Monday, 29 June 2009

Comic workshops

As well as some comic stalls at the Friendship Festival this weekend there will be workshops with:

Yishan Li

Daniel Weatheritt
Nigel Auchterlounie

So please come along!

I'm also going to be exhibiting some new pieces at the Mushroom works soon.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

festival news.

Friendship Festival, Sunderland UK, 4th and 5th of July 2009. Now with added comics.

Okay, on top of comic stalls there will also be artists doing workshops. If you want a stall, want to send or bring promotional stuff or want to help out in any way get in touch with me immediately. It's going to be awesome, so don't miss out.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

festival, meets and blogs, oh my!

Woo hoo! The New British Comics blog has a nice little thing about my flickr collection of comics. They're putting together the second anthology, their books are available in English and Polish, and they are now being distibuted by
I also finally made it to the Travelling Man Comics evening and it was great to meet everyone, chat about comics and draw a 24 minute strip about a slug and a violin. If you're in the North East check it out, there are updates on the paperjam comics blog about when the meets are happening.
The International Friendship festival in Sunderland is taking place on the 4th and 5th of July, there will be comic stalls at it, along with other publishers and small press exhibitors. Please come along and support small press comics!

Sunday, 14 June 2009

DC adventures

I went to DC to exhibit some work at artomatic
Sunderland is twinned with Washington, so Sunderland council and Cohesion organised to send over a group of artists and I was one of the lucky ones that got to go.
Artomatic is held at buildings that are yet to be occupied, this year it is in a new development which has nine floors. That's a lot of space!
There are different food stalls, bars, performance areas, a shop and even a tattoo parlour in there.
We arrived two days before it opened to set up our work (which is a lot to accomplish in two days, but somehow it all came together) and stayed for the opening weekend and a few days after that to follow up business contacts we'd made.
I have 3 paintings and 3 canvas prints on show as well as 20 editioned comics. I sold one piece straight away which, obviously, I was super happy about.

Mary Peeppins

Artomatic is also showing the entries to this years Washington Posts Peep competition.

Bryan Talbot put me in touch with his friend Greg Bennett, who runs Big planet Comics in Georgetown ( and is involved with SPX (, and he's in a band - We talked about comics, he told me lots about DC and even showed me the steps they used in the Exorcist. I also met up with some members of the DC Conspiracy (, Evan Keeling and R.M.Rhodes. We exchanged comics and talked about making and distributing small press stuff. I got some good ideas, and we've agreed to keep in touch and share any useful information.
I also, almost, met Obama. He went to the Five Guys burger bar opposite our hotel, just as I was going in to starbucks. I got to see him heading out with his convoy of secret service scary cars. Here is a five guys cheeseburger, as favoured by Mr.President:

the Obama burger

I also came across this shark poster on the street:

street shark close up

These have been all over the internet the last few days because Jessica Alba has been hanging them up all over the place. I don't know if she put this one up, the main office of the charity she's supporting is in Virginia, so it was probably one of their people that put it up.

The white house

DC is an awesome city. It's a perfect place for total geeks, which is probably why I felt right at home there. There are tons of musuems and galleries which are all free. Even the zoo is free.
sea monster bones

I made it to the Natural history museum, which has a giant squid and some Meg jaws. Sweet. I also went to the botanical gardens, National museum of the American Indian (a day too late for their comic exhibition. Grr.), the Renwick Gallery, the aquarium (you have to pay for that, it's very small but they have some nice sharks and an alligator and some cute little newts),the air and space museum and lots of national monuments.
And, if museums aren't geeky enough,check out their metro stations:

metro station

You could launch a Viper out of that thing!

pencils for Monstrum Horrendum Book 2 (first page is the one on the right)

I'm working on Book 2 of Monstrum at the moment, I'm only a few pages in to pencilling. I'm aiming for a late September release in the hope that I'll make it to SPX and have some spangly new comics to hand out (I'm too late to get a stall). But, with all the other stuff I have going on at the moment it'll more likely be a November release. Hopefully I'll look back at this post in September and laugh to myself, "Oh, I finished it so quickly, I managed two extra issues as well. And a film adaptation."

pencils and script for Monstrum Horrendum Book 2

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Some Monstrum Horrendum feedback

Jon Edwards thoughts on Monstrum book 1.(click for larger image)

He's definiely right about Tintin, apart from the obvious adventures around the world theme, the underlying flat palette is based on colours found in Tintin comics.
You can buy it here, and let me know your thoughts on it.
Tomorrow I'm going to tell you all about my amazing DC adventures.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Review : Mega shark vs Giant Octopus

Okay. I watched it. Here's the review you've been waiting for. I'd warn you about the plot spoiler, but there isn't too much plot to spoil.

Mega shark vs Giant Octopus

Apparently this is something all scientists must face. A prehistoric shark and a giant octopus? I wish I'd been a scientist.
Mistakes come fast and thick in a film which was so low budget they couldn't even afford a continuity editor. Debbie Gibon's, sorry Gibson's, hand double wears nail varnish in a defiant act of asserting her individuality, while Gibsons hands (seemingly unable to do close up acting) remain bare.
The director seems very fond of some black and white filter which he used frequently to express a range of story elements, including lightening, seagulls, cut scenes and science. Yes, there was a filter to show science happening. Science also seems to consist of mixing coloured liquids in various glass decanters and making sad or happy faces depending on the colours.
The characters are so stereotypical that once the 'strong' female lead has been established you can spend the next few minutes trying to figure out who the love interest will be. Don't worry, you'll know straight away from the painfully prolonged eye contact and clumsy flirting.
And on to the monsters. The octopus is suitably wibbly around the tentacle area and seems to hate the Japanese. I guess they eat a lot of octopus there so it makes sense. Why a giant Octopus? Well, giant Squid are real so there's always the possiblity they'll sue for defamation of character. Okay, there is such a thing as a giant octopus, but it's much smaller than the thing in the movie and I don't think there were any around in the Miocene period to have had some kind of ongoing gang fued with the Megalodons.
The shark looks okay when he's launching himself out of the water, but seems to have some kind of skin disease and movement issue when submerged. Despite his enormous size he leaves no wake when near the surface, and generally breaks the laws of physics. But he takes a plane out of the sky and it's cool.
The main characters are as follows:
The feisty female lead who thinks she's a mermaid. Mermaids don't use subs, dumbass.
Her overly Irish Professor, who crashed a sub to avoid a pod of dolphins.
An overly Japanese scientist who talks nonsense and cried when he saw a dolphin caught in a net. Why are they all gay for dolphins? They deserve to get eaten by a shark or an octopus. But they don't.
The three scientist stereotypes have to work with 'the feds' at a place we are repeatedly told is called 'Treasure island'. The feds are concerned because it turns out that the monsters are actually very astute business creatures who have taken over the seas to control the movement of oil. A reference to Guantanamo bay and an Obama bumper sticker keep this movie refreshingly modern for fifteen minutes or so.
Thanks to some kind of half hearted ethical / environmental message they decide to let the creatures fight each other, because they are the last of their kind so people shouldn't kill them but it's okay if they kill each other. Their original plan is to trap them, without any thought of what they would then do with them. Obviously that was doomed to fail, but the fight plan works out okay (apart from some submarines full of people dying). So the oil is safe and Japanaese people can go back to eating sushi. hooray. However, they do cunningly set it up for sequels. I guess they're hoping to replicate the success of the Shark Attack series. Fools! It can't be done.
And the song at the end isn't even sung by Debbie Gibson. It's probably sung by her hand double.

To summarise: All the best bits are in the trailer.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

I'm back

my artwork

I'm back from DC. It was amazing! I got to meet some awesome comics people and work with some great artists. Will write all about it when I'm less jet lagged.

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