Draw The Line coverage

Draw The Line logo by Karrie Fransman

There’s been quite a bit of press on the launch of Draw The Line, which has really helped spread the word. Some of the more notable examples:

  • Broken Frontier were nice enough to let me natter on at length
  • Forbidden Planet's piece brought us lots of visitors
  • Standard Issue's Jo Neary, who was one of the Draw The Line artists, interviewed me too
  • Our aims obviously chimed very well with Positive News and they’ve been tweeting out the images as well as covering us in this piece

Thanks also to everyone who is sharing Draw The Line on social media — it’s been great to see the images get such wide coverage. As a reminder,they’re all covered under a Creative Commons licence, which means that anyone is welcome to share them on their own website or elsewhere, so long as the artist is credited and the use is non-commercial.

We’re also on pretty much every social media channel ourselves, so if you’d like to see the images at a steady pace of a couple per day, you can follow Draw The Line on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram.

I’ve already shared my own work for Draw The Line so here are a couple more that I really like (although in truth, it is hard to pick: I am fond of so many of them).

Image by Nicholas Sputnik MillerImage by Nicholas Sputnik Miller


Image by Karen Rubins
Image by Karen Rubins

And of course you can see all the rest at www.drawthelinecomics.com.

Draw The Line is live: 120+ artists show positive political actions that anyone can take

As you may remember, back in October, I went for a run and came back with a glimmer of an idea.

Remind me not to go running again: that little seed grew into a project that has taken up every spare moment since then. But today, most of the hard work is over. Today we launch Draw The Line.

Draw The Line

It’s been astonishing to watch, as what I’d conceived as a modest small press project blossomed, and more and more comic artists came on board (139 of them at the final count). Every single one of them is a superstar in my books, but it’s perhaps worth mentioning the bigger names, just to underline how the project grew so much bigger than I’d imagined. So, look out for work by Rachael Ball, Hannah Berry, Kate Charlesworth, Hunt Emerson, Kate Evans, Karrie Fransman, James Harvey, Lucy Knisley, Dave McKean, Fumio Obata, and Nye Wright among many, many other equally deserving but less-known comic artists.

What’s it all about?

The project was a reaction to the nasty politics that is prevalent right now — politics that is leaving ordinary people feeling hopeless, voiceless and powerless. The original aim has stood fast through the project, even as this large group of comic artists worked together to brainstorm the content: every action would show a way to make things a little better, to get your voice heard, to counter the negatives in the current political environment, or to offer support where government is whipping it away.

Draw The Line logo by Karrie Fransman

Each artist was allocated a single action to draw (some took 2), and then came the fun part, as image after image flooded my inbox. Some artists interpreted the brief in a surprising way, some chose to draw a single image, others went for a full-page comic strip, and every one showed thought, attention and intelligence in the way that they translated the action into something visual.

At launch, what do we have? I hope, a toolkit for political action that is also immense fun to dip into. We’ve arranged the actions so that there are ones kids can take, ones you can take if you’re skint, ones that will help women, refugees, minorities, and many many more.

Many of the actions are, of course, obvious: everyone knows how to sign a petition or wear a badge — these will serve as a reminder. Some of them, like the Raging Grannies, were new to me, and a real delight to discover.

Finally, the Next Steps page is where the real action is: that’s where we link out to the many organisations doing solid work in these areas, to learn how you can support or even join them.

On a personal level, I have something too: a new network of comics friends and associates; an understanding of how simple (if time-consuming) it is to devise and actualise a project like this; and something approaching optimism, thanks to this concrete proof that there are many others who feel the way that I do.

Share it around

Please do tell everyone you know, via your blog, social media, email and in the street. we’d love this project to reach everyone who needs it. And, after a little break, we’ll be moving onto phase two, which is to see how we can create Draw The Line in book form.

If you’d like to follow Draw The Line elsewhere, we have a Facebook page, a Tumblr, an Instagram account and a Twitter feed.

Many thanks to my co-administrators:

Karrie Fransman
Graeme McGregor
Simon Russell
Zara Slattery
Martin Wright

And now, since this is my blog, I’m going to share the two pieces I drew. If you’d like to see everyone else’s work, of course, you’ll have to visit the Draw The Line site. :)

Eschew the New by Myfanwy Tristram, from the Draw The Line comic project at www.drawthelinecomics.com
Buy second hand. You’ll be benefiting a charity if it’s from a thrift store, or helping out the seller if you buy direct. Either way, you’ll be circumventing big business and shrinking your carbon footprint.

Go Cross Country by Myfanwy Nixon, from the Draw The Line comic project at www.drawthelinecomics.com

Taking fewer flights can be a reward in itself, if you take time to enjoy the journey as well as the destination. Work in some extra time to go by train, boat, bus, bicycle, or a combination of all the above.

My #HourlyComicDay 2017 in full

Myfanwy Tristram Hourly Comic Day 2017 www.myfanwytristram.com

I’ve been absolutely up to my neck in the Draw The Line project (comic artists drawing positive political actions that anyone can take), but when Hourly Comic Day rolled around, I couldn’t bear the thought of not taking part.

I’ve participated for the past three years, and the concept chimes very well with my tendency towards diary-based comics. This year though, I’d be in Leeds with work, for an all-day meeting that would neither allow for the luxury of regular drawings and uploads, nor provide very interesting or varied content. So I cheated slightly, and completed my hourlies on the Saturday beforehand.

As with every year, it was slightly stressful and time-consuming, and I ended up feeling a bit unhappy about sharing rough work. But also as with every year, I believe that the narrative supersedes the quality of the drawing in the end.

Anyway, awkward preamble over, here’s my Hourly Comic Day. Click any of the images to see them at a larger size.

If I have time, I hope to do my usual round-up post of other people’s too, but it might not be as quick off the mark as it usually is.

Myfanwy Tristram Hourly Comic Day 2017 www.myfanwytristram.com

Myfanwy Tristram Hourly Comic Day 2017 www.myfanwytristram.com

Myfanwy Tristram Hourly Comic Day 2017 www.myfanwytristram.com

Myfanwy Tristram Hourly Comic Day 2017 www.myfanwytristram.com

Myfanwy Tristram Hourly Comic Day 2017 www.myfanwytristram.com

Myfanwy Tristram Hourly Comic Day 2017 www.myfanwytristram.com

Myfanwy Tristram Hourly Comic Day 2017 www.myfanwytristram.com

Myfanwy Tristram Hourly Comic Day 2017 www.myfanwytristram.com

Myfanwy Tristram Hourly Comic Day 2017 www.myfanwytristram.com

Myfanwy Tristram Hourly Comic Day 2017 www.myfanwytristram.com

Myfanwy Tristram Hourly Comic Day 2017 www.myfanwytristram.com

Myfanwy Tristram Hourly Comic Day 2017 www.myfanwytristram.com

Myfanwy Tristram Hourly Comic Day 2017 www.myfanwytristram.com

Myfanwy Tristram Hourly Comic Day 2017 www.myfanwytristram.com

Myfanwy Tristram Hourly Comic Day 2017 www.myfanwytristram.com

Myfanwy Tristram Hourly Comic Day 2017 www.myfanwytristram.com

Myfanwy Tristram Hourly Comic Day 2017 www.myfanwytristram.com

Myfanwy Tristram Hourly Comic Day 2017 www.myfanwytristram.com

Myfanwy Tristram Hourly Comic Day 2017 www.myfanwytristram.com

Myfanwy Tristram Hourly Comic Day 2017 www.myfanwytristram.com

Myfanwy Tristram Hourly Comic Day 2017 www.myfanwytristram.com

Myfanwy Tristram Hourly Comic Day 2017 www.myfanwytristram.com

Myfanwy Tristram Hourly Comic Day 2017 www.myfanwytristram.com

Myfanwy Tristram Hourly Comic Day 2017 www.myfanwytristram.com

Myfanwy Tristram Hourly Comic Day 2017 www.myfanwytristram.com

Myfanwy Tristram Hourly Comic Day 2017 www.myfanwytristram.com

Well, that escalated quickly

Three weeks ago I had an idea for a collaborative comic book that would bring a few artists together to depict positive actions that anyone can take when faced with hard political times.

I suppose I imagined nine or ten of my comics friends jumping on board. If I was lucky, I thought, some of the bigger small press fish might get involved. We might do a little good.

Fast forward to the present moment, and we have 130 artists signed up. Thanks to the daisychain effect, where my contacts have other contacts who have more contacts, some of them are very big fish indeed. The past few weeks have passed in a blur of Facebook posts, spreadsheets, emailing and copy writing.

We have a committee (thanks so much for all your help, Graeme, Zara, Karrie). We have a new plan: an online presence first, then the book.

The artists all received their briefs this week. Matching them together turned out to be a labour of love: originally, the plan had been to do it entirely randomly, but it soon became evident that the variety of style and the diversity of actions meant that we’d get much better results making our selections manually. Some artists have told me they are thrilled with their picks. That is a very nice feeling.

So, that’s where we are now. Hopefully there’s a bit of breathing space before the submissions start coming in and we have to get them uploaded to our brand new website.

Except that — oh yes, I allocated an action to myself. I’d better get drawing.

What can I do? Collating a comic book for hard political times

what-can-i-do by Myfanwy Tristram

Over the past few days, I’ve seen a lot of my friends, here in the UK, and around the world, reacting with shock to the US election. For liberal-leaning folk on this side of the pond, their messages have a ring of familiarity.

“I’m scared for the poor, the marginalised, the oppressed”, “These values are not my values” and “We have to organise, take action” — these are all sentiments that UK citizens have already seen two times around: once with the election of our Conservative government and once after the Brexit referendum.

Well, here’s an something we can do. I’m crowd-sourcing ideas for concrete actions anyone can take when the prevailing political atmosphere is one they don’t agree with. They can be small, simple actions like putting a poster in your window, or bigger ones like volunteering for a cause that needs your help — or even standing for election.

At the same time I am collecting comic artists together who will illustrate these actions. We’ll create a week-by-week action plan for anyone who feels lost as to how they can make a difference in these times.

How you can get involved

There are several ways to get involved. We’re discussing logistics on this Facebook group (apologies to those who hate Facebook, but there’s no denying it makes this sort of project a lot easier).

If you’re a comic artist

Please add your name to this spreadsheet if you’d like to be considered for inclusion. A small committee of artists will ensure a uniform quality to the project by helping me assess the applicants.

If your application is successful, I’ll be contacting you between 5 and 11 December to let you know what text you are illustrating, and to give details of proportions, colour requirements etc.

All artists will retain copyright of their own work and will of course be credited in the book. We’ll also cost up the project to ensure that you get at least one copy of the final book for yourself.

If you would like to contribute ideas for actions

We’re brainstorming ideas on this document – feel free to add more. The kind of actions we are looking for are:

a) Universal: they can be applied by anyone, no matter where they live.

b) Non-partisan: yes, we happen to be living in a time where power is leaning to the right. But if you can look at your action and see how it could be applicable even if the political situation were reversed, then it’s particularly suitable for inclusion.

In short, this will be a book about how to take action against inequality, unfairness, poverty, hate, and discrimination, no matter where or how it arises.

If you would like to support the project

Hold tight. We’ll be launching it as a Kickstarter once we’ve got all the logistics bolted down, and I will of course be sharing details here as soon as they are ready.

See you at Thought Bubble

Thought Bubble

Things are moving much too fast at the moment: I need to tell you about so many recent events. First though, let me remind you about the massive comics festival Thought Bubble, next weekend in Leeds.

If you’re planning on coming, do drop into the New Dock Hall, where you’ll find me and Zara on table 96a:

dockmapfinal-719x1024

Here are your instructions:

  1. Go to cashpoint. Take out lots of lovely comics dosh (yes, BRING CASH – most stalls won’t have card facilities)
  2. Take out a bit more. You know you’ll always come across that one comic you really wish you still had money for :)
  3. Proceed to New Dock Hall. Follow the nice yellow dotted line that I’ve helpfully added above, direct to table 96a.
  4. Look for these faces (you may need to add further bags under the eyes and some heavy yawning for total accuracy, given the rate and intensity of the past couple of weeks…!):

Myfanwy Tristramzara slattery

5. Engage chat facility while browsing our selection of lovely comics, postcards, posters and stickers. Buy them all (optional but highly recommended).

6. Check out all the other wonderful comic makers in the hall. Here are my top picks for this room (but there are also plenty I haven’t come across before and I’ll be enjoying exploring them too):

  • Felt Mistress Monsters made of felt and Jonathan Edwards Amazing illustrations. Table 140
  • Joe Decie Fellow Brightonian and subtly surreal comic artist. Table 123
  • Katriona Chapman Delicate comics about travel and gentle pleasures. Table 160
  • Lucy Bellwood Stateside boat enthusiast whose recent interview on Make It Then Tell Everybody had me astonished at so much comics wisdom being contained within one so (as it turns out) young. You should listen to that. (It’s possible I’m being stupid but I can’t actually see what table Lucy will be on – however I’m sure it will be findable)
  • And of course that very Dan Berry himself. Table 122
  • Phillipa Rice Paper cutout comics and more. Table 126b
  • Jade Sarson Recent winner of the Myriad first graphic novel prize. Table 61
  • Wobbly Rock Next door to us! Large scale, intricate comics. Table 97
  • Hanna-Pirita Lehkonen Thanks to my recent visitors I have a whole list of recommended Finnish comic artists to share, and that’s another post — but I have already gobbled up Hanna-Pirita’s wonderful Immortal Nerd web comic and will be hightailing it to table 68 at the first opportunity.

7. Go home and enjoy reading all the lovely, lovely comics you bought.

See you next weekend!

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It’s really really soon now, you guys

Woah, those Finns are arriving pretty soon!

In case you’re not sure what I’m talking about, you might like to catch up on the history of my madcap idea to bring two complete strangers over to the UK to sleep on my sofa and talk about comics — hopefully to an audience, which is of course where you come in.

You can see Siiri Viljakka and Lauri Tuomi-Nikula speaking at four events in Brighton, London and Hastings, next week.

I’m pretty sure these are going to be the best Finnish-comic-and-FOI-related events ever held in the UK (and possibly the only ones) so I’d advise you to grab a ticket while you can.

See you at the Lakes – & I’ll have a new comic with me

featured-image-by-myfanwy-tristram

It’s not long now until my compadre in comics, Zara Slattery, and I hop onto a train to make the long journey to the Lakes International Comics Art Festival. If you’re in the area, I hope you’ll come and see us.

lakes-map

Here’s a map of the Clocktower building (click to see bigger) — we’ll be on the ground floor, not far from the entrance. And here’s a very large photo of my face so that you can recognise me.

I’ll be selling comics I’ve mentioned on here before: Two Birds, Everything My 10-year-Old Daughter Wore In November, and Salon of Rejects, plus postcards and stickers. All being well, I’ll also have Hello World, a brand new comic about Instagram.

If you follow me on Instagram itself, you’ll have seen some of the drawing process and, far more challenging, the cutting, sticking, unsticking and resticking that ensued when it dawned on me that a comic about Instagram could only really have one format: it needed to be a vertical scroll. Cue lots of rough print-outs and mock copies in various configurations.

hello-world-workings-by-myfanwy-tristram

hello-world-artwork-by-myfanwy-tristram

hello-world-mockup-by-myfanwy-tristram

This proved to be a more difficult printing job than I’d anticipated. Fortunately, Rich at Comic Printing UK was far more patient than he needed to be for such a small print run, and after several emails back and forth we hatched a plan which means it won’t be impossibly expensive to produce (partly because it is to be printed in three parts, which I’ll be gluing together myself) — and therefore, crucially, won’t need an impossibly high price tag either.

While I’m talking technical stuff, this is also the first comic I photographed rather than scanning: you may remember my recent blog post when I compared the results of the two methods and how scanning negatively impacted some of the pencil crayon drawings.

The comic deals with a mobile phone app and was shot via a mobile phone camera: how’s that for consistency? Maybe I should pretend it was all part of a high-concept plan.

 

We did it! Finnish cartoonists incoming

The crowdfunder to bring the Finnish cartoonists over to the UK was successful. Thanks so much to everyone who donated or helped spread the word — every tweet, email and penny helped. We launched the campaign at 13:53 on Thursday, and actually hit target on Friday at 16:17, which was a much speedier result than I dared to anticipate!

I’ve been in touch with Siiri and Lauri and they are delighted. In fact, we basically exchanged emails which read as variations of “Wooooooarrrghhhh!”.

We’ll be consolidating all the plans over the next couple of weeks, and contacting anyone who qualifies for one of the rewards.

The crowdfunding page is still active, for a couple of reasons. First, the final donation came from the Hastings Cartoon Festival, and was paid directly. Secondly, I’ll be happy to raise a bit extra just to cover any fluctuations in flights and train prices, and if there’s still some left over, we can use it to fund food and drink at the events.

Now, if you want to see Siiri and Lauri speak, which of course you do, here are the penciled-in dates. Once we’ve had absolute confirmation regarding travel arrangements and venues, I’ll advertise these again, with links to proper event pages, but for now it’s probably looking like this:

Monday 24 October – Cartoon County in Brighton

Tuesday 25 October – Citizen Beta in London

Wednesday 26 October – Gosh Comics in London

Thursday 27 October – Cartoon festival in Hastings
Image by Siiri Viljakka and Lauri Tuomi-Nikula

Help me do one of the strangest things I’ve ever done

siiri-and-lauri - image by Siiri Viljakka

Bear with me while I introduce this story, because it needs a bit of explanation. It’s worth it, though! It has everything, well, if by everything you mean Finnish people, cartoons, and crazy ideas of international collaboration.

For, much to my surprise, I find myself fundraising, with the aim of bringing two Finnish people to the UK. <- Click there if you don’t want to read the whole back story, because that’s the important bit. But read on if you want to see some lovely comics.

A crazy idea is born

As regular readers will know, I have an interesting job with a charity named mySociety. One of the areas in which we work is Freedom of Information – that’s the concept that we all have the right to ask for information from the authorities that govern us.

Now, for those people outside a small group of enthusiasts — many of whom I work with or know through my job — the phrase ‘Freedom of Information’ is almost guaranteed to provoke a blank stare, and possibly even a sudden desire to nap.

But there is an interesting side to FOI. Several, in fact. I tried to capture some of that in the sketch diary I created when we ran an FOI conference at work.

One interesting aspect of FOI is that someone had to invent it. And that person was Anders Chydenius, a Finnish priest, and he did it exactly 250 years ago. Which is why I found myself Googling to see how other countries were celebrating this landmark year — we at mySociety wanted to mark the anniversary, so I was looking around for ideas.

And what did I find?

A comic book, that’s what I found.

Not the only one

Now, bear in mind that when I was making my sketch diary, I was convinced I must be the only person in the world to have ever married comics and FOI. But no! Here were two others who had done exactly the same.

Before I knew what I was doing (and I mean that literally; I have never appreciated the full weight of that phrase before) I had located the comic artists on Facebook and written them a note, along the lines of:

Oh hey, you have no idea who I am but I saw your comic and I work for a charity that’s big on FOI and I was just wondering… I don’t have any funding or anything… but IF, just IF I was able to get some, would you consider coming to the UK to talk to some friendly comics and FOI type people?

Ever since then, we’ve been writing back and forth and we’ve formulated a plan.

The plan

We’d like Siiri and Lauri (for those are their names) to come over to the UK in the week beginning 23 October. Being easy-going types, they would *rather* sleep on the sofas of comic creating people than stay in a hotel, so that keeps costs down.

I have agreement for them to speak at four events: at the Cartoon County group I attend here in Brighton; at a similar group in Hastings, at Gosh Comics, the wonderful indie comics shop in London’s Soho, and at Citizen Beta, which is where people doing mySociety-type work meet for fun times.

The promo comic

To accompany our fundraising guide, I asked Lauri and Siiri to make me a short video clip. rather fantastically, they came back and said that they thought a comic would be more suitable. They were right, of course!

Here’s what they sent me:

myfcomicpage1

myfcomicpage2

myfcomicpage3

 

myfcomicpage4try2smollmyfcomicpage5

myfcomicpage6

 

That just makes me want to meet them all the more!

So, that’s basically it. Now for the big request.

If you can donate, please do so here: https://www.gofundme.com/FinnishComicFOI

If you can’t donate, please help by sharing the campaign everywhere you can.

THANK YOU!!!

 

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Scanning pencil crayon drawings

rats-drawn-in-pencil-crayon-by-myfanwy-tristram-scan-showing-errors

I know I’ve been quiet on here lately, but that’s not because I’m not drawing.

In fact I’ve been drawing quite a bit, between a weekly life drawing class, comic stuff, and even a visit to the museum to sketch with my daughter. I just haven’t managed to blog about it.

I’ve nearly finished my latest comic, which I’m hoping to have ready for sale at the Lakes and Thought Bubble festivals. (By the way, you can see all the other wonderful comics people we’ll be sharing a hall with at Thought Bubble, here.)

While I normally do my comics in inks or watercolour, for some reason I blithely drew this one in pencil crayons, without a moment’s thought about how well it would scan in and print out. That may have been a little foolish, especially given that scanning is always my nemesis.

It turns out that pencil crayons scan horribly. You get all the harsh contrasts and none of the subtleties.

Fortunately, though, after some Googling, I have a couple of plans up my sleeve. First – I might just photograph the images. It turns out that the camera on my phone is pretty good – the resulting pictures certainly look better than the scans.

For example, compare this photo:

wild dogs drawn in pencil crayon by Myfanwy Tristram - photo

With the scanned version:

wild dogs drawn in pencil crayon by Myfanwy Tristram - scanned showing errors

Urk!

Other images are slightly less alarming, but you can certainly see a difference:

rats drawn in pencil crayon by Myfanwy Tristram - photo

Above, photo; below, scan:

rats-drawn-in-pencil-crayon-by-myfanwy-tristram-scan-showing-errors

Second, I read that covering the images with transparent cellophane or acetate can help deflect the light. If the photos don’t work out, I’ll try that.

I’ll let you all know when I’ve finally beaten the reproduction issues into submission and these comics are ready – and of course, any that don’t sell at the comics fairs will be available via my online shop.

Meanwhile, if you’re curious to see some more of the work in progress, you can visit my Instagram account. You might have to pick through pictures of my cats and various flea market finds, but there are plenty of drawings too, promise.

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Come to Comica

Comics best thing ever Sticker by Myf Tristram

Don’t forget that it’s London’s comics festival, Comica, on Saturday.

I’ll be at the Comiket Market with my pal Zara, selling our comics:

  • Two Birds, our joint compendium
  • Everything My Ten-Year-old Daughter Wore in November, my collection of daily clothes drawings
  • If you are quick (I don’t have many left), Salon of Rejects, the anthology of non-winning Cape/Comica/Observer strips
  • Zara has a fantastic new comic out, Don’t Call Me A Tomboy
  • We’ll also have postcards and stickers, yay! Some of these are brand new designs, which I haven’t even put in my shop yet (and some are reprints of previous designs). I will add them to my shop, but probably not until after Comica.

Stickers

(available as a pack of 3):

comics literally the best sticker by Myf TristramComics best thing ever Sticker by Myf Tristramcomics totes count sticker by Myf Tristram

Postcards

yay comics postcard by Myfanwy Tristram

swimmers postcard by Myfanwy Tristram

girls rock postcard by Myfanwy Tristram

girls rule postcard by Myfanwy Tristram

booner postcard by myfanwy tristram

tins postcard by myfanwy tristram

iggy postcard by myfanwy tristram

muesli mountain postcard by Myfanwy Tristram

Hope to see you there. Swing by for a chat, even if you don’t buy anything: we’ll still be happy to meet you. :D

(But if you do want to buy, remember to bring plenty of cash: most sellers, including us, won’t have card payment facilities).

Rooooooadtriiiiip! (Or, where you can buy our comics this year)

A few months ago, my compadre in comics Zara Slattery suggested to me that we apply for a stall at a comic festival or two.

“Hm”, I said, “Maybe we should start off with something local and low-risk.” Seemed to make perfect sense for two creators just dipping their toes into the world of self-published comics.

So I’m not quite sure how we’ve ended up with a schedule that takes in FOUR festivals, from our hometown in Brighton (safe, sensible) to the far away Lake District (reckless, budget-blitzing).

The good news for YOU is that there are four opportunities to buy our comics in person, to get them signed, or just to hang out and have a wee chat.  And the good news for Zara and I is that we get to put our friendship to the test by sharing transport, accommodation, and festival tables for several days.  Ehh, I’m sure we’ll be fine.

So, come and see us at…

Comica, London

14 May

House of Illustration, Granary Square, near King’s Cross station

ComicaComica coincides with the penultimate day of the Comix Creatrix exhibition showcasing 100 great female comic artists, so there’s potential for a really excellent day out.

Central to the Comica festival is the Comiket, a market of delicious coooomiiiics. Bring lots of cash and a big bag to put your treasures in – not least, Two Birds, the Salon of Rejects and my Clovember comic.

Brighton Illustration Fair

29 May

One Church, Gloucester Place

Brighton Illustrators' fairWell, actually, only Zara will be at the Brighton Illustration Fair, because I foolishly booked our family holiday before the dates were announced.

She’ll be selling Two Birds, her own work (and, if I manage to impose on her good nature) Salon of Rejects and my Clovember comic.

She’s there for the Sunday only — however, BiF is such a good event (and this year features amazing guests like Luke Pearson of Hilda fame) that I highly recommend getting the two-day ticket.

The Lakes International Comic Art Festival

14-16 October

Kendal, Cumbria

lakes festivalWe’ve watched with envy in previous years, as all our Twitter comics heroes take the long road to the Lakes — well, now it’s our turn to join them.

This is Zara’s home turf as well, so expect her to slip seamlessly into the local accent, while I run around cooing at the beauty of our surroundings.

Thought Bubble

5-6 November

Leeds

Thought Bubble

Last year I hoofed it up to Thought Bubble at short notice, because I’d been lucky enough to win a prize in the comic art competition. This year, my winning strip will be in the official festival anthology, so you might like to get your mitts on one of those, as well as swinging by our stall to buy all our other comics.. and see how Zara and I are holding up, friendship-wise.

Or get in early

That’s it! Busy schedule! Hope to see you at one or more of these events… and if you want to make sure you get one of our comics before we sell out, remember you can buy them online here.

I am actually looking at them now and wondering, in the light of all the above, whether we should have done bigger print runs…

 

What I said at Gosh Comics

The launch for Salon of Rejects last night was really fun. Thanks so much to Gosh Comics for hosting it, and for all the people that came out on a chilly Wednesday night. Since the pessimist in me was expecting an audience of two people and a pet dog, I was really delighted to see that it was standing room only (I expect the people standing up weren’t quite as delighted).

Here are the slides I presented, if you’re interested to see them. They don’t make much sense without the words to accompany them, though, so you can see those here.

Thank you very much to Tom Plant for putting the comic together, to Michael Lomon for organising the event, and to my co-speaker Sarah Ushurhe. You can buy a copy of Salon of Rejects at Gosh Comics or online here.

The night was part of the Process series, a monthly event where artists talk about how they make comics.

It was rather nice to realise that the Salon of Rejects project initially came about because of my habit of collecting together people’s entries to the Cape/Comica/Observer graphic short story contest: a really good result.

 

Two Birds released; plus, Salon of Rejects event

It’s been months in the planning, but Two Birds is now a reality, and you can buy it online here.

A 40-page collaboration between me and Zara Slattery, Two Birds contains 15 full-colour strips.

If you enjoy the work I publish here on this blog, here’s your chance to own it for yourself – nicely collected together in print form (and here’s a shout-out for Comic Printing UK, who brought this glossy booklet into the world).

Zara’s work shares many of my own sensibilities but reflects her own beautiful, lyrical style. We think our strips go together rather nicely.

And why ‘Two Birds’ for a title? Because that’s what we are. Two chirpy birds.

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Salon of Rejects event

Also – don’t forget that I’ll be at Gosh Comics in London this Wednesday night, along with three other creators who contributed to the Salon of Rejects comic.

I’ve put together a really fun talk and overall I think it’s going to be an interesting event – consider yourself invited!

Salon of Rejects comic

Building a ship with 50 Shades of Grey: when life imitates art

50 shades ship by Myfanwy Tristram

Here’s a funny thing. In 2013, my entry for the Comica/Cape/Observer Graphic Short Story competition pivoted around a charity shop worker who built a ship out of surplus donations.

Those surplus donations were mainly copies of the book Fifty Shades of Grey.

The whole thing came from my imagination. And yet… fast forward a couple of years to this morning, when I scroll through Twitter over breakfast, only to see:

Mashable: 50 Shades of Grey fort

Is it just me, or is that a bit of a coincidence?

You can read the news story here. And my original strip is at the foot of this post, if you’d like to see how on earth I included this unlikely extremely probable concept.

Salon of Rejects – London launch event

Salon of Rejects comic

Hooray – I’ll be one of the ‘Salon of Rejects’ cartoonists speaking at Gosh Comics in London on April 6.

Come along! Drink booze! Look at drawings! Hear me deliver a flawless presentation on the state of modern-day cartooning and my position therein*.

If you are a Facebook user, you can signal your intention to attend on this page.

If, on the other hand, you despise Mark Zuckerberg and all he stands for, just let me know that you intend to come, and I’ll sneak you onto the invite list from the back end.

Oh yes, and don’t forget that you can buy your copy of this beautiful comic here.

 

*Disclaimer: presentation may not be flawless.

Salon of Rejects: grab your copy now

Salon of Rejects comic

Ooh look, what have we here? A lovely, shiny high-quality comic with one of my strips in it, that’s what.

It’s a sumptuous, perfect bound 28-page comic featuring cartoons by six creators, including me.

Buy it here!

Why ‘Salon of Rejects’? Because these are all entries to the prestigious Cape/Comica/Observer Graphic Short Story contest that didn’t scoop that top prize.

Or.. er, any prize.

But we still think they’re pretty fab. So, like the artists rejected from the Paris Salon, we’ve cocked a snook at the establishment and set up our own display. And now it can be yours!

In this volume you’ll find four-page cartoons by:

Huge thanks to Tom Plant, whose idea it was, and who did all the donkey work in getting it printed (via the ace Comic Printing UK, who are patient and helpful and recommended).

So, buy it online now. I also hope to be selling it – and the project I’m currently working on with my mate and AMAZING illustrator Zara Slattery – at a couple of comic fairs this year.