Friday, 15 September 2017

Return of an old favourite...

Hello again my old neglected blog!!

September already... blimey, this year has certainly gone very quick!!

Since I've posted on here I've done shows in Cardiff and Gloucester, decided not to go to Thought Bubble in Leeds (despite being lucky enough to get a table this time!) and skipped ICE in Birmingham altogether. Why? Various reasons actually, which I'll go into in a blog piece where I reflect on the few comic shows I've done this year.

I've been pretty busy, designing books again for my old friends at Accent UK and drawing (when I have the spare time!) hopefully the results of that should bear fruit very soon!

In the meantime, thought I'd share some art (not exactly new as it was drawn a couple of years ago) for the long delayed, thought dead-in-the-water, but might actually not be dead after all - Wolfmen 3 (AKA Last of the Wolfmen). I dug the art out, scanned, cleaned up and toned it today.

More on that very soon... beware the moon...

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Ba-Boom Baboon!!

I did this short 4 page strip for the Nottingham Comic Con charity anthology late last year, the original strip I started didn't work out (more here), so rather than let Kev Brett (organiser of the NCC and a fabulous cartoonist in his own right) down, I hastily wrote and drew this short 4 page strip starring a character I created a long time ago 'Ba-Boom Baboon!'

I always loved the character, but for some reason never got chance to bring him back... until now.

The strip is presented here, hope you all enjoy it.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

True Believers 2017

I attended my third True Believers con just a few weeks ago and it was without a doubt the best one I did.

Very easy to get to and held at a superb location at Cheltenham Racecourse, the event is run by Stuart Mulrain and his team and is up there with some of the best run cons I've been too.

I went with my friend John who had his own table selling his cool superhero themed business cards, my table was next to the small press area (much improved from where I was last year) and setup was easy and was done in plenty of time before the event opened at 10.30.

I was sat next to a very talented artist, Grahame Puttock who was great company during the day (check out his graphic novel) and remembered my name by the Wolfmen comics I did (those again!).

The day went by in a flash really, sold more books than I expected (better than both the other TB cons I'd been too), sold some art and prints and came away very happy and positive (a rarity for me I know!).

I even sold some books before the event even opened, when that happens you know you're in for good event. Lots of positive comments about my work and the books which bodes well for the release of Midnight Man 2 later this year (more on that very soon!).

As I was so busy I wasn't able to wander around and meet friends and other creators very much, but did manage to chat to Emily Owen, Chris Imber, Vince Hunt, Tony Esmond, Andrew Richmond among others (sorry if I missed anyone out). All in all a very good day and one event I'm looking forward to returning to next year.

I've been lucky to secure a table for this years Thought Bubble event in September this year, plus I've booked up for the fantastic Nottingham Comic Con again this year and am also planning on going back to Cardiff for the Cardiff Independent Comic Expo, a long drive for sure but a great little con. I don't do many cons (finances and travelling distance really) so have to choose the ones I do very wisely.

I'm also going to returning to help my friends at Accent UK out on a few books, which will be a lot of fun.

Before I go, spotted this review for Midnight Man (from last year) on the We Be Geeks website!

Friday, 6 January 2017

Welcome to 2017 and a new review!

Here we are in 2017, hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas and New Year, what better way to start the year off is with a new review courtesy of the Comics Anonymous blog:

You can read it here!

Plenty of stuff going on behind the scenes, hope to share news of what I'm up to shortly.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Nottingham Comic Con and Thought Bubble Con reports

As the year draws to a close it's time to reflect on my last two cons of the year.

It was my first time at the Nottingham Comic Con, and what a fantastic time I had there.

Despite the road being closed where the car park was situated (and the sat nav sending me back up the same road all the time!) I finally parked up and found my way to the venue thanks to a fellow exhibitor who helped me carry my stuff in.

The venue itself was great and the staff on reception were very helpful and I found my table very quickly and got to work. I was sat next to the extremely talented Dean Beattie (check out his Random Trials series) and Matthew Harrower, another extremely talented artist, both were great company on the day.

As the day progressed, sales started strongly and I had one of the best days I've had all year. Lots of great comments about the books and my work (which helps!) and the venue itself was spacious, bright and full of people there to buy comics, which makes a change from some cons!

Managed to meet up with friends like Chris Imber, Chris Jenkins (of the Reckless Hero stable), Gavin Mitchell, Emily Owen and lots of others.

Hats off the organisers, Kev and Kel Brett who put on a great show. I also got my copy of 'Forest Tales' the anthology I contributed my hastily created four page strip. Some very talented folk in there.

All in all a great day, and the best con I've been to all year without a doubt.

As long time readers of my blog will know, I wasn't selected to get a table for Thought Bubble this year, but thanks to Dave West getting in touch and letting me know fellow artist Barry Renshaw wasn't able to attend, there was a chance of a table after all.

A little while later Barry decided to do the Saturday and me the Sunday, which suited me as it saved on accommodation costs. When we finally got confirmation from the organisers that we would be splitting the days it was only then I could say I'd be at Thought Bubble again (if just for one day!).

As the day got closer I admit to being in two minds about going, a general feeling of tiredness and wondering whether just doing the Sunday (usually the slowest day) had me concerned.

On the day I decided to go and set out nice and early on the Sunday, having been there before I knew the way there and easily found my way to the area to collect my pass. Obviously there was no record of me taking over the table, so I had to dig the emails out to prove it - not a good start!

It felt weird going to the venue and setting up when everyone else was still recovering from the Saturday night parties, but I decided to make the most of it. I was sat next to a couple from Canada who produced very nice work and some comic back issue sellers right at the back of the hall which wasn't ideal.

The day started very slowly, and carried on that way but it was great to catch up with friends from previous cons, and many people again had nice things to say about my work and bought some comics and art. I even got some paid sketches to do which was really nice, one guy bought my stuff over the years and sought me out for a sketch. The other guy saw his sketch and wanted one for himself, which was great!

Comic sales weren't great but I more than made up for it with art sales, so all in all a slow day but I was glad I went.

At the moment I'm very undecided about carrying on next year, I only have two cons booked (True Believers in February and ICE in September) but I am wondering if all the effort - and expense - in doing all this (on my own essentially) is worth it now.

My other options are to collaborate with others and share the cost that way, but at the moment it's very uncertain whether I will carry on.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

DEADTIME is starting!

Starting from this week, I'm going to be presenting the short strip that Mo Ali and I originally planned for the Nottingham Comic Con anthology 'Forest Tales'.

'Deadtime' is written and coloured by Mo and drawn (far too darkly) by myself.

It's a dark fairy tale but quite fun, I still need to finish it off but I think the deadline (for deadtime!) will help me get it done, be a shame not to finish it off.

Be back next week for page 2!!

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Nottingham Comic Con 'Forest Tales'

A few months back I was asked (as an exhibitor to this years Nottingham Comic Con) if I wanted to take part in an anthology book put together by Kev Brett, the organiser of NCC and who I finally had chance to meet at the recent ICE con in September.

Of course I said 'yes' and prompty forgot all about it until very near the deadline!

As it had to be 'all-ages' I originally was going to produce something cartoony, but asked my good friend Mo Ali to write me a story as I wasn't too confident in my own writing abilities.

Mo produced a cracking little tale but sadly it was thought to be a little too dark for the book, which is fine and totally my fault for making it too shadowy and grim :-) Less of the black ink next time I think!

With time of the essence I remembered what I originally planned to do, and jotted down a quick idea, roughed some pages up and I had my 4 pages. In just under 2 weeks I had the full strip done from story to full colours. It was quite tough as I wrote it as I was going along but as the story relied on repetition, I was able to re-use certain panels which obviously helped!

My originals are not the cleanest I've ever done as it was very rough with multiple drawings done, scanned from odd bits of paper and all put together in photoshop, but I'm pretty chuffed with the end result (as is Kev which is great). I was even quite pleased with the first bit of solo writing I've done for years.

It features a character I created years ago (who I always wanted to use again) and it was great fun to do even if the deadline was a very tight one... one of these days I will not leave everything to the last minute!

Next up are two pinup pieces I've been asked to do, then back to my much-delayed project. More on that later.