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There are not much more than 8 months till I have to wrap up this doctorate. Cue internal alarm and feelings of inadequacy, then tuck them into little boxes and push them deep inside the belly. Good coping mechanism. As always of late, its been a while between posts; not due to an absence of activity, rather the opposite. So much happening! The last catchup post was in May. Time flies. In terms of general things, I just moved house to a stunning, more rural locale, and already I feel my brain unfurling at the absence of truck, motorbike and airborne vehicle noise. There are horses right next door. Here’s one of them.


This guy likes to watch me work. He likes to watch… The new work area is great, plenty of light and space. Lucky me. Now to make proper use of it. So, what’s been happening lately?

The Ace Comic Jam was a lot of fun, a group of six of us worked on a panel each, and passed the page on. To the left hand side. I noticed something different happening in my brain when I got handed a page from someone else, instead of continuing on my own work. Questions like whether to continue the narrative as it is, to twist the plot, to aim for humour, the grotesque, or whether to just make it as tricky as possible for the next person. Usually its the latter that wins. Visit the link to see a small selection from the day.

Speaking of making comics, the 24Hour Comic Challenge went off without a hitch, with 26 completed comics and many more that didn’t quite make it. With a huge range of style and theme, this year was bigger and better than last year. Even though I was coordinating things from the other side of the world at the end of the comp, all went well. I’m not sure if I’ll run it again next year or hand over to someone more tech-savvy. Funnily enough, not many people are keen to put their hands up for unpaid work. Weird. Anyway, it would be great to run the competition without Facebook… but its such a handy platform for this kind of event. Let’s see what the coming year brings. As for me, I was flat out with marking at the time as well as running the comp, so I only managed 8 pages- and I used those pages to catch up on diary comics. Cheating maybe, but no one voted for me anyway, so all good. One day I’ll get one of these prizes I spend so long organising…


Ashcan X is coming together, still waiting on a few bits and pieces. It’ll be a cracker; as much as I want to show some pages from it, I’ll bide my time. All will be revealed soon enough. In other news, I applied for an awesome residency at the end of the year and didn’t get it, however the rejection is strangely more motivating and helpful than if I had been accepted. I submitted a huge selection of work; too much in fact. It’s better to only show a small range of the latest work, and this might have been part of the reason for not getting in. Wanting to prove you are prolific is one thing, but showing work from up to seven years ago without making it clear is just stupid. Rookie error. 6 comics, 2 letters and no indication of what to look at. Duh.


Regardless I press on; externally perceived successes or failures are beside the point. It’s all good, I start work on layouts from the final graphic novel very soon, I’ll have about 6 months to complete. It’s going to be a slog, plus there are always other things. Finishing off the diary comics publication, teaching, putting together a crowd-funding project for Ashcan, and general cat and partner maintenance time are some of the other things on my plate. Wouldn’t have it any other way.