Making use of this thing…

The Pandemic… Lockdown… it feels like it was an event horizon. It pulled a whole bunch of time toward it, stretching it, making it both vast and now weirdly disconnected and disorienting as we figure out how to go on.

In all that time it seemed like I was busy with other things, I seem to have just utterly failed to use this blog, this site, whether to update anything about my comics work of late, or to just post the occasional piece of art.

I need to change that.

Going forward, it would be good to use this thing not only for promoting work or the thing I’m currently working on, but to add process stuff and again, and maybe get back to doing some reviews of other peoples stuff.

But changes are afoot. The livery of my show stands has been pretty CONsistent for the last few years… with that clunky old b/w image of Harry from The Cthulhiad making my stand look like an old grainy silent movie cover on a shelf full of contemporary blue rays, laughs.

But this year I’m going to look at changing it up, to try and match the way my work output has changed…

The images above show the artwork for my new Con/Event Banners.

It’s odd, but I had a whole bunch of plans for my comics, first just before Brexit, then just before the Pandemic Lockdowns, both events unceremoniously brushed those plans off my drawing board and into the bin beside it… these plans may get revived at some point, but at this moment it’s not really worth going over.

Then, as happens, other things turned up. I’m not going to go into too much detail, but my work sort of diversified. No sooner did it seem that I decided to go full time in comics, and had started to build up a steady-ish stream of work and on going projects, things that I could showcase at Comic Cons and other events than the lockdowns seemed to close some of those doors. But as those doors creaked half-shut, occasionally banging against the doorframe, another set opened. Namely those into the world of TTRPG art. I’d been a fan of fantasy art since I first was able to buy my own books. And my early art output was definitely influenced by that genre. I’ve always kept a hand in, but this was a chance to really go for it and try to split my work down the middle.

On the one side, my expanding work in comics, mostly indie, mostly black and white, with a typically historical, 18th/19th century illustration influence, or with a focus on creatures/monsters, and other genre stuff.

On the other, full colour painted, fantasy art, whether as illustration for ttrpgs or as prints (and maybe somewhere further down the line even a high fantasy genre comic (check out lower down the post for more details on that).

All of this allowing me to lean into my love of fantasy art and characters that you can see in my Sketches From The Margin sketchbook (above), and in my supplement for DMsGuild (ad’ video below).

So, that’s that for this post… not much more than a regret that I haven’t posted more, a note on how my work output has split into two distinct types of work, and a tease that I might well be looking at writing a drawing something akin to a fantasy comic…

And on that note, some fantasy comic art in the wings…

…who knows? Maybe these will amount to more than just Half Of Something.

Hull & Bridlington Comic Con, plus Radio!

I was fortunate this year to be asked to speak live on Kofi Smiles‘* No Filter show @RadioHumberside about Comics and Social Media (if you missed it ) with Lee-Ann Williams from @HullComicCon and Artist/Illustrator Jemma Klein, which in turn led #IronShodApeComics being asked to guest at Hull Comic Con and later Bridlington Comic Con, which was great!

*Kofi’s a big fan of comics if you hadn’t guessed – check out his Comic Box Rumble podcast here.

So, I got to speak on panels at each Con’ (the stage at Brid Spa adding to the fun there) with the likes of Russ Payne, Russ Leach, JAKeAbbie Stabby, Lee Bradley and Rachael Smith, and of course meet a bunch of people* at both events, chatting about comics, art, art education and drawing etc, as well as selling a few comics and sketchbooks etc.

Hey, and if you are reading this and your the attendee who forgot to take their books away with you, please text me your address – you have my card – and I’ll post the signed books out to you, just put your name in the text okay. Cheers.

Anyway, you can find some links to my twitter threads from the day below. Hull Comic Con was an amazing Venue as it was partly held in Trinity Church, crazy.

And then at Bridlington… at the equally amazing Brid’ Spa.

(The photo above courtesy of Abbie Stabby, cheers – that’s her work in the foreground, go check out her work)

So thanks again to Steve, Lee-Ann and everyone involved at both venues, including all the volunteers who made it such a great day for everyone. I’d definitely love to part of next years events.