Dare I say summer is almost over? Such as it was. My blogging rate has fallen short of its target but that is more a sign of busy-ness than laziness (but there’s a bit of that too).

Last February, I wrote this post providing a creative to-do list for the year. Let’s have a recap:

  • pitching a children’s chapter book I’ve written to various publishers;
  • pitching a whole bunch of other ideas to my agent for other books. I’ll be posting sketches and what-not here;

The very evening after I posted this a rather interesting email landed in my inbox. Then several more. I’m not supposed to talk about this at the moment, but all will be clear soon. It’s something that’s going to keep me busy for a while.  I’ve got lots of ideas I think would make good books but time (definitely time) will tell.

  • continue working on a book collaboration with Sarah McIntyre which has been bumping around for a while;
  • assisting the aforementioned Ms McIntyre in the curation of a kids’ comics festival as part of Pop Up! With Sarah at the helm, I’m sure it will be amazing. Keep the weekend of the 30th June free! Sarah blogs about it here;

The picture book I’m doing with Sarah should kick in soon – our deadline is for early next year. It’s been a bit of a tough ride but I’m hoping a happily ever after is in sight for this particular project.

Pop Up! was huge fun. It was great to see so many children enjoying drawing their own comics with the help of professional comic creators. Here’s Gary Northfield and Jamie Littler having a drawing battle, taking suggestions from the audience:

Gary Northfield vs Jamie Littler Drawing Battle from David O’Connell on Vimeo.

The venue was wonderful and it was a fabulous, if exhausting, day. Congrats to Sarah on an inspired bit of curating. Here’s her account with lots of pics.

But what about my comics?

  • editing the next issue of ink+PAPER. It’s due out in June and has an absolutely amazing line-up. There are still some issues of #1 for sale here.

 

Issue #2 is out now – and it really does look great! I’m so proud of this little beauty and so grateful for the wonderful comics that everyone contributed. You can get your copy here. Issue #1 is now sold out.

And it did! It was a brilliant weekend, in only the way Caption knows how. Informative panels and inspiring workshops – lots of good, constructive comics talk. Lots of new faces attending, too. It was my privilege to be the moderator for the panel on Editing in Comics (with Woodrow Phoenix, Corinne Pearlman, John Anderson and Hannah Berry) and also the panel discussing The Phoenix children’s comic (with a whole bunch of its creators), which proved to be very lively, particularly in the light of the recent loss (in print, at least) of the venerable children’s comic The Dandy. It’s wonderful to see so much enthusiasm for print in defiance of the modern trend – it’s that kind of dynamism that has kept comics going in the UK in the almost complete absence of any kind of industry.

Done! It’s very funny – Tanya is one crazy lady. In the good kind of way.

  • a strip for a new anthology by the industrious gents of Accent UK

Oops! I’d forgotten that – thanks blog!

  • I’ve been thinking about setting up an online archive for people to donate their out-of-print/retired minicomics and zines, allowing them to be downloaded for free. I’m getting some costs/ideas together for that;

Officially shelved. I’d love to see this done but this would eat up all the time I just do not have.

  • finishing off the first arc of my webcomic Tozo and collecting it into a single bumper printed edition. I’m probably going to take a year off Tozo after that – it’s been five years and I think I’d benefit from a break;

Done! Well, finishing off the webcomic anyhow. Chapter 5 should be available at Thought Bubble in November, the collected edition in the spring. I loved doing Tozo but I’m enjoying not having the weekly deadline hanging over my head.

  • collecting my Queen Mum comics into… um, a collection;
  • resurrecting a half-finished children’s novel and completing it;

To do, to do! These may well be on next year’s to do list. We’ll see.

  • re-jigging this website;
  • doing more portfolio stuff;
  • and blogging about everything in more detail than this!

Ongoing, but not very successfully. I’ve never been much of a creature of routine and that’s what this needs. I can feel a daily drawing splurge coming on.

So not bad going, I’d say – at least in terms of doing what I said I was going to do – and there’s still a good chunk of the year left…

 

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