It was at the end of April, 2010, aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship on the way from Florida to the UK that I first put pencil to paper to start drawing Insurrection. It was a strange end to an amazing year of travelling the world, which we did without flying. I could write a lot more about the benefits of travelling the world by land and sea, how you get to see the shift of landscapes and cultures, sometimes gradual, often sharp as a mountain range or a border cuts through more than just the countryside. Suffice to say that this was the last part – returning home on a cruise ship on what’s known as a re-positioning cruise. Essentially a cut price cruise that takes the ship onward to a more profitable route.
Just before boarding the cruise ship we’d been staying in a hostel in Fort Lauderdale and I’d dragged my other half on a last minute quest to get some paper to start work on the comic whilst we were at sea. I had romantic visions of returning to the UK and steamrolling out this great idea of a comic, one that I’d scripted the previous April in a hostel in Helsinki (the core idea is much older). This turned into a bit more a struggle due to how spaced out everything was in Florida, and how poor the bus network seemed to be. I had visions of idling time away in the cabin, or in the bar of the ship wistfully crafting my new comic. This was how I’d spent time the previous November when we’d crossed the top part of the Pacific on board a cargo ship. Not this time though – I’d completely under-estimated how passenger life aboard a cruise ship would be a non-stop barrage of supposed entertainment. Every time I tried to sit down somewhere a game of bingo would begin, or a show.
The cabin had a tiny desk with no windows (it was the cheapest of cabins) it was there, with a sense of adventure and perhaps homesickness, that I started to draw a tube train snaking through the blackness of night time London.
Since then progress on the comic has been… slower… than anticipated thanks to many changes in my life, and the comic itself has evolved away from that initial script and the thumbnail sketches drawn whilst travelling through China. It has grown and I’m proud of it, hopefully this year will see the next issue published, but the first putting of pencil to paper to define the start of the comic began there. Eight years ago in the middle of the Atlantic.
Thanks to all those who came down to Meersbrook Hall last Sunday. I had a great afternoon in the glorious weather, and the tours around the hall were packed all day long! As usual (a good thing!) I met loads of interesting people and had a good time talking over the ideas of the comic with them.
Also as a memento of the day, I’ve been featured in this week’s Sheffield Telegraph.
Here’s what it looks like it print:
I also got a chance to tell people about the exciting workshop I’ve got coming up in November, more details to come!
I’m very pleased to say that I’ll have a table at an upcoming event at Sheffield’s Meersbrook Hall on Sunday the 11th of September. Come and say hello!
Meersbrook Hall is a great place with a long heritage and notable former life as home of The Ruskin Collection, now residing in the Sheffield’s Millennium Gallery. I could write another post about the connections of the arts and crafts movement, John Ruskin, William Morris and Edward Carpenter, all people who have an influence on my comic – suffice to say here that I’m very pleased to be there!
The hall has had quite a turbulent time recently, with the council recently pulling out of it – but thankfully the newly formed Friends of Meersbrook Hall have stepped in. This should give a new lease of life – if you come down, do have a look around it.
The event is also part of the larger Ruskin in Sheffield, and also the Year of Making which is running throughout Sheffield. See the flyer attached and also these links:
Friends of Meersbrook Hall
Ruskin in Sheffield
Just ordered another print run to take with me to this year’s Thought Bubble . If you’re going (and I recommend you do – it’s great) please stop by and say hello, I’ll be in New Dock Hall at table 187 – which is to the right at the back as you go in. I’ve highlighted my table in the plan below, which comes from here
Hi, as the post title suggests, Insurrection in now available to buy in Leeds from two fantastic shops; OK Comics and Travelling Man!
These are both great stores with a huge variety on comic books, I have spent many a lunch break perusing their shelves.
Of course if you’re not in Leeds you can always buy it from the online shop or if you’re in or around Sheffield the Sheffield Space Centre and Rare and Racy.
PS. Thanks to all who came to the Zine Fest, it was great to meet you all.
Once again, I’ll be at this years Sheffield Zine Fest! Held annually in Sheffield’s Electric Works (just by the train and bus stations) this is a great small press event, with tables offering a diverse array of work, full of home made goodness. This’ll be the first event I’ll be selling issue #2 at so if you’re in or near Sheffield on March 14th come along and say hello.
Yes! Issue #2 is now available! It’s been a long slog to get this issue ready, which has many life changing events for me (babies house-moving etc.) but undeterred Insurrection has always stayed with me and has once again borne fruit!
We pick up the story of Matt – a changed Matt – and follow a tale of his normal life, but can Matt continue to live that life. Has his experience at the protest and after changed him for ever?
This issue is dear to my heart as it’s directly influenced by my time living in London and its highs and lows. This issue has a cadence to it, the rhythm of a busy life, but one being interrupted and questioned.
It’s also the longest issue so far and comes with the usual soundtrack suggestions and commentaries. You can buy it from the store here, or via the Comicsy store here.
For those who have missed the previous issues, you can also buy a special bundle deal of the others here.
I live in Sheffield, if you’re nearby and would like to avoid postage charges, drop me a message and we’ll sort something out.
I hope you enjoy the issue and I’m already at work on the issue #3!
It’s been a busy time for me recently for lots of reasons, but most importantly, I’ve been gadding about in the North of England at a couple of events.
Firstly The Lakes Comic Art Festival! I had a great couple of days up in Kendal, it was really nice to meet and mingle with other comic creators and the atmosphere was very welcoming. I certainly appreciated the volunteers who came round offering coffee and fruit!
It’s always good to chat to people about the comic and something I’m always struck by is how people share there own stories of dissent with me. With a story like mine, i.e. not full of superheroes or set in imagined lands, it seems to garner interest from people who have either had brushes with the Government on protests or live counter-culture lifestyles. It’s great to meet you and your life stories have definitely had an impact on the direction I’m taking with the story. I mention this as part of The Lake festival because the Comic Clock Tower (where I was) had free entry. This meant that a lot of curious people, not necessarily comics fans, came in to have a nose around, so you got a great cross-section of people.
A personal highlight for me was having a cheat with Joost Swarte when he came over and browsed my table. One of the downsides of manning a table is being unable to see any of the talks, and I’d been hoping to catch his, but this meant I still got to meet the great man!
Secondly, Thought Bubble in Leeds. This was the second time I’ve done TB, I was there in 2012 – and it’s grown so much! I was alone manning my table this year so barely caught sliver of what I would have liked, but it was soo huge I don’t think I’d have been able to anyway. Great time though – perhaps too great a time at the convention party as my head was pounding the next day! There are two festival highlights; the misty morning arrival by water taxi.
And also catching the first night’s performance of The Wood Beneath the World at Leeds Town Hall. Written by my friend John Hunter (see his piece about his involvement here). It’s playing up until Christmas and is well worth a visit.
Oh, and in other news, the long-awaited Issue #2 is almost here! It’s definitely true this time and no long delays, in fact here’s a section of the cover as proof:
I’ll keep you posted!
As the early stages of my promo push surrounding the new issue of Insurrection due soon (previews to come) I’ve (finally) set up a store front for Insurrection. No longer is it a convention or Sheffield comic shop exclusive! You can either use the link at the top of the page or go here. Happy Shopping!
I’ve also set up a Comicsy store for them too!
If anyone experiences issues with either of these, please drop me a line and I’ll do my best to sort it out.
I’ve got a table at The Lakes International Comic Art Festival which runs from the 17th – 19th of October. I’ll be part of the Comics Clock Tower, alongside a raft of great British comic talent, take a look at the site to find out who (I’m on this page).
I hope to see you there!