So, it’s nearly Christmas! The scent of Christmas parties lingers in the outside air, we all are reminded of how bloody expensive 1st Class stamps are, and the ethics of avoiding certain tax-dodging online retailers is temporarily forgotten when they offer you a month of free next-day deliveries for those hard-to-buy-for relatives (please don’t judge me).
But it’s not all about trying to avoid getting carpet fluff in your clear tape of choice whilst wrapping gifts; it’s also a time for quiet reflection, cosy evenings and spending time with loved ones. It’s also a time for making plans and forming ideas of just how you want 2019 to be, and looking back at how 2018 has turned out.
One of the really important things that have happened this year is something I’m thrilled to announce: I have been formally initiated into the brethren of Good Comics.
Good Comics is a micropublisher whose primary aim is to offer a publishing platform for comics and zine creators who maybe want to take the next step up in their work, but don’t have the voice or funds to do this themselves. As I’m sure most of you are aware, I’ve had a close working relationship with Good Comics (Samuel C. Williams and Dr Paddy Johnston) since the early days of writing Cosmos & Other Stories in late 2016, and I have tabled at various comics shows either next to them or with them ever since.
Although I’d consider myself as having been a part of Good Comics for some time now, we’re making it official and looking forward to evolving as a micropublisher in 2019, with even more of a focus on community and fresh voices. It’s exciting, it’s rewarding, and it’s all happening soon! I can’t give too much away, but trust me, you’ll want to watch this space… The new Good Comics website will be launching in January 2019 with an announcement of our first title of the year.
And that just about rounds it up for now! I’ll be back soon with a round-up for the year, but in the meantime… enjoy the holidays/festive season!
Moon is an ethereal and enchanting original comic story about childhood, curiosity and love. In the usual Hathaway style, this comic is very light on words, with it aiming to be a comic more of tender experience than heavy literature. If successfully funded, Moon will be printed as a 24-page, full-colour newspaper comic, in a limited run of 200 copies, staple bound. The mini-tabloid newspapers are printed through Glasgow-based The Newspaper Club (check them out – really cool!), printed on 55gsm newsprint (super touchy-feely). It’ll also be bigger than my usual comics, at 160x280mm. Click here to check out the campaign on Kickstarter!
I came up with the idea from one of many conversations with my partner’s four-year-old son when we saw a large disc inside a storage container on a building site and he told me it looked a lot like the moon. As we all know, childhood fascination and discovery are something I will always enjoy making stories about, and this is no exception! It’s definitely been a fast-moving production as I spent weeks perfecting the story, then spending all-hours drawing up the roughs and artwork for the pages. But we all know I like a challenge.
It’s been just over two years since my Kickstarter for Njalla and it’s been a nerve-wracking experience to try and launch a new campaign. A lot has changed in two years, and the support from the comics community isn’t what it used to be. Although it’s somewhat terrifying to consider whether this project will still succeed or not, it’s also incredibly empowering to see how well it’s done up to now. And this is helped so much by everyone who has supported Moon – so thank you! You all are making this happen!
Here are some snippets below:
You can find the Kickstarter campaign here, along with details of all the rewards. I really really REALLY wanted to include temporary tattoos of moons and storage units in each pledge, but I’ve had to put it as a stretch goal as sadly, I can’t afford to do it otherwise. So.. let’s aim for £1000 and we can all have the matching temporary tattoos, yeah‽
I decided to create this story because I think we all need some child-like fascination and magic in our lives. My wish is for someone to pick up Moon and be transported away from his/her/their troubles and become lost in a dream. There is always time to worry about school, work, money or relationships, and we all deserve to escape – and sometimes just looking at the moon in the night sky does that – but sometimes it takes a story too. If you believe that too, then you know what to do.
In other exciting and unrelated news, my good friend and client Recettes Sucréees 1859 is off to the Hampton Court Palace Food Festivals this bank holiday weekend, with her fresh two gold stars from Good Food Awards and her illustrated postcards! More on this next time – but if you’re in the area or visiting the festival, be sure to check them out at stand R15 (and pick up a drunken squirrel brownie if you can – it’s delicious).
And that just about rounds it up! Until next time!
Did you see the news? Did you? No, not the news about a babies with teeth; the news of my newest project going live on Kickstarter this month! I know, I know, I like to give myself an unreasonable amount of work to do in a short amount of time, but I have a new story underway that I can’t wait for you all to see. It’s title: Moon.
After creating a few short stories for anthologies this year that haven’t yet been released, and the second edition of Cosmos & Other Stories, I’ve been really keen to push something out in the second half of this year whilst I’m dipping in and out of on The Biggest One Yet (my next, full-length book due out in 2019/20). I’ve been lucky enough to develop a beautiful story to tell, and I just. couldn’t. wait.
What do you need to know?
Moon will be Kickstarted, with the campaign launching soon.
This brand-new 24-page story will be printed in mini-newspaper format.
Crikey, it’s mid-July already. It’ll be Christmas before we know it. It’s been busy as ever over the past four weeks, with my first ever keynote speech done and dusted, another comics’ fair under my belt and a short zine lovingly crafted, printed, stapled and bound in my own living room. But, I’ve still had time to enjoy the summer months down in Bournemouth with plenty of swimming in the sea and running around on the beach! Here are the highlights:
Since last time:
I attended and spoke at the International Graphic Novel and Comics’ Conference
My sketchbook for codename: The Biggest One Yet (TBOY) is becoming plumper still
I tabled at the South London Comic & Zine Fair with Good Comics
Sam and I made a new zine together
I was accepted into Bristol Comic & Zine Fair in October – woo!
And, I picked up an old car called Billie. Road trips!
First up, the International Graphic Novel & Comics Conference (IGNCC) was a blast. Julia and the other organisers did a wonderful job, and once I’d stopped shaking from my speech, I had a fantastic time listening to other people present their papers and keynote speeches, all on varying subjects within the field of comics. Having studied illustration at university I’m fairly well rehearsed in listening to comics’ being talked about in depth in such a way, but it was still such a powerful, inspiring experience to hear about so many subjects within a few days.
Mid-speech at the IGNCC
Sadly I did miss a few things I really wanted to see; Woodrow Phoenix’ exhibition and talk on She Liveswould have been spectacular (but the downside of a new car was the pre-booked MOT taking up valuable conference time…). But overall it was an excellent few days! Thank you so much to the whole IGNCC team for hosting such a great event – and right on my doorstep too.
Next up, I spent this last Saturday in the overly muggy climates of Croydon, at the South London Comic & Zine Fair (SLCZF)! Between Paddy, Sam and myself we managed to eat a Caribbean feast whilst selling comics and zines to the throngs of people strolling past our table. Although, the heat did seem to affect my brain so my apologies to anyone who felt like they were talking to a spongy wall – that was just me!
The Hathaway Corner
For SLCZF, Sam and I decided to make a little hand-printed zine together as we haven’t had the chance to make one before. As Sam is a parent, we have split custody and both work full-time jobs, the time we actually have alone together is precious. Before I relocated to the coast and we were long-distance, we had a sketchbook that we posted back and forth to each other with all the things we’d like to do together when we finally lived in the same place, and this new zine felt like an extension of that idea, and finding peace in the time we get which is truly ours.
We hand-picked some G. F Smith paper and printed it all up on my laser printer, then Sam stapled and trimmed each one by hand. You can pick one up from my Etsy store for £2 plus postage! And yes, the cover is one example of me balancing things on Sam’s head whilst he sleeps.
Finally, my sketchbook is still well underway for my new project under the codename The Biggest One Yet (TBOY). Although with the conference and the zine I’m a little behind, you can still find all my progress over on Patreon. I also have another project coming up which will be really exciting, so sign up now before you miss anything.
And that’s about it for now! Me and Billie the car will be planning our next research adventure… watch this space.
It’s May! When did that happen? No, seriously… Answers on postcards, please.
The last month or so has flown by as usual, and it’s been a busy time working on comics ready for submission and projects anew. I’ve also recently changed day-jobs into something far more interesting – in the field of marketing and copywriting, ooh err – so be prepared for my grammar and sentence structures to slowly improve (we hope).
I finished up another four-pager to be included in the brand-spanking new BBE Collective anthology; Barriers
I took a romantic comics’ trip to Brussels for a long weekend, and
…I’ve begun preliminary sketchbook work on my first full-length comic book. Agh/eek/woo, etc.
My favourite time of the year is a busy time of the year. The Good Comics Reader was officially launched at Leamington Comic-Con on Saturday 14th April. The festival was a huge hit as always thanks to Dan and Lisa’s tireless work to promote small press comics. The Reader is beautiful; risograph printed on recycled paper, and it is good for the feels as 50% of the profits go to the charity Young Minds. Here are some previews of my comic;
Drawing for risograph printing involves working in layers for colour separation, so it was working in a totally new way for me. Here’s one of the spreads; this was for the red/burgundy layer on pages 1-2:
Next up, last month I finished a comic for BBE Collective on the theme of ‘Barriers’. I created an illustration for their last anthology Habitat (which you can buy here, priced £7) and they’re such nice and encouraging people that I couldn’t resist creating something again. Plus, their anthologies are the some of the most tenderly colourful and beautiful around on the small press scene, so I recommend you check it out. I’m not sure when Barriers will be coming out in print form, but you’ll be the first to know! Here’s a sneak peek of my comic;
Next up, after what felt like a long time of lots of serious adult things and working a lot, Sam and I took a mini-break to Brussels, Belgium to ignore our phones and get some fresh air and fresh ideas (and fresh kriek). We somehow managed to book to go away when the weather was absolutely incredible; normally Brussels is a rain-haven. Alas, with blue skies and warm hearts we ventured around the city taking in the sights and sounds, visited the wonderful Centre Belge de la Bande Dessinée and took a trip out to Louvain-le-Neuve to the Musée Hergé. I’m not going to inundate you with tourist photos, but here are a few gems from a wonderful trip away.
I came back from Brussels with a healthy dose of vitamin D and fresh imagination.. that promptly got a little squashed by a few very busy weeks. Regardless, now things have settled down a bit I’ve been studying my photos and the small pile of books* we brought back from Brussels. Slowly but surely I’m working away, both in my head and in sketchbook form, on ideas for my next comic.
I’ve debated for a while now what my next step would be; do I continue creating short work? Do I try to be published by a big-name publisher? Do I carry on self-publishing? I’m still not entirely sure on those last two, but I have decided the time is right to create a much, much longer book. A full length comic, with story arcs and everything. The wonderful thing about short stories and submissions is that I get to try out a new idea and process or medium every single time, and now I’ve had some time exercising different methods of painting, colouring and drawing, I’m ready to put all this knowledge into practice and work out a longer story.
I’m really, really excited.
Though don’t you go getting too excited just yet; we have a long journey ahead of us, you and I. Writing a full-length book is no walk in the park, and it’ll take me well into next year to complete. But the cogs are working away and the sketchbook has started. And here I introduce into the world my newest code-named project; The Biggest One Yet.
I’ll be sharing sketchbook pages on my Patreon a couple of times a week, so if you’re keen to watch the story develop at the same time I do, you know where to go.
And that’s it for now! Keep your peepers peeled for next month’s news, and until then – peace out.
*It was not a small pile. It was, in fact, pretty large.
So! It’s been a busy month as ever here at HQ.. First up, The Inking Woman Book Launch! On Thursday 15th March I took a half-day at my day job and hopped on the 3 hour coach up to London for The Inking Woman/Marie Duval book launches from Myriad Editions. You know me – ever the traveller. With a quick pit-stop in the V&A and The Science Museum beforehand, I bundled over to the launch party with a skip in my step and after a short while, prosecco in my hand.
The atmosphere was electric, just as much as it had been at the original Inking Woman exhibition at The Cartoon Museum almost a year ago! Thank you so much to Corinne Pearlman, Cath Tate and Nicola Streeten for all their hard work in putting such a fantastic book together. Below you can see me lurking in the back with a handful of the Inking Women featured in the exhibition/book – I’m so proud to be among them! The whole experience took a little while to sink in – travelling back the same night probably didn’t help in making it all feel rather surreal. But, low and behold I am published in a Myriad book amongst so many wonderful cartoonists.
Picture credit: Cath Tate Cards
Look mum, I’m in a real book!
In other news, I spent most of March finishing up something new for a new anthology; the Good Comics Reader! Those chaps at Good Comics decided it’d be nice to do an anthology featuring all the creators whose work they have published so far. How could I resist? My new four-page comic will be launched in the Reader on Saturday 14th April at Leamington Spa Comic Con, and copies are available to pre-order now.
The Reader is also raising money for charity, with 50% of the proceeds going to Young Minds. Here’s a little bit about them from their website;
We’re leading the fight for a future where all young minds are supported and empowered, whatever the challenges. We’re here to make sure they get the best possible mental health support and have the resilience to overcome life’s difficulties.
The crisis in children and young people’s mental health is real and it is urgent. More children and young people than ever before are reaching out for help with their mental health. But for those who take that brave step, help is much too hard to find.
Together, we are changing this. We’re fighting for young people’s mental health. Join our fight.
In other Good Comics related news, this Friday is the launch party of their newest release The Times I Knew I Was Gay by Eleanor Crewes at Gosh! Comics in London. PAR-TAY! As an honorary member of Good Comics I’ll be at the launch with a glass in hand celebrating this really excellent book – if you’re a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan like I am, you’re in for a treat – so if you’re local to London then come on down as it’s going to be amazing!
It’s me, your friendly neighbourhood Houdini. I know, I know, I said I was back properly last time, and then didn’t reappear again until now, nearly six weeks later. About five weeks ago, I had some news which made me weigh up my options and reflect a little on my working practices, including writing about what I do. This blog doesn’t get the views it used to, and my daily structure has changed a hell of a lot in the past six months. That, and teamed with some changes going on at my day job, has left me with the decision to pare down my blogging on here and start posting shorter and more regular updates on a subscription website called Patreon. It’s not been an easy decision to make, and I’m certainly not disappearing off here any time soon, but hopefully that explains why I keep vanishing from my ‘weekly’ blog. More on Patreon a little later on, as I’m sure you’re all eager to hear what I’ve been up to…
Last time I caught up with you all I was getting ready to gallop over to Brighton for January’s Cartoon County meet-up; and what a blast it was! Alex Fitch was an excellent interviewer, with interesting and carefully considered questioning – I’ve been interviewed a handful of times, and I must say it’s one of the greatest compliments to be interviewed by someone who has either a keen interest or has taken the time to learn about my work. Thanks so much, Alex! I had a chance to catch up with a few faces I don’t see all that often, and I also managed to put names to faces for a few creators which is always really nice. Thanks so much for having me, Brighton. Plus, your burgers are really really good.
This one has been a really fun comic to do, even if it took me way longer than I ever intended it to. But, it was fun to flex my short story skills once more, and it meant I got to delve into the depths of ancient Aztec history, with reference books such as The Art of Mesoamerica: From Olmec to Aztec by Mary Ellen Miller, and more serious titles such as Horrible Histories Angry Aztecs by Terry Deary and Martin Brown. I’m really pleased with how Cosmos looks in it’s new reprinted format, and really grateful that Good Comics have helped me reissue this comic again exactly how I wanted it. Thank you to everyone who picked up an original copy, and those who also buy a new one!
Cosmos Additional Story Work in Progress
Cosmos Additional Story Work in Progress
The Art of Mesoamerica: That face when you can’t find any gnarly Olmec grinds for your skateboard…
Next up, as you may remember I had been creating a short autobio comic for Dirty Rotten Comics submission! Sadly, I didn’t make the cut this time. But, it’s been great practice to work on something a little more based in reality than my usual tales of magical arctic foxes and fallen stars. Have a look at this sneak peek!
Preview from Bear – unsuccessful comic submission.
Preview from Bear – unsuccessful comic submission.
Even though this comic, Bear, won’t be in the latest Dirty Rotten Comics, I have a few other ideas for it yet.. so watch this space! (Maybe not on a full-time basis, as you might be watching for six weeks at a time with how busy everything is right now… I wouldn’t want to give anyone eye-strain!)
So, that’s what I’ve been doing! So to round-up, here’s a little more about my decision making process is moving over to blogging on Patreon rather than here..
The Patreon Story
Now, as I mentioned above, this blog doesn’t seem to get the reach it once did. Writing a large post like this takes at least a couple of hours, and if I was doing weekly posts like I used to it’d be around an hour a week of writing an editing, and extra time documenting everything I do and preparing preview images. Which, was fine and wonderful when I was a full-time student or when I graduated and worked in a creative job that allowed me time to write. However, now things are a little different with my personal circumstances. Prior to six months ago I was in a very lonely and isolated position of not really having much else to do apart from work (as I’m sure Self-Care & Vegetables readers are aware). Now, I’m happy. I understand it’s important to have time off to look after myself, read and enjoy life. I have a wonderful partner who I love spending time with, and I also have his two kids in my life who are funny, gnarly and sweet. So as you can tell, my time has to be spread a little more evenly, which is nicer and healthier. But that meant something had to give.
I hear you ask.. “but why are you moving over to somewhere where I have to pay to see the same things I’ve seen for free all this time?” – well! I will still aim to update here every four-six weeks. It’ll be more of a round-up than an in-depth analysis of every stage, kind of like this blog as been today! You’ll still see pencils to inks and sketchbook stages, right the way through to final previews. My tiers of subscription on Patreon give you more than you could ever have here. Let me show you:
$2 or more per month – you can access exclusive blog posts about what I’m up to, work-in-progress photos and previews only available to patrons. i.e. you will get more regular updates and photos.
$5 or more per month – you get the above, plus 10% off in my Etsy store and access to my digital comics archive to read and download, and see full colour pages of new comics before they’re published! If you like digital comics, you will be getting a massive bargain compared to buying my work individually or in it’s anthologies.
$10 or more per month – everything listed above, plus a hand-drawn and painted postcard in the post every month (UK postage only)
$12 or more per month – everything listed above, plus a hand-drawn and painted postcard in the post every month (Worldwide postage)
$40 or more per month – everything listed above (excluding postcard), plus an A5 drawn, inked and painted commission of your choice every month – or you can just bump up to this for one month if you’d like to commission artwork from me, and then bump back down to a different tier. (Worldwide postage)
Check out my Patreon site here to witness it all for yourself, and sign up for some sweet deals to arrive through your door. After all, who doesn’t love receiving post that isn’t bills or junk mail? Hopefully that clarifies everything a bit. Don’t miss out, even for just $2 (£1.45ish) a month you get to see comics as they happen, and before anyone else.
And on that note, that sums it up for now! I have a busy few weeks ahead preparing some top secret things, a comic for an anthology, creating more things and travelling all over the place. Life is meant to be busy, right? Right?
Thanks for being patient and reading all of my ramblings, and here’s to a new, exciting chapter!
Welcome back, please find a seat and make yourselves comfortable. There’s tea and coffee over there, and some fruit on the side. It’s been a little while again, and I’d like to thank you all for your patience whilst I’ve been navigating a new demanding job, new interests and taking more of a keen focus on my own physical and mental well-being. Looking back over the years I’ve often used working on multiple comics projects as a crutch to help ignore my own personal life, and now I’m juggling things around to make sure all areas are getting the best I can possibly give. So, thanks again for holding with me, and if I haven’t said it before.. 2018 is going to be ace. Just you wait and see!
First things first, I’ve been hibernating away working on an additional short comic for the re-release of Cosmos & Other Stories next month. It’s based on an old folklore tale and I’ve really loved building a little story around it, so I hope you all will enjoy it too! The second edition of Cosmos is up for pre-order again with Good Comics, so if you fancy being one of the first to get your hands on a copy, head on over to their Good Shop and check it out then checkout. Here’s a little preview of the pencils…
Cosmos Additional Story Work in Progress
As you all know from Njálla and The Red Road, I love a good folk legend or myth, and I’ve found a really interesting old Mexican legend that ties in with the theme of Cosmos; loneliness, love and reflection. I’m really, really excited to be bringing out the second edition, and with it being re-released in only a few weeks, I have it well on the way to being finished up and sent back off to print. Woohoo!
Next up, why work on one comic when I can work on two? A couple of weeks ago I was reminded that Dirty Rotten Comics have a call for submissions out for their next anthology, number #12. They opened up submissions back in November, but I figured it’d be really good practice to crack out a story at short notice and work on something I’ve been looking to develop more: autobiographical slice of life and travel writing. I’ve been juggling this new four-page comic and the final Cosmos story, and both are due to be completed around the same time, so it’s going to take a good final push to get these done! Here are some working photos of the new short story for submission to Dirty Rotten Comics – all roughs, I assure you..
The deadline for submission to Dirty Rotten Comics #12 is 31st January, so get to it and submit something too! I’ve been in three of their anthologies so far, and they always release the best selection of comics from a wide range of talent. You can find all their submission details on their website!
In other news, it’s been recently announced that The Inking Woman exhibition has been turned into a book, and is due to be published by Myriad in late March! The Inking Woman exhibition took place back in April 2017 and featured 100 women cartoonists, including yours truly! I’m so thrilled to hear the exhibition has been turned into a book, and it’s more important than ever to look at the part women have taken in a heavily male dominated history of comics and cartooning. You can read about the book here.
And finally, if you’re local to Brighton city centre, come along and see me talk with Alex Fitch this Monday (29th January) at the Cartoon County meetup! Cartoon County is a group of Sussex creators who talk comics, cartooning and everything else related, and have had notable guests such as everyone’s favourites Hannah Berry, Gareth Brookes and Danny Noble, and many many more. You can check out their website here, and their Twitter page here for more information on Monday’s meet up.
That just about rounds it up for now! See you on Monday evening if you’re coast-local, and check back back here next week for a round-up. Until then, have a wonderful weekend!
October Sketchbook 2017 – Improving in Adobe Illustrator
You love tacos, I love tacos, we all love tacos… And after eating aplenty at a really nice place in Bournemouth, I wanted to brush up my skills in Adobe Illustrator the best way I could think to – making myself a street-food taco truck in case I ever fancy a change of career. Trying to combine my painterly approach with clean vector lines is challenging, but this guy turned out pretty well I think!