Sunday, 20 April 2014

Process: Secret 7s 2014

Remember back to this time, last year? So long ago! I submitted a design to the amazing Secret 7s charity project and was lucky enough to be selected! You can read about Secret 7s and their good work over here and you can read my process blog post over here!

I drew Haim flying through the air for 2013 and when the 2014 list of artists was posted I was immediately drawn to drawing a sleeve for 'Team' by Lorde. If you're not familiar if the song... SPOILERS: it is ace.

And! Some of the covers are just as brilliant! Here is a sad clown!


I spent a bunch of time trying to draw Lorde. She has amazing hair so that was a recurring theme. I even tried drawing in a more 'serious' style for a little bit... although eventually I drew her like I draw everyone - with cute little stick limbs <3 p="">

The idea was that I'd draw a 'team' of Lordes - a bit like a superhero team like the X-Men... But, just like always, what I planned and what I actually ended up doing were very different things. I sketched out my original Lorde-skeleton - the template that I'd base all my other Lordes from...

 Looking pretty sassy, Lorde!
Watch out! The team of Lordes are on their way! But as I added in the fourth and fifth Lorde, I felt that I'd like to reference my previous sleeve for Haim - giving Lorde actual arms and actual legs and REAL CLOTHES! So I looked at her outfits and her looks and settled on a design I liked... which was this!
I coloured her in (she wears a lot of dark colours) and decided to carry on some of the other design features from the 2013 sleeve - the pixel background! I effing love pixels! I wish I was really good at 8bit art and the like. Maybe one day I'll get it!

The background and ground were coloured and I'd like to do a special shout out to Lorde's eyebrows and lipstick. I think I did a good job with them on this sleeve.

Lorde was all sorted but I had one more thing I wanted to add... a MAGIC FORCE FIELD!

I used rainbow colours as a reference to the 2013 sleeve but also because rainbows are great. They make everything better. Plus it made Lorde look like she was going to do some cool things!

I submitted my design and the panel selected it! HOORAY! The sleeves were exhibited and then put on sale for Record Store Day! And someone bought it - raising money for charity!

Here's a photo of my sleeve on display next to some other amazing sleeves!

Mega thanks to everyone at Secret 7s and to the person who bought my sleeve! I hope I'll get to take part in next year's event! 

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Robot's Return - a new long story!

It's been a while since I did a long story on People I Know. There was A Familiar Face that started in October 2013 and A Wizard's Woes in April 2013 but before both of those, there was Hello Future in September 2012!

Hello Future ended with Robot's head being torn off by Bleepo and ever since, poor Robot has never been the same!

So, months later (starting 24th March 2014) I am finally going to try to get Robot a new head... but obviously, it won't be that simple... OR WILL IT?! You'll have to read it to find out!

This is the longest story I've written and I tried to keep you on your toes. There's a bunch of familiar characters and maybe even a few new ones! I hope your favourite characters make an appearance!

I'm looking to have the story printed if everyone likes it - although it'll probably be split across two comics due to size issues. That works quite well though as the story has two distinct acts, as you'll find out! MWAH HA HA HA HA

Robot's Return will run until the beginning of July on my regular Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule.

IN OTHER NEWS: I'm going to work on a longer SPACE BABIES story! If you like SPACE and/or BABIES then you'll probably enjoy it

Stay out of trouble

Songs That I've Shazam'd

Shazam is a great app that identifies songs that you make it listen to. I was in a shop yesterday (buying a pen, since you asked) and they were playing a song that sounded really familiar... With the power of Shazam, I found out it was this...

FUN FACT: Shazam makes a list of all the songs it has identified for you! Who knew? So, for no reason other than it's fun, here are a bunch of the songs Shazam has identified for me.

Dream of Me by Kristina Train

This reminds me a bit of Heaven Knows by Girl Called Johnny - one of my favourite songs in a long time

Love of the Common People by Paul Young
(This appears at least twice in my list... which says a lot about the state of my memory)

Odessa by Caribou

I Can't Go For That by The Bird and the Bee

Celesitca by Crystal Castles

If you've got Shazam, have a look at the list of songs and if you think I'd enjoy them based on the above then send them along! It's always nice to have new music to listen to!

Sunday, 9 March 2014



If everything goes to plan, I should be starting a brand new, pretty intense new story line in People I Know next week. I've been working on it for a while in one way or another and I don't want to say too much about it now... except that it focuses on the plight of Robot who has been without a head ever since Bleepo (the future version of myself's pet robot) tore it off... but, in a shocking twist, I've actually thought about the story so it isn't just about that! Well, not if I've done my job properly!

At the moment, this story will last for more than 10 weeks and it's not the only new project I've been working on. Oh no! I've also been working on a new project in a new world with new characters! I've even tried drawing hands for it!

The project is called 'SPACE BABIES' and is about stuff in space. I've drawn a few one-pagers and have written out a longer story too... but I wanted to show you a bunch of the one-pagers before the robot story begins... otherwise I'd have to wait for a few months before I could say anything!

I'll upload three SPACE BABIES one-pagers to - one on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. There's no background you need to know about it except that it's set in space.

From an artistic point of view, I've really tried something different. So different that I'm actually a little nervous about posting it on my website! The aim of it all is to collect the one-pagers and the story into a cute Risographed comic... Risographing it means I can't use a lot of colours and that I've got to think a bit more how I'm doing everything.

I bought two lovely Posca Paint pens for all my sketchbook tests so that's been additional fun. Here are some photos from it for you to look at! If you click on them, they should appear larger!

I hope you don't mind SPACE BABIES taking up space in your RSS feed or whatever. I also hope I get this Robot story finished in time to start next week!

In other news, I hope you're all well and having a nice 2014. Have I missed anything interesting?

Stay out of trouble

Friday, 21 February 2014

Taylor Swift is Brilliant

On Tuesday the 11th of February 2014, my life changed forever…

I went to the O2 along with 19,999 other people to see Taylor Swift on the last ever date of her Red Tour and it was pretty much the best thing ever.

I don’t know how you feel about Taylor Swift but let me tell you, if you don’t think she’s brilliant then you need to sort yourself out. She is an incredible popstar and, although I always thought she was ace, seeing her LIVE was completely mind-blowing.

(((Here is a drawing I did for Julia Scheele's Heroines Zine)))

Firstly, she has a great back catalogue. I’m sure you’re familiar with Love Story, 22 etc… but some of her album tracks are just as incredible. Don’t believe me? That’s cool… but I got you something!

Better Than Revenge is incredibly sassy and I personally think her up-tempo songs are where her song writing really shines. I mean, this song features the undeniably spectacular lyric “she’s not a saint and she’s not what you think – she’s an actress. She’s better known for the things that she does on the mattress.” Burn!

And then there’s Long Live – the sort of song that would be the opening music if they ever remake Dawson’s Creek. It’s full of hope, the song I would loudly listen to if I ever went on a road trip down the West Coast of California… or, perhaps more realistically, the song I would listen to in bed, reading through a series of text messages that used to mean something to me.

So yeah – Taylor Swift writes a cracking song. Admit it.

But, seeing her perform live (in a massive stadium) really drives home how accomplished she is when it comes to putting on a show. I’ve seen a lot of performances online and on the TV but witnessing them first hand is something else. She knows just what to say to get the crowd screaming at the top of their lungs. She brings out a different special guest every show and you feel like you’re seeing two BFFs having an ace time and it’s magical. She’s happy to take some time between songs to tell the audience how to deal with mean people and she does it so well that you really feel like she’s talking to you.

I tried to find a good clip to illustrate how brilliant she is in a huge stadium and probably the best is the music video for Red.

It’s made up of footage of the tour itself and you can see how hard she’s working (although it never feels like hard work) and how much the crowd are loving it (check out all the light up signs). Does it help if I tell you that I cried a little during some of her set? Does it help if I tell you that I was smiling like that creepy moon emoji for a solid hour after the show ended? Does it help if I tell you that I think I might actually be suffering Post-Taylor Blues?

Taylor Swift is the popstar (and BFF) I wish I’d grown up with. She writes a brilliant song, she sings a brilliant song and if you think you’re too cool to listen to her songs then you need to stop being a baby and buy an album! I’d recommend ‘Speak Now’ to start with!

Special shout-out to my pal John who came along with me and to Sally who helped make my dreams come true!  

PS. If you’re Taylor Swift and you’re reading this, could you please do a nice cover of ‘Hysteric’ by Yeah Yeah Yeahs? That would be ace.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Things I Enjoyed in 2013

I should probably start this blog post with a grovelling apology about the lack of updates… but I hate it when people do that so I’ll just gloss over all of that and assume/hope you forgive me.

It’s nearly the end of another year so I just wanted to jot down some of the things I’ve enjoyed in 2013. It isn’t a ‘Best of...’ list because I wouldn’t want to upset anyone.

So yes! Here are some ace things that have made this year good fun! Feel free to check them out if you like the sound of them…

It only came out a few weeks ago but I really enjoyed Disney’s Frozen - their reworking of The Snow Queen. I wasn’t expecting that much when the initial trailers came out… but my pals insisted I see it and I’m really glad I did as it was ace! The story is interesting, the characters are engaging and, most importantly, the songs are proper belters - the kind you find yourself singing when you’re walking down the street. Don’t believe me? Check out this one!

If you get the chance to watch it, I hope you do and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

In early August, I got the train up to Edinburgh! I've only ever been for work before - but this time I was going to check out the Festival! I got to see some great stuff - Choose Your Own Documentary, David Morgan and Knightmare Live. It was a very enjoyable few days and I loved being able to pop out of one show and straight into another. And because I was there so early, the tickets were all affordable. Bonus points to the midnight McFlurry I invested in and all the lovely fudge shops! And to John for looking after me! I hope I can attend the festival again in 2014...

Thought Bubble is a brilliant comic show in Leeds that happens in November time. As usual, I had a lovely time - it was ace to see pals and talk to people who have actually read my comic. Bonus points to the dude with the Hot Dog Princess tattoo! OMG! AND I MET FIONA STAPLES AND GAVE HER MY COMIC! Eeeeeee! If you haven't been to it before, I cannot recommend it enough! Come and say hi in 2014!


I've been a fan of The Postal Service since my time in Santa Cruz so seeing them live this year was quite a treat. I was secretly hoping that they'd play some Figurine songs but alas, no luck! BUT! They played some new songs to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their album... which made me feel happy and old in quick succession.

I've really enjoyed playing lots of table top board games in 2013 and it's been a great way to make new pals. Looking over at the pile of boxes on my wardrobe, I would recommend:
  • Love Letter
  • Coup
  • Avalon / The Resistance
  • Settlers of Catan
  • Ticket To Ride
  • Escape: Curse of the Temple
  • Small World
  • BANG!
  • London (a lovely gift form my pal Phil)
They are all easy enough to pick up. Avalon and The Resistance are ideal for groups of people too! So much fun! I have an idea for one that I need to start work on too! Maybe we can all play that in 2014?

It's a computer / board game bar space in Soho, London and they do a lovely range of smoothies (I'd recommend the mango and passion fruit) and they staff are nice and I'm glad of having somewhere to go in an evening. Especially if there's a group of you who want to play The Resistance or something!

SPX (and New York)
In September, some pals and I went to SPX in the USA! I hadn't left the UK since my trip to Toronto (in 2009?) so this was a big deal for me but I'm so glad I did it! I really need to make a big diary comic about the experience - it was amazing (although bits of it were scary). SPX as a show is really lovely and the people were ace. It all happens in one big hotel so you see the same faces around and get to know people. We also had the chance to look around Washington DC (the most official city I've ever visited) and New York. Bonus points to Phil and Lizz for looking after me, Jenny and Mike for taking the time to hang out and everyone behind SPX - especially MDT and Smarx. OMG! And the pancake place around the corner! I am drooling just thinking about that place...

Secret 7" is a brilliant idea that gets people to design covers for mystery singles that are sold to raise money for charity. I saw a lot of my popular and accomplished drawing pals tweeting about it and I never thought my entry would get selected. I remember reading the email saying that I could take part and whooping loudly at my desk. I wrote up a process post about my entry and I still smile when I see it! I'd like to enter it again but I can't help but worry that I just got lucky this time. Or maybe I'm just being a baby? Either way, you should defo keep an eye on it!

I just really like this song

My pal Mike came to visit in May and I made a comic about it! I saw him again when I visited New York and he took us to a jazz bar. I miss him just from typing this. 

I went to see  The Sound of Music at the Open Air Theatre with a pal in the Summer and it was so good that we both cried. My favourite bit was when Maria appeared from behind the audience and belted out 'THE HILLS ARE ALLIIIIIIIIVE.'

The Drowned Man is a very intense theatre piece by Punchdrunk. After putting on a mask, you're let loose in a five storey warehouse to follow a variety of characters across movie sets and saloons. I'm not sure I can describe it well enough or do it justice it... but if you have the chance to see it then I hope you'll give it a go! Just make sure you wear sensible shoes.

Summer Camp - responsible for one of my favourite songs, released a new album this year and it is great. I got to see them in Leeds and in London and besides being ridiculously well-dressed, they were slick as eff. If they tour near you then make the time to check them out.

I think that's about it for now. There are probably some things I forgot but I can always edit this later! What exciting things did you enjoy from 2013?

Stay out of trouble

Wednesday, 11 September 2013


If everything works out, I should be at SPX this weekend! Come and say hello and ask me why I haven't updated this blog in a while!

Sunday, 9 June 2013



This isn't a proper blog post. You don't need to worry about me rambling along about my feelings and the like. I'm just writing down a reminder of some things I need to write about:

  • I went to see The Postal Service! They were on stage and they played some music! And getting there was a story on its own.
  • I went to MCM Expo and you might have gone to it too! There were some amazing costumes (Groot and Rocket Racoon!!!) and I've got some photos of them. Thanks if you came to visit me there.
  • I've been feeling a bit sad about a bunch of things... although I guess there's nothing new there.
  • 'A Wizard's Woes' finished! It was an old story that took place over twenty days. I hope you enjoyed it!
  • The season two finale of Revenge went out and it was pretty underwhelming
  • I went to a talk at BAFTA about games journalism which was interesting. People talked a lot about writing about stuff that interests you and I vowed that I would do that! Except, here I am, writing a list of things I'll write about when I have time. Lame.

More importantly, how are you? What have I missed? Anything exciting?

Stay out of trouble

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Process: Secret 7s

A few months ago, a bunch of my drawing pals were retweeting a shout out for people to draw stuff. It was for the charity/art project Secret 7"s where people design covers for songs by popular musicians and other people buy them for money. There are other things too like screenings and talks and all the money raised is sent to a good charity to do good things.

I wasn't planning on submitting anything for a number of reasons - mainly that anything that relies on being voted in makes me scared. but also because I thought it was just going to be for proper drawing people that use a selection of pencils or can draw hands etc.. But I also *really* wanted to give it a go and it couldn't be that scary, right? And my drawing pals were being encouraging. Thanks pals!

So, after a bit of faffing about and doing some bravery training (looking in the mirror and saying to myself 'you are a brave and sassy dude'), I got to work.

The seven acts that you could design a sleeve for were Elton John, Haim, Public Enemy, Nick Drake, NAS, Laura Marling and Jessie Ware. For me, it was a toss up between Haim and Jessie Ware but I finally opted for the former.

After sketching out a few ideas, I settled on the idea of the Haim gals flying into action. So I drew them out on paper (along with some other stuff I was working on, hence the dog) and inked them with my fancy pen.

My inking, as always, is terrible - the eyes are wonky, the cardigan is a mess... which is ridiculous since my drawings are so basic. Oh. And there was a ghost in my original idea too! SPOILERS: Poor ghost didn't make it through to the final thing.

I was planning on using my original line drawings so I tidied them up. Stray pixels *really* annoy me. I put them into position after this too, along with the ghost.

Having done all that though, I decided to redraw them again using work paths. I think I just really wanted it to look slick... so that's what I did!

I also rejigged their positions and finally decided that the ghost just did not belong there. Look how unwonky those facial features are now! And how smooth their hair is! Hooray!  I'd made the bits and bobs on multiple layers so, before colouring them in (or even flattening them), I deleted all the bits that I didn't need to show up.

I was finally happy with the layout and the lack of ghost. So it was time for my favourite thing - COLOURING IN! Thanks to the computer, staying in the lines is no longer a concern!

I wanted something really bright and cheerful for the background, to contrast with the more muted colours of the Haim gal's outfits. I spent a surprising amount of time deciding what they should be wearing. Who would wear socks and who wouldn't? Would this outfit work on stage? How practical are their shoes?

But I felt like it looked a little flat. I know my style is pretty 2D anyways, but I wanted to give it a bit more of a polish... so after a bit of playing around, I ended up with this...

And there we go! This is the final version I submitted!

I was over the moon when I got the email to say that I was in the actual 700 and it was a super hard secret to keep. I went along to the opening party and bumped into some pals and we had a great time going through all 700 sleeves, trying to work out what act they were for and whether we knew the person behind it.

A lot of my pals went along to look at the sleeves too and didn't seem to have any trouble pointing mine out to me. I was quite pleased because it means I have a 'style' that people can recognise and being selected for the project in the first place has given me a much needed confidence boost. There were loads of amazing sleeves on display and mine was there, right next to them. And it's not everyday you get the chance to say you designed a sleeve for a sassy band like Haim.

And if that wasn't enough good news enough for one blog post, I was sent a tweet by the person that bought it when they all went on sale. HOORAY!

So, in conclusion... if you ever have the chance to submit something but are worried, stop being a baby and give it a go! You might not be as accomplished or as popular as other people, but that's not always the most important thing.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Long Story Alert!

Don't freak out... but I'm updating this blog.

If you're freaking out now then STOP IT - I told you not to! Why don't you listen? Jeez!

So, it's been ages since my last post. Sorry about that. In a nutshell, I've been working really, really hard at my non-drawing job. It's been a very interesting experience - I think I've learnt a lot and I've done all sorts of new things. But it also means that I'm exhausted and a little strung out.

But whatever. You didn't come here to read about my actual life. You just want funny/cute comics. Don't pretend it isn't.

So, as you have been reading, I was ill for a bit and now I'm not. I've started on making new comics but I sort of fancy doing something different. I went through my files and I found a 26 page story I had printed off as issue twelve of People I Know.

Here is the original front cover!

People I Know #12 was made two years ago - in early 2011, and featured two wizards trying to navigate the perils of the heart. I've been thinking about uploading it onto the website for a while so now seems like a pretty good time.

However, there are a few things that I wanted to flag up before it goes online...

For starters - it was made two years ago and, believe it or not, my drawings look different. Maybe not HUGELY different, but different enough.

I mean, you can still tell that they are the same characters... they just look a little more polished.

Another difference is the characters themselves. In the two years since I drew this story, the wizards have evolved as characters - which is only right. They've got names now for a start! Jones is bossy and desperate to assert himself. Curly is easily led and upset, both a symptom of his sad backstory. Both wizards in the current webcomic are students, whilst in the longer story they have jobs. Maybe it's just a Summer job. Yeah - let's go with that.

The tone of the story itself is markedly different from my regular pun-filled comics. This whole story was made to me read in one sitting, rather than across a month. I've tried splitting it up into sections that make it work as a daily strip, but it isn't big on the laugh front.

This probably all sounds like I don't want you to read it, but that's certainly not the case. It's a good story and I'm proud of it. I just don't want any regular readers (or new readers!) to be weirded out by the sudden change in tone and look.If you really can't cope with it then come back in a month and it'll be business as usual. Or don't come back. I'm not the boss of you.

Enough about me, what about you? Have I missed anything exciting? Will I see you at MCM Expo in London?

Stay out of trouble