Good Comics Reader

Bruxelles and Beyond

Good afternoon all,

It’s May! When did that happen? No, seriously… Answers on postcards, please.

The last month or so has flown by as usual, and it’s been a busy time working on comics ready for submission and projects anew. I’ve also recently changed day-jobs into something far more interesting – in the field of marketing and copywriting, ooh err – so be prepared for my grammar and sentence structures to slowly improve (we hope).

Right! Since we last spoke;

  • The Good Comics Reader has been released with my four-page comic Ræven
  • Leamington Comic-Con has been and gone
  • I finished up another four-pager to be included in the brand-spanking new BBE Collective anthology; Barriers
  • I took a romantic comics’ trip to Brussels for a long weekend, and
  • …I’ve begun preliminary sketchbook work on my first full-length comic book. Agh/eek/woo, etc.

My favourite time of the year is a busy time of the year. The Good Comics Reader was officially launched at Leamington Comic-Con on Saturday 14th April. The festival was a huge hit as always thanks to Dan and Lisa’s tireless work to promote small press comics. The Reader is beautiful; risograph printed on recycled paper, and it is good for the feels as 50% of the profits go to the charity Young Minds. Here are some previews of my comic;

Drawing for risograph printing involves working in layers for colour separation, so it was working in a totally new way for me. Here’s one of the spreads; this was for the red/burgundy layer on pages 1-2:

Ræven Colour Separations
That moment when you realise your nails match the table.

Nifty, huh? If you’d like to read this comic, you can get your copy of the Reader here, priced £6 (alternatively, this is one of the many comics on my Patreon that you can read as part of the $5-and-up subscription).

Next up, last month I finished a comic for BBE Collective on the theme of ‘Barriers’. I created an illustration for their last anthology Habitat (which you can buy here, priced £7) and they’re such nice and encouraging people that I couldn’t resist creating something again. Plus, their anthologies are the some of the most tenderly colourful and beautiful around on the small press scene, so I recommend you check it out. I’m not sure when Barriers will be coming out in print form, but you’ll be the first to know! Here’s a sneak peek of my comic;

Next up, after what felt like a long time of lots of serious adult things and working a lot, Sam and I took a mini-break to Brussels, Belgium to ignore our phones and get some fresh air and fresh ideas (and fresh kriek). We somehow managed to book to go away when the weather was absolutely incredible; normally Brussels is a rain-haven. Alas, with blue skies and warm hearts we ventured around the city taking in the sights and sounds, visited the wonderful Centre Belge de la Bande Dessinée and took a trip out to Louvain-le-Neuve to the Musée Hergé. I’m not going to inundate you with tourist photos, but here are a few gems from a wonderful trip away.

I came back from Brussels with a healthy dose of vitamin D and fresh imagination.. that promptly got a little squashed by a few very busy weeks. Regardless, now things have settled down a bit I’ve been studying my photos and the small pile of books* we brought back from Brussels. Slowly but surely I’m working away, both in my head and in sketchbook form, on ideas for my next comic.

I’ve debated for a while now what my next step would be; do I continue creating short work? Do I try to be published by a big-name publisher? Do I carry on self-publishing? I’m still not entirely sure on those last two, but I have decided the time is right to create a much, much longer book. A full length comic, with story arcs and everything. The wonderful thing about short stories and submissions is that I get to try out a new idea and process or medium every single time, and now I’ve had some time exercising different methods of painting, colouring and drawing, I’m ready to put all this knowledge into practice and work out a longer story.

I’m really, really excited.

Though don’t you go getting too excited just yet; we have a long journey ahead of us, you and I. Writing a full-length book is no walk in the park, and it’ll take me well into next year to complete. But the cogs are working away and the sketchbook has started. And here I introduce into the world my newest code-named project; The Biggest One Yet.

I’ll be sharing sketchbook pages on my Patreon a couple of times a week, so if you’re keen to watch the story develop at the same time I do, you know where to go.

And that’s it for now! Keep your peepers peeled for next month’s news, and until then – peace out.

 

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*It was not a small pile. It was, in fact, pretty large. 

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Inking Women & Drawing Foxes

Good afternoon folks,

So! It’s been a busy month as ever here at HQ.. First up, The Inking Woman Book Launch! On Thursday 15th March I took a half-day at my day job and hopped on the 3 hour coach up to London for The Inking Woman/Marie Duval book launches from Myriad Editions. You know me – ever the traveller. With a quick pit-stop in the V&A and The Science Museum beforehand, I bundled over to the launch party with a skip in my step and after a short while, prosecco in my hand.

The atmosphere was electric, just as much as it had been at the original Inking Woman exhibition at The Cartoon Museum almost a year ago! Thank you so much to Corinne Pearlman, Cath Tate and Nicola Streeten for all their hard work in putting such a fantastic book together. Below you can see me lurking in the back with a handful of the Inking Women featured in the exhibition/book – I’m so proud to be among them! The whole experience took a little while to sink in – travelling back the same night probably didn’t help in making it all feel rather surreal. But, low and behold I am published in a Myriad book amongst so many wonderful cartoonists.

In other news, I spent most of March finishing up something new for a new anthology; the Good Comics Reader! Those chaps at Good Comics decided it’d be nice to do an anthology featuring all the creators whose work they have published so far. How could I resist? My new four-page comic will be launched in the Reader on Saturday 14th April at Leamington Spa Comic Con, and copies are available to pre-order now.

Good Comics Reader!

The Reader is also raising money for charity, with 50% of the proceeds going to Young Minds. Here’s a little bit about them from their website;

We’re leading the fight for a future where all young minds are supported and empowered, whatever the challenges. We’re here to make sure they get the best possible mental health support and have the resilience to overcome life’s difficulties.

The crisis in children and young people’s mental health is real and it is urgent. More children and young people than ever before are reaching out for help with their mental health. But for those who take that brave step, help is much too hard to find.

Together, we are changing this. We’re fighting for young people’s mental health. Join our fight.

Young Minds support young people through different projects and support packs for young people and their parents/carers. It’s really crucial to support the mental health of young people, and it’s something close to my heart as you will know from my ongoing support of 42nd Street Manchester through sales of my print. So, if you like being entertained through the thought-provoking and moving medium of comics, and you want to do your bit for charity, then I strongly recommend grabbing a copy of the Reader asap. I’ll be back at Leamington Comic Con next Saturday 14th April with Good Comics to launch the Reader, so if you want it signed then come and say hi! Tickets are available here or on the door.

A preview of my comic for the Reader, Ræven.

In other Good Comics related news, this Friday is the launch party of their newest release The Times I Knew I Was Gay by Eleanor Crewes at Gosh! Comics in London. PAR-TAY! As an honorary member of Good Comics I’ll be at the launch with a glass in hand celebrating this really excellent book – if you’re a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan like I am, you’re in for a treat – so if you’re local to London then come on down as it’s going to be amazing!

Finally, in some really-really-super exciting news, this summer I’ve been invited to be a keynote speaker at the International Graphic Novel and Comics Conference in Bournemouth. I’ll be opening the conference on Wednesday 27th June with my talk on ‘Retrospective Storytelling: From Childhood to Characterisation’. Other speakers include Catherine Anyango Grünewald and Woodrow Phoenix. The conference is going to be really interesting, so check out all the details here and book your ticket now!

Aaand that just about sums it up for now! Don’t forget to subscribe to my updates on Patreon to get the news as it happens. But until next time.. peace out.

 

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Bring It Back Now Y’All

Good afternoon everyone!

Welcome back, please find a seat and make yourselves comfortable. There’s tea and coffee over there, and some fruit on the side. It’s been a little while again, and I’d like to thank you all for your patience whilst I’ve been navigating a new demanding job, new interests and taking more of a keen focus on my own physical and mental well-being. Looking back over the years I’ve often used working on multiple comics projects as a crutch to help ignore my own personal life, and now I’m juggling things around to make sure all areas are getting the best I can possibly give. So, thanks again for holding with me, and if I haven’t said it before.. 2018 is going to be ace. Just you wait and see!

First things first, I’ve been hibernating away working on an additional short comic for the re-release of Cosmos & Other Stories next month. It’s based on an old folklore tale and I’ve really loved building a little story around it, so I hope you all will enjoy it too! The second edition of Cosmos is up for pre-order again with Good Comics, so if you fancy being one of the first to get your hands on a copy, head on over to their Good Shop and check it out then checkout. Here’s a little preview of the pencils…

As you all know from Njálla and The Red Road, I love a good folk legend or myth, and I’ve found a really interesting old Mexican legend that ties in with the theme of Cosmos; loneliness, love and reflection. I’m really, really excited to be bringing out the second edition, and with it being re-released in only a few weeks, I have it well on the way to being finished up and sent back off to print. Woohoo!

Next up, why work on one comic when I can work on two? A couple of weeks ago I was reminded that Dirty Rotten Comics have a call for submissions out for their next anthology, number #12. They opened up submissions back in November, but I figured it’d be really good practice to crack out a story at short notice and work on something I’ve been looking to develop more: autobiographical slice of life and travel writing. I’ve been juggling this new four-page comic and the final Cosmos story, and both are due to be completed around the same time, so it’s going to take a good final push to get these done! Here are some working photos of the new short story for submission to Dirty Rotten Comics – all roughs, I assure you..

The deadline for submission to Dirty Rotten Comics #12 is 31st January, so get to it and submit something too! I’ve been in three of their anthologies so far, and they always release the best selection of comics from a wide range of talent. You can find all their submission details on their website!

In other news, it’s been recently announced that The Inking Woman exhibition has been turned into a book, and is due to be published by Myriad in late March! The Inking Woman exhibition took place back in April 2017 and featured 100 women cartoonists, including yours truly! I’m so thrilled to hear the exhibition has been turned into a book, and it’s more important than ever to look at the part women have taken in a heavily male dominated history of comics and cartooning. You can read about the book here.

So, what else is 2018 bringing? Well, there’s another BBE Collective anthology coming soon, with submissions open until the end of March; there’s also something new from those Good Comics boys coming soon (pictured below). And that just takes us up until the end of March/April time. This past week I’ve also been confirmed with a half table again at Thought Bubble Festival in Leeds, which is wonderful news! I absolutely love Thought Bubble Festival, and have had an excellent time the past three years I’ve attended.

And finally, if you’re local to Brighton city centre, come along and see me talk with Alex Fitch this Monday (29th January) at the Cartoon County meetup! Cartoon County is a group of Sussex creators who talk comics, cartooning and everything else related, and have had notable guests such as everyone’s favourites Hannah Berry, Gareth Brookes and Danny Noble, and many many more. You can check out their website here, and their Twitter page here for more information on Monday’s meet up.

That just about rounds it up for now! See you on Monday evening if you’re coast-local, and check back back here next week for a round-up. Until then, have a wonderful weekend!

 

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