Northampton England

The Road to Thought Bubble

Good morning happy campers!

So, another week has vanished and The Red Road second edition has been released out into the big wide world! It’s been really exciting to revisit the book again and make it even better than last time, it feels like just yesterday that I was ingesting large amounts of caffeine to get the pages inked up in time. With copies now at both Orbital Comics and Gosh London, and the second edition’s first public appearance this weekend at Thought Bubble Festival in Leeds, it’s time to persuade everyone that they really need this comic in their lives. The Red Road second edition is available online through my Etsy store, so off you go!

The Red Road – second edition in Gosh Comics! Alongside Sneaky Business, DRC#5 and A Bit of Undigested Potato..

As you may remember from the last week I’ve been having a crack at clay modelling, making Bear and Coyote for the re-release of The Red Road. Naturally, I got the comparative sizing completely wrong, and after my little creatures had dried they decided to crack. Hmph. HOWEVER, after some useful internet-ing I came across the technique of filling the cracks with fine surface filler before painting them, so off to the local cheap DIY store I pranced. After getting a bit fine surface filler happy, several painting errors and almost throwing a porcelain paint pen out the window, my lumpy, wonky spirit animals are complete!

Even in their lumpy, wonky forms I spent so long on the little darlings that I’ve become somewhat attached to them (not literally, thankfully), so I’ve decided to carry on and bring them to Thought Bubble Festival with me anyway. Because, well, for all the errors of my clay-ways, at least they actually stand on all fours. Small victories must be celebrated! So, if you’re in Leeds on Saturday for Thought Bubble and fancy seeing what it looks like when clay goes wrong, come swing by my table in New Dock Hall (73b)

Speaking of which, only three days to go until the Thought Bubble excitement commences! This weekend will see Leeds full of comic artists and creators, shifting around and giggling in boozy corners. For the entirety of Saturday and Sunday I will be selling The Red Road, Sneaky Business and a selection of prints, greetings cards and postcards amongst the countries finest, and even creators from overseas! Thought Bubble states that it’s the “largest event of its kind – an annual celebration of sequential art in all its forms, including everything from superhero comics to independent and small-press artists and writers”. With three exhibition spaces and further event rooms, the whole bonanza is taking place at Leeds Docks, in New Dock Hall, Royal Armouries Hall, and the Thought Bubble Marquee between the two. As you can see from this lovely map below, I’m down on the other half of table 73 next to Hello, how are you? and her adorable work, with fellow Art Aid Nepal Home artist Richy K. Chandler next to us on table 72. There is so much to see at Thought Bubble this year, and it’s all started already! I’m really excited to be there for the first time so please swing by and say hello if you’re in the area. Also, launching at Thought Bubble is my pal Samuel C Williams‘ new zine Dead Singers Society, with work from a whole host of people including Tim Bird, Alan Henderson and myself. For a complete breakdown of the new releases at Thought Bubble, there’s an excellent guide here from Broken Frontier, so be sure to check that out.

Finally, in amongst the craziness of preparing for the biggest comics event of my career to date (no pressure, of course..) I’ve also been working on all that university malarky. In amongst the essays and the presentations, the tutorials and the seminars and lots of emails I’ve been working on drawing up some designs for a Northampton based band. So far I’ve just been working on some roughs, but hopefully with some feedback I’ll be working towards one final design to be screen-printed onto a batch of t-shirts for the band to sell. How exciting! So far here’s just a peek of what I’ve been coming up with..

So, that’s it for now! As always I have a large pile of work beside me whispering at me and taunting me (not literally… yet) so hi ho and off to work I go. If you’re in Leeds for Thought Bubble this weekend then I’ll see you there! Until next week.

x

Share:

Må Kraften Være Med Dig

Good evening faithful readers!

Well, what a week it’s been. With the new job and extra overtime last week, it feels like I have absolutely nothing to show for myself tonight. Which, is pretty right. Laters!

…..

Nah, I’m only kidding. It was a tough week, but I have been busy thinking and planning away for a few upcoming projects. Unfortunately for now, they have to remain top secret.. But all will be revealed soon!

One thing I can talk about (which I didn’t manage to cover last week), is that mid-month I decided to take it upon myself to force my drawings into people’s homes. How, you ask? Well! My other half’s brother and his wife have brought a new mini Star Wars fan into the world, yay!

Some of my more retro followers may remember a previous birth-announcement style original I made for a friend back in 2012. Well, almost three years later (wow, times flies…) I decided to give it a go Star Wars style;

Pencils into ink…
…and turning ink into paint!

 

Having my other half as a huge Star Wars fan, and his family too, I didn’t have to do too much research into this piece – which is always nice! Plus, it was a lot of fun for me to draw, as who doesn’t love Star Wars, right? The theory behind it is that Tatooine makes sense as the background setting, as that’s where Luke Skywalker grew up. Without going into too much background detail I still needed it to be obvious, so the two suns made that nice and easy. Out of all the characters to interact with I didn’t want to do anything cheesey like a Death Star toy, or heaven forbid Jar Jar Binks, so I went with R2-D2. I may be a little bit biased, as y’know, R2-D2 is the best character, but my reasoning is that all of the droids are age-less so the piece doesn’t conflict with anything (the in-depth workings of huge fans is not something to be messed with). So, yes! I’m really happy with the piece, and as it was a surprise it was really nice to see how happy it made the new parents to young Luke! I believe Luke’s older sister Isabel is a huge Frozen fan, so I may see Olaf and carrot noses in my future..

Anywho, a short and brief update is it for now, I’m afraid! I’m hoping I can start to reveal my secret plans soon, if not I’ll find something to start talking about.. I promise! Oh, and Må kraften være med dig (May the force be with you)!

 

Share:

Fresh Off The Piste

Good evening ladies and gents,

I have returned! And more importantly, I have returned with all my limbs intact! My week of snowboarding with my handsome northerner and a bunch of fun Brummies came abruptly to an end on Saturday evening, and although I’m happy to be back to work at Rozi HQ with some pretty interesting goggle tan-lines, I’m also pretty sad to have had to come back to reality. But on the bright side, I have lots of exciting news!

First up, I managed to squeeze in one more project before I flew off with my trusty snowboard; following the Carrie’s War book cover design award entry I submitted, I decided to give another book cover a go to see what I could do with the knowledge I’ve gained. Now, I did only have about a day to go for it with the piece, but I’d been reading the story of Some Kind of Fairy Tale by the late Graham Joyce and I’d started to get an idea in my head of what I wanted to portray. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to get much further than half way through the book, so I focused on a location mentioned several times near the beginning of the book. Woods with bluebells and a yellow covered rock with glowing bugs is a image, so here’s what I came up with;

Some Kind of Fairy Tale by Graham Joyce - Orion  student book cover competition entry.
Some Kind of Fairy Tale by Graham Joyce – Orion student book cover competition entry.

 

The entry requirements didn’t ask for anything more than the front cover – no text or anything, so I just went forth and submitted this. It was a quick ‘un, so it was good practise to work on something short notice. We shall see what happens with the winning entry, I believe it’s announced at the end of the month, so here’s hoping!

In some fantastic news for this summer,  Andy Oliver from Broken Frontier contacted the six of us ‘Small Press Creators to Watch in 2015’ to let us know that he’s been given table space at CECAF (Crouch End Comics Art Festival) on Saturday 6th June. So I jumped on the opportunity to come along too! I’ll be selling copies of The Red Road alongside some of the other six creators, and it all sounds rather fun! You can read about last year’s CECAF festival review from Andy here. And in more wonderful news, I heard back from Alternative Press last week and I have been offered some space on their First Publications Corner (FPC) at TAKEOVER 2015 on Saturday 9th May in London! I shall be there behind the table with The Red Road, or mooching around the other stalls all day from 12-7 in just under 4 weeks time, so if you’re local to the area be sure to pop along and say hi. And, it’s FREE!

 

So with these two events, plus MancsterCon in August and Thought Bubble in November it’s turning into a busy year! I decided to do a little administration work today and rearranged my website to have some handy important-person-friendly links underneath my about section! So we now have sections for collaborations, commissions and competitions. It still needs a little work, but it’s mostly ready for now! Commissions side looks a little on the light side, so feel free to hit me up for any commission requests from summer onwards.

Finally, I also re-listed two sets of the giclee prints I had made a while ago of two abandoned buildings in Northampton! They’re back listed on my Etsy site alongside The Red Road, so do have a look if you’re interested in owning some of my detailed illustration prints from a couple of years ago. I’ll be getting the Down To Your Skivvied zines sorted by the end of the week, so my Etsy store will be looking nice and full soon enough! Keep any eye out for those in the latter part of the week. Anywho, I think that’s it for now! I shall be cracking on with some Uni work for the remainder of the week ready for final assessments, so needless to say it’s straight back to the grind. Have a good week all, excuse me whilst I look at my holiday pictures and sob into some French chocolate bars. Peace out! x

Share: