Monday, 5 September 2011

Domestic Bliss...The Magnum Graphic Opus!

Today, I have gathered some aims. First off, I write this in mind of the lovely people out there who have purchased a copy of Domestic Bliss...we were all left with quite a cliff hanger! 

Will Bliss survive through her first few hair raising hurdles now that she has been left alone in the dark wild forest with nothing but fence-hopping amidst urban back gardens as her credential? She can be quick yes...but we hope not dead. What of the Hobnobs?...How can they cope without their cat in that big modern city? Will they be able to face their dark past now they don't have their pet for distraction?

When I produced the first episode of Domestic Bliss, it was quite high octane, as I was continuing pretty much straight from my M.A. which was intense. I had ignored some other very important things happening in my life, so that I could get the first episode done and flying, life's beginning to peel together somewhat, and only now do I get the benefit of hindsight. I had some confidence and pacing issues last winter, and unnecessary urgency which was destroying my relationship with the characters and the whole project. I had shifted studios and the many shifts took their toll more than expected. It is my first graphic novel, and a joy to learn about how one tackles all the different aspects of its creation let alone the marketing side.

It would be a good idea for me to explain some aims...I was a little myopic during it's launch which I forgive myself for. Vision sees it as unfolding; it's a case of getting the ball rolling and I had kind of imagined a bit of a recession of energies after Hatching the series. This has become a pattern; creations move around on the stove from front burner to back, because once new, it is quite vulnerable and I don't yet have appropriate objectivity. In the meantime I was able to Hatch a more matured project like OUCH!

My mission statement was that Bliss be a pleasure to create in my own time, and to tide over those gaps where one finds ones self in the freelance world ((Insert: 07.01.2012) this may change, though at this stage I won't predict). That has certainly been the case during this summers journey's with her. I might have found that honeymoon feel again. I aim to focus on pages for the next trailer through the winter, which will then involve collaboration. (My aims of getting episode 2 done by now have gone deep down the pan). I am considering a mixture of publishing options for the next one...perhaps print on demand for a while until I get the third...then fourth rolling etc, etc...they can then be priced a little more cheaply too, ((Insert: 07.01.2012) I predict that there will be between 5-7 episodes in total). The beauty of comics is their versatility and freedom. It has become a tendency of mine to work in seven year should all turn into a large snowball, and...ROLL!

(As part of her extended launch phase) she is going to get some decent exposure now that a collection of four of the artworks including the front cover has just been published in The Association of Illustrators Annual catalogue: Images 35.

To see all pictures at their larger original size, click on the image once for the light-box.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Summer songs

Well, besides a lovely summer of getting my life into gear, I have had only a little time in between, to do my creative work, which I hope to remedy now that Autumn is in the air.

Days that I have managed to steel away to create have been spent in my new work space. A shed in the back garden (thanks for help from my father). 

I like to call it a "Chalet" of's very exciting...a sort of 'Summer House' with a little veranda that you might imagine Huckleberry Finn to be sitting on in a rocking chair...(a bit older though, with a Jack Daniels and perhaps a guitar)...(and a fag). Inside, I aimed to keep furnishings minimal, so it kind of looks like a nunnery/school room, it feels quite colonial. 
It is a massive 2 by 2 meter square inside, and just the right size for my small table, a good chair, my old gas heater from the last, but one studio (Roger, you know them well), a nice rug, and lastly, a favourite framed original etching of mine from childhood, hung beautifully on it's own upon the white gloss walls. A green stain on the wood has made up for it's 'shed' look.
Andrew and I needed to re-sew a lot of grass which is now growing; much like my vigour.

Here is the table and my drawing board, and here she is at night...a little glowing light.
No more cellar (the place I have used to work in for some years on and off), goodbye depths, and hello garden!

My music inspiration this time is Meat Loaf. Oh, and Kate Bush too....just the kind of Beauty and the Beast scenario Meat Loaf might have imagined. I call them Kate Loaf and Meat Bush.
Below I share some wonderfully awful videos of Mr Loaf...
I wouldn't generally do this on my blog...I don't think... (who laid down the blog rules?) I simply must share a couple of examples from YouTube. Bat out of Hell goes without saying...

Modern Girl
Aside the even more awful recording where the sound falls out of sync at the end making it more like a badly dubbed B movie; here is the first of my inspirations...I reckon I may have pencilled the sheer vibe of this harmonious cocktail (not the video as much as the music and please note: the ferociously 80's looking, and extraordinarily choreographed women).  


I Love it!

Dead Ringer for Love
Here we go, its Cher for this one,...pure unremitting SASS! (Definition: Ungodly amount of cool) = THE duo.                                                                                                           

I am all set with these tuneful comrades, I swear to God that listening to this stuff improves the work by half. Of course the space one works in makes all the difference and this...after years, has now become just how I like it.
My parting recommendation would be album collections: 'Piece of the action, The best of Meat Loaf' and 'Kate Bush, Hounds of Love'.

Rock and Roll.