Category Archives: Uncategorized

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. 

Advertisements

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 ComicsClub.blog 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.  


Meh. 

This has been a week of phlegm, both for my now-improving health and for the absolute state of parliamentary discourse. Well, phlegm and hot air. I’ve found that I don’t so much enjoy reading Hansard but there is a joy to finding a particularly awful exchange. The drawing wasn’t so much fun this week but maybe that’s the cold medicine talking. Drawing is good. 

A pattern is emerging. 

This week’s news has been about parallel universes bumping into each other in the foggiest of fogs. 

I like this grid layout though, and am still enjoying doing a panel a day. So maybe not all is lost.

My honourable friends. 

Here’s week 1 of my new panel-a-weekday comics project:

Like any busy person, my answer to a busy diary is to start a new project. Here’s my plan, and rules that have already evolved from this plan.

1. Quote from an interaction as recorded in Hansard, the official record of UK Parliament debases.

There’s a lot of talk that has precious little to do with the preceding statement. Sometimes there’s a prolonged debate/conversation. Sometimes there’s a series of questions that were submitted in advance. Sometimes there’s no discernible connection. Interactions interest me in an academic way – how people talk and learn together – so I’ve decided to focus on connected exchanges.

2. Be accurate.

It’s too easy to intentionally misquote people. Context is important. Hansard is not a verbatim transcript, which I reckon is fine.  I’ll include speaker names and the date on each panel so it can be checked. Usually the House of Commons, sometimes the House of Lords.

3. Be selective, be interesting.

There’s a lot of flowery language, my honourable friend, so I think it’s justifiable to edit out the pleasantries but otherwise stick to the transcript. Some things interest me more than others, some exchanges are pithier than others, some groaning attempts at humour don’t need repeating.

4. Be timely.

My diary is split between day-job and PhD research and other stuff. Sometimes there’s a weekly structure, often there isn’t. Doing a panel each weekday has, so far, helped insert some sort of structure. There’s a good discipline in doing something creative each day, making it public, and moving forwards. I’ll aim to do each day’s panel in the evening, or the next morning on days when evenings aren’t possible.

5. Keep going. 

If there’s no sitting that day, dive into the archives. They’re online and well catalogued and free to access. For no-sitting days I wondered about finding other speeches/statements from that day, but (a) it’s the parliamentary-ness that interests me (b) there’ll be plenty of days including holidays/recess when there are no speeches (c) the out-of-my-control-ness of parliamentary interactions is a sweet way to include an element of roulette in this project.

PS: Nad Rash is an anagram of Hansard, the official record of what is said in UK Parliament debases. It is also an underused slang term.

PPS: Are you the editor of a reputable daily news media outlet? Let’s talk syndication.

Tagged , , , ,

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. 

Tagged , , , ,

New (?) comics game

Comics Tic Tac Toe might just be the best new comics game invented today. At least, inaugurators me and Paul Thompson reckon it’s new. Unless it already exists and we just didn’t know.
image

image

image

Here are some necessary/arbitrary rules:
1. It’s a 2 player game
2. It’s best played in a pub
3. Draw a grid of 9 panels
4. Take turns to draw a panel. Play like it’s noughts & crosses (also known as tic tac toe) – connect panels in a straight line to win, then continue to finish the comic.
5. All comics must be readable as comics. They don’t have to be good, but they have to be readable. Well, at least aim to make it readable.

Extra credit gameplay analysis by Paul Thompson: “splendid – I felt that some attempt to work crosses into my panels was important after yours started with a circle…”

(see, I was going for a chubby face, but it read as a circle. Should this have been a rule? Should the O player have drawn O-based things and the X player drawn X-based things?)

 

The Thompson Variation: you can call an end to the game when there are still blank panels if you reckon the comic has reached peak comic. Making good comics is better than winning a game.

Other variations are entirely possible.

It’d be smart to use different coloured pens to keep track of who drew which panel.