Good Comics

Welcome, 2019

So, it’s 2019. Happy New Year, everybody!

It’s that undeniably exciting time of year again; the tin of Quality Street is finally dwindling, there’s a new calendar on the wall, and it’s time to look ahead to a new year and everything that could possibly be. Daunting for some, the start of a new year is my very favourite time of the year.

It wouldn’t be a new year without looking back at the previous, so get comfy with a cuppa and join me in some light New Year’s Day reflections.

Moon - self-published in September 2018.
Moon – self-published in September 2018.

This year kicked off in style with Cartoon County in Brighton, hosted by Alex Fitch. Cartoon County is a monthly meet-up of comic creators, and I was honoured to be the January guest. Other guests this year have included Rachael Ball, Julian Hanshaw and Wallis Eates. I’ve been in good company! Cartoon County still hosts its monthly meet-up, and for more information on their gatherings, you can follow them on Twitter.

2018 also saw the re-release of Cosmos & Other Stories, published by Good Comics. Cosmos was originally released in March 2017 but sold out by the end of that year, so we re-released it in an extended format at the beginning of 2018. The new version had a totally brand new story included, which involved some fun Olmec and Aztec research. Sadly, Cosmos is now very-nearly sold out again – act quickly if you’d like to pick one up before it’s gone!

Cosmos & Other Stories, expanded edition. Last few copies available from Good Comics.

Last year also saw me create three more short stories; one which has since been published in BBE Collective’s Barriers anthology, and one for the Good Comics Reader charity anthology (see some of my progress pictures here). The other unpublished story is available for Patreon subscribers.

Speaking of which, 2018 is the year I began a Patreon subscription service! You can read all about my decision here.

Bear, available to Patreon subscribers

I also started working on my long-form story which will be coming out in the next couple of years. The decision to start working on a longer story came naturally and is something that will be slowly plugging away for a while. You can catch up on some of my early sketchbook work here!

Other goings-on included the launch of The Inking Woman book by Myriad Editions, based on The Cartoon Museum exhibition from 2017. Myself and other female creators are published in this first-of-its-kind book, and was truly an incredibly experience.

This past summer also saw my first ever keynote speech at the International Graphic Novel and Comics Conference here in Bournemouth. It was one of the absolute highlights of my comics career, and I am so grateful for the team at ICGNC for welcoming me.

Keynote speech at the IGNCC, June 2018

2018 was also the year of Moon, my newest comic. Successfully funded through Kickstarter (thanks to some wonderful backers!), Moon came to be in time for Thought Bubble 2018 in September. I put everything I had into making Moon, and I’m absolutely thrilled with how it came out. If you’d like to get your hands on a limited copy, they’re available in my shop.

Moon has gone on to be one of Daniel Elkin’s Books We Liked 2018 and one of A Place to Hang Your Cape’s 10 of the Best Indie Comics of 2018!

Whilst Moon may dabble in deities, it’s message is intimate and unassuming. Set against the backdrop of a Chinese shipping docks, Moon tells the story of an inquisitive grandson’s discovery of what his grandfather hides from him in one particular shipping container. More akin to a snapshot than a story, Moon‘s warm colours and dockside setting lends it a detached, melancholic flavour. Printed in a bespoke, mini-tabloid format, Moon is a small, enchanting read.

Fred McNamara, A Place to Hang Your Cape

Finally, 2018 drew to a close with the announcement that I’ve officially joined Good Comics. Keen to support grass-roots creators, establishing and developing themselves in a growing community, Good Comics aims to be a hand-up for a handful of creators. I’ve been working alongside the co-founders of Good Comics a lot this year, and I’m thrilled to be joining them in the Good cause for 2019 and beyond.

And that rounds it up! It’s been a busy year, and I’m so grateful for everything that has come my way. A huge thank you to all of you who support my work and speak to me at shows, who backed my Kickstarter, or who just dig my work. You’re all the best, and here’s to another year of making new stories!

Happy 2019, everyone!

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A New Chapter: Part 2

So, it’s nearly Christmas! The scent of Christmas parties lingers in the outside air, we all are reminded of how bloody expensive 1st Class stamps are, and the ethics of avoiding certain tax-dodging online retailers is temporarily forgotten when they offer you a month of free next-day deliveries for those hard-to-buy-for relatives (please don’t judge me).

But it’s not all about trying to avoid getting carpet fluff in your clear tape of choice whilst wrapping gifts; it’s also a time for quiet reflection, cosy evenings and spending time with loved ones. It’s also a time for making plans and forming ideas of just how you want 2019 to be, and looking back at how 2018 has turned out.

One of the really important things that have happened this year is something I’m thrilled to announce: I have been formally initiated into the brethren of Good Comics.

Good Comics is a micropublisher whose primary aim is to offer a publishing platform for comics and zine creators who maybe want to take the next step up in their work, but don’t have the voice or funds to do this themselves. As I’m sure most of you are aware, I’ve had a close working relationship with Good Comics (Samuel C. Williams and Dr Paddy Johnston) since the early days of writing Cosmos & Other Stories in late 2016, and I have tabled at various comics shows either next to them or with them ever since. 

Other titles you may have heard of include Olivia Sullivan’s SID, which I helped edit back in 2017, Robin William Scott’s Every Life I Ever Lived, Josh Hicks’ Human Garbage and Eleanor CrewesThe Times I Knew I Was Gay, which has sold out of print runs time and time again. Good Comics also had an ongoing zine-anthology Dead Singer’s Society which accepted submissions from people all over the world, with its final bumper anthology IV, which came out in the latter part of this year.

Although I’d consider myself as having been a part of Good Comics for some time now, we’re making it official and looking forward to evolving as a micropublisher in 2019, with even more of a focus on community and fresh voices. It’s exciting, it’s rewarding, and it’s all happening soon! I can’t give too much away, but trust me, you’ll want to watch this space… The new Good Comics website will be launching in January 2019 with an announcement of our first title of the year. 

And that just about rounds it up for now! I’ll be back soon with a round-up for the year, but in the meantime… enjoy the holidays/festive season!

x x

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A New Chapter: Part 1

Good afternoon fellow humans!

It has been a while, no? Last time I posted I was gleefully looking forward to some quiet time post-festival season, though life always finds a way of throwing more challenges at you when you think it’s finally time to relax.

Drawing and creating comics has always been such an organic process, it’s easy to forget that the person behind the drawing has the usual nonsense to deal with; on hold to the electric company, navigating food shopping into a busy week, and the such. And, In mid-September, this was the case more than ever! Things came tumbling down around us in the form of an eviction notice; no no, I hadn’t been drawing too loudly, just a landlord who – fairly enough – wanted his property back.

Apparently such is the life of a private tenant, but short of living in fear month-to-month, nothing can prepare you for having to move on someone else’s terms. So, since my last update, I’ve spent two months with my ever-patient and wonderful partner Sam packing up all of our belongings and moving and unpacking. Again. But, finally, things are settling into place and I’m getting back into some sort of routine. Plus, our new home is so cosy and peaceful.

Still, it’s not all about moving home. Here is some news for you all:

-KLAXON- Cosmos & Other Stories is nearly sold out for the second time!

That’s right. I am now out of stock of the second print run of Cosmos & Other Stories. First published back in March 2017, the second print run was released in January 2018 and Good Comics hold the remaining few copies on their online store. As it won’t be reprinted you have to be quick if you’re still after a copy – otherwise, you can read a digital copy by subscribing to my Patreon for $5 a month. It’s really sad to see Cosmos go, but who knows, maybe some of the stories will find their way into something else in the future. Farewell Cosmos -sniff-

In more recent comics news, Moon is now up on my website! You can see loads of snapshots of the process of making Moon, complete with details of how to buy it. It feels like forever ago that I made Moon, but it’s only been a couple of months. Check out the designated page on my website here, and get your copy on my Etsy store.

BBE Barriers Anthology

Another piece of good news: the short comic I made for BBE’s Barriers back in May is now available to buy from their online store! It came out in time for Thought Bubble, and I excitedly picked up my contributor copy. It was a really fun comic to make, and the anthology is full of great work.

And that just about wraps it up for now! Rest assured I have been managing to stay creatively active during this move. I have made a Halloween costume for two children and a bearded dragon, I made a treasure map and co-build a bespoke storage drawer-unit for our collective art supplies (I even hand-sawed some front panels, much to the discomfort of my puny upper arm muscles).

Exciting, right? I’ll be back next time with more but until then…

 

x

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Festival Season

Good afternoon happy campers!

What’s that I can hear? The soothing sound of a free calendar? That’s right, the last two festivals of the year have been and gone, and what excellent festivals they were.

Thought Bubble Festival was held over the weekend 22nd-23rd September in central Leeds, it’s newer location for the second year running. This year I was in the very large ComiXology marquee, with David B. Cooper (colourist: Alex Automatic, Sleeping Dogs, Pirate Fun) to my left, and my dearest Good Comics on my right. I felt particularly smug this year as normally I travel up the morning of Thought Bubble feeling ridiculously tired and worn out before the 8 hours of day one tabling begins. This year, however, as I was driving from Bournemouth to Leeds, Sam and I travelled up on Friday and spent the evening in Leeds with the other half of Good Comics – Dr Paddy. We ventured across to the pre-Thought Bubble party gathering at Travelling Man in Leeds for the Avery Hill launch of Katriona Chapman’s Follow Me In and Kristyna Baczynski’s Retrograde Orbit, which was fun!

Thought Bubble itself was excellent; I had the opportunity to meet so many new people and see some regulars, with people who bought comics from me last year coming back to see what was new and say hello. I also had a nearly tear-inducing moment when one person bought a few of my books, went away and read them both in a café before coming back to tell me how much she enjoyed them. This, folks, is why I do what I do.

As you may be aware, Thought Bubble was also the official launch for my newest self-published newspaper comic, Moon. I’ve had so much positive feedback so far, I’m really glad everyone’s enjoyed seeing something a little different. Creating Moon in such a short space of time was incredibly isolating and also meant I didn’t have the time to talk about it in blogs or beam about its progress on social media, so launching it at Thought Bubble and being able to sit back and listen to people’s feedback was really, really nice.

Speaking of Moon, it’s now available on my Etsy store with additional stickers and temporary tattoos! Have you been plastering yourself with Moon temp tattoos? Send me some photos, I’d love to see how they turned out!

Moving onto the last festival of the year, one of my all-time favourites Bristol Comic & Zine Fair (BCZF) was this past Saturday 5th October, held at The Station in Bristol. BCZF is excellent for many reasons; for one, it’s free entry for the public so anyone can wander in and discover the breadth of different comic genres around. Secondly, it’s in Bristol so the creative scene there is always great, and finally, they have some of the best food around. Again, I had some really nice chats with people and the atmosphere is always friendly. Thanks so much to both the teams at Thought Bubble and BCZF for all their hard work in putting on excellent shows!

BCZF table fun!

Whilst in Bristol Sam and I stayed with Mike, who has recently started Assembly Press, a risograph printing studio in Easton, Bristol. We played around with his older risograph machine in years previous, but this year he has upgraded to a two-colour machine, meaning we could quickly and easily try out some two-colour prints! I reused a design I previously ran through the riso, with amazing results. Check it out! (fluoro orange and yellow; fluoro pink and fluoro orange).

If you’re into creating work on a risograph printer or if you’d like to give it a try, Assembly Press has a special offer running until the end of August for 50xA3 prints for £30. Contact AP via Instagram for any enquiries!

That just about rounds it up for now. Phew, it’s been a busy one!

x

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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.

 

x

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New Chapter

Good afternoon everyone!

It’s me, your friendly neighbourhood Houdini. I know, I know, I said I was back properly last time, and then didn’t reappear again until now, nearly six weeks later. About five weeks ago, I had some news which made me weigh up my options and reflect a little on my working practices, including writing about what I do. This blog doesn’t get the views it used to, and my daily structure has changed a hell of a lot in the past six months. That, and teamed with some changes going on at my day job, has left me with the decision to pare down my blogging on here and start posting shorter and more regular updates on a subscription website called Patreon. It’s not been an easy decision to make, and I’m certainly not disappearing off here any time soon, but hopefully that explains why I keep vanishing from my ‘weekly’ blog. More on Patreon a little later on, as I’m sure you’re all eager to hear what I’ve been up to…

Last time I caught up with you all I was getting ready to gallop over to Brighton for January’s Cartoon County meet-up; and what a blast it was! Alex Fitch was an excellent interviewer, with interesting and carefully considered questioning – I’ve been interviewed a handful of times, and I must say it’s one of the greatest compliments to be interviewed by someone who has either a keen interest or has taken the time to learn about my work. Thanks so much, Alex! I had a chance to catch up with a few faces I don’t see all that often, and I also managed to put names to faces for a few creators which is always really nice. Thanks so much for having me, Brighton. Plus, your burgers are really really good.

Cartoon County - 29th January 2018
Cartoon County – 29th January 2018 (Picture credit: Samuel C. Williams)

In other news, I not only finished up the additional pages for the reprint of Cosmos & Other Stories, but it’s now here and available to buy online! Woo! It’s still priced £6, but now with an extra 12 pages of comic goodness – including a brand new seven pages story and two pages of sketchbook images. You can pick up a copy of Cosmos from my Etsy store here, from Good Comics’ online shop and from Dave’s Comics in Brighton. And here’s a sneak peek of the new comic! (And the whole comic is available online via Patreon for $5 a month!)

This one has been a really fun comic to do, even if it took me way longer than I ever intended it to. But, it was fun to flex my short story skills once more, and it meant I got to delve into the depths of ancient Aztec history, with reference books such as The Art of Mesoamerica: From Olmec to Aztec by Mary Ellen Miller, and more serious titles such as Horrible Histories Angry Aztecs by Terry Deary and Martin Brown. I’m really pleased with how Cosmos looks in it’s new reprinted format, and really grateful that Good Comics have helped me reissue this comic again exactly how I wanted it. Thank you to everyone who picked up an original copy, and those who also buy a new one!

Next up, as you may remember I had been creating a short autobio comic for Dirty Rotten Comics submission! Sadly, I didn’t make the cut this time. But, it’s been great practice to work on something a little more based in reality than my usual tales of magical arctic foxes and fallen stars. Have a look at this sneak peek!

Even though this comic, Bear, won’t be in the latest Dirty Rotten Comics, I have a few other ideas for it yet.. so watch this space! (Maybe not on a full-time basis, as you might be watching for six weeks at a time with how busy everything is right now… I wouldn’t want to give anyone eye-strain!)

So, that’s what I’ve been doing! So to round-up, here’s a little more about my decision making process is moving over to blogging on Patreon rather than here..

The Patreon Story

Now, as I mentioned above, this blog doesn’t seem to get the reach it once did. Writing a large post like this takes at least a couple of hours, and if I was doing weekly posts like I used to it’d be around an hour a week of writing an editing, and extra time documenting everything I do and preparing preview images. Which, was fine and wonderful when I was a full-time student or when I graduated and worked in a creative job that allowed me time to write. However, now things are a little different with my personal circumstances. Prior to six months ago I was in a very lonely and isolated position of not really having much else to do apart from work (as I’m sure Self-Care & Vegetables readers are aware). Now, I’m happy. I understand it’s important to have time off to look after myself, read and enjoy life. I have a wonderful partner who I love spending time with, and I also have his two kids in my life who are funny, gnarly and sweet. So as you can tell, my time has to be spread a little more evenly, which is nicer and healthier. But that meant something had to give.

I hear you ask.. “but why are you moving over to somewhere where I have to pay to see the same things I’ve seen for free all this time?” – well! I will still aim to update here every four-six weeks. It’ll be more of a round-up than an in-depth analysis of every stage, kind of like this blog as been today! You’ll still see pencils to inks and sketchbook stages, right the way through to final previews. My tiers of subscription on Patreon give you more than you could ever have here. Let me show you:

$2 or more per month –  you can access exclusive blog posts about what I’m up to, work-in-progress photos and previews only available to patrons. i.e. you will get more regular updates and photos.
$5 or more per month – you get the above, plus 10% off in my Etsy store and access to my digital comics archive to read and download, and see full colour pages of new comics before they’re published! If you like digital comics, you will be getting a massive bargain compared to buying my work individually or in it’s anthologies.
$10 or more per month – everything listed above, plus a hand-drawn and painted postcard in the post every month (UK postage only)
$12 or more per month – everything listed above, plus a hand-drawn and painted postcard in the post every month (Worldwide postage)
$40 or more per month – everything listed above (excluding postcard), plus an A5 drawn, inked and painted commission of your choice every month – or you can just bump up to this for one month if you’d like to commission artwork from me, and then bump back down to a different tier. (Worldwide postage)
Check out my Patreon site here to witness it all for yourself, and sign up for some sweet deals to arrive through your door. After all, who doesn’t love receiving post that isn’t bills or junk mail? Hopefully that clarifies everything a bit. Don’t miss out, even for just $2 (£1.45ish) a month you get to see comics as they happen, and before anyone else.

And on that note, that sums it up for now! I have a busy few weeks ahead preparing some top secret things, a comic for an anthology, creating more things and travelling all over the place. Life is meant to be busy, right? Right?

Thanks for being patient and reading all of my ramblings, and here’s to a new, exciting chapter!

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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!

 

x

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Welcome, 2018!

Dear readers…

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Did you know that New Year is my favourite time of the year? I mean, Christmas has it’s perks.. homely feelings and spending time with family, friends and loved ones; being able to treat the ones you love; eating way too much delicious food and having a great excuse to. But can also be a lot of pressure, and it can be tough if you miss your nearest and dearest, and all around us there are harrowing reminders that there are a lot of people who are cold and alone on a day that is meant to evoke the opposite. New Year’s Eve, however, is a beacon of hope.

2017 was an incredibly and challenging year for a lot of people, myself included. I moved home twice and relocated yet again, and produced some of the most honest work of my career so far. So, let’s have a look back:

Last year saw the release of my fourth standalone comic book Cosmos & Other Stories, released in March by micro-publishers and all-round-excellent-gents Good Comics. Cosmos is really a collection of stories from the soul, and I was thrilled and relieved to see it flourish. So much so, that it came out and sold out within 9 months! The reprint of Cosmos will his shelves this year, so keep an eye out..

Speaking of reprints, in summer Njálla sold out of 250 copies in just over a year and another run went to print! Thank you so much to everyone who has bought my books, read my stories and kept the magic alive.

2017 also kicked off with my third successful piece to be a part of Good Comics Dead Singer’s Society Vol. 3! I was cursing trying to get that piece right whilst working on Cosmos & Other Stories, and oh I remember it well. Other anthologies I’ve been a part of this year include BBE Collective’s Habitat Anthology, Dirty Rotten Comics’ first full-colour Issue 10 and the groundbreaking Broken Frontier Small Press Yearbook 2017. I’m continually so thankful to be included in anthologies great and small, and I’m hoping to carry on working on even more group and anthology projects in 2018!

It hasn’t all been joy and butterflies, though. 2017 saw pain in my personal life and the birth of Self-Care & Vegetables, a zine about the aftermath of a break-up in real terms. It was a difficult project to work on, mainly from opening up in such an honest way, but the zine has done really well and I’m glad to have put it out there. That Comic Smell have recently put up a podcast talking about Self-Care & Vegetables and discussing it’s honesty. Check it out here, about 45 minutes in. Other shout-outs to campaigners of small press go to Pipedream Comics who featured me in their Pull List, A Place to Hang Your Cape for interviewing me, and of course, Broken Frontier for their continued support – including this time last year winning the Breakout Talent Award for 2016.

Another huge honour this year was being included in The Cartoon Museum‘s Inking Woman Exhibition, featuring past and present women comic artists and cartoonists in the first exhibition of it’s kind. It was a superb exhibition and a huge honour to be a part of. I also created a print for Emily B Owen’s Brain Shoodles launch, which has gone on to sell independently to raise funds for 42nd Street Manchester, a charity which works with young people experiencing mental health difficulties.

Finally, I sold work at seven comic shows around the UK last year. Seven! No wonder I’ve been feeling tired.. I even went to a comic art show as a punter for the first time in longer than I care to admit, and a pretty fantastic show it was.

2017 was also a year of experimenting with my work, from digital illustration to lino printing I had fun with it all, and it’s set me up for another year of creating things in new and interesting ways. I learnt a lot in ’17, and although it was definitely challenging and character-building at times, I feel stronger and more passionately about things than I have for a long time. And a lot of that is down to you – you, who reads my blogs, purchases my comics and listens to my words. Without an audience I’d have nothing, so here is a gigantic thank you and Happy New Year to each and every one of you who has ever taken the time to look at my books and/or art. You’re all marvellous.

And on that note, I wish you a farewell for now. I’m going to continue to reflect on this all whilst examining the inside of my eyelids, and be back with you soon to see how 2018’s shaping up. Until next time!

 

x

 

p.s. Happy Birthday mum!

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December Song

Good afternoon all!

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..

First up, Cosmos & Other Stories has been voted #35 in the Indie and Small Press Comics of the Year 2017 by Pipedream Comics! Pipedream Comics have been a wonderful supporter of all things small press this year, with my interview back in May and coverage from Bristol Comic & Zine Fair in October. I’m amazed and thrilled at how well Cosmos has been received, and selling out within 8 months has just been wild.

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!

 

x

 

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