Thought Bubble 2018

Welcome, 2019

So, it’s 2019. Happy New Year, everybody!

It’s that undeniably exciting time of year again; the tin of Quality Street is finally dwindling, there’s a new calendar on the wall, and it’s time to look ahead to a new year and everything that could possibly be. Daunting for some, the start of a new year is my very favourite time of the year.

It wouldn’t be a new year without looking back at the previous, so get comfy with a cuppa and join me in some light New Year’s Day reflections.

Moon - self-published in September 2018.
Moon – self-published in September 2018.

This year kicked off in style with Cartoon County in Brighton, hosted by Alex Fitch. Cartoon County is a monthly meet-up of comic creators, and I was honoured to be the January guest. Other guests this year have included Rachael Ball, Julian Hanshaw and Wallis Eates. I’ve been in good company! Cartoon County still hosts its monthly meet-up, and for more information on their gatherings, you can follow them on Twitter.

2018 also saw the re-release of Cosmos & Other Stories, published by Good Comics. Cosmos was originally released in March 2017 but sold out by the end of that year, so we re-released it in an extended format at the beginning of 2018. The new version had a totally brand new story included, which involved some fun Olmec and Aztec research. Sadly, Cosmos is now very-nearly sold out again – act quickly if you’d like to pick one up before it’s gone!

Cosmos & Other Stories, expanded edition. Last few copies available from Good Comics.

Last year also saw me create three more short stories; one which has since been published in BBE Collective’s Barriers anthology, and one for the Good Comics Reader charity anthology (see some of my progress pictures here). The other unpublished story is available for Patreon subscribers.

Speaking of which, 2018 is the year I began a Patreon subscription service! You can read all about my decision here.

Bear, available to Patreon subscribers

I also started working on my long-form story which will be coming out in the next couple of years. The decision to start working on a longer story came naturally and is something that will be slowly plugging away for a while. You can catch up on some of my early sketchbook work here!

Other goings-on included the launch of The Inking Woman book by Myriad Editions, based on The Cartoon Museum exhibition from 2017. Myself and other female creators are published in this first-of-its-kind book, and was truly an incredibly experience.

This past summer also saw my first ever keynote speech at the International Graphic Novel and Comics Conference here in Bournemouth. It was one of the absolute highlights of my comics career, and I am so grateful for the team at ICGNC for welcoming me.

Keynote speech at the IGNCC, June 2018

2018 was also the year of Moon, my newest comic. Successfully funded through Kickstarter (thanks to some wonderful backers!), Moon came to be in time for Thought Bubble 2018 in September. I put everything I had into making Moon, and I’m absolutely thrilled with how it came out. If you’d like to get your hands on a limited copy, they’re available in my shop.

Moon has gone on to be one of Daniel Elkin’s Books We Liked 2018 and one of A Place to Hang Your Cape’s 10 of the Best Indie Comics of 2018!

Whilst Moon may dabble in deities, it’s message is intimate and unassuming. Set against the backdrop of a Chinese shipping docks, Moon tells the story of an inquisitive grandson’s discovery of what his grandfather hides from him in one particular shipping container. More akin to a snapshot than a story, Moon‘s warm colours and dockside setting lends it a detached, melancholic flavour. Printed in a bespoke, mini-tabloid format, Moon is a small, enchanting read.

Fred McNamara, A Place to Hang Your Cape

Finally, 2018 drew to a close with the announcement that I’ve officially joined Good Comics. Keen to support grass-roots creators, establishing and developing themselves in a growing community, Good Comics aims to be a hand-up for a handful of creators. I’ve been working alongside the co-founders of Good Comics a lot this year, and I’m thrilled to be joining them in the Good cause for 2019 and beyond.

And that rounds it up! It’s been a busy year, and I’m so grateful for everything that has come my way. A huge thank you to all of you who support my work and speak to me at shows, who backed my Kickstarter, or who just dig my work. You’re all the best, and here’s to another year of making new stories!

Happy 2019, everyone!

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Moon

Moon – Newspaper comic – 24 pages

Based on a conversation with a four-year-old, Moon is an original comics story with plenty of imagination, a look at familial relationships, and a nod the Chinese legend of Chang-e and the Mid-Autumn Festival.

Moon was successfully funded via Kickstarter, printed by The Newspaper Club and released on 22nd-23rd September 2018 at Thought Bubble Festival in Leeds, UK.

Available to buy here

…Our first port of call was to catch up with some familiar faces, and we started off with Good Comics’ Sam Williams, Rozi Hathaway and Josh Hicks who were all bunched in on a row together. Rozi was showcasing her new book Moon and this was our first chance to see it in print and the newsprint finish really made the most of Rozi’s beautiful artwork.

Alex Thomas, Pipedream Comics – Show Report: Bristol Comics & Zine Fair 2018

Moon preview

 

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Moon Landing

Good afternoon, folks!

So, the last few weeks have been slightly overwhelming. Back in July, shortly after SLCZF, I decided I could TOTALLY put a comic out by Thought Bubble Festival (22nd-23rd September). I had an idea and got to work on it, and somehow just about managed it. And, as of Sunday evening just gone, Moon was finished up, edited and sent off to print as the Kickstarter campaign ended at 135% funded. WE DID IT!

Now, I’m not going to pretend that this kind of concept is a good idea – it was a pretty stupid idea because it meant I had to juggle an already busy existence with a very short deadline. I took days off from work here and there and spent my evenings at the desk too, but it was so, so worth it.

Moon preview

The campaign for Moon went really well; it was 50% funded after two days, and then had a steady increase of 1-2 pledges per day to reach the original target of £800, then onward and up to a total of £1082. The campaign itself was really short so that I could get the comic printed and out in time for Thought Bubble Festival. But, regardless of the rush, it all worked as planned! The only real comparison that I have with Kickstarter is Njálla; but that feels like an exception to the rule, as that was fully funded on the first day (and something I never expected to happen again)!

Given how little time I gave myself, the creation side of the comic went really well. I did my usual process of thumbnailing out the comic, pencilling it up on big layout sheets, and then inking straight onto artist cartridge paper and painting on the same page. Moon is a total of 24 pages, 17 of which are painted story pages. Check out a little preview here:

Gettin' Painty
Gettin’ Painty

What’s next? Well! First thing this Monday morning the print files were sent to print at the Newspaper Club. Tuesday night the rewards were sent off to print (A5 prints, temporary tattoos and stickers – you guys who pledged are in for a treat!), and now comes the waiting game. Digital review copies are being sent out on Monday 17th September (get in touch here if you’re keen to review Moon), digital comics are being sent to backers by Tuesday 18th, and all of the physical stuff should be arriving by Wednesday 19th. On the morning of Friday 21st September I’m (gently) throwing all of my wares in the boot of Billie the car and driving up to Leeds to launch Moon at Thought Bubble Festival on Saturday 22nd September. Phew!

It’s certainly been an experience, but this comic has been so much fun to work on and I truly wouldn’t have been able to work to this crazy schedule without the faith of every single Kickstarter backer who helped me make Moon into the physical comic I wanted it to be. Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to release it any time soon, or even dream of making sweet temporary tattoos of shipping containers.

And that’s about it for now! Remember to keep up with my more regular blogs over at Patreon, and until next time… Peace out!

 

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Moon - Coming Soon!
Moon – Coming Soon!

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