When I finished Dump
earlier this year, I decided to lay off doing any longer form comics
for a while. Dump was 50-odd pages, and was the sequel to
Berserkotron, itself around 40-odd pages. I wanted to have a break
from working away on the same story for years, and concentrate on
doing shorter pieces. And I have done that over the summer, working
on stories ranging from 1 to 6 pages.
An opportunity arose
though. A new kind of project for me. I was offered “a regular
comic spot” at a website. I thought that sounded interesting, but
didn't really know what it would entail. The editor wanted to feature
a strip, with open ended deadlines. I put my thinking cap on and came
up an idea I thought could work as a serialised comic book. I
reckoned I could commit to doing a new page for it every three weeks.
This was approved. I
decided to go about this story differently than Berserkotron and
Dump. To explain, although I knew the rough shape of those stories
and how they ended, I wrote and drew those comics in chunks.
Berserkotron was done in six page chapters for an APA, and I put
together Dump as a three issue series. When it was time for a new
chapter, I just sat and wrote and drew them, then stopped work on it
for months at a time in between chapters. I had to reacquaint myself
with where I was in the story, details of what had happened, etc.
This time I didn't
want to work that way. I was going to sit in a concentrated period
and work on the story until I was finished. And so I did. I had some
time off work coming up and worked solidly throughout it. First, I
put down every idea I had for the story and then started to knit it
all together, ideas sparking new ideas as I went. After 5 A4 pages of
notes, I was ready to start writing. A week or two later, I had it
all written. 50-odd pages once again.
And then came the
expected psychological barrier of starting up the mountain. I was
working on other comics, doing talks, getting involved in comics
related projects, all the time knowing I was gearing up for picking
up the pencil for page 1 of this story.
The excitement in my
mind took hold today. Tonight I did get started, and that page has
been pencilled. Pretty soon, I'm going to be able to introduce my new
comic to you. Can't wait!
I make comics. I read comics. I write about comics.
My comics have appeared in Adventures in Comics, Artificial Womb, The Awesome Comic, BAM!, Belt Sander, A Bit of Undigested Potato, Copy This!, Crap Your Pants, Dead Singers Society, Dirty Rotten Comics, Eric, Funtime, Guardian #opencomics, Jack Sprat, Love Bites!, Reworking Walter Scott, Shiot Crock, Small Pets, Sneaky Business, Star Jaws, Time & Space, Tin Roof Collective Selected Works, Treehouse, The UK Web and Mini Comix Anthology and at the 40075km, Dundee Comics Creative Space and Redbird Review websites.
I’ve written for The Comics Grid, The Comics Journal, Down the Tubes, Graphixia, The International Journal of Comic Art, Nude, Reference Reviews, Spaceship Away, Starscape and Stripped.
Through Fred Egg Comics, I self-publish my small press mini-comics Berserkotron, Dump, Zero Sum Bubblegum, and the forthcoming Wow! Retracted.