Thursday, May 31, 2007


i bought myself the first Popeye collection by fantagraphics the other day and i thinksk its marvellousk. as it explains in the preface, the animated version that we're all undoubtedly familiar with is a bastardised version that basically plays out the same story again and again (popeye versus bluto over olive oyl) and removes the charm of the original 30's strips. there's no spinach either, he's brutal without the need for leafy greens, tinned or otherwise, and generally goes round punching everyone whenever he feels like it. it's really bizarrely funny and i recommend it heartily. ug ug ug toot toot blerp!.

here's my tribute, popexe, and his nemesis, fat martin, and some other sketchbook stuff. as you can see i just use lined paper in cheapo journals as i think when i'm just freestyling it makes me less precious about committing ideas to paper, and i dont have to worry about the cost of the paper i'm writing on. did i mention i'm as tight as a gnat's chuff?

Monday, May 28, 2007

Small press

i was round my old pal gareth man man brookes' house this weekend and he was showing me some of the small press he'd picked up from gosh! comics. it's good to see theres a wide ranges of styles and some are undeniably arty-farty, which i suppose you either subscribe to or you dont, and they must appeal more to artists than comics buyers. This is fair enough, and there is definitely room for all that stuff, particularly when its high quality, but what did make me raise my eyebrows was the price of some of these things. pricing is very difficult, but it's kind of taken for granted that all the time you've spent creating this stuff is never going to be compensated, so £5 for a few sheets of A4 does seem pretty steep. i try to base my price on the printing cost alone, and even then i cant compete with the big published comics (obviously) but i always try to be good value, and want to make something that i'd buy.
this kind of leads onto another point about the small press scene today, the fact that there is your also-rans, the weak home published stuff, and the fantagraphics/top shelf stuff and there's the middle ground, high quality small press stuff which is too small scale to go into diamond (the major comics distribution catalogue) and as a result will always struggle to be seen by its potential audience. obviously the web has helped this immensely- i cant imagine how difficult it was before to sell more than 10 comics- but i've got it at the back of my mind that there's an untapped potential thing that could unify and promote all the excellent small press creators there is out there.
a uk small press version of diamond sent out to all the shops in the uk who stock small press comics so they could contact the makers diractly, or at least have a previous knowledge of the comics when approached would be a good idea i think, and if it was put together by the makers themselves it would mean no-one else would take a slice of the pie.
good idea, this sort of thing takes time and effort that i havent got after working all the time and actually making comics... any volunteers?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Nice words regarding Ethel

Paul Rainey liked Ethel Sparrowhawk it seems. What did you think? What's that? You've still not bought a copy? No problem, send me four quid, i'll sort you out my friend.

Don't cry. It's all right.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

What's going on?

Well, i've gotten in to the swing of doing conventions now, so as you can imagine i was a bit disappointed when there wasnt another one this weekend. I'm trying to find a balance between not doing comics constantly at the expense of everything else and finishing comics in time for the cons without working every single hour in the two weeks before deadline. There's 4 months before birmingham so if i start now with a decent effort i should have a good books worth in time, but if i finish a couple of weeks before i'll have the nagging feeling that i could have done another few pages/comic in that time. I would have liked a bit more time on Ethel Sparrowhawk, but it's always the caase that the cons are the best place to shift a lot of comics quickly, and this was true this time as well. swings and roundabouts.
I'm well bored of my job and would like to just make comics and art full time, so if anyone would like to sponsor me, just send a cheque for £15,000 and that will keep me going for a year. i dont think that's greedy. alternatively, some nice illustration jobs, commissions etc would go down well.
gizza job!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Bristol Expo

Its all over and its been a great weekend i reckon. We all sold well- pictured is our display, Man Man and Bingo Bonanza on the left; Gareth had a new comic, Mediocralypse, which is more in the style of the "bastard teachers" strip in the BP Portrait Anthology, with more funny drawings and little stories about wanking with grandads and that.
My stuffs in the middle, including the new comic Ethel Sparrowhawk which sold well and has had a lot of good words said about it, and it seems the things we wanted to achieve with it have come across. I'm gonna put the first 6 pages on the myspace at some point today, so please check it out if you havent seen it.
On the right is Oliver East's Trains Are... Mint including an exclusive with the first few copies of Trains Are Mint number 3, which i read last night and is as brilliant as the other two in the trilogy, so check them out if you havent seen them already.

Also pictured are Oli East (beardy, red check shirt) and Gareth (Charles Hawtrey) who were sharing the spoils.

I think there are a few reasons why we did much better- we had much more choice of stock this year, 17 different titles to choose from, and from my own point of view it is nice to have something a bit less vulgar than the Banal Pigs (i.e. Ethel Sparrowhawk) which broadens the appeal a bit i think. Not that there's anything wrong with calling your dad a cunt, pissing on old mens heads, and anthropomorphic geese sucking men off for crack is there?
Secondly, we've got a bit more of a reputation now, we've been around for a couple of years, and also as Bristol's my home town i've actually got some mates here now.

I picked up some good stuff by the looks of it, which i may review or mention later, and we drank with the good old Monkeys Might Puke boys, and i would advise you to follow the link and watch the short films, especially "When a man loves a Chicken", which is genius.

See you later

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Say a little prayer

you know me pig fans, i'm not political, but i would like to say something regarding my beloved football club:

i'm very much looking forward to the Bristol Comic Expo, and i'm probably going out for a drink with Jeffrey Brown on Thursday, or at least i'll be standing around in the same pub as him. best ever.

i'm glad that Ethel Sparrowhawk is over and i can crack on with Jolly Bear and Fun Coconut Summer Special Number 2 and All New Banal Pig 4!

here's something you've not seen before, unless you went to the royal college, my picture, and its particulars.

Take Care

Love you


Sunday, May 06, 2007

Ethel Cover

hi pals

it's currently ten to eight on monday morning and today is the day that i've got to get ethel sparrowhawk finished. i've got about 4 pages to finish off and its entirely do-able, the only things against me are that my black ink has run out so i've got to go and get another, and its a real miserable bastard outside. how's the weather where you are pig fans?

as you may have guessed, this is the cover, a nice wraparound job. i think it does the trick as i didnt just want a picture of ethel on the front, and the fact that her and her cat are giving each other evils is a nice introduction to the story. those are my horrible kitchen cabinets by the way.

see you on the other side!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Nearly finished- cheesed off

it's that point now which i have with every comic where the time constraints and desire to get it over with sap the enjoyment out of making them. i just want to get the fucking thing over and done with. dont get me wrong, i'm very excited by it and think it's gonna be very good but it all seems a bit too much like hard work at the moment.

Here's an interesting snippet though. What's this fellow up to, eh?