Archives for the month of: February, 2014

This looks like the sort of thing I used to draw, only better. Much Better. I used to be mad for drawing weird sorts of machines, but not so much now. May have to rectify that.

This video is by Cyriak, the youtube guy who used to explode Sheep. YOU KNOW THE ONE.

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I just drew something I don’t even UNDERSTAND.

I really hate it when that happens. I hope that when reading the comic in question there will be a point where you turn your head away and just think, what the fuck am I reading. I really hope that happens, because there have been many moments, moments of weakness of faith where I have thought, oh shit no one is going to like this. But does it really matter if everyone, as long as SOMEONE does?

All I know is that I got the message from Mr Perrins today that some Reviews of The Tree are coming up, which fills me with total fear. People don’t seem to get my art quite a lot of the time and it gets to me. Especially when put in comparison to the art of others. I don’t pretend to be anyone else. I don’t try to make my art look realistic, even, all I want is to portray a mood. Or something. I’m not sure, but I always get the shrugs and raised eyebrows. Which won’t stop me. But it puts one up me. *Shudder*

Moving on:

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My sister; the twitter lord and Blog knight has written ANOTHER play. Her first can be seen here.

I did the poster for it, and this will be put online in due course, but if you are in St Andrews, or for that matter Scotland, then turn up to the SAND New Drama festival they’re putting on, and if you wink and mention my name at the box office you’re ticket will be the exact same price as everyone else’s. THE EXACT SAME PRICE, isn’t that something.

Its something really close to her heart, and she puts a lot of passion and thought into her performances. She write and directs and casts and basically builds the productions from the ground up because she really gives a shit. This is her second Play she’s written and her third production. I’m so proud other I could BURST covering everyone with organs and filth and Beck albums.

So there you go.

BEHOLD: IN THIS POST I WILL TALK ABOUT MY SHORT COMIC THE TREE, IF YOU DON’T WANT TO READ MY WAFFLE, CLICK HERE AND YOU CAN JUST BUY IT!

Its been a while since I blogged anything, been throwing myself into my work a little because I’ve been feeling a little upset, just a little for no apparent reason. Also, I had a birthday which I was generally jolly for and had a great time, AND I had a trip to London to see The Room with Tommy Wiseau doing a Q&A which the unflappable Christopher R Moore wrote about here. I also wrote about it for Raconteur Magazine, but that is coming later. Because Chris answers to no man but himself, he’ll always be fastest off the draw, if you follow me. We also got drunk, played video games, and ate noodles.

Just if you’re worried about me, even though I am “allowed” to drink now what with Dryathlon being over, I’m still swearing away. It was just a special occasion, alright.

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I’ve also updated my portfolio with some cool stuff. Check it out!

Anyway, cutting to the chase, in January I finally released The Tree, a short little comic about a tree in a forest that has weird properties.

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Its only short, as I said, and it was designed as a small comic to have on the table at conventions and at gallery shows so people can pick something up on a budget. I know for a fact when I’m wandering about a con I’m hesitant to cough up £3 for a full colour comic, even though it might be fabulous and have stunning art and story, but I’ll pick up any old bollocks for £1. Its unfair and dumb, but its how I think a lot of people work. £1 is just chump change isn’t it? I’m very interested to hear your opinion on it, so comment if you have one. When it comes down to it, $1 is as cheap as I could make the digital version of it, because when you remove the publisher’s cut, then website’s cut, there is shit all left for me. If it were longer, say 10 pages long, I’d still have it in the Dollar area, because once you’ve got rid of those overheads, its all gravy. I would say I’m under pricing myself, but I like to give an affordable product to people who can enjoy it. Original art is expensive, comics should be for everyone, dawg.

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During the conceptual stages of The Tree it was going to be a stone on a hill, and it was going to go far more into the fake history of this rock and what it does. Other than that, the story was always going to be the way it is now. I am fascinated by modern mythology, local legends and that sort of thing. I wrote a comic once about a Black Fox that was the spirit of vengeance for abused animals and it’d hound the dreams of the perpetrators until they went mad or met a sticky end. That never went anywhere. I may have to change that. I wrote a piece of fiction once about The Witch Elm story from Worcestershire, and this is a continuation of that project. That sort of English heritage ghost story stuff hooked me as a kid and I’m keen to ruin all your lives with it now I’m an adult.

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Did a lot of over thinking though. I have a tendency to labor far too much on story details and layouts and all this when making my own comics, until I’ve built such a wall of concept on myself I’ll never get over it. Actions speak louder than ideas when it comes to comics, it seems, because if it stays in your head, it’ll always just be an idea. So I just did it, on a big drawing board on my knee in one sitting for about five or six hours just drawing comic and making notes on dialogue as I went, so it all fit together. Its drawn on really, really shitty paper with a black biro. I wanted to try something different, and paper choice is important when scanning stuff in. The cheap stuff I was using had its own recycled texture and really made the thing feel earthy.

Then I lost it. For a long time the original art went missing, say about a year, so I had to redraw it. Taking it seriously I struggled to remember it and did it in dipping ink pen on watercolour paper and it really just didn’t feel right. It was almost as if in those 6 hours in front of the TV, staying up with my sister who was visiting watching Practical Magic (you know the movie was Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock) I’d chanelled something that MADE my story for me. The comic making process was as eerie as my story. It wasn’t until I fished out my Reggae Reggae Cook Book to cook a chicken stew that I found the pages again, tucked inside. I’d used the hard back book to keep them flattened out because the paper was so thin.

I had to rewrite all the words too because the notes I’d made whilst drawing had got lost too. The project seemed to be sort of doomed, just like the other one I’d undertaken at the time for Stu Perrins (Which will be released soon) which actually got stolen from me. I scanned it into the PC, and added the words over the top and added some more earthy tones in the background, so that it seemed less stark. You can make anything as rough as you like, but you sort of have to acknowledge that it looks rough, if you follow me. If people think its accidental it just looks cheap. I remember the Loading Ready Run guys talking on their podcast many years ago about doing a sketch about a dodgy TV station, and dressing the set so it looked like them doing dodgy, and not just looking dodgy. Trying to be crap, instead of just BEING crap. I don’t ever want anything to look cheap. I’m a professional.

Its nice to have it out in the world. I’ve been thinking about Becky Cloonan’s Self Publish or Perish essay recently, and how that the excuse that no one will publish your stuff anymore is no longer valid for why you don’t release comics. If you keep shoving things out into people’s faces they’ll have to take notice of you eventually. Its like this blog. If I had one post on it, I might get a reader a month. When you hit a hundred, you get far more, because people read one thing by accident, and if they enjoyed it they’ll look for more and read everything. If you put a tonnage of comics into the world people will eventually find you. You build it and they will come. That isn’t at all what Becky Cloonan said in her Essay by the by, its just what I think; Don’t sit around waiting for someone to give you the world, just take it.

I think I’ll cover that somewhere else later though. It’d make an interesting blog post on its own.

Once again, thanks for reading.
Please buy the Tree, its only short, but its cheap and I am very proud of it.

Nick

Evening all,
Welcome to a very new blog post, within which I explain Hourly comics day. But first;

I finished Dryathlon, raising £50 for Cancer Research UK, so thanks to everyone who helped out with that. Upon finishing I feel much better actually. I feel thinner, and I feel less likely to just HAVE a drink. I could have tucked in last night, or had a bottle of wine with dinner, lord knows I have lots of booze in the house left over from Christmas, but I just don’t feel the need. I don’t know how long this enlightened state will last, but, lets hope its a while. Whilst I will be drinking in the future, I think I might cut down on the amount I do, and also think twice about doing it just because I’m bored. Often I’ll have a drink because I’ve got nothing else to do, instead, I’ll just have a cup of tea.

My tea consumption has gone through the fucking roof.

Anyway, I am debating whether or not to have a glass of wine now, and I might, I might not. I’m just so off the chain. I’ll probably just have a cup of tea.

NICH ANGELL, honorary space cadet and welcome guest at the International Gonzo Space Station has started the slow and steady marketing drum beat that’ll eventually cause my heart to vibrate out of my chest for 7String Volume 2. 7String is an amazing all ages (probably, little bit of blood but COME ON) graphic novel series set in a world where Music is magic. Each character is unique, each location amazing, and the rich plot is bubbling away, so with this volume, our eyes and mouths will melt like a Nazi in an Indiana Jones movie. Its a sort of Western-Manga mix, with superb colours, a fantastic sense of humour and I love it. I LOVE IT!
Its Saga with more Keytars.
Its Starwars with a guitar sword.
Its The Last Airbender with a Led Zeppelin CD.
Its Oscar’s Orchestra

Maybe less of the last one, but you get it.
Anyway, he’s released this Dark Knight Returns style teaser.

Check it out and try and solve it. I did.

Moving on. The 1st of February is Hourly comics day, which is pretty self explanatory. For every hour that you are awake you produce a comic. It could be a diary comic, it could be a one off amazing journey into surrealistic adventure, it might not be. I, for reasons that are far beyond me, probably because I didn’t realise it was Hourly Comics Day until I had woken up and checked twitter, I decided to walk you through my every day life. I work on a Saturday night, as you will learn, so the quality dips a bit there, but honestly, I don’t think that matters. As a unit, this serves as a look into how I live my life and life is sort of boring at times. Especially when the high-light of your hour is discussing Wes Anderson movies with a co-worker. I’m going to present them without commentary, and I hope you like them;

 

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Hourly Comics Day 9pm

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