Polaroids From Other Lives 2

vol2 coverJust a quick reminder for anyone who missed the change-over, that I’m now posting over at www.cutebutsad.co.uk and you can find Badger as a web comic and details of my newest print comic, Polaroids From Other Lives Volume 2.

I look forward to seeing you there.

Badger’s New Home

Badger's New Home

Badger has a new home!  I’ll be abandoning this site soon as I’ve now updated the main Cute But Sad website so it will work as a web comic.  Please can you update all your links to point there instead of here and you’ll be able to catch up with Badger every Tuesday.  See you at the new site!

Badger and Howard’s College fund needs your help!

Well, it’s my birthday on Monday and I got a couple of bits and pieces through the post this morning. They weren’t presents, but they were both very welcome. The first was a letter saying I’m finally at the top of the waiting list for the Adult ADHD assessment service at the Maudsley Hospital and the second was the Unconditional Offer from Camberwell College of Art. Awesome stuff, both of them, but it means I’ve now got to find the money to pay for the course. Since some of you kind people have been asking for ideas for birthday presents for me, how about this, which was Cazz/Fred’s idea: you chip in to help me buy a year in college? That way, when anyone asks what you bought me for my birthday, you can say, “I bought Howard his future success and happiness.”

Well, if that floats your boat, then here’s the paypal button that would help save my soul:


Howard and Badger’s College Fund!

Thank you!

That aside, I’m hoping to be able to launch the web comic of Badger next week. The artwork’s ready, I’m just hassling my techie friend to set it all up for me because I know as much about computers as Badger does.
Here’s a thought, though – some of the story will take place in Badger’s adulthood and that, of course, means he’ll be wandering around in London and doing things in Brockley. What I might just do is let people sponsor the story and in return, you’d get a cameo appearance in the comic, like Erin, Nicola and David did in the book or you could sponsor a location to appear in it. I’m not talking anything like product placement, more that if you really want to see Badger wandering on his own outside Tate Modern, for instance, then you could donate a little bit of money and know you were giving the lonely little badger somewhere to go. Obviously, he’s very unlikely to have fun, make friends or form any meaningful relationship with anyone or anything, but still, we can try.
Anyway, I’m rambling on a little bit, I’m hoping you’re still reading and will be ready for Badger’s story to start both right at the beginning and also pick up from where his book left off. I’ll keep you posted, of course, when he’s moved to his new home.
Thanks!

The London MCM Expo

Free Hugs

Free Hugs is a bit creepy.


 

Cosplay BingoSo, this weekend’s been the London MCM Expo, where comics, computer games, anime, manga and cosplay all descended on the ExCeL centre in East London. I don’t think I’ve been a part of a busier event! Yesterday was frantic; we barely had time to play Cosplay Bingo (luckily, it was exceptionally easy to get close to a full house, thanks to there being so many cosplayers out) and we sold out of copies of Badger by the early afternoon. I’ll have to order some more from the printers now, I think! We also sold quite a few badges and framed art from Badger, as well as quite a few comics, but we really missed a trick with not having more toys on the table for people to buy. I’m hoping that by this time next year, I’ll have come up with more than a few awesome plush wonders for people to have.
The Comics/Anime village was lovely, if a little swamped by the noise from all the other stuff going on. It’s hard to work out what shy people are saying when there’s screaming cosplayers, panel debates and computer games nearby. That said, we managed fine and everyone was lovely whenever I admitted I’d no idea what they’d said, or when I had to show off my scar to answer why I wasn’t doing sketches for people. The staples were annoying me, catching on my clothes and the edge of the table. I’m really looking forward to them being taken out of my arm soon.
I got to talk to so many people whose work I adore, in particular, it was great to get to talk to the lovely lady who wrote Prick and to tell her how sad the stories in there made me with the brutal woodland philosophy of love, death and the sorry fate of a cucumber. She’s wonderful and so is her work, so hunt it down if you’ve not seen it already.
It wasn’t until this afternoon that I plucked up the courage to go and talk to one of my absolute idols in the comics world, Nick Abadzis, the creator of Laika. I bought a poster that he signed and it’s already up on the wall. I adore his work, the level of detail that goes into the script, the way it’s so obviously a labour of love and the wonderful way it’s all constructed to move towards the only part of the story we all really feel we know, that shadow making the whole book all the more heart-breaking.
Much to my surprise, he and I got talking and I did the totally sad thing of showing him my portfolio. He made some really positive and constructive comments about it, which has given me an incredible boost and just five minutes chatting with him has given me a lot of useful insight into the industry that I’ve been struggling to work out on my own. I’ve got a lot to learn, I realise that, but when people you idolise say they like your work and that it’s really worth pushing yourself to carry on, then it makes it all seem far more worthwhile.
I’ve got one hell of a To Do list at the moment and I’m glad that there’s a little break before the next comics event (the London Underground Comics event at the 176 Gallery next month) because it gives me a bit of breathing space to try to get my house in order. I’ve had quite a lot to reflect on this weekend, about the industry, about how I need an identifiable brand and style, how I’ve published some things in a bit of a hurry and how much I’d like to slow it down a bit and be able to put a little more care and love into what I produce so I can really keep pushing myself to produce better and better work.
That said, I’m coming to realise that these crises of confidence where I sit there and contemplate just giving up and that I should go and get a job stacking shelves where I’d have more money than selling comics, these little blips that feel like nadirs, are actually a really important part of the creative process for me. I think it’s making me realise that I do make a choice to keep doing this and that it’s important to me and that I do gain something from it all that actually matters to me.
And then, from nowhere, I started drawing something I never thought I would – more of Badger’s story. I need to sort out my website first, my web shop, my stock of stuff to sell and everything like that, but I’m pleased to sneakily announce that I’m working on a prequel to the book that I made last year. Badger broke your heart? Wait until you see him growing up.
Fingers crossed I can work out a way of putting it online in a format that works well. Be prepared for a few plaintive twitter messages as I get stuck working out how to do it and I’m sure I’ll throw my ergonomic keyboard out of the window a few times before I have an online portfolio, but I can promise you all now:
There’s more to come from badger and, hopefully, it’ll come soon.
What a good weekend, eh?

Malmo.

Mural

It’s finished now.  I could carry on tinkering with it, but I’m satisfied that it’s at a good stage where I can happily stop.  It’s been a fascinating experience to do this project, full of technical challenges to get the colour onto the wall, transferring from sketchbook to something this scale, not dribbling ink everywhere and also bearing in mind that it’s a commission, so it’s only part what I want, part what I’m being paid to do.  The guy whose wall I was painting on was very clear that the project was for me to be exploring what I would do with something this scale, so I knew I had to go with what I do and not to try too hard to re-shape myself in an attempt to please.  I think the result looks and feels like it’s very clearly my own work.

There’s a lot of really interesting projects coming my way at the moment; I’m looking forward to having a stall at the MCM Comics Expo in a week or so at the Excel centre in East London, I’m drawing comics for a couple of musicians, which is a really interesting collaborative way of working and I’m really looking forward to see how that works out.

Before all that, though, tomorrow I have surgery on my arm to correct the trapped nerve that’s been causing me so many troubles over the last year.  I really, really hope it works.

Malm Mural

Photos now up in a set, here: http://ping.fm/FUTiL

It’s been a really interesting experience working on this, the first time I’ve had a chance to do something this scale. In all, it’s about three metres long by almost two tall. Used up pretty much all the ink I have ever owned, a gallon of black acrylic and has mashed several of my painting tools in the process as the wall’s a little rougher than would have been ideal, but I think I’m satisfied that it’s been worth doing. The guy who it’s for hasn’t seen it yet, so it might well all end up being whitewashed over very soon, so enjoy the photos, they may be all that’s left!

Eagle Awards

Awards are silly, but just in case they are your thing, the nominations for the 2008 Eagle Awards are now open. Badger would count as a British Black and White comic, but I’m assuming that the winning entry is somewhat unlikely to have come from the small presses when it’s a popularity contest, so I’m not going to be hugely offended if you choose to vote for something where death rays burn the world and then it’s saved at the last moment by a time travelling man in lycra.

Go vote yourselves silly, people!

I’ve no idea who I’m voting for, other than people I know and like, I just can’t remember what was published when!