Happy New Year!
When I sat down to write this – my first New Statesman comic of 2014 – it struck me that there wasn’t a huge amount of viable news to process yet. I decided to use the recent UK floods as a way of transitioning from Christmas and my last comic into the new year and some of the discussion points January started with. So we’ve got some silliness, some pop culture commentary, and some bigger issues all floating past us in an underwater scene.
It was actually a lot tougher than I thought it would be to illustrate the underwater stuff successfully – partly due to having had a break I think. I’m a little out of practise. But I still wanted to start the year off with more playful compositions as that’s something I’d like to do more of this year if I can. Hopefully now I’m back from the Christmas break and made a start, I can pick up where I left off and keep trying to top last week’s comic.
Earlier in the year, I produced a one page comic about asylum seekers and refugees in the UK for the Thought Bubble anthology. It was related to my TB residency last year when I taught comics to the community at BAfR. The comic was called “Sanctuary”, and hopefully it wasn’t too much of a tonal shift from everything else in the TB anthology! I wrote a bit more about it here. But here’s a little preview:
Working on it made me want to produce a longer comic about the far right in this country. So when Matt Bors, comics editor at NSFW Magazine, asked if I wanted to pitch anything to their December issue, I went with this. It still tries to fit too much into a 5 page comic but I’m happy with a lot of how it turned out despite that.
In-between completing the comic and it going to print, NSFW Corp sold to Pando and the issue will now be published in the December issue of Pando Quarterly. I’ll be honest and say I have no idea what this means and I had no idea who Pando Daily were but there you go. I produced the comic for one company and it’s being published by another.
Here’s a preview of the first page:
I was asked to produce around 6-7 pages of comic art for each protagonist (written by the Butch & Sundance team) that act as informative story interludes and sometimes as prizes for getting further in the game. I also designed some of the UI elements.
This was a big project which I worked on over the summer and I’m glad to see it’s online and out there now. Proud of my work on it. You can play it here. Here’s a couple of screen-grabs of the game:
And here are the cover images I made for each story:
Here’s an illustration I produced for The Last Xmas – a single by Steve Blood. There was a specific narrative for the illustration in the brief as Steve is planning a tie-in comic to accompany the song in 2014.
The War on Christmas conversation crops up every year and it always strikes me as odd that anyone could seriously think Christmas was under threat.
This is for the Christmas double issue of the New Statesman so there won’t be a comic next week. Happy Festivus and see you in the new year!
It seemed like everyone was talking about inequality last week. Whether it was the Pope’s apostolic exhortation, Obama’s speech, the minimum wage protests in America, or even the debate over MPs 11% payrise, the idea of exclusion and economic disparity was on everyone’s minds it seems. Everyone, that is, but George Osborne – who continued to talk of austerity and cuts despite the UK starting to see some economic growth. Bah humbug.
The “Greed is Good” Tory call-to-arms Boris Johnson speech got a lot of column inches last week. It was almost (horrifyingly) refreshing to have Conservative ideals so honestly spoken aloud like that. I generally like to avoid doing my comic on something everyone has already commented on but I liked the idea of taking the Twilight Zone approach and pitching these elitist, divisive viewpoints as some sort of horrific sci-fi near future.
I enjoyed throwing a few references to classic sci-fi into this one. There are homages to the Colorado architecture from Sleeper, Logan’s Run jumpsuits, HAL, and even EVE from WALL-E.
Rob Ford’s such a gift to a topical comedian isn’t he? So much so that I’m not entirely sure he actually exists. I’m convinced that a team of Daily Show, SNL, and Colbert Report writers grew him in a lab somewhere. Thus, this comic was born.
I really enjoyed trying to do some Frankenstein/horror lighting and homage the Nosferatu staircase shot. I’d love to do more of this when I don’t have so many panels to fit in such a small area. It was a lot of fun to draw and colour.
The New Humanist has had a big redesign and switched from a bi-monthly publication to a larger, quarterly magazine. It’s got some great stuff in the new issue (published on November 21st) – you can find out more about that here.
I was commissioned to produce an illustration for an interview with Simon Singh. The interview covers his issues with homeopathy and his new book: The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets.
Here’s the illustration:
FIFTY! Taking into account a couple of double issues and conference issues this marks my first year contributing to the New Statesman. I’m extremely proud to be part of the magazine and proud of the work I’m doing there. Every week I feel like I’m getting closer to finding In The Frame’s voice and I’m happy with how the weekly routine is starting to feel like second nature. Thanks to everyone at the NS for all the hand-holding, proofing, editing, and support this past year. Fingers crossed ITF makes it to 100!
You can read the archived 50 here.
This week is all about the Lord Mayor’s banquet in which Cameron called for austerity from a golden lectern. Something most people would consider beyond parody. Challenge accepted.