HOAX: Psychosis Blues

May It Be

Good afternoon folks.

So, what a week! It was just as exhausting as I envisioned it being.. but somehow that prior wisdom somehow didn’t help me to cope any better as I grouchily collapsed down into bed at 9pm on Saturday evening. I know, what a party animal. That said, my grouchiness came from a place of happiness from having an excellent time at the two big comic events of the week. And, after a day of doing almost nothing on Sunday I feel relatively back to normal. Hurrah!

First up: Inking Women! Last week on Wednesday evening I trudged down from Manchester to London for the opening of The Cartoon Museum’s newest exhibition, The Inking Woman. I had the pleasure of spending time with new friends and old, and I got to see my work from the Broken Frontier Small Press Yearbook 2016 framed, proudly hanging on the wall next to a fine selection of other women cartoonists and comics creators.

The atmosphere was electric as we all gathered with pride to see the exhibition in it’s full glory. Opened officially by Sandi Toksvig, there was a feeling of humour and pride in the air as the Inking Women gathered into the centre of the ground floor for a photo opportunity, before carrying on with celebrating the night. I even got a chance to sign some new copies of Hoax: Psychosis Blues whilst I was there in the museum gift shop, and dropped some more copies of Njálla and Ø at Gosh! Comics whilst I was in the capital – two birds one stone! Andy Oliver at Broken Frontier has written a lovely page about the event which you can check out here.

Next up, on Saturday I headed up to Liverpool for the Craft Comics Festival as a part of the Smithdown Road Festival, held at Chris Welsh and Tom Ward‘s Craft Taproom. It had a different vibe from the usual comic festival type event, with tables dotted around the bar rather than gathered in rows which gave it a more relaxed atmosphere. The guys were excellent hosts (you know it’s good when you get given a gourmet brownie from a local store..) and it was a nice friendly event. Here’s what I had for sale:

Now that busy week is out the way I’m in full-steam-ahead mode to finish up my piece for the upcoming Broken Frontier Yearbook 2017. I’m pretty sure I’ve overrun the deadline by some horrendous amount of time due to having far too many commitments and other life issues getting in the way. But, thankfully Andy Oliver is a good pal and has been incredibly patient with me. The Yearbook isn’t launching for a couple of months yet, so I’m getting this done and over to him before the week it out.

And now I’ve said it publicly, that means I have to get it done before end of day Sunday.

Right.. best get to work.

And that’s where I’m leaving you all! Keep an eye out next week for a far more understandable and non-tired blog with a finished comic, and some other good stuff.. And until then, have a good week/weekend – and don’t forget that this Saturday is the annual Free Comic Book Day! Go ahead and support your local comics store by checking out what they have to offer and picking some other cool stuff up whilst you’re there. You never know what you might discover!

 

x

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Njálla Launch & More

Good afternoon happy campers!

So, the time has finally come. The majority of Kickstarter pledge rewards are shipped, and Njálla launches for sale online tomorrow with the official launch party at the NN Cáfe here in Northampton on Saturday. I had envisioned that I could have a nice little tag-line about how you can cool down this summer by reading about the snowy, winter-lands of the Scandinavian Arctic Circle, but, well.. It’s 12°C, grey and raining here. Maybe not.

Regardless of the weather, Njálla is my pride and joy, and I’m so excited for it to be out there in the great wide world! I’ve worked really hard to create something special, and if you’re local to Northampton or have nothing better to do this Saturday night (is it usually just me..?) then come on down to NN Contemporary’s Café in Northampton and celebrate with me.

I’ve been remarkably organised due to the hundreds of other things I have to do this week, and all the listings for Njálla and related products are ready to launch on Etsy tomorrow morning from 9am UK time! So, if you missed out on Njálla’s Kickstarter Campaign and you’ve been kicking yourself since, you’ll be able to purchase your copy online tomorrow. Whilst that’s all done and ready to go, I have plenty to keep me occupied in preparations for Saturday’s launch event too, with some surprises under my metaphorical hat.. So come along if you can!

As the UK Kickstarter rewards have started to arrive I’ve been so excited to have people share their parcels with me as they arrive! My Kickstarter pals have all received freebies for helping to make this all happen, including colouring books, stickers, balloons and some sassy wrapping. Thanks so much to everyone whose taken the time to snap a picture and share it; take a look at some of the photos I’ve been tagged in.. How cool is this?

Additionally, huge thanks go out to Andy Oliver at Broken Frontier who voted Njálla as his Comic of the Week this week! As many of you will be well aware, Broken Frontier has had exclusive coverage of my work since Hoax Psychosis Blues. From my first self-publishing venture The Red Road, comics zine Sneaky BusinessDown to your Skivvies zine and now Njálla’s Kickstarter campaign, exclusive preview and my work within the Broken Frontier Small Press Yearbook, Andy’s support has made the process of throwing my work out there a bit less scary and a lot more rewarding. Keep an eye out for his review of Njálla coming tomorrow.. I have no idea what will be said, so I’ll be waiting on the edge of my seat!

Keeping an eye out.. hah!

In other news, things became all the more hectic again at University last week in preparation for launching our graduate degree show, showcasing a selection of our work from this final year of studies. Although assessment is officially over and my grades are being mulled over by someone somewhere with a large cup of tea, we still put on a show of our work in an exhibition style at the University itself, for potential future working relationships and clients as well as friends and family to come and see why we’ve all been ignoring them for six months. It’s been a lot of work, and I’ve been juggling a handful of tasks along with a few others.. But the end is in sight! The private launch is from Friday 10th June at 6:30pm, and the show being open to view to the public from Saturday 11th to Sunday 19th June. If you’re interested in attending then you can find all the details here.

Finally, Dead Singer’s Society Vol. 2 is now on sale! After the gents at Good Comics launched it this past Sunday at DIY Cultures, it’s now available to buy online along with Vol. 1 and a whole host of other goodies. Check out their online store here! I’ve also updated my website to include my work from Dead Singer’s 2 on the front page, so you can check out all the details and who else is involved by clicking here.

On that note, it’s time I get back to work. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for Njálla’s online launch tomorrow and I shall be back next week with all the information and more. Until then, have a good week everybody!

x

 

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MancsterCon and Blogiversary!

Good morning faithful followers!

So, we’ve arrived into September in traditional British style; downpours of rain, a chill in the air and darker mornings. Which is different from the British August, which is downpours of rain but with warmer air and lighter mornings. This past week has seen another busy spell at Rozi HQ, with a Top Secret Project in it’s final stages (which I finally finished yesterday, yay!) and the wonderful, welcoming and warm-hearted MancsterCon event in Manchester.

MancsterCon is an entirely volunteer led event showcasing the independent talents in the North-West; everything from comics and zines to game development, and custom-made lighting to kawaii wigs. Some of you may remember that I attended last year as a visitor and loved the atmosphere so much that I asked to be considered as an honorary Northerner to be a part of this year’s event. Thankfully, they said yes! Even better, they asked me to be a part of an interview panel with Andrew Tunney, Tom Ward, Chris Welsh and Debbie Jenkinson called, ‘So you want to get into comics?’. Held at the University of Salford’s Media City campus, the atmosphere was just as warm and fuzzy as last year even with a much larger hosting space compared to last years – something which I don’t imagine is that easy to do, so kudos to Florence and the team for making it work so well! Plus, even with Manchester Pride and a Manchester City home game on, the turn-out was still pretty decent and it made for a fantastic day with many friendly faces.

The interview panel was actually really fun, too! A little daunting at first, but everyone is just so incredibly friendly it just felt like a bunch of strangers watching us have a chat. It’s always really interesting to hear how other people got into the comics field, and even though I saw sat alongside people who are far more successful and further along in their careers than I am, it was genuinely great to hear them speak about their experiences and ideas. Although, probably best not to mention Steampunk to Andrew Tunney any time soon.. Thank you to Florence for being an excellent interviewer, and for the audience for laughing at my joke. That would have been awkward otherwise. I’m not entirely sure if there’s a video of the interview being uploaded to the interwebs, but if there is I shall dutifully share that with you all.

So, in all, it was a great day. Thank you MancsterCon!

In other news, it’s a time for celebration, folks; Monday 31st August was my four-year blogiversary – let there be cake! For those of you who haven’t been with me for the entire long-haul, I started my small blogspot account back in 2011, doing updates of various illustration and arts related things I liked, saw and was doing. Just over a year ago I moved to this site, but the blogspot still exists with all my old drawings I thought were not-so-bad at the time. Now, however, I can sit back and laugh at how awful they are.. So what better way to celebrate than to get you all to laugh with me? Lets have a look at what the ol’ account has to offer..

31st August 2011 - oh dear.
31st August 2011 – oh dear.

Here we have an example I’d like to call.. ‘Why I didn’t get accepted into UWE’. The reason I started my blog was to improve my drawing, so I can’t really look back at my terrible beginnings and hate it, because it got me where I am today. But yes, after I finished art college at the tender age of eighteen I fell into full-time work and got kinda stuck doing important things for not-that-much money. After a while I decided to get back on that proverbial horse and create a portfolio and apply for University. So, with full time work and drawing all evening I slowly created a portfolio of my best work, all from scratch. The selection day involved everyone putting their work out in a room, going off for a tour of the campus, then returning for an interview. Get this; I was politely taken aside and told I would not be interviewed as my work didn’t meet their standards. Ouch! Then I cried on my mum’s shoulder in the middle of Bristol, because I’m level-headed and strong independent woman like that. On the bright side.. After that I umm’ed and aah’d about whether to give up on my dreams of being an illustrator or jack the job, move back home, draw a lot, and try again for university. Thankfully, I chose the latter, so that’s what I did. And this blog was a way for me to track my progress.

As far as I can remember, this was my first time drawing a comic – which actually isn’t terrible! I believe I finished this around September time, so already there is a big improvement from the portfolio work I was making back in the earlier part of the year. After this things steadily improved, with the likes of my Denver Union Station piece being created in January time of the following year.

Of course, how could I forget! Alan Rickman on a pillow. That was quite obviously painted with assistance from a light box, but damn if that isn’t one of the best presents I’ve ever given. Saying that, the gift was for my dearest BFF and flatmate, and I definitely haven’t seen this in a while.. Should I be offended?

Ah yes – now this was my first time making a comic-style set of images which I thought of, wrote and drew myself, back in June-July 2012. Not too shabby either! Whatever I was doing, I was doing something right as by the end of 2012, early 2013 I was asked by Ravi Thornton to illustrate some pages for HOAX: Psychosis Blues – and as they say, the rest is history. I’ve still made some completely awful things since, and I probably will continue to! Hopefully I don’t look back on the work I’ve created in the last year and regret everything, as that would be somewhat awkward.. But yes! That’s a small highlight real of my humble beginnings. If you’d like to see more things I made back when I was just a young ‘un, you can find all the archives on blogspot, here. I warn you, not all of it is pretty. And there’s a good few years on there, it may take a while..

It’s quite funny really, I sometimes think I started getting serious about drawing a lot later than others, and maybe it didn’t serve me well as I’m now a financially crippled twenty-five year old going into my third year of university surrounded by people four years my junior. But then, I have old-lady perspective. Old-lady perspective is very useful indeed! Because.. I did all my awful work BEFORE university, which means that if I went there in my youth I’d probably have messed it up and hated it anyway.

Anyway, enough romanticising, I’d best get back to some actual work otherwise in another four years I’ll be looking back and weeping over what I lost. Thank you to all of you, whether you’re an occasional reader; a dedicated reader (hi mum!); or a new reader, for making me stick with the blogs and have something to show for myself, especially in those early stages where motivation is so hard. Like the well trained puppy that I am, I’ll be back next week with some more sneak previews of the recently finished Top Secret Project, and more.. Peace out!

 

x

 

OH! And don’t forget Sneaky Business is now for sale over on Etsy – you know you want one!

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Sneaky Business

Good evening folks and folkettes,

So, it’s that time again! It’s been another busy week, with a gap finally opening up for me to continue working on my top secret project previously mentioned here. This, holiday planning and other serious but boring grown-up things are making time disappear at the moment, and the race is on to get a decent amount of work done before I jet off on my adventures around Scandinavia, to eat my bodyweight romkugler and wienerbrøder!

This particular project, an eight-page comic for print, I’d started work on back in late May to early June time (I think..!). It was actually really useful for me to pause the project so early in it’s development to create ‘quick’ pieces like Rejsen, the Nepal Home piece and the rest, as it gave me the opportunity to really push this story to the best it can be. I’ve always been honest in the fact that The Red Road was created in eight weeks (from conception of the idea to completion), and although I don’t think it suffered particularly I’m enjoying the extra time to really push this story into a complex and more detailed world for viewing. This time I’m also creating the story completely wordless, which feels like a natural yet challenging step for me. With the third year of University on the horizon I’m really glad I have the chance to hone my storytelling skills once more before I start to sculpt the ideas in my noggin for my Final Major Project.

 

Although I don’t normally like to give too much away, I’m concious that recently I’ve been one big human-shaped bag of secrets – and it’s no fun if I can’t share anything! Plus it also makes pretty boring reading for you all, I imagine.. So above are some sketchbook images of my development from my mock-up book (which in itself has sketches of the entire story set out how it will appear). In a rare, proud moment I thrust my sketchy mock-up book in my partner’s face hoping for some instant flattery, but apparently my vision isn’t too clear OR impressive when accompanies with scrawled notes and finger smudges (cuh, right?), so I thought it best to work on it all some more. My deadline for this project is only six weeks away – panic! And two of those weeks I’m on holiday — double panic! But, alas, I’m trundling away and I’m more than confident that I’ll be ready to move onto the final pages by next week. Huzzah! Keep an eye out for more progress on this next week..

 

In other news, as promised I am delighting you all with a grand reveal… A new publication!

SNEAKY BUSINESS is a comic filled zine of my own creation, featuring some specially picked comics and arts friends; Pete Hindle, Samuel C Williams, Peter Norman, Alex Hahn, and of course, yours truly. The above sneeze is brought to you by my comic, with each of us creating a two-page spread aside from Peter, the ex-Baird of Northampton who decided to be special and only create one page. More news on Sneaky Business will be revealed next week, as I’m still waiting on one or two things to fall into place before I announce any more.. But yes! Expect this to be out soooooon…. Ooh errr.

Finally, last week saw my ‘Inside Look’ article published on Broken Frontier! Small Press Inside Look – Rozi Hathaway Discusses Her Work on ‘The Red Road’, ‘HOAX Psychosis Blues’ and More is something I wrote up a week or so prior, especially for Andy Oliver’s Small Pressganged section on Broken Frontier. You can read some insider gossip on my work to date, and probably hear some things I’d never said out loud before. If you’re interested, head on over and have a look! Unless of course, by the time you’ve read this you’re sick of hearing  me waffle on. I don’t blame you, living with my inner monologue is a tiring experience..

So, that’s it for now! The rest of this week will be spent in my cave drawing up from roughs for this eight-page comic, and trying to stay awake on willpower and coffee alone. Have a good week everyone, and as every, see you next week! Over and out.

 

x

 

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The Red Road

Good evening ladies and gents,

Well, what a week it’s been! Following my last post, everything went incredibly smoothly with releasing The Red Road on Thursday 15th January. Any concerns or small worries I had floated away on a magical, comic-filled cloud when I got to the printers and laid eyes on my big box of books. Huge thanks to the folks at Hampton Print in Northampton who were absolutely fantastic and helped me through the whole process. As much as you think you know how to set up a comic, something always comes up – thankfully the printing experts at Hampton have made my comic look wonderful, and I jumped for joy when I saw how the recycled off-white paper added new depths to the story geeked out over the paper quality.

Check out that recycled paper.. Ooft. Warms the soul!

I’m very lucky in that the majority of people who requested a pre-order paid up swiftly, so off to the Post Office I floated – armed with doodled envelops – and now nummerous copies of The Red Road are in their new homes, each numbered and packaged with love. Also, I’m incredibly lucky to have had a very swift review from Andy Oliver over at Broken Frontier! You can read the whole article here. It is a very strange feeling reading a review about yourself, it was an equally exhilarating-yet-other-worldly experience when Broken Frontier reviewed HOAX Psychosis Blues, and I feel incredibly honoured to have received two such glowing reviews from Andy, and his tireless promotion of The Red Road since posting the article has been outstanding. I keep having to pinch myself to check if it’s real!

Stunningly rendered, and painfully beautiful in its own way, The Red Road is an outstanding debut print offering. Keep your eyes on Rozi Hathaway’s work this year because she’s one of half a dozen or so names I have on my list of self-publishing talents I believe will make the next step up in 2015.

Andy Oliver, for Broken Frontier

 

Thanks Andy! I’d also like to take a moment just to thank everybody who has purchased a copy or even paid attention to the book. It’s very close to my heart for several reasons, and putting it out there to the world has been one of the most scariest points of my career so far. But incredibly rewarding -what a start to the year! Clearly I’d better up my game for the coming months.. *gulp* I’d also like to mention that if it hadn’t been for Ravi Thornton pushing me to do my best work during HOAX Psychosis Blues, I wouldn’t have the knowledge and know-how to even attempt a project like The Red Road – so thank you, as always, for the opportunity, Ravi!

For now I shall patiently await any news from some of the independent-friendly shops that I’ve sent copies to, and for anyone who would like to review The Red Road more formally than, “Yeah it’s cool m8.” – I have set up a new reviews section on my About page. It’ll be a test-run to see whether it’s worthwhile me having reviews, but as my Etsy page is still fresh off the block and review-less.

Remember, you can still purchase your very own copy of The Red Road from my Etsy store for the bargain price of £6!

Anyway, that’s it for now! I have a whole bunch of new University assignments I’m still working out how to make into comics (Shhh… It may just work..!) so it’s back to the grind! I shall be back with an update next week – but for now, over and out! x

 

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Lost and Found

Well, what a week it’s been. About a month ago, when I was looking at the schedule of events at the Comics Art Festival in Kendal later this year, I discovered they were running a competition alongside Titan Comics for a 4-6 page comic with the theme of Lost in Space. Now, the deadline was yesterday and 4-weeks-ago-me thought the challenge to write the script and draw, colour and letter the comic in a month would be a marvellous idea! And, well, I finished it on time so clearly 4-weeks-ago-me had faith in current-me, though it was definitely a challenge and a half.
This is the first time I’ve properly written a script for a comic and I felt immensly out of my comfort zone. I made a story for a children’s picture book at University last year, but I didn’t really need to think about the scripting as much as it was a simple story for a very young audience. In terms of writing, we all know I like the go on, and on, and on in my blog, so what’s the difference? I tell you what, I have a new found respect for those who write and draw their own work successfully. Personally, as someone who likes pretty pictures, it was tricky to have to concentrate on words as well as images. But, it’s what I eventually want to do, so all the practise I can get will be beneficial in the future. My difficulty initially was that 6 pages is such a small amount. My section in HOAX: Psychosis Blues was 6 pages, and it took me 6 months, and I didn’t even have to write anything! For a a visual narrative of this length, I knew that unless I drew everything at a tiny size my comic wasn’t going to tell much of a story. With this in mind, and after much confusion, I researched previous short stories in graphic-form and found that more often than not they were a snippet from a story; A brief look into someone elses life, no backstory, no explanations. The story had to be PG-rated, so I decided to utilise this to make a comic that hopefully both kids and adults could enjoy, and after much deliberation I came up with the mutant platybunny idea and started sketching away. The days when I love my chosen path are the days I get to look at cute bunnies on the internet and draw them. Best. Job. Ever. Without any more delay, I present.. Lost and Found! Below is a couple of the pages, and the link to the PDF:

 

Page 1
Page 1

 

Page 4
Page 4

Link to the PDF comic, woo! Read it all here!

I’m not entirely sure if I’m content with the outcome. In the end I had to rush, but that was always going to be the case unfortunately as I came across the competition so late. Anywho, it’s complete and submitted, I doubt it’s a winning entry but it was a pretty good challenge! Plus, now I know how to work for the next competition to make sure I utilise my time in the best possible way. I mainly just want to make people smile with this one, and I hope I’ve been successful. For now that’s all folks! I have the next project to look forward to, and I’ll be back with another update next week. Over and out! x

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Busy, busy, busy

Well, what a busy week its been! Firstly, I’ve taken on extra hours at the paid-job to help me out before I have to drop my hours in September, so that’s been keeping me out of trouble. Then, came Art in Action last Thursday, plus after a full day in London on Saturday the week has begun yet again, and I can feel this busy schedule in my poor aching legs. So, in chronological order, here we go!

I’ve been to Art in Action once before in 2011, which I covered somewhat in my blog here, and I enjoyed it just as much this year as I did previously. It was a great day; The weather was beautiful, if not a little toastie in the depths of the various tents. For those who don’t know, Art in Action is a big arts and crafts festival which allows artists to showcase their work and demonstrate their processes. There is also a giant arts market for loads of supplies, and a makers market in which you can buy various goodies. There are several areas covered including painting, sculpture, jewellery, glassblowing, international artists and illustration/calligraphy, even beekeeping. Illustration always feels a little lacking, though with the amount to cover in the whole event its not really a surprise! My highlights from this year were illustrators Jackie Morris and Shelly Perkins, and printmaking extraordinaires Ian Phillips and Laura Boswell. I’m fairly useless at printing, I don’t seem to be able to practise the same kind of patience in printing that I do on a physical drawing, though I absolutely love the effects printing produces. Watching Ian Phillips making reduction lino prints, and Laura Boswell making traditional Japanese woodblock watercolour prints was pretty gosh-darn super, and I’m looking forward to trying out some more printing if I get the opportunity in the second year of university.

Left: Jackie Morris, Right: Shelly Perkins
Left: Jackie Morris, Right: Shelly Perkins
Left: Ian Phillips, Right: Laura Boswell
Left: Ian Phillips, Right: Laura Boswell

After some much needed family time and cider on Friday came an action-packed day in London with my handsome northerner on Saturday. A couple of months ago Ravi got in touch and mentioned an upcoming HOAX: Psychosis Blues signing being organised at Gosh! Comics in Soho! Luckily for me I managed to squeeze in a trip to the British Library for the Comics Unmasked exhibition (until 19th August), and I’m so glad I did as the range of work and topics was absolutely incredible. Bumping my forehead on glass-cases to try and get closer to the original artwork of comics such as Watchmen and Tank Girl was definitely worth it. Topics covered included politics, sex, heroes, and dreams; It’s not often I enjoy an exhibition as much as this one, I definitely recommend it to anyone who is able to get to London before it closes, whether you’re a comics fan or not. It really was fascinating! After refuelling at Subway, I met up with the other HOAX’ers Ravi Thornton (author),Karrie FransmanRian HughesJulian HanshawIan JonesHannah Berry and Mark Stafford (illustrators) at Gosh! Comics for a happy afternoon of signing. I met Mark, Karrie and Rian for the first time, as they weren’t present at the launch last month, and they are just as lovely as everyone I’ve met so far. The whole afternoon was a whirlwind of squiggles and doodles, requests and new faces though there were some familiar faces as Andy Oliver from Broken Frontier came along to say hi too! I also managed to pick up Dan Berry‘s book Suitcase on half price which I was chuffed about. After the signings we made our way to a nice pub to finish of the day nicely. Here are some pictures from the day:

From L-R: Karrie Fransman, Rian Hughes, Ravi Thornton, Julian Hanshaw, myself, Ian Jones, Hannah Berry and Mark Stafford.
From L-R: Karrie Fransman, Rian Hughes, Ravi Thornton, Julian Hanshaw, myself, Ian Jones, Hannah Berry and Mark Stafford.
What a happy bunch!
What a happy bunch!

Anyway, that’s it for now. I have a competition entry for a 6-page comic that I’m working on at the moment so I shall endeavour to have something nice to show you all soon. x

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Hayfever, I’m sick of your shit. Plus, Gosh! Comics HOAX signing!

Urgh,

Hay-fever season.

Those two dreaded words that make myself and countless others flinch, wince and generally run indoors and hide. Every night I get to slowly cook in my bedroom whilst the windows are sealed shut to try and avoid the 4am wake-up involving trying to attack my itchy throat and eyes with a toothbrush. And then, it doesn’t really matter anyway! Pollen still manages to find a way in. HOW DOES IT DO THAT? God forbid I have anything important to do, as soon as I enter the great outdoors my complexion gives off that lovely pale-faced red-nosed glow. I do appreciate that trees, grass and flowers need to get their frisky business on, but I’d rather they didn’t get their frisky business on up my nose.

And then I read this; Telegraph – “Hay-fever Experts Forecast Worse Case Scenario For Suffers

So, I’ve decided to resort to any means necessary to protect myself from the invisible air pirates otherwise known as pollen, with a creation illustrated below;

Hay-fever season is upon us..
Hay-fever season is upon us..

Anyway, that’s my rant over for now. Onto other news!

The lovely folks over at Gosh! Comics London have organised a nice HOAX: Psychosis Blues signing! You can read all about it on Gosh! Comics website here. I’m sure all you busy folks are more than happy to clear your diaries to pop down to London on the 19th July, and come say hi between 2-3pm! Not only do I get to see the ever so lovely Ravi Thornton, Hannah Berry, Julian Hanshaw and Ian Jones again, I’m pretty damn excited to meet Karrie Fransman (who has recently been a part of the British Red Cross’s Refugee Week – read her free comic online about the harrowing true story of a young Kurdish-Iranian refugee Ebrahim), Mark Stafford (whose incredible pages in HOAX have left me lingereing in a state of awe ever since) and Rian Hughes (Soho Divas especially, beautiful work). Which ALSO means I have approximately 3 weeks to figure out what on earth I’m going to draw in HOAX if someone requests doodles from us all again.. Invisible air pirate pollen, maybe?

Gosh! Comics Signing - Saturday 19th July 2-3pm
Gosh! Comics Signing – Saturday 19th July 2-3pm

If you can’t travel down to London, or you just ‘damn well don’t want to be told what to do’ by me, you can still buy HOAX: Psychosis Blues HEEEREEEE or from any of the lovely independent retailers selling it, like Travelling Man or Page45.

Anywho, I have more to report on in the next week or so. For a University summer project our class have been told that we need to start a blog over on Tumblr, so I shall be posting my updates in BOTH places now, and potentially waffling on a lot more over there. So, if you are indeed a Tumblrlrlrlr, you can now ‘follow’ me. Not in a stalking way, mind. I’m really not interesting enough for that.

Right, I’m off to stick my face in a bucket of ice water and try to ease my facial suffering. For now.. Bye! x

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Back to Reality

So, the fun of the HOAX Psychosis Blues launch is well and truly over, as I slump begrudgingly back into reality. Not that it’s all bad, mind you, just not quite as glamorous (though struggling with bags of Aldi shopping could be glamorous if I tried really, really hard…).

It was a fantastic day in Manchester on Saturday, starting off at Travelling Man selling books pre-launch and doing some signing. Out of the ten total illustrators there were four of us on the day, Julian HanshawHannah BerryIan Jones and myself, plus writer/creator/all-round-supertalent Ravi Thornton. I admit, I felt like maybe I was in some sort of surreal dream sat next to such talented and lovely people, but thankfully nerves only got the better of me a couple of times (and hopefully no one noticed!!). The feedback from people who’d already seen the stage show was fantastic, making it all the more exciting for the final run that night. After an interlude of great food with my better half, we were back at the Royal Exchange Theatre for the final show of HOAX My Lonely Heart; the performance was incredibly moving, with Tachia Newell and Olivia Sweeney portraying Rob and Helen. The live music soundtrack from Minute Taker from the side of the stage was a beautiful addition, and the looming presence of Rob’s illness (played by Stephen Myott-Meadows) gave a really sinister feel. The feeling of watching someone mentally unravel in front of my eyes is something I won’t be forgetting for a while.Read the 4* review here! Following the stage show we all piled into Sandinista Bar’s lower floor for the after-party and further signings. And, after a great speech from Andy Oliver of Broken Frontier, and a heartfelt, moving speech from Ravi we all settled in for a night of good company.

So there we are! HOAX Psychosis Blues is published and available for purchase direct from Ziggy’s Wish. It’s on a limited run of 1000 First Edition copies all signed and numbered by the author, and sales from book go towards supporting mental health charities

A small selection of team HOAX! L-R: Myself, Ravi Thornton, Ian Jones, Hannah Berry and Julian Hanshaw
Andy Oliver doing his thing!
Ravi’s moving speech of thanks to everyone involved.
HOAX: Psychosis Blues

So what have I learnt? HOAX as a whole has taught me many things, one of which being caffeine abuse, but in relation to Saturday I have learnt a very important lesson: People will ask in future “Can you draw something too!” in a book when signing, and I really, really need to think of something to fallback on. Needless to say there are a couple of awfully drawn butterflies in people’s books due to my lack of preperation and inability to focus under direct pressure. Oops! There is still lots to learn.
For now, that’s it! x

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