Quarantine & Coffee

Hi folks,

Welcome back! The calendar has ticked over to April and we’re in the midst of a worldwide pandemic (in case you weren’t already aware). I hope you’re all safe and well wherever you are.

Now we’re all settling to a new normal of being inside, it’s really time for me to get back into writing. So here it goes! Here’s what I have for you today:

  1. Start of spring sketchbooks
  2. Quarantine drawing challenge & free comics
  3. Good newsletter
  4. Recent projects

1. Spring sketchbooks

Remember a few months ago I made some autumn-winter sketchbooks? Well, they’re soon to be back with the next season: Spring-Summer 2020! Back in late-February, I picked up some new papers from the magical Shepherds fine papers in London especially for the next set of sketchbooks. My new prized papers have been sitting quietly waiting to be collated, and it’s on my list to do.

Meanwhile, you can now pick up one of the last few autumn-winter sketchbooks on sale for just £2.50 with FREE UK shipping (everywhere else £2 p&p)! Any remaining sketchbooks will be taken off sale in the coming weeks, so pick one up whilst you can.

2. Quarantine drawing challenge & free comics

It goes without saying that it’s a really stressful and scary time for everyone. However, one of the most heartwarming side effects of the COVID crisis has been people’s response to opening up their skills and creativity for all.

From Grace Sandford’s Instagram live drawing workshops, to Oxford Pennants printable positivity pennants (direct link to pdf here), and even free audiobooks, it’s great to see so many people trying to make this confusing time more comforting and inspiring.

At Good Comics, we decided to release a bundle of free comics to encourage everyone to take government advice and stay home. This bundle includes the first edition of my 2017 release Cosmos & Other Stories, as well as Stealing Home: Rookie Season by Paddy Johnston (including a comic by yours truly). You can read about the bundle on the Good Blog, or take a direct link to the bundle by clicking here.

Good Sam has also announced the quarantine drawing challenge of designing your own old-timey baseball player! It all started with a ‘find your 1800’s baseball player name and evolved into something more:

As Pee-Wee “Hoss” McGraw, I’ve started designing mine up already. We’ll post a gallery of as many as possible over on the Good Comics website. Here are some tips/guidelines!

  • Try and make the designs to 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches.
  • Baseball has a long and rich history including some amazing women and people of colour players, so be creative!
  • If you don’t like your ‘name’ from the challenge above, feel free to make up your own.
  • If 1800’s America unnerves you (i.e. the slave trade) , feel free to make it a modern-day vintage style card.

If you’re up to the challenge, email your cards to us or tag @samuelcwilliams on Twitter and use the hashtag #MajorLeagueMugs. And have fun!

3. Good Newsletter

In February we launched the brand-spankin’ new Good Comics newsletter. It’s monthly at this point, but we also send out random news as and when we can, like about our upcoming release from Claire Spiller! (more on that below)

I like to think we’re pretty interesting, so you can read our March newsletter here, and sign up for future updates by clicking here. Go on, you know you want to.

4. Recent projects

I’ve been pretty lax towards keeping my site up to date, so I have a couple of more recent projects to share with you! Firstly, earlier this year I was commissioned to create another back cover for Star Jaws issue 31!

As it was the February issue I went for a valentine’s theme, with a love letter from Senator Bail Organa to his wife Breha Organa – the adoptive parents of Princess Leia before Alderaan was destroyed by the Death Star. Yes, I thoroughly enjoyed being enthralled in the Star Wars universe. Yes, I researched a lot about Alderaan’s most iconic landmarks and foliage. No regrets. Click here to see the full back cover in action!


Secondly, I also worked on a submission for Two Set Mag: ‘a zine focused on writing, with a healthy dose of art and photography – all by skateboarders‘, as described on their site.

This comic is for the second issue, under the theme of ‘chance’. It’s not yet available to buy, but keep an eye out and I’ll let you know when it’s purchasable. In the meantime check out their Instagram and grab a copy of issue #1 from the online store.

I’ve also been busy with the Good Comics team preparing for our latest release, Raze by Claire Spiller. Claire’s work is beautiful and she’s well rehersed in printing comics so she’s been an absolute dream to work with – check out her latest work and pre-order your copy of Raze today. If you like my comics, this will be up your street! Treat yo’self.


And that just about rounds it up for now! A few other things have happened, like turning 30, having my feet tattooed, having an incredible pre-birthday celebration with Sam in London and learning how to homeschool a 10-year-old. But hey, better save something for the next blog!

Until next time, stay safe!

Rozi x

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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.

 

x

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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!

 

x

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