Human Garbage

ELCAF, Editing & Early Starts

Good afternoon all,

So, it’s a bit toasty outside, isn’t it? Even rain-blessed Manchester is rather balmy in the sunshine, and I haven’t had to carry my umbrella around with me for a week. A WHOLE WEEK! That’s almost unheard of around these parts.. But alas, despite the weather there has been a lot going on – so put your feet up with a glass of something refreshing and read on..

Last weekend was the sixth annual ELCAF, the East London Comics & Arts Festival, in the sizzling southern heat. Said heat was particularly enjoyable on the Underground, I assure you.. Now, I applied for ELCAF back when tables were announced but sadly I didn’t make the cut. However it left me with an opportunity to head down to the capital for the day and be on the other side of a table for once; dreamily drift around, catching up with old creator pals and making new ones.

I teamed up with one half of the Good Comics micro-publishing duo Samuel C. Williams to spend the day amongst the comic masses, as well as celebrating the latest Good Comics release – Josh Hicks’ Human Garbage (which is excellent, by the way). ELCAF is a festival where I’m happy I didn’t get in. Not because I wouldn’t love to be a part of it – I really would – but how they curated it this year and true breadth of work on offer was new, exciting and visually overwhelming in the best possible way. It was amazing to walk around and talk to people without having to rush back to a table, too! I had a chance to have a brief catch up with the Avery Hill gents, there with Tillie Walden and Ellice Weaver – whose beautiful new book Something City launched on the day. I also finally put faces to the names of the Dirty Rotten Comics crew Gary and Kirk, met and discussed the business of comics with Sam and Simon Moreton of Smoo/Minor Leagues fame, and had a chance to speak to John Riordan and John Cei Douglas (..and his dog).

John Cei Douglas’ dog, an excellent sales tactic and wonderfully friendly pup.

Also amongst the busy aisles of creators and browsers, we bumped into Pete Redrup of The Quietus, who has kindly just reviewed Cosmos & Other Stories on his most recent column Behold! A Comics Round Up For June. Here’s a snippet:

This book shows how Hathaway is developing as an artist. There’s a clear consistency despite differences in panels, lettering styles and colour. One particularly effective technique is the way she follows a densely panelled double page spread with a single two page image overleaf. This somehow opens up the stories, creating a hopeful, positive tone regardless of what has been established before. Cosmos & Other Stories is a beautiful book by a considerable talent.

Pete Redrup, The Quietus

Don’t forget you can pick up Cosmos & Other Stories online from the Good Shop or my Etsy store.

I was also generally pretty well behaved with my spending at ELCAF, with my small but beautiful haul consisting of (L-R) Bianca Bagnarelli‘s comic Daughters, published by Short BoxIcinori‘s beautifully printed Dessus Dessous and Peony Gent‘s A6 short comic Growth – plus a bonus postcard from everyone’s favourite friendly face, Mike Medaglia.

I had the chance to read Daughters and Growth on my coach journey back home on Saturday evening, and I can confirm that they are both equally wonderful books; Growth is a short, poetic narrative with a reassuring tone of looking after your mental health, told in an abstract form through caring for plants – I can definitely recommend this if you’re into poetic comics with that nice warm after-feeling. And.. who isn’t? You can pick up Growth from Peony’s Etsy store here. Daughters is a more traditional start-to-end story, picking up the proceedings in the middle of a family crisis in a dystopian society. Two stories run parallel, one through narration and one through the characters discussions and body language. It’s a thought-provoking short, beautifully told with clean lines and crisp colours. You can pick up a copy on Short Box’s website here.

Phew, lengthy round-up! But there’s more. Maybe time for a quick interlude to go and top up your drink?

In other news, I was kindly asked to produce a print for Emily B. Owen‘s Kickstarter campaign for Brain Schoodles, a comic about anxiety and depression told through doodles. The campaign recently ended on Kickstarter with Emily smashing her target of £250, and the comic will be launching on Saturday 8th July at Small Press Day at the Cardiff Comic Expo! Here’s some working snaps:

My print was commissioned as an addition to the Printorama pledge. So all backers getting that tier reward will receive their copy of the print with their zine. If you missed out, fear not! I will have some of these prints on sale in the coming months with proceeds going towards a Manchester-based mental health charity of my choosing. Big, big thanks to Emily for asking me to do a piece for her campaign. I’m humbled and very happy to be a part of it! See the final piece below:

Brain Shoodles Print. On sale soon!

Finally, this Saturday the Birmingham Comic Art Festival graces Birmingham City University, with yours truly behind a table selling the likes of Njálla, Ø and Cosmos & Other Stories, as well as an array of other goodies. There isn’t a huge amount of information to find online, but you can see the key details of the event via the Facebook page. If you’re in or around the West Midlands please do come and say hello! It’ll be another early start for me (Up at 4:30am for ELCAF, and up at 5am on Saturday for BCAF) so I’ll appreciate any company I can get – tickets are free, with registration required here.

And that wraps it up for now! Keep cool everyone, and I shall be back with more (but probably not quite as much) news next time. Peace out!

 

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Leamington & The Launch!

Good afternoon folks!

So, it’s done! Cosmos & Other Stories has been released out into the world in spectacular style at Leamington Comic Con this past weekend, in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire. And yes, I think I need a long lie-down. Or a holiday. Or both?

Several of the post-con reviews earmarked Leam Comic Con as a friendly event with a great atmosphere, (Broken FrontierPipedream Comics and Awesome Comics Podcast to name a few..) which is a wholly accurate way to describe the day! Located in the Royal Spa Centre adjacent to the town centre, the coffee was strong and the weather was great. I had an excellent time as always tabling next to my Cosmos publishers Samuel C. Williams and Dr Paddy Johnston of Good Comics (yes we had a cheese board for snacking purposes, and yes it was as wonderful as it sounds), and the room was full to the brim of comics fans young and old! Thanks so much to Dan and Lisa for being excellent hosts!

Cosmos & Other Stories had a great reception on the day, and now has collected up a nice little collection of reviews and coverage, from Pipedream Comics’ Indie Comics Round-Up: Leamington Comic Con 2017 Special:

..Cosmos is a wonderful collection of work that we genuinely wish had more in it because what is there is really rather wonderful.

.. and, as mentioned on my blog last week, Tony Esmond’s wonderful review which has since gone up on Down the Tubes:

Good art rents a room in your consciousness. Really good art plants roots in your subconscious. Cosmos & Other Stories is a piece of art does this – and also enables you to step out of your rush, rush, dopamine-fueled day and rest happy in a second of time.

Plus, Andy Oliver at Broken Frontier weighed in with an analytic look at Cosmos – with the added bonus of having insight on my work from the very beginning:

A collection of a handful of comics shorts, it’s Hathaway at her economical but profound best; a book that displays that remarkable ability she has to bring us so fully into the lives of her characters with a recognisable emotional resonance.

I also talked about it a bit at Leamington with Tony, now featured on the Awesome Comics Podcast, Episode 91 – Comics and Convention Talk (around 50 minutes in, just after Sam and Paddy)!

You’ll be glad to know that Cosmos & Other Stories is available to purchase from the Good Comics online store, and also from Gosh! Comics and Orbital Comics in London. It’ll also be available from my Etsy store in the next month, so keep an eye out for that! In their attempts of slowly taking over the world, Good Comics announced it’s next 2017 launch yesterday with Josh Hicks‘ new collection of short stories, Human Garbage, released on 17th June at ELCAF. Between this and their soon-to-be-confirmed publishing ventures of the year it’s looking to be an excellent 2017 for the guys, and I couldn’t be happier to be a part of it.

What’s next? Well.. My blog will be on another short break for two weeks now as I move house and finish up a few submissions, for starters. I’ve been working on comics/illustrations for three different anthologies, developing on-and-off whilst I was completing Cosmos – so those are a priority to get finished up and send off in the next few weeks. Aside from that, my general answer for has been to start developing a longer-form story. But, as ever, there are a whole bundle of smaller projects I have on the back-burner and would love to get stuck into.. And of course, I plan on helping Good Comics take over the world. On that note, I’ll see you all in a fortnight! Until next time..

 

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