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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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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After The Sessions

 

A new comic from Douglas Noble and Sean Azzopardi.
After the sessions is the fourth collaborations between Douglas and Sean, the creators of Sightings of Wallace Sendek, Pirouette and Built of Blood and Bricks.
Over the course of a day, images return unbidden to therapist Karen Quinlan’s memory, brought on by the messy stories and everday complaints of her clients. A key, or a beach, or a sunset. The things that she thought she had left behind. In after the
sesions, Karen will discover that the things she thought were gone are still very much with her.
After The Sessions will debut at Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF) In May, and online at Comixology.
Check these sites for more details.
www.sean-azzopardi.com
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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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Self publishing – 11 years on

Mini-comics-parade

I haven’t updated this blog about my comic activity for long while. Over the past couple of years there has been a slow accumulation of a people following my blog updates through the usual ‘social’ places. I thought it may be useful to give all these random musings and sketch posting a little context.

The photo shows all the comics i’ve self published since 2002 ( Excluding anthologies ). Just typing these words makes me realise how long I’ve been at this. It’s not a massive output of work in relation to the years, but there has always been a day job that has eaten up time.
At some point I would like to write about my experience with comic making, conventions, watching the growth of comics in the U.K. And what a growth. In 11 years which is nothing, really.

This was my first comic – Grey Sky ( 2002).

Grey-Sky

To be continued …

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Same day return – page 3

I finished making my new comic, Same day Return and sent it off for printing today. This is a good thing. it has taken about eight months to complete. I will be interested to see how it’s received as a bit more care has been taken with this one. The giddy rush of tearing apart sketchbooks and re – formatting them in to a comic has been put on hold for the while. Here is a page from early in the comic.

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Same day return

This is the uncoloured version of the cover for my next self published comic, Same day return. Hopefully it will be ready for Thought Bubble. It is slow progress as I’m working on issue two of Necessary Monsters.
In other news, my contribution to Off Life was reviewed by Andy Oliver.

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Angouleme sketches – Eddie Campbell



This is a sketchbook drawing made while sitting in the Eddie Campbell interview hosted by Paul Gravett. I was paging a Dan Clowes page i had seen earlier in the comics museum. It’s not a great likeness and the text is no reflection on Pauls interview. It was more me wanting him to dig deep about Eddies self publishing and approach. The few times that this happened was fascinating and inspiring.
MORE!

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