Author Archive

My books. Let me show you them.

They are heavier than I thought they’d be. They feel dense and good to hold. And COLD! Checking through the boxes my hands got really chilly! I guess it must have been very cold in the delivery van, eh? But I’m happy with them. And I’m glad I got that error on the back cover sorted out. ALSO! MPG Biddles I do recommend! Serious customer service and good value for money. A+!

I will put them up on my site for sale ASAP! I want to get out contributor/special copies first, and then they’ll go up. Don’t forget I’ll be at a few conventions/events this year with a number of copies, so please check out the “news” section on the front page of my site, and maybe see you there! <3

(Ahaha, they look really dull… I was messing about with filters in Photoshop… probably not a great idea but I got carried away! I’ll put the unedited photos on the sale section when they go up. The cover merges from banana yellow at the edges to pale lemon yellow in the middle. I can almost see them in the dark, haha.)

The DFC/The Phoenix!

*rips tape from mouth* WOOO!! I’m so excited we can talk about this now!

So. This is: DFC presents – The Phoenix. It will be very much the same familiar style and presentation of comic as before: a weekly aimed at a similar audience of 8 – 12 yrs (though as we saw last time, anyone and everyone should enjoy something inside!) It aims to launch First Quarter 2012.

DFC (David Fickling Comics) is its own company now, with its own new sparkly office. Once again we have The Lovely Ben Sharpe and The Wonderful Will Fickling at the helm. David himself is not directly involved this time. It is no longer a part of Random House and has its own funding. We had the rug ripped out from under us last time, and rest assured it will not happen again.

As a further note: The DFC Library is also a separate entity and, like The Phoenix, sits independantly. Perhaps we can consider them cousins or siblings…? ^_^

No holding page on the internets as of yet, the old DFC page redirects to David Fickling Books… but I’m sure we’ll get one soon, and will link here when we do! Any more info as and when anyone can confirm. I will post it. I’m sure I don’t need to explain how much The DFC meant to a lot of people… I *PROMISE* The Phoenix will rock you all once again!

For now, GET EXCITED FOR THE PHOENIX! And spread the word!

Please give all your support to this comic!

Finished + Chocolate

Well… that’s it! It’s done! (More or less!) I need to settle on a blurb for the back cover, and edit a couple of pages, but really they’re very minor tweaks. I finished on Friday 11th February, at 2am in the morning after an epic final battle that lasted 18 hours, in which time I ate maybe three bowls of cereal and did not go to the toilet. Paul, bless him deeply, stayed up with me until the end. By the time the last page rolled around, we played Chariots of Fire on Spotify, repeatedly, until I saved my files in PS for the last time. Then I had a vimto and gin (Ginto? Anyway, we had no tonic) and a further bowl of cereal, I cried a bit, and then went to sleep. And didn’t really move for the next 24 hours XD

Because I pulled many ridiculous days over the past few weeks, and like, I’ve not even been getting dressed, and just sitting still for hours upon hours on end, I’ve actually given myself chilblains XD Protip: wear socks and make sure you move around when completing your comics, folks.

So anyway, here’s the final cover (minus blurb):

And I thought I’d share the title plates as well for each story:

So how do I feel about it? “Fucking relieved” comes to mind. The Cherry Tree is something I’ve been working on and off with since university, which was a good few years back now… like, 2004 or so? The Piper Man is the most recent, as I’m sure I’ve mentioned somewhere before, but even that’s been sitting around, a half-finished script, some character desgns, etc., for about three or four years. Completing Matryoshka feels like I’ve exorcised something. That story has been through the wringer.

The entire book means a lot to me. I mean, really. Finishing it was extremely emotional, and if you’ve been in contact with me in the last few months or so, I’m likely to have been a bit moody… sorry about that ^^; With finishing those final pages, I feel like I have achieved one of my life’s goals, and I feel very, very lucky to have been able to do so in my twenties.

I also feel like I’ve stuck it to a few people, you know. People who have said I could never make comics for a living, that I should really think about getting a “real” job; people who have laughed in my face when I’ve told them what my passions are and what I do… and, most especially, when I was sick for several years and the doctors told me and my family I should “just give up” the idea of being an artist, as it would never likely happen because I could never lead a normal life and it would be best for me to forget about it all. So fuck you, doc! Not only did I get better, I’m doing what I always told you I would do, and what I told everyone I would do. I didn’t give in. So there!

So now! I need to do those final checks, and get this baby off to the printers. I’m as yet unsure how long it will be before I get my product, but I’m guessing it’ll be around 2 – 5 weeks from now. Fuck knows where I’m going to put 300 of these things. In the office, I guess! You guys gotta help me out by buying them all!! XD

Fish + Chocolate aside, things have actually been going quite well recently. I hope to be able to chime into this blog again soon with some nice news ^_^b And of course, details and purchasing info for the book~!

Lastly – huge, huge, HUGE, HUUUUUGE thanks to everyone who has shown me kindness and support (and given me confidence to continue instead of just collapsing into a self-loathing ball) thoughout this project. If I could try and explain how much it meant to me… but I think I’m too inadequate a writer to attempt an explanation… just thank you, thank you…

Deelan.

I got out of the habit of making sketches since I guess I was so wrapped up in finishing F&C. I did one today though! I was totally fired up after reading loads of Dylan Dog comics Emma lent me! They’re in ENGLISH!! We had lots of Martin Mystere/Dylan Dog/Nathan Never etc. comics to look at in uni, but they weren’t in english, so honestly I didn’t really know what was going on. It’s great to be able to read the Dylan ones, finally. He’s so sweet, I really like him. The comics are enormous fun to read. I don’t really understand why they aren’t widely available and more popular over here…! We are missing out! I do hope that the advent of the DD film might drag out some new translations… but who knows? I suppose most people who go and see the film won’t even realise its legacy… through no fault of their own…

He looks a bit morose. And perhaps a tad mature. Hmm.

The tentacle, by the way, is a result of a Twitter exchange between Howard Hardiman and myself. I must draw more tentacles. They’re very cute!

F+C cover preview

A screenshot of the cover for Fish + Chocolate. I’ve been doing all sorts of nice things recently like getting back in contact with the printer (my old estimate of completion date was October 2010, remember that? HAHAHAHAH *fail*) and doing the cover and inside stuff, and laying things out, and so on and so on. I’m getting pumped because I can see the end of this…! It will just be crazy to finish it all. I’ve been working on it for so long, considering how short the actual book is…

Almost, almost, almost there……….

Titles and Planning

It’s my birthday today! I still need to work, but I thought I’d do something fun, so I’m planning the layouts and title pages for Fish & Chocolate ^_^/ It’s going quite well!

It might be too small to see in the scrappy scribbles in my sketchbook there, but the total page count stands at 144! O_O; That’s bigger than I first planned it. I’m pleased! :D I’m excited to have a fat book.

I have ideas for poster images for each story. I would really like to make them as promo pieces (perhaps get them printed as postcards…?) but it’ll depend on time. If I do it, it’ll probably be after the book has been sent off to print, so I wouldn’t be able to put them in the book.

At least, not for the first printing… ^_~

*noises*

Still wading through the mire of F&C… I’m getting there, though. Every now and then I see the faint light at the end of the tunnel, haha! I might start posting snippet-style previews… but then when I think about doing this I can never pick which bits O_O; Anyhow, you must believe me that I’ll be flapping all over the place once the book is done. (I’m looking forward to HOLDING it!)

F&C previews

Welp, I’ve dragged the prints around in my portfolio for some time now, and had them up in various places on the net… in fact, everywhere but my own place on the net it seems, ha ha ha. I guess most people have seen these by now, but oh well! Here they are once more… these are the first 9 pages from ‘The Cherry Tree’, Fish & Chocolate’s second story. It is trĂ©s pink! I hope you like the look of them… I’m really going to try and get the book done and dusted for the end of January!

I’ll put these up on my site at some point.

Apologies for not mushing the double-page-spread together. I… have no excuse. Anyway. I picked this section as it’s one of the (possibly the only) readable sequences that doesn’t give anything away or is too long to be considered a preview. The book is about 128 pages, but as it’s three individual stories of roughly 40 pages each… you know, they snap on at a fast pace.

Gotta get this baby DONE. NOWWWWW!

In other news, Mr Awesome + Awesome = Neill Cameron and I are off to the Dragon School tomorrow to do some… stuff! We are not quite sure what it is yet. It’ll involve comics, of course :D Yesterday we hit up Banbury school for some comicking goodness. It’s like Kate & Neill week. Wooo! (I’m so knackered).

The Graph of Love

So I’ve done a few long-term projects now, and I’ve started to notice a bit of a loose pattern forming around each project. I have no idea if anyone else goes through this (lemme know if you do – I’ll feel like less of a freakish rollercoaster of woe) but here’s my “Graph-Type Thing of Completing a Graphic Novel, shown in terms of Time Spent on the Project Vs. Emotional Output or Something” …

The blue cross is where I’m at right now. The red wiggles heading off the end of the Time Spent On Project bit is to allow for panic & self-doubt in the printing stages of the work.

So yeah. Anyway! I’ve been enjoying reading the articles on The Comics Bureau recently! Check it out – it focusses on the UK stable of creators, and asks nice questions, rather than just the ol’ “Who are your influences” type of crap.

Epic paper-cuts.

Horribly grainy photo, but it’s a horribly gainy photo of COMPLETION. Almost. 99.9% of completion. (I’m going to re-draft a page from The Cherry Tree entirely, because I hate it and it doesn’t work. But other than that… completion!) According to my wonky note on the last page I drew, I actually finished drawing on 15th November… but then our scanner broke and we had all sorts of fun and japes, and I’ve only just finished scanning in the pages as of this moment.

I’ve completely finished colouring and lettering The Cherry Tree (apart from the page I want to totally re-do), finished all my touch-ups and re-draws, and it’s all coming together how I expected, more or less. I took what I had of it to show Emma Hayley (who nominated me initially for the Arts Foundation Fellowship) and Shelley Warren of the Arts Foundation a couple weeks ago, and I think they liked it. I’m looking forward to giving them the printed book.

Still looking at a late Jan/early February release date. Roll on!