Inking Business

Good afternoon happy campers!

So, another week has zoomed by and the sun is still shining. My week of full-time training for the new real-life job finished up on Friday and I’m onto my far more efficient shifts morning shifts, leaving me with more time to get back to serious comic making business in the afternoons. As well as forcing me out of bed early and flexing my customer service skills, the cycling to work and back is giving me thighs like a viking! So really, if you think about it, sitting and making comics is good for me and my burning leg muscles as WELL as good for the whole planet. Right?

Being cooped up at training all last week left me little time to crack on with my current submission project for kuš! comics. As you may have seen last week I did have a chance to start inking up pages in the evenings, but due to various other commitments I didn’t quite make my half-way mark by the weekend which I was (over-optimistically) hoping for. Though, this week I’ve been working away at 4 pages of inking per afternoon, meaning as of this afternoon I only have 4 more pages to go! I do have the odd arm which has turned out to be a bit too long so there are some panels which need tweaking, but the important thing is that it will all be inked by the end of this week… Which leaves the weekend and next week for painting fun times. Yay!

Don’t talk whilst you eat, kids.

Purely due to my focused and tired state, I haven’t been taking a huge amount of progress photos, so, though accidentally, I’m keeping the mystery alive for a bit longer on this one – oo err. As mentioned before, the theme for submissions to kuš! is BFF’s, so there’s a vague hint. But for the rest, you’ll have to wait and see!

In other news, this weekend I shall be at the NN Contemporary Gallery Courtyard Table-Top Sale; Saturday 20th from 2pm-6pm. If you’re local to Northampton then come along to have a gander at the talents on offer! I’ll be selling copies of The Red Road, Njálla and other small bits and bobs including postcards and greetings cards, so be sure to check it out if you’re in the area. You can find out all the information about the event on the Facebook page here.

Finally, as some of you may recall from a few weeks back, my short story submission Sørgedag was been accepted in to the next Dirty Rotten Comics anthology. Yay! And, the next Dirty Rotten Comics anthology, #8, is out on Friday. Double yay! Pre-orders are still open for DRC8 until the book is released this Friday 19th June, so to get your copy ahead of the crowd just head to Dirty Rotten Comics store to pay for your copy now. At £4.00 for 68 pages of talent it’s an absolute bargain, and the guys over at DRC do an amazing job editing this anthology so you definitely get your money’s worth. Alongside my 4-page story Sørgedagyou’ll find the wonderful works of fellow Broken Frontier Small Press Creator to Watch Jey Levang, and others such as Claude TC and Tom Mortimer.

Broken Frontier released the exclusive preview yesterday, with DRC8 also being picked by Andy Oliver for his weekly staff pick on Broken Frontier, saying…

This Autumn edition includes work from BF ‘Small Press Creators to Watch‘ Jey Levang and Rozi Hathaway, as well as Andrew Warwick, Claude TC, Maria Stoian, Josh Hicks. Henry Miller and Tom Mortimer. Hathaway’s poignant contribution is an outstanding entry but look out also for clever use of visual metaphor from Benjamin Leon and the distinctive stylings of Francis M. among a number of gems this time around.

Andy Oliver, Broken Frontier Staff Picks for August 17, 2016 – Cry Havoc, Neat Stuff, Klaus, Dirty Rotten Comics and More!

How nice is that! If you don’t wish to pre-order then you can pick up your copy online from Friday, with DRC8 also being available in selected independent friendly comic shops within the UK.

And that’s about it for now. Don’t forget that submissions are still open for Sneaky Business Vol. 2 though the deadline of Monday 12th September is fast approaching! Until next week, I hope you all have a good rest-of-the-week and I shall be back with more news next week. Over and out!



Hello, August.

Good afternoon ladies and gents.

So, it’s August! Where did that come from, huh? July seemed to vanish in a flash, with more new comic work (Sørgedag – due out in Dirty Rotten Comics this month) and plenty of skill-expanding illustration work in the form of recipe illustrations and some rather colourful maps. July also included the wonders of Small Press Day, D&AD and towards the end of the month my very own graduation. No wonder I’m tired..

In one final excellent bundle of good news to finish up July, I’ve been offered a half-table at the Bristol Comic & Zine Fair on Saturday 1st October! I originally applied to BCZF months back and was very gutted to be turned down, however some kind soul backed out of their half table and apparently I was at the top of the reserves list – hooray! I’m absolutely THRILLED to be behind a table in Bristol for the first time. I fell in love with the city back in 2010/11 when I (unsuccessfully) applied to study at UWE. Thankfully, they’re letting me back in the city and I will be at BCZF with bells on. Check out all the information on BCZF here, and the Facebook Event Page here.

Seemingly lots of great comics people are all going to be under the one roof for BCZF, so as well as doing my selling thing I’ll be able to catch up with my favourite kind of people; small press comics people. The even better news which leads on from this is that Sneaky Business Vol. 2 will now officially launch at BCZF 2016! Double hooray! You still have just under 6 weeks to submit to Sneaky Business Vol. 2, so go forth and draw young Padawans.

Onto more creative business, last week through to this week I’ve been getting seriously stuck into the next short-story comics project; a creation for submission to Kuš! comics next anthology. Kuš #27 is open to submissions of comics 4-16 pages in length, with the theme of BFFs (for the non-millennials, BFF means “Best Friends Forever”). I’d been mulling over the possibilities of this story for a little while but I’ve finally been able to sink some time into it, and so far I’ve written, scripted, scribbled and mocked-up the comic. Now I’ve reached the point of sketching up the final pages onto draft paper, and at a whopper of 16 pages – the maximum allowed for this particular call for submissions – I have plenty to keep me busy. The downside of working to the maximum page number of a submission like this is that a niggling voice in my head says that it’s less likely to be successful in getting into the anthology.. But what is life, if to not be challenged and overcoming that looming self-doubt and a future of possible “sorry but no thank you”s.

Anyhow, above and below are some progress shots I’ve taken so far; from the very loose thumbnail sketches – used to work out the ultimate page count of the story and looking at areas I can exploit (in terms of surprising page turns and maintaining interest) – to the mock-up book which has more refined composition and speech, to the final draft pages – the over-size A3 pages I draw on, rub out, get angry at and scribble on – which when finished will be laid underneath the final paper on my fancy-pants light box and I free-ink the final images over the top. Now you all know my secret process – don’t tell anyone, yeah?

A6 mock-up comic on the left, with full A4 pages (A3 spread) behind)

I’ve currently finished drawing up just over half of the pencils for this, so I’m hoping with another couple of solid days work and lots of determination I’ll be able to start inking before this week is over. The deadline for Kuš #27 is Monday 19th September and you can find out all the information about it here – yes, yes, I am getting my comic done surprisingly early considering the deadline isn’t for another 6 and a half weeks, but with Sneaky Business’ covers design and my own comic needing doing I thought I’d best get ahead of the curve.

So, that’s about it for today! I shall be back next week as ever, though how much I’ll actually have to show is debatable, given that I’m away from my desk this weekend and start a new job on Monday, but I’ll do my best. Until next time, peace out.