So You Want To Get Into Comics

MancsterCon and Blogiversary!

Good morning faithful followers!

So, we’ve arrived into September in traditional British style; downpours of rain, a chill in the air and darker mornings. Which is different from the British August, which is downpours of rain but with warmer air and lighter mornings. This past week has seen another busy spell at Rozi HQ, with a Top Secret Project in it’s final stages (which I finally finished yesterday, yay!) and the wonderful, welcoming and warm-hearted MancsterCon event in Manchester.

MancsterCon is an entirely volunteer led event showcasing the independent talents in the North-West; everything from comics and zines to game development, and custom-made lighting to kawaii wigs. Some of you may remember that I attended last year as a visitor and loved the atmosphere so much that I asked to be considered as an honorary Northerner to be a part of this year’s event. Thankfully, they said yes! Even better, they asked me to be a part of an interview panel with Andrew Tunney, Tom Ward, Chris Welsh and Debbie Jenkinson called, ‘So you want to get into comics?’. Held at the University of Salford’s Media City campus, the atmosphere was just as warm and fuzzy as last year even with a much larger hosting space compared to last years – something which I don’t imagine is that easy to do, so kudos to Florence and the team for making it work so well! Plus, even with Manchester Pride and a Manchester City home game on, the turn-out was still pretty decent and it made for a fantastic day with many friendly faces.

The interview panel was actually really fun, too! A little daunting at first, but everyone is just so incredibly friendly it just felt like a bunch of strangers watching us have a chat. It’s always really interesting to hear how other people got into the comics field, and even though I saw sat alongside people who are far more successful and further along in their careers than I am, it was genuinely great to hear them speak about their experiences and ideas. Although, probably best not to mention Steampunk to Andrew Tunney any time soon.. Thank you to Florence for being an excellent interviewer, and for the audience for laughing at my joke. That would have been awkward otherwise. I’m not entirely sure if there’s a video of the interview being uploaded to the interwebs, but if there is I shall dutifully share that with you all.

So, in all, it was a great day. Thank you MancsterCon!

In other news, it’s a time for celebration, folks; Monday 31st August was my four-year blogiversary – let there be cake! For those of you who haven’t been with me for the entire long-haul, I started my small blogspot account back in 2011, doing updates of various illustration and arts related things I liked, saw and was doing. Just over a year ago I moved to this site, but the blogspot still exists with all my old drawings I thought were not-so-bad at the time. Now, however, I can sit back and laugh at how awful they are.. So what better way to celebrate than to get you all to laugh with me? Lets have a look at what the ol’ account has to offer..

31st August 2011 - oh dear.
31st August 2011 – oh dear.

Here we have an example I’d like to call.. ‘Why I didn’t get accepted into UWE’. The reason I started my blog was to improve my drawing, so I can’t really look back at my terrible beginnings and hate it, because it got me where I am today. But yes, after I finished art college at the tender age of eighteen I fell into full-time work and got kinda stuck doing important things for not-that-much money. After a while I decided to get back on that proverbial horse and create a portfolio and apply for University. So, with full time work and drawing all evening I slowly created a portfolio of my best work, all from scratch. The selection day involved everyone putting their work out in a room, going off for a tour of the campus, then returning for an interview. Get this; I was politely taken aside and told I would not be interviewed as my work didn’t meet their standards. Ouch! Then I cried on my mum’s shoulder in the middle of Bristol, because I’m level-headed and strong independent woman like that. On the bright side.. After that I umm’ed and aah’d about whether to give up on my dreams of being an illustrator or jack the job, move back home, draw a lot, and try again for university. Thankfully, I chose the latter, so that’s what I did. And this blog was a way for me to track my progress.

As far as I can remember, this was my first time drawing a comic – which actually isn’t terrible! I believe I finished this around September time, so already there is a big improvement from the portfolio work I was making back in the earlier part of the year. After this things steadily improved, with the likes of my Denver Union Station piece being created in January time of the following year.

Of course, how could I forget! Alan Rickman on a pillow. That was quite obviously painted with assistance from a light box, but damn if that isn’t one of the best presents I’ve ever given. Saying that, the gift was for my dearest BFF and flatmate, and I definitely haven’t seen this in a while.. Should I be offended?

Ah yes – now this was my first time making a comic-style set of images which I thought of, wrote and drew myself, back in June-July 2012. Not too shabby either! Whatever I was doing, I was doing something right as by the end of 2012, early 2013 I was asked by Ravi Thornton to illustrate some pages for HOAX: Psychosis Blues – and as they say, the rest is history. I’ve still made some completely awful things since, and I probably will continue to! Hopefully I don’t look back on the work I’ve created in the last year and regret everything, as that would be somewhat awkward.. But yes! That’s a small highlight real of my humble beginnings. If you’d like to see more things I made back when I was just a young ‘un, you can find all the archives on blogspot, here. I warn you, not all of it is pretty. And there’s a good few years on there, it may take a while..

It’s quite funny really, I sometimes think I started getting serious about drawing a lot later than others, and maybe it didn’t serve me well as I’m now a financially crippled twenty-five year old going into my third year of university surrounded by people four years my junior. But then, I have old-lady perspective. Old-lady perspective is very useful indeed! Because.. I did all my awful work BEFORE university, which means that if I went there in my youth I’d probably have messed it up and hated it anyway.

Anyway, enough romanticising, I’d best get back to some actual work otherwise in another four years I’ll be looking back and weeping over what I lost. Thank you to all of you, whether you’re an occasional reader; a dedicated reader (hi mum!); or a new reader, for making me stick with the blogs and have something to show for myself, especially in those early stages where motivation is so hard. Like the well trained puppy that I am, I’ll be back next week with some more sneak previews of the recently finished Top Secret Project, and more.. Peace out!

 

x

 

OH! And don’t forget Sneaky Business is now for sale over on Etsy – you know you want one!

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Return of the Blog

Good afternoon ladies and gents,

So, it’s been a while! Two weeks of adventuring around Norway, Sweden and Denmark had a wonderfully calming and refreshing effect, with the 8-10 miles of walking a day leaving me with a svelte lady Viking figure. My partner and I had a wonderful time, it was physically tiring at times but the amount we saw with only a couple of days in each city is pretty remarkable. And, even better, I have LOTS of photos and ideas mulling around in my break for The Next Big Thing..

Mt Fløyen – Bergen, Norway.

Before I left for the Scandi-lands, I left you all with the visions of Sneaky Business zine and what was to come. Well, last week I picked up a lovely box of Sneaky Businesses from the local printers and pre-order is officially open! Andy Oliver from Broken Frontier kindly reviewed Sneaky Business for me, and you can see what he says here!

There’s something incredibly appealing about the almost ephemeral zine-like approach of Sneaky Business; something smaller scale that, nevertheless, acts as a concise showcase for a number of self-publishing talents in one affordable and welcoming package.” – Andy Oliver, Broken Frontier review of Sneaky Business.

Sneaky Business is now available for pre-order from my Etsy store, with official launch this coming Saturday 29th August at MancsterCon!

Talking of MancsterCon, it’s now only three days to go until the event itself! I’m really excited to be attending as a seller rather than a viewer this year, and the organisers kindly have adopted me as an honorary Northerner to Manchester’s celebration of indie sequential art in the North West. There are a whole host of events going on between 10am-5pm, and if you’re in Manchester you should definitely pop along and say hello! I’ll also be sitting alongside Tom Ward, Chris Welsh, Andrew Tunney and Debbie Jenkinson on the “So you want to get into comics?” panel! Here’s what they say about it..

“We’re all here because we love indie comics, but how do you actually become an indie comics artist? Where do you start from? What’s the mark of success (or failure for that matter)? What exactly is a non-repro blue pencil? These talented, award winning indie comic artists reveal their secrets and bestow some advice for the up and coming comic artist.”

Should be fun! If there’s one thing I can talk about to no end, it’s my own work. Because, y’know. It’s all I do. So in case you’d forgotten, MancsterCon is this Saturday 29th August 2015 at the Salford University, Media City campus in Salford Quays, Manchester. Pre-holiday I’d also been busy ordering new supplies and goodies, so hopefully it’s a really successful day for all of us.

 

In other news, in my last update before holiday I talked about my Top Secret Project! Low and behold, in three days I managed to fully ink all nine pages and spend my evenings with an ice pack on my wrist – but I did it! Hurray! On return from the lands of blondes and Vikings, I’ve been hard at work painting the pages up, so here are some more sneaky progress shots from my current work.

 

 

The deadline remains as 1st September, so I have my work cut out to finish this and prepare for MancsterCon this weekend! But it’s a really exciting project, and although I’m nervous as to how it’ll be received I’m also excited to see it finished, bound and in people’s loving arms.

Finally, I was thrilled to arrive home last week to a shiny copy of Dirty Rotten Comics sitting on my desk! Don’t worry, the postman didn’t break into my home, my well trained flatmate carefully positioned it away from any pots of paint and water containers. It’s been a wild ride to see my work in print, from the first time in June 2014 with HOAX, to my first self published works in The Red Road earlier in the year. The feeling of pride and excitement never dwindles to see my work in print, almost more-so when hand-picked by someone else. Thank you so much to the guys at Dirty Rotten Comics for putting Rejsen to fame! My dreams were made even more so by being highlighted as one of the top comics in the anthology by Richard Bruton at Forbidden Planet and Andy Oliver at Broken Frontier;

“And finally, last but certainly not least, Rozi Hathaway. Her ‘Rejsen‘ tells a simple 2-page tale of meeting up, of waiting, of longing, of counting the days. It’s a fragment thing, each panel disconnected from the text that recounts the reason the woman is dragging a case around a railway station, but the interaction of text and Hathaway’s lovely artwork is spot on…” – Richard Bruton, Forbidden Planet Blog

Rozi Hathaway – another of that now legendary six – also goes the slice-of-life route with her account of a long-distance relationship. It’s a beautifully personal piece that has a haunting, almost lyrical quality to it – the weary passage of time and the inhospitable nature of public transport fading into insignificance in a heartwarming, joyous final panel.” – Andy Oliver, Broken Frontier

 

Success! Though I shouldn’t get too used to these kind things people say; it’s coming up to a month until my third year of University starts, and I need to be prepared to be thoroughly verbally destroyed by several lecturers whilst weeping into my fifth coffee of the day. However, I have a month of peace and quiet until all hell breaks loose and I wonder why I spend £40k on a degree. And peaceful, quiet and busy it shall be. Until next week!

x

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The Secret Plans Continue..

Good evening faithful readers!

So, another week has vanished and August is ebbing closer. Words cannot express how much of a dire need I am in for a holiday, and in just under three weeks my wish will be granted. Up until that point I’ll be extra busy on my final two top secret projects…

In an excellent turn of events, great news has come my way! My two-page comic Rejsen, mentioned previously in my blog here, has been accepted to appear in Dirty Rotten Comics‘ Summer Anthology! I am absolutely THRILLED to be included, which will be released around mid-August. Happy days! Work hard and good things will come… in short, sporadic bursts, that make this job all the more worthwhile.

So! Back to the hard work malarkey; work has continued on the sneaky and interesting project I mentioned here last week. As I mentioned before, this project has some friendly faces involved, and I’m thrilled to give you a sneak peek of some work! Last week was a preview of my work and also Alex Hahn’s, this week I bring you an exciting snapshot from Samuel C Williams and Peter James Norman!

Samuel C Williams
Samuel C Williams
Peter James Norman
Peter James Norman

This is one secret that will be revealed on next week’s blog.. So, keep your eyes open, it’s something to look forward to! Well, maybe not, but pretend it is, yeah?

Another super thing is that us Ladies of the Zine are in the process of creating issue #2 of Down to Your Skivvies! How exciting, right?! Our first issue is still on sale, so be sure to pick up a copy if you haven’t already. It’s great. And I’m not biased. Honest.

Finally, good news everyone! MancsterCon‘s early bird tickets are available until the end of this month! By purchasing an early ticket you get the extra discount and a free goodie bag! Plus, you get to see my face, which will either help the situation or put you off immensely. Either way, pop on over and pick your ticket up from here for the BEST indie comic-con in the North West, in the lovely Manchester on the Saturday 29th August. Don’t forget I’ll be on the “So you want to get into Comics?” panel with Tom Ward, Chris Welsh, Andrew Tunney, and Debbie Jenkinson where you can watch me pretending to know what I’m talking about. What could be better?

I think that’s it for now, my weekly Wednesday early start looms, so I’d best get into bed and listen to the soothing sounds of children playing and people having fun whilst I try and sleep. Over and out!

x

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