Oh dear, I seem to have left this web presence thing slip again. Sorry about that. Pretty busy working on lots of projects, including contributing to an anthology and designing characters for an animation start-up, more of which I will reveal in good time. In the meantime here's a panel from a recent competition piece.. more about that too once the judging is done and dusted. Speak soon, stay frosty.
Hey folks, just a quick post to let you know what I've been up to over the last two months..
Firstly, Thought Bubble! Despite the rain I had a top weekend. Met some great people making awesome comics, plus Mark and I aired our latest sample from Makers of Monsters and got a generally positive response - very encouraging! And a big thanks to Rachel for helping out so much with the stall - you rock.
Next up, I was invited to speak to Creative Media Production students at City College Brighton & Hove. I told them all about my work on Think Like Churchill and then got to look at some their sketchbooks. There was some fantastic work in there, plus they were a really welcoming and friendly group - I'm hoping to pay them a visit again sometime soon!
Finally, I took part in an 8 hour comics challenge.. Adam Moore laid down the gauntlet, inviting Anthony Atkinson and me to join him in producing 8 pages in 8 hours with zero prep. Based loosely on the 24-Hour Comic challenge created by Scott McCloud (which is now an international phenomenon), we decided to do a cut down version because, well, we're wimps. That and also the fact that we were taking part in Monthly Milk, a great monthly arts event in the centre of Brighton that um, lasts for 8 hours! Anyway, here is my contribution in all its badly drawn glory: JAIME'S 8 HOUR COMIC CHALLENGE (warning: contains swear words and toilet gags). Here is Adam's amazing creation, Anthony's will be made public soon!
Whilst all that was going on I've also been keeping the Afanc ticking along - so do head over to afanc-tumblr.com to check out the latest instalment. More coming in the New Year...
Anyway, that's pretty much it for 2015 - hope you had a great year and enjoy a relaxing Christmas holiday! See you in 2016!
Writer Mark Pembrey and I have been busy putting together a new 6 page sequence for Makers of Monsters (formerly Better Beasts), our graphic novel in progress! And you can see it all by clicking the pic above... There's even some new character studies up there too. You can read a little bit more about the project over on Mark's website here. I'll try and post the full synopsis at some point soon.
There's also been some new Afanc activity over afanc-comic.tumblr.com! There are new characters and everything, including a dog called Mr Cuddles..
And what are you up to this weekend? Going to Leeds perchance? Then do swing by the always fantastic Thought Bubble Comic Arts Festival and say hi! I'll be selling my wares on table 41a in the Royal Armouries Hall. See you there!
Photo Credit: Rachel Malic
So September was a busy month! To start with there was The Brighton Mini Maker Faire, where I ran a comic strip making workshop, the result being these awesome creations. Some extremely talented people out there. Thanks to everyone who came and took part, I had a great time so hopefully they'll have me back again next year!
Photo Credit: Mark Pembrey
Then there was the Alligator's Junior Comics Club at The Alligator's Mouth bookshop in Richmond! Here we made comic strips again and just to say, those Junior Club artists know their stuff - their comics knowledge put me to shame! Here I am doing a quick example featuring a Knight, a Dragon and a..erm..bucket. This month the club is being hosted by animal illustrator extraordinaire Zoe Scammell and it's Halloween themed! You'd be crazy not to check it out.
Photo Credit: Angie Thomas
And finally, there was my Brighton Digital Festival event: Paper Versus Pixels! Here I spoke about my experiences working on Think Like Churchill. However, the real stars were all the other amazing speakers who took part: David Lloyd, Jade Sarson, Alex Fitch, Chloe Pursey and Nye Wright! Thanks to you all, you made it into a fantastic night. Thanks to everyone who came and watched too. For those who couldn't make it, fear not! We recorded the whole thing and I'm hoping to put it online soon...
So, I'm having a little breather from speaking for the next couple of weeks but do watch this space for upcoming events. Next on the list I guess it's Thought Bubble...see you there?
Thanks to everyone who came to the Create a Comic Strip! workshop yesterday at Brighton Mini Maker Faire! I had a brilliant time, I hope you did too. Most of all, I was astounded by how talented you all are! Some fantastic budding writers and artists out there.. so keep up the good work. Time to check out your masterpiece in the gallery below:
Next month I'll be doing some comics making workshops! Firstly, I'll be at the Brighton Mini Maker Faire, the festival of making, creativity and invention at Brighton Corn Exchange on Saturday 5th September! Here I'll be doing scheduled workshops throughout the day, each lasting around an hour. I'll be talking about what makes a good 4-panel story/gag strip and getting visitors to make their very own! The results will be exhibited on this blog and/or on me Tumblr. All ages welcome! Although younger kids might need grown-up supervision. Do come down, as there'll be loads of great things going on including arts & crafts, robots and engineering, wood and metalwork, electronics, science, tech, music and more amazing do-it-yourself creation!
Following on from that, I will be hosting the Alligator's Comics Club on Thursday September 24th at the Alligator's Mouth children's bookshop in Richmond! This one kicks off at 4pm and is aimed at 7-12 yrs. Do RSVP the lovely people at Alligator's Mouth if you fancy coming as space may be limited! Again I'll be talking about how to make your own comics and also giving an insight into my working process...
And to finish the month off - not so much a workshop but a night of talks - there's the Brighton Digital Festival event Paper Versus Pixels. This one is all about comics and digital media with some great speakers lined up, including: Jade Sarson, David Lloyd, Nye Wright, Alex Fitch, Chloe Pursey and erm...me.
So yeah, do come say hello at either one, two or all three of these exciting comics happenings! September's gonna rock.
Coming in September: Paper versus pixels: comics, digital media and their mutant offspring - an evening of talks about comics in print, on-screen and everything in between. Presented as part of Brighton Digital Festival 2015!
Yep, that's right - I've gone and organised an event! It's all going to be happening on Tuesday September 29th, from 6-8pm at the new Sussex Humanities Lab, based in Silverstone Building, Sussex University. Directions can be found here. A big thank you to the lovely people there for letting me use the space.
And guess what? It's free!
Here's the official list of presentations so far:
When is a comic not a comic? When it’s an app Comic artist Jaime Huxtable relates his experiences illustrating Think Like Churchill (Touchpress, 2014), an app that mixes comics, animation, historical archive and gameplay into a new breed of graphic narrative.
The comic page as time machine – panel based time travel and simultaneity in From Hell, One Soul and Here All comics are a form of time travel. Comic journalist, podcaster and film critic Alex Fitch explains how the paper page of the comic can create a transcendent experience that more interactive formats (such as tablet computers) can only hint at.
More speakers to be announced, including artists from Myriad Editions
So make a note of the date and see you there!
That's right, he's back! All new Afanc strips such as this one are again appearing over on afanc-comic.tumblr.com. Please check them out and like/reblog/cuddle or whatever you clever social media kids do to show appreciation! Thanks so much. You're tops.
Not only that but I've also collected the first 14 of these brand new strips into Afanc Issue No.3! Most of these strips aren't even on the web yet, that's how fresh they are. And guess what? You can grab a mega-exclusive copy at the FIRST BRIGHTON ILLUSTRATION FAIR at the end of the month! I'll be there on the Sunday 31st along with the awesome Adam Moore so do come along if you're in town. You know you wanna....
See you there!!!
STAGE 1 - I created a new A3 document in Manga Studio. Using a sketchbook doodle as reference, I roughed in the robot's pose using a blue line first and then darkened and defined the basic shape of its body with a grey pencil.
STAGE 2 - still pencilling with the darker line, I've started to add more definition to its various joints, fingers, body cavity, etc. Also dropped in a background, which was a bit of an afterthought (not always the best practice!). Thanks to the blue line I'm able to see what I'm doing pretty clearly and am saved from making the page a grey mess as I work things out. The soft eraser tool in Manga Studio also helps me keep things clean. I tend to be quite a messy penciller and a bit of a hard presser so blue line definitely works for me.
STAGE 3 - Inks. Using the G-Pen nib in Manga Studio I draw in the basic outlines. I then pluck up the courage to put in the heavy black areas. Some zip-tone was then dropped in loosely for the mid tone areas. The brush droplet tool was used together with white paint to get some of those dented FX and also push back the mountain range. The upper legs and arms were a bit of a struggle here - I tried to draw those tube rings in a way that wasn't too mechanical but also not too sloppy. Not entirely happy with the result but time to push on with....
STAGE 4 - Colour! For this stage it's time to export to Photoshop. I then block in the basic flat colours on a new layer and add a custom pattern effect to get that watercolour paper look. The darker areas are added on a separate layer using a brush with 'wet edges'. Adjustment layers are then added to some of the line work to push the background further back. Finally I dropped in some highlights, again with a wet edged brush set to 'luminosity'. Done!
Next stage? Possibly getting this bad boy made into a print for the shop?
So here's a selection of sketches, doodles and scribbles that you can see over on my Tumblr site, called Jaime's Other Place. I'm currently mulling over making it my main news feed and linking directly to it from this site's main menu...we'll see. Anyway, do take a look - hope you enjoy!
Hey, Happy New Year! Hope you had a great Christmas. It's been a bit quiet on here recently but all for good reason - 2014 was pretty busy... Firstly, there was Better Beasts, a graphic novel proposal written by the multitalented Mark Pembrey and illustrated by moi. Based on the lives of early palaeontologists Gideon Mantell and Richard Owen, Beasts was well received by those who read it and even got on the long list of the Myriad Editions First Graphic Novel Competition! Mark is currently sprucing up the script for the next few chapters ready for me to resume artwork duties in early 2015!
Following hot on the heels of Better Beasts there came a commission for Llangorse's favourite son, the Afanc. The lovely people who organised the first Llangorse Lake Big Swim and Triathlon needed a mascot to feature on their racing t-shirts and prize medals, I was honoured when they chose my interpretation of their local legend for the job. Here are the two designs I submitted featuring our furry friend in action and below the final t-shirt (sorry about the creases) and medal!
Next up, character illustrations for crime writer extraordinaire Phil Viner. Earlier this year Phil launched a new website to coincide with the release of his second novel, Summer of Ghosts. He wanted the site to feature his lead characters drawn in a pulp, noir comics style. Here you can see Tom and Patty. The website in all its glory is here. And do check out Phil's fantastic books, including The Last Winter of Dani Lancing.
And then the biggy, Think Like Churchill; an app that takes the form of a graphic narrative from the clever people at Touchpress (who hired me for the job of illustrator) and Hodder & Stoughton. If you own an iPad or iPhone, do give this thing a look. Using a mixture of comics and animation, the reader is taken through some of the biggest decisions Winston Churchill made throughout his life. At crucial points within the narrative the reader/user is asked what they would do in Churchill's shoes! Some of my favourite illustrations from the app below. A big thank you to Touchpress for commissioning me and big shout out to all the great people I worked with over the past 5 months: Josie Gardiner (Producer), Ned Pennant-Rea (Writer/Researcher), Matt Aitken (Designer), Matt Gibbs (Editor), Warren Dockter (Historical Consultant) - you're all amazing.
So what's coming in 2015? Well, I've just completed two extra chapters for Think Like Churchill so hopefully you'll be seeing them soon. Then there's more Better Beasts to come and possibly some other projects with Mark too! Oh...and I think it's about time the Afanc made a come back...
...watch this space for updates!
Finally I can reveal the secret project that's been keeping me quiet all these months! I've been illustrating an exciting new app from Touchpress all about the life of Winston Churchill. I won't say anymore than that for now, just watch the video and sign up for more info here!
All artwork © Touchpress.
So it feels like I've been off radar again recently. I'm working on something top secret at the moment (hence the silence) but whilst that's going on I thought I'd share some of my last commission: a series of illustrations for amazing Brighton based crime thriller author P.D. Viner.
Phil wanted some portraits of the major players in his stories, the most recent volume being Summer of Ghosts (out now!). These portraits are then going to feature on his website. They're not up there yet so I thought I just a show these two for now, Dani and Jim.. hope you don't mind Phil!
My anthology comic collection Jammo has just had an amazing review in the Small Pressganged section of Broken Frontier! I'm really chuffed and just want to say a big thank you to Andy Oliver for writing such nice stuff about my work! He's a top fella who writes loads of cool stuff about small press creators. You can read a particularly great one here.
Unfortunately Better Beasts didn't make the Myriad shortlist but Mark and I were still chuffed to get as far as we did. So onwards and upwards - and in the meantime here are some more sneak peeks, plus another work-in-progress I'm in the middle of at the moment...
Remember I said I'd been working hard? Well here are some sneak peeks at Better Beasts, a graphic novel I'm currently working on with Mark Pembrey. It's all about the first palaeontologists and the bitter rivalry between them, in particular Gideon Mantell and Richard Owen. More pics and info to come soon. Oh, and as you might've already guessed, the stuff in pencil is yet to be inked but you get the idea!