rozi hathaway illustration

Autumn Is in the Air..

Good morning happy campers!

So, it is officially autumn now. The nights are getting longer and the bags under my eyes are getting heavier, and the ‘Christmas’ word is starting to be thrown around. This past week I took some time to travel back to my homelands to get some rest and recuperation before University starts up again next week, and such recuperation included climbing around castle ruins and eating an lot of very nice food; what could be better?

Before I travelled far and wide for my three days of feasting, I began work on a fun piece which is different from the kind of work I’ve been producing this past year. As a single illustration piece centered around a scenic view, I was able to really get my teeth stuck into it, looking at how to make the piece work on its own (rather than with comics work having panels complementing each over and working together). Also, I had a chance to play around with creating my own text, which is something I’ve barely touched for a number of years now, and I really enjoyed getting back into it. Based around the theme of Japan and skiing, this work was a refreshing change and had my brain ticking in all sorts of new ways – and, bonus points, this piece is for video rather than print (ooh err)..

Without sounding too much like a stuffy art person with my strange terms and deep, complex thought trails, the main ideals for the work was a sunset over mountains, with snow and skiers. Using my particular way of seeing the world but merged with historic Japanese black ink washes, I think it’s worked pretty well. I’m a big fan of mountains, as you all may have guessed, but I made sure to draw them in a different way this time to really highlight the harshness and beauty of dawn. Well, tried to, anyway. The text was a lot of fun too; with two working titles to make I looked at stereotypical fonts and kind of took on my own path from there, painting the text with a brush to keep it in the general tone of the drawing. In other words.. I painted words to complement that drawing up there, and I think it went okay.

So, another success story and more things are gradually getting crossed off the ‘things to do before Uni starts up again’ list. I still have a few things up my sleeve, and with starting back for third year on Tuesday rather than Monday I have an extra day to squeeze out as much efficiency as possible before all hell breaks loose. In other news, during my time in the homelands I came back via Birmingham and made sure to visit the owls on the Hoot Trail!

The Big Hoot is a free event in Birmingham that has run from 20th July and finished on 27th September, featuring many, many owl sculptures painted by artists. The owls are dotted around the City Centre, with a few in the surrounding areas towns of the greater Birmingham area. By getting involved, buying items from the online shop and the final stage of the big owls going to auction, it’s all in effort to raise money for Birmingham Children’s Hospital. I’m always a big supporter of getting art out into the community and getting people involved, especially when it’s for an important cause. Plus, who doesn’t love owls?! If you’re around Birmingham and have a chance to see them in the next few days, you can get a trail map from the website or download an app to follow the trail with your phone. If not, there are an abundance of pictures with the hashtag #thebighoot2015 and the Farewell Weekend is around Millennium Point in Birmingham on the 10th-11th October. Aren’t they pretty!

I had an absolute hoot looking at the owls (sorry, sorry..) and it was a soul-warming experience to see young and old getting up close and excited about the owls around Birmingham. That’s it for now! The sneaky things up my sleeve await, and the kettle is calling my name. Until next week!

x

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The Road to CECAF

Good evening happy campers.

Well, here are are in a rather blustery June. I don’t know about elsewhere, but I’m looking forward to stepping out the door and not being greeting by a mass of fresh air all up in my face and hair. Although I’m sure the dragged-through-a-hedge look has it’s perks*, I don’t think it suits me.

*Perks include: Avoiding eye-contact with odd looking strangers, avoiding eye-contact with people you used to know, avoiding eye contact with people you do know but would rather not, correcting one’s appearance with a Mariah Carey-esque hair swoosh, potentially good excuse for running late (as even if you walk slowly, you still look like you’ve run a marathon), and it’s probably a fashion statement I’ve missed out on because I’m old and sensible.

Anyway! As we enter June we come upon round 2 of my summer of comics festivals – CECAF! Otherwise known as Crouch End Comic Arts Festival, this Saturday 6th June sees a whole load of comics creators pile into Earl Haig in Crouch End. The comics festival runs alongside the community arts led Crouch End Festival, which has a whole host of events running from this Friday 5th June through to Sunday 14th June. I have been incredibly lucky to be included on the Broken Frontier table, which is championing the work of us troublemakers – the ‘Six UK Small Press Creators to Watch in 2015’ – along with a couple of other talented small-pressers! I jumped at the chance to come along and join in the fun, so you can find me there on Saturday, 11am-5pm with copies of everything! That’s right, everything. I shall be joining Andy Oliver, Patron Saint of UK Small Press and *newly appointed* Editor and Chief in Broken Frontier behind the table, along with Keara Stewart and Emma Raby. You’ll also be able to find fellow Six Small Presser Danny Noble nearby with her recently published book, Was it… Too Much for You?. Keara will be selling her anthology I joined in on, A Bit of Undigested Potato so be sure to pick up a copy of that whilst you’re around. Plus, y’know, the aforementioned ‘everything’.

So, roll up! Come on down! Say hello! Join in the fun! All info below!

CECAF
CECAF
..Part of The Crouch End Festival of events!

I have a special offer on just for this splendid event, too!

The first four people to purchase a copy of The Red Road at CECAF this Saturday, will get a FREE A6 high quality print.

How good is that?! There are a choice of two prints available, and it’s first come first served and adored by me forever for buying my work basis. And I’m pretty sure adoration goes for a high price these days, so enjoy it. I will also be selling my usual gaggle of items, plus free stickers with every purchase. Unless I’m mistakenly piling far too much onto this envisioned table (in which case, this may be edited out in due course), I will also be selling remaining issues of Down to Your Skivvies #1 zine by myself and the Skivvies ladies, so watch out for that too. Yay!

Saturday should be a fantastic day, at least, it will be once I’ve navigated the bus system of London to try and find out how to get to Crouch End. And also once I manage to fall on a bus to get home again after a few drinks, but I’ll worry about that nearer the time! If you happen to be in London this weekend and fancy an eye-popping day of awesome comics creators selling their wares, come along. You’ll love it.

In other news, the past week has been another rather busy one, but I still have my big secret hat on for now whilst I figure out and finalise several ongoing plans. I did however gain some inspiration from my new early-morning routine, as re-created in this quick cartoon below. I have decided, in my infinite wisdom, that 4:30am is a tiring time to get up in the morning. However, at least it’s now light around then. And, also I’m greeted by the Great British dawn chorus, from the local Northamptonshire birds. It’s better than radio, I tell you.

Thanks to Toto. No Copyright Violations here!
Thanks to Toto for getting this song in my head, yet again.

Anyway, that’s it from me tonight! I expect to see you ALL on Saturday at CECAF, so have a good week until then. Peace out!

x

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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)!

 

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Second Year Round-Up

Good evening happy campers!

So, after my first week of semi-freedom I’m feeling somewhat rested and ready for the next row of challenges. It’s looking to be a pretty busy summer, so I’m enjoying some breathing space whilst I can. Saying that, I’m really excited to get started. As mentioned last week, I shall cover some of the projects from the last 6 months which I haven’t previously covered. Here we go..

First up is four pieces from a brief that was focused on the Anomalous Psychological Processes department at University. Although contact was limited with the department aside from an initial tour, I created these as a reflection of the studies they research. The first image of a hand holding a brain is a general reflection, secondly the female face is a representation of the Ganzfeld experiment. Thirdly is the telephone telepathy experiments and finally the fourth image is of twin synchronicity.

As with most University assignments, I don’t really know where I stand (useful, right?) but I’m hoping the overseer of the grades is kind to me! Also, I spent some time before last week recreating an editorial illustration brief I’d previously completed back in October/November time. Editorial briefs (one-off illustrations for magazines, newspapers, that kinda thing) are not something I’m overly good at currently. My brain seems to always work in narrative and give names and faces to the characters, with life stories and emotions. But, y’know.. Editorial will pay the bills when the time comes, so re-working this project was important to me.

First attempt – The Wisdom of Crowds
Final, re-worked piece.

My feedback for the original piece was that the crowd was too defined, not dense enough and not really reflective of the tone of the article (which is just one seriously in-depth analysis of the smaller people standing up to the bigger people). So, I think I’ve corrected all that! I’ve slowly been collecting free magazines to look at the way other people (who actually make money from drawing) do their editorial pieces, so my self-set homework for this summer is to work on improving my skills.

Apart from that, most of the other work for this year at University has already been covered! Mennesker er Underlig, the folding self-reflective zine as covered here, Down to Your Skivvies zine which is on sale via Etsy, the Machines exhibition as covered here and of course, the biggun’ of The Red Road. Although I had to re-do some work and projects before assessment I feel pretty positive about my final work for the year. Well, I’ll see how positive I still feel when I get my grades back..! I think I have around a month until the grades are in, so I shall live in my blissful happy bubble for a while yet.

Speaking of The Red Road, I took a wander through Manchester’s Northern Quarter on Saturday with my better half, and we went past Travelling Man so I could spy on how many copies of The Red Road are left in stock.. And low and behold, I’m in the window! Ta-da!

Anywho, I think that’s enough for now. In the next week or so things will be taking shape for my summer of secret plans, so I may be able to reveal the odd one or two next week! Oh! And before I forget, as mentioned last week Keara Stewart’s zine anthology A Bit of Undigested Potato is out now, and it’s for sale online! To get your hands on a copy, click through here. Over and out!

x

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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

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The End is in Sight!

Good evening happy campers,

Well, it felt as if this week would never come, but here it is! Just one more presentation at University to go, and the second year of lectures will be over. Sure, there will be some work to do over Easter to improve some assignment work, but no more caffeine-chugging sessions of working 12 hours a day! Well. For a little while, anyway.

This past week has seen the completion of the first ever zine I’ve worked on! Zara Ward, Kamala Roberts and myself created Down to your Skivvies as a part of a University assignment that we’re hoping can be carried forward and continued over summer and into next year! This first issue we’ve looked at celebrating women in illustration and the arts, and touched upon areas of feminism and understanding what it is to be feminist. We have interviews, an article, our own work and also our first submission coming from a first year illustration student. Below is a picture of the zine, and also of the interview I did with Hannah Berry – unfortunately my interview with Hannah was conducted over email so I had to rely on my imagination of how our interview would look if we were face to face. We both agreed that there would be balloons.

The zine will be available for sale shortly via my Etsy site, for three whole Great British pounds sterling. Which, when you think about it, is pretty good for 28 pages of content printed with love*. I shall keep you all posted with when the zine goes up for sale online.

* more like, with increased anger at how the University printers are absolutely, ridiculously awful and drive me insane.

In more zine related news, I’m very happy to have finished my one-page black and white comic for Keara Stewart! I’ve been referring to this project as a zine for a little while as my heads been buried in projects galore, but due to all the interest Keara is making it an anthology – how EXCITING! I’m absolutely honoured to have been asked to contribute, and I had a lot of fun creating my piece for Keara. I believe there will be some Broken Frontier coverage coming up before the anthology is released, so keep your peepers open! Naturally, I’ll allow a little sneak preview….

Sneaky preview... Keara's anthology - coming soon!
Sneaky preview… Keara’s anthology – coming soon!

 

Also, in the world of fairness, I found out last week that I was unfortunately unsuccessful for my application for ELCAF, the East London Comics Arts Festival in June. You can’t win them all, sadly, and although I was really looking forward to this one, they received over 400 applications and only had about 70 tables, so I’m not taking it personally! This morning, however, I received an email from Thought Bubble Festival held in Leeds in November saying I’ve been successful. YAAAAY!! Thought Bubble has to be one of the biggest of the comic art festivals in the UK, and I’m absolutely thrilled to be able to have a nice half table selling my work! This makes for MancsterCon in August, and Leeds in November, so I’m just waiting to hear back about Alternative Press TAKEOVER 2015 in London, in May! Busy busy busy. I’m really excited to meet some of my idols and acquaintances I’ve made over the past few months, so once I’m back off holiday I’ll be making up my Game Plan for summer 2015. Work Hard / Eat Biscuits Hard. Am I right?

Speaking of holiday, this time next week I’ll be sliding down the French Alps face-first with my snowboard in the air (woooohoo!), so I will be unable to grace you all with my presence. Rest assured, I will be waffling away on my return, and I’ve taken extra precautions this time and have invested in some uncomfortable wrist guards to fit under my snowboard gloves so I don’t damage my hands in any way whilst falling on my bum every 5 minutes. I’m confident that some fresh mountain air and some Jägermeister will rejuvenate the ol’ brain cells, plus people keep saying that relaxing is.. good? What is this ‘relaxing’, thing.. PFFT. I’ll give it a whirl, anyway!

For now, I wish you all a happy Easter! I hope you all manage to have successful egg hunts in the garden whilst trying to chase the dog. Oh wait, that’s just my family?

See you all in two weeks!! Peace out! x

Sometimes I pretend to be cool.

 

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It’s not the destination, it’s the ride.

Good evening my happy followers!

So, another week gone, and a fresh week full of challenges and piles of work await my undivided attention.. It’s getting to that key time where all of my university deadlines fall around the same week of each other, so I’m manically trying to get everything done to the highest possible level that I can do whilst still juggling a few other things and whatever is left of my sanity. On the plus side, I had an incredibly efficient week last week, and although that doesn’t make things that much easier in the run-up to the deadline mine field, it does help a little. One thing I’m really happy to have completed is as follows..

In early February I was approached via Facebook by a charity called Ride for Willen; They have organised a 800 mile charity bike ride from Paris to Nice, over both Alpe d’Huez and Mont Ventoux, with the aim of raising much needed funds for the Willen Hospice in Milton Keynes. Alongside the sponsored bike ride, they have an additional site called Ride.Eat.Drink set up to further support the Willen Hospice by selling illustrated gifts and prints. Naomi, a good friend of mine from Uni, had also been approached to create a piece and she made this incredibly detailed paper-cut original illustration for sale. Now, I was a little late to the party as I needed to get some uni work out of the way first, but thanks to my other good friend known as The Mohawk, cycling king, I finally came up with this piece which I finished on Thursday evening! Check it out;

Donated illustration to charity; Ride for Willen
Donated illustration to charity; Ride for Willen

According to my previously mentioned friend, The Mohawk, the secret behind the enjoyment of cycling is the views – and this really stuck with me. Although I’m not a cyclist myself, I am definitely an appreciator of good views, and after some research and presenting The Mohawk with some ideas, he helped me narrow down my concepts which I then sketched up and refined further. And then, well.. There it is! I tried to really capture the essence of the peace and tranquillity from riding (not the leg-burning pain I was blessed with the last time I used a bike machine at the gym..). I also didn’t want to focus too much on who, or what bike it is, so it’s open to the imagination a little more. Anyway, the Ride.Eat.Drink team seemed to really like the piece, so I’m happy to be able to help! Prints of the piece should be going up for sale in the next couple of days, and you can further support the sponsored bike ride by visiting their donation page here or buying illustrated goodies here. Success!

Talking of finished pieces, I finally finished my submission for The Penguin Random House Design Award last week. As a brief also for a university assignment, I re-designed the book cover for the Puffin book Carrie’s War. It took a lot of critical analysis, re-drawing and re-jigging to get this piece as good as I could get it, and it was an insanely hard piece of work for some reason.. I think my brain is hardwired into narrative, so trying to give an essence of a whole book in one cover, whilst gaining viewer interest and maintaining that hold on the casual browser into picking it up and reading over.. Phew! I’m getting tired just thinking about it again! Props to people who can do it all (book covers, editorial, narrative, gifts, e.t.c), hopefully this book cover has taught me a lot and makes the next attempt a lot easier, but it was definitely a big challenge for me.

Carrie's War
Carrie’s War

I’m not entirely optimistic that it’s a winning entry, there are so many applicants for the competition it’s like being a very small student entry fish in a very large tank of other highly talented student fish. Anyway, regardless of the competition it’s been a healthy change for me to do something different, though I miss comics!

Finally, this past week I submitted my applications for ELCAF (East London Comics and Art Festival) being held on June 20th-21st, and also Thought Bubble Festival held in Leeds on the weekend of 14th-15th November. In the world of comic art festivals (rather than the more well-known Comic-Con’s, which are more aimed towards the mass-market) Thought Bubble is one of the huge hitters. It’s been going since 2006, and rises in popularity every year. Along with the Comic Arts Festival in the Lake District, these two are the kings of festivals in the North of England. ELCAF in London is a fairly new festival, run by the publishers Nobrow. Both of these I would be hugely honoured to be able to attend, and I should find out by the end of the month whether I’ve been successful or not! Teamed with the more independently run MancsterCon that I’ve been confirmed for in August, I’m really hopeful that this year just keeps on getting more awesome! Fingers and toes crossed, everybody!

Right, I shall leave it at that for now. I shall be back with you all like clock-work in the next week for more updates on all the gossip from Rozi-HQ. Over and out! x

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The Red Road

Good evening ladies and gents,

Well, what a week it’s been! Following my last post, everything went incredibly smoothly with releasing The Red Road on Thursday 15th January. Any concerns or small worries I had floated away on a magical, comic-filled cloud when I got to the printers and laid eyes on my big box of books. Huge thanks to the folks at Hampton Print in Northampton who were absolutely fantastic and helped me through the whole process. As much as you think you know how to set up a comic, something always comes up – thankfully the printing experts at Hampton have made my comic look wonderful, and I jumped for joy when I saw how the recycled off-white paper added new depths to the story geeked out over the paper quality.

Check out that recycled paper.. Ooft. Warms the soul!

I’m very lucky in that the majority of people who requested a pre-order paid up swiftly, so off to the Post Office I floated – armed with doodled envelops – and now nummerous copies of The Red Road are in their new homes, each numbered and packaged with love. Also, I’m incredibly lucky to have had a very swift review from Andy Oliver over at Broken Frontier! You can read the whole article here. It is a very strange feeling reading a review about yourself, it was an equally exhilarating-yet-other-worldly experience when Broken Frontier reviewed HOAX Psychosis Blues, and I feel incredibly honoured to have received two such glowing reviews from Andy, and his tireless promotion of The Red Road since posting the article has been outstanding. I keep having to pinch myself to check if it’s real!

Stunningly rendered, and painfully beautiful in its own way, The Red Road is an outstanding debut print offering. Keep your eyes on Rozi Hathaway’s work this year because she’s one of half a dozen or so names I have on my list of self-publishing talents I believe will make the next step up in 2015.

Andy Oliver, for Broken Frontier

 

Thanks Andy! I’d also like to take a moment just to thank everybody who has purchased a copy or even paid attention to the book. It’s very close to my heart for several reasons, and putting it out there to the world has been one of the most scariest points of my career so far. But incredibly rewarding -what a start to the year! Clearly I’d better up my game for the coming months.. *gulp* I’d also like to mention that if it hadn’t been for Ravi Thornton pushing me to do my best work during HOAX Psychosis Blues, I wouldn’t have the knowledge and know-how to even attempt a project like The Red Road – so thank you, as always, for the opportunity, Ravi!

For now I shall patiently await any news from some of the independent-friendly shops that I’ve sent copies to, and for anyone who would like to review The Red Road more formally than, “Yeah it’s cool m8.” – I have set up a new reviews section on my About page. It’ll be a test-run to see whether it’s worthwhile me having reviews, but as my Etsy page is still fresh off the block and review-less.

Remember, you can still purchase your very own copy of The Red Road from my Etsy store for the bargain price of £6!

Anyway, that’s it for now! I have a whole bunch of new University assignments I’m still working out how to make into comics (Shhh… It may just work..!) so it’s back to the grind! I shall be back with an update next week – but for now, over and out! x

 

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