Quarantine & Coffee

Hi folks,

Welcome back! The calendar has ticked over to April and we’re in the midst of a worldwide pandemic (in case you weren’t already aware). I hope you’re all safe and well wherever you are.

Now we’re all settling to a new normal of being inside, it’s really time for me to get back into writing. So here it goes! Here’s what I have for you today:

  1. Start of spring sketchbooks
  2. Quarantine drawing challenge & free comics
  3. Good newsletter
  4. Recent projects

1. Spring sketchbooks

Remember a few months ago I made some autumn-winter sketchbooks? Well, they’re soon to be back with the next season: Spring-Summer 2020! Back in late-February, I picked up some new papers from the magical Shepherds fine papers in London especially for the next set of sketchbooks. My new prized papers have been sitting quietly waiting to be collated, and it’s on my list to do.

Meanwhile, you can now pick up one of the last few autumn-winter sketchbooks on sale for just £2.50 with FREE UK shipping (everywhere else £2 p&p)! Any remaining sketchbooks will be taken off sale in the coming weeks, so pick one up whilst you can.

2. Quarantine drawing challenge & free comics

It goes without saying that it’s a really stressful and scary time for everyone. However, one of the most heartwarming side effects of the COVID crisis has been people’s response to opening up their skills and creativity for all.

From Grace Sandford’s Instagram live drawing workshops, to Oxford Pennants printable positivity pennants (direct link to pdf here), and even free audiobooks, it’s great to see so many people trying to make this confusing time more comforting and inspiring.

At Good Comics, we decided to release a bundle of free comics to encourage everyone to take government advice and stay home. This bundle includes the first edition of my 2017 release Cosmos & Other Stories, as well as Stealing Home: Rookie Season by Paddy Johnston (including a comic by yours truly). You can read about the bundle on the Good Blog, or take a direct link to the bundle by clicking here.

Good Sam has also announced the quarantine drawing challenge of designing your own old-timey baseball player! It all started with a ‘find your 1800’s baseball player name and evolved into something more:

As Pee-Wee “Hoss” McGraw, I’ve started designing mine up already. We’ll post a gallery of as many as possible over on the Good Comics website. Here are some tips/guidelines!

  • Try and make the designs to 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches.
  • Baseball has a long and rich history including some amazing women and people of colour players, so be creative!
  • If you don’t like your ‘name’ from the challenge above, feel free to make up your own.
  • If 1800’s America unnerves you (i.e. the slave trade) , feel free to make it a modern-day vintage style card.

If you’re up to the challenge, email your cards to us or tag @samuelcwilliams on Twitter and use the hashtag #MajorLeagueMugs. And have fun!

3. Good Newsletter

In February we launched the brand-spankin’ new Good Comics newsletter. It’s monthly at this point, but we also send out random news as and when we can, like about our upcoming release from Claire Spiller! (more on that below)

I like to think we’re pretty interesting, so you can read our March newsletter here, and sign up for future updates by clicking here. Go on, you know you want to.

4. Recent projects

I’ve been pretty lax towards keeping my site up to date, so I have a couple of more recent projects to share with you! Firstly, earlier this year I was commissioned to create another back cover for Star Jaws issue 31!

As it was the February issue I went for a valentine’s theme, with a love letter from Senator Bail Organa to his wife Breha Organa – the adoptive parents of Princess Leia before Alderaan was destroyed by the Death Star. Yes, I thoroughly enjoyed being enthralled in the Star Wars universe. Yes, I researched a lot about Alderaan’s most iconic landmarks and foliage. No regrets. Click here to see the full back cover in action!

Secondly, I also worked on a submission for Two Set Mag: ‘a zine focused on writing, with a healthy dose of art and photography – all by skateboarders‘, as described on their site.

This comic is for the second issue, under the theme of ‘chance’. It’s not yet available to buy, but keep an eye out and I’ll let you know when it’s purchasable. In the meantime check out their Instagram and grab a copy of issue #1 from the online store.

I’ve also been busy with the Good Comics team preparing for our latest release, Raze by Claire Spiller. Claire’s work is beautiful and she’s well rehersed in printing comics so she’s been an absolute dream to work with – check out her latest work and pre-order your copy of Raze today. If you like my comics, this will be up your street! Treat yo’self.

And that just about rounds it up for now! A few other things have happened, like turning 30, having my feet tattooed, having an incredible pre-birthday celebration with Sam in London and learning how to homeschool a 10-year-old. But hey, better save something for the next blog!

Until next time, stay safe!

Rozi x

Kamino and Make Yourself Comfortable

Good evening ladies and gentlemen!

So, since September I’ve been trying to find a happy medium between traditional and digital illustration. I love drawing, by hand, on paper. And painting on paper, because it’s fun! However I’d been finding that trying to scan in traditionally done paintings and make it look decent on screen was a hard task. So, with some tutorials and lots of trials and errors I have finally made my first fully combined piece which I’m happy with. There are examples on my front page of these sort of techniques I’ve been trying, for example Being Human and the girl in the triangle, however I didn’t feel like these were up to my usual standard. So, I decided it was time to put what I’d learnt to good use and do something nice for my partner-in-crime, Chris.

The story behind this revolves around my better-half being an absolutely giant Star Wars fan (nerd), especially with the original trilogy. A few weeks ago we went to a convention over at the National Space Centre in Leicester run by the UK Garrison, one of the foremost non-profit Star Wars costuming groups in the UK. Their movie-standard costumes were absolutely fantastic, and I was blown away by the professionalism and dedication everyone involved puts into being their character. I’ve since learnt that they attend countless events around the country and have helped raise money for a number of charities; it really was such an amazing atmosphere I was completely outstanded. I hadn’t had so much fun in a long while, and I felt like a giant kid at the best toy store known to man. I even got to meet R2-D2!

What a dude.
What a dude.

ANYWAY! One of my better-half’s favourite characters is Boba Fett, and he actually got to meet the actor Jeremy Bulloch, shake his hand and get this ridiculously cool art print signed. Which got me thinking how much I really wanted to do something for him which, although it’s not as cool as a signed print, is something that he’d be proud to hang on his wall. So, long story short this meant I had to delve deep into the Star Wars Wookieepedia and find out all I could about Boba Fett, the infamous bounty hunter and primary clone of Jango Fett. Low and behold, I came up with this idea that with all Boba Fett goes through in the extended stories, andas a child seeing his Dad’s head come off, sometimes he must just want to go home. Home, being the watery planet of Kamino where all the clones were created. I drew up Boba, his home planet, and his EE-3 Carbine, and over the space of a week I managed to piece it all together and Boba’s your uncle, we have…. this:

Boba Fett – I Dream of Home

Final Inks

The hard work paid off in the end! It was a surprise, and I think he likes it! I did submit this as a design to Threadless! so that I could get it on a t-shirt for him, but unfortunately they emailed me to say that any sort of cult-icon can be a bit awkward in terms of legal restrictions, so it can’t be done. But, at least I have a new phone background! Anyway, that’s it for now. I have a busy week ahead and I’m off to Art in Action on Thursday for a day of quality auntie-niece time and spending far too much money on more art supplies I have run out of space for. Until next time! x