This is my sixth Hourly Comic Day comic, and the first one featuring me at my Graphic Design job! I actually started there in 2014, but as the last 2 years have been weekend comics, you didn’t get to see owt.
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…
There’s a chap who calls himself Grickle, who I discovered via his work on the Puzzle Agent games. Have you heard of recent film The Boxtrolls? He helped create the titular creatures.
One day, he tweeted the below swamp creature, with the hashtag #sketch_dailies.
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.
In February I started working for Caravan Guard (and it’s sister company Leisuredays), a medium-sized, family run insurance company. It’s no secret: My CV’s available on this website, after all. I’m in the Marketing department… as a Graphic Designer. Last month I moved to ‘Permanent contract’ status.
I’ve been doing a huge amount of wonderful stuff, both straight-laced and silly, for both the Leisuredays re-branding and more general tasks. Making the sky blue on overcast photos. Adding and removing signs. Removing people. We’ve got new and updated booklets, flyers, folders, tiny stickers and big banners into production. I’ve made a truckload of icons, graphs and graphics, while correcting and refining the existing sets. I even got talking cows into a milk-bottle shaped mailer.
In my last post I mentioned that I had many tasks for the New Bradford Playhouse’s in-house production of Maskerade. Last time we talked posters. Today, we focus on the programme.
A 12-page booklet, the whole thing was designed to be printed in black and white on ordinary office paper. The audience got such a version, while I gifted some cast and crew members this borderless, colour cover variant. It contains the usual suspects: a synopsis, cast list, crew list, rights, a word from the director, a bit about the theatre and what’s being performed there next. A nicety is that being an internal production on a shoestring budget, there’s no advertisements. The cast pages ended up being the centre spread, which was ideal.
This month The New Bradford Playhouse put on an in-house production of Maskerade, adapted from the Terry Pratchett book of the same name (think Phantom Of The Opera with humour and witches). I haven’t been on that stage in a long time, and love the works of Pratchett, so I signed up.
My main role was one of the stagehands who are actually part of the play, so as well as spouting lines i’d shift furniture, in sight and out of sight of the audience. I had two other bit-parts in one scene each, with quick costume changes. Along with learning script, stage directions and set mechanics, I also made the show’s programme, some posters, two Papier-mâché masks for the cast, and one mask for myself. In 4 weeks. Oh, and I started a new full-time job at the same time.
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.
Click on this link or the above image to view this year’s submission!
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.
Overall, neat. Went last year, will go again next year.
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!