Golden Fables

Here are the images I made for the Golden Fables performance, which was part of the cultural Olympiad for Lincolnshire. They ended up being used as backdrops in a performance which included poetry, choir music and short acted scenes. It was performed at the SO Festival, and at Latitude. Only some of them ended up being used, and I can’t remember right now which they were ^^; But here’s all ten, anyway.

The brief was quite non-specific, but was to try and involve a response, via a series of images, to the concept of “Rural England,” and how traditional values have either benefitted or excluded citizens. I used the black dog, its identity varying through each image, as a base-point for representing these ideas. Some of them are a bit unusual ^^; If you have any questions as to why I did what, do ask! I’m pretty good at explaining them now, haha.

1, 2, 3…

Hello! I can’t really post sneaks of the latest episodes of The Lost Boy, because we’re in the final stages now, and spoilers are all over the place. I thought I’d put this up, from one of the recent issues (#25)…

What does Bob end up doing as the loser? Did you miss issue #25…? Check out how to get individual issues here!

I saw this same rock-paper-scissors gag in an episode of Horrible Histories recently! I got a bit excited and was all “OMG! WE’RE ON THE SAME WAVELENGTH!” I adore the HH tv episodes…! Emma V got me addicted. I had a few HH books when I was a kid… the Egyptians one was my favourite. I used to love the Martin Brown illustrations something awful, drew in the same style to illustrate stuff in my history books, and used to pretend I was related to him because we had the same surname, haha! (I was very young at the time, I want to point out, in case that sounds very creepy……)

Quick update!

Hello! I’ve been bogged down a lot lately…! But quickly, here are two interviews. The first was for Thought Bubble Festival as their series of Minterviews… I’m so excited for Thought Bubble again! It was definitely one of the best shows I’ve ever been to! Click for the interview. The second was for Richard Reynolds of Fanboy Confidential, and was also really fun to answer. I like answering questions ;3; Click for this interview!

I am also excited to be a guest at this weekend’s KAPOW! Comic Festival in London. I’ll be attending on the Sunday, with the Independant Comics panel at 12.45 in Room A, and then signing straight afterwards in the same room, until 2.15. This is a great panel: we have Emma Vieceli, Becky Cloonan and the creators behind Bayou Arcana joining us! Following that, I’ll be at the SelfMadeHero table from 2.30. Hope to see some of you there!

So anyway… here’s four little sketches of characters from A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones (mostly based on the actors portraying them in the series) that I did in a cafe when I was going nuts waiting for a replacement monitor to show up. I’d Instagrammed them at the time, and now I can’t find the originals, so, the Instagrammed versions will have to do, haha.

Hopefully they’re easy enough to figure out who’s who, but just in case, from top right in clockwise motion: Ned Stark, Joffrey Baratheon Lannister Whatever, Jaime Lannister, Sansa Stark. After that I got bored and went home. I should do some more sometime, though, they’re quite fun to draw.

Other than THAT, I’m coming to the end of a series of ilustrations for a perfomance piece as part of the Cultural Olympiad. I hope to be able to share a bit more information on this very soon!

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There’s been a lot of gaming in our household (flathold?) recently! Lots of… OLD games, to be more specific! Me and Paul have been playing a lot of Heroes of Might & Magic III since last year, for starters… it was something he’d played a lot as a kid, and wanted to try it again. I got well into it, too. In return, and mostly thanks to gog.com/, we’ve been playing a lot of games from when I was a kid, too.

I was nuts about Zork when I was younger, specifically the 3D ones (I have to say I had little patience for the text games back then), so we’ve gone through Nemesis and Grand Inquisitor… and have started tackling Zork 1, but jeez it’s hard, man! Then we moved on to Riven. Then, on to The Journeyman Project 3. I was surprised at how well they’d held up! Most times when returning to old stuff you’d loved as a kid, it turns out to be a bit shitty. We also played one of Emma’s favourite games from her childhood, The Last Express, which was amazing, and, for us, not tainted by the blurry glasses of nostalgia, neither.

In terms of modern gaming, the thing on the plate has been Journey. It’s incredible, and everyone should play it. I had been so excited for it, as I’d loved Flower, and it did not disappoint. I cried buckets as it finished. Play it. PLAY IT NOW.

Oh god, also! Dear Esther! It perhaps wasn’t quite what I was expecting, (I think I’d reckoned it was to be more of a point-and-click – whereas, I think, it’s more akin to a visual novel? Sorta?) but yeah, wow. Totally a game everyone should play. I am very much behind what it was doing as a game.

I like… unique games. Obviously that’s not all I play – I’m a big fan of the Harvest Moon/Rune Factory series, and Zelda, and to be quite frank if you’ve played one of those you’ve played them all – but I do love, love, love individual pockets of funky goo like Journey, like Dear Esther. Much love…

Sexism in Comics

The highly skilled and articulate Paul Duffield has written a large essay regarding his views on the issue of sexism in comics. I think it’s an essential read, actually. It’s here: http://www.paulduffield.blogspot.com/2012/03/sexism-in-comics.html

I’m really keen for people to add to his data collection… there was only so much he could do counting and analysing our personal collection, and the couple of stores in the town centre that sell comics.

Coverboy

Issue 5 of The Phoenix had a cover of The Lost Boy :) Here are the cover[s] without the text on:

This was the initial cover with Jim, Bob and a jungly background…

In the end it was decided it didn’t work, so a new background was made…

…which is the cover you see on the comic :) The sand looks a bit flat, but you don’t see it in the final thing anyhow, so ^^;

Been a bit quiet recently! It’s got a bit busy and has gained the feeling of spinning plates.

GFF and GRC

(Don’t they sound like sound effects…? I must use Grc! at some stage… :D)

I’m looking forward to next month’s Glasgow Film Festival. I’ve not visited Glasgow before, so that should be fun! I’m doing a one-woman panel and a multi-woman panel. I should have a few of copies of Fish + Chocolate along with me, should anyone wish to purchase them post-panel.

My interview at Girls Read Comics Too went up recently as well. The “secret project” I’m talking about was The Lost Boy – I completed the interview a while back, before I was able to talk about the project for reals.

That’s about all, in terms of news… sorry. Um… our laptop got a horrid virus? I nearly lost some files? I suppose that’s sort of dramatic. In a way. (Sorry).

Go go Firebird

The launch party for The Phoenix was on saturday. It also marked the date of Issue #1, so that was handy! :D It was a cool event set in the Story Museum, which I’m looking forward to seeing open its doors to the general public in 2014 (also it’s 10 minutes walk from our house – again with the handiness!)

I neglected to take a camera, which was pretty stupid of me, but you can see photos from the event at Sarah McIntyre’s journal here!

The comic itself is absolutely beautiful. It was lovely to see kids (and adults) sitting round and reading it from cover to cover! One little guy got really squealingly excited when he realised he would be getting a new issue every weekend (“Every weekend?! EVERY weekend…?!!”). If you never got your hands on one of the Issue Zero preview Phoenixes (Phoeni?) then now you can, by the way! It’s up here: https://www.thephoenixcomic.co.uk/free-digi-phoenix/ And please do consider supporting the comic by subscribing or getting your issues every week in Waitrose stores and selected children’s bookshops (with more outlets to follow!) The comic itself houses many diverse storytelling and art styles from many UK creators and buying it is a good way to a) support the UK industry and b) have some fun.

Here’s a quick teaser panel from Episode One of The Lost Boy…

I’ve finished thumbnailing it now, so all I have to do is draw the rest of it! Woo! I hope those who will be following the story as it unfolds will enjoy it. I have definitely enjoyed making it…! For those who are following along, you MIGHT have guessed by now that a large part of The Lost Boy revolves around a map. Or, more specifically, map pieces. If you keep an eye on the TLB page on the Phoenix site, you can print out the map chunks as the hero finds them, and put them together with him as he goes along! :D The first one is up now…

Happy printing and arranging! ;D

More sketches for The Lost Boy

Following on from yesterday, here’s some more explorative sketches! Our *airquotes* “hero”:

…who looks like he’s chanelling Joffrey Baratheon Lannister Baratheon Lannister in that bottom one, there. And:

(I don’t know what happened to his tooth. Probably someone socked him).

And some super rough environment stuff… not sure how interesting these are but they were kinda helpful to me so… anyway here they are:

I realised with horror that I have, yet again, another comic in which the vast majority of the backgrounds are bloody foliage. Thank god Freakangels was so urban… or I think I would have killed something by now.

Please check out The Phoenix, and I really do recommend subscribing! Special Issue Zero that’s just gone out got some lovely and favourable reviews from children and parents, and I can promise you that Issue One and each issue after that will be FUCKING AWESOME.

It’s nice because I often get a bit BLEH after christmas and don’t generally enjoy my birthday, so The Phoenix is a great way to lift those early year blues, should you happen to get them as well! :)

This may well be my last post before Christmas and possibly of 2011 altogether, so… Merry Xmas to all those who celebrate it, and all those who won’t, have a safe couple of weeks! x

Sketches for The Lost Boy

Here’s a few sketches I made when I was testing out the characters for my Phoenix strip, The Lost Boy!

This was the first thing I drew:

The story changed quite a lot after that, so some of those things in that image won’t make any sense/make an appearence ^^; The main character looks rather stoic there, as well. I was going through a period of being nuts about vertically-striped socks, and socks paired with boots, so… I blame that obsession for how he looks. Actually his costume didn’t change at all… (except the string around his arm switched to his left arm). His little creature-thing/mascot was based more on a rabbit back then, too.

Then I made this one:

Very little changed between then and the final design for the main character. His hair just got longer, really. Oh! And he got freckles. The furry creature changed again though:

…which is more or less his final design!

I started exploring the characters a bit more after that (as you do), so I’ll post those up tomorrow…