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:
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.
I’m writing this in the clutches of the latest cold that’s going round, which has me coughing for hours on end, so please send cake and medicine to me whilst splutter out this update…
So, I hope you’re all up for something a bit different today, as I’m going to tell you a story. Make yourselves comfortable! Once upon a time, after Cosmos & Other Stories came out, and after I finished up pieces for Dirty Rotten Comics #10 and The Broken Frontier Small Press Yearbook 2017, I decided to take a short break from comics. I think, doing this kind of work, it’s all too easy to feel like you have to keep churning out work so people don’t lose faith or forget you exist. But after a tough personal spell and using work as a crutch to keep me going, it was time to let my mind go and deal with life, and try to regain my health.
The break from comics didn’t come naturally, and I still worked on commissions both for private clients and other more illustrative work (the Kickstarter print with Emily B. Owen’s Brain Shoodles, and a piece for the Habitat anthology). But, the break from direct comic work was there all the same, and it gave me valuable time to promote the work I’ve already done and work out where best to move next. And, play with some different materials and techniques. Check it out:
Zig Brush Pens
Tombow Pen & Graphitint
Tombow Pen & Graphitint
Having time to play around with new processes and materials has been golden, and given me a chance just to draw or create for the sake of drawing again. I’ve played with creating stamps from soft lino,drawing with Kuretake Zig Brush pens, the Tombow ABT Dual Brush Pen and some Graphitint pencils, as well as other experiments in fabric and dying, clay and wood. Taking that pause really did help to clear my mind and work on new concepts, and it gave me new skills and new challenges to hone in on to keep improving.
And that leads us to my new project! Due to be released in September in time for Thought Bubble Festival, I’ve been working on a small comic which I’ve gone thorough the scripting and layouts of already, when the inking coming next. Have a look at some sketches:
One thing I’ve been taking note of is how my painting accounts for the majority of the atmosphere in my work. So, remove the painting, do I still give that effect? This new project I’m working on is not only vastly different and physical application, but also different from my usual storytelling too, being totally autobiographical rather than based in imagination. It’s been challenging, and new, and exciting all at the same time. And I really hope people like it!
I do miss splashing about with gouache and I’ll definitely keep evolving the way I paint, but for now, get ready for something new and exciting and totally paint-free! -gulp-
And that’s where I leave you for now! I’ll be back soon with more news, but until next time have a good week/weekend everyone. I’m off to visit family and get plied with food to mend this illness once and for all. Laters!
So, it’s a bit toasty outside, isn’t it? Even rain-blessed Manchester is rather balmy in the sunshine, and I haven’t had to carry my umbrella around with me for a week. A WHOLE WEEK! That’s almost unheard of around these parts.. But alas, despite the weather there has been a lot going on – so put your feet up with a glass of something refreshing and read on..
Last weekend was the sixth annual ELCAF, the East London Comics & Arts Festival, in the sizzling southern heat. Said heat was particularly enjoyable on the Underground, I assure you.. Now, I applied for ELCAF back when tables were announced but sadly I didn’t make the cut. However it left me with an opportunity to head down to the capital for the day and be on the other side of a table for once; dreamily drift around, catching up with old creator pals and making new ones.
This book shows how Hathaway is developing as an artist. There’s a clear consistency despite differences in panels, lettering styles and colour. One particularly effective technique is the way she follows a densely panelled double page spread with a single two page image overleaf. This somehow opens up the stories, creating a hopeful, positive tone regardless of what has been established before. Cosmos & Other Stories is a beautiful book by a considerable talent.
I had the chance to read Daughters and Growth on my coach journey back home on Saturday evening, and I can confirm that they are both equally wonderful books; Growth is a short, poetic narrative with a reassuring tone of looking after your mental health, told in an abstract form through caring for plants – I can definitely recommend this if you’re into poetic comics with that nice warm after-feeling. And.. who isn’t? You can pick up Growth from Peony’s Etsy store here. Daughters is a more traditional start-to-end story, picking up the proceedings in the middle of a family crisis in a dystopian society. Two stories run parallel, one through narration and one through the characters discussions and body language. It’s a thought-provoking short, beautifully told with clean lines and crisp colours. You can pick up a copy on Short Box’s website here.
Phew, lengthy round-up! But there’s more. Maybe time for a quick interlude to go and top up your drink?
In other news, I was kindly asked to produce a print for Emily B. Owen‘s Kickstarter campaign for Brain Schoodles, a comic about anxiety and depression told through doodles. The campaign recently ended on Kickstarter with Emily smashing her target of £250, and the comic will be launching on Saturday 8th July at Small Press Day at the Cardiff Comic Expo! Here’s some working snaps:
Brain Shoodles: Digital Progress
Brain Shoodles: Pencil and paint progress
My print was commissioned as an addition to the Printorama pledge. So all backers getting that tier reward will receive their copy of the print with their zine. If you missed out, fear not! I will have some of these prints on sale in the coming months with proceeds going towards a Manchester-based mental health charity of my choosing. Big, big thanks to Emily for asking me to do a piece for her campaign. I’m humbled and very happy to be a part of it! See the final piece below:
So, another week has passed and another comic is under my metaphorical belt. It’s been a strange time of finishing up projects that have been ongoing for several months.. The Yearbook story below, I wrote in January, pencilled up ideas by February, and then it’s taken three more months of dipping in and out (alongside finishing Cosmos and a piece for Dirty Rotten Comics 10) to get it done. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to having a totally clear schedule for a little while to wind-down and collect my thoughts.
Almost-on-time as promised last week, my short four-pager for the Broken Frontier Small Press Yearbook 2017 was completed this weekend (with a tiny bit of work done to finish it up on Monday night) and sent over to the man in the hat, Broken Frontier‘s Andy Oliver. Launching this summer, you can find out more about the book directly from the website – but for now, here’s some sneak previews of my story:
I’m incredibly honoured to be a part of ‘The Inking Woman’ exhibition. It’s a vibrant, empowering collection of works that show the humour and passion that women have drawn on over the years; powerful illustrative and narrative work, that surpasses trends and time.
Small press sensation Rozi Hathaway is making quite the name for herself on the indie scene with her beautiful, through-provoking, poetic style. With a dreamy mix of painted artwork and minimalist story-telling, her latest book Cosmos And Other Stories was launched at Leamington Comic Con to critical acclaim, so we caught up with Rozi to find out more about what inspires her highly personal style of comic.
Finally, the special edition Dirty Rotten Comics 10 will be out in the next few weeks! The pre-orders haven’t gone up yet, but I’ll let you all know when they do as they’ll be featuring a whole host of specially selected creators – the first artist reveals went up yesterday with Alex Potts, Jey Levang and fellow Good Comics‘ creator Josh Hicks announced.
And that’s all for now! This weekend will see me having some well needed time off, but nevertheless I will be back next week with answers to questions such as.. What’s next? Have I indeed run out of ideas? Did I actually eat all those Oreos? Until next time!
So, it’s Spring. The season that leaves everyone reaching for the duster and me reaching for my antihistamines.. What a glorious time to be alive! As long it’s a case of being alive, inside, with the windows shut, away from tree pollen. Magical.
As you can see from above, I’m currently up to the inking stage of my four-page comic for the book. Next, I need to figure out what I’m doing with the colours, and get it all painted and scanned in the coming weeks – so keep an eye out for some previews/peeks of the final comic!
In other news, I’ve also been working on a special comic for those nice gents at Dirty Rotten Comics for their special anniversary issue 10. I’m really excited to have been asked to contribute, and I’m working away on a short two-pager for the issue with the deadline fast approaching.. For now, here’s a small peek of my pencil sketches!
At the end of the month when I’m slightly less deadline-oriented, I have the pleasure of heading over to Liverpool for the Craft Comic Festival at the Craft Taproom, which is part of Smithdown Festival! If you’re in or around Liverpool on the Bank Holiday weekend you should pop down on Saturday 29th from 10-4pm to check it out. And it’s free! For all the details, head over to their designated Facebook Event Page.
Finally, in some more glorious news, I’m absolutely over the moon to be included in the upcoming The Inking Woman: An exhibition of British women cartoon and comic artists at The Cartoon Museum in central London. The exhibition will run from 26th April to 24 July 2017 and will feature work from creators such as Hannah Berry, Emma Vieceli, Karrie Fransman, Edie OP, Danny Noble and more. And me! More confirmed artists are popping up all the time, so be sure to follow The Cartoon Museum on Twitter with the hashtag #InkingWoman to see who will be there.
And that’s about it for now! The rest of this week will be spent maniacally finishing up some comics and then eating my entire body-weight in chocolate this weekend. Maybe some cake, too. Until next time!
That’s right; just like Leo in The Revenant or Michael Myers in Halloween, I have returned. Though luckily for me I haven’t been mauled by a bear or shanked by a rather upset Ripley… though sometimes the morning commute sometimes feels like a combination of the two. It’s been a while since my last post, and although unintentional, sometimes life just gets in the way and something has to give. And, seeming as my blog doesn’t have a deadline attached, this is the one thing that had to go to the bottom of the pile for a while. Alas, I’m back with you for the long run with a lot of exciting news, so without further ado..
Last time I was filling you all in on my upcoming plans with Cheltenham True Believers Festival, risograph printing and writing the rest of my short stories. Well, a lot has happened since then, and in the interests of efficiency I’m going to break it down, as otherwise this will turn into a thesis-length blog which no-one will want to read. Woo, efficiency! Here it goes.
THOSE COMIC FESTIVALS:
Five-and-a-half long weeks ago was the fairly fresh-faced OK True Believers Comic Con held in my old stomping ground of Cheltenham, at the infamous Cheltenham Racecourse. It was the first con of the year and I had the pleasure of squeezing on the end of the Good Comics table with Dr Paddy Johnston and Samuel C. Williams; although it was a fairly quiet day trade-wise, it was great to have a weekend away and spend a load of time with some comics people. And.. we got to play with a risograph printer on Sunday which was pretty excellent. And when I say we, I mean Paddy and I stood watching whilst Sam and his buddy Mike did all the work. Thanks guys!
I also joined in the fun at Sheffield Zine Fest on Saturday 25th February on the Good Comics table with Paddy, because.. why not? Sheffield Zine Fest was held in the Students Union and had a really nice down-to-earth and homemade feel to the event, suiting the Good Comics releases and my kinda work a lot more to the ground than the more commercial-based events like Cheltenham True Believers and the MCM events. It was also great to hang out and push other people’s work rather than my own, and there was burritos involved which always makes for an excellent day.
That’s right! My comics collection I’ve been working on since November is finished and off to print, ready for launch in a week and a half. Cosmos and Other Stories is a collection of short stories exploring humanity and loneliness; packaged up into a lovely 36-page face-strokingly-soft matte laminate product of love, Cosmos tells the stories of different people dealing with the different ways we all feel lonely in this big ol’ world. The book was formally announced on the 24th February via the Good Comics press release;
Cosmos and Other Stories examines themes of loneliness and longing, with Hathaway’s uniquely expressive and dreamy paintwork taking the reader on a journey through various cities, towns, bedrooms and celestial realms. If you’ve ever been lost in a crowd, stayed up all night to talk to someone long distance, or felt the ache of an absent love, then this collection will speak to you.
You can read the full press release here! It’s been a whirlwind four months of writing and drawing up this collection, and although I always put everything I have into my stories, this one is particularly close to my heart. Plus, Sam from Good Comics has been an excellent and supportive yet critical editor, and really pushed me to make the best work I possibly could.. So with all that in mind, I really hope it goes down well otherwise I might just crawl into bed for a while to recover. Pre-order Cosmos and Other Stories here, and even more exciting, every pre-order gets an A5 print of artwork from the book with their order.. So act quickly and get that pre-order in!
A5 Print from Cosmos & Other Stories, now for sale on Etsy.
I quite literally have just finished up the book, with the files being sent off to Rich at Comic Printing UK on Monday night before I crawled into bed. Tuesday evening was (am) spent writing this gem of blogging genius for you, so I am finally going to celebrate finishing this book by drinking a large glass of wine and collapsing in a corner (I’m lying, I started the wine before I even started typing. YOLO!). I will be back in the normal swing of things next week with the pre-con post about Leamington and everything it has to offer, so keep an eye out for that! And until next time.. have a good week all, and thanks for being patient!
So, I’m back! It doesn’t feel like it’s been all that long since I divulged my creative life, but I have missed it over the past four weeks all the same. It’s been a very exhausting time; moving really is no joke, especially with only a small van and 150 miles of road between the old homes and new. In the end my absolute trooper of a boyfriend and I did 4 trips in 4 days, covering 1033 miles – and one 24.5 hour shift of moving that ended with us collapsing into bed at 6am. Until you’ve cleaned an empty apartment at 2am and moved three heavy reptile vivariums at half 4 in the morning, you just don’t know what misery it is. Best of all, we somehow managed not to fall out, and now we have our beautiful happy home together! We definitely moved at the right time, as now the nights are drawing in, the clocks jumped forward and it’s getting colder – which means the time has almost come.. Thought Bubble weekend is nearly here!
Entrance to Thought Bubble is £29 for the weekend or £18 for a single day (either Saturday or Sunday) with under 12’s free with a ticket-holding adult. Cosplayers also get a discount and tickets can be purchased in advance – head to the Thought Bubble website for all the details.
After my rather awful attempts at clay sculpture table friends last year I decided to make something a bit better, so this year I’ll have a real Njálla with me! Well, not real real, but as close to a real Njálla as I can get. So, if you’re in Leeds and thinking of attending Thought Bubble on Saturday or Sunday, look out for my foam-board frosty fox (he doesn’t bite).
In other Thought Bubbly news, my newest short story Ø will see it’s debut over the weekend! For my key fans, you might remember me talking about Ø before; I created it as a 16-page submission to the recent call for entries from the Latvian comic anthology kuš! for their BFF themed š! #27. Sadly, I didn’t make the final cut. But, this means I’ve been able to quickly whack it together and self-publish it instead! Previewed by Andy Oliver this week at Broken Frontier, Ø has been selected as one of his Small Press Debut Picks! Here’s what he has to say about it:
“Broken Frontier 2015 ‘Six UK Small Press Creators to Watch‘ artist Rozi Hathaway has a new 16-page comic at Thought Bubble with the rather succinct title of Ø. A beautiful story of childhood friendship, affection and loneliness, this magical tale showcases Hathaway’s powerful use of colour to accentuate mood and theme.”
Check out the article and subsequent daily articles to figure out what to add to your shopping list for this weekend! Broken Frontier’s Small Pressganged also sees it’s fifth birthday this week, so be sure to keep an eye on the website and on Facebook/Twitter tomorrow (Thursday 3rd November) to see loads of birthday fun including some exclusive artwork from yours truly. And back to the comic briefly – Ø has now been updated on the front page of my website, so you can check out some of the information there and get the link to all the blog posts detailing its creation – and watch out for next week’s blog update for a full breakdown of the release. I’ll also be selling the usual suspects at Thought Bubble this weekend, including the newest Sneaky Business, this summer’s big release Njálla (snowy landscapes and magical foxes, coming up to the perfect time of year for it!), the few remaining copies of The Red Road I have left, copies of the Broken Frontier Small Press Yearbook, and other smaller goodies.
Sneaky Business Vol. 2
The Red Road
There will be a whole gigantic host of amazing talent at Thought Bubble and I highly recommend making it down if you have the chance. If last year is anything to go by it’s going to be something special…
And that’s about it for now! I have lots to catch you all up on in the coming weeks so keep an eye out for your back-to-normal weekly Wednesday wisdom. Until next week.. have a good one, and hopefully see some of you in Leeds! Peace out.
So, please forgive me for the gap in broadcasts last week; I’m more than accustomed to being busy with various projects, but busy with various projects AND flat hunting, job hunting and giving notice on everything at my current home in favour of my new home 120 miles away has been rather… strenuous. I slept for most of this past weekend and now feel vaguely human again. Hooray!
First up, entries for Sneaky Business vol.2 closed in spectacular style last Monday, with a more submissions than I could’ve ever expected! I want to extend my huge thanks to absolutely every single person who submitted to SB2, you’re all amazing and I was truly overwhelmed with the support and interest in my little creation. Aside from things like Down to Your Skivvies and the university degree show catalogue, it’s the first time I’ve really had to sit down and look at the order of things and who to include, and sadly who to not include. Ultimately SB2 has reached a whopping 36 pages with some incredibly entertaining comics from 18 talented creators, listed below!
Sneaky Business vol.2 is officially launching at Bristol Comic & Zine Fair on Saturday 1st October, with pre-orders going on my Etsy site a few days before and being posted out on Monday 3rd October. This 36-page bundle of joy can be all yours soon, and it is going to be great. Trust me..
In some final but equally if-not-more important news, I have an auction live on eBay at the moment raising much needed funds for the local homeless charity, the Northampton Hope Centre. I have a total of seven hand numbered and signed prints available for bidding, with prices starting at just £5.00 for a high quality giclée print sized at 35cm x 26cm. The prints are from two different ink and watercolour illustrations I made when I first moved to Northampton, of two abandoned buildings which have since been renovated; the Henry Harday shoe factory building and the old Neon Signs buildings, both in close proximity to the Hope Centre and town centre. The auctions end on Friday 23rd September at 5pm BST, so please help in supporting the Hope Centre through illustration! 75% of proceeds go towards the charity, and you can see all the prints available to bid for here.
Here in Northampton the weather has been pretty warm, but the nights are getting longer and the chill is starting to set in. I’m lucky enough to have my health and a home to sleep in every night, but others are not so fortunate. Starting bids at £5 isn’t much, so get your hands on a nice print and feel darn good about it at the same time.
And I think that about wraps it up for now! I shall be back next week with a bundle of copies of Sneaky Business to tempt you all with, and the run up to Bristol Comic & Zine Fair in full swing. Until then, have a great week everyone.
So, it’s officially done and dusted. On Friday I graduated with First Class Honours from the University of Northampton and I have a mass of sketchbooks, folders and one certificate to show for it. Although I’ve pretty much been finished up for a month now, but with the likes of D&AD dividing up the time before graduation it definitely feels over now. Onward and upwards, right?
With some good news to kick off my new career of post-graduate-struggling-illustrator, my short 4-page comic Sørgedag has been accepted in to the next Dirty Rotten Comics anthology! I mentioned my process and work on the comic a few weeks back, and I really enjoyed trying something a bit different. I created the comic in both colour and black and white, so the black and white version will be published in Dirty Rotten Comics #8 around mid-August with the colour version being released as part of a compilation I’m working on later in the year. With almost a year since Rejsenwas published in Dirty Rotten Comics #5, I shall hopefully be part of the furniture in terms of the Dirty Rotten Comics anthology contributors soon..
In other news, as a part of my mass of submissions I’m doing in the next month for various anthologies and collections, I ticked one off the list yesterday in the form of a single page illustration for the Illustrated Woman in History zine. It was a hard choice, with so many interesting stories of women in history, especially with stories like that of Jeanne Baré who is noted as the first woman to circumnavigate the globe, and did so disguised as a man. However, ultimately with my soft-spot for astronomy and space sciences I went with Valentina Tereshkova – the first woman in space. Here’s a peek!
As the flight itself lasted three days from 16th June 1963 I went for a bit of a retro vibe, and I painted my first ever space scene which didn’t turn out to look like some slushy mess, which was kinda nice (I won’t tell you how many attempts it took yesterday, but let’s just say I have a pile of paper recycling). Submissions for the Illustrated Women in History zine are open until 31st August, and you can find out all the information from the website.
Finally, last week I also stretched my illustrative muscles into creating a recipe illustration for the first time. Whilst trying to expand my repertoire, it’s also been fun to try out these new things – also making things flow on a page in this way is pretty similar to how I approach comics. For this first attempt I drew up Chicken Tortilla Soup which is one of my firm-favourites; cheap to make, I can throw it in the slow cooker and forget about it for 6 hours, and then freeze vats of the stuff for meals throughout the month. Delicious! You can check out the recipe here if you’re interested, though I kinda tweaked it and made up the measurements (I’m English. Cup measurements make no sense); I obtained my cooking theories from my highly skilled mother – just chuck enough in until it looks about right.
I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised as to how nice it is to paint a garlic clove. Who knew! So that ticks off another area of illustration that I’ve wanted to try for a while, and I’ll add it to the commissions pile in the hopes of getting some new work from it.
Anyway, that’s about it for now! I think this week is the most jumbled of blog posts I’ve had for a while – from comics, to vintage space, to soup. Next on my list of things to do is a 4-16 page comic story I need to write and script out for another upcoming anthology submission.. How exciting! Have a good week everyone, and I shall be back with all the gossip next week. Until then, over and out.