Spring has sprung

Hello everyone,

We made it to May! I hope everyone is safe and well despite the obvious coronavirus-shaped elephant in the room. The longer our lockdown goes on, the harder it is to have anything new or positive to say. Nevertheless, remember to look after yourselves the best way you can, whether that’s marathoning box sets on tv or training for a marathon.

I’m still maintaining my goal of one comic a week, which I’m glad for! This last week I finished it a few days earlier (harder than it sounds…) and released it through the Good Comics blog. and shared all the comics in order this far.

Here are week’s 4 and 5 below, to get you up to speed:

After week 4, I decided to make a dumb poll on Twitter to see what everyone wanted to see included next. Thankfully the people voted for clearly the best option!

I’m starting to get into a good routine with these weekly comics, and I have the rest of the ‘story’ mostly mapped out. It’s still a useful challenge for me, and I’m looking forward to showing you all week 6 (when it’s done). Watch this space!


In other news, I’m very happy to announce that as last year’s Rocks is very nearly sold out, I have donated 50% of the profits made to Bournemouth’s Natural Science Society.

Rocks was very much a project of discovery and realisation about the way I make comics. Between finishing Moon and starting Rocks (note to self: consider more than just one-word titles for future books) I’d hit a wall with creating, and pushing myself through to the end of Rocks was tough yet rewarding. I’m very grateful for the information I gained from the BNSS, and Rocks will always be the one which helped me learn to pick up a pen again and restart my journey, releasing some of that pain I was feeling in Sparenting.

If you’d like a copy of Rocks before it sells out, you can pick up a copy from my Etsy store for £3.00 + P&P.


Lastly, you’ll be glad to know that I’ve started work on my next seasonal sketchbook! The remaining autumn/winter books have now fully sold out, and I will be finishing up spring/summer in the coming week or so.

Missed the autumn/winter sketchbooks? Take a look at this post to learn more.

Autumn-Winter sketchbook

Until next time!

x

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Stay home and make comics

Greetings all,

We’re another few weeks into lockdown and social distancing, and the outside world is getting pretty wild. As is the internet, where people are planking, playing bingo and setting up creative backgrounds for their conference calls. What a time to be alive! Regardless of all the good-spirited humour going around, I do hope you’re all keeping safe in this strange time.

Low and behold, I’ve managed to keep up my weekly comics! I completed my third week comic at 22:45 on Sunday night, so it wasn’t completely down to the last minute… but near enough. Take a look at week’s 2 and 3:

It’s been a fun challenge to work on, and in a similar mindset to Rocks last year, I didn’t initially write a storyline for this. I drew the living room, the bedroom, and in the third week, the entrance to my flat building. Oh, and my beat-up old Vans. The epitome of lockdown drawing.

BUT! I have been working on telling a story through the transition of colour more so than my usual approach, which uses one solid colour palette for the whole project. For example, Moon was peaches, blues and neutral tones, whereas Njálla was blues and greens with a touch of neutral, and Ø was bright pinks, yellows and turquoise. Cosmos & Other Stories is the exception to the rule as it was a collection of shorts, but there was an underlying general palette running throughout.

As it stands, each of the weeks have been pretty different so far, so keep an eye out for number 4 coming out this week (possibly around 11pm on Sunday again, if I don’t get started soon…)!

In other news, I’m currently running a sale over on my online Etsy store! As lockdown continues people are starting to feel their mental and physical health decline as a result of being stuck inside, and the temptation to go outside seems to be pretty overwhelming. So, stay home and read comics! Or make them. Or both.

Everything in my store is 15% off until Sunday 3rd May, including sale items. Use coupon code STAYHOME15 and treat yourself to something. Go check it out! I’m down to the last few copies of Njálla, the Njálla colouring book and Rocks, so be quick.

To put your minds at ease, all my packaging is done safely at home, and postage is purchased online and printed here too. All my comics fit in letterboxes, so I am able to socially distance fully to get orders to you. Safety first!


Finally, I just wanted to have a quick shout about the incredible Raze by Claire Spiller, published by Good Comics. It’s a beautiful comic about old Gods and our role in looking after nature and the environment. We were delayed by the coronavirus, but Raze has now arrived and all orders are being sent out sharpish. I can’t recommend it enough, and if you’d like to get your hands on a copy please visit the Good Shop.

And that’s it for now! Stay safe everyone.

x

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Shelf-isolating

Greetings one and all!

Low and behold, I’ve actually managed to get myself behind my computer again and offer my wit and wisdom to the world in the form of yet another blog. Crazy! Apparently COVID-19 is doing wonders for my productivity at least 75% of the time (the other 25% is spent aimlessly being annoyed at everything and avoiding the news).

After my last blog I sat down and spent an hour or two really figuring out what I wanted to achieve this month – and why I haven’t been enjoying working on another comic I started months ago. Instead of dwelling on it, I mixed things up a little and set myself the challenge of a…

Weekly silent comic!

That might seem like a punishment to some, but as most of my comics have very little wording anyway, it’s just a further extension of what I normally do. This time, however, I wanted to do some drawing from real life and what better way to start than the room that I have spent the majority of my waking hours in. The living room.

Working in a similar method to the last couple of comics I’ve done, I sketched out my idea into a sketchbook, refined the pencil drawings, took a picture and loaded it onto my computer to digitally draw all the linework. I then printed off a copy and used my lightbox and some gouache paint on mixed media cartridge paint.

It’s also been a great excuse to pull out some of my favourite small press silent comics from my bookshelves, including comics from the likes of Emma Raby, John Cei Douglas and Lando.

The next instalment is a follow on from last week, and I have the idea and concept sketched out already – so the ‘story’ will continue soon. Keep an eye out!


In other news, I also finished up my Major League Mugs drawing of Pee-Wee Hoss McGraw! (see my last blog if this makes no sense to you).

I painted it on cheap sketchbook paper so it got a little muddy in places, and I didn’t do as good a job on the text as I’d hoped, but as the Flomaton Funyuns would’ve been a pretty gritty minor league team anyway, I figure they wouldn’t have minded.

There’s still time to draw your own Major League Mug, so check out my last blog for all the details and get drawing!


Finally, in hope that this may help out another person stuck at home with a grumpy family, last week’s home art school activity was making papercut illustrations together. I started as I meant to go on, with a whale:

This is now added to my ongoing whale sketchbook inspired by Nick Pyenson’s Spying on Whales and Herman Melville’s Moby Dick (I read the full one, but if you’re short on time maybe just go for this one).

Anyway, that’s it for now. Remember to sign up to the Good Comics newsletter as we’ll be sending that out to inboxes next week. And, I’ll be back in a couple of weeks with the next blog!

Until next time!

x

Disclaimer: This week’s blog is NOT sponsored by shades of red and orange, it’s just apparently my hue of the month.

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