Archives For September 2014

Missing in Action (Part II)

September 29, 2014 — 6 Comments

McCloud qFollowing on from my last nail-biting blog: On each table I’d placed some of my own comics and a selection of ‘How to’ books; Eisner’s Comics & Sequential Art, How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way, How Not to Draw Comics the Marvel Way… the usual stuff.

So after a day of badly scrawled cartoons and barely humorous scripts (and that was just me!) the tiny artists left. As I beckoned them farewell, one child pleasingly enquired, “Is it okay to take these?” Indicating the comics on his table. “Of course, I drew those,” I chirped, as modestly as a man desperate for affirmation can manage.

But then, whilst tidying up I received a shock of shocks. A book was missing! My treasured copy of Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art by the living caricature Scott McCloud.

Where was it?! I hear you cry (feigning interest). After an extensive (one minute) search it dawned on me that the young scallywag, previously mentioned, must have taken it! I’d thought he was pointing at my comics, but it was my precious book he’d actually had within his adolescent gaze.

I was so distraught I convened to the nearest tavern to drown my sorrows. Every bespectacled tweed-wearing gentleman entering the establishment, just added to my pain. The landlord told me later that he’d never sold so many Barcardi Breezers in one evening!

I still haven’t replaced the book. Partly as I resent paying twice for the same item, but mainly because purchasing a new copy feels like it would somehow invalidate the genuine sadness I felt at the time. Pretty dumb, eh? (No need to nod, it’s a rhetorical question.)

I can only hope that boy has grown up to become an exceptional comic creator, having studied Scott McCloud’s insightful words & pictures (and inspired by an enthusiastic workshop tutor). I can’t remember his name exactly, I think it was Chris something… Wear, or Were? I guess I’ll never know.

Ex-Cover Girl

September 25, 2014 — Leave a comment

Here’s one of the alternative covers for the graphic novel ‘Mockingbird: Nightmare on Another Planet’. Actually my wife prefers this option to the one I’m going with – you may feel the same! Covers are tricky things though, I’m not sure there is a formula for the perfect cover (that guarantees sales) other than displaying ‘cosmetically enhanced’ ladies or prefixing your title with an ‘X’ (or was that just in the nineties?).Cover1

Missing in Action (Part I)

September 22, 2014

Hove Museum2Many years ago I was running a comic workshop with some young cherubs in Hove Museum (which, by the way is really hard to find! It wasn’t where it should have been. I expected it to be in the bustling city centre, but it was actually located in a quiet residential area. By the time I found it, they’d started without me, and most of the kids had already mastered layout and composition and were well on their way to tackling a three quarter head looking up! Fortunately I arrived just in time to hinder their progress and unusual prowess – obviously I had to justify my fee somehow, so I stripped it all back (pun not intended) and demonstrated how NOT to hold a pencil… for two hours. It’s important to get the foundational skills right first, kids!).

Wow, that was a pretty long parenthesis section (which is easier to write than say out loud).

So there I was, about twenty kids on different tables with a collection of museum stationary between them. But on one desk a small child sat alone. It was quite sad, because apparently this boy was allergic to rubbers (ERASERS I mean! Apologies if you’re West of the Atlantic, that could’ve sounded weird. “Waddaya mean, buddy? It DID sound weird!”). Anyway, this isn’t about the allergic child, that’s a story for another time. Don’t worry, it’s got a happy ending! Well, not for Mr & Mrs Staedtler it hasn’t*.

Er… Sorry, I’ve kinda’ run over my self-imposed limit of 250/300 words, in a vain desire to give some colour to a fairly banal tale. Let’s pick this up next week. (Talk about a cliffhanger, eh, readers? – Ed)

Now I’m going to have to scroll aaall the way back up to the top of the page and type ‘Part 1’ or something.

*Staedtler is a brand of rubbers (ERASERS I mean!).

Covers Album

September 17, 2014 — Leave a comment

Covers A

Yes, that’s my cover, top left (for the graphic novel – have I mentioned this to you?), with a selection of classic covers that inspired it. Bottom left is a common sight in our house, generally after I’ve got out the shower. Ho ho!

Here and Back Again

September 15, 2014 — 1 Comment

Everyone (nobody) is always asking me (never asking me), “Flix! When is this wonderful sequential art piece of yours going to become that ancient medium known as ‘printed’?” It’s a question to which I have no substantial answer.

But do not fear, gentle reader, this is not la fin. Wipe that tear from your eyeball and I will attempt to give an adequate response (to the question you haven’t asked).

Many years ago, in a county far far away (dependent on your current location) a young fresh-faced youth stood with several bundles of self-penned, self-drawn, self-published comic books, held in his weak and trembling arms (they were quite heavy, as he’d over estimated the demand for his fine fare). He wondered, “Where should I venture with these stories of adventures amongst the stars?”

Hope (of sorts) was at hand, when a peculiarly avuncular gentleman offered to publish these remarkable cosmic tales, within the popular form of a graphical novel presentation.

Magical excitement bloomed within his heart.

But then a stumbly block appeared, my friends. The kindly aforementioned gentleman suffered a blow of such proportions that he no longer held the resources to invest in these bright dreams of visual delight.

Again, our bold hero found himself with a pile of comics weighing on his puny arms. From where would he now find a window to display his toil and sweat (not literally)?

Hope (of sorts) was at hand. “I. Will. Display. Your. Scribbles.” spoke the synthesized voice of his computer, beckoning our stalwart protagonist into its virtual embrace.

So here is today. No publisher to publish, but still, a digital opportunity and vehicle from which our young buck’s astro narrative can now be savoured by a worldwide comic-loving community. And who knows what hopes the future may hold for our third-person-referring entrepreneur, dot dot dot.

Does that answer your question?

Meet the Cast

September 9, 2014 — Leave a comment

SPXfiguresAThis is the height chart I created (after I drew three issues!) as the characters’ proportions kept changing. There are times in the early strips that if Mockingbird was standing beside Diana she would essentially be headbutting her knee!