It’s been a while! With a gap of this long since my last website update, it’s hard to know where to begin. Thirteen months is a long time, and most of it has been spent with my nose in books, journals, articles and other sources of information. And I’ve been loving it, too.
You’ll see from scrolling through the last couple of posts before my hiatus, I’d been working on a bigger, longer project in the background, about whales. I don’t think it was long after my last post that I started putting all my energy into this. There is something oddly addictive about researching a fairly broad group of animals… I recommend giving it a whirl if you have some spare time.
The thing I’d forgotten about researching something so intensely – which I last did at university – is how every single article, book, or piece that you read then leads you to another thread to follow, and before you know it, you have a Miro board that looks like a stationary store has thrown up. (And the below screenshot isn’t even half of my notes.)
And that’s probably how I lost a year.
Well, kind of.
I did bring out a short comic about the changing of the seasons at the very beginning of this year, so if you’re interested in seeing more of that you can check it out on my Etsy store. It’s called This won’t be forever and it’s inspired by very old Japanese travelling poetry and the changes that come with the difference in weather and fluctuating daylight.
With Good Comics, I’ve also been fairly busy. Earlier this year we worked with the local University’s Zine Society, to do a talk about comics publishing, and then opened submissions for their own anthology comic with the students. We’ve also done comics shows, getting straight back into the wonderful atmosphere of talking comics with people after the pandemic brought it all to a close.
So, enough of this catch-up, let’s talk whales. Beaked whales to be precise, and even more precise – Sato’s beaked whales.
Whale go on then
It’s been nearly three years since I started researching whales for a longer-length comic I knew was going to be bigger than I could dream of. And after spending all this time researching so many avenues, species and areas of history I was starting to get completely and totally lost in academia and writing. With not much to show for it, though I have been keeping a sketchbook going.
And then in May, one of the many articles I absorbed kind of stuck with me as something I could do as a short comic. This article was about Sato’s beaked whales, posted by the fantastic Hakai magazine (they always have great articles, so check them out if they align with your interests). And, it got me thinking. Isn’t it nuts that we’re still discovering new species of whales? How did they even do this?
So, as I’d been elbows deep in researching, I thought it might be fun to just make a short comic to get some of these thoughts out. I read what I could of publically-available journal articles and internet articles and just started writing, re-writing and editing a short script for a comic about these mysterious guys.
And now, a few months later and a lot of exciting emails back-and-forth with one of the co-authors of the scientific paper, I am nearly NEARLY finished with this comic. It’s 6-pages long, but it’s changed my whole perspective of what I’m doing with this whole longer-length comic I want to make. And I’m so excited.
I could go on and on, but we all probably need a break from looking at the screen and I need to curb my excitement with some camomile tea. But keep an eye out for the finished comic. Even if you don’t, I probably won’t shut up about it, so you’ll see more soon.
Thanks for reading!