Comics Anthology

ELCAF, Editing & Early Starts

Good afternoon all,

So, it’s a bit toasty outside, isn’t it? Even rain-blessed Manchester is rather balmy in the sunshine, and I haven’t had to carry my umbrella around with me for a week. A WHOLE WEEK! That’s almost unheard of around these parts.. But alas, despite the weather there has been a lot going on – so put your feet up with a glass of something refreshing and read on..

Last weekend was the sixth annual ELCAF, the East London Comics & Arts Festival, in the sizzling southern heat. Said heat was particularly enjoyable on the Underground, I assure you.. Now, I applied for ELCAF back when tables were announced but sadly I didn’t make the cut. However it left me with an opportunity to head down to the capital for the day and be on the other side of a table for once; dreamily drift around, catching up with old creator pals and making new ones.

I teamed up with one half of the Good Comics micro-publishing duo Samuel C. Williams to spend the day amongst the comic masses, as well as celebrating the latest Good Comics release – Josh Hicks’ Human Garbage (which is excellent, by the way). ELCAF is a festival where I’m happy I didn’t get in. Not because I wouldn’t love to be a part of it – I really would – but how they curated it this year and true breadth of work on offer was new, exciting and visually overwhelming in the best possible way. It was amazing to walk around and talk to people without having to rush back to a table, too! I had a chance to have a brief catch up with the Avery Hill gents, there with Tillie Walden and Ellice Weaver – whose beautiful new book Something City launched on the day. I also finally put faces to the names of the Dirty Rotten Comics crew Gary and Kirk, met and discussed the business of comics with Sam and Simon Moreton of Smoo/Minor Leagues fame, and had a chance to speak to John Riordan and John Cei Douglas (..and his dog).

John Cei Douglas’ dog, an excellent sales tactic and wonderfully friendly pup.

Also amongst the busy aisles of creators and browsers, we bumped into Pete Redrup of The Quietus, who has kindly just reviewed Cosmos & Other Stories on his most recent column Behold! A Comics Round Up For June. Here’s a snippet:

This book shows how Hathaway is developing as an artist. There’s a clear consistency despite differences in panels, lettering styles and colour. One particularly effective technique is the way she follows a densely panelled double page spread with a single two page image overleaf. This somehow opens up the stories, creating a hopeful, positive tone regardless of what has been established before. Cosmos & Other Stories is a beautiful book by a considerable talent.

Pete Redrup, The Quietus

Don’t forget you can pick up Cosmos & Other Stories online from the Good Shop or my Etsy store.

I was also generally pretty well behaved with my spending at ELCAF, with my small but beautiful haul consisting of (L-R) Bianca Bagnarelli‘s comic Daughters, published by Short BoxIcinori‘s beautifully printed Dessus Dessous and Peony Gent‘s A6 short comic Growth – plus a bonus postcard from everyone’s favourite friendly face, Mike Medaglia.

I had the chance to read Daughters and Growth on my coach journey back home on Saturday evening, and I can confirm that they are both equally wonderful books; Growth is a short, poetic narrative with a reassuring tone of looking after your mental health, told in an abstract form through caring for plants – I can definitely recommend this if you’re into poetic comics with that nice warm after-feeling. And.. who isn’t? You can pick up Growth from Peony’s Etsy store here. Daughters is a more traditional start-to-end story, picking up the proceedings in the middle of a family crisis in a dystopian society. Two stories run parallel, one through narration and one through the characters discussions and body language. It’s a thought-provoking short, beautifully told with clean lines and crisp colours. You can pick up a copy on Short Box’s website here.

Phew, lengthy round-up! But there’s more. Maybe time for a quick interlude to go and top up your drink?

In other news, I was kindly asked to produce a print for Emily B. Owen‘s Kickstarter campaign for Brain Schoodles, a comic about anxiety and depression told through doodles. The campaign recently ended on Kickstarter with Emily smashing her target of £250, and the comic will be launching on Saturday 8th July at Small Press Day at the Cardiff Comic Expo! Here’s some working snaps:

My print was commissioned as an addition to the Printorama pledge. So all backers getting that tier reward will receive their copy of the print with their zine. If you missed out, fear not! I will have some of these prints on sale in the coming months with proceeds going towards a Manchester-based mental health charity of my choosing. Big, big thanks to Emily for asking me to do a piece for her campaign. I’m humbled and very happy to be a part of it! See the final piece below:

Brain Shoodles Print. On sale soon!

Finally, this Saturday the Birmingham Comic Art Festival graces Birmingham City University, with yours truly behind a table selling the likes of Njálla, Ø and Cosmos & Other Stories, as well as an array of other goodies. There isn’t a huge amount of information to find online, but you can see the key details of the event via the Facebook page. If you’re in or around the West Midlands please do come and say hello! It’ll be another early start for me (Up at 4:30am for ELCAF, and up at 5am on Saturday for BCAF) so I’ll appreciate any company I can get – tickets are free, with registration required here.

And that wraps it up for now! Keep cool everyone, and I shall be back with more (but probably not quite as much) news next time. Peace out!

 

x

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Autumn’s Arrived

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen!

So, summer is now a somewhat distant thought and the days are drawing shorter, nights chillier and bed is looking a damn sight cosier. Goodnight! Oh, wait.. Blog.

As I decline into the time of year where all I want to do is sleep, and by realising I already packed all my winter-wear up in boxes for moving I’m desperately hoping that it doesn’t get much colder in the next fortnight, it’s also looming towards the festival season of comics here in the UK. The Lakes International Comic Art Festival pops up in Kendal in the Lake District in mid-October with famous guests galore (I’ll get there one day…) all in the cosy Comics Clock Tower, followed shortly after my the awe-inspiringly massive Thought Bubble Sequential Art Festival over the first weekend of November, in Leeds (which I will be at, huzzah!). First up, however, is the long-awaited Bristol Comic & Zine Fair this Saturday, 1st October.

I have been so redonkulously excited for BCZF since table applications opened up, and even more so excited when they let me have a table to host my goodies on. The weekend kicks off for me on Friday evening as my chariot (ie, a National Express bus) arrives in the centre of Bristol and I go find something to eat before falling into my hotel bed. I’ve never been able to get a hotel for a comics festival before – and honestly that’s a huge part of why I’m so excited – so I’ll be able to wake up fresh-faced ready for selling and chatting with folks.

There are a whole host of lovely guests this year including Sneaky Business featured Elizabeth Querstret, along with other folks you might have heard of such as Avery Hill Publishing, Mike Medaglia, the Sad Ghost ClubRebecca Bagley, my good friends at Good Comics and many, many more. As I’m sure you remember from me referencing it so much recently, Saturday will also see the grand launch of Sneaky Business Vol. 2!

Reviewed on Monday by Andy Oliver at Broken Frontier, he had this to say:

Sneaky Business #2 is indeed an extremely eclectic compilation of comics and, given that slightly patchwork array of styles and genres, it’s inevitable that each individual reader will gravitate more towards some sections than others. But that selfsame disparate line-up is also part of its charm. As is often the way with anthologies there’s only room here to cover a selection of those who contributed to this volume but at an almost giveaway price of £3.00 there’s really no excuse for not picking up a copy of a book that acts as a communal platform for so many distinctively different forms of practice all tied together by that one unifying theme.

– Andy Oliver, Broken Frontier “Sneaky Business Volume 2 – Danny Noble and Wallis Eates Steal the Show in the Second Issue of Rozi Hathaway’s Anthology Offering”

Sneaky Business arrived on my doorstep on Friday with huge thanks to Rich at Comic Printing UK for all his help and quite literally stopping the press when I found some *cough* small errors *cough*, and will be available to buy from Saturday 1st October from yours truly at Bristol, and shortly after will be available to buy from my Etsy store and at small press friendly comic shops around the UK; Limited to a run of 100, get your copy quick! I’ll cover the launch in more detail from next week, but for now trust me when I say SB2 is looking really, really good.

That’s about it for now! If you’re around in Bristol on Saturday please do pop down and say hello, and if not keep an eye out on Twitter and Facebook for news on when Sneaky Business vol. 2 is online on my Etsy store to buy. Until next time, stay sneaky..

x

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Real Life Blues

Good afternoon ladies and gents!

So, another week has vanished and as I rightly predicted last week, I don’t have a huge amount for show and tell this week. The sad reality of finishing university means that the last of my carefully saved student finance has been depleted and I’ve stepped back into the world of work – this time with some temporary work to bridge a gap and give me money to, y’know.. Eat. Keep the roof over my head. Exciting things like that.

Last week I was well underway finishing the roughs up for my submission to kuš! comics, in the form of a 16-page story themed around ‘BFFs’. Low and behold, after an intense all-dayer on Thursday I managed to finish up the last of the roughs even after some last minute story adjustments – what a relief!

I’m not going to tell you all what the story is about because I like to think of myself as super mysterious and interesting, but there are some previews of some more of the roughs I was working on after last week’s blog and also the final array of 16 pages with finished pencils. Huzzah! As much as it pains me to say this, I’m only two pages into inking given that I’ve been in training for a new job -sob-, so the inking and painting is going to take me far longer than it usually does (I could usually crack out 4-6 pages of inks a day if I did nothing else, and around 2-4 pages painted). Real adult life, eh? How FUN. Anyway, here are some of the inks from the first two pages to give you a bit more of a teaser..

Having been so spoilt with time to make comics in previous months/years, this may well feel like it’s taking years to complete.. But do not fear! If I have to resort back to my previous levels of caffeine from the Hoax: Psychosis Blues days to get this done then I most certainly will, ready for the kuš! deadline of 19th September. Even if I go loopy in the process.

In other news, it’s now less than five weeks to go until the deadline of Sneaky Business! I’ve been hearing from more people who are creating stuff and I can promise that it’s going to be a good ‘un.. Next on my list is writing a new short comic for SB myself, so if I can juggle all this and still design and edit an anthology then you can most certainly fit a little 1-2  page comic in.. Right? Don’t forget that all the details are over here – and if you have any questions just get in touch!

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Finally, table applications opened up for Leamington Spa Comic Con on Sunday evening and yours truly has applied for a Small Press Table! Leamington Comic Con isn’t for a while yet (Saturday 25th March 2017 to be precise), but if you’re interested in checking it out you can find all the details over at the Facebook event page. Seeming as I was born in Leamington Spa and I originally hail from Warwickshire, spending many a weekend in Leamington in my youth – yes, I can just about remember that far back – I’m really hoping that I’m accepted! So keep your fingers and toes crossed for me, because that would just be plain awesome.

Anyway, that’s about it for this week’s short and sweet update! Hopefully I have a bit more to show you next week, though you’ll all have to bear with me whilst I adjust to having far less time to work on things; for example, if I cut my blogs shorter for a while, it gives me more time to do the good stuff i.e. make comics and draw nice looking stuff. Until next time, over and out.

x

 

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Drink and Draw, and More!

Good afternoon all!

So, it’s a busy time again. Apologies for the lack of the usual weekly update last week; truth be told I was out of the country for almost a week and had nothing to show on my return.. But I have plenty now! The degree show has ended, and amongst comic submission work and expanding my illustration portfolio I’m also getting ready to head down to London next week for the D&AD New Blood festival, as a near-graduate on the University of Northampton stall. I seem to be spending so much time in London over the next week and a half I might as well be a local!

Down to business, and first on the agenda is last night’s Drink & Draw hosted by Nora of Gosh Comics and Andy Oliver of Broken Frontier! Alongside guest artists Cristian Ortiz and Amber Hsu, I joined in the fun as a fresh-faced first-timer on the drink & draw circuit.

Photos from Nora at Gosh

It was such a fun evening! I mean, the words ‘drink and draw’ kind of give the impression that it’s a fun evening of entertainment, but it really exceeded any expectations I had. Life can get stressful, and just sitting back and drawing random things has such a fun and calming influence. Drawing themes from the night included alter-egos, something or someone you lost as a child, and what if other mammals shaved their legs too. There was also a collaborate comic making its way around the pub, and competitions and prizes for attendees. As a non-Londoner (CUH, right?) I had to shoot off before the end, but huge thanks to Nora and Andy for hosting such a fun evening! Here’s my doodles from the themes listed above..

What fun! Drink & Draw is hosted by Gosh Comics and Broken Frontier once a month, and you can keep up with any new events by liking the Gosh Comics Facebook page, following them on Twitter or keeping an eye on their website blog.

In other news, the submissions deadline for Dirty Rotten Comics #8 is fast approaching! With submissions closing on Thursday 30th (tomorrow, yikes!) and only rough sketches in front of me I have a fair bit of work to do to finish it all off.. But thankfully the gents over at Dirty Rotten Comics are fairly relaxed about the deadline, so if like me you’ve managed to accidentally be incredibly unorganised, you still have a bit of time to submit! See their submissions page for all the details and a link to their FAQ. For now, here’s a very sneaky-peek of a bit of my thought process for this submission; scripting from notes and painting..

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Mountains. Oooo err!

So, you can guess what I’m doing for the rest of today and tomorrow, right?

Finally, as some of you may remember me mentioning it, work is commencing on Sneaky Business vol. 2 very, very soon! How soon, you ask? WELL! Monday, to be precise! Sneaky Business vol. 1 was very much a small, unique collection from comics creators that I personally asked to be involved. However, after being inspired by the guys over at Good Comics and what they’re doing with Dead Singer’s Society zine, I’ve decided to approach vol. 2 in a much more open way. Which means, from Monday 4th July I’ll be opening up submissions to all! I’m looking for 1-2 page comics, colour or black and white, under the theme of stealth or sneaky in some way.

The call for submissions with all the details will be posted up on my Twitter and Facebook from Monday, and I’ll have more coverage in next week’s blog – so keep an eye out!

A snippet from my comic in Sneaky Business vol. 1

Finally FINALLY finally, I’ve updated and improved my website! Things have moved a little, and the ‘Collaborations’ and ‘Commissions’ have been removed and merged into new or existing posts in two clear-cut sections; Illustration and Comics. The front page has everything, and with a SHINY NEW ‘infinity scroll’ you can now see all my work in one place, or head to the category links for the specifics. Nice, right?

Anyway, I’d best get back to this Dirty Rotten Comics submission as it most definitely won’t create itself.. Until next week (for certain this time), have a good Wednesday everyone!

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The Red Road – Round Two

Goooood morning folks!

So, another week vanishes in the blink of an eye, and more sadly, another weekend vanishes even quicker than before. However, lots of good things are brewing here at Rozi HQ, (most important of all being herbal tea) and the excitement takes off the edge of the autumn chill.

Speaking of which, I am incredibly excited and happy to announce that The Red Road is going to print for a second edition run! I’ve been working away in between university assignments to add bonus content to the existing book, and really make it the best it can be. The story remains the same, though there are some new treats in store, including unseen sketchbook work and more..

I am so grateful for everyone who helped make The Red Road a sell-out success in just nine short months! It’s strange to think that this time last year I was beginning to unfold ideas to start creating Bear, Coyote and Lark, and the girl who holds the story together. It’s something I’m very proud of, and I’m not ready to let go of it yet. Watch this space for news of the official re-launch, coming November 2015!

In related news, The Red Road has kindly been reviewed over at Big Comic Page by Kirsty Hunter. Yay! Here’s some lovely extracts;

“A complete sucker for traditional media comics, I fell head over heels for The Red Road from my first look at its simple and striking watercolour cover. Burned skeletons of trees, silhouetted against shadowy mountains with a blazing red sunrise just breaking above these – the image nicely encapsulates the story’s blend of light and darkness.”

“Overall, The Red Road is a quietly powerful reading experience and a sure-footed debut from Hathaway. There’s more than enough here to get me really excited for whatever she brings out next as I think her ability to depict difficult emotions with a light touch will translate to a variety of projects.”

– Kirsty Hunter, Big Comic Page (read the full review here)

Lovely stuff! The Red Road scored a 4 out of 5, and is happily added to my small collection of reviews alongside Andy Oliver’s review from Broken Frontier earlier this year. Fingers crossed another important review might be coming this way soon..

Also, this week my Sneaky Business buddy Samuel C Williams has released the front cover image for his forthcoming zine, Dead Singers Society. To be released at this year’s Thought Bubble festival in Leeds, Dead Singers Society includes comics, illustrations and writing, with my submission being a single page illustration of Muddy Waters (sneak peek below). I always really enjoy working on small pieces for print, especially as a thanks to Sam for his work in Sneaky Business. So, if you’re around Thought Bubble next month be sure to swing by and see Sam’s stall (before you head over to spend all your pennies with me, of course!).

Finally, in some very exciting news, Kripa and Elena have absolutely smashed the target for Art Aid Nepal, finishing up with a whopping £3’300 in donations and over 100 backers! Well done everyone for being a part of something so amazing, I can’t wait to get my hands on my very own printed copy and see all the amazing work that’s gone into this multicultural bonanza of an anthology. Thank you so much to Kripa and Elena for letting me be involved!

That’s it for now, folks! I have a stack of books that need reading and analysing before I can do fun drawing things, and the pile of books seem to be ever growing.. University life. Stay tuned as more awesome things are coming in the weeks to come.. Over and out!

x

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Under the Sea

Good afternoon happy campers!

So, another seven days have clocked past and I’m feeling more comfortable with being up to my chin in assignment work. Final year stress? It’s a breeze! Ha.. Famous last words. But whilst I’m enjoying this false sense of security, I have my most recent project to show you all!

So, two weeks ago us happy third years were given a choice of articles to illustrate for an editorial brief. I chose one which was around the idea of the road, the space between places. Entitled ‘Toward Portland’, the already published article is a first person thought trail from an author describing over the course of a one page essay how the road is the place between places, also referencing other non-place places, like the twilight, midnight and abyss zones of the deep sea and all the spookies that reside down there. The writer also mentions his interest in travel starting from a young age, trying to dig to china in his back yard. Out of the two images we had to create, the only real constraint was that the first image, in a magazine setting, would have a crease running down the centre. This basically means I had to offset the image and counterbalance it, so that nothing ‘essential’ would be lost in the middle fold. All good practise, though! So, with all that in mind, you can see finished images below (click for bigger version);

There’s always something exciting about researching a new idea or topic. The deep sea concept jumped out at me immediately, and thanks to this awesome interactive animation I stumbled across on the BBC, I now know far more about the journey to the centre of the earth than I ever have. Fascinating stuff! The antikythera wreck and mechanism immediately jumped out at me, and I used theoretic diagrams in the second image. Also, those deep sea spookies you can see are the likes of amphipods (which didn’t make the final cut, sorry amphipods), the marine hatchetfish, and deep sea jellies such as the comb jellyfish and a sinister looking siphonophore. That last charmer can be up to 40 meters long with millions of stinging cells which it deploys in a net to completely obliterate anything that drifts towards it. With that in mind, I can safely say that I’m more than content on land, and plan not to meet these particular creatures any time soon. But yes, this was a nice change and a fun project full of complex and enticing ideas. Refreshing!

In other news, the ‘HOME’ themed Art Aid Nepal anthology has been reviewed by Andy Oliver at Broken Frontier this week! Check out an extract from the review below;

“Home also provides contributions that invite the reader to construct their own narratives around a single image. Katriona Chapman (Katzine – her page right) is another artist to emphasise that our relationships are integral to our sense of home while Rozi Hathaway (The Red Road and one of our ‘Six UK Small Press Creators to Watch in 2015’) provides a quiet but poignant moment of finding one’s place in the world amidst chaos and disorder. Asia Alfasi similarly highlights the importance of memories in relation to the thematic heart of the anthology.

To a degree it feels almost redundant if not inappropriate to be critically analysing a compilation of work that has been created with such altruistic intentions. However, regardless of the origins of its existence, Home is a reflective and contemplative collection of evocative work that all readers will relate to. Great comics and a great cause in one package. This one deserves your support.”

Andy Oliver, Broken Frontier review of Art Aid Nepal HOME Anthology

As I mentioned last week, this is something I’m incredibly proud to be a part of. Elena Vitagliano and Kripa Joshi have done a fantastic job at raising the hoped £2000 so far, but with 6 days to go there’s still a chance to make more of a difference. Here’s what they say about it..

“By raising £2000 we hope to provide workshops for the children in these temporary shelters. But we don’t want to stop at that… we have bigger dreams too.
If we can raise £2500 we will give each of those children a journal and art materials so they have tools for creative outlet. And if we raise more than £3000 we would conduct teacher training in the worst affected area to equip them with skills on how they can bring creativity into their classrooms through some very basic and easily found materials.
The more money we raise, the more areas we will be able to reach with the training. With your help we hope to reach as many children as possible and continue to provide support.”

You can still donate to the Kickstarter project until Monday 19th October, and you can do so here!

That’s it for now, folks! The Next Big Thing is in the beginning research stages of compiling what I have so far before I progress onto creating the story. Exciting stuff! Well, for me it is, anyway. Until next week..!

x

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Hello, October

Good afternoon ladies and gents!

So, with a sweep of windy and rainy weather we are now knee-deep in October. University has thrown me into the cold, harsh realities of becoming a final-year student, and with an entire eight months of work laying in front of me it’s all to easy to be intimidated. However! Now I have unshackled the responsibilities of part-time paid shelf-stacking work I am feeling somewhat stressed but also somewhat Zen. I will survive this year. I will. (I hope) -sob-

After a small editorial brief which will conclude next week, most of the work I’ll be producing is long-term projects. With that in mind, I will shortly be taking off my top secret cape! Meaning, you can expect a lot more of the work-in-progress kind of posts from me, along with quiet-yet-public-mental-breakdown posts and drunk-on-camomile-tea posts. Although I have to give a fair amount of concentration to all projects and briefs this year, the main focus of the next eight months is The Next Big Thing. My yet-to-be-named longer length comic will be the final push, incorporating everything I’ve learnt over the past two and a half years since I really started my comics career with HOAX: Psychosis Blues, up until the Top Secret Project which is due to be revealed next month.

First things first, this past rainy Monday I headed on down to The Big Smoke for half a day to visit the bees knees of comics shops! Sneaky Business is now available at both Orbital Comics and Gosh! Comics in London – yay! Don’t forget that Sneaky Business is still available from my online Etsy shop for just £2, perfect for those people who have everything, yet you still need to get them something for Christmas. Cuh, you know, THOSE people. Awkward souls.. Anyway, whilst I was in Gosh I dropped off the final five copies of The Red Road in a proud yet slightly sad moment. My children have flown the nest, and are all out there in the great wide world! So, that’s it folks. All one hundred copies are gone, with a few remaining at Gosh!, Travelling Man in Manchester (and last time I checked, there was one copy left at Nostalgia & Comics in Birmingham).

Final Page Image

Do not fear, though; Bear, Coyote and Lark are far too special to disappear forever. Keep an eye out on my social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) over the next couple of weeks for some exciting news, and of course here on the blog you’ll get all the insider gossip too!

November is turning out to be a pretty exciting month, with Thought Bubble on the horizon and Top Secret Project’s grand reveal.. and now some The Red Road news? Well, who needs Christmas! On that note, time to get back to the grind! Don’t forget to back the Nepal Art Aid Anthology if you haven’t already – the clock is ticking. For now, as always, over and out.

x

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Return of the Blog

Good afternoon ladies and gents,

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..

Mt Fløyen – Bergen, Norway.

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.

Sneaky Business is now available for pre-order from my Etsy store, with official launch this coming Saturday 29th August at MancsterCon!

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!

x

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The Final Countdown

Goood afternoon ladies and gentlemen!

So, I haven’t gone mad. Well, I may have done, but this specific reasoning for having not gone mad comes from a midday blog effort. “Oooh”, I hear you all say, as you munch your lunchtime sarnie trying to avoid getting crumbs in the keyboard. Which always happens anyway. Yes! I decided a change was in order this week, before I busy my head in more comics for the remainder of the afternoon.

It’s been a busy week, in fact each week has been becoming steadily busier in the run up to my two-week Scandi adventures; so I have three more afternoons of work to get everything done as much as physically possible so that I can enjoy my fortnight in the fjords. As I revealed last week, my new collaborative zine Sneaky Business has been completed! I received the final artwork, finished the covers up and tomorrow I shall be scurrying along to the local printers to throw my USB their way. HOW EXCITING! Now that it’s all beautifully laid out, I can give you a proper introduction…

Sneaky Business - A collaborative comics zine full of sneaky.. well.. business.
Sneaky Business – A collaborative comics zine full of sneaky.. well.. business, really.

Sneaky Business is a comics zine of my creation, featuring two page and one page comics. After producing a one-page comic for Keara Stewart earlier in the year for her comics anthology A Bit of Undigested Potato, I felt deeply inspired to have a go myself! Though, not with quite so many comics as an anthology, as I think my brain would fall out from the stress of doing that amount of organising on top of everything else. Shortly after TAKEOVER back in May, the idea was born and I started contacting friends in the business. Another reason I wanted to do something like this, as I told the other artists involved, is because the majority of my work is quite dark, emotive and serious. How is everybody supposed to know how hilariously funny I am, without me showing them? Thus, Sneaky Business was born.. From the talented hands of (from top-bottom of the image above);

Rozi Hathaway – hello! -waves-
Pete Hindle – http://petehindle.com/
Samuel C Williams – http://cargocollective.com/samuelcwilliams
Alex Hahn – http://www.alexhahnillustrator.com/
and…
Peter James Norman – http://www.aplacetoputthings.co.uk/

Now for more exciting news! Sneaky Business is being launched on Saturday 29th August 2015 at MancsterCon, so if you’re in the area please do come and say hi and pick up your shiny new copy of Sneaky Business. I will be hosting an internet pre-launch on Monday 24th August, so if you’re unable to get to Manchester (cuh, you’ll be missing out) then I shall make sure you get your copy featuring these wonderful sneaky comic artists for the weekend. A big thanks to my creators Sam, Pete, Alex and Peter, and to anyone who has has helped me out; a special mention to Keara for being an inspiration and Ricky Miller from Avery Hill Publishing for giving me his words of wisdom when I was mid-crisis. So, keep your eyes peeled and be sure to order a copy when it’s released! Because it’s awesome.

In other news, I’ve been clocking up the hours at the ol’ desk producing this Top Secret project that’s due in September, which I mentioned last week. As all you wonderful people asked so nicely, (you didn’t, but I’m guessing you really wanted to..) here are some more snippets of what’s being taking all my time and energy!

I’m really really really really hoping to have all the pages inked by Friday evening, so when I return two-stone heavier from the lands of Danish pastries I can relax and focus on preparing for the colouring aspect, ready for deadline. Yesterday I managed to draw and ink up two in 5 hours, so by that logic I won’t quite get it done.. But I’m going to try my hardest! Page one was a bit of a pain, the rest should be easier. I hope. And pray.

So, yes! Hopefully all this visual stimulation invigorates you all ready for your afternoons, just think of me cramped over my desk drawing pages after pages of comics, and think about how much simpler a desk-job is. I will be back in three weeks time with a full update of my travels, so I hope everybody has a wonderful couple of weeks, and think of me on a boat somewhere between the islands surrounding Oslo.. Or in Stockholm having fika.. Or in Denmark practising my Danish on real, Danish people whilst playing with Lego and eating wienerbrød. Until then – over and out.

x

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