Tuesday, 9 June 2015

My Stuff: Nearlymades
a smattering of found stories and kipple narratives
My new book of Pareidolia - NOW AVAILABLE
92 pages / Limited First Edition of 200 / £9.00 +£1 p&p 
buy it here or email to ask about review copies or wholesale prices

“Nearlymades is a fascinating recycling of found (and doctored) images. Bridging the gap between graphic novels and artists’ books, this rare and excellent example of abstract comics is intriguing, beguiling and witty, and will change the way you look at the streets around you.” - Alex Fitch, Panel Borders

Lying on your back, finding faces in the clouds. Walking home under yellow street lights and mistaking a bush for a lurking figure. Seeing Jesus in your toast.
You’d be a rare human, indeed, if you had never glimpsed a nearlymade! 

This hefty new book asks my (imaginary) audience to take a sideways squint at beauty in the detritus of the world. A mash-up of abstract shapes and peculiar objects to tease out ... something ... from a lifetime's immersion in art and fiction.

Some of the found comics and stories in Nearlymades will seem familiar – like half-remembered tales of martians, myths and monsters. And deja vu is always waiting in the shadows, but nothing in the book began with graphics aforethought.

Chance sequences and stories noticed on my travels have been collated and are presented here for a slower consideration.. On close inspection, what looks like a script may turn out to be a title or some verbal ruse to slow the eye and tickle the imagination.

The underlying conceit of Nearlymades is found images and words, twisted by my mistakes and obsessions while leaving room for a reader's own imagination. There are allusions and personal jokes that nobody will notice, but I hope there are connections and ideas that only you will see. Until you share them... which is kind of the point of the project!

Nobody was likely to publish this work, based on the description above, so I've gone ahead and made a 200-copy first print (with thanks to the efficient and helpful Rich at comicprintinguk.com). It's not completely a comic or an artist's book or a photography collection, so where to promote it is not obvious. Please do buy a copy if you think you'd like it, but also pass this on and let me know if you have any ideas of where I might talk about it - at the time of writing, 75 copies are sold or spoken for, but that's still a good number to try to get out there.

And, of course, if there are any publishers interested in a 'mass' market edition - drop me a line.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Places I Bin: The Drawing Circus

Brighton Fringe Festival
Is it REALLY that long (10 years!) since I last went to life drawing?
And even longer since the last time I drew in charcoal??

Drawing real people in real life is not the same as studying a pose and drawing in ink is NOTHING like using charcoal – so off I went to the Spiegeltent: Bosco Theatre for an evening of sketching circus folk.

Turns out they are 'just' people in costumes but because there is a story and they hold poses rather than tumble around, it's just what I needed to (start to) clear off some of that rust. A good looking troupe and a story and some cracking live music to help get the blood pumping while drawing. I loved it and will try to get to their events whenever I can from now on (regular sessions are on Thursday nights which sadly clashes with other commitments so it will be just the odd shows I guess).

Below are a small number of the less embarrassing pictures I made.

  TOLD you I was rusty!!

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Places I Bin: Graphic Brighton: Drawing in the Margins

Sallis Benney Theatre, University of Brighton, 58-67 Grand Parade BN2 0JY
01/05/15 and 02/05/15
Two days of academic talks on the subject of the marginalised voice in comics.
Good talks, good chats outside the talks and some good beers after the talks!

Friday night's Gay Manga panel (Emma Vieceli, Inko, Chie Kutsuwada and Ilya, moderated by Alex Fitch) was interesting in itself, but especially notable for how often the panelists had to return to discussing the definitions of different manga categories. Even 'gay manga' is too broad with numerous variations on the theme.

Quick Strips, which followed, was largely a forum for Myriad Publishing authors to talk through their recent projects, but a few of the speakers did step outside of 'precis mode' - particularly Hannah Eaton, Danny Noble and Fraser Geesin.

The comics dynamo that is Karrie Fansman was interviewed by Time Pilcher to set the tone on Saturday.

Muna Al Jawad, Corinne Pearlman and Julian Hanshaw shared a stage for 'Can't we talk about something more pleasant? Older people and comics'. Corrinne gave us an overview of representations of the elderly in comic form; Julian talked through the thinking behind his upcoming Tim Ginger book, which imagines himself as a septuagenarian; Muna described her method of using cartoons in workshops and had us pair off to draw 'a memory of an old person', which images were then discussed to tease out unspoken and unexpected attitudes to ageing. 

Ilya (above, looking more puzzled than sincere which was the sketch I was intending to make) and Nye Wright hosted 'Street Dwellers': a lively panel asking if the homeless have a voice in comics. Impassioned contributions from the audience – particularly Kate Evans on who owns an individual's story – made this one panel that stuck in the memory. I thought the two leads handled it with grace and compassion, even when challenged on the ethics of depicting real people without their permission or knowledge...

Bumps, Births and early Motherhood in comics and graphic novels (phew!) was very rewarding. I've enjoyed Francesca Cassavetti's personal memoir comics for a few years now and her fellow panelists Henny Beaumont and Kate Evans had me noting down there titles to seek out later.

A much stronger second year for Graphic Brighton. Running parallel streams of talks is frustrating when interests overlap, but demonstrates how much ground there is to cover. Most panels seemed to be recorded, possibly video'd, so hopefully they will be made available online soon through Graphic Brighton or the Panelborders podcast.

Bring on Year 3 – tentatively themed War (& Peace, following comments at the closing session, we hope) 

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Free to share: Solar Eclipse Comic


Tomorrow we are excited to see the solar eclipse, and I've been explaining to The Noisy Boys (5 and 3) about what will happen.

Original Boy (5) is starting to read, so I made this comic with Reception Class level text and now his school has asked for copies - which is nice.

Feel free to share and print as widely as you want - I'm putting this out under Creative Commons copyright license and there's a link to an A3 print-quality pdf below