It’s been a little while, huh? Apparently my limits of multitasking are, a) starting a new, demanding day job and b) moving home… again. Hopefully, this time moving has been for good, and we have been hard at work for the past fortnight to make our home everything we have ever hoped for. For the first time in too long I have a peaceful space to call my own, and a working space that is nice and far away from where I sleep. I have a list of things to work up to before the new year, and 2018 is going to be more exciting than ever..
I’m so happy to be re-releasing Cosmos & Other Stories in early 2018 with Good Comics, complete with a bonus story – so keep your eyes peeled for more information on that in due course! The online stores are now totally sold out, but you can possibly still pick up a first print edition of Cosmos at a few stories in the UK: Orbital in London, Dave’s Comics in Brighton, Gnash Comics in Ashburton and the Travelling Man stores – if you’re after one in time for Christmas it’s worth giving those stores a call.
In other news, I haven’t had much time to do any work, let alone write a blog about how little comics’ work I’ve done. I have, however, managed to throw all of my inktober pieces together into an animation, so check that out below:
It’s a bit rudimentary, but it’s really nice to see it all in motion as I imagined it. Inktober feels like only yesterday yet also forever ago since I sketched my fox and butterfly pals. In my drawing hiatus (thanks to all my belongings being packed in boxes for at least two weeks) I have however excelled in cushion cover making and even made my first pair of curtains last week. AND a net curtain! Possibly not as exciting to you all, but I promise it’s been every bit the roller-coaster and incredibly satisfying. Almost as satisfying as taking down the visually abhorrent curtains that were here when we moved in… but that’s a story for another day. Blergh.
Anyway! Keep your eyes peeled as I endeavour to be back next week with something more to show you. Until then, have a picture of my new squirrel friend and the beach that’s a 10-minute walk from home. Peace out!
So, it’s November! I now look forward to losing the feeling in my toes between getting out of bed in the morning and returning to it that night, that crisp autumn/winter smell that infuses the air, and wrapping myself in several layers to keep toasty whilst I sit down to draw. It’s true, I’m not much of a winter/cold weather person (unless I’m on a snowboard on a mountain), but there are certain positive things that come with the long nights and snuggling up to keep warm.. for one, it seems more than respectable to get into comfy clothes as soon as I fall in through the door.
So, aside from noticing the chill in the air, this past week I’ve been plugging away at #inktober! I did fall behind a little during the month-long challenge, and have to complete two in one day a couple of times, but I still stuck with it and managed to come out with a complete narrative. Check it out!
It’s been a lot of fun to work on something with no pressure, and also fun to do more work created with Kuretake Zig brush pens rather than a solid black lines and painted with gouache. The full tools I used for each day are:
Prismacolor Premier coloured pencils (colours: Cream, Sunburst Yellow, Peacock Blue)
LAMY Safari (colour: Petrol)
The Kuretake pens are the same brand and type that I used to create Self-Care & Vegetables, and have a really nice relaxed feel to them. If you use them nervously it can all go a bit wrong, but to make sweeping and confident lines they are an absolute delight. Yes I could talk about pens for hours. Yes I’m more than comfortable with my ability to do so.
In other news, I’ve been continuing work on the comic I spoke of last week. It’s been slow progress as I’ve been juggling several other things, but I’ve started being able to plot in where some of the story text is going to go, and cutting and pasting parts around to make it look as strong as possible before I start drafting up the final artwork. Have a look:
As I mentioned last week, part of this new story involves trying out some other ways of storytelling. It’s a little more fiddly and means that my streamlined process of working on comics that I spent years perfecting can’t be applied , so it’s probably going to take me a little longer than I’d originally envisioned. But, the good news is that stooping over a desk and paper is a particular loved past-time of mine, so no fear in getting it done!
Finally, in some scarily good news, there are only a few copies left of Cosmos & Other Storiesavailable from Good Comics! I totally sold out of my stock about a month ago, and those gents are down to the final handful of copies – and it’s only been out since late March! The good news is that there will be a reprint in the new year, but for now if you’ve been holding off and want to make sure someone get’s their Christmas copy of Cosmos then act now: http://goodshop.bigcartel.com/
And that just about wraps it up for now! Keep an eye out for what I get up to with my inktober pieces now they’re all done, and I will endeavour to be back soon with more comics news. Until next time, have a good week/weekend everyone! Peace out.
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:
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.
Small Press Yearbook 2017 – Cover by Ellice Weaver
A panel from my comic, “At the End of the Garden…”
The Yearbook is now on sale at selected comic shops around the UK and also online here for £7.99 plus postage. It features the ‘Six to Watch’ of last year; Rebecca Bagley, Kim Clements, Brigid Deacon, Emily Rose Lambert, Jey Levang and Ellice Weaver, as well as a handful of extra creators with back-up stories, including yours truly. I haven’t had a chance to look through the Yearbook yet, but I just know it’s going to be good.
Next up, Emily Owen’s Kickstarted Brain Shoodles zine is out into the world! Mine arrived yesterday, complete with some prints from my piece I created for one of the reward tiers. Brain Shoodles is a described as a mental health zine, documenting Emily’s struggle with anxiety and depression, and learning sometimes just how to put one foot in front of the other. It’s an accessible, touching read, and if you’d like to get your hands on a copy they are for sale on her online store for £3 plus postage.
Brain Shoodles, by Emily B Owen
Brain Shoodles Print
Also, Emily kindly sent me some of the prints (pictured above right) which are now up for sale on my Etsy store!
Given the nature of their creation, I am selling the prints with 50% of profits going to 42nd Street, a young-persons mental health charity here in Manchester. 42nd Street supports young people aged 11-25 years with their emotional well-being and mental health, promoting choice and creativity, championing young person centred approaches. They offer counselling, workshops and events to help engage young people, and have offered continued support in the aftermath of the Manchester Arena bombing in May. They’re an excellent cause, and I hope to make as much for them as I can.
The prints are A4, printed on beautiful heavyweight recycled card stock, and on sale for £10. There’s a limited run, so if you’d like one click here.
I’ve also put my A5 print from Cosmos on my Etsy store! Originally released for free alongside pre-orders of the book, the print is just £4 and features one of the more colourful pages from the final story in the collection, ‘Treehouse‘. Click through the image below to see the whole thing!
My Etsy store has had a nice little revamp, so to celebrate all you nice readers of this blog can get 10% off my store for the next week with the code IREADIT – and with no minimum spend! Par-tay!
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.
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.
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:
Brain Shoodles: Digital Progress
Brain Shoodles: Pencil and paint progress
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:
So, another week has passed and another comic is under my metaphorical belt. It’s been a strange time of finishing up projects that have been ongoing for several months.. The Yearbook story below, I wrote in January, pencilled up ideas by February, and then it’s taken three more months of dipping in and out (alongside finishing Cosmos and a piece for Dirty Rotten Comics 10) to get it done. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to having a totally clear schedule for a little while to wind-down and collect my thoughts.
Almost-on-time as promised last week, my short four-pager for the Broken Frontier Small Press Yearbook 2017 was completed this weekend (with a tiny bit of work done to finish it up on Monday night) and sent over to the man in the hat, Broken Frontier‘s Andy Oliver. Launching this summer, you can find out more about the book directly from the website – but for now, here’s some sneak previews of my story:
I’m incredibly honoured to be a part of ‘The Inking Woman’ exhibition. It’s a vibrant, empowering collection of works that show the humour and passion that women have drawn on over the years; powerful illustrative and narrative work, that surpasses trends and time.
Small press sensation Rozi Hathaway is making quite the name for herself on the indie scene with her beautiful, through-provoking, poetic style. With a dreamy mix of painted artwork and minimalist story-telling, her latest book Cosmos And Other Stories was launched at Leamington Comic Con to critical acclaim, so we caught up with Rozi to find out more about what inspires her highly personal style of comic.
Finally, the special edition Dirty Rotten Comics 10 will be out in the next few weeks! The pre-orders haven’t gone up yet, but I’ll let you all know when they do as they’ll be featuring a whole host of specially selected creators – the first artist reveals went up yesterday with Alex Potts, Jey Levang and fellow Good Comics‘ creator Josh Hicks announced.
And that’s all for now! This weekend will see me having some well needed time off, but nevertheless I will be back next week with answers to questions such as.. What’s next? Have I indeed run out of ideas? Did I actually eat all those Oreos? Until next time!
So, this is the week of running all over the place. Up here, down there, over that way and back again; I’m glad it’s a bank holiday weekend as it’ll give me a chance to quietly recover in a corner, leftover Easter egg clutched in my weak grasp..
Come and meet, chat with and support local writers and artists. Enjoy some nice coffee, cakes, craft beers and peruse some classic back issues!
Guests include Leah Moore and John Reppion, Madius Comics, Joe Glass, Jimmy Furlong, Dave McCluskey, Frisson Comics, Ste Matthews, Comics Youth and more to be announced.. and me! So if you’re in or around Liverpool on Saturday come and check it out from 11am-4pm. Craft beer and comics.. what could be better on a Saturday afternoon? And entry is FREE!
In other news, this last weekend I set up and new photography den for taking stock photos! Last summer I managed to get some really professional photos by using my parents’ set-up, but it’s not wholly convenient for me to travel that far now I’m in Manchester, and definitely not cost effective. So, although I don’t have a quality camera just yet, I managed to get by with my phone and a new lighting set up to get some photos of Sneaky Business, Ø and Cosmos for my Etsy store. Check it out!
Finally, I recently had an illustration commission pass through HQ in the form of a Save the Date invitation. It made a nice change from storytelling and comics, and also helped me flex my flower and leaf drawing skills. Have a look below:
It was a really nice project to work on, and definitely something I’d like to expand on going forward. Watch this space!
So, that rounds it up for now. Keep an eye out next week for the run-down of the Inking Woman exhibition launch and the Craft Comics Festival. It’s going to be a busy one…
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 Frontier, Pipedream 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!
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.
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.
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.
Josh Hicks’ Human Garbage – Released 17th June
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..
So, it’s nearly launch time! That’s right, the long, hard evenings and weekends of working away lovingly on this collection are done, and the final editing (when you think it’ll take half a day and it actually takes a whole Sunday and two more evenings..) is complete, and the book has been printed. Now all that’s left is a few sleepless nights worrying over whether anyone’s actually going to like it or not.. Y’know, those sensible thoughts that come into the front of your mind just as you turn out the light. Helpful stuff.
Aside from joking (totally not joking..) about the nerves, I am really excited to bring Cosmos into the world. It’s been a largely whirlwind ordeal, given that I started talking to the Good Comics guys about potentially releasing a collection of short stories with them when I was their table neighbour at Thought Bubble Festival back in November. It then took approximately a week to start writing.. Meaning it’s taken me four months to make this collection of six short stories, whilst working full time, and dealing with a whole load of other life things. FOUR MONTHS! Not even I can believe it.. what a workaholic, am I right? Jeez, take a day off already! -maniacal laugh-
Lisa, co-organiser and co-owner of Leamington Comic Con and Spa Town Comics pop-up store was kind enough to say nice things and interview me about Cosmos & Other Stories! You can read the full interview on the Spa Town Blog! And see the nice things Lisa had to say..
I’m personally very excited to meet Rozi and see her work. I’m probably a little late to Rozi Hathaway fan club, given she won last year’s Broken Frontier Breakout Talent Award, but, as soon as I saw her uniquely expressive and dreamy paintwork I knew my bank balance was in trouble.
Cosmos & Other Stories has also had it’s first review this morning from Tony Esmond of Awesome Comics Podcast and Down the Tubes fame. I’ve been totally blown away by this review, and here’s a snippet that absolutely made my day:
It’s not often that a piece of art touches you in in such a profound way. I speak as a cynical forty something who up until March the 21st this year hadn’t really found a gem in the small press and was worried that it was sitting back in it’s collective armchair ready for retirement. This comic changed my mind and did so with grace and a gentle whisper.
In other similar news, Cosmos & Other Stories is Broken Frontier‘s Staff Pick of the Week! Here’s what Andy Oliver has to say..
I’ve had the benefit of a preview copy and can assure our audience that, without a doubt, it’s some of Hathaway’s strongest work to date. Simultaneously subtle yet potent, fragile but resonant, it’s a compilation that speaks to the reader with the profoundest empathetic connection.
And that’s about it! If you’re in or around Leamington Spa on Saturday then please do come along and say hello to us at the Hathaway/Good Comics tables. If you can’t make it, be sure to follow me, Good Comics and Leamington Comic Con on Twitter for regular updates on the day – and also the event hashtag #LCC2017. AND, read all about it on the blog next week! Until then..