It's June! We're halfway through the year! And for the most part I've been updating this blog with the weekly New Statesman comics but few other things so I thought I'd do a quick post about what else I'm up to.
First off, I'm currently working on a project with Cartoon Movement and Butch & Sundance Media. The project is focused around inspiring stories about women in conflict zones and I'm drawing the comics that will accompany a whole interactive, multimedia thing.
I'm drawing three comics for it at the moment. One set in Egypt, one in Sudan, and one in Burma. These should be finished towards the end of the summer. We're looking at about thirty pages altogether (or "screens", as this is being designed for tablets and monitors rather than print) so it should be a satisfying chunk to read. Cartoon Movement have written more about it here - where they have shared some of my early drawings for it so I'm putting them here too:
I'm really enjoying the inking on this. I've given up my brush pen and gone back to using brush and ink (with the occasional use of a dip pen). I don't know why I haven't been doing this all the time to be honest - my style is looser and I'm speeding up massively. It's an absolute joy. Here's some inking in progress:
These were taken on my smartphone and uploaded to Instagram which I've only recently joined as my smartphone is now just about up-to-date enough to make use of it. Though I haven't been doing so as all the photos I took were blue and blurry for some reason. As I was lamenting my bad smartphone decision to a friend, he looked at the phone, silently turned it round, carefully peeled a protective blue plastic thing off the camera lens and handed it back to me.
So, now I'm over the fact that I deal with technology like a stereotypical octogenarian, I'm probably going to use Instagram a bit more. Here are some of those rubbish blue, blurry photos that I've tried cleaning up. They are of bespoke prints of my New Statesman comics and this Ripley illustration. Both due to emailed requests.
The photos don't do them justice at all but they are sadly all I have since I posted them a month ago. They are full colour giclee prints on Innova smooth cotton, full archival unbleached, 315gsm paperstock. So they look and feel lovely. If you have a favourite In The Frame or illustration you'd like to request as a print, get in touch and if there's enough of a demand I will look into getting a bulk of them done. Look through recent illustrations here.
Last year, as part of my Thought Bubble Comics Festival residency, I spent four weeks visiting the Bradford Action for Refugees centre to teach comics to refugees and asylum seekers. I then spent a follow-up week in Leeds Central Library plotting and researching a comic around the subject of asylum seekers. This comic is now finished and will be printed in the Thought Bubble 2013 anthology - published by Image Comics and available in November. Find out more at the Thought Bubble website. Here's a preview of my contribution - Sanctuary...
I've also been working with poet Chrissy Williams on another poem comic (our previous collaborations here and here) called The Bear of the Artist. This is based on one of Chrissy's poems from her recent, excellent pamphlet Flying Into the Bear. I think we might be doing prints of this further down the line so for now, here's another little preview of it:
I think, for now, that's it. I'm also working on some illustrations I can't share yet and about three different Edinburgh fringe posters for various comedians which I should be able to put up on the blog soon.
Phew. Right, back to inking!