Sunday, May 24, 2015

GRANITE CITY COMIC CON


Next weekend I’ll be at the Granite City Comic Con in Aberdeen, along with the Treehouse Comics team. Both my new comic Dump 3, and the anthology Treehouse #6  will be launching at the event.

I’ve done three stories for the new Treehouse. Two one-pagers and one two-pager. Here are a few one panel previews:


Dump 3 is completed, all 80 pages of it. I am waiting for the books to be printed and delivered – hopefully before next Saturday. Treehouse Comics are in the same boat. 

If you are at the event, come by and say hello. We’ll have friendly chat for you - and hopefully new comics!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A BIT OF UNDIGESTED POTATO

The new anthology edited by Keara Stewart has now been released.

It has a great line-up of cartoonists: Sean Azzopardi, Rachael Ball, Tim Bird, Mary Blomley, Gareth Brookes, Justyna Burzynska, Francesca Cassavetti, Richy K. Chandler, Kim Clements, Ruth Collingwood, Ella Dawson, Annabel Dover, Wallis Eates, Martin Eden, EdieOP, Karrie Fransman, Kelly Froh, Steven J Harris, Rozi Hathaway, Sally-Anne Hickman, Pete Hindle, Cathy Lomax, Abraham Mann, Mike Medaglia, Danny Noble, Alex Potts, Andy Poyiadgi, Elizabeth Querstret, John Riordan, Karen Rubins, Tom Ryling, Viviane Schwarz, Paul Shinn, Nick Soucek, Corinna Spencer, Matilda Tristram, Una, Robert Wells and Keara herself.

I'm also in there! A new story entitled, "Visitor".



Have a look here for more information.

Monday, May 18, 2015

DUMP 3 - PROOF


I'm excited! The proof copy of my next comic Dump 3 arrived today.

Now taking bets on how many errors I can find, and additions I want to make before I order the print run. I've already found one before turning the cover over.

It's always great to hold your comic in your hands for the first time.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

PREVIEW: A BIT OF UNDIGESTED POTATO


Over at Broken Frontier, Andy Oliver has written an article on an upcoming anthology I'm featured in - "A Bit of Undigested Potato". 

There are some images by the cartoonists involved, and an interview with editor Keara Stewart. It's interesting to see how she collated everyone's work and kept on top of things.

The book looks good, I am very pleased to be involved with it.

Have a look at the article here.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

SKETCHES FOR DUMP


Ticking Boy Damon Herd is set to appear in the next issue of Dump.

He has been working away on his story and shares some process work over at his blog. It's very cool.
Have a look here.

I've seen the finished page too, and it's a goodie!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

I FINISHED MY DUMP


I have just this minute finished my comic story Dump.

In the absence of a statue in an Edinburgh hotel room to scribble on, I am posting this message instead!

In the days to come, I will start checking the pages for corrections, but for now - Good night!

Friday, April 03, 2015

TREEHOUSE 5 at THE BIG GLASGOW COMIC PAGE

Gary Smith has written on an anthology I'm in - Treehouse #5 - over at The Big Glasgow Comic Page.

Have a look here.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

DUMP - THE FINAL 10 PAGES

I have reached the stage where it's time to draw the last ten pages of my comic Dump. It's a trepidatious and exciting feeling.

In writing the story, I've known what the final page is for a good while. Leading up to it, I jotted down ideas about what could happen as I went along. I picked and chose what was pertinent to the overall story. Sometimes I don't use ideas I really like because they are distracting from what I'm trying to get across. How do I know what's correct? The great thing about writing is I am in charge of deciding these things.

I had previously written up a run of 7 pages and hit my final page. After a read through or two, I wrote down a few things I thought I needed to get across to the reader. So another three pages were written. I sat down tonight and drew up a wee plan (shown above - sans plot details) to put the pages in the order they will appear. Everything is in there now, and adjustments to dialogue have been made because of the new running order. You really want to try and get everything in its proper place before finishing the pages - rewriting comics is not as simple as rewriting prose.

It's now time to get on with this.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

MY FAVOURITE COMICS PAGE


Not really. But that was the open call that went out as part of the “Comics, So What?” event that took place recently, arranged by Chris Murray and Phillip Vaughan at The University of Dundee.

Attendees were invited to discuss favourite comic pages and why they liked them. I went along armed with two related pages.

Photo by Damon Herd.

As I said on the day, choosing your favourite comics page is an impossible task, so what I decided to do was concentrate on the first page I can remember appreciating for the comics storytelling devices it used, as opposed to purely enjoying the story for what was happening in it. I had definitely read comics prior to this, such as The Dandy and Spider-Man, but here is where I took a step towards appreciating comics for being comics…


This is Star Wars by Roy Thomas and Howard Chaykin, which puts us in the late 1970s. It would have been a case of me asking my Dad for this because it said Star Wars in big letters on it, in much the same way that I wanted the ice lolly, bubble gum cards, etc.

To set up the story of this page: As the cantina sequence in the movie had been so memorable and popular with audiences, one of the first things to occur in the comics was a visit to a similar establishment. Over the preceding couple of pages, the green lizard alien shown here has been bullying Han Solo, who at first displays his usual bravura self in dealing with this, and tells his aggressor to get lost before his wookiee friend beats him up. But Chewbacca has taken a temporary leave of absence and as Solo realises his predicament, so do we as readers. The lizard throws Solo across the room in the last panel of the page before this one.

In the first panel above he lands in the arms of Chewie. We now know where the story is going. The tables have been turned and Chewbacca is hopefully going to put the alien in his place. The page builds up nicely to this, the bully now going from offensively cocksure to scared.

Crucially, and the part that impressed me as a kid, was that we do not get to see the point of impact when Chewbacca moves from passive to aggressive. The scene switches to outside and the lizard is smashing through the window – we are left to picture for ourselves Chewbacca hitting him.


A couple of years after I read that, the 1962 Hulk page above by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby was reprinted in a UK Hulk Annual. They were printed on nicer paper than the US comics, explaining the clarity of the page over the Star Wars one. I’ve written about it on this blog before, and decided to take it along for this talk as Kirby is applying the same device as Chaykin i.e. we don’t get to see the Hulk hitting the Human Cannonball.
This page also has a lot of other artistic merits; the movement and weight of the Hulk is dramatically shown in the third, fourth, fifth and seventh panels. The extreme angle switches for each panel are cleverly designed and effortless for the reader to understand. It’s a great example of Kirby’s prowess.

The decision to not actually depict the hero striking the villain in these two pages gives us two examples of the story telling trope of showing, and not telling. This practice does not apply only to physical action, but that was a great place to start for me as a kid.


Twenty years later Scott McCloud explained this in his very influential book Understanding Comics, but I was lucky enough to pick it up firsthand while sitting on my couch eating sweets and reading about Star Wars and The Hulk.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

SOME SCOTTISH COMICS UNCONFERENCE PHOTOS


I attended the Scottish Comics Unconference Meet-Up in Glasgow last week. Here are a few photos from the day.

This is the table where attendees left comics donations in order to repay the free use of the venue. A pretty good selection, I thought.

Here's Damon Herd drawing the sign which would later be used to collect ideas for topics to be discussed.

Hattie Kennedy calls proceedings to order.

Kelly Kanayama considers topics. I wrote "Making comics" and "Self-publishing".

Unfortunately, the two talks I was most interested in clashed (Self-publishing and Autobiography). As it was, I went for self-publishing and was asked to talk about my experiences to get the thing rolling.

As the day progressed, it was nice to see many of the people at the discussions drawing away. Ludi Price encouraged me to join in too and I did! I tweeted the following:


The day ended with a DeeCAP comics reading. I decided to do my two stories from the latest issue of Treehouse. Here's a photo taken by cartoonist Paddy Johnston (who also performed):


The Unconference seemed to be enjoyed by everyone. I'd certainly go along if they held another one.