General Waffle

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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Ubiquity, Upcoming, & More

Good afternoon all,

So, these weeks are flying by aren’t they? It only feels like last week that I boarded my chariot (otherwise known as the Manchester to London Virgin train) for the opening of The Cartoon Museum’s exhibition The Inking Woman. Ending on Sunday 23rd, you only have a few days to go and check it out before it moves on! The opening night back in April was heaving, and the atmosphere was electric so I could barely concentrate on having a look around, so this past Saturday I returned to fully absorb the exhibition before it’s too late. Check it out:

It really is an entertaining selection of work from creators’ old and new, with a mix of original artwork and digital prints. It’s always incredibly interesting to see the original artwork, correction fluid and fresh paper placed over mistakes, paint over panel borders and smudges in the corners. If you have the chance to get down there I’d strongly recommended it!

In other news, sales have started to come through for my mental health print, in support of 42nd Street Manchester! It’s really heart-warming to see people moved by and interested in supporting the causes that 42nd Street, and their arts-venue the Horsfall. You can still get the prints online from my store here, with 50% of the proceeds going to the charity.

Also, I have some updates for my comic’s festival schedule! Sadly, as is the case with highly sought-after events, I didn’t manage to get a table at Bristol Comic & Zine Fair this year, held at The Station on Saturday 7th October. Thankfully for me, I can get in on the action and come along with Good Comics to support them, whilst having a few of my other titles on the communal table. Two weeks later, on Saturday 21st October, I’ve managed to squeeze into Loogabarooga Comics Fair in Loughborough with a last minute slot – party on! I will, of course, also be at Thought Bubble Festival now in its earlier calendar-slot of Saturday 23rd-24th September alongside Sam Williams of Good Comics, and a cardboard cut-out of Paddy (who has family commitments, cuh). So, it’s going to be a busy couple of months!

*cough* I will also be bringing out a little(ish) something new in time for Thought Bubble in September, so do watch this space…. *cough*

Finally, I’ve also managed to re-stock in my usual comic haunts, and get some stock in new places! As of this moment in time, you can currently get your hands on my books in Gosh Comics (London), Orbital Comics (London), The Cartoon Museum (London), Gnash Comics (Devon), The Incredible Comic Shop (Swindon), Page 45 (Nottingham) and Travelling Man (Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle & York). There may be some remaining in Nostalgia & Comics Birmingham, though I’m not totally sure what’s left there. Here’s some snaps!

So, as you can see, I’m slowly taking over the World. Or something to that effect.. Huge thanks to all the comics shops and Small Press friendly fans who keep buying my books dotted around the country! Nothing brings me greater joy than a surprise tweet to say someone’s picked up my work in a store or at a festival. It really is the best.

And, that just about rounds things up for now. As I alluded to earlier, I’m working on some top-secret tasks and planning at the moment with more to be revealed soon.. But until then, peace out!

 

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Continued City-Hopping

Good afternoon, all!

So it’s been another week of early starts and day-trips, with my Saturday kicking off at 5am getting up and ready for the Birmingham Comic Art Festival. This is its first year running the selling event in the much larger Birmingham Comic Festival, which involved a month long series of talks and events. I managed to grab up a whole table and spread out!

Sadly, it was a little quiet and the foot-traffic through the event wasn’t enough to keep the momentum up. But, it was pleasant enough and the people who did swing by were more than happy to have a chat, which made for a pleasant day! I packed up early to spend some time with my parents, before hopping on the Megabus back up north and getting home in time to shove a microwave meal in just before 9pm. Living the high life!

Leading up to this event and with the possibility of more selling/tabling events over the latter part of summer, I scraped together the pennies to get a reprint of Njálla.

Njálla – Round Two

Somehow, in just over a year, Njálla has sold out of its first print run of 250 copies. Absolutely amazing. Thank you to everyone who supported the initial Kickstarter campaign (which feels so long ago now!) and everyone who has purchased a copy since. I now have another bundle of second edition books up for sale. I haven’t added any additional content this time, so you first edition folks aren’t missing out on anything new. Just a fresh run to keep me going. Ahh… New comic smell.

And finally, remember that Mexican themed piece I was working on a few weeks back? After being a little distracted with other things I have finished tweaking and submitted it to Big Brown Eyes Collective for their Habitat anthology! They’re deadline for submissions was back in April, but they very kindly let me have an extension as they’re planning on releasing the book around autumn this year. Here’s a bit more of a preview:

The anthology is being released at this year’s Thought Bubble Festival on 23rd-24th September, and also features the likes of Peony Gent and Anja Uhren. In the meantime, you can keep up with BBE’s feeds with previews and more on Twitter and Instagram, and check out their previous anthologies on their online shop.

And that just about wraps things up for now. It’s a quiet spell for me with festivals as I didn’t manage to get into MCM Manchester at the end of July, but if you’re around London/south of the country you should definitely check out the South London Comic and Zine Fair on Saturday 15th July, which promises to be a grassroots, DIY fun show hosted by one of the formidable forces in comics, Gareth Brookes. I won’t be able to make it, but it looks set to be fantastic. And, Paddy from Good Comics will be there with his array of published books including Cosmos & Other Stories. Also, the weekend before is the launch of the Small Press Yearbook 2017 from Broken Frontier which features a short story from your truly.. So, lots going on!

And on that note, I’ll be back soon! Have a good week all, and until next time.. peace out.

 

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Commission Control

Good afternoon folks,

So it’s June, and I don’t know about anywhere else but Manchester is dealing with torrential downpours and gale-force winds. Delightful. Really puts you on the mood for summer, right? Thankfully, my work is based inside and with adequate shelter..

As I showed you all last week, I’ve been working on a one-page illustration for a submission to a cool project coming out later in the year. I was hoping to have it finished now but I’ve had some minor setbacks in finishing it up (those setbacks include being too tired to know what looks good anymore, and not being able to track down any on-offer Kettle Chips). But alas, of the progress I’ve made so far, here’s a sneaky preview:

In other news, I had the pleasure of working on a couple of commissions for a regular client, as gifts for his family. It’s a pretty interesting process to take someone else’s idea and turn it into a physical object, so I thought it might be cool to share it with you all.

On the left is the sketch I was sent via email, with what the client wanted for one of the pieces. In the middle is my initial pencil sketch at full size on layout paper, and on the far right is the final, painted illustration. Check it out:

The majority of my work is turning my own thoughts into comics and illustrations, so it’s really a pleasure to work on another person’s ideas. It’s especially satisfying working from something like a biro sketch! This was one of two pieces I worked on this weekend, with more plotted for later in the summer. If you’re interested in having you’re own ideas commissioned you can contact me via email, or put in a custom order request on Etsy.

Finally, if you’re keeping up with the up-and-coming creators on the small press comics scene, you’ll know that the Broken Frontier Small Press Yearbook 2017 cover has been announced!

Ellice Weaver’s cover for the Broken Frontier Small Press Yearbook 2017, out next month.

So colourful! Being released at Small Press Day next month, the Small Press Yearbook 2017 has work from Emily Rose Lambert, Rebecca Bagley, Kim Clements and many more.. including yours truly. And it’s going to be a good ‘un!

Aaand, that wraps it up for now. Until next time.. let’s all stay dry and if you’re UK-based, don’t forget to vote!

 

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Toucan Play at That Game

Good afternoon happy campers!

So, it’s almost June. I say this with trepidation, as June is ramping up towards the busy season of comic events, firstly with MCM London this past weekend, ELCAF coming up in a couple of weeks time, followed by the Birmingham Comics Festival, Small Press Day, South London Comic & Zine Fair, MCM Manchester, and that just brings us up to the end of July. And there’s quite possibly even more I don’t know about. Phew!

In an attempt to enjoy my short-lived downtime, these past couple of weeks I’ve working on an illustrative submission for a collection of illustrations/comics coming out later in the year. You know me, I can’t resist an anthology submission! Check it out:

I’ve been using an Arts and Crafts of Mexico book from Manchester City Library (just signed up, and FYI that library is incredible..) to look at patterns and animals used in traditional Mexican folk art, whilst also researching online about alebrijes and the bright colours used in traditional Mexican art. If there’s anything University taught me, there’s no such thing as too much research – even just for a one page illustration! You’ll have to wait until next time to see what I’ve come up with, but above is some of the progress I’ve made so far..

In other news, my updated postcard packs are now up on my Etsy store! You can a nice little snapshot from each of my most recent comics on that heavy duty matte laminate A6 goodness, including Njálla, Ø, The Broken Frontier Small Press Yearbook 2016, Cosmos & Other Stories, and even one from the new comic for the not-yet-released BF Yearbook 2017!

You can get your postcard pack online here – five seductively matte laminate cards for just £3.50 + P&P. Bring back snail mail! And… to celebrate the beginning of summer I’m offering 20% off all orders for one week only using the code OHHEYJUNE. Valid until 7th June!

So, what else? Oh yeah! Dirty Rotten Comics special edition 10 saw it’s release a week and a half ago – to some excellent reviews! Check out Pipedream Comics review here from Alex Thomas, and the Broken Frontier review here from Andy Oliver, with a snippet below about yours truly:

Another ‘Six to Watch’ artist who continually surpasses her previous work with each new offering is Rozi Hathaway. In ‘Aquarium’ we witness a young girl’s wonder at the sea life she is observing with Hathaway playing with the space between panels to emphasise two worlds coming together. It’s quite brilliant in structure and is the finest piece of pure comics in the issue.

– Andy Oliver, Broken Frontier – Dirty Rotten Comics #10 – Celebrating Ten Issues of Throwaway Press’s Pivotal Small Press Anthology in Colourful Style!

I have to say, I love Dirty Rotten Comics normally, but this issue is something special. Julian Hanshaw – whose work I’ve always had a soft-spot for since we met through HOAX Psychosis Blues – entertains as always. Although it’s hard to pick, my other favourites would have to be James Wragg’s moving matrix-esque story, Benjamin A.E. Filby‘s sci-fi short and Bethan Mure’s village savior tale. It really is a spectacular collection, and you should definitely grab a copy if you can!

And that rounds it up for now! Keep an eye out for the next update with more details on upcoming comic festivals I’ll be attending, and progress on my Mexican-themed piece. Until next time!

 

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The Quiet Life

Good afternoon all!

So, it’s Wednesday, and for the first time in longer than I can remember.. I haven’t worked on any comics in the past week! Yikes!

I love creating work, and I love working on multiple projects at once, but after three years of constantly making new work at university – even over the summer break with things like Sneaky Business vol. 1, the Broken Frontier Small Press Yearbook 2016 and submissions to anthologies including Dirty Rotten Comics – it’s been pretty non-stop. After finishing my degree last summer I’ve carried on working on a variety of things – Sneaky Business vol. 2 and Ø took me up to Thought Bubble 2016, and Cosmos & Other Stories came directly after. Now with the contributions to the Broken Frontier Small Press Yearbook 2017 and Dirty Rotten Comics Issue 10 complete, for the first time in my near history I have no comic projects on and it’s giving me a chance to debrief and rest.

Ahh… Free time.

But, don’t despair. I have plenty of illustration-led projects in the pipeline and I’m gently nurturing the beginnings of some ideas for future comic projects, so me and my ramblings aren’t going anywhere!

In comics-related news, Dirty Rotten Comics issue 10 is now available for pre-order from Amazon! And even more exciting, it’s on sale in both paperback and in Kindle format.

The cover art pictured above is by Lucie Ebrey – revealed as the book was formally announced on Broken Frontier last week. DRC 10 will be out on Friday 19th May, so pre-order your copy now or pick it up at one of their stockists after the launch. As I mentioned last month, my piece for the book is a two-pager and I’m really excited to see what you all think. It’s a pretty monumental moment for DRC to be releasing a full colour book, and I for one can’t wait to get my hands on it!

Postcard Par-tay

In other exciting news, I’ve stocked up on some more postcards for selling at events and online! A little while ago I sold some postcard packs on my Etsy store and they sold straight away, so in the coming week or so I’ll have a fresh pack going up including these five designs! So keep an eye out…

Also, those cape-clad gents at A Place to Hang Your Cape have reviewed Cosmos & Other Stories!

Indie creator Rozi Hathaway is back for more on AP2HYC with her latest offering Cosmos & Other Stories. Those of us fortunate enough to have read her previous entry here, Ø, will know that Hathaway is more than capable of bringing out the lonely 11-year old inside all of us, and her newest book is no exception. The story is a collection of comic vignettes that run the gambit of human loss and anxiety before leaving the reader on an uplifting note about seeking the wonderful things that exist in the world.

– Bard Brehon, “Cosmos & Other Stories is a Heartbreaking and Uplifting Journey” on AP2HYP

This review sits nicely next to AP2HYP’s coverage of Ø, which went up on the site last month. Thanks guys! Don’t forget, you can still pick up all my titles over on the ol’ Etsy store, and at selected small-press friendly stores around the UK.

Cosmos and Njálla available at Travelling Man Manchester!

And that rounds it up for now! Keep an eye out next week for the release of the new Dirty Rotten Comics… I might even show you some pictures of my comic in it’s colourful glory.

 

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May It Be

Good afternoon folks.

So, what a week! It was just as exhausting as I envisioned it being.. but somehow that prior wisdom somehow didn’t help me to cope any better as I grouchily collapsed down into bed at 9pm on Saturday evening. I know, what a party animal. That said, my grouchiness came from a place of happiness from having an excellent time at the two big comic events of the week. And, after a day of doing almost nothing on Sunday I feel relatively back to normal. Hurrah!

First up: Inking Women! Last week on Wednesday evening I trudged down from Manchester to London for the opening of The Cartoon Museum’s newest exhibition, The Inking Woman. I had the pleasure of spending time with new friends and old, and I got to see my work from the Broken Frontier Small Press Yearbook 2016 framed, proudly hanging on the wall next to a fine selection of other women cartoonists and comics creators.

The atmosphere was electric as we all gathered with pride to see the exhibition in it’s full glory. Opened officially by Sandi Toksvig, there was a feeling of humour and pride in the air as the Inking Women gathered into the centre of the ground floor for a photo opportunity, before carrying on with celebrating the night. I even got a chance to sign some new copies of Hoax: Psychosis Blues whilst I was there in the museum gift shop, and dropped some more copies of Njálla and Ø at Gosh! Comics whilst I was in the capital – two birds one stone! Andy Oliver at Broken Frontier has written a lovely page about the event which you can check out here.

Next up, on Saturday I headed up to Liverpool for the Craft Comics Festival as a part of the Smithdown Road Festival, held at Chris Welsh and Tom Ward‘s Craft Taproom. It had a different vibe from the usual comic festival type event, with tables dotted around the bar rather than gathered in rows which gave it a more relaxed atmosphere. The guys were excellent hosts (you know it’s good when you get given a gourmet brownie from a local store..) and it was a nice friendly event. Here’s what I had for sale:

Now that busy week is out the way I’m in full-steam-ahead mode to finish up my piece for the upcoming Broken Frontier Yearbook 2017. I’m pretty sure I’ve overrun the deadline by some horrendous amount of time due to having far too many commitments and other life issues getting in the way. But, thankfully Andy Oliver is a good pal and has been incredibly patient with me. The Yearbook isn’t launching for a couple of months yet, so I’m getting this done and over to him before the week it out.

And now I’ve said it publicly, that means I have to get it done before end of day Sunday.

Right.. best get to work.

And that’s where I’m leaving you all! Keep an eye out next week for a far more understandable and non-tired blog with a finished comic, and some other good stuff.. And until then, have a good week/weekend – and don’t forget that this Saturday is the annual Free Comic Book Day! Go ahead and support your local comics store by checking out what they have to offer and picking some other cool stuff up whilst you’re there. You never know what you might discover!

 

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On the Road

Good afternoon, all!

So, this is the week of running all over the place. Up here, down there, over that way and back again; I’m glad it’s a bank holiday weekend as it’ll give me a chance to quietly recover in a corner, leftover Easter egg clutched in my weak grasp..

Later on today I’m off to London for the opening of The Cartoon Museum’s The Inking Woman exhibition, featuring the work of female comic and cartoon creators, historic to present day. It’s guaranteed to be an excellent exhibition, running from tonight until 23rd July. You can find out all about the exhibition from The Cartoon Museum website, and there’s also a list of all the creators featured in John Freeman’s article for Down the Tubes. If you’re in or around London before the exhibition closes in July, you should definitely check it out!

Image credit: The Cartoon Museum

Then, after dashing back up to Manchester tomorrow morning for work, I’ll be off on my travels again on Saturday – this time to Liverpool for the Craft Comics Festival.

The Craft Comics Festival is a free comics event as a part of the Smithdown Festival, held in the Craft Taproom – run by comic creators Chris Welsh and Tom Ward.

Photo credit: Craft Taproom

Craft Taproom have said about the festival..

Come and meet, chat with and support local writers and artists. Enjoy some nice coffee, cakes, craft beers and peruse some classic back issues!

Guests include Leah Moore and John Reppion, Madius Comics, Joe Glass, Jimmy Furlong, Dave McCluskey, Frisson Comics, Ste Matthews, Comics Youth and more to be announced.. and me! So if you’re in or around Liverpool on Saturday come and check it out from 11am-4pm. Craft beer and comics.. what could be better on a Saturday afternoon? And entry is FREE!

In other news, this last weekend I set up and new photography den for taking stock photos! Last summer I managed to get some really professional photos by using my parents’ set-up, but it’s not wholly convenient for me to travel that far now I’m in Manchester, and definitely not cost effective. So, although I don’t have a quality camera just yet, I managed to get by with my phone and a new lighting set up to get some photos of Sneaky Business,  Ø and Cosmos for my Etsy store. Check it out!

You can check out my freshly updated Etsy store here, and Cosmos & Other Stories is now available to buy on there as well as from the Good Comics store and selected UK small-press friendly shops.

Finally, I recently had an illustration commission pass through HQ in the form of a Save the Date invitation. It made a nice change from storytelling and comics, and also helped me flex my flower and leaf drawing skills. Have a look below:

It was a really nice project to work on, and definitely something I’d like to expand on going forward. Watch this space!

So, that rounds it up for now. Keep an eye out next week for the run-down of the Inking Woman exhibition launch and the Craft Comics Festival. It’s going to be a busy one…

 

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