This was my third year visiting the Thought Bubble Leeds comic art festival. Usually I will do a lap to see what’s there, then second time around buy items and get them signed. It took longer to get around this year: Firstly, they’ve gone from two large rooms to three. Secondly, I was taking notes… Picked up a heap of stuff. Click that photo for artist names and details!
There’s the old stereotype of guys who are always ‘working on their novel’. For me, it’s a comic book. Three short comics, actually. There are plans to get them done, self-published, sold. Those plans are currently like clay plonked on a mat; going though a lot of moulding before they’re stuck in the oven. So I talked to the experts attending and selling at Thought Bubble. The guys with book deals and large hardback editions, and the new starters, their baby fresh off the work photocopier. Picking up tips on process, production, contacts. Here’s a few simple pieces of advice gleaned…
Sketch Dailies (website / Twitter) tweet out one drawing suggestion every weekday, around 5:30pm UK time. They help lead an event called Inktober, where you do one drawing every day for a month (or you can do one every two days, etc.). You can take on Sketch Dailies’ proposal, or do your own thing. Despite the name, it’s not strictly limited to ink – People use their tablets, watercolours, whatever they please.
The Bradford University Society of Operettas and Musicals (BUSOM) hold their 24 Hour Show this month. They enter the New Bradford Playhouse on October 10th, learning that evening what musical they’ll be performing a scant 24 hours later. It’s exciting, it’s team-building, and it’s funny if the actors mess up due to sleep deprivation (in a charming way).
There’s only a handful of ways to do a logo for a 24 Hour Show, and they’ve all been done a dozen times over. Being original is hard, but worth having a crack at!
This is my fourth year of Hourly Comic Day: As with previous years, I got sketches and notes done at the time and sat down to draw them the next day (otherwise i’d get funny [funnier] looks in the nightclub with pencil and paper). Stuck with 2 panels an hour.
Update: Off The Market was been accepted, and voting is now closed.
Threadless is arguably the most famous t-shirt site. Artists submit designs, either in general or as part of themed contests, which are then voted upon for a chance to join their product line. They’ve expanded into further clothing, wall art, cards, phone cases… good fit, good quality and good designs.
After posting earlier this month about all those cards I made, a Threadless newsletter had a word in my ear, introducing the contest Greeting cards II. T’was a sign!
I’ve tidied up two cards which are featured on my portfolio pages, but have only been mentioned in passing. Get Better Than The Weather was a Get Well Soon card for a work friend, while Off The Market was a Valentine’s Day card for a newlywed, but for the purpose of the voting is a Wedding congratulatory card.
Both are now up for scoring on Threadless for the next 9 days (until about the 6th of June). Click a link or picture below to hit ’em up high, why don’t you?
One of my pastimes is to tinker with wikis. I amend text, fix references, apply cleanup tags, the usual. Sometimes images come into it: Hence today’s update.
For Wikipedia itself, it’s mainly been photo and diagram cleanup. The one i’ll highlight is the diagram on Xbox 360 technical problems, as it required some learning of EPS file formatting. And because i’m a PS3 owner. Teehee.
They say third time’s the charm – February 1st has been and gone again, bringing my third entry to Hourly Comic Day!
Still in the same employment and living space as last year’s edition, but it was a Friday, with a house party to liven things up.
Rough notes and scribbles were done in the hours themselves, and neater pictures over the weekend: That makes this more of a Diary Comic than an Hourly one. Some get their chronicle of the hour done at the end of each hour itself. Others do comics in bulk on the day, although this can lead to some of their panels being “drew some hourly comics”. The remainder use “my” method.
On Saturday I went to Thought Bubble 2012, the Leeds Comic Art Festival. First stop was the White Cloth Gallery, to see the beautiful Olly Moss posters made for Mondo (which only go on sale in terribly limited runs). While I did get to see Olly himself later, the door to the gallery was locked, with no-one in sight. Dang. The Mondo exhibition runs until December 2nd, so I may go back and try again.
After buying some snacks from the nearest supermarket (loaded into the bags I brought to fill with merch), it was off to the Royal Armouries hall for the main floor. Cosplayers were plentiful: Finn, Jake and Fionna from Adventure Time, a Silver Surfer, a blue Halo Spartan, several Loki’s (Lokii?) and numerous Harley Quinns. Burton-era Batman was also striding around.
After checking in with People I Know, I sidled up to Mookeo‘s table, where I chatted with a young guy over an awesome poster he’d just bought. After he wandered off, I was informed that the fellow was my buddy John “Final Boss Fight” Gotobed’s brother! Bear in mind that they both live in London…
…there was also a girl I hadn’t seen for about 6 years helping man the CraftJam stand, some guy from my work among the crowds, and one more friend recruiting for the Bruising Banditas Roller Derby team. Small world!
As planned in my last post, I got to meet Scott C.. His queue took a while to conquer, but was not as ridiculously lengthy as the one for Kate Beaton, who I only got to see from afar. Scott signed my book and said my Happy Couple fanart was “awesome”!
He had a whole bunch of limited run prints, and I only had enough money left for one – in the end I went for The Right Key (even if I did repeatedly call those rabbits “pigs” in front of him).
Robert Llewellyn was in attendance: While he was promoting his new science fiction novel News From Gardenia, he’s best known in the UK as Kryten from Red Dwarf. Got autographs for me and my Bandita pal!
I passed Lee Garbett‘s table a couple of times: A really nice guy, but no-one queuing to see him. All he had on the table were some comic pencils that i’m not sure were for sale. They were, however, pretty incredible, as he’s drawn for Marvel comics!
Everybody there was friendly, attendees and stand-runners alike. Everyone was “please”, “thank-you”, “‘scuse me”, forming and abiding by queues as British people are wont to do.
There’s several artists I haven’t mentioned above, but hear this: I’ve got just enough blue paint left for one last hyperlink. That leads to a Flickr image of the day’s haul, each piece tagged with who it came from!
I mentioned previously that I met some lovely people at a comic book convention. Well there’s been a couple of milestone community events that I joined in on!
Around mid-April, My Cardboard Life threw a celebratory “700 comics made” week, asking for people to create something and send it in. For my comic (traditionally drawn, digitally coloured & post-processed), I wondered “what was Cardboard Carl like when he was young?”. Considering he irons his jeans with volcanic rocks and uses wild animals as towels, the answer had to be “still awesome”. Philippa (she who runs the site) loved it, especially the pig, and I made it to day three. Click the pic for all six panels!
Fast forward a month, and People I Know‘s500th comic celebrations show up! Another call for incoming artwork was raised, with the submission theme of potential boyfriends for Toby, a unlucky in love dinosaur who adores cake. I sketched out a whole bunch of boyfriends, then brightened this one up with crayons:
I called him Pin, and he is a psychic. He would know just what kind of cake Toby wants without him even asking! I sent him off, and a short time later he took up residence on day four.
Just to round this out to the trilogy of web-famous people, here is the guest comic I did for Moo & Keo waaay back in 2008. While it was the first (possibly only) guest comic, it was sadly wiped away in one of his site updates. Anywho, something to tell you is that he got published (it’s in Waterstones and everything), and just finished working on book #2!
As evidenced by the above, the time came for my second entry to Hourly Comic Day! Since last year’s edition I’ve gained employment and moved house, so it took a few days to finish the sketches. More time passed before a scanner was obtained, but I uploaded rough camera pics for the interim. This link or the above image lead to this year’s submission.