Tag Archives: comics

The pitches-that-didn’t-happen drawer

I was hunting for some files today, and happened upon some concept art made for something a few years ago. I still quite like it, so let’s pop it here for anyone who’s interested in what sort of visual work I do to develop an idea for submission. It’s just a short story, so never really off the table to rework – but as always, that’s a matter of time!

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Freeland Friday: Quality, Speed and Readership

Lately I’ve been thinking about quality. Or rather, quality as it sits in relation to speed, production realities, and reader perception.
I’m thinking about it now in particular for a few reasons.

Firstly, I’m currently working on the early issues of my first indie monthly comic, with all the attendant scheduling and process adjustments, and financial concerns, that entails.

Secondly, while in this frame of mind, I’ve been reading a few indie monthlies that have been huge successes. Titles that are amazing, popular, and which I have great respect for, so I hope this doesn’t read as sour grapes or anything. But as I’ve been reading, I’ve found myself caught up frequently on art niggles. Small things, but things I can’t help but notice – backgrounds or limbs that look sloppy rather than sketchy, copy-pasted panels where it’s clearly for time rather than a humorous or uncanny repetitive effect. So on and so forth. Part of me feels it’s snotty of me to let them bother me. But they do take me out of the story, and more importantly they relate to all the things about quality and schedules and readers that I’m thinking about right now. Because these are huge hits. Readers are obviously not as bothered by these things as I am. And given that, do they matter?

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CUNE Comics-in-Residence, Tallinn – Update 3

Big process post!

I wrote most of this post part-way into the residency, but ran into some image issues, so saved it to do later. Later has ended up being after I got back the the UK, but hey! Read on for more, including pics of thumbnails, roughs, and a glimpse at the beginning of some final pages!

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CUNE Comics-in-Residence, Tallinn – Update 1

Super exciting post today, as I’m not at my desk or cosied up in the corner of a Wetherspoons with my work today..

Today is my second day in Talllinn, Estonia, thanks to the CUNE Comics-in-Residence program and hosted by the Estonian Comics Society (enormous thanks to both!!).

This is the view of the studio/apartment window (!) :

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My proposal to the CUNE program was that I would research the folktales/fairy tales of whichever country I was in, and use that as a springboard for a contemporary story set in the city, so I could draw from real locations. Lucky for me, the city I ended up in is both extremely draw-o-genic, and has provided me with the most fantastic raw fairy tale material.

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Googling revealed that the University of Tartu’s Department of Estonian and Comparative Folklore had been working on an enormous project producing a typology of Estonian folk tales from the tales stored in the Estonian Folklore Archives.

There’s a lot of brilliant and fascinating stuff in there, but what immediately caught my imagination was type 409, ‘the wife as werewolf’…which led me to this fantastic exploration of the iterations of that tale, which I’m still reading atm.

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The ‘bookshelf’ for this project currently includes those two papers, Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ ‘Women Who Run with the Wolves’ and Sally Gardner’s ‘Tinder’ (both recommended via excited discussions about fairy tales and women and wolves with other women writers – there’s definitely something that resonates for a lot of us here!)…Angela Carter’s ‘The Bloody Chamber’, and Emily Carroll’s ‘Through the Woods’.

I’ll keep you updated throughout the month! For now, I’m off to practice drawing wolves, while outside my window spires rise to the sky like howls.

‘My So Called Secret Identity’ Kickstarter

Just a quick blog-post to signal boost the Kickstarter for My So-Called Secret Identity, Suze Shore, Will Brooker and Sarah Zaidan’s really fantastic, non-standard take on superheroes, with a great female cast.

It’s funding it’s fifth and final issue (which I’ll be doing some of pages for if we reach the target!), and the collected book, and has some pretty cool rewards, including A3 ltd ed fine art prints of this pinup from me of characters Sekhmet and Ms Sparkle!

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Hope you’ll check it out! 🙂

Freelance Friday: Interviews

Hi all, and apologies for the quietness on here lately. It’ll likely stay sporadic for the near future, but I’ll try and add some more FF thoughts, or at least some good and useful links!

I had a busy internet week, with several interview-ish thingy’s out on various sites, so I thought mentioning them here would be a good idea, especially as a couple of them relate to freelancing.

-Most relevent is this interview with Nottingham-based Bees Make Honey, (where, along with the Gumroad $1+ pay-what-you-want, you can also get the Now and Then pdf for £1- plus some other great comics!) Their Creative Startups series is all focused on creatives’ business experiences, with questions about finding clients and using agents, and there are some great resources linked at the end. Give it a read here!

-I was also happy to be featured on Comics Alliance‘s great Hire This Woman series! This is less freelance-focussed, but is about how I work and the kind of work I like to do, so hopefully also of interest! 🙂 Give it a read here!

-And this one’s not freelance-y at all, but the brilliant Comics and Cola had me on their Comics Shelfies series, and I know I’m not the only one who likes to gaze at bookshelves! You can check mine out here 🙂

-And finally, while not from the last week, there’s this recent interview on the Comics Beat, with some really thoughtful, in-depth questions that cover some freelance-relevent topics like balancing workloads, personal projects and growth, etc. Check it out here!

 

Birthday ‘Buy Stuff’ roundup!

Hello! So, it is my birthday this week. I shall be gifting myself some painting time, so will be able to post some art or comics (woohoo!).

Should you feel inclined to do something nice for me (and yourself!), you can wish mehappy birthday by buying some lovely comics! ^_~  Here’s a quick round-up of some shiny things you may want to pick up, and where to do so:

-Atomic Sheep: There’s a good list on the site  (although as an update on that it is buyable on amazon.co.uk) (p.s. don’t forget you can read the first chapter free!). Also worth mentioning that it is now available on Kindle, and also at Page 45!   And don’t forget you can also find it on Comixology!

-Now and Then: I’ve only just recently made this available digitally, on Gumroad at $1+ pay-what-you-want! Bargain! Physical stock is running super low, but, again, you can find copies at Page 45! 🙂

This is kind of a soft launch, as I’m still playing with this a bit so haven’t linked it around, but I’ve got some designs up (especially Blood and Roses images) on Zazzle, and will continue to add more as well as look for a Europe-based alternative for those over here (shipping, ouch).

And while there are not currently many items listed in my Etsy shop, Atomic Sheep bonus packs with postcard prints, badges, and an original sketch, as well as portrait commissions, are still available!

 

Liberator Vol 1

Forgive me posting something non-Freelance Friday today, but Twitter’s been having a  Colourist Appreciation Day today, so it’s appropriate 🙂 It’s also a good time to give a heads-up as if you want to pre-order this from your LCS, those need to be in pronto (I think deadline may be today – hey, maybe I’ll catch a few of you across the pond).

I was lucky enough to get to draw a lovely backup story for Matt Miner and Javier Sanchez Aranda’s Liberator Vol 1 (Black Mask Studios), written by the fantastic Alex de Campi. And, even better, it gave me my first opportunity to stick to pencils and inks and work with a colourist, the wonderful Jenn Manley Lee. So here’s a few teasers of the inks: InkPrev01

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Collaboration

Took a bit of drawing time today to do this for Tauriq Moosa, who, when asked for a drawing topic request, tweeted back with “the beauty of two different minds creating a single thing of beauty (ie comics :)”…To be fair, I think he didn’t think he was actually picking a drawing topic – either that, or he’s a little bit evil. After pondering what on earth to do with that, I decided to just go with something about collaboration, so here we go! Happy collaborative thoughts sent your way, Tauriq!

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