Monday, August 27, 2007

more daily pig

i'm quite excited at the moment about doing a newspaper style strip as discussed previously, and i've been doing a bit of research into web comics and the like. i have noticed a few things which i intensely dislike about certain strips, and as a result have come up with a few rules about how i am going to do my strip-
1- no geeky referencing of esoteric things (e.g. computer games, the internet in general, obscure films etc)
2- no boring continuous strips- the whole point is that its contained in 3 panels, if a story needs to be continued i'll do it as one long strip somewhere else
3- no "based on a true story" disclaimers

thats all ive got for now, but i might think of more.

i'm also going to stop moaning about the small press scene, and my terrible lot in life and concentrate on doing my own thing. i cant do anything about people i dont know, and i just need to keep making good entertaining work and see what happens. feel free to give me some shit if you hear me moaning.

peace and love and good vibrations pig lovers!

Monday, August 20, 2007

the daily pig

further to yesterday's post, i've been thinking about newspaper strips, and more specifically how rubbish they are. any city dwellers out there who have to endure a tedious commute to work will no doubt be aware of the Metro newspaper's singularly unfunny strip "nemi" (is it even meant to be funny?) and that other one 'this life'. there's also a couple in the sun, "hagar the horrible" and "george and lynne" which are also quite crap, although george and lynne transcends the crapness of the other three examples mentioned and is in a weird, sexy, terrible league of its own- thus:

we dont have the same culture of funnies pages as they do in america, i wonder if they have better ones...
the e.c. segar popeye strips are amazing, and i know there's stuff like krazy kat that old school people like but i dont really get it. also the perry bible fellowship is really good, but there's no way he does one of them each day.
i aim to discover why these strips are so rubbish. is it the three panel format which is limiting? or the sheer volume of ideas needed for a daily strip? -most probably the latter. when i am finished my current projects, probably in october, i am going do an experiment where i have to do an amusing (or not) comic strip every day for a month, and then we'll see how hard it is. i'll have to do it in my lunch break at work so i'll be limited to about 40 minutes, but it should be interesting.

why dont you try it yourself? and i'll see you next time....

Sunday, August 19, 2007

ting and ting

no real news on the comics front- working and that- finishing off the nice banal pig for that gosh darned obsever/jonathan cape thing, and also i'm now looking forward to the birmingham expo in a couple of months, new jolly bear for that.
i've been reading a lot about the state of the comics industry recently, how marvel and dc and that dont make any money apart from from films and toys, and the independents are lucky to break even. it amazes me how anyone makes a living in this industry. with this in mind, i dont know where my ambitions lie- should i look towards publishing my own (and other's) work on a decent scale. what about web comics? any money in that? or should i branch out- what about animation/films/toys- yeah, nice ones with lots of lead paint made by chinese people*

you need money to make money isnt it? i'd really like to make a book with two colours with really nice covers and all the rest.

i got a few comics the other day- "Hey, Wait" by Jason which is quite an old one of his but has some really nice stylistic touches, although my heart wasnt quite as broken as the quotes on the cover promised. i also got Uptight No.2 by Jordan Crane which is decent enough, and i agree with Tom Spurgeon that the format of the comic works really well and there should be more indies that look like this- 24 b&w pages with a nice colour screenprinty cover, and its pretty cheap- £1.40.

anyway, i'll repeat my request for some paid work- i'm cheap and try really hard, and if anyone wants to make cartoons of my work (for free) get in touch....

*funnily enough, someone from hong kong or somewhere sent me an email asking if i want to make a banal pig action (or should that be inaction?) figure- i'm going to see how much it is.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Yes here be another in my non-regular series of photographs of dead animals. This is a shrew, being eaten by ants.
I'm currently doing my entry for the observer competition, a deluxe banal pig strip, which i wont win, but like they say, you've got to be in it to not win it!

Sunday, August 12, 2007


So we went to Caption for the first time yesterday. A lot of the small press veterans bang on about it as one of the big events in the calendar, so we were a bit surprised to see a rather poky room with not a lot going on (and not a lot of comics) when we got there, and having to pay a fiver to get in seemed a bit steep. The trouble is that people turn up throughout the day bringing their stuff, so if you got there early, you would be gutted, and not necessarily realise there was more to come, so you go home empty handed because there wouldnt be anything to hang around for. The idea of caption is really good though, you leave your comics and they sell them for you for 10% commision -peanuts compared with the cost of a table at one of the big expos, or even the web and mini comix thing, and of course you only have to give them money when you sell something.

I sold surprisingly well however, i took 3 of each issue of banal pig, 3 ethel sparrowhawks and 3 anthologies, and sold all but the unsellable issue two* and two of the anthologies, which means i made nearly £30 with no effort. So there's no complaints from me, especially as we had a nice day out in oxford to boot, but it did seem for the casual small press fan there simply wasn't enough going on to justify paying £5 to get in, especially if you also had to travel to Oxford in the first place (in comparison, the Web and Mini Comix thing is £4, there was far more going on, and it is really easy to get to as its in London near a tube station).

I dont know what to suggest to improve this, and i think form a creators perspective it's important to have these events and support them, but everyone there seemed to be creators who know each other and were in their cliques, so you dont get the direct contact with the creators like at an expo (which can be a double-edged sword as i have previously mentioned, but at least you'd have someone to talk to if you liked the work). also there's events going on which we didnt see, but i never generally bother with that sort of thing anyway.

But i did well so i cant grumble.

*if i ever start a different comic series, i am not going to have an issue two because it has proved very unpopular, even though it is far better than issue one, and other comic creators have confirmed their issue twos sell badly as well.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

banal pig's hot celeb goss no. 1

so we goes shopping today yeah, like we normally do to bedminster asdal, and they're filming one of those "celebrities working at asda" adverts, yeah, and it was ian wright working behind the fish counter, and we got a monkfish tail, and ian wright served us. they didnt film it though, so i'm not going to be on telly. stay tuned for more hot celeb goss!