A Mystery Comics Project.

I recently received a delivery of the print version of #TheMysteryOfTheWhirlyGig #comic I made for @BarnsleyMuseums during the lockdown summer of 2020 – a project that started out as a digital #interactivecomic to help those families who wished to still participate with the Elsecar Museum activities during lockdown and now continues as part of a full activity/educational pack sent out to similar families, so cheers to Sarah Taylor (thanks also to @HotMetalPress for a great print job) #comics #museums #education #elsecar
#CCSubtitles to the following video are available on YouTube.

The comic in both its internet experience and print versions includes not only the original ten part, 30+ page comics narrative, but also features puzzles and board game style interactive elements in which the reader/players can decide the routes the protagonists take as they move around in time and around the old site on which the Elsecar Heritage Centre us based. There are also “how to…” pages that look at making comics, board games, and how to make the principle object in the story in card, craft and making being an element that features heavily in the story for some of the characters. There was also the use of QR codes which where integrated into images of the technology the protagonists where using, but still allowed the reader to use a QR code reader to add an extra dimension including further historical information, read-along videos with staff, reenactment videos with actors in historical dress and even a “how to cook period food video”.

All in all, a challenging but great little comics project to work on.

The images above where some of the early character tests for the project, from which our protagonists where selected by a panel of young museum goers. One of the villains at the bottom even got to appear as cutout figures as part of an “Easter egg” hunt of sorts around the heritage centre itself.

…and this was the gang they selected and so our main protagonists.

Here you can see one of the devices I used to help convey Harry (a BSL, British Sign Language user)’s use of sign language. i.e a graphic of two hands making the sign for “sign language” attached to the “speech” balloon, the tail of which always points in his case, to his hands rather than his mouth.

Joe Hakim’s Culture Show appearance with Sean Azzopardi – 06/02/2020

Had fun the other night chatting on
Joe Hakim’s Culture Show on BBC Radio Humberside.

Joe invited Sean Azzopardi and myself onto the show to talk about comics.

Joe’s a great host and as he’s a fan of comics he asks insightful questions. We covered a range of comics related topics from the general attitude to comics in the UK and the US versus other parts of the world, the kind of work we find ourselves doing in comics and some process stuff, as well as some specific projects like Sean’s Sea Shepherd project, and my work so far on Pat Mill’s Space Warp.

Plus we mentioned that we’d decided to figure out what Hull has in terms of a local comics creating scene by setting up a Comics, Drink ‘n’ Draw night.

Over the last year Sean and I have been tabling together locally at some of the Indie and Craft markets since he moved up from London. It’s been interesting, as despite us both doing comics, our work is very different. Sean’s work is predominantly autobiographical work, whereas mine is… well, y‘know, monsters and occult detective stuff. Regardless it’s been great being able to hang out and chat to another comics creator, meet up for a cuppa, discuss work (and 70’s rock, laughs) and even pop over to hang out at his studio in Old Town (at HUB-A) every now and again.

It was with that social aspect for comics creators in mind (let’s face it, a lot of us spend most of our time on our own at the drawing board working late into the night/morning) that we began discussing ways to encourage more local comics people come out into the light to talk to each other. And with that Hull Independent Comics Creatives (HICC) was born. It has its own Twitter feed now >HERE<, and we were promoting the idea by putting a HICC label on our respective local comic event stands. It may well be revived or reincarnated in another form at some point. All of which then led into us trying out the idea of the Hull Comics Drink and Draw event at one of old town’s arts friendly bars, The Brain Jar. We’ll see how that goes I guess.

Anyway, you should go check out Sean’s work over at his PhatComics website or on Twitter @seanazz. He has an exhibition of his Sea Shepherd work running over the next couple of months (Feb – April), Sea Shepherd @ ArtLink and a bunch of great books to check out over at his online store.

If you like those, go check out Sean’s Patreon too.

You can also find a link to Joe’s Radio show >HERE<, and his Twitter feed @joehakim


Digital Debut – The Cthulhiad/Severed Head Cult

So, one of the big plans for this year (2019) is to get things in place to allow more readers access to the comic books and art I make, and have been making over the last few years. As part of that I’ve put one of the early books on the digital comics portal Comichaus.

The Cthulhiad - SeveredHeadCult - p16

Severed Head Cult sees Harry, one of The Cthulhiad’s primary protagonists, in a flashback to Copenhagen, on the hunt for one of his colleagues and the creature that they were both tracking. It’s a horror/mystery comic about Occult Detectives/Monster Hunters pulling together the threads of several mysteries that seem to point to a cataclysmic event on the horizon, meanwhile, elsewhere in the UK a Police Detective working with a specials crimes unit has had Harry pop up on his radar in conjunction with some threads of his own.

To celebrate going digital, I added a reworked cover (below) using some of the interior art and adding (for the first time) a little colour.


I hope to get the other books up on Comichaus soon whilst working on the new books (and other as yet unannounced comics projects) this year.

Meanwhile you can find a review of the book over on the Comichaus site – HERE

The Cthulhiad is an ongoing book series Volume 1 of which should culminate with the completion of the next two books, Theogony (The Lance, Book 3) and Voices (a working title). The whole series weighs in at around 300 pages to date, and there is still plenty of story to tell.

Keep up to speed with stuff I’m working on by following me on Twitter @hesir, and Instagram @AKAhesir