shelf heroes - easy a

Ben Smith - editor of the great pop culture mag Shelf Heroes - asked me if I wanted to contribute an illustration of a film that began with the letter E for the latest issue. So many good films came to mind but I ended up going for Surprisingly Good High School Rom Com Easy A because it's one of those films that manages to bring a smile to my face despite the various problems it has. The print job on the magazine is superb and I highly recommend picking up a copy if you can. It's full of amazing illustrations and some great features about ET and Event Horizon.

Here's my contribution:

 

making a game

Here's an illustration I did for a VICE Gaming article called "Why it's so hard to make a video game" by Tina Amini. It's a great deep-dive into the world of game developers and the creative journey of making a game. I think anyone who makes things will recognise a lot of the same frustrations, compromises and joys in their own artistic practise.

us election poster

Lampoon Apathy - a great politics + comedy production company - organise brilliant all-night events with comedy, music, punditry and analysis whenever there's a big election. I illustrated and designed the poster and logo for their US election gig this week. The result, of course, was horrifying.

abandoned comics

As a freelancer, I often get asked to work on projects speculatively. Sometimes the projects go somewhere, sometimes they don't. I rarely do it as it can be a heartbreaking process when you get invested in a book that reaches a dead-end but it's all part of the freelance life. I thought it might be nice to share some of the early work I did on a couple of projects that, for various reasons, never went further. I think enough time has passed on both of them that I can share these...

The book I was extremely excited to work on was a comic adaptation of Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow. Those who have read the book will know just how powerful and vital the book is, and I was flattered to be asked to write and draw an adaptation for the publisher with Alexander overseeing it. I had written a rough script and drawn some example pages (see below) but the project ended up going on the indefinite back-burner. The comic was going to be printed in two colours hence the limited palette used here. I can't recommend the book enough and would also recommend seeking out The House I Live In (a documentary with similar themes, in which Alexander also appears). I've not yet watched Ava DuVernay's 13th on Netflix, but it also looks essential.

I was also asked to illustrate a page for a book about Neuroscience. There are some typos and missing text due to the early draft of the script. In the end, the authors went in a different direction.

for the fallen

Here's the artwork for a three page illustrated adaptation of Walt Whitman's Dirge For Two Veterans. You can read the full poem here. This was commissioned by Oxford University Press for their For The Fallen and other poems book. The book is part of their Graphic Texts series that encourage children to read and learn with comics. You can pick up a copy of the book here.

regrexits

Eleri Harris at The Nib asked if I'd like to write a short reaction piece to the Brexit result. After taking a week to finish my tennis comic and get some perspective, I produced a short 12 panel piece which you can read here. Huge thanks to Eleri for her help on this. Short preview below:

Needless to say, it's been a tough fortnight here.

If you didn't see my piece about the EU Referendum before the results, it can be read here.

the year in tennis

I grew up watching Wimbledon and it would always coincide with the start of my summer holidays. I think, largely because of that, I've always had a soft spot for the sport. It's only been the past few years that I've really tried to follow the tour throughout the year, but my love for the sport has grown the more I learn about it. I was recently talking with my friend, and fantastic writer/journalist, Alex Macpherson - who is much more knowledgable than I am about tennis - and we tried to devise a way for us to collaborate on something tennis related.

This piece for Vox is the result. A 29 panel look at tennis in 2016. Vox don't cover sport so the we tried to reign ourselves in from the more obscure stories and keep the summary as news-focused as possible.

I really hope we get more opportunities to work together on tennis comics as I had so much fun drawing this. I want to draw an entire comic about Serena Williams. And one about all the up and comers. I also hope I can do some tennis illustrations in the future too. Basically, more drawing about tennis!

Here's a sneak peek at the piece - the whole thing can be read here. Huge thanks to AD Javier Zarracina for all his help on the piece.

Other tennis related things I've been enjoying: The collection of David Foster Wallace essays about tennis - String Theory - is a delight, Alex invited me along to the Roehampton Wimbledon Qualifiers a couple of weeks ago - which I didn't realise was free to attend - and it was brilliant - loads of new faces and exciting stories, I'm currently reading Love Game: A History of Tennis, from Victorian Pastime to Global Phenomenon which is very interesting, I subscribed to this lovely looking tennis magazine - Racquet, and the Serena documentary on the BBC was great. I've also ordered a couple of ESPN 30 For 30 docs - one about Navratilova and Evert's rivalry, and one about Jimmy Connors. Speaking of 30 For 30 - have you been watching the OJ: Made In America doc? It's great right? Seek it out if you haven't!

doctor who cover

I was asked by Titan if I'd like to illustrate the September Doctor Who cover. I couldn't say no to that. It was such a fun commission and I hope I get to try my hand at more in the future. The solicitations for Titan's September comics are listed here. I think the order code for this is STL015068.

This is for the finale issue of year two of the Eleventh Doctor - written by Si Spurrier and Rob Williams with art by Simon Fraser.