Nostalgia and Comics

Ubiquity, Upcoming, & More

Good afternoon all,

So, these weeks are flying by aren’t they? It only feels like last week that I boarded my chariot (otherwise known as the Manchester to London Virgin train) for the opening of The Cartoon Museum’s exhibition The Inking Woman. Ending on Sunday 23rd, you only have a few days to go and check it out before it moves on! The opening night back in April was heaving, and the atmosphere was electric so I could barely concentrate on having a look around, so this past Saturday I returned to fully absorb the exhibition before it’s too late. Check it out:

It really is an entertaining selection of work from creators’ old and new, with a mix of original artwork and digital prints. It’s always incredibly interesting to see the original artwork, correction fluid and fresh paper placed over mistakes, paint over panel borders and smudges in the corners. If you have the chance to get down there I’d strongly recommended it!

In other news, sales have started to come through for my mental health print, in support of 42nd Street Manchester! It’s really heart-warming to see people moved by and interested in supporting the causes that 42nd Street, and their arts-venue the Horsfall. You can still get the prints online from my store here, with 50% of the proceeds going to the charity.

Also, I have some updates for my comic’s festival schedule! Sadly, as is the case with highly sought-after events, I didn’t manage to get a table at Bristol Comic & Zine Fair this year, held at The Station on Saturday 7th October. Thankfully for me, I can get in on the action and come along with Good Comics to support them, whilst having a few of my other titles on the communal table. Two weeks later, on Saturday 21st October, I’ve managed to squeeze into Loogabarooga Comics Fair in Loughborough with a last minute slot – party on! I will, of course, also be at Thought Bubble Festival now in its earlier calendar-slot of Saturday 23rd-24th September alongside Sam Williams of Good Comics, and a cardboard cut-out of Paddy (who has family commitments, cuh). So, it’s going to be a busy couple of months!

*cough* I will also be bringing out a little(ish) something new in time for Thought Bubble in September, so do watch this space…. *cough*

Finally, I’ve also managed to re-stock in my usual comic haunts, and get some stock in new places! As of this moment in time, you can currently get your hands on my books in Gosh Comics (London), Orbital Comics (London), The Cartoon Museum (London), Gnash Comics (Devon), The Incredible Comic Shop (Swindon), Page 45 (Nottingham) and Travelling Man (Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle & York). There may be some remaining in Nostalgia & Comics Birmingham, though I’m not totally sure what’s left there. Here’s some snaps!

So, as you can see, I’m slowly taking over the World. Or something to that effect.. Huge thanks to all the comics shops and Small Press friendly fans who keep buying my books dotted around the country! Nothing brings me greater joy than a surprise tweet to say someone’s picked up my work in a store or at a festival. It really is the best.

And, that just about rounds things up for now. As I alluded to earlier, I’m working on some top-secret tasks and planning at the moment with more to be revealed soon.. But until then, peace out!

 

x

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Summer Lovin’

Good afternoon folks,

So, apparently summer has arrived here in England; pondering over what that burning ball of light is in the sky? Yep, that’s sunshine! As ever, it’s been a pretty busy week over here at HQ. Between prepping, planning, painting, photographing and the odd Pokémon Go-ing, another week has flown by. On Friday I took the day to hop skip and jump over to Birmingham, with my first call being to pop into see the lovely folks at Nostalgia & Comics to drop off some copies of Njálla. On sale for £8 you can also get your hands on some remaining copies of The Red Road there too (priced at £5), amongst some very talented company in the comics of Jessica Martin, Sammy Borras and the new sell-out-and-reprinted success of Joe Krakec and Angus Medford’s Blood Vol.1. 

My main objective for the day in Birmingham however was to start taking photos in an effort to revamp my Etsy store! As a soon-to-be-graduate moving to the opposite end of the country in four months time, funds are on lock-down until I can start earning some money – so having a professionally lit place to take photos in my home is not feasible right now. Thankfully I’m incredibly lucky to have independent business owners as parents who DO have a professionally lit place to take photos, and they let me use their set-up and camera! Check out these excellent new photos:

Don’t they look beautiful? It almost brings a tear to my eye.. In an effort to support and promote other UK-based Etsy sellers I’ve used fabric as the background of the photos from the wonderful stores of Handmade by Elaine (bright, colourful dyed fabrics) and Summersville (screenprinted patterns) to really compliment my sellables. Doesn’t Njálla just look so glorious now? I feel like a proud parent. Anywho, you can head over to my Etsy store and have a look for yourself! There are a couple of new items on sale too; the last print of a few I had from The Red Road on sale for just £2, and postcard packs from my work in the last year for just £3.

In other news, Njálla’s received another glowing review from Pete Redrup over at The Quietus! Here’s a nice little snippet from his review, with the full article of July reviews here.

It’s immediately clear that this is very skilfully constructed. Early on, a speech bubble is draped across two panels like a sound bridge, the way overlapping dialogue in a film can be used to establish a connection between two shots or scenes. Cinematic is an overused term, but undeniably one which applies here. This is not just because of Hathaway’s tendency towards full-width panels, but also as a result of the visual language used to connect them, and the utterly convincing lighting that she creates.

Pete Redrup, The Quietus – Behold! July’s Quietus Comics Round Up Column

There’s nothing quite like a lovely review to warm the soul – thanks so much, Pete!

Moving away from the world of comics, as promised last week I finished up the illustrated maps I was hinting at, and I’ve been posting them over on Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram in the latter part of last week. If you’re subscribed to updates you’ll have been sent the post already, but if not.. Let there be maps!

Copenhagen Wide Olso Wide Stockholm Wide

You can read all about the Maps over here on the main article, but the basis behind wanting to do these is from my travels last year. As you all know, Njálla was the ultimate take-away from the backpacking adventure my partner and I had in August 2015, but there was so much more to that trip which I haven’t had the time to work on until now. These three maps are just the beginning, with this ongoing personal project continuing as and when I have the time – with Bergen, Malmö, Aarhus and Gothenburg still to go. Keep an eye out for the rest of the cities appearing throughout the year!

I think that’s about it for now. I have a residency proposal and four submissions to work on in the coming month, as well as illustrations here there and everywhere, so it’s all continuing at full steam ahead! Have a good week everyone, and send positive thoughts my way for graduation on Friday. Until next week!

x

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2015 Reflections

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen!

So, the Christmas cake is dwindling and I’ve eaten my bodyweight in turkey.. It must be that limbo between Christmas and New Year where I’m not quite sure what day it is and what I’m supposed to be doing, with what feels like a brain full of cranberry stuffing. With that in mind, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to reflect on a successful 2015 (as it doesn’t take much brain-power, thankfully)..

Work-wise, it’s been a fantastic year. Of course we can’t have it all, and this year wasn’t without it’s fair share of difficulties, with a small health issue of my own in the first few months of 2015, a friend’s recurring battle with cancer (fingers crossed, all looking good this time!), and the very quick and unexpected loss of my uncle in August. It’s all too easy to have regrets and feel as if being too work-centric has left me with the loss of valuable time before it was too late, but, all I can do it look back on the positives.. I have learnt a lot about the way I work in the past year, and I can only hope that my storytelling and comics work is going from strength to strength with each piece completed. Also, my work on illustrations without narrative has improved tenfold since this time last year, and I have dedication and tough marking at University to thank for that.

In all, there’s a lot of people who have helped and supported my work in 2015, and I couldn’t name them all if I tried – but to everyone who has ever bought a piece of my work, a comic, a postcard or even just had a chat at a convention, thank you. Thanks to Andy Oliver at Broken Frontier for naming me one of his Six UK Small Press Creators to Watch in 2015 and for continually supporting and championing my work, helping me with advice when I’ve asked, reviewing my work, and getting us six seen at CECAF. Thanks to Keara Stewart for asking me to be a part of A Bit of Undigested Potato, my first ever anthology comic, and inspiring me to not only take on my own project Sneaky Business, but also for giving my the confidence to apply for Dirty Rotten Comics. Big thanks to my Sneaky Business folks for happily creating work for free, which now sits on comic shelves around the country! Thank you to all those comic shops, Travelling Man Manchester, OK Comics in Leeds, Orbital Comics in London, Gosh! Comics in London, and Nostalgia and Comics in Birmingham for having my work on your lovely shelves. Thanks all the lovely people I’ve met along the way at conventions and selling events, and a special mention to Van Nim and Richy K Chandler for being so wonderfully entertaining at Thought Bubble and keeping me sane. Thank you to my ever patient partner Chris for bring supportive and understanding, to my flatmate for being the best at bouncing ideas off (and supplying me with Jack Daniels), my family, and the supportive bunch of friends I have near and far, so understand when they don’t hear from me for months on end. And, all you readers! You lovely readers, you.. Putting up with my waffling week after week, and making me feel popular. Here’s to 2016 and all the exciting things to come!

I shall be back next week as usual, probably mid-dissertation, in the run up to painting the Laydeez do Comics window display at Gosh! Comics. Woohoo! There is a LOT of exciting things coming up in January and early-February, and my work will be pretty much non-stop. But it’ll be worth it! I’ll have more information on how the year is shaping up next week, but for now I hope you all had wonderful seasonal festivities, and have a Happy New Year! See you next year..!

 

x

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Mid-Month Madness

Good evening happy campers!

So, I don’t know about anyone else but I really need a holiday. University work has slowly been piling up to my eyeballs and somehow I still seem to be relatively calm. Ish. This week past week has seen the completion of pieces ready for a University-based exhibition, and also work towards an exciting zine-project I’ve been working on alongside two of my fellow students! More about that later..

I am exceedingly stoked to now have The Red Road stocked in Nostalgia & Comics in Birmingham! Now, for those who aren’t aware, I grew up not far from Birmingham and spent many happy teenage weekend in the city centre around the Oasis Market, or at gigs at the old Carling Academy screaming along to whatever music I was into and getting knocked accidentally on a new ear piercing. Ahh, those were the days. Anyway, any of you West Midland folk can now pop in and see Dave and the gang and Nostalgia & Comics and support the small press scene. Woohoo!

The Red Road – now sold in Nostalgia & Comics, Birmingham!

As the two-month mark since The Red Road was released passed yesterday, I am absolutely over-the-moon to have been able to pass so many on to new and loving homes! In fact, as I sit here with only 25 copies left, I may well indeed be looking into a second-run of printing once my stocks get super low. I have been thinking about a second run for a couple of weeks now, and although it’s another scary financial burden (even scarier this time, as family and friends have already purchased from the first run and subsequently filled their family clause agreements) I have some pretty exciting ideas of what bonus material I can squeeze into an extra four pages! Alas, that’s still a little while away yet.. But exciting times are in the horizon.

In other news, the University-based Machines exhibition launches on Thursday! Unfortunately, as the event is in the creaky-old University art-block and it’s not open at any realistic times for non-students, it’s a little hard to get excited about compared to my last exhibition with the Art Day Collective lot in 2013. Though, the work is done and today we all installed our pieces, so my little corner is all ready to go! The theme of the exhibition is Machines, and each of us studenty-lot took on our own interpretation of the word and created a body of work including a sculptural element. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I took a narrative sci-fi approach to the brief, with a dystopian mirror planet being explored by a curiosity rover.. Oooo errr, I hear you all say. Well, if you want to come and see the exhibition, it’s opening night is Thursday 19th March (this week!) with a wine reception from 5-7pm. You can see some sneak-peeks and previews on the exhibitions website here, and more information about the exhibition dates on the poster;

Machines Exhibition - Opens this week!
Machines Exhibition – Opens this week!

I will endeavour to take lots of nice photos of my work up before I have one-too-many cups of free wine, so hold onto your hats for next weeks update (Andy Oliver, as you’re the only person I can think of who wears a hat who I know reads my updates, please make sure you hold onto your hat extra tight on behalf of all the non-hat-wearers).

In other exciting news, this weekend saw the completion of some pieces I’ve been working on for a zine! The zine that is yet to be named is a collaborative effort between my student-friends Zara, Kamala and myself, with the first issue is on the theme of women in the arts industry and feminism. As I’ve mentioned before, I managed to utilise my HOAX: Psychosis Blues contacts and arrange for an interview with Hannah Berry, as I absolutely adore her work. To add to this, I’ve written an article and arranged another interview (which unfortunately has seemingly fallen through), plus made a two-page comic to be featured in the zine. Other highlights from Zara and Kamala include interviews with a female artist and also a lady who has launched her own women’s magazine in London. We’ll be putting the zine together this week and next week ready for deadline, and if people are interested I’ll see if we can put them up for sale on my Etsy store. Once the zine has been DIY printed I shall post up some spreads for you all to gander at, so keep a watch out! For now, here’s a sneaky-peek I put up on Twitter yesterday of part of my comic..

New zine out soon!
New zine out soon!

Finally, I have applied for the Alternative Press Takeover 2015 this week, which is a FREE, one-day event in London on the 9th May from 12pm-7pm! I won’t hear back for a little while, so please everybody keep all fingers, toes and eyes crossed for this, my Thought Bubble application and my ELCAF application! I’m raring and ready to go for a summer of meeting fellow creators, selling works and getting inspired, so the first step is being accepted.

Anyway, I think that’s possibly all for now! I have more upcoming assignment work to show and announce in the next two weeks which are going to be somewhat crazy, so check back soon! But for now.. Peace out! x

 

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