War Horse

December Madness and Laydeez do Comics!

Good morning ladies and gents!

So, another week bites the dust and the first round of assessment is looming eerily close by. Although I’m working in a haze which can probably be described as “I’m not really sure what I’m doing anymore”, things are getting ticked off the list and I’m vaguely, quietly confident that I’ll be in good stead by Christmas. Well, as long as I avoid any critique sessions where it’s advised to completely change my work.. Sigh. But anyway, I also decided it would be a marvellous idea to start getting up stupidly early in the week to do some mild exercise or yoga (don’t laugh) before getting to work before 8am, which seems to be helping my productivity somewhat. Though, I’m only on day three so far.. And I ache.

Logos

 

First up, as you may remember from last week, I mentioned that I had something exciting up my sleeve to tell you all. WELL! I am over the moon to announce that I have been asked by the lovely Keara Stewart and Wallis Eates of Laydeez do Comics to speak as a part of the Broken Frontier themed evening, as one of the Six UK Small Press Creators to Watch in 2015! With the small press champion Editor-in-Chief Andy Oliver being the reason for so many people getting a chance of recognition and support, it’ll be a great chance to listen to his worldly comics wisdom. Alongside will be the fiercely talented and entertaining Danny Noble, of Ollie and Alan fame, and myself – probably still a bit love-drunk on brandy butter by that point.

Laydeez do Comics London is held in Gosh! Comics in Soho, who are one of the biggest stores to support small press comics creators. Keara and Wallis have stepped up to take over as London Co-ordinators whilst co-founders Sarah Lightman and Nicola Streeten are taking a break to focus on their respective PhDs. here’s a snippet about Laydeez do Comics (LDC) from their website..

“Launched in July 2009 by artists Nicola Streeten and Sarah Lightman, it is the first women led graphic novel forum in the UK. Artists, academics, publishers and fans from around the world are invited to speak. It is a platform for people to test new works and ideas, where emerging artists present their work alongside more established practitioners. The evenings offer an inspiring experience in a social atmosphere for both those new to comics and those already immersed. Laydeez do Comics now has branches in Glasgow,  Bristol, Leeds, Dublin, San Francisco and Chicago.  Pop up events have also taken place in New York, Toronto, Glasgow and Brighton.”

Exciting stuff! The Broken Frontier LDC night is being held on Monday 18th January, and in MORE exciting news I’ve been working together with Gosh and LDC to create a themed window display for the event! At the moment I’ve just been sketching ideas up, but soon I’ll be getting some final designs to both parties and the work will commence the week before the event. Because I’m feeling overly generous, here’s one character from some preliminary sketchbook work for the window design…

Promo Blog

This coming Monday I’ll be attending my first LDC event as a member of the audience, with guest speakers are Mike Medaglia and Rachael Ball. Both are so excellent at what they do, and I can’t wait to be a part of the audience! And also, it’ll be good to see exactly what to expect a month later when I sit the other side of the table. Tickets for LDC are free, but must be booked and disappear incredibly quickly! If you’re interested in attending the Laydeez night in January, then best to pop over to the Laydeez do Comics website and sign up for their mailing list to be alerted when tickets are available (details are on the home page). So if you want to come and watch me pretend to know what I’m talking about, and see my first attempt at window painting.. Sign up now! But in all seriousness, big thanks to Gosh and LDC for letting my represent their values in the form of a window display and asking me to speak as one of the chosen six – I can’t wait!

In other news, you may recall a few weeks ago me referring to one of my projects being the House of Illustration and Folio Society Book Illustration Competition for War Horse! The competition requirements is to produce a set of three internal illustrations and a binding design, to fit into their minimalist graphic style.The competition ends in January, but with assessment looming and final tutorials this week I’ve been working extra hard to get this ready! It’s been a strange project for me to do given that I didn’t particularly want to approach it in the character-centric style I tend to work in, as the general tone of the cheery children’s book is rather dark. Instead, I wanted to focus on the atmosphere, and use certain scenes and textures to give an effect of how very depressing it all was. I mean, the First World War wasn’t exactly all butterflies and flute music, was it? With that in mind, here’s my work in progress on the project to date..

Layout 1

Spine Text

I’m not entirely happy with the binding (front and back cover spread) just yet, but it’s not too far off I don’t think.. Book covers are not something I ever really did before University and I desperately struggled with the last one for Carrie’s War, so I have been determined to get this one right. As for the internal illustrations, I opted to completely avoid using ink lines for this and painted or printed everything using handmade collagraph plates, using Photoshop to put everything together nicely. Again, these aren’t completely 100% finished yet – but not far off.

Finally, after I had a tremendous sell-out of greetings cards at Thought Bubble last month I’ve gotten round to ordering more and putting them up on my Etsy store! There’s a choice of three at the moment, with this year’s Christmas card design and two others. So, for an extra special card this year, pop on over to my Etsy store and check them out.

Well well well, another busy one. I’ll be back next week after a during stressful assessment period, but hopefully with the Christmassy end in sight! Low and behold I have another week of rather important emails, another commission and further uni work progression. So, with that in mind, and the kettle calling my name.. Over and out.

x

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Hello, November.

Good morning ladies and gents.

So, another week is behind us and we’re well and truly into November. There’s a crisp, cold scent to the night air which can only mean the arrival of Bonfire night. Because, y’know, why not celebrate some guy’s failure of trying to blow up the House of Lords in the 17th century when it involves pretty colours and bright lights? Thankfully my week-and-a-half long lurgy seems to be finally tailing off, though it’s been a determined little bunch of germs.

On Monday I managed to drag my coughing and sniffly self into the university print rooms to play with my collagraph printing plates I showed you all last week. Wanna see? Yeah you do!

These prints are all part of the work I’m creating for the Folio Society’s printing of War Horse, and as I mentioned last week this is a competition which calls for three internal illustrations and a book jacket design in the typical Folio Society styling. As the subject matter of War Horse is pretty dark, and the story is told through the eyes of the horse, I didn’t want to go and just draw horses everywhere. Instead, I’m looking at combining these textured backgrounds with washes of paint and some drawn details. The first print is for the shelling at night, the second is muddy brown holes in the snow, and the third is pieces of shrapnel and earth upturned by more shelling. I don’t normally work in an abstracted way so it’s kind of nice to try out this more atmospheric way of presenting a landscape rather than going straight to drawing pens. Fits the story better, I think.

In similar news, I’ve been trying out something different with modelling clay, too! With Thought Bubble Festival only a week and a half away, I’ve been working on a small side project to keep me company over the weekend on my half of table 73. Plus, with the re-release of The Red Road coming THIS FRIDAY, and Thought Bubble being it’s first public appearance, I thought it’s a perfect opportunity to make something  bit different. Now, I’m absolutely no expert in the field of modelling, but after a plea on twitter and speaking to some fellow students at university, I found out my failed attempts were because I needed to make a skeleton structure to support the weight of the clay. Who knew! Low and behold, I’ve just about managed to make a model of Bear and Coyote with air-drying clay and a frame consisting of paper clips, wool and hot glue.

Now, they are pretty crappy. I mean, I was hoping I could sell them, but I wouldn’t wish that upon anyone until I’ve practiced a little more. Also, as you can probably tell, they aren’t to scale of each other – whoops! Making a smaller Coyote would have been really fiddly, and making a bigger Bear would have needed a much larger and more substantial frame. But altogether, not too shabby for a second attempt. Some cracks have appeared in the drying process so I shall be off to get some fine surface filler to fill those in before I paint and glaze my new friends.

Speaking of The Red Road… IT’S ALMOST FRIDAY!! I am so, so excited to be releasing The Red Road for a second time, especially with the changes and additions I’ve made. The story remains the same, but there’s some special extra content in there now, and a couple of other tweaks to make it the best it can be. Yay! Don’t forget, The Red Road launches this Friday (6th November) still for the same price of £6 on my Etsy store, but this time with an extra 4 pages of goodies. Just to make life even more exciting, Richard Bruton’s review came through last week from Forbidden Planet Blog. What a dream come true! Having not only a Broken Frontier review but now a Forbidden Planet review too is an incredibly proud and exciting moment for me. Here’s a snippet, and click here for the full review.

“…Hathaway deserves fulsome praise for delivering something so brutal, so powerful, in such simple terms. This is good comics.”

– Richard Bruton, Forbidden Planet Blog review of The Red Road

Finally, yesterday saw celebrations in the form of Broken Frontier’s Editor-in-Chief Andy Oliver’s Small Pressganged 4th birthday! Wow, that was a mouthful. Anyway, it’s safe to say that without Andy Oliver’s tireless work to embrace small press and independent comics, I would not be on the shelves of comics shops throughout the UK, and I would not have appeared in anthologies and at comics events. What a guy! For myself and countless others, Andy has championed our hard work and given it an amplified audience of dedicated fans and followers. Really, I am so thankful for the great work that he does, and I would just be another uni student desperate to get anywhere without his support and belief in my work. All hail the hat! To celebrate the occasion I draw Andy a nice big hat cake with four candles per hat and a potential flag fire hazard. It’s not exactly my most esteemed work, but as a doodle it gets the message across. Happy 4th Birthday Small Pressganged!

So, that’s about it for now; the Next Big Thing is slowly under way and next on the list is working on my dissertation proposal. (Yep, you thought your Wednesday morning was fun..) Don’t forget to get your shiny second edition copy of The Red Road from Friday, and check back next week for some previews of the second edition additions. Until next time!

x

 

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