cartoon museum

Inking Women & Drawing Foxes

Good afternoon folks,

So! It’s been a busy month as ever here at HQ.. First up, The Inking Woman Book Launch! On Thursday 15th March I took a half-day at my day job and hopped on the 3 hour coach up to London for The Inking Woman/Marie Duval book launches from Myriad Editions. You know me – ever the traveller. With a quick pit-stop in the V&A and The Science Museum beforehand, I bundled over to the launch party with a skip in my step and after a short while, prosecco in my hand.

The atmosphere was electric, just as much as it had been at the original Inking Woman exhibition at The Cartoon Museum almost a year ago! Thank you so much to Corinne Pearlman, Cath Tate and Nicola Streeten for all their hard work in putting such a fantastic book together. Below you can see me lurking in the back with a handful of the Inking Women featured in the exhibition/book – I’m so proud to be among them! The whole experience took a little while to sink in – travelling back the same night probably didn’t help in making it all feel rather surreal. But, low and behold I am published in a Myriad book amongst so many wonderful cartoonists.

In other news, I spent most of March finishing up something new for a new anthology; the Good Comics Reader! Those chaps at Good Comics decided it’d be nice to do an anthology featuring all the creators whose work they have published so far. How could I resist? My new four-page comic will be launched in the Reader on Saturday 14th April at Leamington Spa Comic Con, and copies are available to pre-order now.

Good Comics Reader!

The Reader is also raising money for charity, with 50% of the proceeds going to Young Minds. Here’s a little bit about them from their website;

We’re leading the fight for a future where all young minds are supported and empowered, whatever the challenges. We’re here to make sure they get the best possible mental health support and have the resilience to overcome life’s difficulties.

The crisis in children and young people’s mental health is real and it is urgent. More children and young people than ever before are reaching out for help with their mental health. But for those who take that brave step, help is much too hard to find.

Together, we are changing this. We’re fighting for young people’s mental health. Join our fight.

Young Minds support young people through different projects and support packs for young people and their parents/carers. It’s really crucial to support the mental health of young people, and it’s something close to my heart as you will know from my ongoing support of 42nd Street Manchester through sales of my print. So, if you like being entertained through the thought-provoking and moving medium of comics, and you want to do your bit for charity, then I strongly recommend grabbing a copy of the Reader asap. I’ll be back at Leamington Comic Con next Saturday 14th April with Good Comics to launch the Reader, so if you want it signed then come and say hi! Tickets are available here or on the door.

A preview of my comic for the Reader, Ræven.

In other Good Comics related news, this Friday is the launch party of their newest release The Times I Knew I Was Gay by Eleanor Crewes at Gosh! Comics in London. PAR-TAY! As an honorary member of Good Comics I’ll be at the launch with a glass in hand celebrating this really excellent book – if you’re a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan like I am, you’re in for a treat – so if you’re local to London then come on down as it’s going to be amazing!

Finally, in some really-really-super exciting news, this summer I’ve been invited to be a keynote speaker at the International Graphic Novel and Comics Conference in Bournemouth. I’ll be opening the conference on Wednesday 27th June with my talk on ‘Retrospective Storytelling: From Childhood to Characterisation’. Other speakers include Catherine Anyango Grünewald and Woodrow Phoenix. The conference is going to be really interesting, so check out all the details here and book your ticket now!

Aaand that just about sums it up for now! Don’t forget to subscribe to my updates on Patreon to get the news as it happens. But until next time.. peace out.

 

x

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Welcome, 2018!

Dear readers…

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Did you know that New Year is my favourite time of the year? I mean, Christmas has it’s perks.. homely feelings and spending time with family, friends and loved ones; being able to treat the ones you love; eating way too much delicious food and having a great excuse to. But can also be a lot of pressure, and it can be tough if you miss your nearest and dearest, and all around us there are harrowing reminders that there are a lot of people who are cold and alone on a day that is meant to evoke the opposite. New Year’s Eve, however, is a beacon of hope.

2017 was an incredibly and challenging year for a lot of people, myself included. I moved home twice and relocated yet again, and produced some of the most honest work of my career so far. So, let’s have a look back:

Last year saw the release of my fourth standalone comic book Cosmos & Other Stories, released in March by micro-publishers and all-round-excellent-gents Good Comics. Cosmos is really a collection of stories from the soul, and I was thrilled and relieved to see it flourish. So much so, that it came out and sold out within 9 months! The reprint of Cosmos will his shelves this year, so keep an eye out..

Speaking of reprints, in summer Njálla sold out of 250 copies in just over a year and another run went to print! Thank you so much to everyone who has bought my books, read my stories and kept the magic alive.

2017 also kicked off with my third successful piece to be a part of Good Comics Dead Singer’s Society Vol. 3! I was cursing trying to get that piece right whilst working on Cosmos & Other Stories, and oh I remember it well. Other anthologies I’ve been a part of this year include BBE Collective’s Habitat Anthology, Dirty Rotten Comics’ first full-colour Issue 10 and the groundbreaking Broken Frontier Small Press Yearbook 2017. I’m continually so thankful to be included in anthologies great and small, and I’m hoping to carry on working on even more group and anthology projects in 2018!

It hasn’t all been joy and butterflies, though. 2017 saw pain in my personal life and the birth of Self-Care & Vegetables, a zine about the aftermath of a break-up in real terms. It was a difficult project to work on, mainly from opening up in such an honest way, but the zine has done really well and I’m glad to have put it out there. That Comic Smell have recently put up a podcast talking about Self-Care & Vegetables and discussing it’s honesty. Check it out here, about 45 minutes in. Other shout-outs to campaigners of small press go to Pipedream Comics who featured me in their Pull List, A Place to Hang Your Cape for interviewing me, and of course, Broken Frontier for their continued support – including this time last year winning the Breakout Talent Award for 2016.

Another huge honour this year was being included in The Cartoon Museum‘s Inking Woman Exhibition, featuring past and present women comic artists and cartoonists in the first exhibition of it’s kind. It was a superb exhibition and a huge honour to be a part of. I also created a print for Emily B Owen’s Brain Shoodles launch, which has gone on to sell independently to raise funds for 42nd Street Manchester, a charity which works with young people experiencing mental health difficulties.

Finally, I sold work at seven comic shows around the UK last year. Seven! No wonder I’ve been feeling tired.. I even went to a comic art show as a punter for the first time in longer than I care to admit, and a pretty fantastic show it was.

2017 was also a year of experimenting with my work, from digital illustration to lino printing I had fun with it all, and it’s set me up for another year of creating things in new and interesting ways. I learnt a lot in ’17, and although it was definitely challenging and character-building at times, I feel stronger and more passionately about things than I have for a long time. And a lot of that is down to you – you, who reads my blogs, purchases my comics and listens to my words. Without an audience I’d have nothing, so here is a gigantic thank you and Happy New Year to each and every one of you who has ever taken the time to look at my books and/or art. You’re all marvellous.

And on that note, I wish you a farewell for now. I’m going to continue to reflect on this all whilst examining the inside of my eyelids, and be back with you soon to see how 2018’s shaping up. Until next time!

 

x

 

p.s. Happy Birthday mum!

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Ubiquity, Upcoming, & More

Good afternoon all,

So, these weeks are flying by aren’t they? It only feels like last week that I boarded my chariot (otherwise known as the Manchester to London Virgin train) for the opening of The Cartoon Museum’s exhibition The Inking Woman. Ending on Sunday 23rd, you only have a few days to go and check it out before it moves on! The opening night back in April was heaving, and the atmosphere was electric so I could barely concentrate on having a look around, so this past Saturday I returned to fully absorb the exhibition before it’s too late. Check it out:

It really is an entertaining selection of work from creators’ old and new, with a mix of original artwork and digital prints. It’s always incredibly interesting to see the original artwork, correction fluid and fresh paper placed over mistakes, paint over panel borders and smudges in the corners. If you have the chance to get down there I’d strongly recommended it!

In other news, sales have started to come through for my mental health print, in support of 42nd Street Manchester! It’s really heart-warming to see people moved by and interested in supporting the causes that 42nd Street, and their arts-venue the Horsfall. You can still get the prints online from my store here, with 50% of the proceeds going to the charity.

Also, I have some updates for my comic’s festival schedule! Sadly, as is the case with highly sought-after events, I didn’t manage to get a table at Bristol Comic & Zine Fair this year, held at The Station on Saturday 7th October. Thankfully for me, I can get in on the action and come along with Good Comics to support them, whilst having a few of my other titles on the communal table. Two weeks later, on Saturday 21st October, I’ve managed to squeeze into Loogabarooga Comics Fair in Loughborough with a last minute slot – party on! I will, of course, also be at Thought Bubble Festival now in its earlier calendar-slot of Saturday 23rd-24th September alongside Sam Williams of Good Comics, and a cardboard cut-out of Paddy (who has family commitments, cuh). So, it’s going to be a busy couple of months!

*cough* I will also be bringing out a little(ish) something new in time for Thought Bubble in September, so do watch this space…. *cough*

Finally, I’ve also managed to re-stock in my usual comic haunts, and get some stock in new places! As of this moment in time, you can currently get your hands on my books in Gosh Comics (London), Orbital Comics (London), The Cartoon Museum (London), Gnash Comics (Devon), The Incredible Comic Shop (Swindon), Page 45 (Nottingham) and Travelling Man (Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle & York). There may be some remaining in Nostalgia & Comics Birmingham, though I’m not totally sure what’s left there. Here’s some snaps!

So, as you can see, I’m slowly taking over the World. Or something to that effect.. Huge thanks to all the comics shops and Small Press friendly fans who keep buying my books dotted around the country! Nothing brings me greater joy than a surprise tweet to say someone’s picked up my work in a store or at a festival. It really is the best.

And, that just about rounds things up for now. As I alluded to earlier, I’m working on some top-secret tasks and planning at the moment with more to be revealed soon.. But until then, peace out!

 

x

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Spring Has Sprung

Good afternoon folks!

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.

Now that Cosmos & Other Stories is finished up and out in the world, AND I’ve moved home just over a week ago, it’s been a time of catching up on comics I’ve promised for submissions. First up, I’ve been working on a four-page comic for this year’s Broken Frontier Small Press Yearbook! Last year’s Yearbook was a platform for the Broken Frontier’s 2015 ‘Six to Watch’ artists to be published as a focal point whilst still sat next to more established artists. Danny Noble, Emma Raby, Jess Milton, Alice Urbino, Adam Vian and myself all contributed to the Yearbook, with my comic Afloat gaining praise in reviews from Page 45, The Quietus and more. This year, the Broken Frontier Small Press Yearbook 2017 is focusing on the 2016 ‘Six to Watch’ creators Rebecca Bagley, Kim Clements, Brigid Deacon, Emily Rose Lambert, Jey Levang and Ellice Weaver – with myself and others creating shorter back-up stories to support these fabulous six comics ladies.

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!

Whalin’ around in DRC10!

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!

 

x

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Shelf Fame & Other Tales

Good evening ladies and gents,

Well, last week sped by a little too quickly, didn’t it! I seemingly spent most of the week glued to my desk working on a book cover design, only moving for hourly stretches and to boil the kettle – my new love for camomile and honey tea is helping me detox from my usual high caffeine intake and also, it smells like sleep and clouds. What could be better? The wild life of an illustrator is all it’s cracked up to be, and I like to think that my insights make you all realise how bad-ass of a career this is.

Anyway! On Saturday I took a trip down to our fine capital city for a happy day of exploring and absorbing! First stop was to Soho, as Steve at Gosh! Comics on Berwick Street has been kind enough to take on copies of The Red Road for sale in the Small Press and Independent area of the store. I think I may have accidentally skipped for joy at one point, but hopefully no one noticed. And, even if no one did indeed notice then I’ve just ruined it for myself on here. I will defend happy-joy-skipping until the bitter end! The last and only time I’d been to Gosh! Comics previously was for the HOAX: Psychosis Blues signing in July of last year – the shop has such a lovely feel and atmosphere, with a huge table in the middle covered in all sorts of wonderful books and graphic novels. There’s even original and print artwork for sale decorating the walls, it really is a wonderful place.

I was excited beyond belief at my book being placed on the shelves, so for any London readers, you envision my excitement and skipping for yourself by picking up your numbered copy of The Red Road down at Gosh! Comics:

After Gosh! I spent the rest of the day visiting a variety of neat exhibitions, and first up was The Cartoon Museum! Somehow, I’d never actually known about the museum until I was researching my trip to Brussels Centre belge de la Bande dessinée (you can read all about my adventures here) and The London Cartoon Museum came up on Google. Oops! Anywho, it’s a small museum but the content really speaks for itself.

Next up was Anise Gallery’s new exhibition Sequential City, featuring original pieces and prints from Owen D. Pomery, Alison Sampson, Lando, Hannah Berry, John Riordan & Tim Bird, looking at the psychology of architecture in contemporary graphic novels. The Anise Gallery is tucked well out the way, just around the corner from the Design Museum past London Bridge. The space is small and homely, and the exhibition is like a hidden gem. I ended up treating myself to John Riordan‘s Capital City and Lando‘s Anthropozine which are both moving reads – If I had endless money I’d have bought it all! Following this I made my way over to Somerset House to the Mapping the City exhibition featuring illustrators and graffiti artists and their interpretations of maps. Interesting stuff!

The British Library’s Lines in the Ice exhibition was my last port of call (get it?), with historic illustrations of the various attempts at discovering what was through the North-West passage. Sad, but interesting, and by this point my calves were ready to get the train home (legs, not baby cows)! Mapping the City is on until 15th Feb, and Sequential City is on until 15th March, so no excuse not to get down there!

 

Goodies!!

More good news, this week has seen the arrival of some new smaller merchandise bits for selling! I had some postcards made up and some promo stickers too for any small events, including a Uni-organised arts and crafts fair I’m doing with some fellow students at the end of this month. Slowly but surely I’ll be clocking up some other items to sell ready for the summer! Because, well, my Etsy store looks a little lonesome with just The Red Road sitting there.

Anyway, that’s it for now. If you’d like to read more about my adventures in London, in a more in-depth way, then I have a separate post going up on my university Tumblr blog, which you can read here. I shall be dutifully back in a week with another update, and hopefully this book cover will be done by then! I have lots on at the moment, and I can’t wait to show you all what I’ve been up to.. Peace out! x

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