Tabling Time – Thought Bubble 2017

Good afternoon all,

So, it’s finally that time! The biggest independent comic festival of the year is upon us, and much sooner than usual thanks to it’s new slot in the end of September, rather than it’s prior early-November date.

Thought Bubble Festival is a fantastic event. Unlike the more famous comic-cons such as MCM, Thought Bubble is purely about comics. No movies, no gaming, just graphic narrative in all it’s forms; whether that’s established creators, university collectives, or first timers. I attended Thought Bubble in 2015 and 2016, and the atmosphere is absolutely electric; when you get all kinds of comic creators from around the country at the same time, we all relish in the fact that we all are skint, have a boring day job and somehow still put ourselves through writing, creating and using our pennies to print things, hoping people will buy them. Every community has it’s cliques, but for the most part Thought Bubble is a huge celebration of us all managing to somehow drag ourselves to the same place at the same time and sell some comics.

I’ll be in Cookridge Street Marquee on table 37b, tabling next to Good Comics on table 36. Come and say hi!

Other people to check out include the Big Brown Eyes Collective, also in Cookridge Street Marquee on table 82a with their brand new anthology Habitat, featuring an illustration from moi.

Also in Cookridge Marquee will be Sneaky Business contributor Alex Hahn with Dom McKenzie on table 38. In Leeds Town Hall Marquee will be fellow Six to Watch 2016 creator Emma Raby on table 61b, and in the huuuuge comiXology Marquee will be fellow HOAX‘er Hannah Berry (table 48), everyone’s favourite Richy K. Chandler (207b), everyone’s other favourite Mike Medaglia (47), and Craft Taproom’s Tom Ward and Chris Welsh (197). Finally, in Victoria Hall will be Avery Hill Publishing (47-48), Douglas Noble and CECAF‘s Sean Azzopardi (40), another 2016 Six to Watch’er Jess Milton (53a), John Cei Douglas, hopefully with his dog (25). And, a whole load of more awesome people – there are too many to list and I’ve gone a bit blind from going through it all. Forgive me.

Basically, there are a lot of incredible people tabling – so come along, take your time and enjoy.

This past week I’ve managed to finish up making thirty hand-cut lino prints to go with Self-Care & Vegetables, my new comic/zine debuting at Thought Bubble. I’ve also been to pick up SC&V from the printers, so it’s all ready to go!

You still have until midnight tomorrow (Thursday) to pre-order SC&V, with all pre-orders receiving one of the lino prints for free.

Pre-order from my Etsy store here!

Some pre-orders have been sent off today, with the remaining being shipped by Friday 22nd. Any orders placed after Thursday night will and be sent out the following week! I’ll also have any leftover prints and new stock from Thought Bubble going up on my Etsy store in the coming weeks, so keep an eye out for that (including these badges – oooo!)

And that’s where I leave you! I have a few things to catch up on and finish up before the week it out, and then some recovery time – so I will be back soon with the Thought Bubble Festival low-down from behind table 37b. If you’re in or around Leeds this weekend do come along and say hi, it’s going to be a great weekend. Until next time!

 

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The Merry Multitask

Good afternoon all!

So, another week gone and another step closer to the release of Self-Care & Vegetables, Thought Bubble Festival, Bristol Comic & Zine Fair and Loogabarooga. Like buses, all the conventions tend to come at once, and September/October is a perfect example of the fortnightly comic hokey-cokey. This is as well as moving house (again) and working on a couple of different side projects.

Err… no. I’ve never been one for the quiet life.

First things first, Self-Care & Vegetables has had it’s first review! Huge thanks to the ever-supportive Andy Oliver at Broken Frontier who has said some very kind things about SC&V, which went up this week. Here’s a snippet:

There’s a zine-like feel to Self-Care & Vegetables, not just from the way that the book is packaged but also in its presentational style. It sits somewhere between graphic narrative and pure sequential art with that lesser reliance on panel-to-panel narrative giving it an appropriately more personal, stream-of-consciousness feel to its pages. This also affords Hathaway an opportunity to stretch her storytelling skills, bending conventions of the form to her will thematically – check out the powerful use of lettering in some of the sample pages in this review – and making extensive use of visual metaphor.

Andy Oliver, Broken Frontier – Self-Care and Vegetables – Rozi Hathaway’s Comics Journal of Recovery

Pipedream Comics have also previewed Self-Care & Vegetables on their Preview: Thought Bubble 2017 – Small Press books launching at this year’s event article, with some really nice comments:

Rozi Hathaway will have something a bit different on her table this year, with an incredibly personal and intimate story about break ups and the physical and mental toll they can take. Self Care and Vegetables will have a limited print run of 100 copies and cost just £3, so if you’re a fan of Rozi’s work it’s going to be a real rarity. But if you love raw and sensitive auto-biographical comics, told in an intelligent and through-provoking way then be sure to pick up a copy.

Pipedream Comics – Small Press books launching at this year’s event

I’ve also been squirreling away making some nice additions to my array of tabling goods with stickers, more badges and some new prints. The prints include a special limited edition lino print I’ve been making this week to go out with all pre-orders of Self-Care & Vegetables!

Self-Care & Vegetables is due to be picked up from the printers later this week and all the pre-orders will ship out on Friday 22nd September with a FREE lino print! If you’re keen to get your hands on a print, the remaining will be on sale at Thought Bubble and the remaining festivals of the year, but pre-order now to get your complimentary one and avoid disappointment. Thank you so much to everyone who has pre-ordered so far! You can get your copy here.

I’ve also been making up a new Njálla lino print too, with only eight available, printed with water-based black and metallic green printing ink on flax seed paper. Again, these will be on sale first at Thought Bubble! You can find me in the Cookridge Street Marquee on table 37b next to Good Comics. Be sure to come and say hello!

And that just about wraps it up for now. I have a week and a half to go to finish preparing for Thought Bubble and complete a couple of potential projects.. and pack up my life. So, I shall attempt to be back next week with a pre-TB update! Until next time…

 

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Self Care & Vegetables… And Being a Bit Brave

Good afternoon all!

So, it’s done. It’s actually done-and-sent-off-to-the-printers done. That’s right, the mystery project I’ve been clocking away at for the past few months, from its conception in April to completion this week… is done. Done done done done done.

Working on something autobiographical has never been my strong point. I love imagination, myths, nature and journeys, I like working with mood and tone, atmosphere and textures. However, when faced with the challenges that life brings, sometimes it’s necessary to step back from things and reevaluate.

So, a relationship broke down. Who cares, right? I’m fairly private, I don’t divulge the details of my living in a spare room for the past five months, and I certainly don’t tell people that some days, at my worst, I struggled to find the strength to eat. I come from a family of not talking about things, and a big reason my four-year relationship broke down is because we never talked about our problems.. so, why do this?

There are many things I’ve learnt so far this year, and one of them is the importance of honesty; not only with other people but with myself. I spent a long time not realising I was unhappy, a costly mistake which has taught me a lot about who I am as a person and what I want out of life. By extension, working through the situation I’ve found myself in and creating a physical record of what has happened – whilst using new materials and techniques – has helped me beyond what words could, and that’s where Self Care & Vegetables came in.

It’s been challenging to look at creating this comic/zine objectively – writing my experiences into a narrative script and editing down my own heartfelt moments. It’s not something I’d describe as pleasant any day, so.. again, why have I essentially published a drawn journal detailing every breakdown?

Well, I realised I’m not alone. Some of the things I experienced were akin to poor mental health and learning how to get better was something I struggled with for many, many months. I guess it sounds overly enlightened, but in a similar way to Cosmos, if I can help someone relate and make them feel less alone, it’s part of my duty as a creator to do so. This isn’t my Sistine Chapel, and it may not be a best seller, but for a limited run of 100 copies it’s 40-pages of all my anxieties and recovery following the fallout of a four-year relationship.

…sound appealing yet?

 

Self Care & Vegetables is now available to pre-order on my Etsy store! The zine is officially released at this year’s Thought Bubble Festival on Saturday 23rd September, with pre-orders being sent out on Friday 22nd.

And, if you feel a bit bummed out after reading what is normally a lighthearted blog, here are some nice things to recover with:

  • Emoji Aquarium is my new-found instant smile maker. Every few hours a new one is posted!
  • My mum showed me a video from Mary and her dog Secret, who do yoga together. I melted, and now I want an Australian Shepherd dog.
  • Terry Pratchett has amused us all by asking for his hard-drive to be destroyed by a steam-roller in his final wishes.
  • At the moment of me typing this the sun is shining in Manchester. Which, is a rare feat and must be acknowledged.

And that’s it for now! Next week I’ll be back with more news and gossip, so until next time.. over and out!

 

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One Month Countdown

Good afternoon all,

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:

Official Thought Bubble Festival banner, with artwork by Jen Bartel.

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.

Discover Small Press with the new issue of indie comics fanzine The Pull List – ON SALE NOW!

The Pull List by Pipedream Comics – available now.

Click above to get your digital copy for £0.99!

And finally, as well as working on the zine I’ve also been working on something more illustration-based for a submission.. Well, three things to be precise. Have a peek:

I’m planning to finish these up this weekend, so all will be revealed soon!

And, that’s about it for now. Have a good bank holiday weekend all – I shall be partying with my paints! Laters.

 

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Self-Care & Vegetables

 

Self-Care & Vegetables is an autobiographical zine detailing my recovery from the fallout of a long-term relationship, after relocating far away from friends and family.

Printed at on Cyclus recycled paper at ethical, local Manchester printers MARC, Self-Care & Vegetables is 40-pages of anxieties and progression, printed at A6 on their economical inkjet printer. Created without paint or textures, the zine was drawn with just two Kuretake brush pens.

Details/progress can be found on my blog.

Pre-order your copy of Self-Care & Vegetables here!

Launching at Thought Bubble Festival on Saturday 23rd September 2017, with all pre-orders shipping on Friday 22nd September.

 

 

Nearing The End

Good afternoon all!

So, we’re nearing the end of summer already. September is technically autumn, which is practically almost winter, which means that rainy Manchester has given me approximately one week of good sunshine weather this season. At least it’s consistent? This also means it’s nearing the end of the time needed to finish my new zine I mentioned in my last update, which will be launched at Thought Bubble Festival in six and a half weeks!

Six weeks..

Six..

Gulp.

Progress has been slow on the zine in the past couple of weeks, as I’ve found working on this project to be a bit up and down – not to mention having an incredibly annoying cough and feeling like garbage for two weeks. Not feeling great made it hard to work on this zine, so instead I opted to spend my time on crafty things I could do in bed, like sewing. Yes, I’m turning into my mother. And yes, if you knew her you’d realise that’s a great thing.

The zine, an autobiographical story, is something totally new for me. A different way of working and a different way of writing, and working on something autobiographical is a lot harder than escaping into the realms of magical foxes and stars in a jar. I dabbled in stories relating to my experiences in Cosmos & Other Stories, but this zine is definitely a new challenge – wholly to the point with no abstraction. Luckily for me, time is running out and I work a lot better under pressure, so it’ll be done before I know it! I hope.

Without trying to sound too much like 1960’s newscaster – keep an eye out for more as this develops.

In some other excellent news, a half-table space opened up at Bristol Comic & Zine Fair on Saturday 7th October, and I was asked if I’d like to exhibit! I will admit, I was kinda upset when I didn’t get into BCZF – but like ELCAF, this event really has an incredible collection of artists so I was more than happy to tag along with the Good Comics gents and take up some space on the communal table. But, luck turned in my favour and I’ll be there. Exciting stuff! Check out the Facebook event page for all the deets.

Bristol Comic & Zine Fair is two weeks after Thought Bubble Festival (23rd-24th September), with Loogabarooga (21st October) two weeks after Bristol – so it’s going to be a busy month-or-so with lots more travelling. It’s a good thing I’m well rehearsed in napping on trains and coaches! Zooming down the M6 catching flies is my best look..

And that’s it for now! I have my work cut out preparing this zine in the next few weeks, but I’ll keep you all updated with what’s going on. Until next time, have a good week/weekend all.

 

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The Comics Break

Good afternoon all!

I’m writing this in the clutches of the latest cold that’s going round, which has me coughing for hours on end, so please send cake and medicine to me whilst splutter out this update…

So, I hope you’re all up for something a bit different today, as I’m going to tell you a story. Make yourselves comfortable! Once upon a time, after Cosmos & Other Stories came out, and after I finished up pieces for Dirty Rotten Comics #10 and The Broken Frontier Small Press Yearbook 2017, I decided to take a short break from comics. I think, doing this kind of work, it’s all too easy to feel like you have to keep churning out work so people don’t lose faith or forget you exist. But after a tough personal spell and using work as a crutch to keep me going, it was time to let my mind go and deal with life, and try to regain my health.

The break from comics didn’t come naturally, and I still worked on commissions both for private clients and other more illustrative work (the Kickstarter print with Emily B. Owen’s Brain Shoodles, and a piece for the Habitat anthology). But, the break from direct comic work was there all the same, and it gave me valuable time to promote the work I’ve already done and work out where best to move next. And, play with some different materials and techniques. Check it out:

Having time to play around with new processes and materials has been golden, and given me a chance just to draw or create for the sake of drawing again. I’ve played with creating stamps from soft lino,drawing with Kuretake Zig Brush pens, the Tombow ABT Dual Brush Pen and some Graphitint pencils, as well as other experiments in fabric and dying, clay and wood. Taking that pause really did help to clear my mind and work on new concepts, and it gave me new skills and new challenges to hone in on to keep improving.

And that leads us to my new project! Due to be released in September in time for Thought Bubble Festival, I’ve been working on a small comic which I’ve gone thorough the scripting and layouts of already, when the inking coming next. Have a look at some sketches:

One thing I’ve been taking note of is how my painting accounts for the majority of the atmosphere in my work. So, remove the painting, do I still give that effect? This new project I’m working on is not only vastly different and physical application, but also different from my usual storytelling too, being totally autobiographical rather than based in imagination. It’s been challenging, and new, and exciting all at the same time. And I really hope people like it!

I do miss splashing about with gouache and I’ll definitely keep evolving the way I paint, but for now, get ready for something new and exciting and totally paint-free! -gulp-

And that’s where I leave you for now! I’ll be back soon with more news, but until next time have a good week/weekend everyone. I’m off to visit family and get plied with food to mend this illness once and for all. Laters!

 

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Ubiquity, Upcoming, & More

Good afternoon all,

So, these weeks are flying by aren’t they? It only feels like last week that I boarded my chariot (otherwise known as the Manchester to London Virgin train) for the opening of The Cartoon Museum’s exhibition The Inking Woman. Ending on Sunday 23rd, you only have a few days to go and check it out before it moves on! The opening night back in April was heaving, and the atmosphere was electric so I could barely concentrate on having a look around, so this past Saturday I returned to fully absorb the exhibition before it’s too late. Check it out:

It really is an entertaining selection of work from creators’ old and new, with a mix of original artwork and digital prints. It’s always incredibly interesting to see the original artwork, correction fluid and fresh paper placed over mistakes, paint over panel borders and smudges in the corners. If you have the chance to get down there I’d strongly recommended it!

In other news, sales have started to come through for my mental health print, in support of 42nd Street Manchester! It’s really heart-warming to see people moved by and interested in supporting the causes that 42nd Street, and their arts-venue the Horsfall. You can still get the prints online from my store here, with 50% of the proceeds going to the charity.

Also, I have some updates for my comic’s festival schedule! Sadly, as is the case with highly sought-after events, I didn’t manage to get a table at Bristol Comic & Zine Fair this year, held at The Station on Saturday 7th October. Thankfully for me, I can get in on the action and come along with Good Comics to support them, whilst having a few of my other titles on the communal table. Two weeks later, on Saturday 21st October, I’ve managed to squeeze into Loogabarooga Comics Fair in Loughborough with a last minute slot – party on! I will, of course, also be at Thought Bubble Festival now in its earlier calendar-slot of Saturday 23rd-24th September alongside Sam Williams of Good Comics, and a cardboard cut-out of Paddy (who has family commitments, cuh). So, it’s going to be a busy couple of months!

*cough* I will also be bringing out a little(ish) something new in time for Thought Bubble in September, so do watch this space…. *cough*

Finally, I’ve also managed to re-stock in my usual comic haunts, and get some stock in new places! As of this moment in time, you can currently get your hands on my books in Gosh Comics (London), Orbital Comics (London), The Cartoon Museum (London), Gnash Comics (Devon), The Incredible Comic Shop (Swindon), Page 45 (Nottingham) and Travelling Man (Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle & York). There may be some remaining in Nostalgia & Comics Birmingham, though I’m not totally sure what’s left there. Here’s some snaps!

So, as you can see, I’m slowly taking over the World. Or something to that effect.. Huge thanks to all the comics shops and Small Press friendly fans who keep buying my books dotted around the country! Nothing brings me greater joy than a surprise tweet to say someone’s picked up my work in a store or at a festival. It really is the best.

And, that just about rounds things up for now. As I alluded to earlier, I’m working on some top-secret tasks and planning at the moment with more to be revealed soon.. But until then, peace out!

 

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