make it to the screening of the animations that the talk was based on, but it was still incredibly interesting all the same. The talk of India’s caste system reminded me a lot of an exhibition I went to a couple of years ago at the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool; which, FYI, is a fantastic museum and if you haven’t been there already I highly recommend it. Back to the talk – Tara led us through the process of making a series of animations based on tribal stories, myths and legends. Using local storytellers, narrators and artists it made for a really interesting and beautiful project. If you’re interested, you can see a full article from Bournemouth University here, or check out the website here.
And that just about wraps it up! As I said above, I have been lucky enough to go on a copywriting course with my day job – so have I convinced you through my words? I’m not sure what I would be trying to convince you of… Maybe I need more practice.
Until next time!
*driving around my living room swerving to avoid Pokemon may or may not be in the imagination of myself and four-year-old Saul.
It’s May! When did that happen? No, seriously… Answers on postcards, please.
The last month or so has flown by as usual, and it’s been a busy time working on comics ready for submission and projects anew. I’ve also recently changed day-jobs into something far more interesting – in the field of marketing and copywriting, ooh err – so be prepared for my grammar and sentence structures to slowly improve (we hope).
I finished up another four-pager to be included in the brand-spanking new BBE Collective anthology; Barriers
I took a romantic comics’ trip to Brussels for a long weekend, and
…I’ve begun preliminary sketchbook work on my first full-length comic book. Agh/eek/woo, etc.
My favourite time of the year is a busy time of the year. The Good Comics Reader was officially launched at Leamington Comic-Con on Saturday 14th April. The festival was a huge hit as always thanks to Dan and Lisa’s tireless work to promote small press comics. The Reader is beautiful; risograph printed on recycled paper, and it is good for the feels as 50% of the profits go to the charity Young Minds. Here are some previews of my comic;
Drawing for risograph printing involves working in layers for colour separation, so it was working in a totally new way for me. Here’s one of the spreads; this was for the red/burgundy layer on pages 1-2:
Next up, last month I finished a comic for BBE Collective on the theme of ‘Barriers’. I created an illustration for their last anthology Habitat (which you can buy here, priced £7) and they’re such nice and encouraging people that I couldn’t resist creating something again. Plus, their anthologies are the some of the most tenderly colourful and beautiful around on the small press scene, so I recommend you check it out. I’m not sure when Barriers will be coming out in print form, but you’ll be the first to know! Here’s a sneak peek of my comic;
Next up, after what felt like a long time of lots of serious adult things and working a lot, Sam and I took a mini-break to Brussels, Belgium to ignore our phones and get some fresh air and fresh ideas (and fresh kriek). We somehow managed to book to go away when the weather was absolutely incredible; normally Brussels is a rain-haven. Alas, with blue skies and warm hearts we ventured around the city taking in the sights and sounds, visited the wonderful Centre Belge de la Bande Dessinée and took a trip out to Louvain-le-Neuve to the Musée Hergé. I’m not going to inundate you with tourist photos, but here are a few gems from a wonderful trip away.
I came back from Brussels with a healthy dose of vitamin D and fresh imagination.. that promptly got a little squashed by a few very busy weeks. Regardless, now things have settled down a bit I’ve been studying my photos and the small pile of books* we brought back from Brussels. Slowly but surely I’m working away, both in my head and in sketchbook form, on ideas for my next comic.
I’ve debated for a while now what my next step would be; do I continue creating short work? Do I try to be published by a big-name publisher? Do I carry on self-publishing? I’m still not entirely sure on those last two, but I have decided the time is right to create a much, much longer book. A full length comic, with story arcs and everything. The wonderful thing about short stories and submissions is that I get to try out a new idea and process or medium every single time, and now I’ve had some time exercising different methods of painting, colouring and drawing, I’m ready to put all this knowledge into practice and work out a longer story.
I’m really, really excited.
Though don’t you go getting too excited just yet; we have a long journey ahead of us, you and I. Writing a full-length book is no walk in the park, and it’ll take me well into next year to complete. But the cogs are working away and the sketchbook has started. And here I introduce into the world my newest code-named project; The Biggest One Yet.
I’ll be sharing sketchbook pages on my Patreon a couple of times a week, so if you’re keen to watch the story develop at the same time I do, you know where to go.
And that’s it for now! Keep your peepers peeled for next month’s news, and until then – peace out.
*It was not a small pile. It was, in fact, pretty large.
So! It’s been a busy month as ever here at HQ.. First up, The Inking Woman Book Launch! On Thursday 15th March I took a half-day at my day job and hopped on the 3 hour coach up to London for The Inking Woman/Marie Duval book launches from Myriad Editions. You know me – ever the traveller. With a quick pit-stop in the V&A and The Science Museum beforehand, I bundled over to the launch party with a skip in my step and after a short while, prosecco in my hand.
The atmosphere was electric, just as much as it had been at the original Inking Woman exhibition at The Cartoon Museum almost a year ago! Thank you so much to Corinne Pearlman, Cath Tate and Nicola Streeten for all their hard work in putting such a fantastic book together. Below you can see me lurking in the back with a handful of the Inking Women featured in the exhibition/book – I’m so proud to be among them! The whole experience took a little while to sink in – travelling back the same night probably didn’t help in making it all feel rather surreal. But, low and behold I am published in a Myriad book amongst so many wonderful cartoonists.
Picture credit: Cath Tate Cards
Look mum, I’m in a real book!
In other news, I spent most of March finishing up something new for a new anthology; the Good Comics Reader! Those chaps at Good Comics decided it’d be nice to do an anthology featuring all the creators whose work they have published so far. How could I resist? My new four-page comic will be launched in the Reader on Saturday 14th April at Leamington Spa Comic Con, and copies are available to pre-order now.
The Reader is also raising money for charity, with 50% of the proceeds going to Young Minds. Here’s a little bit about them from their website;
We’re leading the fight for a future where all young minds are supported and empowered, whatever the challenges. We’re here to make sure they get the best possible mental health support and have the resilience to overcome life’s difficulties.
The crisis in children and young people’s mental health is real and it is urgent. More children and young people than ever before are reaching out for help with their mental health. But for those who take that brave step, help is much too hard to find.
Together, we are changing this. We’re fighting for young people’s mental health. Join our fight.
In other Good Comics related news, this Friday is the launch party of their newest release The Times I Knew I Was Gay by Eleanor Crewes at Gosh! Comics in London. PAR-TAY! As an honorary member of Good Comics I’ll be at the launch with a glass in hand celebrating this really excellent book – if you’re a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan like I am, you’re in for a treat – so if you’re local to London then come on down as it’s going to be amazing!