Febru-wary as to why it’s still so cold?

This broadcast is brought to you by the team of thank-heck-it’s-stopped-raining and why-can’t-I-feel-my-shins.

Good afternoon folks!

We’re now mid-way through the shortest month of the year, and the days are getting that little bit longer. Longer days means less time on the cusp of a nap (11-4pm are currently my struggle-hours), which means productivity should be going through the roof come May. Woo-hoo!

Regardless of my drooping lids, it’s been a pretty busy start to the year so far. At Good Comics HQ (not to be confused with GCHQ) we’ve been launching the site, the blog and the podcast, and at Rozi HQ I’ve been splitting my time between sewing projects, zine ideas and an illustration for a magazine submission. Keen to hear more? Keep on reading!

In early January I started working on a new illustration, after seeing a call for submissions for Severine magazine – Severine is a UK-based literary and art journal which both gets printed and is available online. 

The theme was “between”, and I really wanted to work on something fairly mysterious and ethereal that felt like it had a story attached to it. As primarily a comics creator I sometimes struggle to make non-narrative illustrations as I feel like I lack an emotional connection with the character, and therefore feel distant to it all.

For Between, I tried to work on it slowly over a longer period of time and had it hanging up so I could keep looking at it and keep coming back to how she came to be here with her dog. I’m still on the fence as to whether this helped or not! Although, Sam’s darling daughter quipped that it looked like a woman being eaten by an alligator. Does anyone else see this? If so, it totally changes the concept… Between the jaws?

Thanks to a) bruising the bone in my hand falling off my skateboard, and then b) spending a week mostly horizontal clearing up a nasty chest infection with antibiotics, it did take me the entire month to make this piece, scraping in at the last minute to submit. Whether it’s successful or not, we’ll see – fingers crossed everyone! If you’re interested in the entire process of how I created this, down to colour testing and the initial sketches, check out my Patreon page!

In other news, February saw the launch of the brand new Good Comics website! That’s right folks; a brand new site, shop and pitching guidelines are up. What’s more, we’ve announced our next release: Gareth A. Hopkins Petrichor which will be out on the 18th February. Read all about it here on the Good Comics blog, pre-order it right here, and check out the brand new Good Comics podcast where Sam and I talk to Gareth about his new book, his process, and karaoke choices.

It’s been really fun pushing this out to the world, and we didn’t just stop with the website and podcast. We’ve also started a new feature on the blog called Good Fridays, where we’ll be posting up short comics from creators. First up was the excellent Nadiyah Rizkis with her short comic That Time of Year. It’s fantastic – go check it out immediately!

So that wraps up a very busy month and a half. Us three wise folks of Good Comics are also deep into our baseball movie podcast Big Boys Don’t Bunt, so if you’re interested in hearing Paddy, Sam and me talking about baseball movies (it’s more interesting than it sounds. Or, at least I hope it is!) then you can check that out here.

What’s next? I think mid-Feb to March is a time to look at zines and zine art. Maybe make some mini-comics? Who knows! To see what happens as it happens you can subscribe to my Patreon and get all my late-evening creating straight to your inbox. Otherwise, I’ll see you next time!

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Collective Arts Submission

Submission for Collective Arts Brewing

As a self-initiated project, I created three labels for submission to the Collective Arts Brewing call for entries. Themed around Japan, I looked at using my style of creating artwork to make something non-narrative for a change, and this is what I came up with; red maple, bamboo, and the iconic Mt. Fuji.

Unfortunately, due to timing and conventions I didn’t get this submitted in time for Series 9, so it’s just been a useful exercise for now!

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One Month Countdown

Good afternoon all,

Comic creators, this is your four-and-a-half week warning for Thought Bubble, I repeat, this is your four-and-a-half week warning:

Official Thought Bubble Festival banner, with artwork by Jen Bartel.

That’s right; one of, if not THE biggest UK independent comic festivals is just around the corner, as the words “It’s nearly Thought Bubble” strike fear into anyone who’s working on a project to release at Leeds’ epic weekend comics celebration. As I mentioned last time, I’ve been getting back to the grind to complete my new zine – the plus-side of not using any paint this time around (yes, yes it’s been a painful but important thing to temporarily let go of gouache and my brushes) is that the final artwork is a lot quicker to create. So, with a few finishing touches it should be going off to print before the week is out!

Here’s some previews..

Next week pre-orders for the zine will open and the full announcement will be made, so keep your peepers peeled!

In other news, the latest Pipedream Comics Pull List went up this month, titled Discover Small Press – including an interview from yours truly! Here’s what they said about it on the site:

We were inspired to celebrate Small Press after a visit to the East London Comic Arts Festival in June and so we’ve picked five of our favourite creators and talked to them about their inspirations and the stories behind their books. These include Jonathan Cape award-winner Matthew Dooley, Avery Hill’s new superstar Ellice Weaver, Human Garbage creator Josh Hicks, NPC-Tea’s Sarah Millman and Cosmos’ Rozi Hathaway. All five of these creators encapsulate what is great about the world of small press and we hope that by discovering their work you can embrace the wonders of the community, too. We also have an amazing cover from Sub Diablo creator Darrell Thorpe.

Discover Small Press with the new issue of indie comics fanzine The Pull List – ON SALE NOW!

The Pull List by Pipedream Comics – available now.

Click above to get your digital copy for £0.99!

And finally, as well as working on the zine I’ve also been working on something more illustration-based for a submission.. Well, three things to be precise. Have a peek:

I’m planning to finish these up this weekend, so all will be revealed soon!

And, that’s about it for now. Have a good bank holiday weekend all – I shall be partying with my paints! Laters.

 

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Toucan Play at That Game

Good afternoon happy campers!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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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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