Pete Redrup

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!

 

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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