Err, how is it nearly September?

Hello everyone,

I can’t be the only one who feels like 2020 was a bad dream and it should be May 2021 or something? How is it nearly September? So many questions.

Well, since my last update in October, a fair bit has happened. I moved house, Sam and I adopted a beautiful greyhound called Malibu, I took way too many pictures of said dog, we at Good Comics successfully funded our Kickstarter campaign and released five new books because of it, I did an alumni talk at my old University, built a bed, self-published my weekly comics into a new book Eta Carinae, designed more postcards for my friend’s business, got Covid, got over Covid, did a charity run and all the while continued working on my next big comics project.

I feel a bit dizzy listing all of that. So, where to begin?


Since last year I’ve been working on a larger project than I’m used to – a comic, which at the moment, all I can share with you is that it’s about whales. Now, everyone loves whales, right? I’ve been doing a lot of research, reading whale-related books and reading around the subject into other areas such as craft, mythology and poetry. I even read Moby Dick, which was a very long ordeal…

Above: The fold-out whale book I created with trimmed-down cartridge paper, pencil, ink and gouache along with mountboard and hand-dyed muslin covers, using shibori techniques in grey dye

Above: A gallery featuring work from my whales sketchbook, including playing around with inks, textures and researching stitches.

Fun, huh? This is a purely self-motivated project, so it’s great to be able to find new avenues of research and things I’d like to encompass in the story. On the flip side, having no real deadlines or timelines means this has a way of getting put to the bottom of my pile. Between work, kids and Good Comics it’s tough to have my own time. Or to allow me time to work on this.

I think that’s part of the reason I’m writing this now. No, not because I’m procrastinating(!), but to share this kind of weird, purgatory feeling of wanting to dive into a project but having a lot of other responsibilities that tend to come first. But hey, I’m working on my priorities and making a conscious effort to not let my own personal work fall to the bottom of the list.


In other news, I helped my dear friend Bisi with some more marketing materials earlier this year, for her homemade French-inspired foods brand Recettes Sucrées 1859. I’ve created more illustrative work for her before, but this was a lot more simplistic and in the style of some of her own packaging she’s using now. Check it out!

Bisi is always such a passionate person to work with, and her cakes and confisures are incredible. Check out her products here.


Finally, I’m running a short bank holiday weekend sale on my Etsy store. 15% off, no minimum spend, and no code needed. Just go to this link and check it out. If you haven’t already got one, you can pick up a copy of my latest comic Eta Carinae for just £3.40 in the sale, plus P&P.

Until next time!

Rozi x

Autumn vibes

It’s October! How did that happen? It’s suddenly very rainy and gloomy in my part of the world, and although it’s not quite the weather for thermals yet, I feel vaguely prepared for it to arrive.

It’s been a little longer since my last blog than I’d planned, but that’s due to being INCREDIBLY busy getting ready for…

The Good Comics Kickstarter!

For the past few months, we three of Good Comics have been preparing like mad for our first-ever Kickstarter, and it’s all coming together nicely. The campaign is due to launch on Monday 6th October, featuring brand new books from RAMZEE, Natasha Natarajan, Emre Altındağ and Niki Bañados, as well as a new Good Comics Reader vol.2 featuring some of our Good friends we’ve published or distributed over the years.

Having run a couple of Kickstarters before for Njálla and Moon, I’ve gone into it knowing it’s a lot of work, but launching one for 5 books has been pretty intense! Thankfully Paddy, Sam and I have an excellent working relationship/huge supply of inside jokes, so we’re totally rocking it.

The campaign preview page should be up in a couple of days, so keep your eyes peeled!


In other news, between work and the Good Kickstarter I’ve been working on getting my weekly comics ready for print. Although it’s been a ridonculously busy month, adding in a little panel painting here and there is easy to fit in, and the book itself 90% finished now.

It’s also really satisfying to see it come together. I’m really excited to be able to share it with you all soon! Here’s a sneak peek of what an early spread looks like.

The only obstacle I have left is the release, as it’d be difficult to launch anytime soon without being overshadowed by the Good Comics Kickstarter. So, unfortunately, I will be pushing back the schedule slightly, but I will keep you all updated with when it will be coming out.


Finally, I’m excited to have had my latest paper delivery to start on the Autumn-Winter 2020 sketchbooks! Can you believe it’s that time of the year already?

Spring-Summer 2020 sketchbooks are still on sale on my Etsy store, and you can pick one up here.

I think that’s it for now! Make sure you’re following Good Comics via Twitter, Instagram or our newsletter to get first-hand info on the launch of the Kickstarter campaign, and I’ll be back with news soon!

Rozi x

Wake me up when September (or 2020) ends

Afternoon all!

It’s September apparently, and there seems to be some vague sense of normality returning to this very weird world we’re living in. The kids are in school, Zoom meetings are the norm and libraries are open. And as the seasons shift again, the evenings are getting much shorter and the nights cooler here. Autumn is in full swing! (Click here to hang onto summer that little bit longer with the spring-summer 2020 sketchbooks, now on sale)

So, what’s next? I’m glad you asked.

After a very busy month-or-so working with AccessArt on their DrawAble campaign, I’ve been diving head-first into some really exciting projects. One of which is finishing up my Weekly Comics (still yet to be named, d’oh).

I’m just about ready to start painting the extra pages, which is a pretty mammoth task in itself. But, once this is done I’ll be very near to completing the book and getting it ready for print. Woop! Above and below are some of the inks I’ve been working on pre-paints.


In other news, I’ve picked back up on working towards writing my next book. Exciting stuff! I’ve mentioned before about working on a big book, and this one I’m allowing plenty of time to get my ideas down and explore what the story could be. Part of figuring out the story is getting all of my random tangents of ideas down on paper, so this week I’ve started the process of hashing everything out with a pen and trying to build on some of the stronger ideas and see how these various bits could combine together. It’s like dumping the contents of your bag out and trying to decide whether it all needs to really be in there or not.

Part of the figuring out process has been drawing on inspiration in the unknown, and after a few really busy weeks I took some time out to wander around Bristol and recharge my creative batteries. It was so very needed!

Thankfully I managed to pick up some new books to help with my story writing whilst I was there, including Travels with a Writing Brush: Classical Japanese Travel Writing from the Manyoshu to Basho which is fascinating so far (and most likely incredibly niche).

Once I have something more substantial I’ll start sharing, but for now it’s all staying very close to my chest.


And finally, big happenings are on the horizon at the collective Good Comics HQ (not to be confused with GCHQ). I can’t reveal any full details yet, but it’s going to be really good… Keep your eyes peeled for announcements in the coming weeks.

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

x

Let us inspire you

Hi everyone,

It’s been a little while since I last updated you all, and I have lots to discuss! It’s already feeling very autumnal out there, so if the view out of your window is anything like mine currently is (grey, rainy, a general feeling of blergh), then settle down with your hot beverage of choice whilst I catch you up on what I’ve been up to.


First up, as I briefly mentioned last month, I’ve been working with AccessArt on their new post-Covid resources for school-age children, DrawAble.

The purpose of DrawAble, from AccessArt themselves, is:

…a series of resources to help schools deliver an inspiring and appropriate curriculum for pupils aged 6 to 13 working at home or school. AccessArt DrawAble connects drawing, narrative and visual literacy to provide pupils with a creative bridge to help them navigate from lockdown towards the new normal.

AccessArt DrawAble – see the full website here.

It’s been such a wonderful project to be a part of, and not only has it been a joy to create something for children in the midst of all this chaos, it’s also sharpened up my filming, animation and video editing skills to no end. I’m still no post-production expert (there was quite a lot of cursing software at one point), but it’s been a fun learning curve.

First I worked on an ‘about me’ video, which sits among other creators videos for the Let me inspire you section of the DrawAble site. Here it is!

Check out the full page here!

For the second video, I was asked to create an activity resource based on my practice. The very knowledgable team at AccessArt and I worked together to get the activity and tone right for key stage 2 students (aged 7-11 in the UK), and this led to the 3-panel challenge! Check it out below:

And, you can see the whole resource free-of-charge here. Amazing stuff!

Other artists and creators involved in the DrawAble project so far are Stephanie Cubbin, Lizzie Knott and Lorna Rose, with more being added in the coming weeks. It’s a wonderful resource, so be sure to check it out and spread the word!

I’m so grateful to AccessArt for the opportunity, and hopefully my activity is useful for kids (and grown-ups) in finding new ways to be creative.


In other news, as the nights are getting noticeably longer, it’s time to start thinking about the season ahead! Autumn-winter is just around the corner, and now my Spring-Summer 2020 sketchbooks are on sale for just £3.

These sketchbooks are perfect to fit in your bag or pocket, and have crisp G.F Smith paper throughout. I’ve sketched in mine, stuck photos in and painted in it – all mediums work well and there isn’t any bleed through. I especially love the soft gold paper in the middle, it shimmers beautifully in the light.

Here are some lovely reviews from my previous seasonal sketchbook, autumn-winter 2019:

These SS20 sketchbooks are in short supply, so grab one whilst you can for just £3 with free UK delivery (flat £2 P&P elsewhere in the world) and keep summer going for a little bit longer!


And finally! Now that I’ve completed my work with AccessArt, I’m able to get back to my weekly comics work, and turning them into a complete, printed comic. I’m roughly 75% of the way through inking the additional panels, and then I’ll be working on painting these up and getting them scanned and edited to flow with the rest of the book.

I’m still struggling to think of a title for these, and I’m trying to steer away from my usual one-word titling of previous releases (Moon, Rocks, Njálla, etc.). Better get thinking – and thinking in more syllables!

Thankfully I have some time before printing to iron out these details – fingers crossed the new book will be out in October. So I’d better get cracking!

Until time time, stay safe everyone.

x

Take a loaf off

Hi everyone,

How is it late July already? Time flies when you’re arduously hiding indoors from a worldwide pandemic and mass society-engrained, systemic racism.

In other news, it’s been busy here at HQ! I’ve been working away at the extended version of my weekly comics, which will be made into its own standalone story (see the work-in-progress image at the top). At Good Comics we updated our submissions guidelines for creators and have been working towards our late-2020 releases. AND I’ve been working with AccessArts on their upcoming DrawAble project for September.

See – busy! So, lets start from the top.


As I mentioned in my last blog, I’m really excited to be releasing my weekly comics in the form of a brand new printed comic, for sale later this year. I haven’t released a new book since Rocks last year, so it definitely feels overdue.

I wrote a blog about my techniques and methods behind the weekly silent comics project over on the Good Blog – you can read it here!

The collection is yet to be named, but whilst I’m working away on extra pages and panels to pull the story together, I’m also conscious that most of my previous printed releases are monosyllabic… Maybe it’s time to get a bit more creative? Watch this space!


In other news, we three wise people at Good Comics have been busy rewriting our submission guidelines for comic creators, updating various areas of the site and releasing our newsletter (which you really should sign-up for, we’re very witty).

It was a little complicated to find our submission guidelines before, so we’ve streamlined the process. Generally speaking, we’re looking for great stories by creators who have a distinct art style, and a distinct voice that we’re able to nurture. If you’re making comics and don’t have the funds to release your first book, or you’re needing support in making the leap to self-publishing, talk to us!


Last but definitely not least, I’m currently working with AccessArt on their latest project for young people; DrawAble. I took part in their Draw-A-Bird project years ago, submitting art to be sent to Primary Schools around the UK, so I’m thrilled to be working with them again.

DrawAble, in their words, is “a series of resources to help primary schools deliver an inspiring and appropriate curriculum for pupils working at home and in classroom bubbles due to the Coronavirus.” By working with them, I’m creating my own resources to help kids create artwork and comics in the new “normal”, and these resources will all be available online for free from September.

I won’t give too much away just yet, but I did end up making a dumb comic about bread as an example of how comics can be anything you want them to be:

Maybe there’s a new subsection of my work that will include pun-based comics? Who knows.


And that’s about it for now! Until next time, please make sure you wear a mask when needed, and keep fighting the good fight.

x

Longest day, shortest night, longest fight.

Greetings everyone.

What a crazy few weeks it’s been. In the wake of George Floyd’s harrowing murder in the US, it’s been difficult not to be confused and sickened by what’s going on, and has been going on for years. A catalyst for change has come, and I truly hope things change for the better.

In the UK alone, there are petitions still needing signatures for justice and to improve education. Here are just a handful:

I get frustrated enough at being shouted at by random men in the street for my choice of footwear, I cannot even begin to imagine what life is like for BAME people in this country and the world over. Let’s work together to educate ourselves and push for real change.


Despite the grim reality of racism, I did push through and finish my weekly comics. Here are the final set:

Having not really created anything of great length since Moon, I’m really pleased with how this exercise worked out – both in improving my technical ability and in the self-set deadlines which kept me thinking and working on this week after week. Missed the first 7? You can look back on my blog and see them here.

I’m also excited to announce that I’m planning to print these comics in a collection! There are a few areas of the story that don’t completely flow, so I am now spending the next couple of weeks looking at the pages as a whole narrative, and editing/filling in gaps where needed.

It’s quite nice to be able to come back to these, as in the early weeks I had no idea where the story would be going, and now I can add in panels here and there to add extra depth to the story. Thankfully my handy editors (below) are able to offer quite specific feedback.

A bundle of gerbils

Watch this space for more news on the collection, coming shortly!


In other news, this year’s Spring-Summer sketchbooks are up for sale online! I had a lot of fun making these, and I’m already enjoying using my prototype for plans and ideas. Check out what they look like:

Each sketchbook is hand collated, trimmed and bound by me, with very specific paper choices to make these a nice thing to have in your bag or pocket whilst you’re rambling around. The monstera stamp has also been designed and carved by yours truly, and each stamp print is unique.

The sketchbooks are available in a very limited run, for £4 each. Free shipping in the UK and a flat fee of £2 P&P elsewhere.


And finally, as I’ve nearly wrapped up a couple of projects I will now be delving back into an ongoing project that took the back-burner for a short while. This one will be a big one, so it’ll take me some time. Any guesses what it is about?

Until next time, stay safe and look after each other.

x

Life, camera, action

Greetings all,

It’s an unsettling time to be alive. Aside from the worldwide pandemic, which is horrendous in itself, we’re also seeing Black lives tourmented the world over – filmed in the most awful and sickening scenes of targeted racism and police brutality.

As a complete and utter white person who has managed to fall down and pick myself up a multitude of times, I know I’m privileged. I have more learning to do, but I do know that things aren’t equal at the moment, and everyone has the power to change it.

I could come on here, write my fortnightly blog and offer some links, then carry on with my day and talk about comics and sketchbooks and whatever else I’ve been up to. But, it’s so unimportant right now compared to the structural racism that’s been brought to everyone’s attention time and time again.

At Good Comics we looked and listened to what people were saying, and compiled a list of links that we’ve been looking at. That’s certainly not all of it, and we’ll keep sharing as we find more. We’re also reading, watching and trying to learn more, learn BETTER about the world around us, and try to be a part of making it safer and more honest going forward. After all, having to explain to a ten-year-old, who is utterly distraught at videos of violence towards Black people, why people are still being treated differently based on the colour of their skin is something I’ll never forget.

Listen, read, read and read some more, and do what you can to help.

Lockdown & leafy plants

Hello world!

We’ve made it. We’re 349’650 days into lockdown and I am struggling to know what day it is. I have however, set up a structure for me to go for a run every 3 days as it coincides with needing to wash my hair, so that’s something.

GOOD NEWS! I’m now up to week 7 with my weekly comic, and the end is very nearly in sight. What originally started as some self-exploration of what I’d like to achieve is now it’s very own story and a conclusion I have scribbled down in my sketchbook. In my last blog I brought you weeks 4 and 5, so here are 6 and 7!

I’m still having a lot of fun with these comics, and I genuinely am so glad I started them. With another 3 week’s pages planned until the finale, I will then be looking at printing the final collection in a small run for sale later this year. Sound good? Excellent.

Here are the rest of the week’s pages so far:


In other news, this season’s Spring-Summer 20 sketchbooks are very nearly ready! As you may remember, last year I released the Autumn-Winter 19 sketchbooks for people to use into the changing seasons. Each sketchbook is made from high-quality paper and hand-collated, trimmed and bound right here by me.

This season’s colour scheme is green and gold, with a nice neutral paper throughout scattered with some low-opacity paper, lightweight speckled paper and a beautiful glistening paper. As with AW19, I’ve designed and hand-carved a stamp for the books, modelled on my monstera plant.

Sketchbooks will be going up for sale tomorrow, so keep your eyes peeled on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram to see when you can grab a copy. These are a very limited run, so if you’d like one, be quick!


Another bit of exciting news, Two Set Issue 2 has been released! You may remember I created a comic for the zine earlier this year, and the mag launched last weekend to sell-out success. I managed to get my mitts on a copy which includes other creators such as Ed Syder, Ian Johnson and creator of Two Set, Claire Alleaume.

The second issue is already sold out online, but you can still pick up the first issue for half off. Rest assured Issue 2 will be available from a couple of shops including Palomino very soon and there will be a small re-print soon. Watch this space!

And that’s about it for now! Head over to the Good Comics blog for some fun Quarantine Q&A interviews with our creators Claire Spiller and Gareth A Hopkins, as well as a handful of other things to keep you occupied. Until next time!

x

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