2015 – A year in comics

2015 was an eventful year.

I quit my day job to become self employed. Took part in lots of comic events, published some work folded my self-publishing venture Phatcomics and retired from convention tabling. Okay I will try to keep this short. 

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( Bristol 2004 – perfecting the miseryface that has attracted so much custom )

Comics Are amazing. I still feel this.

Conventions have been a major part of my comic life for 13 years. This year was no different. Angouleme, S.P.X, Thought Bubble and Malta were the main events. I blogged about some of these events, but it was during the Bristol Zine event that I decided to stop self-publishing, ending Phatcomics. Shortly after I decided to end tabling at conventions  as well. It was in this blog that outline that I never intended to be a self-publisher and spend so much time tabling.

Malta Comic Con was my last event and it was lovely way to ‘retire’.

One other con event was the second Crouch End Cartoon Art Fest. (CECAF) this was a really good day, and it seemed to go well for exhibitors and punters. I hope to organise something in 2016.

The actual comic making was productive in 2015. Started on Necessary Monsters Volume 3. Two parts have been completed , and I’m having a great time drawing Daniels script. Other Monster developments included A First/ Devils Due team up and Volume one being re-released through Diamond.

I made a new autobio – Tracks, a couple of sketchbooks, something called The Crust. I had work in two fantastic anthologies- A bit of undigested potato, and Over The Line, poetry and comics.

I was also interviewed on Inkstuds, which was amazing.

I also had a few events around Crouch End as part of the festival, which was a lot of fun.

I was going to write about stuff outside comics, but I will save this for another time.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to support me this year. It has been a massive help. Here’s to a great 2016 !

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( Leeds – 2015 )

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Malta Comic Con 2015

 

 

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Malta 2009

( Photo Tim ( Wizard) Perkins )

Next weekend I will be in Malta for Malta Comic Con.

Really looking forward to it.

Malta Comic Con is one of my favourite conventions. It’s run by some great people who with enthusiasm energy and and friendliness built an amazing event. I was fortunate enough to be invited to the very first event way back in 2009. I have watched Malta Comic Con grow  and develop into what is now an established event on the convention calendar.

Some photos from last year.

Some links.

Here are a few links to various blog reports and photos from the times I have attended.
Some photos
Here is link to the site for details about travelling or exhibiting.
Wicked comics, long may MCC continue.
Thank you 🙂
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Commission poll questionare

I will be at Thought Bubble and Malta.
I do a lot of con sketching, and always happy to oblige.
But I would really like to offer some quality work. Mostly my
work is on as a quick Instagram post via a blurry photo.
Although a majority of my comic work is digital, I still make a lot of Analogue illustrations.

I have never considered taking on commission for conventions.
Do you think there would be interest.

Throwing this to the Interweb

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Phatcomics 2002 -15, the end.

I have decided to end my self publishing adventures . Malta comic con will be my last convention as Phatcomics. I set Phatcomics up in 2002, I had no idea how to make a comic and what to do with it. My first completed comic was Grey Sky. I traveled to Angouleme with a badly photocopied version and handed it out to French Publishers out of a carrier bag. Rather than carry them home they went in the recycling. This has happened quite a few times over the 13 years. Self publishing and promoting my work,seeing how far it could go was a passion. I was really driven by it. The scene was a lot different when I started, early Internet, no Facebook, Twitter. Colour comics were still considered innovation and risky. I knew most of the comics being published, and what issue number my friends were on.I worked hard to make a book. Twelve Hour Shift was a great moment for me, and encapsulated everything I learnt up to this moment. This was 2007/8. I produced more books, Ed, Dark Matters ( With Douglas Noble) and Necessary Monsters ( Daniel Merlin Goodbrey ) and 40 mini comics. 

I am more than happy with what I’ve achieved. I’m sure there are plenty of things I could have done better. It was a slow progress as I had a day job during all these years, maybe if I had taken a risk, things could have taken a different path.

Eventually my comic skills improved, and the finished work was well received. But it no longer sold. I wrote about my experience at Thought Bubble last year, and this proved to be a defining moment. I decided to have one last year as a self publisher, and have produced new work, but the sales have continued to decline.

Despite what people say, sales are important. Plaudits are welcome, but if you set yourself up as an independent producer then the end goal has to be selling. 

Self publishing has been a great experience, but it’s time for me to move on.

I am working on volume 3 of Necessary Monsters. I have an as yet unseen book being put together with Douglas, and a few other things. I want to convert all that time and energy from self publishing into being a better story teller, artist and most importantly, a better cartoonist.
Finally thank you to everyone who supported me through my adventures in self publishing.

Now who wants to work with me on making some hot new comics ?

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Convention appearances 2015

Wow – it’s August. Where is the year going ?

I have a few con gigs coming up later this year.

Sept – S.P.X.

October –  Bristol Zine Fair

November – Thought Bubble

December – Malta Comic Con

Full details closer to the events. if you are going to be at any of these, get in touch. It would be good to meet up 🙂

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Small update

Update

I realised last night that there may be a lot of people new to following this blog.

There may also be plenty of people who have no idea what i’m currently working on.

So this is a small update.

I’m primary a cartoonist who self published my own comics. I also work on a paid gig for a publishing company.

Four months ago I decided to turn to freelancing, as I had a new project to work on.

The project is Necessary Monsters ( Written by Daniel Merlin Goodbrey ) published by First comics. Monsters has now had a very long history. It started as a web comic in 2008, and this latest and final part is the as yet to be titled third volume. Volume two is completed and will be available next year. Volume one is going to be available, again, in November.

I am currently half way through the first part of Vol 3.

So this takes up most of time. When there is  space, when not working on other paid jobs, I have my personal projects.

For the past couple of years I have been making a bunch of autobiographical comics.

The most recent is Called Tracks.

There was a vague idea of making a large book ( never a great idea ) based on my personal experiences ( even less of a great idea ), taken from my sketchbook work.

Having started as a diary comic, it’s morphed into re-telling a bunch of stories from my past/present. I have another two comics in various stages of completion. These may be available this year.

I worked on a project that became Dark Matters, with Douglas Noble. We may have something new at some point. I have sent him some material, this may become a thing. Douglas is currently putting together some  a collaboration which will be debuting at Thought Bubble.

I hope that this new phase in my creative life will inspire some new work, and a more frequent amount.

Thanks for reading.

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Gone North ( Working title )

Been a bit quiet here. Mainly due to some paid work, and Monsters taking up my time.

Here is a sketch for the cover of my follow on to Tracks.

The working title is Gone North, but that is likely to change.

Most of the pencils are completed, seems to be coming along real quick.

 

Gone North

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Life Drawing

I have returned to life drawing after too long away. I go to drop in classes at The Candid gallery. Drawing from life is so important. To spend a period of time actually studying an object, a person. Anything that is in the real world. get those observational muscles working. I have also started to supplement the life drawing with actually studying anatomy and developing my gesture skills. It’s slow going, but a combination of these activities has already had a positive effect on my drawing.

Hopefully this will help loosen up my figure work in my comics.

here are a few drawings from recent classes, and examples of gesture drawing. I uses Posemaniacs, and for deeper study i use Proko, who has an excellent set of videos.

If you feel as though something is missing from your work, give life drawing a go.

I think you will notice the improvement in your work.

ld3 LD2 LD1 LD 4

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