So, Easter has passed us and I have successfully eaten my body-weight in all the good things; Easter eggs, Easter cake, Easter roast dinners and Easter.. cheese? Regardless, I have now lethargically thrown myself into the new week ready to tackle some more serious and important comic business.
As you can see I’ve also been playing around a bit with panel borders in this comic, similar to effects I’ve tried in the concluding pages of Njálla and first back when I made Afloat for the Broken Frontier Small Press Yearbook 2016. It’s been a fun one-shot short comic to make, utilising some of the skills I’ve played around with previously. Hopefully it goes down well!
Also, next week sees the launch of The Cartoon Museum’s new exhibition The Inking Woman on Wednesday 26th April! I’m heading down especially for the event, so if you’re around central London you should definitely check it out. There will be original artwork on display from myself and many other female British creators. There’s not a huge amount on the website about it, but you can keep up with The Cartoon Museum’s progress in the run up to the exhibition on their Facebook Page and Twitter.
So, it’s been a while! Two weeks of adventuring around Norway, Sweden and Denmark had a wonderfully calming and refreshing effect, with the 8-10 miles of walking a day leaving me with a svelte lady Viking figure. My partner and I had a wonderful time, it was physically tiring at times but the amount we saw with only a couple of days in each city is pretty remarkable. And, even better, I have LOTS of photos and ideas mulling around in my break for The Next Big Thing..
Before I left for the Scandi-lands, I left you all with the visions of Sneaky Business zine and what was to come. Well, last week I picked up a lovely box of Sneaky Businesses from the local printers and pre-order is officially open! Andy Oliver from Broken Frontier kindly reviewed Sneaky Business for me, and you can see what he says here!
There’s something incredibly appealing about the almost ephemeral zine-like approach of Sneaky Business; something smaller scale that, nevertheless, acts as a concise showcase for a number of self-publishing talents in one affordable and welcoming package.” – Andy Oliver, Broken Frontier review of Sneaky Business.
Talking of MancsterCon, it’s now only three days to go until the event itself! I’m really excited to be attending as a seller rather than a viewer this year, and the organisers kindly have adopted me as an honorary Northerner to Manchester’s celebration of indie sequential art in the North West. There are a whole host of events going on between 10am-5pm, and if you’re in Manchester you should definitely pop along and say hello! I’ll also be sitting alongside Tom Ward, Chris Welsh, Andrew Tunney and Debbie Jenkinson on the “So you want to get into comics?” panel! Here’s what they say about it..
“We’re all here because we love indie comics, but how do you actually become an indie comics artist? Where do you start from? What’s the mark of success (or failure for that matter)? What exactly is a non-repro blue pencil? These talented, award winning indie comic artists reveal their secrets and bestow some advice for the up and coming comic artist.”
Should be fun! If there’s one thing I can talk about to no end, it’s my own work. Because, y’know. It’s all I do. So in case you’d forgotten, MancsterCon is this Saturday 29th August 2015 at the Salford University, Media City campus in Salford Quays, Manchester. Pre-holiday I’d also been busy ordering new supplies and goodies, so hopefully it’s a really successful day for all of us.
In other news, in my last update before holiday I talked about my Top Secret Project! Low and behold, in three days I managed to fully ink all nine pages and spend my evenings with an ice pack on my wrist – but I did it! Hurray! On return from the lands of blondes and Vikings, I’ve been hard at work painting the pages up, so here are some more sneaky progress shots from my current work.
The deadline remains as 1st September, so I have my work cut out to finish this and prepare for MancsterCon this weekend! But it’s a really exciting project, and although I’m nervous as to how it’ll be received I’m also excited to see it finished, bound and in people’s loving arms.
Finally, I was thrilled to arrive home last week to a shiny copy of Dirty Rotten Comics sitting on my desk! Don’t worry, the postman didn’t break into my home, my well trained flatmate carefully positioned it away from any pots of paint and water containers. It’s been a wild ride to see my work in print, from the first time in June 2014 with HOAX, to my first self published works in The Red Road earlier in the year. The feeling of pride and excitement never dwindles to see my work in print, almost more-so when hand-picked by someone else. Thank you so much to the guys at Dirty Rotten Comics for putting Rejsen to fame! My dreams were made even more so by being highlighted as one of the top comics in the anthology by Richard Bruton at Forbidden Planet and Andy Oliver at Broken Frontier;
“And finally, last but certainly not least, Rozi Hathaway. Her ‘Rejsen‘ tells a simple 2-page tale of meeting up, of waiting, of longing, of counting the days. It’s a fragment thing, each panel disconnected from the text that recounts the reason the woman is dragging a case around a railway station, but the interaction of text and Hathaway’s lovely artwork is spot on…” – Richard Bruton, Forbidden Planet Blog
“Rozi Hathaway – another of that now legendary six – also goes the slice-of-life route with her account of a long-distance relationship. It’s a beautifully personal piece that has a haunting, almost lyrical quality to it – the weary passage of time and the inhospitable nature of public transport fading into insignificance in a heartwarming, joyous final panel.” – Andy Oliver, Broken Frontier
Success! Though I shouldn’t get too used to these kind things people say; it’s coming up to a month until my third year of University starts, and I need to be prepared to be thoroughly verbally destroyed by several lecturers whilst weeping into my fifth coffee of the day. However, I have a month of peace and quiet until all hell breaks loose and I wonder why I spend £40k on a degree. And peaceful, quiet and busy it shall be. Until next week!
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..
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