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Toucan Play at That Game

Good afternoon happy campers!

So, it’s almost June. I say this with trepidation, as June is ramping up towards the busy season of comic events, firstly with MCM London this past weekend, ELCAF coming up in a couple of weeks time, followed by the Birmingham Comics Festival, Small Press Day, South London Comic & Zine Fair, MCM Manchester, and that just brings us up to the end of July. And there’s quite possibly even more I don’t know about. Phew!

In an attempt to enjoy my short-lived downtime, these past couple of weeks I’ve working on an illustrative submission for a collection of illustrations/comics coming out later in the year. You know me, I can’t resist an anthology submission! Check it out:

I’ve been using an Arts and Crafts of Mexico book from Manchester City Library (just signed up, and FYI that library is incredible..) to look at patterns and animals used in traditional Mexican folk art, whilst also researching online about alebrijes and the bright colours used in traditional Mexican art. If there’s anything University taught me, there’s no such thing as too much research – even just for a one page illustration! You’ll have to wait until next time to see what I’ve come up with, but above is some of the progress I’ve made so far..

In other news, my updated postcard packs are now up on my Etsy store! You can a nice little snapshot from each of my most recent comics on that heavy duty matte laminate A6 goodness, including Njálla, Ø, The Broken Frontier Small Press Yearbook 2016, Cosmos & Other Stories, and even one from the new comic for the not-yet-released BF Yearbook 2017!

You can get your postcard pack online here – five seductively matte laminate cards for just £3.50 + P&P. Bring back snail mail! And… to celebrate the beginning of summer I’m offering 20% off all orders for one week only using the code OHHEYJUNE. Valid until 7th June!

So, what else? Oh yeah! Dirty Rotten Comics special edition 10 saw it’s release a week and a half ago – to some excellent reviews! Check out Pipedream Comics review here from Alex Thomas, and the Broken Frontier review here from Andy Oliver, with a snippet below about yours truly:

Another ‘Six to Watch’ artist who continually surpasses her previous work with each new offering is Rozi Hathaway. In ‘Aquarium’ we witness a young girl’s wonder at the sea life she is observing with Hathaway playing with the space between panels to emphasise two worlds coming together. It’s quite brilliant in structure and is the finest piece of pure comics in the issue.

– Andy Oliver, Broken Frontier – Dirty Rotten Comics #10 – Celebrating Ten Issues of Throwaway Press’s Pivotal Small Press Anthology in Colourful Style!

I have to say, I love Dirty Rotten Comics normally, but this issue is something special. Julian Hanshaw – whose work I’ve always had a soft-spot for since we met through HOAX Psychosis Blues – entertains as always. Although it’s hard to pick, my other favourites would have to be James Wragg’s moving matrix-esque story, Benjamin A.E. Filby‘s sci-fi short and Bethan Mure’s village savior tale. It really is a spectacular collection, and you should definitely grab a copy if you can!

And that rounds it up for now! Keep an eye out for the next update with more details on upcoming comic festivals I’ll be attending, and progress on my Mexican-themed piece. Until next time!

 

x

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The Quiet Life

Good afternoon all!

So, it’s Wednesday, and for the first time in longer than I can remember.. I haven’t worked on any comics in the past week! Yikes!

I love creating work, and I love working on multiple projects at once, but after three years of constantly making new work at university – even over the summer break with things like Sneaky Business vol. 1, the Broken Frontier Small Press Yearbook 2016 and submissions to anthologies including Dirty Rotten Comics – it’s been pretty non-stop. After finishing my degree last summer I’ve carried on working on a variety of things – Sneaky Business vol. 2 and Ø took me up to Thought Bubble 2016, and Cosmos & Other Stories came directly after. Now with the contributions to the Broken Frontier Small Press Yearbook 2017 and Dirty Rotten Comics Issue 10 complete, for the first time in my near history I have no comic projects on and it’s giving me a chance to debrief and rest.

Ahh… Free time.

But, don’t despair. I have plenty of illustration-led projects in the pipeline and I’m gently nurturing the beginnings of some ideas for future comic projects, so me and my ramblings aren’t going anywhere!

In comics-related news, Dirty Rotten Comics issue 10 is now available for pre-order from Amazon! And even more exciting, it’s on sale in both paperback and in Kindle format.

The cover art pictured above is by Lucie Ebrey – revealed as the book was formally announced on Broken Frontier last week. DRC 10 will be out on Friday 19th May, so pre-order your copy now or pick it up at one of their stockists after the launch. As I mentioned last month, my piece for the book is a two-pager and I’m really excited to see what you all think. It’s a pretty monumental moment for DRC to be releasing a full colour book, and I for one can’t wait to get my hands on it!

Postcard Par-tay

In other exciting news, I’ve stocked up on some more postcards for selling at events and online! A little while ago I sold some postcard packs on my Etsy store and they sold straight away, so in the coming week or so I’ll have a fresh pack going up including these five designs! So keep an eye out…

Also, those cape-clad gents at A Place to Hang Your Cape have reviewed Cosmos & Other Stories!

Indie creator Rozi Hathaway is back for more on AP2HYC with her latest offering Cosmos & Other Stories. Those of us fortunate enough to have read her previous entry here, Ø, will know that Hathaway is more than capable of bringing out the lonely 11-year old inside all of us, and her newest book is no exception. The story is a collection of comic vignettes that run the gambit of human loss and anxiety before leaving the reader on an uplifting note about seeking the wonderful things that exist in the world.

– Bard Brehon, “Cosmos & Other Stories is a Heartbreaking and Uplifting Journey” on AP2HYP

This review sits nicely next to AP2HYP’s coverage of Ø, which went up on the site last month. Thanks guys! Don’t forget, you can still pick up all my titles over on the ol’ Etsy store, and at selected small-press friendly stores around the UK.

Cosmos and Njálla available at Travelling Man Manchester!

And that rounds it up for now! Keep an eye out next week for the release of the new Dirty Rotten Comics… I might even show you some pictures of my comic in it’s colourful glory.

 

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On the Road

Good afternoon, all!

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..

Later on today I’m off to London for the opening of The Cartoon Museum’s The Inking Woman exhibition, featuring the work of female comic and cartoon creators, historic to present day. It’s guaranteed to be an excellent exhibition, running from tonight until 23rd July. You can find out all about the exhibition from The Cartoon Museum website, and there’s also a list of all the creators featured in John Freeman’s article for Down the Tubes. If you’re in or around London before the exhibition closes in July, you should definitely check it out!

Image credit: The Cartoon Museum

Then, after dashing back up to Manchester tomorrow morning for work, I’ll be off on my travels again on Saturday – this time to Liverpool for the Craft Comics Festival.

The Craft Comics Festival is a free comics event as a part of the Smithdown Festival, held in the Craft Taproom – run by comic creators Chris Welsh and Tom Ward.

Photo credit: Craft Taproom

Craft Taproom have said about the festival..

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!

You can check out my freshly updated Etsy store here, and Cosmos & Other Stories is now available to buy on there as well as from the Good Comics store and selected UK small-press friendly shops.

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…

 

x

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Under the Sea

Good afternoon folks.

So, Easter has passed us and I have successfully eaten my body-weight in all the good things; Easter eggs, Easter cake, Easter roast dinners and Easter.. cheese? Regardless, I have now lethargically thrown myself into the new week ready to tackle some more serious and important comic business.

First up, I’ve finished my comic for Dirty Rotten Comics #10! As you may recall from last week’s small preview the comic is themed in an aquarium and underwater. I’ve drawn some fun underwater poses before in scenes from Ø, but never before have I had the fun of drawing up a load of different sea creatures! Here’s a few peek previews..

As you can see I’ve also been playing around a bit with panel borders in this comic, similar to effects I’ve tried in the concluding pages of Njálla and first back when I made Afloat for the Broken Frontier Small Press Yearbook 2016. It’s been a fun one-shot short comic to make, utilising some of the skills I’ve played around with previously. Hopefully it goes down well!

As you can imagine, from sketches to full comic it’s been a busy week finishing off this two-pager for Dirty Rotten Comics! Up next I will be working on my piece for the Broken Frontier Small Press Yearbook 2017, that I mentioned here last week and featured also in coverage on Broken Frontier this week.

Also, next week sees the launch of The Cartoon Museum’s new exhibition The Inking Woman on Wednesday 26th April! I’m heading down especially for the event, so if you’re around central London you should definitely check it out. There will be original artwork on display from myself and many other female British creators. There’s not a huge amount on the website about it, but you can keep up with The Cartoon Museum’s progress in the run up to the exhibition on their Facebook Page and Twitter.

And finally, as I mentioned last week, next weekend sees the Craft Comic Festival as a part of the Smithdown Festival in Liverpool on Saturday 29th. I’ve recently managed to get some stock sent over of Cosmos & Other Stories from those Good Comics gents, so I’ll be selling that alongside the usual suspects of Njálla, Ø and Sneaky Businessand Cosmos will be going up on sale on my Etsy store very soon! Until then you can still pick up your copy from the Good Shop. Until next time..

 

x

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Penpals, Penguins & Small Press

Good afternoon kind readers!

So, another week has vanished and it’s now almost December. When did that happen? All these Christmas adverts keep coming out and all I can think about is how I’m pretty sure it was October last time I looked.. Apparently not. It seems to be getting much gloomier day by day, and Manchester is living up to it’s stereotype of raining all the time – which would make you think that I’d managed to buy an umbrella by now instead of getting rained on all the time. Ha. Well. Maybe tomorrow.

A few weeks ago when I first moved up here I was doing some scooting around, looking for different creative endeavours I could get stuck into. Low & behold I re-stumbled across the Salford Zine Libary, who describe themselves as “a unique archive of self published materials, currently housed at Nexus Art Café on Dale Street in Manchester. It seeks to preserve and provide access to zines from around the world, as well as promoting zines and DIY culture through workshops, exhibitions and other events“. They had a call for submissions up for a Penpals themed mail-art exhibition, so in the blues-infested week of getting back from Thought Bubble when I was feeling particularly sorry for myself, I wrote a little love story on an envelope and sent it off! I haven’t managed to get down to the Zine Library yet to see if my work has been selected to be up, but I’ll be getting down there as soon as possible to check it out. The exhibition runs until the end of the month, so if you’re in the area you should pop down and check it out!

Next up, I also spent some time in the recent weeks on a guest strip for Alan Henderson’s Penned Guins, which is his daily comic strip full of dad jokes, bad jokes and everything in between. There have been a few guest appearances in the past, most recently from my good friend of Good ComicsSamuel C. Williams. It took a while to single out a particular pun, but in the end I went with this one.. Which went up on Sunday 13th November!

Ha.. Penguins. What lovable oafs. It was an absolute pleasure to be a guest on Alan’s Penned Guins, and if you want to keep up with the comics you can keep up with them on Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram. There’s a lot to be said for being able to smile at daily gag strips, and I highly recommend you supplement your diet with them.

In other news, if you’ve been on Broken Frontier‘s Facebook or Twitter this week, you may have noticed that a guest piece I wrote for State of the Small Press Nation went up on the site! Andy Oliver kindly asked me whether I wanted to write an article a while back, to which is gratefully agreed and then took way longer than I should’ve done to actually get it back to him. Better late than never, my journey into small press is now up on Broken Frontier’s site, and you can read the article here. It was a bit strange to go back through my old blogs and pick out the highs and lows of my journey into comics, but hopefully my ramblings come of some use to someone.

Probably not, but you never know.

And finally! If you follow me on the array of social media channels then you may have noticed that I’ve released my 2016 Christmas card design! I opted for a more subtle, wintery design this year with the hare and the moon, with the card being available to buy on my Etsy store along with last year’s Christmas robin design, and all the usual comicy suspects. Postage for UK orders runs right up until mid-December, so have a gander and order early to make sure you’re not disappointed!

Anyway, that’s about it for now! I’ll be back as usual next week with more progress on my short stories due for release with Good Comics next year. Until then, I hope you all have a good week – and if you’re in England, keep dry, yeah?

 

x

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December Madness and Laydeez do Comics!

Good morning ladies and gents!

So, another week bites the dust and the first round of assessment is looming eerily close by. Although I’m working in a haze which can probably be described as “I’m not really sure what I’m doing anymore”, things are getting ticked off the list and I’m vaguely, quietly confident that I’ll be in good stead by Christmas. Well, as long as I avoid any critique sessions where it’s advised to completely change my work.. Sigh. But anyway, I also decided it would be a marvellous idea to start getting up stupidly early in the week to do some mild exercise or yoga (don’t laugh) before getting to work before 8am, which seems to be helping my productivity somewhat. Though, I’m only on day three so far.. And I ache.

Logos

 

First up, as you may remember from last week, I mentioned that I had something exciting up my sleeve to tell you all. WELL! I am over the moon to announce that I have been asked by the lovely Keara Stewart and Wallis Eates of Laydeez do Comics to speak as a part of the Broken Frontier themed evening, as one of the Six UK Small Press Creators to Watch in 2015! With the small press champion Editor-in-Chief Andy Oliver being the reason for so many people getting a chance of recognition and support, it’ll be a great chance to listen to his worldly comics wisdom. Alongside will be the fiercely talented and entertaining Danny Noble, of Ollie and Alan fame, and myself – probably still a bit love-drunk on brandy butter by that point.

Laydeez do Comics London is held in Gosh! Comics in Soho, who are one of the biggest stores to support small press comics creators. Keara and Wallis have stepped up to take over as London Co-ordinators whilst co-founders Sarah Lightman and Nicola Streeten are taking a break to focus on their respective PhDs. here’s a snippet about Laydeez do Comics (LDC) from their website..

“Launched in July 2009 by artists Nicola Streeten and Sarah Lightman, it is the first women led graphic novel forum in the UK. Artists, academics, publishers and fans from around the world are invited to speak. It is a platform for people to test new works and ideas, where emerging artists present their work alongside more established practitioners. The evenings offer an inspiring experience in a social atmosphere for both those new to comics and those already immersed. Laydeez do Comics now has branches in Glasgow,  Bristol, Leeds, Dublin, San Francisco and Chicago.  Pop up events have also taken place in New York, Toronto, Glasgow and Brighton.”

Exciting stuff! The Broken Frontier LDC night is being held on Monday 18th January, and in MORE exciting news I’ve been working together with Gosh and LDC to create a themed window display for the event! At the moment I’ve just been sketching ideas up, but soon I’ll be getting some final designs to both parties and the work will commence the week before the event. Because I’m feeling overly generous, here’s one character from some preliminary sketchbook work for the window design…

Promo Blog

This coming Monday I’ll be attending my first LDC event as a member of the audience, with guest speakers are Mike Medaglia and Rachael Ball. Both are so excellent at what they do, and I can’t wait to be a part of the audience! And also, it’ll be good to see exactly what to expect a month later when I sit the other side of the table. Tickets for LDC are free, but must be booked and disappear incredibly quickly! If you’re interested in attending the Laydeez night in January, then best to pop over to the Laydeez do Comics website and sign up for their mailing list to be alerted when tickets are available (details are on the home page). So if you want to come and watch me pretend to know what I’m talking about, and see my first attempt at window painting.. Sign up now! But in all seriousness, big thanks to Gosh and LDC for letting my represent their values in the form of a window display and asking me to speak as one of the chosen six – I can’t wait!

In other news, you may recall a few weeks ago me referring to one of my projects being the House of Illustration and Folio Society Book Illustration Competition for War Horse! The competition requirements is to produce a set of three internal illustrations and a binding design, to fit into their minimalist graphic style.The competition ends in January, but with assessment looming and final tutorials this week I’ve been working extra hard to get this ready! It’s been a strange project for me to do given that I didn’t particularly want to approach it in the character-centric style I tend to work in, as the general tone of the cheery children’s book is rather dark. Instead, I wanted to focus on the atmosphere, and use certain scenes and textures to give an effect of how very depressing it all was. I mean, the First World War wasn’t exactly all butterflies and flute music, was it? With that in mind, here’s my work in progress on the project to date..

Layout 1

Spine Text

I’m not entirely happy with the binding (front and back cover spread) just yet, but it’s not too far off I don’t think.. Book covers are not something I ever really did before University and I desperately struggled with the last one for Carrie’s War, so I have been determined to get this one right. As for the internal illustrations, I opted to completely avoid using ink lines for this and painted or printed everything using handmade collagraph plates, using Photoshop to put everything together nicely. Again, these aren’t completely 100% finished yet – but not far off.

Finally, after I had a tremendous sell-out of greetings cards at Thought Bubble last month I’ve gotten round to ordering more and putting them up on my Etsy store! There’s a choice of three at the moment, with this year’s Christmas card design and two others. So, for an extra special card this year, pop on over to my Etsy store and check them out.

Well well well, another busy one. I’ll be back next week after a during stressful assessment period, but hopefully with the Christmassy end in sight! Low and behold I have another week of rather important emails, another commission and further uni work progression. So, with that in mind, and the kettle calling my name.. Over and out.

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Fresh Off The Piste

Good evening ladies and gents,

I have returned! And more importantly, I have returned with all my limbs intact! My week of snowboarding with my handsome northerner and a bunch of fun Brummies came abruptly to an end on Saturday evening, and although I’m happy to be back to work at Rozi HQ with some pretty interesting goggle tan-lines, I’m also pretty sad to have had to come back to reality. But on the bright side, I have lots of exciting news!

First up, I managed to squeeze in one more project before I flew off with my trusty snowboard; following the Carrie’s War book cover design award entry I submitted, I decided to give another book cover a go to see what I could do with the knowledge I’ve gained. Now, I did only have about a day to go for it with the piece, but I’d been reading the story of Some Kind of Fairy Tale by the late Graham Joyce and I’d started to get an idea in my head of what I wanted to portray. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to get much further than half way through the book, so I focused on a location mentioned several times near the beginning of the book. Woods with bluebells and a yellow covered rock with glowing bugs is a image, so here’s what I came up with;

Some Kind of Fairy Tale by Graham Joyce - Orion  student book cover competition entry.
Some Kind of Fairy Tale by Graham Joyce – Orion student book cover competition entry.

 

The entry requirements didn’t ask for anything more than the front cover – no text or anything, so I just went forth and submitted this. It was a quick ‘un, so it was good practise to work on something short notice. We shall see what happens with the winning entry, I believe it’s announced at the end of the month, so here’s hoping!

In some fantastic news for this summer,  Andy Oliver from Broken Frontier contacted the six of us ‘Small Press Creators to Watch in 2015’ to let us know that he’s been given table space at CECAF (Crouch End Comics Art Festival) on Saturday 6th June. So I jumped on the opportunity to come along too! I’ll be selling copies of The Red Road alongside some of the other six creators, and it all sounds rather fun! You can read about last year’s CECAF festival review from Andy here. And in more wonderful news, I heard back from Alternative Press last week and I have been offered some space on their First Publications Corner (FPC) at TAKEOVER 2015 on Saturday 9th May in London! I shall be there behind the table with The Red Road, or mooching around the other stalls all day from 12-7 in just under 4 weeks time, so if you’re local to the area be sure to pop along and say hi. And, it’s FREE!

 

So with these two events, plus MancsterCon in August and Thought Bubble in November it’s turning into a busy year! I decided to do a little administration work today and rearranged my website to have some handy important-person-friendly links underneath my about section! So we now have sections for collaborations, commissions and competitions. It still needs a little work, but it’s mostly ready for now! Commissions side looks a little on the light side, so feel free to hit me up for any commission requests from summer onwards.

Finally, I also re-listed two sets of the giclee prints I had made a while ago of two abandoned buildings in Northampton! They’re back listed on my Etsy site alongside The Red Road, so do have a look if you’re interested in owning some of my detailed illustration prints from a couple of years ago. I’ll be getting the Down To Your Skivvied zines sorted by the end of the week, so my Etsy store will be looking nice and full soon enough! Keep any eye out for those in the latter part of the week. Anywho, I think that’s it for now! I shall be cracking on with some Uni work for the remainder of the week ready for final assessments, so needless to say it’s straight back to the grind. Have a good week all, excuse me whilst I look at my holiday pictures and sob into some French chocolate bars. Peace out! x

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