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

Share:

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.

Share:

Quarantine & Coffee

Hi folks,

Welcome back! The calendar has ticked over to April and we’re in the midst of a worldwide pandemic (in case you weren’t already aware). I hope you’re all safe and well wherever you are.

Now we’re all settling to a new normal of being inside, it’s really time for me to get back into writing. So here it goes! Here’s what I have for you today:

  1. Start of spring sketchbooks
  2. Quarantine drawing challenge & free comics
  3. Good newsletter
  4. Recent projects

1. Spring sketchbooks

Remember a few months ago I made some autumn-winter sketchbooks? Well, they’re soon to be back with the next season: Spring-Summer 2020! Back in late-February, I picked up some new papers from the magical Shepherds fine papers in London especially for the next set of sketchbooks. My new prized papers have been sitting quietly waiting to be collated, and it’s on my list to do.

Meanwhile, you can now pick up one of the last few autumn-winter sketchbooks on sale for just £2.50 with FREE UK shipping (everywhere else £2 p&p)! Any remaining sketchbooks will be taken off sale in the coming weeks, so pick one up whilst you can.

2. Quarantine drawing challenge & free comics

It goes without saying that it’s a really stressful and scary time for everyone. However, one of the most heartwarming side effects of the COVID crisis has been people’s response to opening up their skills and creativity for all.

From Grace Sandford’s Instagram live drawing workshops, to Oxford Pennants printable positivity pennants (direct link to pdf here), and even free audiobooks, it’s great to see so many people trying to make this confusing time more comforting and inspiring.

At Good Comics, we decided to release a bundle of free comics to encourage everyone to take government advice and stay home. This bundle includes the first edition of my 2017 release Cosmos & Other Stories, as well as Stealing Home: Rookie Season by Paddy Johnston (including a comic by yours truly). You can read about the bundle on the Good Blog, or take a direct link to the bundle by clicking here.

Good Sam has also announced the quarantine drawing challenge of designing your own old-timey baseball player! It all started with a ‘find your 1800’s baseball player name and evolved into something more:

As Pee-Wee “Hoss” McGraw, I’ve started designing mine up already. We’ll post a gallery of as many as possible over on the Good Comics website. Here are some tips/guidelines!

  • Try and make the designs to 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches.
  • Baseball has a long and rich history including some amazing women and people of colour players, so be creative!
  • If you don’t like your ‘name’ from the challenge above, feel free to make up your own.
  • If 1800’s America unnerves you (i.e. the slave trade) , feel free to make it a modern-day vintage style card.

If you’re up to the challenge, email your cards to us or tag @samuelcwilliams on Twitter and use the hashtag #MajorLeagueMugs. And have fun!

3. Good Newsletter

In February we launched the brand-spankin’ new Good Comics newsletter. It’s monthly at this point, but we also send out random news as and when we can, like about our upcoming release from Claire Spiller! (more on that below)

I like to think we’re pretty interesting, so you can read our March newsletter here, and sign up for future updates by clicking here. Go on, you know you want to.

4. Recent projects

I’ve been pretty lax towards keeping my site up to date, so I have a couple of more recent projects to share with you! Firstly, earlier this year I was commissioned to create another back cover for Star Jaws issue 31!

As it was the February issue I went for a valentine’s theme, with a love letter from Senator Bail Organa to his wife Breha Organa – the adoptive parents of Princess Leia before Alderaan was destroyed by the Death Star. Yes, I thoroughly enjoyed being enthralled in the Star Wars universe. Yes, I researched a lot about Alderaan’s most iconic landmarks and foliage. No regrets. Click here to see the full back cover in action!


Secondly, I also worked on a submission for Two Set Mag: ‘a zine focused on writing, with a healthy dose of art and photography – all by skateboarders‘, as described on their site.

This comic is for the second issue, under the theme of ‘chance’. It’s not yet available to buy, but keep an eye out and I’ll let you know when it’s purchasable. In the meantime check out their Instagram and grab a copy of issue #1 from the online store.

I’ve also been busy with the Good Comics team preparing for our latest release, Raze by Claire Spiller. Claire’s work is beautiful and she’s well rehersed in printing comics so she’s been an absolute dream to work with – check out her latest work and pre-order your copy of Raze today. If you like my comics, this will be up your street! Treat yo’self.


And that just about rounds it up for now! A few other things have happened, like turning 30, having my feet tattooed, having an incredible pre-birthday celebration with Sam in London and learning how to homeschool a 10-year-old. But hey, better save something for the next blog!

Until next time, stay safe!

Rozi x

Share: