Ziggy’s Wish

The Red Road

Good evening ladies and gents,

Well, what a week it’s been! Following my last post, everything went incredibly smoothly with releasing The Red Road on Thursday 15th January. Any concerns or small worries I had floated away on a magical, comic-filled cloud when I got to the printers and laid eyes on my big box of books. Huge thanks to the folks at Hampton Print in Northampton who were absolutely fantastic and helped me through the whole process. As much as you think you know how to set up a comic, something always comes up – thankfully the printing experts at Hampton have made my comic look wonderful, and I jumped for joy when I saw how the recycled off-white paper added new depths to the story geeked out over the paper quality.

Check out that recycled paper.. Ooft. Warms the soul!

I’m very lucky in that the majority of people who requested a pre-order paid up swiftly, so off to the Post Office I floated – armed with doodled envelops – and now nummerous copies of The Red Road are in their new homes, each numbered and packaged with love. Also, I’m incredibly lucky to have had a very swift review from Andy Oliver over at Broken Frontier! You can read the whole article here. It is a very strange feeling reading a review about yourself, it was an equally exhilarating-yet-other-worldly experience when Broken Frontier reviewed HOAX Psychosis Blues, and I feel incredibly honoured to have received two such glowing reviews from Andy, and his tireless promotion of The Red Road since posting the article has been outstanding. I keep having to pinch myself to check if it’s real!

Stunningly rendered, and painfully beautiful in its own way, The Red Road is an outstanding debut print offering. Keep your eyes on Rozi Hathaway’s work this year because she’s one of half a dozen or so names I have on my list of self-publishing talents I believe will make the next step up in 2015.

Andy Oliver, for Broken Frontier

 

Thanks Andy! I’d also like to take a moment just to thank everybody who has purchased a copy or even paid attention to the book. It’s very close to my heart for several reasons, and putting it out there to the world has been one of the most scariest points of my career so far. But incredibly rewarding -what a start to the year! Clearly I’d better up my game for the coming months.. *gulp* I’d also like to mention that if it hadn’t been for Ravi Thornton pushing me to do my best work during HOAX Psychosis Blues, I wouldn’t have the knowledge and know-how to even attempt a project like The Red Road – so thank you, as always, for the opportunity, Ravi!

For now I shall patiently await any news from some of the independent-friendly shops that I’ve sent copies to, and for anyone who would like to review The Red Road more formally than, “Yeah it’s cool m8.” – I have set up a new reviews section on my About page. It’ll be a test-run to see whether it’s worthwhile me having reviews, but as my Etsy page is still fresh off the block and review-less.

Remember, you can still purchase your very own copy of The Red Road from my Etsy store for the bargain price of £6!

Anyway, that’s it for now! I have a whole bunch of new University assignments I’m still working out how to make into comics (Shhh… It may just work..!) so it’s back to the grind! I shall be back with an update next week – but for now, over and out! x

 

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Hayfever, I’m sick of your shit. Plus, Gosh! Comics HOAX signing!

Urgh,

Hay-fever season.

Those two dreaded words that make myself and countless others flinch, wince and generally run indoors and hide. Every night I get to slowly cook in my bedroom whilst the windows are sealed shut to try and avoid the 4am wake-up involving trying to attack my itchy throat and eyes with a toothbrush. And then, it doesn’t really matter anyway! Pollen still manages to find a way in. HOW DOES IT DO THAT? God forbid I have anything important to do, as soon as I enter the great outdoors my complexion gives off that lovely pale-faced red-nosed glow. I do appreciate that trees, grass and flowers need to get their frisky business on, but I’d rather they didn’t get their frisky business on up my nose.

And then I read this; Telegraph – “Hay-fever Experts Forecast Worse Case Scenario For Suffers

So, I’ve decided to resort to any means necessary to protect myself from the invisible air pirates otherwise known as pollen, with a creation illustrated below;

Hay-fever season is upon us..
Hay-fever season is upon us..

Anyway, that’s my rant over for now. Onto other news!

The lovely folks over at Gosh! Comics London have organised a nice HOAX: Psychosis Blues signing! You can read all about it on Gosh! Comics website here. I’m sure all you busy folks are more than happy to clear your diaries to pop down to London on the 19th July, and come say hi between 2-3pm! Not only do I get to see the ever so lovely Ravi Thornton, Hannah Berry, Julian Hanshaw and Ian Jones again, I’m pretty damn excited to meet Karrie Fransman (who has recently been a part of the British Red Cross’s Refugee Week – read her free comic online about the harrowing true story of a young Kurdish-Iranian refugee Ebrahim), Mark Stafford (whose incredible pages in HOAX have left me lingereing in a state of awe ever since) and Rian Hughes (Soho Divas especially, beautiful work). Which ALSO means I have approximately 3 weeks to figure out what on earth I’m going to draw in HOAX if someone requests doodles from us all again.. Invisible air pirate pollen, maybe?

Gosh! Comics Signing - Saturday 19th July 2-3pm
Gosh! Comics Signing – Saturday 19th July 2-3pm

If you can’t travel down to London, or you just ‘damn well don’t want to be told what to do’ by me, you can still buy HOAX: Psychosis Blues HEEEREEEE or from any of the lovely independent retailers selling it, like Travelling Man or Page45.

Anywho, I have more to report on in the next week or so. For a University summer project our class have been told that we need to start a blog over on Tumblr, so I shall be posting my updates in BOTH places now, and potentially waffling on a lot more over there. So, if you are indeed a Tumblrlrlrlr, you can now ‘follow’ me. Not in a stalking way, mind. I’m really not interesting enough for that.

Right, I’m off to stick my face in a bucket of ice water and try to ease my facial suffering. For now.. Bye! x

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Back to Reality

So, the fun of the HOAX Psychosis Blues launch is well and truly over, as I slump begrudgingly back into reality. Not that it’s all bad, mind you, just not quite as glamorous (though struggling with bags of Aldi shopping could be glamorous if I tried really, really hard…).

It was a fantastic day in Manchester on Saturday, starting off at Travelling Man selling books pre-launch and doing some signing. Out of the ten total illustrators there were four of us on the day, Julian HanshawHannah BerryIan Jones and myself, plus writer/creator/all-round-supertalent Ravi Thornton. I admit, I felt like maybe I was in some sort of surreal dream sat next to such talented and lovely people, but thankfully nerves only got the better of me a couple of times (and hopefully no one noticed!!). The feedback from people who’d already seen the stage show was fantastic, making it all the more exciting for the final run that night. After an interlude of great food with my better half, we were back at the Royal Exchange Theatre for the final show of HOAX My Lonely Heart; the performance was incredibly moving, with Tachia Newell and Olivia Sweeney portraying Rob and Helen. The live music soundtrack from Minute Taker from the side of the stage was a beautiful addition, and the looming presence of Rob’s illness (played by Stephen Myott-Meadows) gave a really sinister feel. The feeling of watching someone mentally unravel in front of my eyes is something I won’t be forgetting for a while.Read the 4* review here! Following the stage show we all piled into Sandinista Bar’s lower floor for the after-party and further signings. And, after a great speech from Andy Oliver of Broken Frontier, and a heartfelt, moving speech from Ravi we all settled in for a night of good company.

So there we are! HOAX Psychosis Blues is published and available for purchase direct from Ziggy’s Wish. It’s on a limited run of 1000 First Edition copies all signed and numbered by the author, and sales from book go towards supporting mental health charities

A small selection of team HOAX! L-R: Myself, Ravi Thornton, Ian Jones, Hannah Berry and Julian Hanshaw
Andy Oliver doing his thing!
Ravi’s moving speech of thanks to everyone involved.
HOAX: Psychosis Blues

So what have I learnt? HOAX as a whole has taught me many things, one of which being caffeine abuse, but in relation to Saturday I have learnt a very important lesson: People will ask in future “Can you draw something too!” in a book when signing, and I really, really need to think of something to fallback on. Needless to say there are a couple of awfully drawn butterflies in people’s books due to my lack of preperation and inability to focus under direct pressure. Oops! There is still lots to learn.
For now, that’s it! x

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