Twelve Hour Shift – Ten years old !

( Comica, ICA. 2007)

It’s ten years since my first comic with a spine was self-published. Twelve Hour Shift took four years to complete. Compared to Comics that followed that was quite a short period of time. I had no idea what I was doing, making it up as went along. I created a stand-in, Steve Jones. I wrote about my life and my job and my creativity. It seemed really important to make a book. To show that I could do this, independently. It was a really exciting moment, to finally hold my own book.

I had a quick look at 12HS before posting this, it was a bit of a surprise. I’d forgotten how miserable I was, it feels very raw in places.

I had half an idea to re-print a luxury version ( It’s no longer in print ) with a new strip. Sort of 10 years on Steve Jones. I even started laying stuff out. But I’ve got too much work on right now, and want to deal with the present.

Writing that last sentence makes me aware of the developments over the decade. I’ve changed, so has my Cartooning. Completing this book was a large part of that process.

Thank you Steve Jones. All those Twelve Hour Shifts were worth it.


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The Voice Of The Hall – Update

It’s been a year since I was awarded an Arts Council grant to work on my first graphic novel. That time has just flown past.

So where is the book ?

Well, my actual deadline is December, for completing the work. At this moment it’s on schedule. 75% of the pages are drawn and coloured, the final pages are in various stages completion. The scripting is taking a bit longer as the final part is still being written. Decisions around Town Halls future seem to be confirmed, but also fluid.

Soaring Penguin will be publishing TVOTH, we have loosely agreed a date next year for publication.

It’s all very exciting.

The Voice Of The Hall_043The Voice Of The Hall_028


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Thought Bubble table 40

Here is a floorpan and location map.

I will be in Victoria Hall sharing table 40 with Douglas Noble.

I will be selling everything that is available in the Phatcomics shop, plus showing a folio of work from The Voice Of The Hall.

It’s going to be great.


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Upcoming apperences

I’ve spent a good chunk of this morning trying to update this blog, and lost it all. So, here we go again.

There is a bunch of events I will be showing up to.
Next week is Small Press Day, and I will be at Orbital, from 4 – 6.
I drew a poster for this
Next is South London Comics and Zine Fair.
Later in the Year I will be at Hull, London Super Comic Con with Wicked Comics, Then Thought Bubble.
More about these as they get closer.

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TCAF – 2017

I’m getting really excited now. I will be flying to Toronto on Thursday for TCAF 2017. The last time I was at this show was in 2013. TCAF is an awesome event run by people that really care for everyone taking part. I have aways had a good time and I expect this trip will be no different. Soon as I have table details I will update this blog.

Yay !






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Bombay Zine Festival

I was  asked to send some comics along to India for the first Zine festival in Bombay.
So I did.
Seems as though it’s going well.
Here is some text from the organisers, and some pics.
They are looking for more contributions, if you are interested.
THE JOURNEY SO FAR THIS YEAR                                                                   
On 14th and 15th January 2017, we hosted Bombay’s First Zine Fest. It was a celebration of self-published and DIY comics and literature. We showcased independently published literature, comic books, poetry, journalism, and drawings. We hope — to foster an only-slightly-competitive, queer-friendly, ethnic-rich environment of creation in written, zine-ic form ; and to nourish the expansion of zine culture in Bombay and other cities where we take it to.
We started in Bombay, at the Underground Bookhouse, on the 14th and 15th of  January, 2017, with 120 zines, 500 plus visitors                                                                                  
in Kochi, at Pepper House Design, library, from 27th January to 5th February, 2017, we had 150 plus zines, 1200 plus visitors                                                                                 
pop-up at leaping windows, a graphic novels library in Bombay, on 25th and 26th February, 2017, this time about 60 zines, about 100 visitors                                                                           
in Pune, pop-up at TIFA Working Studios, an artist residency space, on 4th and 5th March, 2017, this time again about 60 zines, about 150 visitors 
pop-up at Blue Tokai café, Bombay, on 10th and 11th March, 2017, about 75 zines this time, about 100 visitors                                                                  
as we move to subsequent venues, we intend to add to the number of zines, as well as keep further refining the set that will ultimately rest at the zine library in Bombay. 
‘bombay  underground’  on  facebook  and  instagram
also  ‘dharavi  art  room’  on  facebook  and  instagram
( Photos via Juxtapose – with permission of organisers )
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I get so bored so easily, my ADD is my super power

I don’t have ADD. I may have coffee twitch though, that brings on  plenty of restlessness. I watch a lot of UTube stuff while I’m drawing, at the moment I’m working through various creative process in relationship to entrepreneurs and business. Yes, I did just type that.

What has become of me?

Some of it is fascinating a lot of it’s totally over my head. The contradictions, unsurprisingly are frequent and loud. This is what prompted the headline of this blog post. One person says that  ADD leads to a restless search for the next thing, never resting on one idea or project. Then another says need to spend time with your idea, to develop stand bring it to maturity is key to creative success. To have tenacity, stamina and endurance.  Both processes have their merits.

Relating this to the comic making process, mainly I am the latter. A slow, grind it out, keep going, it will get finished type of creator.

I’m Working on The Voice Of The Hall,  a Graphic Novel that I have to complete in a year.

Because I have the time available, this will happen.

I’ve set up a way of working that has excluded a lot of time consuming elements. The main decision was to work in two page spreads, rather than panel to panel process. Therefore it is more like an illustrated book than panels per page comic. It’s a great way to work, very freeing.

A younger version of me would have been very angry at this rejection of the purity of the comic page. To add to the smouldering rage, I have rejected black and white in favour of colour.

It’s a wild old time at Phatcomics at the moment.

But why do I have to work in this way ?

Soaring Penguin will be publishing this as a book, but they have not put any constraints on the look/process.

So why chose this approach, this look ?

I could reject it all now, bin it and try drawing the whole thing as ceramic tiles, or bricks or any material sympathetic with the building materials.

Or write and draw and collage on  all the  reports and council minutes regarding the sell — off of the hall.

I could start and finish in a zillion ways, the only limits being my thought process and creative aptitude.

Or I could just carry on and finish it.




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Networking, a brief observation

Last night I was at a launch for new book, A thousand coloured castles. Gareth is genuine talent, who is very open to how he approaches his comic making. (Something I want to write a separate blog about, as Karrie Fransman has a similar attitude to making.)

After the launch we all pitched up at the post Gosh drinking hole. I was chatting away to a woman ( Insert my name forgetting apology ) who casually asked if I was a cartoonist ? I said no, i’m just a fan and hanging out. I then turned the question round to her, and she told me abut her own creative stuff, which was interesting.

But why did I do this ?

It’s not the first time, I actually use this tactic quite a lot. But I’ve never really thought about why.

So o the walk home I gave it some brain time. It seems as though I didn’t want to be that person. I didn’t want to be Sean, the cartoonist, this is what I make, this why I make them, I’ve done this for a long time, etc. When you are in a room full of friends and peers, who know what you do, it’s great. You don’t have to prove your worth. You just are.

So it was nice to listen to someone else talk about their work, and not be in competition for me space. Just a person hanging out.

It was a lovely evening and it was great to see so many people at Gosh to see Gareth. The previous week I witnessed similar scenes for Joe Decie launching his book Collecting Sticks.

Friends doing well, its a great thing see.

Question – Do  you do this ? Do you hide when you are in a crowd, Do you take on another persona ?


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