Comic Roughs

Ahh.. And Relax

Good afternoon folks!

So, it’s with a happy sigh of relief that my comic’s event calendar has closed for the year. It’s been a very busy six weeks; Thought Bubble, moving home, Bristol Comic & Zine Fair, and then Loogabarooga last weekend. It’s always a lot more tiring than you think to sit/stand behind a table all day, and factoring in travelling it can be a very long day indeed. But, I love it, each and every event this year has been fantastic and I’m so grateful to be able to go and show off my comics and talk to nice people all day.

Speaking of nice people, Loogabarooga was something special! Set in Loughborough Town Hall just north of Leicester, it was the first ever Loogabarooga Comics Fair and independent to but on the same week as the Loogabarooga Festival. It was a nice big room, with space in between the tables (don’t ask me how many times I’ve had to crawl under tables or squeeze between tiny gaps to get out), and a friendly atmosphere. Drew who organised the event made it as welcoming as possible, with free entry to the event and talks/workshops for just a couple of quid. I was sat next to my band-name-generator accomplices Good Comics (such gems as Communal Banana© and Off-Brand Laser Tag© are new possible band names) and we opted for the cheese-board lunch again, much like with Leamington Spa Comic Con. It’s important to stay well fed.

It really was a nice, relaxing and fun day and Drew did an excellent job at making sure all his tabling guests were happy and comfortable. For a first-time show it was a delight, if not a little under promoted by the local council – but, give an extra year of preparation and more of an opportunity to push promotion, and I’ll definitely be heading back next year to join in the fun. Thanks to everyone who swung by my table and had a chat, and big thanks to Drew for squeezing me in last-minute and being such an excellent host!

In other news, we are now nearing the end of Inktober! Can you believe it’s almost November? Terrifying. I’ve been slowly collecting up my doodles of the fox and the butterfly, and with only six days left including today I’ve been having to rough pencil out the final drawings to make sure I can complete the narrative in time. Hard work, this daily drawing thing! Here’s a sneak peek of the progress so far (taken a couple of days ago – 23/24/25 are inked and over on the Twitter)…

By the time I’m next updating you all, it’ll be over! So keep your peepers peeled for the final collection and see what it gets turned into next month..

In other news, I’ve also been working away on a new, vaguely secret comic which will see light of day in the new year!  It’s been a bit slower to progress than usual as I’m trying out some different methods of creating part of the story without using panel borders, which makes it a little more complex for me. It’s fun, and exciting, and it gave me the perfect excuse to add another book to my collection of history/artefact/anthropology books –insert heart-eyes emoji here– …check out the progress so far!

It’s a really fun comic to work on so far, but I definitely need to speed up a little in getting it moving towards the inking stage.. So, bear with me, you’ll be seeing lots more of this soon.

And that’s about it for now! As I said above, keep an eye out next week for the whole Inktober collection and more fun and games with comics. Until then, have a great week/weekend everyone! Peace out.

 

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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.

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