Category Archives: Uncategorized

Fresh Romance 2 (w/ preview pages)

As I do a bit of updating to this site over the next little while, part of that will hopefully be blogging here a little more. There is a question mark on how an individual blog fits in the current ecosystem, but we’ll see how it goes!

(Gorgeous cover art of Abby and Chris by Kevin Wada )

I thought it was past time to shout out a bit about my most recent book (I just got a beautiful box of comps in the mail!). Fresh Romance 2 is the followup to the Eisner-nominated Fresh Romance 1 (for which I drew coffeeshop-romance-with-a-side-of-interdimensional-magic The Ruby Equation, with writer Sarah Kuhn, colourist Savanna Ganucheau, and letterer Steve Wands).

In FR2, I got some extra room to play as I contributed a writer-artist story, Under the Oak Trees (with colour assistance from Nathan Ashworth). It’s a gentle relationship drama, focussed on Abby, an anxious assistant groundskeeper at a forest retreat, and hyper-driven London entrepeneur Chris. For those interested, this was inspired, in a sideways way, by gentle Japanese reality show Terrace House, which included instances of people with very different approaches to life slowly learning to respect eachother’s differences. I wanted to explore this further in a romantic relationship, thinking about what works and what doesn’t, what we do and don’t need and expect from eachother, when we’re all individuals.

(My chapter cover for Part 1)

Since I was writing too, I took the chance to set it in my backyard in the English Midlands, between Sherwood Forest and Nottingham. A sense of place in comics is really important to me, so being able to draw places I can physically be in – and also places that aren’t the usual major cities we tend to see show up – means a lot to me. I’m proud of how these pages turned out, and hope you’ll enjoy getting to know both these characters but also these places as well.

FR2 features Part 1 of the Under the Oak Trees – there’s plenty of room to explore further, and I hope I’ll be able to share more of Abby and Chris’ story with you – but Part 1 is also a full story arc in itself, so don’t worry about being left hanging.

I’ll end with a sneak preview of the first four pages, so please do click through for those! FR2 is available in print through Diamond, so just ask your local comic shop to order it for you, or you can order it online from Emet Comics, Amazon, or digitally via Comixology or Emet!

Click through for preview pages!

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Refugee donations commission giveaway

For anyone who hasn’t seen it yet, yesterday author Patrick Ness started a fundraising page for Save the Children’s work providing aid in the current refugee crisis. He pledged to match up to £10,000, and the results have been beautiful and staggering, with more and more authors (dozens, now – list on the fundraising page) adding match funds of their own as the total grew. As of writing, it’s approaching £200,000. At £250,000, Virgin Money will waive their fees, adding even more to the Save the Children’s work.

This is such a beautiful picture of the YA book community. Let’s spread it to the comics community too! While I’ll obviously be adding what I can, I’d like to do something more, however small, so:

Head over to the donations page and give something, however much or little

Comment here (w/ email address) or tweet me to say you’ve done so, and I’ll add you to a draw to win a fully inked commission, drawn with extra love and care – whether you’d like a portrait of yourself or a loved one, a favourite character, whatever!

(*within reason, I reserve right to ask for an alternate pick! ^_~ )

Let me know, and I’ll draw on Wed the 16th! Let’s go!!


-Check here for more you can do

-If you’re going to BristolCon, OctoCon or FantasyCon, you can join Emma Newman in crocheting some warm things to send



Writing Wednesday: Opportunities roundup

Thought I’d do a little Writing Wed roundup as there seem to be quite a few really cool opportunities worth flagging up in case they’re of use to anyone!

-World Nomads have a travel writing scholarship on at the moment – involves flights to San Francisco (from anywhere by the sound of it) for a few days mentoring, followed by a 10-day road trip to destinations of your choice in US, with some blogging responsibilities along the way. Deadline May 27

-The rather amazing Write a House residency is taking applications again from those who would be up for relocating to Detroit and getting involved in the arts locally, with a house given to the resident as a potentially permanent home. Deadline June 5

-The Branscombe House artist residency in Vancouver – I’m really tempted to apply to this! Studio/accomodation provided free for 11 months in exchange for community arts project hours. Deadline May 20

The Kent Harrison Arts Council Artist in Residence Program – another year-long house-provided-in-exchange-for-gallery/community-hours residency, also in BC – this one in Harrison Hot Springs! Deadline June 1

-This fantastic year-long Radio 2 Artist in Residence program, with a generous bursary. Must be UK resident and a professional in your field (defined here by being over half your income). Deadline May 10

Til next time, and good luck to anyone applying to any of these!

2015: Convention burnout, and doing things differently

I realized last year that I’d been tabling at conventions every year for over a decade. (Yay!) Then towards the end of last year, a combination of conventions-that-had-been-booked-in-the-spring and jobs or events that showed up later and I couldn’t say no to meant that I had a period of almost three months with a con, job, or event every single weekend (straight after being out of the country for a month).

To say I became burned out is an understatement, and I had no time to plan or prep for any of the cons I attended, having to simply pack what stock I had around, and then leave it in the suitcase afterwards for the next one. On the one hand, being forced to have a more casual approach meant I put less pressure on myself regarding earnings, and tried to focus on seeing people. And in between all that running around, I did get to spend some time with comickers I adore, and had some really great conversations.

But after doing cons the same way for so long, I think it’s high time for a change of pace. I still want to do a few cons this year – I would miss you all too much if not! So:

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Freelance (not quite) Friday – VATMOSS updates

As we approach EU-VAT-Reg-Day (Jan 1), here are some updates. A lot has happened since my first VATMOSS post (which you can read here if you need a bit of background on what this is about. If you sell digital content online, this concerns you).

I will be getting things off Gumroad, etc, before New Years, and know what a lot of fantastic individual creators,  small presses, and small businesses of different sorts will be calling curtain, and that is a horrible, backwards thing.

I’ll update a few categories here: Campaign updates; International; Third-Party Platforms; and Emailing Files.

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Quick rundown of some good-looking residencies (both artists and writers)

Hi all! Just a quick post today, as I’ve spotted a few residencies that look particularly cool and generous recently, with upcoming deadlines, and thought I’d share in case any are a good fit for any of you! Disclaimer: I’m not involved in any of these, and in most cases haven’t read all the fine print – just pointing them out, further research up to you! 😉 All listed offer accomodation w/out fees, some offer travel and stipends as well, and all accept international applications as far as I can tell.

Some of these close to applications in a few days, so if interested, get on it! (Worth checking if they need letters of support and whether there’s enough time to get those.)

Flotstunga, Iceland – for emerging/mid-career artists, best for development work. Super isolated. Offers accomodation and communal working and kitchen space. Artists cover travel, food, extra bits (eg. cost of shopping trips for supplies). Deadline Nov 13 Nov (for May/June).

Can Serrat International Art Centre, Spain – all arts disciplines – offers full stipend residencies which cover a month’s accomodation w/ breakfast and dinner.Next application deadline Nov 1, no application fee.

Bunnell Street Arts Centre, Alaska – artist and writers, focus on community engagement. One month, covers accomodation, travel, stipend. Applications due Oct 31

Paradise AiR Long Stay, Japan – artists under 40, focus on engagement with the place and people – two months in Matsuda, starting this Dec. Covers accomodation, travel, living stipend, production costs. Theme is ‘Here’ – projects w/ strong sense of place and local engagement. Deadline Nov 1

University of Windsor, Canada, Cartoonist-in-Residence – Canadian cartoonists. Huge, amazing-sounding four-month residency that my fellow Canadians should definitely have a look at!! You’ll have to sort housing, but the stipend is $20,000, so that should be fine. It’s not 100% set, as it’s contingent on funding. Deadline Nov 30th.

Fine Arts Work Centre, Provincetown, US – emerging writers and artists – 7 month (!) fellowships with accomodation/work space provided plus $750/month stipend. Deadlines Dec 1 for writers, Jan 31 for artists, for next Oct.

Montgomery Canal Artist Residency, UK – artists w/ interest in landscape, architecture, ecology, engagement/community projects. Based in Llanymynech (unclear if need to sort own housing) and travelling a bit for engagement, research, etc, for a six-month period. £12000 bursary. Deadline Nov 3

OMI International Artist Residency program, Ghent, NY, US – artists (does writers residencies too, but applications for 2015 closed for those) – offers accomodation/workspace, some meals. Does offer some fellowships, including one for women artists from anywhere. Four weeks, June/July. Deadline Nov 30.

Sarabande Writing Residency at Bernheim Forest, Kentucky, US – writers – two to six weeks. Accomodation plus $500 travel stipend. Deadline Dec 15.

Cove Park, Scotland – artists, crafters, writers (1+ book published) – one to three month residencies, offers accomodation and pays an artist fee of £400/week. Open to some interesting options, eg. writers who are established in one area/genre/format but want to try another, and artists working w/ either another artist, or someone in a different field, on a project. Deadline 24 Nov art, 1 Dec writing.

Mural Arts Residency, Ljubljana, Slovenia – artists (says open to all areas of vis arts, or combined media), EU residents or residents of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Turkey, Former Yugoslav republics or Turkey, artists under 35 preferred. Themes around consumer culture and long-term sustainability. 3 weeks around Feb/March, provides accommodation, EUR 1000 stipend, travel, and materials budget. Projects which can involve local artists, etc, preferred. Deadline Nov 17.

Well, that’s all I got for now! Hope some of those fairly awesome-sounding programs are a good fit for some of you!

Stephanie Burgis’ Hot Chocolate Day

A short and slightly atypical post today, as author Stephanie Burgis’ really fantastic Kat, Incorrigible Regency magic MG trilogy comes out as a beautiful-looking box set in North America today! I would so, so recommend giving these a read, they’re full of warmth and feature a heroine who has a wonderful growth arc and just gets better to read about as she ages through the series (there’s a new novella out, Courting Magic, which I enjoyed most of all). You can read sample chapters of all of them here!

Stephanie is very sensibly celebrating with a hot chocolate day, because why wouldn’t you! She’s made a few recipe posts on her blog, including a vegan option; I’m going to try something along the lines of Laura Florand’s recipe – I’ve never tried making proper melted-chocolate stovetop hot chocolate before!

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CUNE Comics-in-Residence, Tallinn – Update 2

One week in! Yesterday I was scheduled to give a workshop at the library’s tent at the Tallinn Youth Festival. I wasn’t sure who’d be there, and it was titled ‘Drawing Comic Figures’, so I loosely planned a workshop on human proportions/drawing people, and using that in comics. I ended up scrapping that, though, when it ended up being a fantastic group of high school and uni/college students, and we spent the session having an informal talk about freelance, comics process, etc, as well as a comics jam!

I seriously love all these jam comics. Check them out!

Workshop participants: If you end up on the blog, and would like to have a cafe sketching meet, let me know! You can email me here via the site, or connect at my work facebook (hyperlinks not working for me, but that’s 🙂


Follow the cut for more!

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Freelance Friday – On Being Cheeky

Woah, what is this, two FF’s in a row?!

Recently I was at a coffee shop, where I ordered a coffee and a piece of delicious-looking cake, which I gazed longingly at when it was brought to the table, grabbed a forkful, and….it was awful. So, unusually for me, I plucked up the nerve to take it back to the counter, and they traded it for me, while I mentioned how sorry I was for the bother probably 20 times, and then struggled to enjoy the much-nicer replacement cake and my coffee because I was so embarrassed. And it reminded me that I’d been wanting to write this!

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Fanart (not quite) Friday – Fangirl

This morning I woke up to a twitter notifications avalanche, thanks to the lovely Rainbow Rowell tweeting a piece of Fangirl fanart I foisted (today is an alliterative day it would seem) on her at her Birmingham event recently, and realized I’d not posted it. Here we go!

SThompson-Fangirl-sFangirl is a really gorgeous novel, with a fantastic family/sibling story – definitely check it out if you’ve not read it. There’s also a special edition (UK) out atm w/ extra illos by the awesome Noelle Stevenson 🙂