Comic creators, this is your four-and-a-half week warning for Thought Bubble, I repeat, this is your four-and-a-half week warning:
That’s right; one of, if not THE biggest UK independent comic festivals is just around the corner, as the words “It’s nearly Thought Bubble” strike fear into anyone who’s working on a project to release at Leeds’ epic weekend comics celebration. As I mentioned last time, I’ve been getting back to the grind to complete my new zine – the plus-side of not using any paint this time around (yes, yes it’s been a painful but important thing to temporarily let go of gouache and my brushes) is that the final artwork is a lot quicker to create. So, with a few finishing touches it should be going off to print before the week is out!
Here’s some previews..
Next week pre-orders for the zine will open and the full announcement will be made, so keep your peepers peeled!
In other news, the latest Pipedream Comics Pull List went up this month, titled Discover Small Press – including an interview from yours truly! Here’s what they said about it on the site:
We were inspired to celebrate Small Press after a visit to the East London Comic Arts Festival in June and so we’ve picked five of our favourite creators and talked to them about their inspirations and the stories behind their books. These include Jonathan Cape award-winner Matthew Dooley, Avery Hill’s new superstar Ellice Weaver, Human Garbage creator Josh Hicks, NPC-Tea’s Sarah Millman and Cosmos’ Rozi Hathaway. All five of these creators encapsulate what is great about the world of small press and we hope that by discovering their work you can embrace the wonders of the community, too. We also have an amazing cover from Sub Diablo creator Darrell Thorpe.
So, it’s now December. It’s also now only two-and-a-half weeks until Christmas Day, and I have also still not bought any presents. This is all very much unlike me, as I’m usually on a mission from mid-October and by now I would be calmly relaxed and have everything ready to go. Apparently, however organised you think you are, things like uprooting and moving to a new place and finding work completely scuppers that up. But regardless, the festive season is a time of laughter, love and lots of food.. And to kick of the season of giving, I give you.. inks!
Despite the adjustment period of sliding back into the 9-5 (or in my case, 8:30-5:30) I have managed to squeeze in some comics work. Hurrah! This third short story I’ve been working on for my Spring 2017 release with Good Comics is around 75% done now, with some final last-minute working out to do on the final page, and then some serious painting to do. It’s been a pretty deep, emotional story to work on, but very much grounded in the everyday rather than my usual backdrop of myth and fantasy. Hopefully it’s a relateable story to many, and I’m really excited for people to read it.. Mainly as I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time on this 4-pager and I’m pretty dang proud of it thus far!
With 10 almost-complete comic pages for this collection of short stories so far, there’s a long way to go and a lot more to do before the pencilled in launch date of Spring. And, I still have to figure out and write the rest of the stories! But it’s all great fun, and what would be a better use of my time in the break over Christmas than eating large amounts of food whilst writing and drawing stories.
And that’s it for now! Keen-eyed people will note that I missed my first #colour_collective this past Friday, sadly due to being massively overwhelmed with my new schedule and opting to curl up in a ball rocking back and forth instead of working on drawing things… Or something like that. I shall endeavour to be back with that this coming Friday once I have my routine down, and I will be back with hopefully lots more to show you next Wednesday! Until then, have a good week one and all!
So, summer is now a somewhat distant thought and the days are drawing shorter, nights chillier and bed is looking a damn sight cosier. Goodnight! Oh, wait.. Blog.
As I decline into the time of year where all I want to do is sleep, and by realising I already packed all my winter-wear up in boxes for moving I’m desperately hoping that it doesn’t get much colder in the next fortnight, it’s also looming towards the festival season of comics here in the UK. The Lakes International Comic Art Festival pops up in Kendal in the Lake District in mid-October with famous guests galore (I’ll get there one day…) all in the cosy Comics Clock Tower, followed shortly after my the awe-inspiringly massive Thought Bubble Sequential Art Festival over the first weekend of November, in Leeds (which I will be at, huzzah!). First up, however, is the long-awaited Bristol Comic & Zine Fair this Saturday, 1st October.
The Station, Bristol
I have been so redonkulously excited for BCZF since table applications opened up, and even more so excited when they let me have a table to host my goodies on. The weekend kicks off for me on Friday evening as my chariot (ie, a National Express bus) arrives in the centre of Bristol and I go find something to eat before falling into my hotel bed. I’ve never been able to get a hotel for a comics festival before – and honestly that’s a huge part of why I’m so excited – so I’ll be able to wake up fresh-faced ready for selling and chatting with folks.
There are a whole host of lovely guests this year including Sneaky Business featured Elizabeth Querstret, along with other folks you might have heard of such as Avery Hill Publishing, Mike Medaglia, the Sad Ghost Club, Rebecca Bagley, my good friends at Good Comics and many, many more. As I’m sure you remember from me referencing it so much recently, Saturday will also see the grand launch of Sneaky Business Vol. 2!
Work by Elizabeth Querstret
Work by Alex Hahn
Work by Alan Henderson
Work by Danny Noble
Reviewed on Monday by Andy Oliver at Broken Frontier, he had this to say:
Sneaky Business #2 is indeed an extremely eclectic compilation of comics and, given that slightly patchwork array of styles and genres, it’s inevitable that each individual reader will gravitate more towards some sections than others. But that selfsame disparate line-up is also part of its charm. As is often the way with anthologies there’s only room here to cover a selection of those who contributed to this volume but at an almost giveaway price of £3.00 there’s really no excuse for not picking up a copy of a book that acts as a communal platform for so many distinctively different forms of practice all tied together by that one unifying theme.
Sneaky Business arrived on my doorstep on Friday with huge thanks to Rich at Comic Printing UK for all his help and quite literally stopping the press when I found some *cough* small errors *cough*, and will be available to buy from Saturday 1st October from yours truly at Bristol, and shortly after will be available to buy from my Etsy store and at small press friendly comic shops around the UK; Limited to a run of 100, get your copy quick! I’ll cover the launch in more detail from next week, but for now trust me when I say SB2 is looking really, really good.
So, please forgive me for the gap in broadcasts last week; I’m more than accustomed to being busy with various projects, but busy with various projects AND flat hunting, job hunting and giving notice on everything at my current home in favour of my new home 120 miles away has been rather… strenuous. I slept for most of this past weekend and now feel vaguely human again. Hooray!
First up, entries for Sneaky Business vol.2 closed in spectacular style last Monday, with a more submissions than I could’ve ever expected! I want to extend my huge thanks to absolutely every single person who submitted to SB2, you’re all amazing and I was truly overwhelmed with the support and interest in my little creation. Aside from things like Down to Your Skivvies and the university degree show catalogue, it’s the first time I’ve really had to sit down and look at the order of things and who to include, and sadly who to not include. Ultimately SB2 has reached a whopping 36 pages with some incredibly entertaining comics from 18 talented creators, listed below!
Sneaky Business vol.2 is officially launching at Bristol Comic & Zine Fair on Saturday 1st October, with pre-orders going on my Etsy site a few days before and being posted out on Monday 3rd October. This 36-page bundle of joy can be all yours soon, and it is going to be great. Trust me..
In some final but equally if-not-more important news, I have an auction live on eBay at the moment raising much needed funds for the local homeless charity, the Northampton Hope Centre. I have a total of seven hand numbered and signed prints available for bidding, with prices starting at just £5.00 for a high quality giclée print sized at 35cm x 26cm. The prints are from two different ink and watercolour illustrations I made when I first moved to Northampton, of two abandoned buildings which have since been renovated; the Henry Harday shoe factory building and the old Neon Signs buildings, both in close proximity to the Hope Centre and town centre. The auctions end on Friday 23rd September at 5pm BST, so please help in supporting the Hope Centre through illustration! 75% of proceeds go towards the charity, and you can see all the prints available to bid for here.
Here in Northampton the weather has been pretty warm, but the nights are getting longer and the chill is starting to set in. I’m lucky enough to have my health and a home to sleep in every night, but others are not so fortunate. Starting bids at £5 isn’t much, so get your hands on a nice print and feel darn good about it at the same time.
And I think that about wraps it up for now! I shall be back next week with a bundle of copies of Sneaky Business to tempt you all with, and the run up to Bristol Comic & Zine Fair in full swing. Until then, have a great week everyone.
So, it’s a busy time again. Apologies for the lack of the usual weekly update last week; truth be told I was out of the country for almost a week and had nothing to show on my return.. But I have plenty now! The degree show has ended, and amongst comic submission work and expanding my illustration portfolio I’m also getting ready to head down to London next week for the D&AD New Blood festival, as a near-graduate on the University of Northampton stall. I seem to be spending so much time in London over the next week and a half I might as well be a local!
It was such a fun evening! I mean, the words ‘drink and draw’ kind of give the impression that it’s a fun evening of entertainment, but it really exceeded any expectations I had. Life can get stressful, and just sitting back and drawing random things has such a fun and calming influence. Drawing themes from the night included alter-egos, something or someone you lost as a child, and what if other mammals shaved their legs too. There was also a collaborate comic making its way around the pub, and competitions and prizes for attendees. As a non-Londoner (CUH, right?) I had to shoot off before the end, but huge thanks to Nora and Andy for hosting such a fun evening! Here’s my doodles from the themes listed above..
In other news, the submissions deadline for Dirty Rotten Comics #8 is fast approaching! With submissions closing on Thursday 30th (tomorrow, yikes!) and only rough sketches in front of me I have a fair bit of work to do to finish it all off.. But thankfully the gents over at Dirty Rotten Comics are fairly relaxed about the deadline, so if like me you’ve managed to accidentally be incredibly unorganised, you still have a bit of time to submit! See their submissions page for all the details and a link to their FAQ. For now, here’s a very sneaky-peek of a bit of my thought process for this submission; scripting from notes and painting..
So, you can guess what I’m doing for the rest of today and tomorrow, right?
Finally, as some of you may remember me mentioning it, work is commencing on Sneaky Business vol. 2 very, very soon! How soon, you ask? WELL! Monday, to be precise! Sneaky Business vol. 1 was very much a small, unique collection from comics creators that I personally asked to be involved. However, after being inspired by the guys over at Good Comics and what they’re doing with Dead Singer’s Society zine, I’ve decided to approach vol. 2 in a much more open way. Which means, from Monday 4th July I’ll be opening up submissions to all! I’m looking for 1-2 page comics, colour or black and white, under the theme of stealth or sneaky in some way.
The call for submissions with all the details will be posted up on my Twitter and Facebook from Monday, and I’ll have more coverage in next week’s blog – so keep an eye out!
Finally FINALLY finally, I’ve updated and improved my website! Things have moved a little, and the ‘Collaborations’ and ‘Commissions’ have been removed and merged into new or existing posts in two clear-cut sections; Illustration and Comics. The front page has everything, and with a SHINY NEW ‘infinity scroll’ you can now see all my work in one place, or head to the category links for the specifics. Nice, right?
Anyway, I’d best get back to this Dirty Rotten Comics submission as it most definitely won’t create itself.. Until next week (for certain this time), have a good Wednesday everyone!
So, although a little later than normal, I am dutifully back with this week’s update on what’s been going on at the HQ. After returning from a short break to Amsterdam yesterday, I barely feel like I’ve been away for one day, let alone three. As my company for the trip were not particularly interested in the art side of things and the weather was a good eclectic mix of tourrential downpours and drizzle, we ended up just having a good ol’ wander around the city and stopping to eat as much incredible food as possible. Not bad, right? Oh, and the pancakes.. Be still, my beating heart.
Down to business, as some of you may or may not have seen, I gave my website a bit of a refresh last weekend. It was rather over-due, and if you waltz on over to my homepage you’ll see it looks a bit more snazzy and full of comic goodness. I changed some of the links and information too, so the Contributions page is a little more streamlined, with more information linked elsewhere. Phew! It was in desperate need of bringing up to date, and yet another thing crossed of my pre-University list.
So, we now have sections for the Top Secret Project (to be announced in the coming months… And it’s going to be REALLY good, I promise.), Sneaky Business, Rejsen as a part of Dirty Rotten Comics, and Locomotion as a part of A Bit of Undigested Potato. One of the good teaching points of University was that keeping your website alive and rejuvenated is very important.. If the homepage stays the same, it looks like I do nothing for months on end. And I can promise you, from my premature ageing and stress lines, that is most definitely not the case. Anyway, head on over to the home page for a little explore, and tell me what you think! It’s very comic-centred right now which is great, though I’m definitely looking forward to flexing my illustration muscles soon.
Speaking of which, I arrived home from rainy Amsterdam to a wonderful message from Eastfield Academy to say that they’ve received my Bullfinch! For those who are unaware, back in June I signed up for the Access Art Share-a-Bird project; the project was aimed at artists to create a bird in any medium, and donate it to the Access Art charity which would then send the birds out to schools in the UK who signed up for the project. As artists, we also got to write an inspirational message to the younger generation about how important art is, and it’s not all about stuffy old textbooks and things that happened centuries ago. It’s about making cool stuff and enjoying it, and a decent arts education helps. As I’ve said before, art in school pretty much bored me to tears; there was nothing engaging about drawing a still life of an apple as an 11-year-old Game Boy fanatic. Though, I’m lucky really, as those afternoons as a very young person drawing things in the garden with my mum taught me how much I wanted to be better (that same stubborn and competitive child is still inside somewhere). Here’s to hoping that my Bullfinch might inspire some small person, if only for a few hours.
My ‘Share a Bird’ project landed at Eastfield Academy!
Finally, last week I completed a piece for a friend of mine who is creating his own zine of comics, text and images around the theme of Dead Singers. The zine itself is being released to coincide with Thought Bubble Festival in Leeds, from 14th-15th November which I shall be attending with bells and whistles on. After some careful consideration and pondering, and having lists of names sent to me from my better half, I settled on Muddy Waters. Here’s a sneak preview of my finished stand-alone illustration for the project. Thanks to Sam for letting me be involved!
Anyway, that’s it for now! I have an exciting project coming up to get my teeth stuck into, and the third year of university awaits.. Until next week!
So, after a brief pause of a week off to catch up on Uni work, I still feel somewhat drowning with a week until final assessment. But I got stuff done! Stuff done is good! Plus, following last weeks news of my interview with Broken Frontier, I bring more good news from the comics universe which I’ll cover later.
You can read more about TAKEOVER 2015 in Broken Frontier’s coverage article here
Next up: more zine business! As part of a last project at university before Easter we were asked in a relatively short space of time to create a number of drawings of our thoughts, feelings and observations in every day life. At the time I had a few too many things going on and since this point I’ve been re-working the project to make it shiner and better than before! I present to you.. Mennesker er Underlig:
‘Mennesker er Underlig’, playing around with zine shapes and forms.
Mennesker er Underlig is a self exploratory zine that looks at things from my perspective of the world, from making breakfast to walking back and forth. It was pretty fun to make in the end, and after lots of re-drawing from different comics I think it’s come together pretty nicely! Let’s hope University agree. The zine itself is a shallow folded box, inside are 15 pages of my inner monologue… Which is more exciting than it sounds. Or is it? Anywho, as it’s something that I won’t be formally introducing to the world for sale, below is a little gallery of the processes that went into making this, and some of the pages too! As always, please let me know if any of you have any thoughts or feelings about it. Oh! And before I forget, mennesker er underlig is Danish for ‘humans are strange’. Why Danish, I hear you ask? WELL! For the past 134 days or there-abouts I’ve been learning Danish ready for an exciting Scandinavian adventure later in the year. Plus, learning a language as my brain starts to deteriorate seems like a good idea, as well as being something completely separate from drawing that I can do to clear my mind. I recommend everyone should learn new languages, it’s a hoot! Plus hopefully I can make friends with some Danish illustrators and spend lots of time there eating rugbrød and rødgrød med fløde. Fremragende!
Finally, today the interwebs told me that Keara Stewart‘s zine anthology about nightmares has arrived into her hands today, for official release this Saturday at TAKEOVER! A Bit of Undigested Potato has been previewed here at Broken Frontier today, with a lovely interview with Keara herself. Personally, I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy and see what everyone else has made for it, as I definitely enjoying doing my page for it. I recommend you all pick one up! Here’s a reminder of a sneaky-preview I gave you all a few weeks back of my submission..
Anywho, that’s it for now! I started my new part time job last week, and tomorrow is the day of the week that I crawl out of bed at 4:25am, so I’d best go and eat cherry pie in the bath before I attempt to get lulled to sleep by the sounds of screaming children playing outside. Until next week.. Over and out! x
So, another week has flown by and we’re nearing May. Where did the time go? I had a fairly quiet week here last week, recovering from falling down snowy mountains and the prior weeks university stresses. Now I’m back to it, mainly preparing for final second year assessments and finishing off any outstanding work ready to clear my schedule for a summer of new projects and exciting things.
Last week did, however, see the release of my first ever interview! Who would possibly want to listen to me talk even more than I already do, right? It was actually pretty fun to delve into the inner workings of my mind for public viewing. I mean, I talk a lot on here, but more about projects and ideas rather than the deeper digging of Andy Oliver’s interviewing skills. You can read the interview hereon the Broken Frontier’s Small Pressganged site, and feel free to comment at the bottom of the page and share your views!
Down to Your Skivvies is a collaborative UK illustration zine, created by three illustration students from the University of Northampton. Issue one is covering all things ladies! Focusing on issues of feminism and celebrating women, this A5, 28-page zine is printed on standard laser printer paper with either a pink or purple cover. Because, y’know. Why not?
THIS ZINE INCLUDES:
– Original work from the creators,
– Interview with Jamila Prowse, creator of Typical Girls magazine,
– Interview with Fiona McDonald, fine artist dealing with feminist issues,
– Interview with Hannah Berry, UK comics creator and graphic novellist,
– Article about Sarah McIntyre’s #Nonidentikit,
– Plus more!
So, if you’re interested then head on over and purchase your own copy in a very fetching pink or purple cover shade – BUY ME HERE.
Also, if you happen to be attending any of the events I’ve been confirmed at this summer, I will be selling issue one there also. For clarity, here’s a quick recap of the events you can find me at!