Short Stories 2017

The Re-Emerge

Good afternoon all!

I’m back!

That’s right; just like Leo in The Revenant or Michael Myers in Halloween, I have returned. Though luckily for me I haven’t been mauled by a bear or shanked by a rather upset Ripley… though sometimes the morning commute sometimes feels like a combination of the two. It’s been a while since my last post, and although unintentional, sometimes life just gets in the way and something has to give. And, seeming as my blog doesn’t have a deadline attached, this is the one thing that had to go to the bottom of the pile for a while. Alas, I’m back with you for the long run with a lot of exciting news, so without further ado..

Last time I was filling you all in on my upcoming plans with Cheltenham True Believers Festival, risograph printing and writing the rest of my short stories. Well, a lot has happened since then, and in the interests of efficiency I’m going to break it down, as otherwise this will turn into a thesis-length blog which no-one will want to read. Woo, efficiency! Here it goes.

THOSE COMIC FESTIVALS:

Five-and-a-half long weeks ago was the fairly fresh-faced OK True Believers Comic Con held in my old stomping ground of Cheltenham, at the infamous Cheltenham Racecourse. It was the first con of the year and I had the pleasure of squeezing on the end of the Good Comics table with Dr Paddy Johnston and Samuel C. Williams; although it was a fairly quiet day trade-wise, it was great to have a weekend away and spend a load of time with some comics people. And.. we got to play with a risograph printer on Sunday which was pretty excellent. And when I say we, I mean Paddy and I stood watching whilst Sam and his buddy Mike did all the work. Thanks guys!

I also joined in the fun at Sheffield Zine Fest on Saturday 25th February on the Good Comics table with Paddy, because.. why not? Sheffield Zine Fest was held in the Students Union and had a really nice down-to-earth and homemade feel to the event, suiting the Good Comics releases and my kinda work a lot more to the ground than the more commercial-based events like Cheltenham True Believers and the MCM events. It was also great to hang out and push other people’s work rather than my own, and there was burritos involved which always makes for an excellent day.

Next up on the festival calendar is the eagerly awaited Leamington Comic Con, held at the Royal Spa Centre on Saturday 25th March. It’s going to be a fantastic day, and with tickets still on sale online you should definitely come hang out and say hello! I’ll have my own full table situated next to the Good Comics gentlemen, which is handy because 25th March is also the release of…

ANNOUNCING: COSMOS AND OTHER STORIES

That’s right! My comics collection I’ve been working on since November is finished and off to print, ready for launch in a week and a half. Cosmos and Other Stories is a collection of short stories exploring humanity and loneliness; packaged up into a lovely 36-page face-strokingly-soft matte laminate product of love, Cosmos tells the stories of different people dealing with the different ways we all feel lonely in this big ol’ world. The book was formally announced on the 24th February via the Good Comics press release;

Good Comics is delighted to announce that we will be publishing a new collection of short stories by award-winning cartoonist and illustrator Rozi Hathaway, winner of the Broken Frontier Breakout Talent Award for 2016 and author of The Red Road, Njálla and Ø.

Cosmos and Other Stories examines themes of loneliness and longing, with Hathaway’s uniquely expressive and dreamy paintwork taking the reader on a journey through various cities, towns, bedrooms and celestial realms. If you’ve ever been lost in a crowd, stayed up all night to talk to someone long distance, or felt the ache of an absent love, then this collection will speak to you.

Cosmos and Other Stories will debut at Leamington Comic Con on Saturday 25th March 2017, and is available to pre-order from the Good Comics online store now!

You can read the full press release here! It’s been a whirlwind four months of writing and drawing up this collection, and although I always put everything I have into my stories, this one is particularly close to my heart. Plus, Sam from Good Comics has been an excellent and supportive yet critical editor, and really pushed me to make the best work I possibly could.. So with all that in mind, I really hope it goes down well otherwise I might just crawl into bed for a while to recover. Pre-order Cosmos and Other Stories here, and even more exciting, every pre-order gets an A5 print of artwork from the book with their order.. So act quickly and get that pre-order in!

 

I quite literally have just finished up the book, with the files being sent off to Rich at Comic Printing UK on Monday night before I crawled into bed. Tuesday evening was (am) spent writing this gem of blogging genius for you, so I am finally going to celebrate finishing this book by drinking a large glass of wine and collapsing in a corner (I’m lying, I started the wine before I even started typing. YOLO!). I will be back in the normal swing of things next week with the pre-con post about Leamington and everything it has to offer, so keep an eye out for that! And until next time.. have a good week all, and thanks for being patient!

 

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Cosmos & Other Stories

COSMOS & OTHER STORIES

Available now from Good Comics
Also available on my Etsy Store!

Launched on Saturday 25th March 2017 at Leamington Comic Con
Published by Good Comics

Praise for Cosmos & Other Stories

..Cosmos is a wonderful collection of work that we genuinely wish had more in it because what is there is really rather wonderful.

– Alex Thomas, Pipedream Comics – Indie Comics Round-Up: Leamington Comic Con 2017 Special

Good art rents a room in your consciousness. Really good art plants roots in your subconscious. Cosmos & Other Stories is a piece of art does this – and also enables you to step out of your rush, rush, dopamine-fueled day and rest happy in a second of time.

– Tony Esmond, Down the Tubes – In Review: Cosmos & Other Stories

A collection of a handful of comics shorts, it’s Hathaway at her economical but profound best; a book that displays that remarkable ability she has to bring us so fully into the lives of her characters with a recognisable emotional resonance.

– Andy Oliver, Broken Frontier – Cosmos & Other Stories – Rozi Hathaway Explores Loneliness and Isolation in a Fragile and Beautiful Collection from Good Comics

Press release:

Good Comics is delighted to announce that we will be publishing a new collection of short stories by award-winning cartoonist and illustrator Rozi Hathaway, winner of the Broken Frontier Breakout Talent Award for 2016 and author of The Red Road, Njálla and Ø. Cosmos and Other Stories examines themes of loneliness and longing, with Hathaway’s uniquely expressive and dreamy paintwork taking the reader on a journey through various cities, towns, bedrooms and celestial realms. If you’ve ever been lost in a crowd, stayed up all night to talk to someonelong distance, or felt the ache of an absent love, then this collection will speak to you. Cosmos and Other Stories will debut at Leamington Comic Con on Saturday 25th March 2017, and is available to pre-order from the Good Comics online store (http://goodshop.bigcartel.com) now!

Out 25th March 2017 | 36 pages | Perfect Bound | A5 | £6

Download a copy of the full press release here

Pipedream Comics Interview – ““Colour gives far more of a feel to the story than my words ever could.” Rozi Hathaway talks Cosmos, Njalla and more!”

 

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Baby It’s Cold Outside

Good afternoon folks.

So, another week has passed and I seem to be getting even less done with each week that passes. An excellent feeling, I assure you. I had a really fun week of redoing my entry for the Good Comics Dead Singers Society Vol. 3 zine, with a final number of four attempts and twenty-eight new grey hairs emerging from my head, I managed to get it done just in time for the deadline. If you’re a fan of this particular dead singer’s music then this may be obvious, but here’s a sneaky peek of one of the panels from this musical one-pager..

I still maintain it’s far from the best thing I’ve done and I’d really hoped it’d be a lot better. But, it’s not terrible, and sometimes you just have to put the pens/pencils/paints down and accept that this just wasn’t meant to be anything amazing. Sadly, especially after the numerous binned attempts, I’m glad for it to be over. Hopefully with some time away from it I feel a bit more positive towards it.

In other news, I’m back into the zone of writing the remainder of the short stories I’ll be publishing in a couple of months with Good Comics! I had gotten into the habit of figuring out a story and then writing > drawing > painting > editing it from start to finish all in one go (with food and sleep in between, I promise). But, now I have over half of the total pages mapped out I’m going to change tactics and write all the remaining stories now to fit in around what’s left. Getting the whole collection to flow with individual stories is going to prove challenging, but with half done I have a bit of an easier time to fill in voids now and adapt stories rather than trying to do it all at the end. Does that make sense? I hope that makes sense.

Plotting and Tings.
Short Stories Collection Coming Soon!

In other news, as a follow up to my winning of the Broken Frontier Breakout Talent Award 2016, Andy Oliver at Broken Frontier wrote an article detailing my comics journey from 2014 up to now. After a particularly bad week and not being very good at that whole ‘taking a break’ thing, it was really nice to read. You can peruse the full article here!

Finally, on Saturday when I was down in the Big Smoke I dropped off some copies of Njálla and Ø to Gosh! Comics, and Njálla, Ø and Sneaky Business Vol. 2 to Orbital Comics! If you’re around the area you should pop along to Orbital and check out the Moonage Daydreams exhibition, an illustrated tribute to the records of David Bowie. I missed the launch on Friday evening but popped along on Saturday and it’s definitely work a look! You can find out all the details from Orbital’s event page here, and the Moonage Daydreams website here.

Njálla and Ø at Gosh! London

And that’s about it for now! This week will see a lot of writing and plotting, so I’ll be back next week with.. nothing to show for myself. -gulp-

Until next time!

 

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January Blues

Good afternoon folks!

So, it’s now practically mid-January, and I’m sure we can all agree that it’s rather grey out there. It barely gets light up here in the Arctic North of Greater Manchester, and most days turn a bit soggy due to a whole bunch of downpours that seem to happen more regularly than the normal Manchester downpours that the North West is so well known for. But y’know, keeps us all on our damp toes.

Aside from the excitement of varying temperatures and yet more rain, something pretty incredible happened. I was somehow voted as the winner of the Broken Frontier Breakout Talent Award 2016! I was, and still am, incredibly honoured and blown away that enough of you voted for me to take away such a title, so THANK YOU to everyone who voted. I was absolutely sure Jade would win it, so imagine my surprise! This is what Andy Oliver had to say:

As ever, the Breakout Talent Award took the most public votes and was our fiercest fought category. This one is always a close-run thing but this year it perhaps fittingly went to Rozi Hathaway, one of the artists from our first 2015 ‘Six Small Press Creators to Watch‘ coverage. Hathaway had a phenomenal year in 2016, becoming one of the most well-known new faces on the UK small press scene and self-publishing two acclaimed solo books. They included Njálla which gained high praise from no less than Warren Ellis himself who described it as “a remarkably pure piece of fabulist storytelling”.”

Huge congratulations to all the other award winners and to the nominees, it really was a whole bunch of amazingly talented people this year. You’re all the bomb.

Aside from that bomb-shell I’ve been working on a couple of different projects, first up being another comic for my collection of short stories being released with Good Comics in the coming months. I’ve mentioned before how much of a challenge short stories can be, but I’m really enjoying the depth of storytelling I can try and portray in such a short space. It’s super fun. You guys are all missing out, really. Here’s a sneaky-peek of another compete story, this time a two-pager!

I still have the words to do to go into this one, but for the most part that’s another one done. Hurrah! I still haven’t decided how many more stories I’m going to do, but the next one I’m currently still writing is a most likely going to be the longest one of the book, so that should take me a good long while to draw. To bridge the gap I’m continuing work on my entry for the third volume of Good Comics’ Dead Singer’s Society zine. I’ve had a bit of a palaver with this one, with my first efforts going firmly in the bin. But alas, I have picked a different musician and it’s going okay so far…. Have a peek!

I’ve been working a lot with pinks and purples recently, as well as a lot of blues and turquoises in Njálla and Ø, so I decided to go way out there and try some greens instead. I’m currently really enjoying the ‘old photo’ style colour palette with those green/yellow hues and browns thrown in there. So hopefully it works well! The call for submissions finishes up this Sunday, so get your comics in whilst you can! Check out the rules here, and get cracking.

Anyway, that’s about it for now! I have plenty to keep me occupied over the next week or so, and I will be back as always next week.. Now with my ‘Breakout Talent’ crown adorning my noggin, reminding me to keep on trucking even through the “I want to throw this in the bin” moments of life. Until next time, peace out.

 

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Hello, 2017.

Happy New Year!

So, it’s 2017. When did that happen? Somewhere between drinking prosecco in my sweatpants and hearing some fireworks going off outside, probably.. Not my most glamorous moment truth be told, but after the year I’ve had I opted to start the year as I mean to go on; no no, not drinking in lounge-wear (though I can definitely get behind that) but taking things a little slower. Maaaaybe.

And 2017 has started with a bang, as Njálla has been voted as one of ‘Ten UK Small Press Comics You Need to Own!’ from 2016 by Broken Frontier! I’m incredibly honoured as 2016 saw a lot of fantastic releases from small press creators, and as Andy Oliver states in the article it is by no means a be-all-and-end-all of small press in the UK. I’m especially moved as the now out-of-print The Red Road was featured as one of the ten in 2015’s end of year review also, meaning I’ve now set a precedence with myself to keep going and keep making more. Oh, well, if you insist..

The release of Njálla back in June feels like a short lifetime ago, and I’m incredibly grateful to be one of the luck ten picked. Go us! You can read the full article here at Broken Frontier, and also check out previous year’s articles from 2015, 2014 and 2013.

With this wonderful news and that general new year feeling I’ve been contemplating last year’s achievements, most of which were listed in my reflections blog last week, and I have a good feeling about 2017 and what’s to come. As you can see from this handy diagram below I was RATHER busy with my own publishing endeavours as well as a lovely bunch of successful submissions for some great titles, including the Broken Frontier Small Press Yearbook, Dead Singer’s Society Vol. 2 and Dirty Rotten Comics #8.

But, 2017.. Well! It’s off to a busy start already. The call for submissions for the third Dead Singer’s Society from Good Comics is still open and will be until Sunday 15th January, so there there is still time to get something in for this third collection of music related comics, illustrations and essays. As stated in their call for submissions, there is a maximum of two pages per contributor, so it’s nothing too daunting. I’ve been scribbling away to make sure I get something done in time, though my first efforts have firmly gone in the bin so I’ll be starting from scratch this week.

Call for Submissions for the Good Comics Dead Singers Society Vol. 3 zine!

Also, I’ve been working away on my fourth short story for the upcoming collection that’s being published through those Good Comics fellows! With this collection of stories taking root (Ha.. get it? Trees? Roots?) from the power of environment alongside feelings of love, loss and loneliness it’s been a far more all-encompassing task than I initially imagined. But, it’s going to be good. Here’s some of what I’ve been working on with exploring panels and borders:

Short stories are definitely challenging in their own right, but there’s something more poetic about them versus longer storytelling – not that I’m exactly an expert on longer form narratives, mind you. With abstract shapes and  a sense of movement through time similar to how I approached The Red Road, it’s an exciting challenge to be working on this and definitely something that a whole lot of my soul is going into. I’ll be sharing sneak peeks and progress as the weeks go on, so do keep an eye out for that and the lead up to this collection’s release in Spring.

And that’s where I leave you at! Until next time, keep finishing off those mince pies and cake, because err.. they don’t keep. And it’s a shame to waste those festive leftovers.

 

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Festivities

Good afternoon folks!

So, it’s almost Christmas! With being ill on and off for what feels like weeks, it’s been a little longer between updates than I’d have liked! But with this lingering lurgy and working my new job, this extra week has given me some time to catch up before delighting you all with what I’ve been working on. So, low and behold, I’m back for my yearly pre-Christmas update! Last year I was in the depths of third year university stresses, so I’m definitely feeling more zen this year.. Still, as always I’m longing for my mum’s Christmas dinner skills and eating my body-weight in meat and potato which will be greatly appreciated in three days time.

Still, although my day-job Christmas holiday has started I’m still working away on my comics for the upcoming 2017 collection of short stories I’m releasing with British micro-publisher Good Comics! It’s been challenging to juggle a new full-time work schedule and commute with working on comics, but it’s all an adjustment period that I’m slowly refining. Hopefully, with another week and a half of time off I’ll make a nice dent in the rest of my writing and plotting for my remaining stories so that I have a couple of months to get everything drawn ready for it’s plotted release of mid-late March. The comic I’ve been hinting at for the past few updates has been painted up and is very, very near completion! Have a gander at some snippets:

 

I may or may not have said this before in the last few updates, but I’ve spent a lot, lot longer refining this 4-pager than any comic I’ve worked on before, hopefully making it the best thing I’ve done yet. Now just to keep up the pace with the rest of the short stories!

Speaking of Good Comics, did you know I’m tabling with those charming gents at Cheltenham’s True Believer’s Festival on Saturday 4th February? It’s sometimes hard to forget that the beginning of February is not that long away when it’s not yet Christmas.. But don’t forget that long, dark and cold January does eventually pass and True Believer’s will be here before we know it! You can find out all about the event from the website , or from the Facebook event page and tickets are on sale now! Good Comics did a short interview with True Believers too, and you can read that here.

The third volume of Good Comics Dead Singer’s Society will also be released at True Believers, and there’s still time to submit! What better things could there be to do than to draw your favourite singer of the past over Christmas whilst the family are in a food induced coma on the sofa in front of Shrek? I’ll be mulling over who my next piece will be about after my successful entries of Muddy Waters and Nina Simone in the previous anthologies.

CHECK OUT THE VOL. 3 CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS HERE!

In other news, in case you missed it, a piece of mine has been published on the back of the latest Barnstromer Comics Star Jaws Issue #12! Robin kindly asked me if I’d like to get involved earlier this year, to which I jumped at the chance and my Boba Fett piece sits firmly on the back of the newest issue. Star Jaws Issue #12 is available to read for free online. Star Jaws, as you may guess from the title, is based loosely around the Star Wars universe but with some new faces and different stories. It’s an entertaining read, and you can read all of them for free from the very beginning here. A Christmas Carol on again? There you go – new reading material.

Finally, voting has now ended for the Broken Frontier Awards 2016. Thank you to everyone who voted for me for the Breakout Talent Award, and thank you to those who had every intention to but accidentally forgot, because lets face it – it’s a busy time of the year.. Results are announced on 5th January so I will be nervously awaiting to see what happens..

Anyway, I hope you all have a wonderful festive time whatever you’re celebrating, eat large quantities and be merry! I shall be back next week with the yearly round-up of what I’ve accomplished, and look back at the highs and lows of the year. It won’t be quite as moving as Google’s effort, but hey.. I’ll do my best. Until then, season’s greetings to you all!

 

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