It seems to be fully-loaded cold and flu season in my neck of the woods, and everyone is sniffling and coughing near constantly. Including me. I’m not sure whether mine is down to autumnal hayfever, a low-lying cold that’s waiting to emerge or my entire head being taken over by a goop monster. Who knows?
Anyway, it’s a busy time of year in the run-up to that yet-to-be-mentioned gift-giving holiday that occurs at the end of the year. I’m finishing up a web-comic, launching a top-secret community-based project and tending to general life tasks which now also include catering for my three new gerbil assistants: Peach, Nugget and White-Knuckle Rog (more on them another time). But still, I have things to show you all!
Firstly, the autumn-winter sketchbooks I announced a couple of weeks ago are selling fast! There aren’t many left, so if you’d like to join the club of seasonal strugglers, you can pick up your sketchbook here. Each order is lovingly wrapped in brown wrapping paper and posted in a card envelope so it reaches you safely and can be recycled easily.
If yours arrives and you want to share some of your autumn doodles, please do email me as I’m planning on setting up a gallery to share our autumnal feelings. You can contact me here.
What’s that I can hear? The soothing sound of a free calendar? That’s right, the last two festivals of the year have been and gone, and what excellent festivals they were.
Thought Bubble Festival was held over the weekend 22nd-23rd September in central Leeds, it’s newer location for the second year running. This year I was in the very large ComiXology marquee, with David B. Cooper (colourist: Alex Automatic, Sleeping Dogs, Pirate Fun) to my left, and my dearest Good Comics on my right. I felt particularly smug this year as normally I travel up the morning of Thought Bubble feeling ridiculously tired and worn out before the 8 hours of day one tabling begins. This year, however, as I was driving from Bournemouth to Leeds, Sam and I travelled up on Friday and spent the evening in Leeds with the other half of Good Comics – Dr Paddy. We ventured across to the pre-Thought Bubble party gathering at Travelling Man in Leeds for the Avery Hill launch of Katriona Chapman’s Follow Me In and Kristyna Baczynski’s Retrograde Orbit, which was fun!
Thought Bubble itself was excellent; I had the opportunity to meet so many new people and see some regulars, with people who bought comics from me last year coming back to see what was new and say hello. I also had a nearly tear-inducing moment when one person bought a few of my books, went away and read them both in a café before coming back to tell me how much she enjoyed them. This, folks, is why I do what I do.
As you may be aware, Thought Bubble was also the official launch for my newest self-published newspaper comic, Moon. I’ve had so much positive feedback so far, I’m really glad everyone’s enjoyed seeing something a little different. Creating Moon in such a short space of time was incredibly isolating and also meant I didn’t have the time to talk about it in blogs or beam about its progress on social media, so launching it at Thought Bubble and being able to sit back and listen to people’s feedback was really, really nice.
Speaking of Moon, it’s now available on my Etsy store with additional stickers and temporary tattoos! Have you been plastering yourself with Moon temp tattoos? Send me some photos, I’d love to see how they turned out!
Moving onto the last festival of the year, one of my all-time favourites Bristol Comic & Zine Fair (BCZF) was this past Saturday 5th October, held at The Station in Bristol. BCZF is excellent for many reasons; for one, it’s free entry for the public so anyone can wander in and discover the breadth of different comic genres around. Secondly, it’s in Bristol so the creative scene there is always great, and finally, they have some of the best food around. Again, I had some really nice chats with people and the atmosphere is always friendly. Thanks so much to both the teams at Thought Bubble and BCZF for all their hard work in putting on excellent shows!
Whilst in Bristol Sam and I stayed with Mike, who has recently started Assembly Press, a risograph printing studio in Easton, Bristol. We played around with his older risograph machine in years previous, but this year he has upgraded to a two-colour machine, meaning we could quickly and easily try out some two-colour prints! I reused a design I previously ran through the riso, with amazing results. Check it out! (fluoro orange and yellow; fluoro pink and fluoro orange).
If you’re into creating work on a risograph printer or if you’d like to give it a try, Assembly Press has a special offer running until the end of August for 50xA3 prints for £30. Contact AP via Instagram for any enquiries!
That just about rounds it up for now. Phew, it’s been a busy one!