collagraph

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

 

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The Lurgy Arrives

Good afternoon ghosts and ghouls,

So, I’m blessing you with my presence today whilst battling a fearsome autumnal cold. I’ve been awaiting this beast that’s been going round for a while, and I’ve been managing to happily avoid it until now. Marvellous. Don’t colds just have a way of appearing at the most awkward time? It’s not like I have presentations to give, with the need to think about complex educational things, right? Instead, the inside of my brain is made of marshmallows and I look like Beetlejuice. But hey, I’ve been eating vegetables galore so hopefully I will battle this demon lurgy in time for the weekend!

This past week I’ve started making some headway on ideas for a new project, the Folio Society and House of Illustration Book Illustration Competition. The Book Illustration Competition is a yearly jobby that’s been going on since 2011, though this year is the first time I’ll be entering. This year’s book is War Horse by Michael Morpurgo, and I shall be creating three inner illustrations and the book cover design for this, for completion is early January. So it’s quite a big task, but an exciting one nevertheless. Last week I made some collagraph printing plates ready to do some illustration backgrounds to draw back into; unfortunately I’ve felt too awful to stand in the print room at University and get inky, but fingers crossed my human-self returns soon and I can get my print on. Below are my printing plates, textures and all, ready to go! Aren’t they lovely.

Also, in my eternal search for new and interesting textures that I can add into my work, I had a go at some DIY nail varnish marbling! Because I’m too frugal to buy marbling inks, and I have a sizeable collection of nail varnish already, I decided to give this method a go after finding it on Pintrest. Now, I didn’t use anywhere near as much colour as in the tutorial (see previous point about frugality) to do mine, but they turned out pretty interesting all the same. These experiments are all going towards the preparations for The Next Big Thing..

Who says illustration just needs to be drawing, huh? All of these types of things I like to scan in and add as a layer behind an image to give it a bit more of a textured and interesting look sometimes. Plus it’s kind of fun to try these things, apart from the inevitability of being gassed in my living room by nail varnish. It’s all part of the fun!

In other news, I popped into Travelling Man in Manchester on Sunday to drop off some copies of Sneaky Business! They now sit alongside a remaining copy of The Red Road (first edition), and right underneath Keara Stewart‘s nightmare anthology I created a comic for, A Bit of Undigested Potato. How EXCITING! Don’t forget, you can pick up the last remaining copies of The Red Road from Gosh London, Travelling Man Manchester, OK Comics in Leeds! Sneaky Business is still available to buy from my rather shiny Etsy store, as well as in Gosh, Orbital Comics and now Travelling Man.

And with The Red Road re-release getting ever closer, I’m slowly getting prepared for the two-day comic bonanza that will be Thought Bubble Festival! For those of you travelling to Leeds for the occasion, the comics festival at the weekend is looking absolutely spectacular. I’ll be in New Dock Hall on table 73b, with lots of lovely and talented people around as shown on the map! I have some exciting things up my sleeve for the event, so be sure to pop by and say hello if you’re in the area.

Finally, following the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer being released last week, (and subsequently having to sit through it multiple times) I decided my better half’s excitable squealing was too entertaining to pass up on as inspiration, so I put pen to paper and made him this. Pretty spot on, if you ask me! Anywho, that’s it for now. I need to feed myself something magical to run this cold out of town. Until next time, happy Halloween and stay spooky! x

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Another week bites the dust.

Good evening, happy campers!

So, it’s been another productive week at Rozi-HQ. More postal orders have been shipped out to some lovely folks around the UK, and even to the land of the free over in the USA – thanks everyone! Special thanks to Andy Oliver for his relentless promotion of The Red Road, alongside his wonderful article I mentioned last week. All the feedback I’ve received has been glowing, and I’m really pleased that people have enjoyed the envelope doodles I’ve been sending out with postal orders. I’ve also received my first feedback on my Etsy store, yippee! It’s all very exciting, and slowly the manic pace of launch and getting out the first bundle of orders has slowed down to a steady trickle, and back to reality I shuffle.

Envelope doodles, woooo!
Envelope doodles, woooo!

In the interest of new and upcoming things, I spent a very happy morning in the university print rooms on Friday morning creating mountains. That’s right. I’ve been making MOUNTAINS. Well, prints of mountains.. At the ol’ University, we not-quite-blindingly-stressed-yet second year students have two practical projects going at the moment, and I thought I would make the most of the free print-room facilities by making some collagraph prints to use for both of these projects. Now, for those of you who are unaware of a collagraph print is, you basically make your own ‘stamp’ with card or board, by adding textures or cutting into it. You then get your groove on with some oil based paints, mixing them up and rolling them on like there’s no tomorrow – followed by rolling the ‘stamp’ and some damp paper through a hefty printing press to make wonderful looking things that take a couple of days to dry. I made two different sets of mountains, because quite clearly I have an ongoing obsession theme with mountainous scenery and I wanted to use them in both projects. So, here we are;

Red, texturey mountains. Textury is a word, right?
Red, texturey mountains. Textury is a word, right…?
Working space! Making mess..
Working space! Making mess..
Green Welsh mountains!
Green Welsh mountains, fancy.

These prints will be digitally collaged up with some proper pen and ink drawings, as per my usual style! As these two projects have no room for comic making, I thought it would be a great time to test-drive using some different techniques in my work to set it apart from every other pen and ink reliant like myself. Hopefully, if in reality they will look like what I perceive in my head, if not better, then I will be one happy bunny. Apart from that, I can’t tell you any more otherwise I’d have to.. Nah, I’m kidding. But, all will be revealed in the coming weeks!

Also, in more exciting news – for a separate project at university I’ve been in touch with my fellow HOAX‘er Hannah Berry who is kindly letting my interview her! Now, if you don’t know who Hannah Berry is, you can check out her work here, and you should definitely buy it. Buy it all. She works in a very distinct style, reminiscent of Belgian and French comic artists, much different than mainstream comics illustrators here in the UK. There’s something very unique about her style, and as she’s also a fantastic storyteller I am very much looking forward to her responses to my nerdy-art-student questions! The interview will be primarily printed for this particular assignment, but if I remember to share it I’ll pop some extracts up on here.

Right, I think that’s it for now. Remember kids, tell all your friends and family about how awesome comics are, and THEN point them in my direction for a copy of The Red Road. We’re not all just about superheroes, right? Keep an eye out for another weekly update in, well, about a week’s time for more exciting (potentially) news! Peace out x

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