bear

The Road to Thought Bubble

Good morning happy campers!

So, another week has vanished and The Red Road second edition has been released out into the big wide world! It’s been really exciting to revisit the book again and make it even better than last time, it feels like just yesterday that I was ingesting large amounts of caffeine to get the pages inked up in time. With copies now at both Orbital Comics and Gosh London, and the second edition’s first public appearance this weekend at Thought Bubble Festival in Leeds, it’s time to persuade everyone that they really need this comic in their lives. The Red Road second edition is available online through my Etsy store, so off you go!

The Red Road – second edition in Gosh Comics! Alongside Sneaky Business, DRC#5 and A Bit of Undigested Potato..

As you may remember from the last week I’ve been having a crack at clay modelling, making Bear and Coyote for the re-release of The Red Road. Naturally, I got the comparative sizing completely wrong, and after my little creatures had dried they decided to crack. Hmph. HOWEVER, after some useful internet-ing I came across the technique of filling the cracks with fine surface filler before painting them, so off to the local cheap DIY store I pranced. After getting a bit fine surface filler happy, several painting errors and almost throwing a porcelain paint pen out the window, my lumpy, wonky spirit animals are complete!

Even in their lumpy, wonky forms I spent so long on the little darlings that I’ve become somewhat attached to them (not literally, thankfully), so I’ve decided to carry on and bring them to Thought Bubble Festival with me anyway. Because, well, for all the errors of my clay-ways, at least they actually stand on all fours. Small victories must be celebrated! So, if you’re in Leeds on Saturday for Thought Bubble and fancy seeing what it looks like when clay goes wrong, come swing by my table in New Dock Hall (73b)

Speaking of which, only three days to go until the Thought Bubble excitement commences! This weekend will see Leeds full of comic artists and creators, shifting around and giggling in boozy corners. For the entirety of Saturday and Sunday I will be selling The Red Road, Sneaky Business and a selection of prints, greetings cards and postcards amongst the countries finest, and even creators from overseas! Thought Bubble states that it’s the “largest event of its kind – an annual celebration of sequential art in all its forms, including everything from superhero comics to independent and small-press artists and writers”. With three exhibition spaces and further event rooms, the whole bonanza is taking place at Leeds Docks, in New Dock Hall, Royal Armouries Hall, and the Thought Bubble Marquee between the two. As you can see from this lovely map below, I’m down on the other half of table 73 next to Hello, how are you? and her adorable work, with fellow Art Aid Nepal Home artist Richy K. Chandler next to us on table 72. There is so much to see at Thought Bubble this year, and it’s all started already! I’m really excited to be there for the first time so please swing by and say hello if you’re in the area. Also, launching at Thought Bubble is my pal Samuel C Williams‘ new zine Dead Singers Society, with work from a whole host of people including Tim Bird, Alan Henderson and myself. For a complete breakdown of the new releases at Thought Bubble, there’s an excellent guide here from Broken Frontier, so be sure to check that out.

Finally, in amongst the craziness of preparing for the biggest comics event of my career to date (no pressure, of course..) I’ve also been working on all that university malarky. In amongst the essays and the presentations, the tutorials and the seminars and lots of emails I’ve been working on drawing up some designs for a Northampton based band. So far I’ve just been working on some roughs, but hopefully with some feedback I’ll be working towards one final design to be screen-printed onto a batch of t-shirts for the band to sell. How exciting! So far here’s just a peek of what I’ve been coming up with..

So, that’s it for now! As always I have a large pile of work beside me whispering at me and taunting me (not literally… yet) so hi ho and off to work I go. If you’re in Leeds for Thought Bubble this weekend then I’ll see you there! Until next week.

x

Share:

Hello, November.

Good morning ladies and gents.

So, another week is behind us and we’re well and truly into November. There’s a crisp, cold scent to the night air which can only mean the arrival of Bonfire night. Because, y’know, why not celebrate some guy’s failure of trying to blow up the House of Lords in the 17th century when it involves pretty colours and bright lights? Thankfully my week-and-a-half long lurgy seems to be finally tailing off, though it’s been a determined little bunch of germs.

On Monday I managed to drag my coughing and sniffly self into the university print rooms to play with my collagraph printing plates I showed you all last week. Wanna see? Yeah you do!

These prints are all part of the work I’m creating for the Folio Society’s printing of War Horse, and as I mentioned last week this is a competition which calls for three internal illustrations and a book jacket design in the typical Folio Society styling. As the subject matter of War Horse is pretty dark, and the story is told through the eyes of the horse, I didn’t want to go and just draw horses everywhere. Instead, I’m looking at combining these textured backgrounds with washes of paint and some drawn details. The first print is for the shelling at night, the second is muddy brown holes in the snow, and the third is pieces of shrapnel and earth upturned by more shelling. I don’t normally work in an abstracted way so it’s kind of nice to try out this more atmospheric way of presenting a landscape rather than going straight to drawing pens. Fits the story better, I think.

In similar news, I’ve been trying out something different with modelling clay, too! With Thought Bubble Festival only a week and a half away, I’ve been working on a small side project to keep me company over the weekend on my half of table 73. Plus, with the re-release of The Red Road coming THIS FRIDAY, and Thought Bubble being it’s first public appearance, I thought it’s a perfect opportunity to make something  bit different. Now, I’m absolutely no expert in the field of modelling, but after a plea on twitter and speaking to some fellow students at university, I found out my failed attempts were because I needed to make a skeleton structure to support the weight of the clay. Who knew! Low and behold, I’ve just about managed to make a model of Bear and Coyote with air-drying clay and a frame consisting of paper clips, wool and hot glue.

Now, they are pretty crappy. I mean, I was hoping I could sell them, but I wouldn’t wish that upon anyone until I’ve practiced a little more. Also, as you can probably tell, they aren’t to scale of each other – whoops! Making a smaller Coyote would have been really fiddly, and making a bigger Bear would have needed a much larger and more substantial frame. But altogether, not too shabby for a second attempt. Some cracks have appeared in the drying process so I shall be off to get some fine surface filler to fill those in before I paint and glaze my new friends.

Speaking of The Red Road… IT’S ALMOST FRIDAY!! I am so, so excited to be releasing The Red Road for a second time, especially with the changes and additions I’ve made. The story remains the same, but there’s some special extra content in there now, and a couple of other tweaks to make it the best it can be. Yay! Don’t forget, The Red Road launches this Friday (6th November) still for the same price of £6 on my Etsy store, but this time with an extra 4 pages of goodies. Just to make life even more exciting, Richard Bruton’s review came through last week from Forbidden Planet Blog. What a dream come true! Having not only a Broken Frontier review but now a Forbidden Planet review too is an incredibly proud and exciting moment for me. Here’s a snippet, and click here for the full review.

“…Hathaway deserves fulsome praise for delivering something so brutal, so powerful, in such simple terms. This is good comics.”

– Richard Bruton, Forbidden Planet Blog review of The Red Road

Finally, yesterday saw celebrations in the form of Broken Frontier’s Editor-in-Chief Andy Oliver’s Small Pressganged 4th birthday! Wow, that was a mouthful. Anyway, it’s safe to say that without Andy Oliver’s tireless work to embrace small press and independent comics, I would not be on the shelves of comics shops throughout the UK, and I would not have appeared in anthologies and at comics events. What a guy! For myself and countless others, Andy has championed our hard work and given it an amplified audience of dedicated fans and followers. Really, I am so thankful for the great work that he does, and I would just be another uni student desperate to get anywhere without his support and belief in my work. All hail the hat! To celebrate the occasion I draw Andy a nice big hat cake with four candles per hat and a potential flag fire hazard. It’s not exactly my most esteemed work, but as a doodle it gets the message across. Happy 4th Birthday Small Pressganged!

So, that’s about it for now; the Next Big Thing is slowly under way and next on the list is working on my dissertation proposal. (Yep, you thought your Wednesday morning was fun..) Don’t forget to get your shiny second edition copy of The Red Road from Friday, and check back next week for some previews of the second edition additions. Until next time!

x

 

Share:

The Red Road – Round Two

Goooood morning folks!

So, another week vanishes in the blink of an eye, and more sadly, another weekend vanishes even quicker than before. However, lots of good things are brewing here at Rozi HQ, (most important of all being herbal tea) and the excitement takes off the edge of the autumn chill.

Speaking of which, I am incredibly excited and happy to announce that The Red Road is going to print for a second edition run! I’ve been working away in between university assignments to add bonus content to the existing book, and really make it the best it can be. The story remains the same, though there are some new treats in store, including unseen sketchbook work and more..

I am so grateful for everyone who helped make The Red Road a sell-out success in just nine short months! It’s strange to think that this time last year I was beginning to unfold ideas to start creating Bear, Coyote and Lark, and the girl who holds the story together. It’s something I’m very proud of, and I’m not ready to let go of it yet. Watch this space for news of the official re-launch, coming November 2015!

In related news, The Red Road has kindly been reviewed over at Big Comic Page by Kirsty Hunter. Yay! Here’s some lovely extracts;

“A complete sucker for traditional media comics, I fell head over heels for The Red Road from my first look at its simple and striking watercolour cover. Burned skeletons of trees, silhouetted against shadowy mountains with a blazing red sunrise just breaking above these – the image nicely encapsulates the story’s blend of light and darkness.”

“Overall, The Red Road is a quietly powerful reading experience and a sure-footed debut from Hathaway. There’s more than enough here to get me really excited for whatever she brings out next as I think her ability to depict difficult emotions with a light touch will translate to a variety of projects.”

– Kirsty Hunter, Big Comic Page (read the full review here)

Lovely stuff! The Red Road scored a 4 out of 5, and is happily added to my small collection of reviews alongside Andy Oliver’s review from Broken Frontier earlier this year. Fingers crossed another important review might be coming this way soon..

Also, this week my Sneaky Business buddy Samuel C Williams has released the front cover image for his forthcoming zine, Dead Singers Society. To be released at this year’s Thought Bubble festival in Leeds, Dead Singers Society includes comics, illustrations and writing, with my submission being a single page illustration of Muddy Waters (sneak peek below). I always really enjoy working on small pieces for print, especially as a thanks to Sam for his work in Sneaky Business. So, if you’re around Thought Bubble next month be sure to swing by and see Sam’s stall (before you head over to spend all your pennies with me, of course!).

Finally, in some very exciting news, Kripa and Elena have absolutely smashed the target for Art Aid Nepal, finishing up with a whopping £3’300 in donations and over 100 backers! Well done everyone for being a part of something so amazing, I can’t wait to get my hands on my very own printed copy and see all the amazing work that’s gone into this multicultural bonanza of an anthology. Thank you so much to Kripa and Elena for letting me be involved!

That’s it for now, folks! I have a stack of books that need reading and analysing before I can do fun drawing things, and the pile of books seem to be ever growing.. University life. Stay tuned as more awesome things are coming in the weeks to come.. Over and out!

x

Share:

Hello, October

Good afternoon ladies and gents!

So, with a sweep of windy and rainy weather we are now knee-deep in October. University has thrown me into the cold, harsh realities of becoming a final-year student, and with an entire eight months of work laying in front of me it’s all to easy to be intimidated. However! Now I have unshackled the responsibilities of part-time paid shelf-stacking work I am feeling somewhat stressed but also somewhat Zen. I will survive this year. I will. (I hope) -sob-

After a small editorial brief which will conclude next week, most of the work I’ll be producing is long-term projects. With that in mind, I will shortly be taking off my top secret cape! Meaning, you can expect a lot more of the work-in-progress kind of posts from me, along with quiet-yet-public-mental-breakdown posts and drunk-on-camomile-tea posts. Although I have to give a fair amount of concentration to all projects and briefs this year, the main focus of the next eight months is The Next Big Thing. My yet-to-be-named longer length comic will be the final push, incorporating everything I’ve learnt over the past two and a half years since I really started my comics career with HOAX: Psychosis Blues, up until the Top Secret Project which is due to be revealed next month.

First things first, this past rainy Monday I headed on down to The Big Smoke for half a day to visit the bees knees of comics shops! Sneaky Business is now available at both Orbital Comics and Gosh! Comics in London – yay! Don’t forget that Sneaky Business is still available from my online Etsy shop for just £2, perfect for those people who have everything, yet you still need to get them something for Christmas. Cuh, you know, THOSE people. Awkward souls.. Anyway, whilst I was in Gosh I dropped off the final five copies of The Red Road in a proud yet slightly sad moment. My children have flown the nest, and are all out there in the great wide world! So, that’s it folks. All one hundred copies are gone, with a few remaining at Gosh!, Travelling Man in Manchester (and last time I checked, there was one copy left at Nostalgia & Comics in Birmingham).

Final Page Image

Do not fear, though; Bear, Coyote and Lark are far too special to disappear forever. Keep an eye out on my social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) over the next couple of weeks for some exciting news, and of course here on the blog you’ll get all the insider gossip too!

November is turning out to be a pretty exciting month, with Thought Bubble on the horizon and Top Secret Project’s grand reveal.. and now some The Red Road news? Well, who needs Christmas! On that note, time to get back to the grind! Don’t forget to back the Nepal Art Aid Anthology if you haven’t already – the clock is ticking. For now, as always, over and out.

x

Share:

Machines

Good evening ladies and gentlemen!

Ahh.. What’s that I hear? That’s the sweet sound of completed projects, essays, assignments and briefs.. The sound of stress-headaches slowly dissipating and being replaced with long-nights sleep and lessened under-eye bags (well….. here’s hoping). Although it’s not time to completely breathe a sigh of relief just yet, I’m now completely on top of my workload and ahead of the curve for remaining deadlines! It’s a smug and content feeling, I must admit.

One area that I’m happy to have completed is the Machines project, which launched as a part of a University based exhibition last Thursday. Us second year students were handed this brief at the beginning of the term, all we were given was the word ‘machines’, and we could interpret it in any way we envisioned. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I chose to incorporate a back-story narrative with the hope of possibly turning the idea into a comic one day. I’m not entirely sure I’ll take it any further, but it was fun to try out narrative in a different way! Below are some images of the exhibition in it’s finished stages, including some work from my fellow students.

 

01/03/2026

Two years ago, the Kepler 2 Telescope caught sight of an exo-planet displaying similar characteristics to our own planet Earth. Following this discovery, a curiosity rover had been to this new planet, newly named by NASA as the planet ‘Spyryt’. Sent through an open worm-hole, the Spyryt Curiosity Rover shuttle accelerated through time and recently landed on the barren wasteland. Nobody could have expected what images started to be sent back.

The following pictures have been sent from the Spyryt Curiosity Rover, and additionally the use of 3D printing has allowed samples to be sent back digitally, though testing is still incomplete. Spyryt’s desolate, dystopian landscape is being kept quiet from the public for now, but questions are being asked. And we don’t know how to answer them…

I had some interesting feedback from my peers and lecturer, general consensus seems to be that I should have increased the size of the newspaper articles, or made more – which is understandable. It’s hard to envision an exhibition in a space before it goes in, so looking at it on the wall it may have been better to have more/larger satirical articles. On the whole the feedback seemed to be positive (I think??), I knew what I wanted to do and I executed it to a good standard, and I can’t pick fault with any particular part, but I’m definitely feeling the void of having no particular character/protagonist. I approached the brief with a comic in mind, but due to the time constraints involved I couldn’t really focus on any of the story from back on Earth with engaging characters and things like that. But hey, I take is all as valuable experience. We had to incorporate a 3D element into our pieces, so that’s what the interesting pile of dirt, rocks, computer parts and medical supplies is! That was definitely fun, and apparently it counts as ‘art’. Maybe I should smuggle it into the Tate and see if I can sell it for some obscene amount of money to fund my next comic?

Talking of comics, after seeing the lunar eclipse on Friday I thought of my characters from The Red Road, and how I kind of miss drawing them. Is that weird? I like to think that it’s an understandable sufferance; as comics people spend so many ridiculous hours drawing the same characters over and over again, they kind of feel like dear friends at the end of it all. Maybe I’m just a romantic, but I thought of Bear and Coyote as I accidentally-tried-not-to-blind-myself from the beautiful, surreal sight of an eclipse mid-morning, and felt compelled to catch up with my old friends in this quick drawing/painting;

Image (10)

I didn’t have much time to draw and paint this one, but I’m thinking of maybe doing some limited prints for the festival season (if I’m successful.. I hope you’re all still keeping your fingers, toes and eyes crossed?) if people are interested. We shall see! As the University deadlines fade into history I remember that burning passion for drawing and that I have the whole summer to draw to my little hearts content! Yippee!

Now, as referenced with my excitement last week, the zine I’ve been working on with two fellow students is almost ready to be printed. We came up with a name, just final touches and printing to be done! Now, I’m probably biased, but this zine is going to be really interesting, and you should definitely be excited to see some previews next week before I put some up for sale on my Etsy store. Also, I’ve had to make another small zine in the past week for an assignment that’s being printed tomorrow. AND I have been plotting out a small one-pager comic for another zine I was asked to contribute on from the lovely Keara Stewart, which will be going on sale at zine fairs and selected stores in the coming months.. So lots of zine business bridging the gap before I can get working on the next story!

Anywho, I believe that’s it for now! I can’t relax too much – best get back to some Uni work before I forget something critically important. Keep your eyes peeled for next week, there will be ZINES EVERYWHERE! Peace out! x

Share:

It’s Printing Time!

Good evening ladies and gents!

So, I have big, happy shiny news that glistens in the sunlight (though not like one of those weird Twilight ‘vampire’ things..). It also scares me somewhat, but I’m just going to ignore that for now:

My comic, The Red Road has evolved over the past few months. It emerged as from a single idea, from there is became lines and paint on numerous pieces of paper, and then to the long process of editing and piecing together on a screen. And finally, as of this week, over to the local printers who are finishing the process by making 100 beautiful copies. Printed onto an off-white eco-friendly paper, with perfect binding (i.e. stapling), The Red Road will be in my warm and loving arms by Thursday!

Ooo

Preview2

Preview3

Like anything created and then thrown out to the world, it is a anxious time.. Although this time it’s worse – financing the printing has been an odd feeling, one of which started very happily and then as time has gone on in the past week I’ve started wondering what on earth I’ve done. Y’know, the usual happy thoughts! Thankfully, after only a couple of meltdowns I’m ready to go and just waiting.. I’m usually pretty good at being patient, but now I have a dent in my finances I just want to see what happens!!

Anyway! Down to the important business.

I have rejuvenated my Etsy shop which you can go have a look at here >> https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/rozihathaway

It is looking a little empty at the moment, but I’m working on it! From Thursday The Red Road will be available for purchase from here for the grand, epic total of £6. Each copy is numbered out of 100, and will be posted out in it’s own little cellophane envelope and board-backed packaging to ensure that it arrives in perfect condition. The comic is A5 in size, and as previously mentioned printed onto recycled eco-friendly paper at a weight of 140gsm. To read more about the story itself please look at my previous post here!

Anyone who parts with their hard earned cash to purchase something that I made is a hero in my eyes, so thank you to anyone who is interested in my work. It’s a never-fading compliment to have a story I nurtured and put so much into sitting in someone’s home, making people smile. This story is close to my heart for many reasons, but working with these characters for all this time I really can’t wait to see and hear what people think. So, before I get too soppy, head on over to my Facebook page and enjoy the daily countdown starting from tonight.. See what happens tomorrow and I hope you’re all as excited as I am! For now – laters! x

Share:

Season’s Greetings

Good evening folks!

Well, well, well. It’s that time of year again. The university deadlines are down from a long list to just one more presentation, and I’ve been gradually wrapping the stockpile of gifts I’d been hiding in my wardrobe for months. Having a Christmas with no immediate project work to attend to means I’ll be happily filling myself with mulled wine and turkey for about three weeks, before it all starts up again of course. Time flies when you’re having fun! Or stressed.

So, I have been a busy bee working on several things at once, but last week saw the completion of my graphic short story that I submitted for the V&A’s Illustration Awards 2015 in the student submission category. Although, I won’t lie, the V&A was just a formality and university requirement for this brief. I couldn’t wait to write and draw my own story with so much time allocated! The story itself is hard to summarise, though my best attempt would be this; Influenced by the text ‘To Walk The Red Road’, a Native American poem by an unknown author, I developed a story based on a young woman and her spirit animals – Bear, Coyote and Lark. The story is about a physically and mentally arduous journey, ascending up the Rocky Mountains; exploring themes of violence and sexual abuse, alongside companionship, bravery and areas of Native American beliefs. Here is an obligatory snapshot:

The Red Road cover
The Red Road cover
Oooh.. shiny.
“What’s going on there?” – I hear you cry!

 

This project was my baby from start to finish, I absolutely loved it. Never before have I had the chance to really cultivate my own story for such a length of time, and with all the practise I made myself do over the summer with Lost and Found, and then the Christmas Tale, I finally had a chance within university to put it all to good use. I started with the poem, and then came up with some ideas that I wanted to include in the story, and then slowly but surely put the story together. From there I wrote it out into a graphic novel script, and after some sketchbook work and a mock-up book with my thumb-nailing I went straight to paper. The story is a total of 24-pages, not including the covers and somehow I managed to write and create the whole thing in 8 weeks. Nifty, eh? There are some logistical kinks that need working out, and I need some willing un-biased readers to give me their opinion on the content, but all going well after editing I’m looking into getting this story printed to sell. How exciting! It’s a new kind of nervous for me – I’m used to having my drawings thrown in peoples faces for judgement.. But writing? Well, apart from waffling on here and there, crafting stories is only something I’ve been practising in the last year or so. Let’s hope people like it!

Aside from this project I’d been working on a few other things but nothing I really felt as passionate for as this. Most of my university assessments are well under way and I’ll be looking forward to some nice, positive (hopefully) feedback from tutors over the winter break. Going into term two of second year, I believe the evil ‘D’ work is going to start being thrown around.. Dissertation. Eurgh. But on the positive, hopefully there will be lots more projects I can sink my teeth into and really make into something I love. Anyway, I will be around and updating things a bit more over the holidays so keep an eye out for more updates! Over and out x

 

Share:

Deadlines, deadlines, deadlines..

Good evening ladies and gents,

So, I’ve managed to temporarily peel myself away from the looming pile of degree work I have next to me to remind you all that I’m still alive and kicking. I have decided that whichever smug bastard said that art courses at University are easy, clearly never did one. You can kind of swing copying notes and blasting out essays a few days before, but making a whole book? Writing and drawing? That takes some next level commitment and organisation skills (if I may say so myself..).

The good news is that I have a good feeling about this book. Essentially, it’s a 24-page graphic short-story based in the land of the Rocky Mountains fuelled by my desire to be back in Colorado drinking a Mountain Dew the size of my head whilst looking at those glorious mountains. I have written a short story based around myths and legends of the various Native American tribes who lived around Colorado, Arizona, Utah and New Mexico. Otherwise known as the four corners. Or, my other much missed home-from-home. Then from myths I made a plot, then that I developed into a graphic novel script, and from there thumbnail sketches, a mock-up book, and now I’m working my way through each final page tweaking as I go along, plus digital editing to finish it all off. It’s not a cheery book in any sense, but then none of my favourite books are, so I guess that’s just how I roll. Over the summer I spent so long practising writing comics and short stories, it finally feels like something has paid off and I’m well on my way to making this book hopefully the best thing I’ve ever written. The downside of having such a tight schedule and so much to tell, is that the level of detail is far less complex than what I put into, say, a one-off piece illustration. However I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing, if I had 6 months to work on this and make it into a beautifully crafted standalone book to sell then it would be different, but for now I’m doing what I can with the limitations put in place. And I’m still determined it will be a success! In fact, I re-did 6 pages today, so I’m dedicated to making this awesome.

On completion of the book I will be looking into getting copies made and put up for sale in the new year which will be exciting! But for now, I can only show you all a sneak preview of some of the progress so far..

10802994_698070640300876_1896879306_n

10808917_1564409883788730_744139708_n

Other than that, not much to report. I still need to design my Christmas cards this year, as well as my parents Christmas cards, making presents and a few other exciting things up my nifty sleeves! That’s as well as completing the book, writing an essay, completing another practical project consisting of four final pieces, constructing a seminar debate, making and presenting a 45-minute presentation and submitting to the V&A competitions. Phew! For now, that is all. Best get back to the grind; Over and out! x

Share: