Alternative Press Takeover

Tales From the First Publication Corner

Good evening dutiful followers,

Well, what a celebratory day it is! Second Year of University is OFFICIALLY OVER, woo! No more redoing work from months ago and tweaking something because it’s out of alignment by 2mm, I can finally breathe and start to clear my head ready for a summer of busy drawing fun. After a hectic 7 months I can now find time to do the fun things in life, like make up new comic ideas and draw whatever I feel like. And it feels gooooooood. But, I have plenty of interesting news to keep you all occupied, don’t you worry! First up..

Alternative Press and The London Radical Bookfair hosted TAKEOVER 2015 this past weekend, on Saturday 9th May at a nice little warehouse on 47-49 Tanner Street just a hop, skip and a jump from London Bridge. What a day! Although there were some early complications – definitely of no fault of the organisers, mind you! – the day was busy and Tanner Street became full of people interested in all the comic, zine and book business of the day! As I mentioned previously, I was accepted to TAKEOVER on the First Publications Corner, a special spot for highlighting the work of first-time self publishers of zines and comics as a way to keep us all together (and out of trouble, I suspect!). I met some fantastically interesting people on Saturday, and walked around feeling like a deer in headlights for most of it, but as my first event I’m sure I’ll feel like a regular by the end of the year! Special thanks to those who made me feel at home in a whirlwind experience; Andy Oliver of Broken Frontier, Keara Stewart, Ricky Miller of Avery Hill Publishing, Alex Hahn, Alexandra Cook and Wallis Eates. You’re all lovely!

I only managed to sell a couple of bits, but lots of lovely people and seeing Danny Noble‘s under-table acrobatics definitely made for a good day. Another awesome part of the day was the creation of a Zine in a Day made by Co-Op Footprinters, who brought their risograph printer down from Leeds just for the event. And I thought dragging a suitcase of comics around London was difficult! The idea was absolutely lovely, and I dutifully took along a prepared image to submit to the zine. Have a look below!

The day was made even better with the release of Keara Stweart‘s zine anthology, A Bit of Undigested Potato! Featuring the work of 58 artists (including yours truly..) the anthology looks at bad dreams and nightmares from the perspective of the artist (featured at Broken Frontier here). My comic Locomotion is situated in there, but I’m afraid you’ll have to purcahse your own copy to see it all! I read the whole anthology as soon as it was places in my hands, and from the sad, to the scary and the funny, this book really is something special. I’ll definitely cherish it, and thanks again to the lovely Keara for asking me to join in the fun! What an honour, and a privilege to be included amongst such awesome people.

So, after the excitement of Saturday and the final push at University I’m feeling rather tired, but from meeting all the wonderful aforementioned people at TAKEOVER my brain is now overflowing with ideas of things to come! Now, secrets are way more fun in this line of work, so I won’t divulge too much, but I will say that you can expect to see issue #2 of Down to Your Skivvies coming out soon.. And maybe a few more things popping up on my Etsy shop! For now, I shall retire for the night ready for the busy few days ahead, but I shall be back next week with some coverage of a few exciting University projects that haven’t been covered in all the madness. And then, let the ideas and exciting things commence! Peace out! x

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Takeover and Other Business!

Good evening happy campers!

So, after a brief pause of a week off to catch up on Uni work, I still feel somewhat drowning with a week until final assessment. But I got stuff done! Stuff done is good! Plus, following last weeks news of my interview with Broken Frontier, I bring more good news from the comics universe which I’ll cover later.

Alt. Press TAKEOVER 2015! This Saturday, roll up, roll up.
Alt. Press TAKEOVER 2015! This Saturday, roll up, roll up.

First up, this weekend sees something special, with Alternative Press and The London Radical Bookfair’s  TAKEOVER 2015! With an impressive line-up of attendees and an awesome looking programme of events, it’s definitely going to be something special! As mentioned before, I’ll be on the aptly named First Publications Corner with some very talented folks such as Tiny Noggin, Alexandra Cook and Fang Jui Chang. This is my first of four comics events for this summer, and my first event of this kind of my drawing career so far. I’m really excited to see what the day will bring, and as I’ll only be behind the table on a rota’d basis which will give me plenty of opportunity to wander around and have a look at all the other wonderful creator goods! I need to keep an iron clamp on my purse, mind you..

You can read more about TAKEOVER 2015 in Broken Frontier’s coverage article here

Next up: more zine business! As part of a last project at university before Easter we were asked in a relatively short space of time to create a number of drawings of our thoughts, feelings and observations in every day life. At the time I had a few too many things going on and since this point I’ve been re-working the project to make it shiner and better than before! I present to you.. Mennesker er Underlig:

 

Mennesker er Underlig is a self exploratory zine that looks at things from my perspective of the world, from making breakfast to walking back and forth. It was pretty fun to make in the end, and after lots of re-drawing from different comics I think it’s come together pretty nicely! Let’s hope University agree. The zine itself is a shallow folded box, inside are 15 pages of my inner monologue… Which is more exciting than it sounds. Or is it? Anywho, as it’s something that I won’t be formally introducing to the world for sale, below is a little gallery of the processes that went into making this, and some of the pages too! As always, please let me know if any of you have any thoughts or feelings about it. Oh! And before I forget, mennesker er underlig is Danish for ‘humans are strange’. Why Danish, I hear you ask? WELL! For the past 134 days or there-abouts I’ve been learning Danish ready for an exciting Scandinavian adventure later in the year. Plus, learning a language as my brain starts to deteriorate seems like a good idea, as well as being something completely separate from drawing that I can do to clear my mind. I recommend everyone should learn new languages, it’s a hoot! Plus hopefully I can make friends with some Danish illustrators and spend lots of time there eating rugbrød and rødgrød med fløde. Fremragende!

Finally, today the interwebs told me that Keara Stewart‘s zine anthology about nightmares has arrived into her hands today, for official release this Saturday at TAKEOVER! A Bit of Undigested Potato has been previewed here at Broken Frontier today, with a lovely interview with Keara herself. Personally, I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy and see what everyone else has made for it, as I definitely enjoying doing my page for it. I recommend you all pick one up! Here’s a reminder of a sneaky-preview I gave you all a few weeks back of my submission..

Anywho, that’s it for now! I started my new part time job last week, and tomorrow is the day of the week that I crawl out of bed at 4:25am, so I’d best go and eat cherry pie in the bath before I attempt to get lulled to sleep by the sounds of screaming children playing outside. Until next week.. Over and out! x

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Fresh Off The Piste

Good evening ladies and gents,

I have returned! And more importantly, I have returned with all my limbs intact! My week of snowboarding with my handsome northerner and a bunch of fun Brummies came abruptly to an end on Saturday evening, and although I’m happy to be back to work at Rozi HQ with some pretty interesting goggle tan-lines, I’m also pretty sad to have had to come back to reality. But on the bright side, I have lots of exciting news!

First up, I managed to squeeze in one more project before I flew off with my trusty snowboard; following the Carrie’s War book cover design award entry I submitted, I decided to give another book cover a go to see what I could do with the knowledge I’ve gained. Now, I did only have about a day to go for it with the piece, but I’d been reading the story of Some Kind of Fairy Tale by the late Graham Joyce and I’d started to get an idea in my head of what I wanted to portray. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to get much further than half way through the book, so I focused on a location mentioned several times near the beginning of the book. Woods with bluebells and a yellow covered rock with glowing bugs is a image, so here’s what I came up with;

Some Kind of Fairy Tale by Graham Joyce - Orion  student book cover competition entry.
Some Kind of Fairy Tale by Graham Joyce – Orion student book cover competition entry.

 

The entry requirements didn’t ask for anything more than the front cover – no text or anything, so I just went forth and submitted this. It was a quick ‘un, so it was good practise to work on something short notice. We shall see what happens with the winning entry, I believe it’s announced at the end of the month, so here’s hoping!

In some fantastic news for this summer,  Andy Oliver from Broken Frontier contacted the six of us ‘Small Press Creators to Watch in 2015’ to let us know that he’s been given table space at CECAF (Crouch End Comics Art Festival) on Saturday 6th June. So I jumped on the opportunity to come along too! I’ll be selling copies of The Red Road alongside some of the other six creators, and it all sounds rather fun! You can read about last year’s CECAF festival review from Andy here. And in more wonderful news, I heard back from Alternative Press last week and I have been offered some space on their First Publications Corner (FPC) at TAKEOVER 2015 on Saturday 9th May in London! I shall be there behind the table with The Red Road, or mooching around the other stalls all day from 12-7 in just under 4 weeks time, so if you’re local to the area be sure to pop along and say hi. And, it’s FREE!

 

So with these two events, plus MancsterCon in August and Thought Bubble in November it’s turning into a busy year! I decided to do a little administration work today and rearranged my website to have some handy important-person-friendly links underneath my about section! So we now have sections for collaborations, commissions and competitions. It still needs a little work, but it’s mostly ready for now! Commissions side looks a little on the light side, so feel free to hit me up for any commission requests from summer onwards.

Finally, I also re-listed two sets of the giclee prints I had made a while ago of two abandoned buildings in Northampton! They’re back listed on my Etsy site alongside The Red Road, so do have a look if you’re interested in owning some of my detailed illustration prints from a couple of years ago. I’ll be getting the Down To Your Skivvied zines sorted by the end of the week, so my Etsy store will be looking nice and full soon enough! Keep any eye out for those in the latter part of the week. Anywho, I think that’s it for now! I shall be cracking on with some Uni work for the remainder of the week ready for final assessments, so needless to say it’s straight back to the grind. Have a good week all, excuse me whilst I look at my holiday pictures and sob into some French chocolate bars. Peace out! x

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Mid-Month Madness

Good evening happy campers!

So, I don’t know about anyone else but I really need a holiday. University work has slowly been piling up to my eyeballs and somehow I still seem to be relatively calm. Ish. This week past week has seen the completion of pieces ready for a University-based exhibition, and also work towards an exciting zine-project I’ve been working on alongside two of my fellow students! More about that later..

I am exceedingly stoked to now have The Red Road stocked in Nostalgia & Comics in Birmingham! Now, for those who aren’t aware, I grew up not far from Birmingham and spent many happy teenage weekend in the city centre around the Oasis Market, or at gigs at the old Carling Academy screaming along to whatever music I was into and getting knocked accidentally on a new ear piercing. Ahh, those were the days. Anyway, any of you West Midland folk can now pop in and see Dave and the gang and Nostalgia & Comics and support the small press scene. Woohoo!

The Red Road – now sold in Nostalgia & Comics, Birmingham!

As the two-month mark since The Red Road was released passed yesterday, I am absolutely over-the-moon to have been able to pass so many on to new and loving homes! In fact, as I sit here with only 25 copies left, I may well indeed be looking into a second-run of printing once my stocks get super low. I have been thinking about a second run for a couple of weeks now, and although it’s another scary financial burden (even scarier this time, as family and friends have already purchased from the first run and subsequently filled their family clause agreements) I have some pretty exciting ideas of what bonus material I can squeeze into an extra four pages! Alas, that’s still a little while away yet.. But exciting times are in the horizon.

In other news, the University-based Machines exhibition launches on Thursday! Unfortunately, as the event is in the creaky-old University art-block and it’s not open at any realistic times for non-students, it’s a little hard to get excited about compared to my last exhibition with the Art Day Collective lot in 2013. Though, the work is done and today we all installed our pieces, so my little corner is all ready to go! The theme of the exhibition is Machines, and each of us studenty-lot took on our own interpretation of the word and created a body of work including a sculptural element. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I took a narrative sci-fi approach to the brief, with a dystopian mirror planet being explored by a curiosity rover.. Oooo errr, I hear you all say. Well, if you want to come and see the exhibition, it’s opening night is Thursday 19th March (this week!) with a wine reception from 5-7pm. You can see some sneak-peeks and previews on the exhibitions website here, and more information about the exhibition dates on the poster;

Machines Exhibition - Opens this week!
Machines Exhibition – Opens this week!

I will endeavour to take lots of nice photos of my work up before I have one-too-many cups of free wine, so hold onto your hats for next weeks update (Andy Oliver, as you’re the only person I can think of who wears a hat who I know reads my updates, please make sure you hold onto your hat extra tight on behalf of all the non-hat-wearers).

In other exciting news, this weekend saw the completion of some pieces I’ve been working on for a zine! The zine that is yet to be named is a collaborative effort between my student-friends Zara, Kamala and myself, with the first issue is on the theme of women in the arts industry and feminism. As I’ve mentioned before, I managed to utilise my HOAX: Psychosis Blues contacts and arrange for an interview with Hannah Berry, as I absolutely adore her work. To add to this, I’ve written an article and arranged another interview (which unfortunately has seemingly fallen through), plus made a two-page comic to be featured in the zine. Other highlights from Zara and Kamala include interviews with a female artist and also a lady who has launched her own women’s magazine in London. We’ll be putting the zine together this week and next week ready for deadline, and if people are interested I’ll see if we can put them up for sale on my Etsy store. Once the zine has been DIY printed I shall post up some spreads for you all to gander at, so keep a watch out! For now, here’s a sneaky-peek I put up on Twitter yesterday of part of my comic..

New zine out soon!
New zine out soon!

Finally, I have applied for the Alternative Press Takeover 2015 this week, which is a FREE, one-day event in London on the 9th May from 12pm-7pm! I won’t hear back for a little while, so please everybody keep all fingers, toes and eyes crossed for this, my Thought Bubble application and my ELCAF application! I’m raring and ready to go for a summer of meeting fellow creators, selling works and getting inspired, so the first step is being accepted.

Anyway, I think that’s possibly all for now! I have more upcoming assignment work to show and announce in the next two weeks which are going to be somewhat crazy, so check back soon! But for now.. Peace out! x

 

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