Category Archives: postcards

Festive hibernation to you all. 

Here’s your Christmas card, in a choice of colourways.  3D fabric paint on wood on card. 

A bit more work to do, then it’ll be time to switch off the internet until next year. 


A parliament of weirdos. 

Look look it’s all animal themed! I’d wondered if a visually themed week of quoted interactions from Hansard was possible*, and here it is. 

Also this week my activity sheets are up on for their monthly Comics Challenge series. If I’m gonna encourage kids to make their own weird comics – because what kids should worry about the possible professional and commercial future of their comics – then I’d better keep up my part if that deal. There are plenty of resources out there to help people make comics. Sometimes it’s the weirdness that needs a boost. 

*said no one else, ever.  

Leeeeds coooomics 

See that? That’s my planned table setup for Thought Bubble comics convention 2017. Leeds Town Hall Marquee table 37 might just buckle under the weight of many comics including :

  • Research questionnaire. Fill in a questionnaire about comics you’ve read, get a free sticker and an infocomic and the knowledge that you’ve taken part in my PhD research about reading British comics. The questionnaire is in comics form and will take maybe 7mins to fill in – good if you want a break from wandering round, or want to do something comics-y that doesn’t involve spending money. It’ll take a bit of thought but not too deep – the second stage of my research involves more indepth interviews with comics readers, this questionnaire is a stepping stone to that second stage. 
  • Applied Comics Etc collaborations. Free comics, all made in partnership with researchers, archives, kids, sweeeet comics creators. Promo postcards for Freedom City Comics anthology are hot off the press (launches in Newcastle 1st October) 
  • Comic Swap library. Read the well wikkid comics made by kids’ comics clubs, swapped earlier this year as part of a postal swap run by Hannah Sackett and I.
  • Applied Comics Network. Free badges, free chat about overambitous plans coordinated by John Swogger, Ian Horton and I. 
  • My comics and books. To swap with comics you’ve made, or coffee/tea/snacks, or for sale (various prices from £1 stamp books to £13 double comic). Say the secret password ‘I like your office wallpaper’ and get a free gift with any swap or purchase of my solo work, whilst stocks last.

If you’re around on Thursday/Friday come to Comics Forum conference – I’ll be presenting about my questionnaire & PhD research, and involved in running an Applied Comics Network workshop. 

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The Late Shows is two nights in the year when arts & cultural venues in Newcastle & Gateshead open late, for a public arty party of seeing stuff & doing stuff. I’ve taken part before but this was my first time volunteering at an event.

It was fun. I was at Northern Print printmaking studio, where I’m a studio member. The activities all had a campfire jamboree theme – partly because it’s an awesomely dorky theme, partly because NP’s building works meant we only had access to part of the building & the marquee out back. 
There was letterpress printing of postcards home from camp.
There was knot tying and embossments (tie a knot, then the pressure of the press pushes it into the paper – printing without ink).

There was screenprinting of fox masks & owl masks.
There was marshmallow toasting, & admiring the fake campfire& hand-printed bunting.

Each activity was fairly straightforward, which was a very good thing indeed. Letterpress and screenprinting were all set up & ready to print – just pull the handle – which is a great way to have a go at techniques that require a lot of preparation.  Embossing was a simple technique with a lot of scope for individual variation – tie a fancy knot or bow, or twiddle some string into a shape.  All simple and quick for people to have a go at up to 3 different printmaking methods, all free, all just turn up and have a go.

I’d expected to get a little bored explaining the same methods over and over again, but I didn’t. People were willing to have a go so required minimal encouragement, & were interested to chat more about printmaking in general & NP’s courses in particular. Which is a very good thing indeed: whilst NP has a very swish printmaking gallery & some proper class exhibitions, it’s a genuinely friendly studio & an encouraging place to have a go. And then have another go, and another, and keep going. They help you learn methods then let you get on with making what you want to make, which suits me juuuuust fiiiiiine.

Helping at print studio events is a pretty niche form of volunteering. I first visited NP at a Late Shows oooh way back in 2012 and talking with studio members made printmaking seem like a thing I could totally do, not a distant and unachievable art form. Then I did it. I know my own art-ing has benefited from joining in at NP, so I’m particularly glad to now be able to encourage other people to get involved.

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Double down.

Great card

Great card


So here’s one card I drew recently.

I drew it with a pen on a blank card.  Yes, even the tiny scratchy background.  Especially that, in fact.  It took blinking ages.

It was a thank you card for my great uncle.  Who is both awesome and my grandmother’s brother.

And here’s another card.  Two photos this time, for the detail. 

Are you ready for your close-up Mr DeMille?

Are you ready for your close-up Mr DeMille?

NOT an extremecloseup

NOT an extremecloseup

Also two photos because two like the happy couple, who did indeed look very happy and very emotional and had a very delightful wedding.  And a very delightful marriage yet to come, I reckon. 

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Swaps, shop.

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Not pictured: an unexplained-but-painful bruise on my hand; my lost voice; my mouth that hurts from smiling and talking more than I have in a while*.

I went to the Thought Bubble comics festival and I liked it, gosh darn it. And I’d do it all again.

I had half a table, sharing with Terry Wiley who does comics, him. And on the same row as half of Newcastle. Well, the good half. Paper Jam Comics Collective, not these cardboard cut-outs.

I did some swapping and some selling. I liked it when people stopped to laugh at things I’d made, particularly as most things I make are intended to have some sort of comedy value. See? It’s good when people laugh at you. With you. With me.

Things I need to do now include:

  • reading all my delightful swaps,
  • try some more comic strip-py drawings,
  • catch up on a backlog of eating and sleeping,
  • getting better at chatting with the punters, guv’nor,
  • unpack the reasons why I chose to dance to Take That for the first time ever.

So yeah. It was good, I’d do it again, but now I need a good sit down.

*because my stupid braces make this sort of behaviour difficult, not because I’m generally miserable. Ok well maybe a bit of that, but only so much as is healthy.

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Shark weak.

Pestilence Wave (of mutilation): 24 minute comic

Pestilence Wave (of mutilation) is another 24 minute comic.

I still like this game. The two words were ‘pestilence’ and ‘wave’, and I gosh darn brazenly flounted those rules by expanding the title. Yes, as a reference to a band for which I have mixed feelings.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. And yes, I also have mixed feelings for Seinfeld.

This drawing is also available as a postcard: 50p in Travelling Man Newcastle, should you feel the need.

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