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…

The Boss and The Bob

Here’s some pictures from the launch of The Boss – written by the amazing John Aggs, drawn by the fantastic Patrice Aggs and published by David Fickling Books as part of The DFC Library! The Boss is one of my favourites (if I’m allowed to play favourites, for a minute) so I really recommend this volume! :)

Here’s a button to press whilst you peruse these pics: instantboss.org

Cakes! :D~

Some guy who might have been a bit important at the launch party (that’s John Aggs, DON’T YOU KNOW) and a spectacular furry thing atop his shoulder… what IS that!?

There he is again!

Well… he likes the comic! Gentle readers: this is Bob. He used to belong to Sonia Leong, who passed him to Emma Vieceli, who passed him recently to me! His full name is Floppy Genghis-Bob (on account of having three mistresses and three different personas, haha) and he’s accompanied me to all recent comic events. He might also have his own Facebook page… (even I don’t have a Facebook page!)

Fetch… THE CUSHIONS.

(Quick round-up!)

Thought Bubble was great! It was my first time there, and the first time the comics festival covered the weekend as well. I had masses of fun and I really liked the attendees. I would say a huge number of them were A) younger than me and B) female. Very embarrasingly, I missed the first half of the first panel I was meant to be doing, which was about the then-newly released Nelson… though I did catch the last 20 mins of it and I’m not certain I would have been terribly useful anyway, everyone on the panel looked like they were doing a super job :)

On that note, Nelson is excellent! I’ve finally had a read-through and it is actually quite astonishing as a project. The thing that struck me overall was the vulnerability of Nel, and the emphasis on how quickly our lives rush past, the decisions we have to make in the blink of an eye, and the way memories can transform into stories – almost as if they’d happened to someone else – after a certain length of time. Have you read it yet…? Do you own it? You should! It’s a superb cross-section of the UK comics industry, and the book’s profits go to charity. Please consider supporting it – click here for the Blank Slate store page!

So a week after Thought Bubble (nearly typed ‘Bibble’, tee hee) it was off to Malta Comicon! This was my second overseas convention. We were all very well looked-after as guests, and were treated to some sight-seeing on the following week! We visited the War Museum and the Inquisitor’s Palace. I found the latter absolutely fascinating – I admit that the majority of what I knew about the Inquisition was down to hear-say and its representation in popular culture. So, to discover everything about the Maltese Inquisition was really eye-opening. ALSO! We visited Mdina on the final day, which, as was mentioned off-hand as we entered the city gates, was used as part of the set for King’s Landing in Game of Thrones. I promptly shat myself in excitement… and then my camera battery ran out. Damncakes. I *did* get a fat bunch of photos from the Inquisitor’s Palace however, so I gotta process those and get ‘em up on my Flickr at some point!

But yeah. Was sad not to spot either Jaime Lannister or Corto Maltese. They must have seen my fangirl aura approaching like a swarm of bees and hidden themselves (I don’t blame them).

So, really I’ve been so busy recently I’ve forgotten what my office looks like -_-; I absolutely have to cut down on events next year – my work schedule has really taken it in the face. Gotta try and catch up as much as I can…!

Speaking of work! Did you manage to catch Issue Zero of The Phoenix? :D I had one waiting for me when I got home! It was such a good read, and I’m so excited about January! Please tell me you’ve subscribed? You’ll be getting an awesome product and you’ll also be supporting the UK comics industry!

That’s about it from me… sorry for a non-pictoral post. I know it’s a bit boring :( I’m so squeezed for time at the moment!

Take care! Oh, and if you’re in the Melksham area, me, Emma Vieceli and Paul Duffield are signing and sketching for you at KOMIX on Saturday 10th! See you there…!

Wake up and smell the

Events, reviews, interviews

(Well, that’s a… pretty descriptive title! Um… here we go!)

I’m very excited to be a guest at Malta Comic Con, which I have heard many good things about! I’ll be there along with good company. If you’re looking to go to the convention, I’ve been assured that they organisers are able to offer some great transfer and accommodation rates for travellers, so do give them a buzz on info@maltacomic-con.com!

You may also wish to check out the Co-Promotional Scheme the organisers are running, which looks like a great opportunity ^_^

In bookish news, I went along to the Turnaround warehouse recently to sign and sketch a pile of Fish + Chocolates! :D It was really interesting to see the inside of a distribution warehouse. For my sketch, I drew a unique potato smile in each one, haha! Look out for these special potato-ed editions! :D I wanted to collect a couple of things related to Fish + Chocolate here, too…

Interview for Fat Quarter Magazine: Bloody Mothers. I really enjoyed doing this one!

Review (in Spanish – use Google Translate) by Little Nemo’s Kat: Tortured Motherhood. Note that it also pimps Page 45, which is one of my fave comic shops and certainly worth the visit if you’re in or around Nottingham! :D

Sigh. Comic shops. Oxford used to have a Comics Showcase, but that shut down. There are a few floppies and random tankoubon in Truck shop on Cowley Road, but it’s not quite the same as having a COMIC SHOP. I think our closest one is in London. That’s depressing, guys. Really depressing.

That said, the comic shops I’ve been to recently have all been THE SHIT. If notions of gloomy, pungent, cramped, un-woman-friendly comic shops still lie in the mind of the public conscious… it can slope off into the corner now. I don’t think I’ve been to a poor comic shop for years.

In other news, I’m still working hard on The Lost Boy for The Phoenix! I’m having lots of fun. I hope it will be as much fun to read! :D

The Lost Boy for The Phoenix

Woop! Woop! Woop! The Phoenix Comic has announced “The Lost Boy” – the strip I’m making! I’m so happy I finally get to speak about this. I’ve been sitting on it since like spring, and have had seriously itchy fingers wanting to blog/tweet about it, haha! Here’s a poster image:

It’s… actually still a bit difficult to speak about it much due to the nature of the story. I can’t tell you what the characters are called yet, for instance ^_~ Hopefully all will become clear in January when TLB starts its run from Issue One of The Phoenix! Are you excited…? BECAUSE I AM OH GOD I AM SO MUCH.

…in terms of work-load, I’ve been working on the script, thumbmails, design and rough pages alongside this poster. I’ve just put my pen down after roughing the fourth episode. I’m having sooooo much fun with this story…!

P.S. Do you recognise the fluffy lilac things in the back of that poster…? ;D

FSY