Tuesday 30 September 2008

Birmingham is coming very soon...

Only a few days till Birmingham now. I am stapling all my new comic together so I'll have loads of them on my stall, and also all my older comics. I'm looking forward to it no end...

Wednesday 24 September 2008

8 Stories - OUT NOW

Here are the front and back covers of my new comic '8 Stories'. It is 28 pages plus colour covers and i'm selling it for £2.50 with free postage. See my website for contact details...
(actual cover much better coloured than this scan)
I'll have it at Birmingham.

Small Press Expo 2008 - Bethesda, MD - USA

Secret Acres are going to have a stall at the Small Press Expo 2008 in Bethesda, MD on the 4th and 5th of October so any American readers can see my mini comics there. They will have my older comics and also have just got some copies of ‘On The Banks of The Mighty Croal’.

Secret Acres

Saturday 20 September 2008

Rejected Covers for '8 Stories'

I had right trouble coming up with a cover for 8 Stories. I finally managed on the 5th attempt, but here are all the earlier ones. I think I'll give them away at Birmingham to people who buy a few comics, or want them. I don't really like doing covers.

Thursday 18 September 2008

Rejected Story - Utter McKinley Funeral Parlour

I have no idea where this story was going, I may finish it one day. It is very high concept as it is kind of 'Kez' in space, with aliens.

Rejected Story - Gardens of the Mad

here's a four page story I got bored of after two and didn't bother finishing for my new comic, why not have a look? I Like the sentence "I had to build it Magnum, this is the face I see in my dreams...."

Thursday 11 September 2008

My New Comic

My New Comic

My new comic is almost finished now – it will be ready for Birmingham. I’m going to call it 8 Stories (I’ve clearly ran out of good names, and it is also a reference to an album by Fugazi – anyone remember them?). The stories are-

1 – The City that Fell in Love with its own Reflection (written by Shonagh Ingram, art by me)
11 pages
2 – My Nearest Mountain (2 pages)
3 – Rob Jackson’s Rule of Life no. 6 (1 page)
4 - The Adventures of Pukey and Bitey (1 page)
5 - One Day I Hope for Shoes (1 page)
6 – Math-Ro-Mancer (3 pages)
7 – Blood and White Water (3 pages)
8 – Going to see the Cardiacs (6 pages)

Wednesday 10 September 2008

Francesca Cassavetti - A Very Nasty Solitary Habit

This is a very nice little 24 hour minicomic about Francesca’s drawing history from when she was little till she had a proper job drawing comics for companies all over Europe, in factories and foundries and places like that for instruction booklets, and had a strange life as a visiting artist. Then she packed that in and carried on drawing her own comics. The drawings really good and lively.
You can buy it from Fabtoons

Tuesday 9 September 2008

Dan Lester & Oliver Lambden - The Dan lester Mysteries - Marked for Death

The Dan Lester Mysteries is a great idea, (I wish I’d thought of it) and I hope they can get these books out at a good rate, it really needs to be a series to be even funnier. This one is called ‘Marked for Death’ and has a nice pointless sort of mystery as Dan Lester is mistakenly labelled as a paedophile on the local news and is threatened by a vigilante killer. He makes various feeble attempts to investigate the case and find the killer before he is murdered. The drawing, by Oliver Lambden, is good too and I like the cover, which is by Dan.
It is for sale at Monkeys Might Puke.

Monday 8 September 2008

Tiny Interview

There's a little interview I did a while ago up at the Comics Village website now...

What I Got on my Summer Holidays - Part 5 - Joann Sfar - CROISETTE

Croisette is the newest of Joann Sfar’s sketchbooks to be published. It is published as part of the ‘Shampooing’ line which is chosen by Lewis Trondheim. It came out early 2008.

In this book Sfar has been sent by the satirical magazine ‘Charlie Hebdo’ to cover the Cannes Film Festival. That’s the life eh, I can’t imagine English cartoonists getting sent somewhere so nice, maybe Steve Bell gets the occasional trip to the Labour Party Conference all paid for but that’s about it in England…
He has all the passes and stays in a fancy hotel. Also he has to wear a posh suit and everything which sounds a great change for him judging by the drawings. Its really fun to see him drawing all the celebrities and fancy locations and see which ones I have heard of, a lot of them are French film people of course. He listens and draws talks by Martin Scorcese and many other directors. His drawings are great as always, all squiggly pen lines, and then coloured in with his trademark watercolour washes. Its all very beautiful especially his drawings of the yachts on the sea front at night. Also in the book he visits Pixar (I think) and plays with his kids. I highly recommend this book, like all of Sfar’s work…

Friday 5 September 2008

What I Got on my Summer Holidays - Part 4 - Blutch - MITCHUM

This is a very interesting book. It’s mainly wordless so I could read it all, but it is still hard to understand. The first two chapters (they were all printed separately at first as Mitchum 1 – 5 and then collected here) are about artists and their muses. Then Mitchum 3 actually has Robert Mitchum in it, and an evil malevolent Jimmy Stewart too in a weird little story about a police woman trying to save an unconscious woman from monstrous Hollywood stars. Mitchum 4 has a kind of trashy all female western in the background with beautiful inky drawings of ballet dancers superimposed over the top. Mitchum 5 is a story apparently by the Brothers Grimm (I had never heard it before) starring a bear in some tribulations. Then there is a bonus section at the back with Man Friday and a female explorer (I think?) on on a desert island.

All the drawings are lovely, they are really inky and all done in brush strokes. I have heard of Blutch before a couple of times, in an interview with Craig Thompson in the Comics Journal, and in the Maybe Later book below cos he shares a studio with Dupuy. They are very French looking, a bit like Baudoin’s stuff too. There are a lot of trashy Hollywood / girl fights motifs in the stories as well as some fine art stuff.

Thursday 4 September 2008

Center Belge de la Bande Dessine - Brussels

1 - as it was the Smurf's anniversary they had paintings of each of the smurfs

2- there were hundreds of them...

Center Belge de la Bande Dessine - Brussels

1 - a giant smurf safely roped off for obvious reasons

2- Tintin, captain Haddock and Professor Calculus in their space suits from Tintin on the Moon

3- the case full of Tardi drawings

4 - the case full of Moebius pages and drawings

5 - the gigantic giraffe is here. this leaflet amused me for some reason...

Center Belge de la Bande Dessine - Brussels

Here are some photos from the Center Belge de la Bande Dessine - Brussels. The street its on has been renamed Smurf Street because its the anniversary of the Smurfs this year...

Here's me in front of the rocket from Tintin goes to the moon.

The ground floor of the museum. It is in a famous and very grand art nouveau building in the centre of Brussels.

What I Got on my Summer Holidays - Part 3 - Dupuy & Berberian - LISBONNE & ISTANBUL

These are two of Dupuy & Berberian’s travel sketchbooks or Carnets. If you are only getting one get the Istanbul one. They are both very good but it’s a bit more personal than the Lisbonne one, Berberian’s grandparents got married in Istanbul and he talks about them a bit and shows some photos, they are Armenian as you can tell by the ian at the end of his name. I recognised some of the places in the Lisbon book from when I was there a couple of years ago. They are both full of beautiful drawings.

As I can’t read French I have to buy mainly sketchbooks, silent comics and the like when I’m in Europe, nothing too dense and wordy anyhow as I’ll not be able to make any sense of it.

Wednesday 3 September 2008

On the Banks of The Mighty Croal

I've sold another 12 copies of this comic while I've been on holiday and its nearly sold out. I'll have enough for Birmingham though. Don't worry anyhow comics fans as I can always get more copies made. I'm going to write 2nd Printing in them though so I can tell. It is my fastest selling comic which surprises me as its an obscure, sarcastic, history and walking guide to Bolton...

What I Got on my Summer Holidays - Part 2 - Dupuy & Berberian - MAYBE LATER

This was a very good book, I got it in English from the fancy shop in Brussels (I'll post about it later) and read it several times on the holiday. Its a journal by Dupuy & Berberian, the two man comics team who write the M. Jean stories in France. It tells of all the troubles and problems they had while writing the 3rd M Jean book. It's very clever and funny too, and the drawing is great. They tell how they have to deal with all the people who don't understand them writing comics for a living, thinking they are 'just joking around'. Berberian in particular had a very difficult year before he wrote the book and tells about it very well. I never fancied the M Jean books much before but now I have read this, and a couple of their travel sketchbooks too (more later) I'm going to give the one thats come out in English a try. This book is published by D&Q and L'Association. It's quite inspiring to anyone who is trying to make comic books and having a hard time...

Tuesday 2 September 2008

What I Got on my Summer Holidays - Part 1 - Nicolas de Crecy - ESCALES

Wow this is stunning. Its a sketchbook by Nicolas de Crecy on the subject of transport. It has lovely drawings of cars, trains, ships and people travelling. I've not got much to say on it except its beautiful and he shows a massive range of different types of drawing with loads of different materials used in the pictures... Its from the publisher Cornelius.

Monday 1 September 2008

Bog Wizards

Jim Medway says nice things about Bog Wizards here
on his always interesting blog, Paw Quality Comics.
Thanks Jim