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.
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.
Necessary Monsters has been quiet for over 18 months.
But it lives.
Work has started on part 5 of volume three.
Wait, volume three? When did this start ?
Anyone that has followed Necessary Monsters from the beginning is probably aware that this is a project with a very messed up and idiosyncratic production schedule. Part three started in 2015 and had quite a lively start. By April 2016 four parts of the book had been scripted and drawn. Then Daniel had the small matter of a PHD to complete, so it was put on hold.
The plan is to have it completed for next year. That will be a nice round, TEN YEARS that this beast has occupied our lives.
As from next week i’m going to blog about Monsters long and colourful history. This will lead up to the completion of book three.
TCAF 2017 was an excellent event. Thanks to the Beguiling and the volunteers that made it a really great event. I managed to get along to a few events before the weekend, which involved me rarely leaving my table on the second floor. Friday was a busy day that involved going along to 3 panels and then later in the evening Dave Mckeans performance of Black Dog at the Masonic Temple. Saturday was a busy day. Joe Decie saved me from a Saturday lonely dinner by inviting me along with Jon Martzs’ party. After dinner we all went along the Doug Wright awards, that was very interesting. Amongst all the nominations was recognition of 10 years of Koyama press. Annie would demonstrate on Sunday why she Is (rightly) considered one of the best ( was very kind to me at my table ). After the awards I drifted off to The Pilot ( Sorry, Joe ) and hung out with Avery Hill and my hostel buddy, Gareth.
Sunday was a gentler day, still busy, but more of an opportunity to get round and see a few people. Managed to find Joe Kessler and buy all his new stuff, including his excellent model zine. I was in good company throughout the weekend, I had Top Shelf on one side and spent a lot of time talking James Albon, and with my table pal Aron Navrady.
The weekend passed quickly, there was a fun after party on the Sunday evening, then it was all over.
Monday was gallery day in which myself and Gareth visited a shoe museum by mistake.
Then it was time to leave Toronto and an excellent TCAF 2017.
In conclusion TCAF is an amazing event. It has grown since my last visit ( 2013) but has maintained the friendly, welcoming atmosphere that makes this such a go-to event.
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.