I have a new comic that I cannot get finished. Since finishing book 2 of Monsters, i’ve dried up.

It’s really difficult getting anything finished. I still love comics, but this is the first time in 12 years where it’s not happening.

So for the moment i’m going to post sketchbook stuff, and it’s development.

I will also try to complete Tracks, as it’s a good story.

Hopefully in a couple of months I will be starting Monsters 3, and it will all flow again.

For the moment it’s good to take a few side routes.

If anyone is reading this and are worrying about there own  creative stall.

Don’t.

Take time out, you will be better for it when you start again.

 

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The past couple of months have been short on creative activity. A combination of convention and day job commitments have eaten up the time. To keep my hand in i’ve been using sketchbooks a lot more. Below are some recent page drawn during the trip to Angouleme. There is a lot of condensing ideas and scenery. I’m looking forward to working these up to finished pieces.

 

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I love this event. The organisers are so friendly, the event reflects this. I have been to quite a few now, and the response from people has always been so positive. This year I had to leave on the Sunday, day job commitment prevent me from completing the event. Still i had a great time, I arrived a few days early and got my sight seeing in before the event.

Rather than list all the things that happened I just want to say a big thank you to the organisers for asking me back. We first met in Bristol 2008, when Malta Comic Con was just an idea. Chris LG, Chris M, Fabio  talked about it, sounded good to me.

Now 6 years on they have an established convention, that attracts an international cast of exhibitors, audience, politicians, media etc.

Quite a scene.

I really needed a lift after recent conventions, a gradual slide can be read about in the previous Leeds TB post.

The commerce part of this years  Malta was on par with the year as whole for me. But I was less troubled about this, and took time out to look around at the event, and to see what it meant for the local people as exhibitors and audience.

There was a lot more than just comics, reminding me again what a tiny sliver of nerd culture I occupy. ( Middle age black and white navel gazing self publishing, anyone ?). There was a games room, packed all weekend, Cosplay competitions massively subscribed, table top gaming, workshops films etc.

Basically, it wasn’t about me.

I like this thought.

Making comics, attending conventions has become a linear thought process for me. How well did I sell How far am I progressing. This weekend was so much fun,  was reminded once again that wherever I travel cartoonist are a great bunch of people. The Malta crew are fans/creators and know what is needed to host a party. Friday was a meet and greet, wine canapés, introductions catching up with old friends. Saturday was Karaoke and late drinking. So many good conversations and laughs.

As  I said earlier, this is a general overview of my trip to Malta, click around the interweb can read more about it.

Sunday was a real downer, knowing that I had to leave in the afternoon, that there was unfinished business. I was supposed to be on a panel, but I bailed out,  a lame excuse about getting to the airport.

Like Leeds TB this felt like an event that was confident in it’s abilities. MCC is a brilliant event run by the lovely, amazing people. I thank you for looking after me and making me part of your experiences.

You’re the best :)

Here is a bunch of photos from my trip.

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It was a great weekend. Thought Bubble has developed into the best event in the Uk for comics. The organisation, atmosphere, guest and  general comicky goodness was stellar. Thanks to everyone involved for a great experience. Hopefully I will get the chance to exhibit next year.

I wanted to get the praise in first, because I need to blog a bit about my personal experience. This has nothing to do with the con, as I say personal stuff.  I had a terrible weekend for sales. Saturday was £60, Sunday was £5. That’s right, a fiver. I have suspected that my days as a self publisher, sales person were coming to a close, and recent events are repeating the same results.

I no longer sell.

There was new comics for Thought Bubble, prints. I even went to the trouble of building a display. I painted some watercolours to lure people in, engaged in conversation, hardly left my table. But the old magic has faded, i’m afraid.

It was a long journey home, and this morning was still quite painful. I’ve never packed away a table early on the second day, like 2pm early.

I don’t know what to do at the mo’.

I have Malta, then Angouleme. I have a new comic that is almost ready. But i’m starting to feel really self conscious and slightly embarrassed about it all. I suddenly feel out of place, date with everything. Maybe i’m too self reliant. Maybe I have become part of the furniture.

( Anyone that knows me this is just honest reflection, not a plea for sympathy )

I think my mechanical skills ( Drawing, writing ) have really improved. This is not an issue.

But the rest of it suddenly seems a bit, I dunno.

Stale perhaps.

Anyway, here is a page from the comic I didn’t get finished for Leeds. This will be finished, then it’s time to try something new.

Thanks for reading :)

Tracks spread

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