Thanks so much for re-tumbling those Hourly Comic Day strips I drew, I’m a little blown away by the response - those comics have been the most popular thing I’ve done in forever.
If you liked those strips then I have a book of autobio comics that are very similar to that called Ellerbisms.You can buy it from here! And because all you Tumblr users have been fucking so nice to me you can have 30% off the book if you use the code TUMBLR on checkout. Includes all the fancy editions so go wild.
Hey, I'm interested in becoming a comic artist and I love your work! I'd just like to know what pens/brushes you use to ink as your inked lines always look so smooth and perfect! Thanks!
Gosh what a nice thing to say, thanks li’l Deadpool-Guy.
I have forever used a Pentel Brush Pen. They’re mostly shitty but sometimes you can get a nice line out of them, a lot more talented people get a better consistency out of them than I do. I also use a mixture of Pitt Pens and Microns for detailed stuff like facial lines and clothing. Usually XS - F sizes. Pitt Pens are slightly better than Microns but I like to use both to keep from getting bored.
2013 was a real wonky year and one that I’ll look back on with a scrunched up face. Professionally speaking it was the rockiest year I’ve ever had and I wanted to take stock of it all because I dunno, this kind of thing can be good for the soul or whatever.
Going into 2013, things seemed to be heading in the right direction at least. In late 2012 I signed an option agreement with FremantleMedia to develop a Chloe Noonan live action TV series and also my debut graphic novel Ellerbisms had come out to quite a nice response. Things seemed to be going Quite Well, but because sometimes these things don’t work out, by March of 2013 the TV show was dead and the dream of financial security went with it. Which okay was a bit of a bummer.
Because the Chloe TV show was going to go off on a slightly different path to the comic I thought that maybe it would be best if I rebooted the comic and start again, so I put Chloe on hiatus while I pretty much reworked everything. That was a really dumb move as everything I wrote and thumbnailed for that reboot has gone in the proverbial bin as it was quite frankly a load of fucking rubbish. It’s for the best but it’s pretty frustrating when you’re working on something and you know deep down it’s not working the way you want it to but somehow you keep trying to turn it around, y’know just in case.
Chloe Noonan is my favourite comic I’ve done, I am the happiest when I’m drawing that world and to not have anything proper come out for nearly 18 months makes me really sad. If I have any regrets about 2013, the lack of more Chloe comics is up there. The positive to take away from this is that I now know what I want to do with the series and I am more determined than ever to stop “under performing” with it. I wanted to remind people that this comic still exists so put out a very short mini comic and I think it’s got some of my best drawings I’ve ever done in it, but the series deserves better than what I’ve done with it so far.
(And hey, all is not lost. I don’t think this will be the last shot that I have at a Chloe TV show. You still might get a chance to see the ginger-ninja moving about on a screen at some point)
I thought about quitting comics and illustration in the first half of the year as work seemed out of my grasp and I was struggling to justify putting so much time and energy into something I had no reward to show for it. The writing seemed to be on the wall and I had an awful run of luck at conventions and combine that with the TV show falling through my mind wasn’t in the best place and the negativity was creeping into my personal life. It wasn’t until the Ellerbisms book started turning a profit halfway through the year when it started to turn around as this also coincided with more work trickling through.
I got to fulfill one of my childhood ambitions; drawing for The Beano (whereas I’m not sure of the work I produced for it, I’m honoured to have 5 strips published by something that opened my eyes to the world of comics at a young age) Also freelance work came in so much that I had to reduce my hours at my day job in order to meet the demand of work. The tables at last seemed to turning (or nudging in the right direction, or at least thinking about nudging…)
I’m so grateful for everyone who picked up the Ellerbisms book throughout the year as looking back it seems that book and the response to it was the most important thing in keeping me going. Self publishing is a massive gamble, it’s one of the scariest things I’ve ever put myself through - I had endless nights of interrupted sleep worrying about margins and bleeds and paper GSM- but it seems to be have been worth the stress. It’s certainly done better than a book about my face should have done. Supporting artists you like isn’t an easy thing to do, especially in the climate we live in now, so the continued support of readers and retailers is not something I take for granted. I’ve been told many times that traditional publishers are running scared and aren’t willing to take a chance on new authors, so it’s brilliant to see readers and shops saying the complete opposite.
The year went from one extreme to the other and going into 2014 I have a lot of things to work out personally but professionally I’m very set on what I want to achieve. My comic output in 2013 was dire and there’s no excuse for that, I think I managed to draw less than 20 finished pages. My drawings are finally looking how I wanted them to look like all those years ago and I don’t want to come close to quitting again. If 2013 was the year of reassessing everything then 2014 is acting on fixing those mistakes.