Comics round-up for June!

The Suitcase, by Dan Berry
Hi! Do you want to read Brit comics? Pick this up. It’s such a fantastic example of our scene! Dan Berry is a tragi-comic genius — at one point I snorted so hard a snot-bubble came out my nose when I was reading it. I think I’d recommend this to anyone, really. I want to buy it for everyone’s birthdays!!!! Also, did you know Dan runs a well-respected podcast called Make it Then Tell Everybody…?

Demeter, by Becky Cloonan
Oh, hell yes. Modern classics. I am really down for nailing a specific atmosphere within comics — giving them a real personality and a proper feeling. Becky’s three self-published titles (Wolves, The Mire, and now Demeter) each create such a specific personality that compliment one another and sit so well together. Wolves is bitter and lonely and empty and swirling; the Mire is vast and still and ancient… Demeter, I found, was fresh, loud, and claustrophobic in its setting — you can hear the sea, and smell the air all the way through. Oh, those layouts. And oh, my god, that ending! YES I LOVE IT. FEEEEEEEL IT.

Papa, written by Vera Greentea with art by Joseph Lacroix, Ben Jelter, Lizzy John.
Woah, woah, woah. Stop what you’re doing. PICK THIS UP. Super-duper short explorations of fable and family. These three stories are so nicely pitched, I either must write an essay about them, or say nothing but encourage you to get hold of Papa like now. (The latter is the probably most beneficial to you). I think the second one is my favourite. What’s yours?

Avalon 2: The Girl and the Unicorn, created by Nunzio de Felippis and Christina Wier with Emma Vieceli, art by Emma Vieceli, tones by Nana Li. (Link to Amazon.co.uk listing — there’s gonna be other ways it’s sold, so, find your most preferred way!)
Lemme tell you a little story. So at the 2D festival in Derry, this young girl of 12 comes up to mine and Emma’s table, and this kid’s quite shy, so Emma begins talking about the books she’s got out on the table. She suggests Avalon’s the book for this little girl — it’s about a young, brave girl called Aeslin who travels to a fantasy world through a book, and has amazing adventures. This little girl’s face like, literally, LIGHTS up, like a proper “8D” face, snaps her head up to her mum to see if they can get the book, and it’s the most beautiful thing. This is her book. She totally comes out of her shell, and engages with Emma to chat a little more about the Avalon series. Honestly warmed my heart right up, and had I been PMTing that day I’m sure I would have broken down and wept. ENCOURAGE CHILDREN TO CONTINUALLY MAKE THESE BRIGHT FACES BY PURCHASING.

The night is dark, so carry this torch.

STANNIS BARATHEON U R MY GLITTER KING. Stannis & Melisandre, based loosely off the actors playing them in the series. Less so with Carice van Houten, I guess, she didn’t really come out looking
like her at all. Okay, so, I’m watching each series and then reading each book as I go…. kind of like reading chaser notes, haha! Of course, I love Thrones… it’s kinda like British history, but slightly less ridiculous in places. Also zombies. (We didn’t have many of those). Please please please, don’t spoil anything for me or for others in the comments section! ^^;

Anyhew. Stannis and Sansa Stark are my favourites! I’ve been trying to come up with a composition for Sansa for a long time, but I can’t come up with one ;_; This Stannis pic is maybe a bit obvious, and a bit plain, but I wanted to go ahead and do it anyway ^_^ Paul’s favourite characters are Brienne and Davos. I kept on calling him Davros to begin with by accident (lol, slight difference). Now I just call him Mr Knuckles. I love him too, but most especially when Stannis and he are onscreen together! I love the actors! They do so much unspoken. So skilled, I just love watching them!!!

First time I saw Carice van Houten was in The Black Death, with Sean Bean as Sean Bean, and Carice as Melisandre… lol, you’ll get what I mean if you see that film. She’s an awesome actress, though, isn’t she! Melisandre is a hard role! She does it so well. Some of the kookier roles in Thrones are done so, so competently… one of my personal fave standout actors in Season One was Harry Lloyd as Viserys. Wasn’t he spectacular??! That character could have come off so clownish, but he pitched it just perfectly ^_^

Lady Jessica/Dune – process

Click through for some process shots! I went through a lot of composition tweaking and colour tests, but those are probably pretty boring to look at ^^;

And click through for a close-up of her freckles! Making that Freckle Brush for Jim of The Lost Boy was like, a really time-saving idea! :D

Lady Jessica/Dune

I’m trying to fit in some fanarts I’ve been wanting to draw in a quick dip between projects!!! So, this is Lady Jessica, from Frank Herbert’s Dune! PLEASE, please, no spoilers, I’m only part-way through the book! I know it’s an old book, but I’m getting super into it, and it feels like the kind of thing I could do without spoilers for ^^; Anyway! I really love Jessica! She’s super awesome and basically a ninja!!! This picture is quite simple, I guess… my own vision for Jessica… ^_^ I redesigned her dress many times. I wanted something elegant but simple, but kept on overworking it and adding uneccesary stuff… and then pared it back down a little in the end, so, I’m happier with this look! Unfortunately, I couldn’t remember what colour her eyes were (or if it was even mentioned), so, I just went for hazel ^^; She has quite a jaw going on, there. I’m really into ladies with larger jaws recently! #pleasemarrymerose #noreally

I understand Agent Cooper plays Paul in the Dune film by David Lynch! I am going to have to check this shit out.

Interviewbs.

Very nearly done with our animation project! We should be able to talk all about it soon, I’m so excited! ^_^ In other exciting news (well……. exciting for me), I finally got a new monitor, so, hopefully no more embarassing mistakes caused by a less-than-good monitor ;_; Ugh….

So, I did a couple of written interviews recently. These types are my favourite, as I can take it slowly over a couple of days and try and really think about any tricky questions. Or, just have lots of fun with the fun questions!! Here’s my interview with Razberry Juice Magazine, and here’s my interview with Steve of The Beat. These are both pretty comprehensive and were great to do, haha! Thanks so much, RJM and The Beat! ^_^

Okay, Young Avengers #6 is out soon! Omg!!

Convention sketches

(Reposted from my Tumblr) Hi! I’m getting queries about pre-ordering convention sketches, so I can do them before-hand and take them along to the event for people to pick up. This is a *REALLY* good idea and I cannot emphasize this enough — at events, I am always tired and caffeined up to the teats, so, pre-ordering will *DEFINITELY* mean you’ll get a much nicer product, as I’ll be able to do them on my own terms at home. This isn’t to say I won’t be doing them on the day, but I’m just…. uh, giving a warning(?) XD

My con sketches are on 8.3 x 5.8 bristol board, pencil with a coloured ink wash. (Sorry, don’t have any examples to hand right now!) I charge £10 for these, so you can just chuck that over via Paypal if you like, and I’ll have the sketch for you in a sturdy envelope on the day.

I list all events I’ll be doing at the base of my website’s front page, but just for reference, this year, I’m at Melksham Comic Con and Thought Bubble. (I’m not doing any events next year — taking the time out to finish my book).

Email me (extra.minty@gmail.com) if you wanna get in on thiiiiis! :D

Young Avengers

Eeek! I’ve been sitting on my hands about this!!! I was super honoured to join as a guest artist for issue #6 of the super duper new Young Avengers series that Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie and Team Young Avengers have been making waves with! It’s an awesome series and I really wanted to do a great job by Kieron’s script. I had a HELL of a lot of fun doing this issue, I really enjoyed it! :D I really hope that existing fans will enjoy it too.

If you’re not buying this series already then you should completely just go ahead and dive in! I have a few non-superhero-reading-friends and they have easily jumped in and are totally enjoying it. If you have a comic shop nearby, they will absolutely get it in for you, and if not, then you can buy through an online site such as Comixology or Marvel!

None of the interiors for #6 are out and about yet, but in the meantime, check out this awesome cover Jamie did!!!

Here’s the solicit info:

KIERON GILLEN (W) • KATE BROWN (A) Cover by JAMIE MCKELVIE Wolverine Costume Variant By Mike Del Mundo • Ever wonder what the super hero equivalent of a terrible soul-sucking talent-wasting temp job is? You haven’t? Oh go on. Actually, don’t. We’ve done it for you and written a story about it. This one. • Wonder what Tommy (aka Speed) has been up to? Discover herein. • Wonder why mutant David Alleyne (aka Prodigy) hasn’t been even in the background in any one of the eight thousand X-books? Discover that herein too. • Existential horror turns cosmic horror as something emerges from the shadows of the past. It seems the Young Avengers have yet one more thing to worry about. 32 PGS./Rated T+ …$2.99

(Twenty pages was just enough to get really attached to drawing Tommy & David! I miss drawing them already!!)

Here be board-games.

Wow! I can’t believe we’re at issue #62 of the Phoenix already! Time flies! It’s doing so well as a comic, and I’m so happy for the team behind it, they have worked so, so hard to get the Phoenix going and spreading the word about it, and getting it into shops across the country (and internationally!)

Issue #62 features the start of a new boardgame series I’m doing: MEDIEVAL GAMES! I had, er, quite a LOT of fun making these. First up, we have “Who Can Steal a Scale from the Dragon?” in which you play as knights in a test of valour (and silliness) pit against one another to fetch the Key from the dungeons, and unlock the Door to the Dragon’s lair in order to steal the scale and prove you are the bravest! Will you make it past the traps? Will you avoid being turned into a troll? Can you reach the Door first…?

These games are designed so you can just open the centre spread, and play. All you need is a couple of dice (or dice-substitutes) and something to use as tokens… pennies, jelly-beans, or the downloadable-and-printable tokens I made, available on the Phoenix website. If you play it, let me know how you got on! There are more Medieval Games to come!

Dude in the Post Office etc.

Quick colour sketches! L-to-R: a dude I saw in the Post Office today (he was the coolest person in the Post Office), Marley November, and Hekristos, her family’s butler.

Comics, comics, art.

Let’s talk about comics! :D

First up is Nenetl of the Forgotten Spirits, with writing by Vera Greentea and interiors/cover by Laura Müller. Check it out here! Laura’s art is so vibrant & lovely, and there is one delightful panel in which Nena’s hair swirls into rather creepy black sound effects :D Vera & Laura have constructed a charming piece of work, so if you enjoy the first issue, you’re in luck as it’s a 1 of 4! ^_^

Secondly, I read Porcelain! This is the much-anticipated book from Improper Books, written by Ben Read and with art by Chris Wildgoose with Andre May and Alexa Rosa, with letters by Jim Campbell. Check it out here! I believe it is on limited release to certain comics shops, so have a scour! And seems the digital version is up for release later this year. Anyway! I’ve been pretty excited about this book — the sample edition I got at Thought Bubble read so well, and the story was totally up my street with its seemingly Bluebeard-esque overtones & adorbs characters. So, I was super stoked to find the entire book is one solid mass of really good comics. If you can pick this up, I recommend you do so!

Lastly, I got a lucky chance to recieve a commission from one of my long-time favourite artists, Natalia Pierandrei! I have been such a fan of hers for many years, and I’m totally in love with this piece I got!

I’m sure most people reading this will be familiar with her work anyway, but just in case you’ve not seen her beautiful ink/marker/watercolour work, you must check it out here. I believe Nati has a comic in the works as well, Mademoiselle Rose, so, obviously I’m excited for this! Squeak!! :D