comics

Tabling Time – Thought Bubble 2017

Good afternoon all,

So, it’s finally that time! The biggest independent comic festival of the year is upon us, and much sooner than usual thanks to it’s new slot in the end of September, rather than it’s prior early-November date.

Thought Bubble Festival is a fantastic event. Unlike the more famous comic-cons such as MCM, Thought Bubble is purely about comics. No movies, no gaming, just graphic narrative in all it’s forms; whether that’s established creators, university collectives, or first timers. I attended Thought Bubble in 2015 and 2016, and the atmosphere is absolutely electric; when you get all kinds of comic creators from around the country at the same time, we all relish in the fact that we all are skint, have a boring day job and somehow still put ourselves through writing, creating and using our pennies to print things, hoping people will buy them. Every community has it’s cliques, but for the most part Thought Bubble is a huge celebration of us all managing to somehow drag ourselves to the same place at the same time and sell some comics.

I’ll be in Cookridge Street Marquee on table 37b, tabling next to Good Comics on table 36. Come and say hi!

Other people to check out include the Big Brown Eyes Collective, also in Cookridge Street Marquee on table 82a with their brand new anthology Habitat, featuring an illustration from moi.

Also in Cookridge Marquee will be Sneaky Business contributor Alex Hahn with Dom McKenzie on table 38. In Leeds Town Hall Marquee will be fellow Six to Watch 2016 creator Emma Raby on table 61b, and in the huuuuge comiXology Marquee will be fellow HOAX‘er Hannah Berry (table 48), everyone’s favourite Richy K. Chandler (207b), everyone’s other favourite Mike Medaglia (47), and Craft Taproom’s Tom Ward and Chris Welsh (197). Finally, in Victoria Hall will be Avery Hill Publishing (47-48), Douglas Noble and CECAF‘s Sean Azzopardi (40), another 2016 Six to Watch’er Jess Milton (53a), John Cei Douglas, hopefully with his dog (25). And, a whole load of more awesome people – there are too many to list and I’ve gone a bit blind from going through it all. Forgive me.

Basically, there are a lot of incredible people tabling – so come along, take your time and enjoy.

This past week I’ve managed to finish up making thirty hand-cut lino prints to go with Self-Care & Vegetables, my new comic/zine debuting at Thought Bubble. I’ve also been to pick up SC&V from the printers, so it’s all ready to go!

You still have until midnight tomorrow (Thursday) to pre-order SC&V, with all pre-orders receiving one of the lino prints for free.

Pre-order from my Etsy store here!

Some pre-orders have been sent off today, with the remaining being shipped by Friday 22nd. Any orders placed after Thursday night will and be sent out the following week! I’ll also have any leftover prints and new stock from Thought Bubble going up on my Etsy store in the coming weeks, so keep an eye out for that (including these badges – oooo!)

And that’s where I leave you! I have a few things to catch up on and finish up before the week it out, and then some recovery time – so I will be back soon with the Thought Bubble Festival low-down from behind table 37b. If you’re in or around Leeds this weekend do come along and say hi, it’s going to be a great weekend. Until next time!

 

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One Month Countdown

Good afternoon all,

Comic creators, this is your four-and-a-half week warning for Thought Bubble, I repeat, this is your four-and-a-half week warning:

Official Thought Bubble Festival banner, with artwork by Jen Bartel.

That’s right; one of, if not THE biggest UK independent comic festivals is just around the corner, as the words “It’s nearly Thought Bubble” strike fear into anyone who’s working on a project to release at Leeds’ epic weekend comics celebration. As I mentioned last time, I’ve been getting back to the grind to complete my new zine – the plus-side of not using any paint this time around (yes, yes it’s been a painful but important thing to temporarily let go of gouache and my brushes) is that the final artwork is a lot quicker to create. So, with a few finishing touches it should be going off to print before the week is out!

Here’s some previews..

Next week pre-orders for the zine will open and the full announcement will be made, so keep your peepers peeled!

In other news, the latest Pipedream Comics Pull List went up this month, titled Discover Small Press – including an interview from yours truly! Here’s what they said about it on the site:

We were inspired to celebrate Small Press after a visit to the East London Comic Arts Festival in June and so we’ve picked five of our favourite creators and talked to them about their inspirations and the stories behind their books. These include Jonathan Cape award-winner Matthew Dooley, Avery Hill’s new superstar Ellice Weaver, Human Garbage creator Josh Hicks, NPC-Tea’s Sarah Millman and Cosmos’ Rozi Hathaway. All five of these creators encapsulate what is great about the world of small press and we hope that by discovering their work you can embrace the wonders of the community, too. We also have an amazing cover from Sub Diablo creator Darrell Thorpe.

Discover Small Press with the new issue of indie comics fanzine The Pull List – ON SALE NOW!

The Pull List by Pipedream Comics – available now.

Click above to get your digital copy for £0.99!

And finally, as well as working on the zine I’ve also been working on something more illustration-based for a submission.. Well, three things to be precise. Have a peek:

I’m planning to finish these up this weekend, so all will be revealed soon!

And, that’s about it for now. Have a good bank holiday weekend all – I shall be partying with my paints! Laters.

 

x

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The Comics Break

Good afternoon all!

I’m writing this in the clutches of the latest cold that’s going round, which has me coughing for hours on end, so please send cake and medicine to me whilst splutter out this update…

So, I hope you’re all up for something a bit different today, as I’m going to tell you a story. Make yourselves comfortable! Once upon a time, after Cosmos & Other Stories came out, and after I finished up pieces for Dirty Rotten Comics #10 and The Broken Frontier Small Press Yearbook 2017, I decided to take a short break from comics. I think, doing this kind of work, it’s all too easy to feel like you have to keep churning out work so people don’t lose faith or forget you exist. But after a tough personal spell and using work as a crutch to keep me going, it was time to let my mind go and deal with life, and try to regain my health.

The break from comics didn’t come naturally, and I still worked on commissions both for private clients and other more illustrative work (the Kickstarter print with Emily B. Owen’s Brain Shoodles, and a piece for the Habitat anthology). But, the break from direct comic work was there all the same, and it gave me valuable time to promote the work I’ve already done and work out where best to move next. And, play with some different materials and techniques. Check it out:

Having time to play around with new processes and materials has been golden, and given me a chance just to draw or create for the sake of drawing again. I’ve played with creating stamps from soft lino,drawing with Kuretake Zig Brush pens, the Tombow ABT Dual Brush Pen and some Graphitint pencils, as well as other experiments in fabric and dying, clay and wood. Taking that pause really did help to clear my mind and work on new concepts, and it gave me new skills and new challenges to hone in on to keep improving.

And that leads us to my new project! Due to be released in September in time for Thought Bubble Festival, I’ve been working on a small comic which I’ve gone thorough the scripting and layouts of already, when the inking coming next. Have a look at some sketches:

One thing I’ve been taking note of is how my painting accounts for the majority of the atmosphere in my work. So, remove the painting, do I still give that effect? This new project I’m working on is not only vastly different and physical application, but also different from my usual storytelling too, being totally autobiographical rather than based in imagination. It’s been challenging, and new, and exciting all at the same time. And I really hope people like it!

I do miss splashing about with gouache and I’ll definitely keep evolving the way I paint, but for now, get ready for something new and exciting and totally paint-free! -gulp-

And that’s where I leave you for now! I’ll be back soon with more news, but until next time have a good week/weekend everyone. I’m off to visit family and get plied with food to mend this illness once and for all. Laters!

 

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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Leamington & The Launch!

Good afternoon folks!

So, it’s done! Cosmos & Other Stories has been released out into the world in spectacular style at Leamington Comic Con this past weekend, in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire. And yes, I think I need a long lie-down. Or a holiday. Or both?

Several of the post-con reviews earmarked Leam Comic Con as a friendly event with a great atmosphere, (Broken FrontierPipedream Comics and Awesome Comics Podcast to name a few..) which is a wholly accurate way to describe the day! Located in the Royal Spa Centre adjacent to the town centre, the coffee was strong and the weather was great. I had an excellent time as always tabling next to my Cosmos publishers Samuel C. Williams and Dr Paddy Johnston of Good Comics (yes we had a cheese board for snacking purposes, and yes it was as wonderful as it sounds), and the room was full to the brim of comics fans young and old! Thanks so much to Dan and Lisa for being excellent hosts!

Cosmos & Other Stories had a great reception on the day, and now has collected up a nice little collection of reviews and coverage, from Pipedream Comics’ Indie Comics Round-Up: Leamington Comic Con 2017 Special:

..Cosmos is a wonderful collection of work that we genuinely wish had more in it because what is there is really rather wonderful.

.. and, as mentioned on my blog last week, Tony Esmond’s wonderful review which has since gone up on Down the Tubes:

Good art rents a room in your consciousness. Really good art plants roots in your subconscious. Cosmos & Other Stories is a piece of art does this – and also enables you to step out of your rush, rush, dopamine-fueled day and rest happy in a second of time.

Plus, Andy Oliver at Broken Frontier weighed in with an analytic look at Cosmos – with the added bonus of having insight on my work from the very beginning:

A collection of a handful of comics shorts, it’s Hathaway at her economical but profound best; a book that displays that remarkable ability she has to bring us so fully into the lives of her characters with a recognisable emotional resonance.

I also talked about it a bit at Leamington with Tony, now featured on the Awesome Comics Podcast, Episode 91 – Comics and Convention Talk (around 50 minutes in, just after Sam and Paddy)!

You’ll be glad to know that Cosmos & Other Stories is available to purchase from the Good Comics online store, and also from Gosh! Comics and Orbital Comics in London. It’ll also be available from my Etsy store in the next month, so keep an eye out for that! In their attempts of slowly taking over the world, Good Comics announced it’s next 2017 launch yesterday with Josh Hicks‘ new collection of short stories, Human Garbage, released on 17th June at ELCAF. Between this and their soon-to-be-confirmed publishing ventures of the year it’s looking to be an excellent 2017 for the guys, and I couldn’t be happier to be a part of it.

What’s next? Well.. My blog will be on another short break for two weeks now as I move house and finish up a few submissions, for starters. I’ve been working on comics/illustrations for three different anthologies, developing on-and-off whilst I was completing Cosmos – so those are a priority to get finished up and send off in the next few weeks. Aside from that, my general answer for has been to start developing a longer-form story. But, as ever, there are a whole bundle of smaller projects I have on the back-burner and would love to get stuck into.. And of course, I plan on helping Good Comics take over the world. On that note, I’ll see you all in a fortnight! Until next time..

 

x

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First of the Season

Good afternoon happy campers!

So, it’s almost February! Which means that even though there’s some sort of ominous freezing fog loitering around parts of England at the moment, and many of us get to partake in the good ol’ icy pavement dance in the mornings, the days ARE getting longer and the very beginning signs of comics festivals is on the horizon..

First festival of the year is going to Cheltenham’s True Believers Comic Festival next weekend, on Saturday 4th February! I’ll be there on a table with two of the micro-publishing mega-team Good Comics, Dr Paddy Johnston and Samuel C. Williams. Propped up on caffeine behind table #L4, Good Comics will be selling an array of their recent publications including Robin William Scott’s beautifully engaging autobiographical Every Life I Ever Lived, and the delicate yet entertaining Tales From the Nonniverse #1 by Faye Spencer. Both of these I picked up shortly after Thought Bubble, and both of these you should get your hands on if you can. I’ll also be there with a my usual suspects  Njálla and Ø, and talking to anyone who’ll listen about the work I’ve been doing for the new comic collection Good Comics are releasing in Spring.

If you’re in or around that area of the world you should definitely pop along and say hello! Adult advance tickets are £10, with child tickets being £5, and you can pick these up from the website here. In case you missed it before, you can find 5 questions with Good Comics from the True Believers team on the website here. Good Comics are also releasing the third volume of their anthology zine Dead Singers Society at True Believers (which I have a one-page comic in, as I mentioned last week), and if you can’t get there to check it out the pre-orders are available on their website here.

I’m really exited to be behind a table again, with the last tabling adventures of Thought Bubble in November feeling like a very long time ago. Equally exciting is a small side project in the form of playing around with a risograph printer (thanks to Hato Press for the handy guide!) for the first time next weekend, so I’ve been able to take a break from some serious writing to draw up a short wordless comic to play about with in this totally new (to me, at least) way of printing. But more on that as it happens.. Here’s a peek of the inks I’ve been working on, for said short wordless comic:

In other news, the night before True Believers is my good friend Naomi has her first private view and exhibition at the Stantonbury Gallery in Milton Keynes! I’ll be going along on Friday night for an exclusive view of her incredibly life-like artwork on show. I’m always blown away at the detail she manages to get into her illustration work, and if you’re a fan of beautiful artwork you should get yourself there whilst her exhibition is on.

The exhibition itself will be open from Monday the 30th January till Sunday the 19th February 2017 (Monday-Friday from 10am – 10pm, Saturday-Sunday from 10am – 6pm) and you can find full details of the private launch on Friday 3rd February on the Facebook event page here.

NRJ Art Solo Exhibition at the Stantonbury Gallery

And that’s about it for now! I’m still writing and drawing away for the next of my short stories along with writing for a top secret project that will be revealed in the coming weeks. It’s all go here at HQ, so I’m looking forward to a break next weekend! Until then, think of me banging my head against a desk whilst I try to get these damn stories finished off.. See you next week!

 

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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..

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A Whole New Kind of Busy

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen!

So, please forgive me for the gap in broadcasts last week; I’m more than accustomed to being busy with various projects, but busy with various projects AND flat hunting, job hunting and giving notice on everything at my current home in favour of my new home 120 miles away has been rather… strenuous. I slept for most of this past weekend and now feel vaguely human again. Hooray!

First up, entries for Sneaky Business vol.2 closed in spectacular style last Monday, with a more submissions than I could’ve ever expected! I want to extend my huge thanks to absolutely every single person who submitted to SB2, you’re all amazing and I was truly overwhelmed with the support and interest in my little creation. Aside from things like Down to Your Skivvies and the university degree show catalogue, it’s the first time I’ve really had to sit down and look at the order of things and who to include, and sadly who to not include. Ultimately SB2 has reached a whopping 36 pages with some incredibly entertaining comics from 18 talented creators, listed below!

Please give a warm welcome to the comic artists of Sneaky Business Vol.2!

Alan Henderson, Alex Hahn, Alex Tawns, Danny Noble, David Robertson, Elias Bevan, Elizabeth Querstret, Evan Stamps, Jason Song Quinn, Jessy Oddie, K. LY R, Lorne Colt, Martyn B. Lorbiecki, Phu Vuong, Isa Enriquez, Jamie Me, Rica March, Wallis Eates, and yours truly.

Sneaky previews of Sneaky Business. Doesn’t it look beautiful? *wipes tear*

Sneaky Business vol.2 is officially launching at Bristol Comic & Zine Fair on Saturday 1st October, with pre-orders going on my Etsy site a few days before and being posted out on Monday 3rd October. This 36-page bundle of joy can be all yours soon, and it is going to be great. Trust me..

In other news, my entry to kuš! is finished and emailed off to await judgement! I’ve really enjoyed this one, although a shorter comic it was still a lot of work at 16 pages total length. From their website, which coincidentally has a week extension on the deadline if anyone’s interested in getting something in before next Monday, I should find out along with everyone else if I’m successful by mid October. You know the drill: fingers and toes crossed, people! Here are a couple of final previews to leave you excited before the comic sees the light of day later in the year:

In some final but equally if-not-more important news, I have an auction live on eBay at the moment raising much needed funds for the local homeless charity, the Northampton Hope Centre. I have a total of seven hand numbered and signed prints available for bidding, with prices starting at just £5.00 for a high quality giclée print sized at 35cm x 26cm. The prints are from two different ink and watercolour illustrations I made when I first moved to Northampton, of two abandoned buildings which have since been renovated; the Henry Harday shoe factory building and the old Neon Signs buildings, both in close proximity to the Hope Centre and town centre. The auctions end on Friday 23rd September at 5pm BST, so please help in supporting the Hope Centre through illustration! 75% of proceeds go towards the charity, and you can see all the prints available to bid for here.

Here in Northampton the weather has been pretty warm, but the nights are getting longer and the chill is starting to set in. I’m lucky enough to have my health and a home to sleep in every night, but others are not so fortunate. Starting bids at £5 isn’t much, so get your hands on a nice print and feel darn good about it at the same time.

And I think that about wraps it up for now! I shall be back next week with a bundle of copies of Sneaky Business to tempt you all with, and the run up to Bristol Comic & Zine Fair in full swing. Until then, have a great week everyone.

x

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At The End of August

Goooood afternoon ladies and gents,

So! Another week down and it’s almost September. Yikes, where did 2016 go? Oh yes, comics. As I prepare to pack up my belongings and leave my home of over four years ready for life’s new adventures in Manchester, I’m also getting my head in gear to be working on a handful of submissions at the same time. Life would be boring if I didn’t have a packed schedule, I’m sure.

This past week I’ve been working away on the paints for my submission to kuš! comics, as I’m sure my regular readers have grown all too used to seeing me write about. As it’s a pretty hefty project (16 pages – and yes, I thought it was a good idea at the time) I’m STILL head-down on this one until it’s pretty much done, as my brain doesn’t have room for much else given this new part time job and cycling miles on end. But alas, just because my multitasking is taking a hit, it doesn’t mean my productivity is.. Here’s some painted progress shots from the past week:

This week I’ve set myself the task to have at least two pages finished each afternoon, so time to focus and get this finished! Deadline for kuš! comics is Monday 19th September, and if you’re interested in submitting yourself then check out the BFF themed call for subs here.

In other news, I’ve been receiving more sneaky peeks of people’s sneaky submissions for Sneaky Business Vol. 2! Don’t forget that submissions close on Monday 12th September, so hop to it and create some wonderful sneaky-ness. I’ve had some fantastic entries so far, thus proving that Sneaky Business 2 is going to be the best yet. Here’s a preview from the famed 2015 Broken Frontier Six to Watch-er Danny Noble:

DannyPreview

With only 12 days left to submit, be like Danny and send me something wonderful. You can find out all the information here, and feel free to ask me any questions via here, email or any of the social media channels.

In more wonderful news, I’m over the moon to have been accepted to have a table at Leamington Comic Con in 2017! Although it hurts my brain slightly to start planning my schedule for 7 months time, I’m really thrilled to be a part of the convention which looks to be pretty dang awesome for both small press and larger comics fish. Woohoo! So, you should all also pop that in your diaries too.

Finally, I dragged Chris down to London on Saturday and we popped along to Breakdown Press’ Safari Festival! Held at Protein Studios in Shoreditch, Safari had an eclectic mix of comics and arty goodies including my newest purchase of the BadTwin Presents Krent Able & Julian Hanshaw collaborative fandango. It was a great little set up and really buzzing whilst we were there. For a full breakdown (ha – get it?) of Safari Festival keep your peepers pointed at Broken Frontier, as their coverage is always second-to-none.

I think that’s about it for now! I’m going to make a large cup of coffee and prop myself up with my paintbrushes until next week. See you then!

x

 

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