Archives for the month of: November, 2014

CoverLadies, Gentlemen, and people of Non-binary Genders, I give unto you:

HARVEY SPIG in WHEN THE CIRCUS COMES TO TOWN

I am proud of this comic and I would be very grateful if you went and bought it. If you want a preview of it, you can read it here.

I have to go now, got a scary TV show to watch. Then I’m going to roll straight into the next project with Rob Jones.

He made me mention him, kept badgering me by text that I should write more about him. He wants me to write a novel about him. He wants me to live in his house. Robin Jones is deranged. He sent me this.

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IMG_20141004_112631[1]Check that out, its every page of Harvey Spig so far. I know the new one isn’t out yet, so saying this is a bit silly, but dude-bros prepare yourself for its special edition, which will be a great big oversized collection of all the issues so far, extra art, extra bits and commentary and stuff. It’ll be well good.
I also want to share a thing with you. I did this image for the Leamington Comic convention involving Harvey Spig riding a lion with a thompson machine gun and a perfect Manhattan. The Perfect Manhattan is the best kind of Manhattan by the way, my friend Sam Parker told me all about it. When drawing it I penciled it perfectly as such:

20141004_183452And then for some reason in the inking process I shat myself and did it totally wrong;

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What the fuck did I think I was doing? I obviously had never seen a lion before, or maybe had my brain scoured of all Lion related business, so I needed to fix it, and used an old ancient technique of glueing a square of printer paper over the top and just drawing it again.

20141004_185017 20141004_185406I got this idea watching Jim Mahfood drawing Marijuana man when he did that with Joe Casey and Ziggy Marley, and he drew a panel, didn’t like it, and just cut it out before mounting the page onto a new sheet of A3 and just drawing in the gap. What a guy. His art is always amazing, and I envy the casual way he splashes ink about and the curves and expression he packs into a page, man I love that stuff. I pick up anything of his when I see it, and his art books are worth getting.

Moving on, SOMEONE ELSE who cuts things out and glues them over the top of stuff is Madeleine Flores.

20141116_145652Here we are giving the Tumblr gang sign. Its called the Meh. She drew me a Batman, and again I love her style. Its so relaxed and has that smooth edge to everything. I also adore the way she draws women, the figure work in the Bee and Puppy Cat comic was divine, I got to watch her draw a Sailor Moon sketch and it blew me away. Basically; it was Thought Bubble the weekend before last and I spent a huge amount of money, and met some lovely people and got to see Jon Lock’s mustache in person.

20141115_125024Thats not his shield by the way, that belonged to a Captain America cosplayer with the most insane attention to detail. All of his equipment was period appropriate, and he had the lines to the Captain America War bonds speech on the back of his shield. I always find it weird meeting people whose comics I like because, ultimately, I pour praise on them like a true sycophant. I honestly believe that Afterlife Inc is one of those important comics that will explode in popularity and BBC four will have a TV show about in about 20 years. They’ll have me on as a talking head interview, drunk as a skunk shouting about how I got in on the ground level.

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There he is, the Captain America, along with a Brit-Cit judge and the Judge Death replica badge made for me by the wonderful team at Planet Replicas. Fun thing about that badge is that to comic fans its super cool, but to people I meet in the Street I look like the most morbid man on earth. I have a huge steel badge that says DEATH in capital letters on it. I did spend a lot of money on lots of fantastic comics that I took a picture of because everyone else on Instagram was doing it.

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It was the best one yet, and I had a great time. Do you guys know about Vince Hunt? He is a hero of mine in comics at the moment, his series, Red Mask From Mars, is fun, crazy and the sort of sci-fi madness we need more of in comics. Here is whewre, usually, I’d put a picture of his smiling be-bearded face, but I couldn’t find a picture of him anywhere. He is a pretty handsome guy.
Lets talk a bit more about the Red Mask From Mars: The eponymous mask is a small red face hugging alien that attaches itself to the face of astronaut and thrill seeking pugilist Doug Stewart, who uses his new found symbiotic relationship to fight off an invasion of Vampiric aliens and a gigantic squid monster. Vinnie has a dark sense of humor and when Doug dives out of a plane with a claw hammer in his hand to kill a giant monster you get that unique philosophy that’s packed into every element of the comic. Great characters, smooth dialogue and a personality to its art, its worth grabbing a copy of, which you can probably do here.

IMG_20141122_143656I think thats more or less me done for this post. I hope you enjoyed my waffle once again, and as a reward for getting this far down the post I will present to you the first three pages of Harvey Spig, which you can read on the condition you click the logo below and like my facebook page.

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Page 1

Page 2Page 3

I was sat on the sofa at my good Friend Joe’s house after a huge Japanese banquet at the Canterbury based restaurant Tamago (Which has a fucking Saki tasting menu. We got well balls drunk and I got confused about Song genres and called Foghead Shoegaze, because I thought it was a song by Slowdive, rather than a band that did a song called Slow Drive. Oh-ho-ho) when I turned to my other friend Christopher Moore (Who is a poet, blues musician and current in a Shoegaze duo) and said:

“Its unfair to every other band when Alt-J release an album, because no matter the quality it’ll be top of my albums of the year list”

And then I realised that the SEASON OF THE END OF YEAR LIST is upon us. Its almost the end of the god damn year of our Lord Two Thousand and Fourteen, which is quite frightening to me. I have two more months left, a full sixth of the year left, so there will be plenty of time for me to write things retrospectively capturing a period of time we all lived through, and also for me to enjoy the end of year treats that come my way, such as the Annual Charlie Brooker Screen Wipe, and I think we will be having a Black Mirror special this year too, so huzzah.

Throw up your limbs its Brookertime.

But I cannot help but compare myself this year to last year. It was about this time last year I threw down my Anti-depressants and decided to go it alone. I have been more or less a year unmedicated, meaning I probably could do medical testing now if I wanted, and it’ll be a year next Monday that I got the full tissue burn on my leg from a broken radiator on a coach. In the space between then and now I think the greatest thing I have learnt is to value to power of just being. Not happy or sad, but that rested place at their center where you simply are content. As a result I am the most stable I’ve been in years, I won’t say I’m the happiest I’ve been because there’s no happiness like that you get when you are wired up the arse on Anti-depressants.

Have I done everything I wanted to do? Is that the right question to ask?

I wanted to do a comic every month this year, and I haven’t done that by anyone’s standard. I’ve created probably 12 quick comics, but I’ve done 8 different comic book projects this year, four of which are yet to reach light but will be out before the end of the year. Eight comics is more than I did last year. Lots more, and I wanted to do more than two Harvey Spig comics this year, but again I just did two, but (Another BUT)   these ones I did do were much longer than their counter parts from last year, so perhaps its not the number of the individual comics but the page count. Maybe its the quality. Who cares I suppose.

Am I proud? You’re damn right I am.

Life did try to piss down my throat again at points of the year but I stood up and told it to get to fuck and kicked through to the other side. I have outright refused to be weighed down by the mini-avalanches that life throws at you (By the way as I wrote ‘mini-avalanche’ I thought of the “Song Avalanche in Apartment B” by Cold War Kids, that is just beautiful on so many levels and I think I GET the song after having listening to it countless times. Loyalty to Loyalty is one of my favourite albums of all time and would be one of the few I’d put into my own personal space probe to introduce humanity to the creatures from the great beyond. That particular song explores the idea of that sudden feeling of loneliness that can only be compared to being caught in an avalanche, coming home to a cold house that used to be filled with the warmth of someone now gone, or just the sudden chill of isolation, of remembering that theres something wrong. I used to get that all the time, when you’re out laughing in company and in the small breath just after the jokes faded some bastard voice in your ear whispers to you that everything is not right. Then; Avalanche.)

I don’t want to get all introspective, and I’m not doing to lie I don’t ever shut up about my personal life on Twitter, but you know I feel that if I’m happy to talk about all the shit that goes on in my mind the world might become more comfortable with discussing issues of mental health and we will all grow as people. Helping ourselves to get better is essential to fighting off the shapeless beast of mental disorder, at least I always found it to be, I was always improving best when I was making sure I was doing it for me (The reliance on the opinions of others and the need for their approval was the most damaging hang up I ever carried with me) but this is only possible with a strong support network, a network of friends and family and people who are there if you need them, who understand you are doing this for you, and then there’s the extended net of a society of people who should be able to say “Peoples problems are their own, and I am prepared to empathise with their condition”. Acceptance that people have their own shit helps everyone deal with their own thing. If we can talk about it, if we know people won’t point and laugh, we can get on with it better I suppose.

Psssh, Anyway,

Something that really bothers me is people using the word Random. “Oh you’re so random”. What the fuck does that mean? I think you’ll find I am meticulously planned.