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

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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.

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Touching Base

Happy New Years Eve-Eve!

Another year is almost over, with another fresh on the horizon. We made it!

In the midst of the grey area between Christmas and New Year where few brave souls really know what day it is, I thought I’d take the opportunity to celebrate 2019 and look at what it’s brought for me.

First off, I’m really late to talk about this, but still excited to tell you all about my friend and co-founder of Good Comics Paddy Johnston’s new book Stealing Home: Rookie Season. See the excitement on my face? See it??

Stealing Home a collection of newsletters published weekly throughout the baseball season – not to be confused with hardcore baseball writing, the collection is about life and the game, with a delicate array of anecdotes and thoughts on America’s greatest sport. Each newsletter is also beautifully illustrated by my bae Samuel C. Williams, with bonus comics by him too. I was also lucky enough to be involved too, with my comic about Justin Smoak gracing the final pages of the book. Check out a preview below:

Having come directly after finishing Sparenting, it was another emotionally raw story to tell, and I’m truly honoured to be part of the Stealing Home collection. And check me out – I finally have some baseball knowledge! It’s only taken a year and several Big Boys Don’t Bunt podcast episodes, but I’m a seasoned expert now!

You can pick up Stealing Home: Rookie Season from the Good Comics online bookstore, and you can sign up for the Stealing Home newsletter by clicking here, ready for spring training in a couple of months.


So, with Stealing Home rounding out my year, what else have I been up to? Well, at Good Comics HQ we were fairly busy, launching our new website and podcast, plus attending shows far and wide. I also made my editorial debut, working with Mohar Kalra on his newest book Novelty, released in June. We also welcome Paddy’s son Eric to the world, who will be an excellent Creative Director of Good in a few years. We also spoke at the Laydeez do Comics festival earlier this year, talking potential creators through our submission criteria and our ethos, which was a really proud moment for us. And we even managed a Christmas party!

For my personal work, I took the year to really slow down and practise what I’ve learnt over the last few years in newer and interesting ways. Firstly I worked on Rocks, which began as a panel-a-day experiment, musing on rocks which turned into a self-published comic. Paring back my preparation and writing on the go was a new experience for me, and it taught me a lot about how little I really need to prepare for a comic.

In summer I began working digitally for the first time, using new software to draw directly onto the screen – removing the need for thumbnail sketches, roughs, pencils and inks on multitudes of paper and instead working on one digital file with multiple layers. I experimented with some ‘sketchbook’ pages and a short comic called Ebbs & Flows, before spending a couple of months working on Sparenting.

Aside from that, I’ve spent more time learning how to woodwork, whittle and create sourdough. I’ve read 30 books this year (which is an all-time record for me, usually totalling around 5 a year before now…), I’ve practised my sewing skills and made more of an effort to look after my body and mind. I’ve also undone some of the efforts of looking after my body by fracturing my hand and spraining my ankle whilst skateboarding (but had the most fun in doing so). I’ve also been lucky enough to travel to two beautiful cities, spending time with those I love.


Here’s to what 2020 will bring!

Happy New Year everyone.

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A New Chapter: Part 1

Good afternoon fellow humans!

It has been a while, no? Last time I posted I was gleefully looking forward to some quiet time post-festival season, though life always finds a way of throwing more challenges at you when you think it’s finally time to relax.

Drawing and creating comics has always been such an organic process, it’s easy to forget that the person behind the drawing has the usual nonsense to deal with; on hold to the electric company, navigating food shopping into a busy week, and the such. And, In mid-September, this was the case more than ever! Things came tumbling down around us in the form of an eviction notice; no no, I hadn’t been drawing too loudly, just a landlord who – fairly enough – wanted his property back.

Apparently such is the life of a private tenant, but short of living in fear month-to-month, nothing can prepare you for having to move on someone else’s terms. So, since my last update, I’ve spent two months with my ever-patient and wonderful partner Sam packing up all of our belongings and moving and unpacking. Again. But, finally, things are settling into place and I’m getting back into some sort of routine. Plus, our new home is so cosy and peaceful.

Still, it’s not all about moving home. Here is some news for you all:

-KLAXON- Cosmos & Other Stories is nearly sold out for the second time!

That’s right. I am now out of stock of the second print run of Cosmos & Other Stories. First published back in March 2017, the second print run was released in January 2018 and Good Comics hold the remaining few copies on their online store. As it won’t be reprinted you have to be quick if you’re still after a copy – otherwise, you can read a digital copy by subscribing to my Patreon for $5 a month. It’s really sad to see Cosmos go, but who knows, maybe some of the stories will find their way into something else in the future. Farewell Cosmos -sniff-

In more recent comics news, Moon is now up on my website! You can see loads of snapshots of the process of making Moon, complete with details of how to buy it. It feels like forever ago that I made Moon, but it’s only been a couple of months. Check out the designated page on my website here, and get your copy on my Etsy store.

BBE Barriers Anthology

Another piece of good news: the short comic I made for BBE’s Barriers back in May is now available to buy from their online store! It came out in time for Thought Bubble, and I excitedly picked up my contributor copy. It was a really fun comic to make, and the anthology is full of great work.

And that just about wraps it up for now! Rest assured I have been managing to stay creatively active during this move. I have made a Halloween costume for two children and a bearded dragon, I made a treasure map and co-build a bespoke storage drawer-unit for our collective art supplies (I even hand-sawed some front panels, much to the discomfort of my puny upper arm muscles).

Exciting, right? I’ll be back next time with more but until then…

 

x

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Moon Landing

Good afternoon, folks!

So, the last few weeks have been slightly overwhelming. Back in July, shortly after SLCZF, I decided I could TOTALLY put a comic out by Thought Bubble Festival (22nd-23rd September). I had an idea and got to work on it, and somehow just about managed it. And, as of Sunday evening just gone, Moon was finished up, edited and sent off to print as the Kickstarter campaign ended at 135% funded. WE DID IT!

Now, I’m not going to pretend that this kind of concept is a good idea – it was a pretty stupid idea because it meant I had to juggle an already busy existence with a very short deadline. I took days off from work here and there and spent my evenings at the desk too, but it was so, so worth it.

Moon preview

The campaign for Moon went really well; it was 50% funded after two days, and then had a steady increase of 1-2 pledges per day to reach the original target of £800, then onward and up to a total of £1082. The campaign itself was really short so that I could get the comic printed and out in time for Thought Bubble Festival. But, regardless of the rush, it all worked as planned! The only real comparison that I have with Kickstarter is Njálla; but that feels like an exception to the rule, as that was fully funded on the first day (and something I never expected to happen again)!

Given how little time I gave myself, the creation side of the comic went really well. I did my usual process of thumbnailing out the comic, pencilling it up on big layout sheets, and then inking straight onto artist cartridge paper and painting on the same page. Moon is a total of 24 pages, 17 of which are painted story pages. Check out a little preview here:

Gettin' Painty
Gettin’ Painty

What’s next? Well! First thing this Monday morning the print files were sent to print at the Newspaper Club. Tuesday night the rewards were sent off to print (A5 prints, temporary tattoos and stickers – you guys who pledged are in for a treat!), and now comes the waiting game. Digital review copies are being sent out on Monday 17th September (get in touch here if you’re keen to review Moon), digital comics are being sent to backers by Tuesday 18th, and all of the physical stuff should be arriving by Wednesday 19th. On the morning of Friday 21st September I’m (gently) throwing all of my wares in the boot of Billie the car and driving up to Leeds to launch Moon at Thought Bubble Festival on Saturday 22nd September. Phew!

It’s certainly been an experience, but this comic has been so much fun to work on and I truly wouldn’t have been able to work to this crazy schedule without the faith of every single Kickstarter backer who helped me make Moon into the physical comic I wanted it to be. Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to release it any time soon, or even dream of making sweet temporary tattoos of shipping containers.

And that’s about it for now! Remember to keep up with my more regular blogs over at Patreon, and until next time… Peace out!

 

x

Moon - Coming Soon!
Moon – Coming Soon!

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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!

 

x

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Festivals & Releases

Good afternoon all!

So, it’s almost mid-July. When did that happen?

This past week has seen a surge of releases, first up with the launch of the Broken Frontier Small Press Yearbook 2017 on Saturday 8th July at Gosh! Comics in London. Unfortunately I couldn’t make it down south for the launch (trains just keep getting more expensive, right?), but it seems like Gosh! was totally packed out! You can see photos from the night here.

The Yearbook is now on sale at selected comic shops around the UK and also online here for £7.99 plus postage. It features the ‘Six to Watch’ of last year; Rebecca Bagley, Kim Clements, Brigid Deacon, Emily Rose Lambert, Jey Levang and Ellice Weaver, as well as a handful of extra creators with back-up stories, including yours truly. I haven’t had a chance to look through the Yearbook yet, but I just know it’s going to be good.

Next up, Emily Owen’s Kickstarted Brain Shoodles zine is out into the world! Mine arrived yesterday, complete with some prints from my piece I created for one of the reward tiers. Brain Shoodles is a described as a mental health zine, documenting Emily’s struggle with anxiety and depression, and learning sometimes just how to put one foot in front of the other. It’s an accessible, touching read, and if you’d like to get your hands on a copy they are for sale on her online store for £3 plus postage.

Also, Emily kindly sent me some of the prints (pictured above right) which are now up for sale on my Etsy store!

Given the nature of their creation, I am selling the prints with 50% of profits going to 42nd Street, a young-persons mental health charity here in Manchester. 42nd Street supports young people aged 11-25 years with their emotional well-being and mental health, promoting choice and creativity, championing young person centred approaches. They offer counselling, workshops and events to help engage young people, and have offered continued support in the aftermath of the Manchester Arena bombing in May. They’re an excellent cause, and I hope to make as much for them as I can.

The prints are A4, printed on beautiful heavyweight recycled card stock, and on sale for £10. There’s a limited run, so if you’d like one click here.

I’ve also put my A5 print from Cosmos on my Etsy store! Originally released for free alongside pre-orders of the book, the print is just £4 and features one of the more colourful pages from the final story in the collection, ‘Treehouse‘. Click through the image below to see the whole thing!

My Etsy store has had a nice little revamp, so to celebrate all you nice readers of this blog can get 10% off my store for the next week with the code IREADIT – and with no minimum spend! Par-tay!

In other news, this weekend is the first ever South London Comic & Zine Fair! I will be there in spirit, as Paddy Johnston of Good Comics will be manning the stand with Cosmos & Other Stories, Josh Hicks’ Human Garbage and all the rest of Good Comics’ excellent catalogue of releases. Be sure to pop along and say hi if you’re in the area.

And that wraps it up for now! Keep an eye out next week when I’ll be back with more of what I’ve been getting up to.. Until then – have a good week!

 

x

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The Launch is Nigh

Good afternoon folks!

So, it’s nearly launch time! That’s right, the long, hard evenings and weekends of working away lovingly on this collection are done, and the final editing (when you think it’ll take half a day and it actually takes a whole Sunday and two more evenings..) is complete, and the book has been printed. Now all that’s left is a few sleepless nights worrying over whether anyone’s actually going to like it or not.. Y’know, those sensible thoughts that come into the front of your mind just as you turn out the light. Helpful stuff.

It’s just three days now until Leamington Comic Con 2017, held in the Royal Spa Centre in Leamington Spa, and those Good Comics gents and I are flocking from our various corners of the country to come together and launch Cosmos & Other Stories.

Aside from joking (totally not joking..) about the nerves, I am really excited to bring Cosmos into the world. It’s been a largely whirlwind ordeal, given that I started talking to the Good Comics guys about potentially releasing a collection of short stories with them when I was their table neighbour at Thought Bubble Festival back in November. It then took approximately a week to start writing.. Meaning it’s taken me four months to make this collection of six short stories, whilst working full time, and dealing with a whole load of other life things. FOUR MONTHS! Not even I can believe it.. what a workaholic, am I right? Jeez, take a day off already! -maniacal laugh-

Lisa, co-organiser and co-owner of Leamington Comic Con and Spa Town Comics pop-up store was kind enough to say nice things and interview me about Cosmos & Other Stories! You can read the full interview on the Spa Town Blog! And see the nice things Lisa had to say..

I’m personally very excited to meet Rozi and see her work. I’m probably a little late to Rozi Hathaway fan club, given she won last year’s Broken Frontier Breakout Talent Award, but, as soon as I saw her uniquely expressive and dreamy paintwork I knew my bank balance was in trouble.

Lisa-Marie Nelson, “A not so lonely launch at Leam Comic Con” – Spa Town Comics Blog

For those coming along or thinking of coming along to Leamington, there’s a full schedule of guests including Mark Laming and the Awesome Comics Podcast folks, and you can also find a full list of the exhibitors here. Leamington Comic Con is open for advance ticket holders from 10:30am, with on-the-day tickets being sold on the door with entry from 11:30am. Tickets are still available online, £10 for adults and kids get in free! To find out more and buy your tickets online, click here. There’s also a whole load of activities happening at the con, with a full breakdown available here (if you can’t find me at 3pm, I’ll be having my face painted in the style of Munch’s The Scream…)

Cosmos & Other Stories has also had it’s first review this morning from Tony Esmond of Awesome Comics Podcast and Down the Tubes fame. I’ve been totally blown away by this review, and here’s a snippet that absolutely made my day:

It’s not often that a piece of art touches you in in such a profound way. I speak as a cynical forty something who up until March the 21st this year hadn’t really found a gem in the small press and was worried that it was sitting back in it’s collective armchair ready for retirement. This comic changed my mind and did so with grace and a gentle whisper.

– Tony Ez Esmond, “A Little Review of ‘Cosmos & Other Stories’ and I find out it’s a lonely place”

You can read the full review here! And please do! And don’t forget you can still pre-order your copy of Cosmos on the Good Comics Shop until Friday with a bonus print from the book, with the comic being on general sale from Saturday.

In other similar news, Cosmos & Other Stories is Broken Frontier‘s Staff Pick of the Week! Here’s what Andy Oliver has to say..

I’ve had the benefit of a preview copy and can assure our audience that, without a doubt, it’s some of Hathaway’s strongest work to date. Simultaneously subtle yet potent, fragile but resonant, it’s a compilation that speaks to the reader with the profoundest empathetic connection.

– Andy Oliver – Staff Picks for March 22, 2017 – Cosmos & Other Stories, Underwinter, The Interview, Fire!!: The Zora Neale Hurston Story and More!

And that’s about it! If you’re in or around Leamington Spa on Saturday then please do come along and say hello to us at the Hathaway/Good Comics tables. If you can’t make it, be sure to follow me, Good Comics and Leamington Comic Con on Twitter for regular updates on the day – and also the event hashtag #LCC2017. AND, read all about it on the blog next week! Until then..

 

x

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Baby It’s Cold Outside

Good afternoon folks.

So, another week has passed and I seem to be getting even less done with each week that passes. An excellent feeling, I assure you. I had a really fun week of redoing my entry for the Good Comics Dead Singers Society Vol. 3 zine, with a final number of four attempts and twenty-eight new grey hairs emerging from my head, I managed to get it done just in time for the deadline. If you’re a fan of this particular dead singer’s music then this may be obvious, but here’s a sneaky peek of one of the panels from this musical one-pager..

I still maintain it’s far from the best thing I’ve done and I’d really hoped it’d be a lot better. But, it’s not terrible, and sometimes you just have to put the pens/pencils/paints down and accept that this just wasn’t meant to be anything amazing. Sadly, especially after the numerous binned attempts, I’m glad for it to be over. Hopefully with some time away from it I feel a bit more positive towards it.

In other news, I’m back into the zone of writing the remainder of the short stories I’ll be publishing in a couple of months with Good Comics! I had gotten into the habit of figuring out a story and then writing > drawing > painting > editing it from start to finish all in one go (with food and sleep in between, I promise). But, now I have over half of the total pages mapped out I’m going to change tactics and write all the remaining stories now to fit in around what’s left. Getting the whole collection to flow with individual stories is going to prove challenging, but with half done I have a bit of an easier time to fill in voids now and adapt stories rather than trying to do it all at the end. Does that make sense? I hope that makes sense.

Plotting and Tings.

Short Stories Collection Coming Soon!

In other news, as a follow up to my winning of the Broken Frontier Breakout Talent Award 2016, Andy Oliver at Broken Frontier wrote an article detailing my comics journey from 2014 up to now. After a particularly bad week and not being very good at that whole ‘taking a break’ thing, it was really nice to read. You can peruse the full article here!

Finally, on Saturday when I was down in the Big Smoke I dropped off some copies of Njálla and Ø to Gosh! Comics, and Njálla, Ø and Sneaky Business Vol. 2 to Orbital Comics! If you’re around the area you should pop along to Orbital and check out the Moonage Daydreams exhibition, an illustrated tribute to the records of David Bowie. I missed the launch on Friday evening but popped along on Saturday and it’s definitely work a look! You can find out all the details from Orbital’s event page here, and the Moonage Daydreams website here.

Njálla and Ø at Gosh! London

And that’s about it for now! This week will see a lot of writing and plotting, so I’ll be back next week with.. nothing to show for myself. -gulp-

Until next time!

 

x

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