Monday 31 May 2010

New Story

Here's the first page I've partly drawn of my new story. It needs the pencils rubbing out and some grey tones yet and that. It's in the middle of the tale for some reason. At the moment it's called 'The Gods Must Be Bastards' but I may well change that.

Sunday 30 May 2010

Simon M. - 'Smoo 2 1/2' 'Lisbon' & 'Days'

Simon M. traded me a big pile of his new comics which turned up yesterday morning and cheered me up. He has been very busy and has brought out 3 new comics. His website is at Smoo Tumblr so why not go and buy a few...
'Days' is his diary strip style comic from September to November 2008, but he's only just brought it out. It's different from most diary strips I've seen recently as it's mainly just one or two images for each day and is very reflective, rather than just telling what happened each day, he is thinking a lot about it. There are loads of different page layouts and experiments.
'Lisbon' is a little travelogue of his trip to Lisbon. He seems to have liked it a lot more than I did when I went. It rained on me all the time and I was somewhat miserable. Some very nice drawings and it's always fun to see people drawing places you've been yourself.
This is 'Smoo 2 1/2' which he has brought out while finishing 'Smoo 3' Some great drawing in here on a collection of short stories, very autobiographical. I am looking forward to seeing 'Smoo 3'. Simon got a good review at Forbidden planet recently so have a look at that too...

Thursday 27 May 2010

Another Cover Painting

Here's another cover idea for a future comic I thought up. I'm waiting to think of a new story idea so am doing these instead. This one came to me in a dream, which saved me from having to think of it myself.

Tuesday 25 May 2010

Gin Palace 2 - news

'Gin Palace 2' is going to come out in November, in time for the Leeds Comics Festival. So the deadline for submissions will be at the start of October so I can get it printed up in time. If you would like to be in it let me know...

No theme, black and white, however many pages you need for the story (up to about 10 at the maximum).


Monday 24 May 2010

Gin Palace 2 - first look at cover

I've spent all day drawing the cover for 'Gin Palace 2' and it's nearly finished so here's a look at it. Just need to mess about with it for a while and sort out some bits of colour.

Saturday 22 May 2010

Kiyohiko Azuma - Yotsuba - Volumes 6 & 7

My brother bought these two new volumes of 'Yotsuba' at the Worlds Biggest Bookstore, Toronto (it was a pretty big bookstore, but world's biggest? I would need to see proof). I was pleased as it saved me buying them. 'Yotsuba' is a manga series he really enjoys and so do I. We read them on the plane coming back. This series seems to be getting even better to me, the drawing has got better anyhow, and the characters seem more well rounded. It still makes me laugh a lot and feel happy as it's so nice, but not in a sickening way...

Friday 21 May 2010

Matt Wiegle - various minicomics

I really enjoyed all these little one dollar minicomics from Matt Wiegle that i bought at TCAF. Makes me want to do some little comics too. The gags are all funny and perfect in their shortness, if you know what I mean. Go buy some here. My favourite is 'Is It Bacon?' an excellent guide for the amateur or professional bacon enthusiast.

Wednesday 19 May 2010

First Two Pages of 'Goblin Hall'

Here's the first two pages of my new comic 'Goblin Hall'. I'm going to send it to the printers tomorrow. I'm getting it printed American comic sized to see what effect that will have on my sales... at least it will let you see the elaborate battle scenes without a magnifying glass. It's 36 pages, black and white with colour covers.

Josh Cotter - March Hare

The first thing I bought at TCAF was Josh Cotter's 'March Hare' which was really cool. As you can see I got a little drawing in it, and its 1 of 20 he had made for the show. Its a envelope like thing with 31 printed drawings inside. Each one has a big circle cut out of it so you can see the drawing behind it through the hole. So you can change the order around and get a load more different combinations. It's really nice and a lot like his drawing for 'Driven By Lemons' which I really enjoyed.

Sunday 16 May 2010

TCAF Toronto 2010 Report

Here's my brother kindly watching my stall while I went to some talks.

The fancy lifts in the library.

I did fairly well at TCAF last weekend. I sold a few more comics than I did at the London Web & Minicomix Thing so that's not bad. Not great, but nothing to be depressed about. I think I had unrealistic sales expectations as there are so many visitors to the show, but the competition there is amazing with really big names like Dan Clowes and Jim Woodring. I bought some great stuff so I'll do some more posts about my haul later.

The best thing was the talks, on Friday night I went to see Dan Clowes talk about his career and new book 'Wilson' which was a great talk, and on Saturday I went to see Jim Woodring talk about his new book 'Weathercraft'. Jim Woodring's slide projecting computer broke down so his talk was a bit messed up but it was very funny and interesting. He was going to go through every page of 'Weathercraft' and explain what is going on but only about half the slides worked. I was pleased that my thoughts about what was going on were mainly right. Apparently there is a secret word on each page of the book but I have been unable to find any yet.

The Saturday started very quietly for sales as everyone was rushing to see the famous creators first. It was a bit weird and like the first few shows I went to in England as I didn't know anyone there (except Adam Cadwell) so there was no one I know coming round the stall to talk to me like there is at UK shows. The Sunday was a much better day as I went to a talk and sales were better too, I guess people were looking for new people they hadn't heard of instead of just going to the well known cartoonists stalls. Thanks to everyone who bought my comics, especially the lady from Koyama Press (sorry I've forgot your name) for buying three comics near the end!

It was worth going but I wouldn't go again for a good few years as I had a great holiday in Toronto afterwards which made all the travelling and horrible flying worthwhile. I think I managed to see nearly everything in the city so would want to go to a show somewhere else. I always like to combine the comics shows with a holiday so the travel costs don't seem so bad.


Phew, I just made it back here today from Toronto before the ash clouds closed in again. I was worrying about them on the way out too but luckily they didn't slow down the flight. I am rotten with the jet lag today.
The best thing in Toronto was the St Lawrence Market. It's the best market I've ever been too, much better than Borough Market in London, mainly as it's very reasonably priced. I went a few times and had peameal bacon butties here, loads of lovely cakes and a proper huge Italian deli meatball sandwich. Loads of really good stalls.

The 'Gumball 3000' rally was randomly going on as we wandered round one night. Didn't stop to watch as I am soon bored with cars.

This is me at the Niagara Falls which were well worth a look.

Toronto is a nice place. The beers too expensive and they are obsessed with making it as smooth and tasteless as possible (like Coors, blurrgh), but otherwise it's great. Loads of very good ethnic restaurants which we went to, Korean, Chinese, Greek and Laotian. It's very Americanised there I thought and so also ate lots of junk food. The most amusing was the 'St Louis Wings and Ribs' restaurant as the waitress went 'Hi, my names Staci and I'll be your server tonight, can I get you guys anything' which was cool. The old bits of town aren't really worth visiting as they are not that old by British standards. In fact we realised that my house here is older than nearly all the historical sites. If it was in Toronto it would have a plaque on it and be a listed monument instead of being just a small decaying terraced house...

Oh yeah, also we saw a raccoon eating garbage from a bin for its dinner, which was awesome.

Monday 10 May 2010

TCAF report coming in a week

I'll put a TCAF report up on here in a week when I get home. Thanks for waiting, you guys have a great day....

Monday 3 May 2010

Tiny Interview

Here's a tiny interview I did by the e mail for TCAF at the Toronto National Post. Thanks National Post!