Now you sea it, now you don’t…

Good afternoon all!

This week I’m going to talk a little about digital painting. Now, as I’m sure you’re all aware by now, I’m a linework-and-paint kinda creator. I have a very set way of working which I’ve used for the past few years, which has made now a perfect time to try something new. Change is the spice of comics, as the saying goes.

Being a sea-dweller, what better to try out digital drawing on than the source of inspiration for so many, and my nearby natural neighbour. Check out the process shots:

The process of making artwork stayed largely the same, aside from using zero paper to create it. It’s definitely a quicker process as there’s no light-box involved and it’s incredibly easy to erase any mistakes or resize elements that aren’t quite right.

I started drawing with a digital file size of A4 but I found the quality of the digital brush I used at that size to be a bit too fuzzy, so I used the first ‘inked’ drawing I did (image 2) and resized it and traced over it onto an A3 digital file. Much better!

LHS: New version / RHS: First inked drawing

Block colouring with flat colours (“flatting”) is a useful tool I’ve used in digital drawing before, although as it doesn’t give the true effect of a nice slap of paint I used a digital watercolour brush over the top to add in some grit.

There are some really amazing benefits to digital painting that I’ve found so far. For one, there’s no buckling effect from wet paint on paper. This usually makes scanning difficult, and involves a lot of post-scan editing (also, digital painting = no scanning!). Also, being able to work on the same document, adjust layers and get rid of things that haven’t worked it a massive bonus. This cut down my creating time massively.

6. Final page

I’ve also been really impressed with the new software I’ve tried. The most common creative package is the Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign) which is around £50 a month for an individual (gulp), and I can safely say there is nothing I spend that much a month on than household bills. Yikes. Instead, I opted for the Affinity Photo which is a flat licence fee of £50 – though it’s currently on offer with 20% off. I used pre-loaded brushes plus the DAUB Watercolour & Washes set to finish it off.

So.. what do you guys think? Cool, right? It’s definitely been a fun process and I think I’m interested in trying out a few more comics in the same style. Who knows, maybe my next book will be full digital – after I’ve printed my rocks, of course. Which reminds me, I have some printing to do…

Until next time!

x

Share:

Rocks, rain and a refreshed website

Good afternoon happy campers!

Welcome to the shiny new-look for my site! I realised a month-or-so ago that I’d had my existing website theme for nearly 5 years (ways to feel old list, number 6) so it’d been long overdue for a refresher.

It took a while, but here it is! What do you think? Have a browse around and let me know how easy it is to use. Send your answers on a self-addressed envelope to the comments section below.


So, on with the blog! Firstly, let me talk to you about what’s been going on in my head. Aside from this.

I’ve been in a period of reflection recently, in which I’ve looked at how I want to move forward professionally. For one, I’ve been super busy on Good Comics projects – it’s been an incredibly rewarding experience and is changing the way I want to approach my own work. The community spirit and engaging with people is what makes the comics community so great to be a part of, and for me personally, that shouldn’t be hampered by charging for content.

This led me to the decision to end my Patreon creator page and go back to posting work freely on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and here. For some people, it may work really well, but Patreon never quite worked for me. And, the idea of sheltering my work from people unless they paid left me in a morally weird area for a while.

Patreon cancelled and website refreshed, I feel revitalised and ready for future challenges, projects and experiences. Bring it on!


Onto more physical creations, I’ve been carefully editing the large layout sheets I drew and painted my rocks comic onto, and have been setting them up to print. Check these panels out:

Now I’ve cut out each individual panel it’s made it easier to smooth out some of the paper buckling/ridges that occurred from putting watercolour on paper not suited for wet media. It’s still definitely more of a rough-and-ready comic, which is why I’m thinking of printing it DIY style at home instead of through a professional printer. Whatever the method, I’m going to bring it out in time for Swindon Zine Fest at the end of July. Rock on!


In other news, Sam and I had a really fun commission recently from comics scholar Dr Harriet Earle who is writing a book for Routledge’s New Critical Idiom series on comics. She got in touch for a couple of diagrams to go alongside specific areas of the book, and we got to draw up some fun pieces for it! Check out my umbrella of comics:

It may not be the most water-resistant piece of kit, but I’m happy with how it turned out!


And that’s about it for now! I’ve been testing the waters on some digital drawing tools so keep an eye on social media (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook) for some previews, and check back here again soon for some progress shots.

Until next time!

x

Share:

Rock and or Roll

Good afternoon, all!

It’s been a pretty busy month here at the Good Comics-Hathaway-Williams residence, but you’ll be glad to know that I have PLENTY to fill you in on, so grab a cuppa and get comfy.

For the past couple of weeks – or 24 days if we’re being specific – I’ve been working on a new, short comic. Unlike anything else I’ve done, I started with just a vague idea of what I wanted it to be about, and I’ve been drawing one panel per day every day since (except when I’ve had to catch-up, but sshhhh..)

Part of this method has meant that I’m not thumbnailing ideas out first or writing a script. I’ve made some notes and have the idea rolling around in my noggin, but aside from that it’s completely unplanned and pencilled, inked and painted on the same pieces of paper. Check out what I have so far!

As you can probably tell, this comic is about ROCKS! I love picking up rocks at the beach, and luckily for me, I have the Jurassic Coast to my west and Highcliffe beach (which is an SSSI (Site of Specific Scientific Interest)) to my east. Ancient rock galore!

I’ve never really had an outstanding interest in geography or geology, but when I’m at a rocky beach I do enjoy finding the most interesting rocks to bring home. From my initial idea, I tried to do some research and struggled to get my head around the age and formation of location specific rocks. Luckily for me AGAIN, I have the Bournemouth Natural Science Society down the road (if you’re local, I strongly recommend you go check them out and support them), and I managed to get in touch with their geology expert to ask him some questions about Highcliffe rocks in particular. And, he very kindly helped me out!

I’m continuing my panel-a-day project for the foreseeable future, and it’s exactly the kind of thing I’ve really enjoyed doing and is different to my usual subject matter. When I’m finished I’m going to look at turning it into a printed comic, so keep your eyes peeled.

If you’re interested in following my progress, check out my Patreon and subscribe for updates.

In other news, my skateboarding-partner-in-crime Livvy and I have been busy working on a poster for our local Girls’ Skate Night! I won’t reveal too much, but I think we have a budding collaborate career ahead of us, and she’s absolutely killing it at the skate-park. And she’s only 9 years old! She’s also a dab-hand at the Wacom tablet.

Finally, things have been all go go go with Good Comics! We have just recorded and released the second episode of the Good Comics Podcast, this time interviewing Josh Hicks of Glorious Wrestling Alliance fame. We also talk to him about the upcoming Cardiff Comics Carnival this weekend which Sam and I will be at.

If you like random anecdotes and comics chat, be sure to check it out. Related to small comics shows, last week I wrote a blog for Good Comics about the end of Bristol Comic & Zine Fair – read it here.

My short comic Bear also made it onto the Good Friday’s blog, so if you fancy a quick read you can see that here.

And that just about sums it up for now! As I mentioned, this Sunday Good Comics be at the Cardiff Comics Carnival and the following Sunday 31st we’ll be at the Laydeez Weekend Festival at Free Word in London. So, if you’re local to either of those, be sure to pop along and say hi!

Until next time! x

Share:

Febru-wary as to why it’s still so cold?

This broadcast is brought to you by the team of thank-heck-it’s-stopped-raining and why-can’t-I-feel-my-shins.

Good afternoon folks!

We’re now mid-way through the shortest month of the year, and the days are getting that little bit longer. Longer days means less time on the cusp of a nap (11-4pm are currently my struggle-hours), which means productivity should be going through the roof come May. Woo-hoo!

Regardless of my drooping lids, it’s been a pretty busy start to the year so far. At Good Comics HQ (not to be confused with GCHQ) we’ve been launching the site, the blog and the podcast, and at Rozi HQ I’ve been splitting my time between sewing projects, zine ideas and an illustration for a magazine submission. Keen to hear more? Keep on reading!

In early January I started working on a new illustration, after seeing a call for submissions for Severine magazine – Severine is a UK-based literary and art journal which both gets printed and is available online. 

The theme was “between”, and I really wanted to work on something fairly mysterious and ethereal that felt like it had a story attached to it. As primarily a comics creator I sometimes struggle to make non-narrative illustrations as I feel like I lack an emotional connection with the character, and therefore feel distant to it all.

For Between, I tried to work on it slowly over a longer period of time and had it hanging up so I could keep looking at it and keep coming back to how she came to be here with her dog. I’m still on the fence as to whether this helped or not! Although, Sam’s darling daughter quipped that it looked like a woman being eaten by an alligator. Does anyone else see this? If so, it totally changes the concept… Between the jaws?

Thanks to a) bruising the bone in my hand falling off my skateboard, and then b) spending a week mostly horizontal clearing up a nasty chest infection with antibiotics, it did take me the entire month to make this piece, scraping in at the last minute to submit. Whether it’s successful or not, we’ll see – fingers crossed everyone! If you’re interested in the entire process of how I created this, down to colour testing and the initial sketches, check out my Patreon page!

In other news, February saw the launch of the brand new Good Comics website! That’s right folks; a brand new site, shop and pitching guidelines are up. What’s more, we’ve announced our next release: Gareth A. Hopkins Petrichor which will be out on the 18th February. Read all about it here on the Good Comics blog, pre-order it right here, and check out the brand new Good Comics podcast where Sam and I talk to Gareth about his new book, his process, and karaoke choices.

It’s been really fun pushing this out to the world, and we didn’t just stop with the website and podcast. We’ve also started a new feature on the blog called Good Fridays, where we’ll be posting up short comics from creators. First up was the excellent Nadiyah Rizkis with her short comic That Time of Year. It’s fantastic – go check it out immediately!

So that wraps up a very busy month and a half. Us three wise folks of Good Comics are also deep into our baseball movie podcast Big Boys Don’t Bunt, so if you’re interested in hearing Paddy, Sam and me talking about baseball movies (it’s more interesting than it sounds. Or, at least I hope it is!) then you can check that out here.

What’s next? I think mid-Feb to March is a time to look at zines and zine art. Maybe make some mini-comics? Who knows! To see what happens as it happens you can subscribe to my Patreon and get all my late-evening creating straight to your inbox. Otherwise, I’ll see you next time!

x

Share:

A New Chapter: Part 2

So, it’s nearly Christmas! The scent of Christmas parties lingers in the outside air, we all are reminded of how bloody expensive 1st Class stamps are, and the ethics of avoiding certain tax-dodging online retailers is temporarily forgotten when they offer you a month of free next-day deliveries for those hard-to-buy-for relatives (please don’t judge me).

But it’s not all about trying to avoid getting carpet fluff in your clear tape of choice whilst wrapping gifts; it’s also a time for quiet reflection, cosy evenings and spending time with loved ones. It’s also a time for making plans and forming ideas of just how you want 2019 to be, and looking back at how 2018 has turned out.

One of the really important things that have happened this year is something I’m thrilled to announce: I have been formally initiated into the brethren of Good Comics.

Good Comics is a micropublisher whose primary aim is to offer a publishing platform for comics and zine creators who maybe want to take the next step up in their work, but don’t have the voice or funds to do this themselves. As I’m sure most of you are aware, I’ve had a close working relationship with Good Comics (Samuel C. Williams and Dr Paddy Johnston) since the early days of writing Cosmos & Other Stories in late 2016, and I have tabled at various comics shows either next to them or with them ever since. 

Other titles you may have heard of include Olivia Sullivan’s SID, which I helped edit back in 2017, Robin William Scott’s Every Life I Ever Lived, Josh Hicks’ Human Garbage and Eleanor CrewesThe Times I Knew I Was Gay, which has sold out of print runs time and time again. Good Comics also had an ongoing zine-anthology Dead Singer’s Society which accepted submissions from people all over the world, with its final bumper anthology IV, which came out in the latter part of this year.

Although I’d consider myself as having been a part of Good Comics for some time now, we’re making it official and looking forward to evolving as a micropublisher in 2019, with even more of a focus on community and fresh voices. It’s exciting, it’s rewarding, and it’s all happening soon! I can’t give too much away, but trust me, you’ll want to watch this space… The new Good Comics website will be launching in January 2019 with an announcement of our first title of the year. 

And that just about rounds it up for now! I’ll be back soon with a round-up for the year, but in the meantime… enjoy the holidays/festive season!

x x

Share:

Moon Launch!

Good morning everybody!

It’s here! Moon has launched on Kickstarter, and since Wednesday is nearly 50% funded – wow! Thank you all so much!! If you don’t follow my escapades on social media, then let’s start again…

Let me introduce to you Moon: the comic, the Kickstarter, the newspaper.

Moon on Kickstarter
Moon on Kickstarter

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.

Recettes Sucrées 1859 – Illustrated postcards

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!

x

Share:

What’s New?

Good afternoon everyone!
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.

 

New comic Moon, coming soon to Kickstarter!
New comic Moon, coming soon to Kickstarter!

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.

Sketchbookin'
Sketchbookin’

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.
  • Moon will be released in time for Thought Bubble Festival, on 23rd-24th September 2018.
Excited? You should be! Follow my progress on Patreon for as little as $2 p/m to see everything before anyone else.

Until next time!
x
Share:

Heatwaves & Hand-Printed Zines

Good afternoon all!

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.

Sadly I did miss a few things I really wanted to see; Woodrow Phoenix’ exhibition and talk on She Lives would 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!

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.

The Things We Do..
The things we do when it’s just me and you.. new zine! £2 + P&P

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.

 

x

 

Share:

Bruxelles and Beyond

Good afternoon all,

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).

Right! Since we last spoke;

  • The Good Comics Reader has been released with my four-page comic Ræven
  • Leamington Comic-Con has been and gone
  • 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:

Ræven Colour Separations
That moment when you realise your nails match the table.

Nifty, huh? If you’d like to read this comic, you can get your copy of the Reader here, priced £6 (alternatively, this is one of the many comics on my Patreon that you can read as part of the $5-and-up subscription).

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.

 

x

*It was not a small pile. It was, in fact, pretty large. 

Share: