Monday, 26 February 2018

Full steam ahead

So yeah, seems the internet gods have read my previous post and nudged the artist in to gear. I'm now delighted to announce Get Woke is definitely happening and before the end of the year I will have an entire and compete Issue 1 ready to sell. Aaaawooooooooooooooooooooo!

Canadian artist Kevin McCullough got in touch over the weekend with a big fat show and tell of what he's been up to. He's set up a Google Drive area for uploading pages and art so we can see progress and work collaboratively to bring issue 1 to fruition. Happy days.

I'm not going to post too much progress in this blog as I need to keep some mystery surrounding the project but here's a sneak peak of some process for page 8 of the comic.

Marvelous work from Kev. Looking forward to seeing the comic develop.

Friday, 23 February 2018

The long wait

I've been holding off posting as I've been waiting for something really solid to show you regarding Get Woke. But with this wait I'm failing to deliver the whole adventure experience of making comics that this blog is supposed to be about. If you want to enjoy the highs, you've got to experience the lows.

Basically, I'm in total emotional agony (drama queen). After replying to a post on Reddit's Comic Book Collabs section from an artist hoping to connect with a writer and make some comic, I sent my script to said artist who liked what he read and we agreed to make (at least) issue 1 of Get Woke. All this happened roughly a month and a half ago.

It's now been 3 weeks since the last email from the artist in which he sent me a sample of the first page - check it out below.

Now, I love it. It's a great style that really suits the tone of the comic but all this has done has made be feel sick inside.

One page is a great start but the eternal pessimist in me needs to see just a couple more pages, including one involving the main characters, before I can completely accept that this project is going ahead. All I can do is worry that the whole thing is going to fall apart and that's completely unreasonable of me.

3 weeks is nothing in the grand scheme of comic making. Art takes time to do and I'm sure the Canadian based artist wants to get things looking just right. He has a full time job and 2 kids. I've only got one and I can barely find time to breathe. I know he's utilising a colourist friend from Indonesia, which involved a whole new level of complexity and communication. We're creating this comic across 3 different continents!

I refuse to email him because he rightly deserves the time he needs to do what he thinks is right. It would be uncool of me to pester him and I'm trying to forge a trust based relationship - and no one want s to team up with an asshole.

It's fucking killing me though. Thought you'd all like to know.

Friday, 9 February 2018

Sliced Quarterly Vol.2 Kickstarter

The Kickstarter campaign for the Sliced Quarterly volume 2 is nearing completion with just under a week to go. Editor Ken Reynolds has brought together a fantastic collection of stories, including my very own 2 pager The Passenger, written and drawn by me. With only £200 left to reach the target it's getting rather tense, so get your ass over to Kickstarter and help push this project over the finish line.

You can back the project by clicking this link.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Strange Romance 3

Apologies for the delay in posting anything. I've been busy writing the second issue of Get Woke and it seems that I can only find time to either draw or write, but not both. Meanwhile...

I have a two page story in the latest issue of Strange Romance, launched today on Comixology. Strange Romance is an annual anthology, edited and masterminded by Adam Prosser, who with 2 successful previous issues under his belt, has now launched a third. My lunatic love-story Made for Each Other concerns a young scientist who decides to build himself a girlfriend and was ably drawn by Canadian based artist Stephany Lien. Here's a sneak preview below.

This story actually paid a page rate for writers earning me a whopping £18.00. There's fewer finer feelings than being paid to make comics, so while retirement may be a just a dream at the moment, I'll take every penny I can get. You can download the digital version of Strange Romance 3 here.

Friday, 12 January 2018

Latest Update #5

I made almost as many posts on this blog in 2017 as I did in the previous 4 years combined! Hopefully that shows momentum and an upward trajectory, meaning 2018 is going to be a successful year in the world of comics.

  • Massive, massive news alert! I've found a fantastic artist who I will be working with to produce the first arc of Get Woke (and hopefully beyond). This will begin in the next few weeks so you can expect to see more pics posted on the blog as this slowly comes together. I'll do an in depth post on this soon but fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuccccccccccckkkkkkkkkkkkk yeeeeeeaaaaaaaaahhhhhh! This is beyond exciting! Must try and remain calm though. Breathe, breathe. It's still very early days and it could yet fall apart, hang it goes again...fuuuuuccccckingggg yeeeeeeeeeesssssssssssssss! The highs and lows of making comics are a drug I suggest everyone should take.
  • 'Made for Each Other' a 2 page story of mine set to appear in Strange Romance 3 this Valentine's Day. The digital version will be available via Comixology and they'll be a Kickstarter to get it printed somewhere down the line
  • 'Misery Business' a sweet little 1 page story for FutureQuake Press has been assigned an artist. Illustrating the script will be Jerome Canty, an artist with plenty of experience in the indie scene. Hopefully, this will completed in time to appear in FutureQuake 2018 - potentially on the back cover!
  • Biomekazoik have announced that they'll be ending the popular comic anthology 100% Biodegradable in 2018. Sad news as they had gained a good reputation for being solidly entertaining, so I'm delighted to have a 4 page story, 'Rumblebot Rampage' appearing in the comic before its demise.
  • Ken Reynolds, editor of Sliced Quarterly is putting together a Kickstarter that will contain 'The Passenger', which appeared in a previous issue of the comic. More info when launched.
  • Finally, I've had another 7 page story 'Mika and the Godheart' accepted by FutureQuake Press. No artist for this yet so it'll be at least 2019 before this goes to print.

So, as you can see, still very busy. The Get Woke news is exceptional but I'm trying not to get too excited as the road to comic creation is littered with the shattered dreams of writers who have teamed up with artists on the web. If this does work. 2018 is going to be amazing!

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Character concept sketches

While I'm still practising and learning to draw I thought I'd take a shot at one of the characters for Get Woke. I thought I'd focus on Bigfoot first as this character needs a body type that is physically different to the other characters, giving me almost a free run in making a character rather than being forced to stick to a body shape.

FYI: There's a serious potential development regarding Get Woke that, if it does happen, could be a total game-changer. Keep tuned and keep fingers crossed.

Turned out I was wrong. I need to finalise the look of the human characters first before drawing a fantasy based character. It was fun trying though.

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Imitation is the best form of art

So, these past two weeks, I've QUIT and RESTARTED my 'career' as a comic book illustrator several times over. Every time I sit down with the intention of drawing something good, within a few hours,  I'm snapping my pencils in disgust at my clear lack of talent. However, oddly enough,  being good at drawing isn't necessarily important when it comes to creating comics or art. It's just my own art snobbery that prevents me from accepting anything that I draw as competent and worthy.

My ultimate goal is to be able to draw my conspiracy based series, Get Woke, to a level where I wouldn't be embarrassed to show it to people. The script is very funny (which can help carry poor-average art) and conspiracy is so zeitgeist right now that I know it could be a hit. However, even the first issue, clocking in at 40 pages, is going to take me at the very least a year to draw! And that's if I can actually see it through until the end. 

Get Woke also features some of the most famous people of all time set in world renowned locations. It's a full-blown, giddy AF, international super-blockbuster of a series, with racing action scenes and visual gags galore. I couldn't have picked a harder story to try and draw. I do, however, have a plan...

Peppa Pig: looks like it's drawn by a five year old and is wildly successful. That's an extreme example but it proves good drawing isn't essential. My problem is that if I'm not drawing precise lines like Steve Dillon or Chris Weston I hate what I'm creating. These are amazing artists who spent years crafting their skills. I'll never be as good as these professional artists and that's something I need to accept, despite how fucking obvious it is.

What I need to do is get good at some more simplistic art. No less credit to the creators of Adventure Time, Powerpuff Girls, Dexter's Lab and cartoons of that ilke (it's all very purposefully simple and clever and very hard to get right) but if I can somehow copy these simple styles with flat colours and basic shapes, I believe I could evetually come to some sort of level of drawing I'd be happy with. I think it would suit the subject matter really well too.

Here's a load of reference pics for some of the other top kid's cartoons at the moment.

I have no doubt that, given tons of practice and some hard work, I can create something similar to one of the images above.

Thursday, 21 December 2017

The Fright Before Christmas

Here's a festive story I've been saving for Christmas time. The Fright Before Christmas appeared in the Back from the Depths 2010 Xmas Special SHOCKING CHILLERS! with art by Christopher Geary.

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Learning to Draw #1

I've been promoting this blog as a place where you can follow me as I "learn to draw". Apart from the occasional short comic strip or sketch I haven't really fulfilled this promise. Time to make amends!

I'm fortunate enough to know enough comic artists and editors that I can usually find a home for the short comic strips I have written. When it comes to securing an illustrator for longer projects, the only way you can be sure of getting a what you want is by paying for it. That's not currently an option for me and it sucks!

Writing a comic series takes a serious commitment. You're not just making ink appear on paper you're creating characters and worlds and pouring time and energy in to a story. A standard 4 issue mini series could be between 80-150 pages long. Pulling together a full art team of pencils, inks, colours and letters means a project of that size could easily cost at least £4000. That's enough to put you off writing longer series as what's the point if you can never afford to bring it to life.

Anyways, I could ramble like this for ages before showing you any art. I'll continue this conversation later in the Learning to Draw blog series as the drawings flow and I reveal my full deluded intentions.

Meanwhile, I been sketchin'...

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Killer Bytes now available on Comichaus

I've been  putting off launching my anthology for a long time. Taking the final steps and committing a version to print is a scary move as once it's been printed you can't make any changes should any errors appear. So, I've decided to do a soft launch of the digital version, which you can now read by signing up to the all new Comichaus app. Killer Bytes is a collection of 10 short comic stories, that's 34 pages of pure comic goodness written by Tim West.

I still fully intend to go for a 50-100 print run and take them to sell as physical copies at a few conventions. The 'Bytes' contained in the title does lend itself nicely to the digital format and I'm more than happy to just release this to the wild and get some feedback. But why Comichaus?

The Comichaus app, after a long time in development, was launched this week with full fanfare. I met the founder Pete Genepool at Thought Bubble this year and he came across as a very decent guy with an obvious passion for comics. Comichaus are promoting their new app as, 'The Netflix for Indie Comics', and you can sign up for a mere £3.00 per month to read as many comics as you want.

Taking a closer look at the comics on the app, I noticed that there were not actually that many there! Understandably, it was only launched this week and word takes time to get around. I'm sure there will be plenty more indie creators uploading their comics in the next few months as Comichaus splits any revenue with the creators depending on how often their comics are read.

It seemed the right time to add Killer Bytes to the app at this early stage. People are just starting to get involved and the limited number of comics means my anthology is less likely to get lost amongst all the other comics on offer. Hopefully it will earn a few pence as well!

So, get on over to Comichaus and join the revolution. While you're there, read my comic and give it 5 stars.