Phatcomics 2018

2018 was a really good creative year for me. I had two books released The Voice Of the hall (Soaring Penguin) and Sightings Of Wallace Sendek ( With Douglas Noble). I also had work in three anthologies 24 Panels (With Kieron Gillen/Image ), Trawler ( Metal Southend ) and Impressions of an island ( Malta Comic Con ). The release of The Voice Of The Hall triggered some talking engagements. I presented a talk about the book in the Council chamber, and was also part of a closing ceremony. There was a launch in Waterstones, and I was interviewed by Alex Fitch (Panel Borders) I was also interviewed by Robert Elms as part of a radio London feature about Hornsey.

I attended a few conventions this year, which were all excellent. The South London comic and zine fair ( SLCAZF), Malta Comic Con (MCC) and Catford (CCZF). I organised the final Crouch End Cartoon Arts Festival ( CECAF ), it was a lot of fun. I didn’t think it would be the last, but a few personal developments means that its right to call time on it. It was part of the Crouch End festival, and I got to paint a Zombie mural, which was really cool.

Summer was great, although avoiding burning to crisp was a challenge. I was offered a place as part of a cartoonists take over at Metal Southend (Thanks Laydeez ). It was a wonderful time, I got to hang out with like minded people and we were all really well looked after. The time there also gave me space to figure out the creative log – jam with my current autobio comic ( Last Orders). Thanks to this time I now have an almost completed 54 comic. 

So there was lots of creative highs for 2018, I’m really looking forward to continuing this next year.I have applied for funding for working on a new book. Early days yet, but I’m going to be making a book about The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

Finally, I will be relocating to Hull next year. More on this later.

Have a great NYE and all the best for 2019

 

 

 

( Thanks to Katie Rockman and David Winskill for photos )

Malta Comic Con 2018

This year was the 10th Malta Comic con. I was lucky enough to be invited as a guest. It was a really good one. The event was really well organised, considering that there was a last minute switch of venue. The organisers have found a really good balance of comics and pop culture. There is a strong emphasis on engaging young people and families with a gaming area or cosplay, for example. This is important for the continuing life of the event, catch them early and there is a future audience and creators. Over the decade I’ve travelled to Malta comic con I’ve observed this development. Young people attending who are now making and exhibiting there comics. It’s great to see (And also makes me feel old :).

I think this is the core success of MCC. The organisers have looked outward for exhibitors and recognition, but have really nurtured a home base. Its part of the Malta cultural events calendar, every year its attended by a various politicians and dignitaries, and is a regular national news item. Talking to people who attended over the weekend, it’s an event that is really anticipated throughout the year.

So ten years, a decade, the Decima. I’ve been to every event, along with my friend Tim Perkins. So I’ve seen the growth of the event, and the number of exhibitors and guests. In 2009 Myself, Tim, Dave Lloyd, Warren Pleece and Mike Collins were driven around in a mini bus. Now its two large coaches to ferry everyone around. I definitely miss the intimacy of those early years, we could hang out with the organisers and guests, as the event has grown this isn’t possible.

It’s still an amazing time though. This year my regular crew of Guillermo Ortego and Chris Thompson were onboard, so we traveled together and hung out during the event. Guillermo was a walking feast for Mosquitos and during a trip to Valletta had most of his ankles stepped of flesh. The actually con was great, I sold some stuff which was nice. I was part of another drawing challenge and did worse than the previous year. The two days sped by, it seemed to be over before I had even sat down.

On the Monday we had a day around Malta, and for once I remembered to bring a hat so didn’t get burnt in the November sun. Drinks in the evening and then London the following day.

I would like to thank MCC organisers for getting me involved and inviting me this year. Finally I would like to thank all the volunteers who over the weekend, and the decade have put in so much work to sure the event runs smoothly and people like me have a good time. Thank you, you are all amazing.

CECAF (2014 -18 ) – The End

I have decide to end Crouch End Comic Festival, CECAF. I thought that last year was a really good event, and I would like that to be the way to remember it.

I would like to thank all the people who exhibited during the 4 events. You took a risk on being part of my crazy idea, and it was appreciated. I would also like to thank Francesca for all the effort early on, and Sally- Anne for suggesting the name.

The Earl Haig has been a great venue and supporter for CECAF, thanks go to staff past and present.

The idea of bringing comics to masses of N8 was probably ambitious, to say the least. While it’s always difficult to gauge the impact, at least Crouch End has become part of the comics landscape. With support from Broken Frontier, Down The Tubes, Forbidden Planet and The Ham and High, it was always exciting to see the media attention that this tiny event gained.

Flatmate with sign, what a star.

Special mention has to go to The Rockmans, who helped with PR, setting up and general advice, thank you for being great.

I’ve loved facilitating CECAF, and have a lot of special memories. But its a lot of work, and next near I hope to be starting a new major project and will be moving away from London.

There are plenty of events in London, SLZCF, Catford and Safari to name a few. Support these and keep bringing onboard new people.

My final memory is the very end of event 2018, me, my flatmate, Baillie and Lester being last people standing and drunk dancing.

Thank you, now go and start something.

 

 

24 Panels – Gosh Launch

 

 

 

I was asked to take part the 24 panels anthology.

There is a launch at Gosh . It would be great to see you there, supporting this amazing project.

Some details from the Gosh blog.

We will be marking the launch of the new Grenfell Tower benefit comic 24 Panels with a launch party to make as much noise as possible about this incredible fundraising project. We will have a huge roster of contributors here on Thursday December 6th, 7-9pm, including Kieron Gillen, Tula Lotay, Ram V, Paul Cornell, Al Ewing, Dan Watters, Caspar Wijngaard, Rachael Smith, Dilraj Mann, Sara Kenney, Gavin Mitchell, Sarah Gordon, Sean Azzopardi, Pablo Clark, Leigh Alexander, Paul Swain, Trevor Boyd, Mike Garley, Erika Price, Gwen Kortsen, Angela Wraight, Drew Wills & Gen Ainslow.

The tragedy of the June 2017 Grenfell Tower fire still leaves its physical and psychological scars on London, from the site itself to the after-effects on those who witnessed it, survived it, and lost their loved ones to it. The 24 Panels anthology has been created as a complement to the 24 Stories prose anthology, and like that project is a fundraising effort for those survivors who have been affected by PTSD in the wake of the disaster.