So, here’s another BP tradition that i feel compelled to do for some reason, the annual stock take of everything comic related i’ve been up to (perhaps i should actually do a stock take? nah.). 2013 was quite a year, I got married, twerked with Robin Thicke at the VMAs, killed Margaret Thatcher, won Wimbledon etc etc but you know about all that dear reader, and i sense that you are far more interested in the intricacies of my comic-making biz. Well here goes…
As I started off the year back working for the man, my extra-curricular time was going to be restricted so I had to manage my time and try pick stuff that was actually going to be worthwhile. I also had a wedding to plan (my own) which took up bear time, so for the first few months of the year I concentrated on getting the story for Untitled Ape’s Epic Adventure sorted. At this point in time it’s all written and planned and ready to go, I just need a year to draw and colour it, and while i’m happy that it is going to be pretty, pretty good when it’s finished, it’s not exactly the most commercial thing i could be doing with my time at the moment. To those couple of people who like UAEA, don’t worry, it’s not dead and buried, just on the back burner for now and I’ll still be plugging away behind the scenes when i get the chance (ha ha!). Anyway, here’s a sketch from near the end that i’ve not published before…
Around this time where i wasn’t really creating much to show off, i put a few things on Issuu; my super limited edition Banal Pig’s Royal Assortment, the part complete Space Wars Colouring Book, and some old jokes and stories, so why not have a look at them?
I’ve had a steady flow of one-hour commissions throughout the year too, like these:
disclaimer- this one (above) took a couple of hours.
I always enjoy doing these, so please feel free to get in touch if you have a particular drawing you’d like to commish.
So my next thing, after getting married in May was a big strip/ poster which i utilised twice, firstly as a strip in OFFLife #5 and then expanded and colour-tweaked for a poster for ELCAF (still available to buy -Ed).
ELCAF was one of only two conventions I did this year, as I vowed to do less small press stuff and thus haven’t had that much to flog, but I enjoyed it and did pretty well- it’s definitely the right size and type of con that i like, and i think it definitely benefits from choosing the exhibitors to make sure the quality is high. It’s also good to have an excuse to go down south and visit my bro Gareth Van Brookes, who had a pretty good year himself with the publication of his first full-length book, The Black Project. I would say it was great even if it wasn’t, but it definitely is, and is a unique and compelling masterwork. Read it today!
Back to the narrative, the next thing on the horizon was a comic for my sister’s wedding, which I was pretty pleased with despite the pretty tight timescale, and it went down a treat (so I say so myself).
When I got back from that wedding I had a couple of exciting emails waiting for me. The first was from the editor of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic, asking if i want to have a go at writing a script for them, so I said yes, and the second one was from Jamie Smart, asking if i wanted to do something for his upcoming Moose Kid Comics project, and i said yes to that too.
So that was the next couple of months sorted, it was interesting to just write a script for someone else to draw, and i’ve enjoyed watching the Turtles cartoon for “research”, it’s got some good gags in there. My first story is going to be in issue 10 apparently, but there’s not much info online that i can find- i think it should be out in February. The Moose Kid Comics thing should be coming out soon, so I won’t say too much about that, but here’s a couple of panels i previewed before:
This is getting a bit long, so I’ll wrap it up. I also did Thought Bubble, my second and last con of the year, taking over from Andy Waugh on the Sunday only, and did better than i did over the whole weekend a couple of years ago. I still don’t really like doing cons over 2 days, and i think there are far too many exhibitors which could be cut down with a bit of curatorial input to make it a bit tighter and less sprawling. Otherwise, all good though, nice to have this as a big event on the calendar.
Into 2014, Ethel Sparrowhawk 3 is on the cards, more of which soon…