Filed under: About Thought Bubble, Film and Sequential Art, Guests 2009, Minterviews, Programme 2009 | Tags: Anime, Ben Templesmith, Comics, Leeds comic con, Leeds comic festival, Leeds comic workshops, Leeds Thought Bubble comic festival, Sequential Art, UK Conventions
Alright guys, this it it – we’re now less than a week away from the start of this year’s Thought Bubble. Fasten your seatbelts, keep your hands inside the vehicle at all times, and do not leave your seat until we’ve come to a complete stop (around 5pm Sunday 22nd November). Otherwise enjoy yourselves, it’s promising to be a belter.
In celebration of the impending awesomeness, we have the final in our series of minterviews with some of our professional guests – today sees Ben Templesmith (30 Days of Night, Fell, Wormwood Gentleman Corpse) take time out to talk to us, the results of which are below for your delight and delectation. Get some.
Hi Ben, thanks for taking the time to talk to us today; for starters, could you tell us how your comic book work first came about?
I technically broke-in twice into comics, at the same time virtually. One was via Joe Casey on a project he wanted to do at Vertigo, called The Darwin Theory, which we actually started, but, alas, never ended up seeing print for one reason or another. My first actual work the world knows though was as the new artist on Todd McFarlane’s Hellspawn, after Brent Ashe, then TMP art-director saw my work online, and I think he said Todd walked by and noticed he was looking at something on his screen, and it basically went from there!
Your artistic style is not what most people would consider ‘traditional’ comic book art, was this a conscious decision to reflect the, often gothic, tones of titles you’ve worked on, or is it simply your natural illustrative style?
That always makes me laugh. Being “non traditional” in comics means I’m, kind of, just “art” to the rest of the world instead of the perceived stereotypical “comic” style. It’s great that the medium has opened up now to a whole variety of eclectic styles though, in the last few decades certainly. As with most artists I guess my style is simply about being an extension of who I am to some degree. I always loved the darker side of things, and atmospherics - that just translates to the art really. I always try to slightly tailor things depending on the project though, of course.
Do you feel that this ‘stereotypical comic style’ is, perhaps, one of the main reasons that it’s taken so long for comic books to become accepted, by the mainstream, as a culturally relevant storytelling medium?
I still don’t think it has. Sure, we now have the “graphic novel” being a cool buzz-word, but all the general population still think they are, in general, is superheroes. Obviously they’ve had great success now, but a medium still isn’t one genre. A few more successful non-superhero stories that are just, well, good stories that have more interesting art could change that, but I won’t hold my breath just yet. It would just be nice if comics had the comparable success of, say, a Harry Potter, or a Twilight series – to really break it open with a bona fide cultural phenomenon - to change mindsets completely. I can dream, no? I only see the quest for “acceptance” as a way to guarantee a viable future for the medium though - not for riches, or glory for glory’s sake.
Has your individual style adapted to embrace the recent advances in digital illustration techniques, or do you prefer to work with more orthodox materials?
To be honest, not really. I started using the computer soon after I started. Nothing that I do now has fundamentally changed since then. Sure, I updated to a new version of ‘photoshop’ a couple times, but I’m not doing anything differently than before. No fancy tricks or button pushing! I’ve probably decided to go more the other way, and do more real world art before I add any computer elements now, actually. I just want to make art, rather than have things only exist digitally.
You’re one of a select group of individuals within the comics industry who work as both writers and artists, notably having created a number of your own titles – is the artistic process markedly different when illustrating another writer’s script as opposed to your own?
Absolutely – well, until telepathy becomes more commonplace. Since I know what I’m doing in my own head, and I don’t need to bother explaining what I want to another person, doing it all yourself definitely is a different, more short hand experience. Pros and cons to both though. My scripts are more just loose notes until I really solidify the dialogue, which I have all worked out before I actually start to illustrate.
Within your own writing the subversion of human nature, either by supernatural (e.g. the vampires of 30 Days of Night) or scientific means (in Singularity 7), seems to be a recurring theme – is this something that you feel has a special relevance to the modern world?
Well, we’re a moderately intelligent species. As human beings, we’re almost masters of our own destiny these days. The only things that can really screw us are technology and fear, or a combo of both. We’ve seen the results of fear rather recently, and some aspects of science. My little stories that deal with things like that probably show I’m rather cynical when it comes to my thoughts as to if we’ll actually see the year 3000, I guess.
Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse, the series which you’re currently best know for, while primarily gothic in tone, also has a very dark, macabre sense of humour running through it – do you enjoy the idea of making people laugh while also terrifying them?
Well, if anyone reads my twitter they probably know by now, I don’t hold back too much. I kind of dig challenging people, and saying uncomfortable things, but also funny things. I figure if you can show people rather nasty, uncomfortable things but make them laugh at them at the same time, it’s a rather good way to get by - something a little more complex and harder than simply grossing someone out for its sake alone. It, kind of, gives me a thrill to know I can actually make someone laugh out loud at my sick ideas sometimes. I feel honoured whenever anyone tells me that - never thought it’d be something I could do as a kid.
30 Days of Night was one of the first major cinematic adaptations of a less well-known comic property to find success at the box office – do you feel Hollywood’s increased interest in titles which don’t necessarily feature an eponymous Superhero for a protagonist has been beneficial to the comics industry?
Actually, it technically wasn’t! Previous to that one there’d been things like The Crow, or Road to Peridtion, etc, but, yes, as an actual comic that was trust more into the mainstream of the time – it did wonders to revitalize horror comics at the time - I guess you could say that.
Having non-super hero movies made, especially if they meet with success, is ultimately far more important to the comics medium than doing just superhero films. That’s a genre, one that people will get sick of one day perhaps, but stories themselves never go out of style, so if creatives can transfer successful ideas across mediums it helps keep talent creating new things, and bringing in new readers, hopefully, who don’t just have to like one genre. Imagine if the only ever books to get turned into movies were the Fabio romance-type novels, or just spy thirllers? Diversity is the best thing possible.
Speaking of films, the creatures in the 30 Days of Night comic series appear to draw inspiration from cinema rather than literature – did you have any specific referential sources in mind when developing your vampires?
I’ve been told my vampires looked like “Euro-trash”, though I’m not really sure what that means since I’m Australian, and don’t know what “Euro-trash” actually look like. I just figured they shouldn’t be the overly frilly-dressing romantic looking types, frequently popular, and now rather popular again. I guess. Never once did I think of Blade or anything though - for me I just drew inspiration from Charles Darwin (for my wanky theories on how vampiric eating machines would look via evolution), and the movie John Carpenter’s The Thing.
One final question, on the nature of comic conventions – are they something which you personally enjoy attending, either as a creator or a spectator?
I’ve been told I travel a lot, so I guess I do more than most. I personally love going to new places and meeting people who read my work in them. I could be working in a box factory, in an alternate universe, but instead I get to travel the world to meet people who actually appreciate my work. To me that’s amazing, and I never want to forget that or take it for granted. To meet the people who allow me to earn a living, well, that’s really something every creator should treasure.
Big props to Ben for talking to us, a fitting end to this series of minterviews. I’d just like to take the time to say a huge thank you to everyone who’s contributed to the blog this year, you’re all amazing! Hopefully we’ll have even more awesome stuff to induce wonderment in your brain sacs next year, but for now let’s focus on the more pressing engagement: Thought Bubble ’09!
In TB ’09 news, Leeds University’s Anime Society has made us some lovely promotional material, which, I’m sure you’ll all agree, kicks some serious ass.
Okay, enough for now, remember that Thought Bubble ’09 kicks off Thursday 19th November in the fair city of Leeds, we hope to see you there!
Filed under: About Thought Bubble, Film and Sequential Art, Guests 2009, Minterviews, News, Programme 2009, Thought Bubble 2009, Workshops 2009 | Tags: Comics, Emma Vieceli, Leeds comic con, Leeds comic festival, Leeds comic workshops, Leeds Thought Bubble comic festival, masterclass, Sequential Art, UK Conventions
Greetings Bubblers! I hope you’re as excited as we are about the fact that this year’s festival is now less than three weeks away! Join us in a squeal of delight won’t you? Eeeee! To keep your sequential art intake at acceptable levels until then we’ve got some lovely exclusive interviews with some of our awesome guests. Following on from our travels inside some of the small press artists’ studios, these conversations with various professionals who’ll be appearing at this year’s Thought Bubble will be assured to astound and amaze. And various other words beginning with ‘A’.
First off we talked to the excellent Emma Vieceli, a professional illustrator, writer, comic artist, and Thought Bubble veteran whose work on Self Made Hero’s Manga Shakespeare line – as well as for Sweatdrop Studios – is something you really, really should check out post-haste. Emma will also be judging the cosplay competition at this year’s Thought Bubble convention and running a workshop on Sunday 22nd (details on our main programme page). But without much further ado (there’s a pun in there somewhere, I know it!), let us begin…
Hi Emma, thanks for taking the time to talk to us, first off do you think you could give us a brief idea of how you got into illustration?
I think like most people it wasn’t a conscious decision. I just loved reading comics and watching cartoons as a kid, and started drawing on everything I could. I don’t think it had ever crossed my mind that I’d one day be able to draw comics as a career… So, it really is still a dream come true. I was very lucky to join Sweatdrop as they helped me early on and gave me somewhere to focus my interests. We all just loved making comics. It was (and still is with Sweatdrop) very much a hobby for fun.
The turning point for me was the year when I managed to bag a place in Tokyopop’s first UK Rising Stars of Manga competition (again, thanks to Sweatdrop friends bugging me to enter!) and also myself and Sonia Leong had been pitching to and had signed to work with SelfMadeHero just before Rising Stars was announced. So, it was a pretty big year for the pair of us. Hamlet taught me a shed-load, not least of all that running my full time job alongside a GN contract would make me very ill! I ended up going freelance towards the end of the book, as by that point I was talking to two potentially exciting clients about future jobs…it was hard to switch gears and realise ‘wow, this is actually happening’! Sadly the two potential clients never panned out – such is the industry – but by that point I was away, and have never regretted making the decision.
So very much a case of ‘learning on the job’ then?
Pretty much, haha! But then, as artists, we’re always learning on the job. We never stop learning I don’t think.
Your style appears, as I’m sure you’ve heard many times, to be quite manga-influenced – is that a conscious decision on your part, or simply your natural illustrative technique shining through?
Never a conscious decision, no. Creators are always inspired by what they see around them. What we watch/read as we’re growing up will shape our own style hugely but, whatever that style may be, I believe it should be something that flows naturally. I don’t hold with the concept of consciously thinking ‘I want to draw like that’. It can’t be as enjoyable to force a style, surely? For me, I grew up in the UK and spent a lot of time in Italy with my family. There I was exposed to Bonelli’s Dylan Dog (a comic that changed my life) and also a lot of TV anime. Back in the UK I was also reading Marvel comics and The Beano. What’s interesting is that even the three manga styles that I really fell in love with in my early teens and that influenced me hugely (Rumiko Takahashi, CLAMP and Keiko Nishi) are completely different from each other. I don’t know what that mystery aura is that makes us look at a piece and think ‘manga’, but whatever mine was, it was born out of a veritable mish-mash of stylistic influences. These days I don’t tend to refer to my work as manga and I don’t call myself a manga artist, but I think my storytelling techniques are still very reminiscent of shoujo manga stylings… So, maybe that’s the defining feature?
What would you say your main artistic influences are?
They’re always changing, but my most influential artists overall would probably be: Giovanni Freghieri, Keiko Nishi, Adrian Alphona and studio Clamp.
Do you think there is a stereotpyical view held amongst western audiences of what a ‘manga’ title will have to offer, one which limits the potential audience?
I think there is one, yes. But I think it’s being gradually expelled thanks to titles like Monster and Death Note. It’s not all sailor suits and giant mecha! Once, the image of manga over here was that it was all sex and violence, now that’s been turned around so that it’s seen as all being for kids. It’s a pretty sharp swerve, so now we need people to realise that it’s both of them and everything in between! It’s comics – plain and simple.
Do you think that manga is enjoying the same surge in popularity that superhero comics seem to be currently experiencing?
I think the manga wave is finally subsiding here in the UK after an amazing few years, but what’s great is that a lot of us are seeing what we always hoped would happen when it was at its biggest over here. We hoped that this time, unlike past manga/anime rises in popularity, when the wave passed it would leave behind a solid foundation – a bedrock of manga in our existing comic industry. It’s what a lot of us worked very hard for, and I think we’re seeing that. Manga shouldn’t be some strange sidekick to comics, but a fantastic part of a wider comic scene. We’re seeing styles and techniques crossing over a lot now, and that’s great.
Any particular favourite titles in this new-wave?
I guess I could be cliché and say Death Note… It’s superbly written. I have to confess I do also like Naruto in its manga form as opposed to the anime. However, to be perfectly honest, I don’t really differentiate between what is seen as ‘manga’ and what are ‘comics’. It’s all comics, and I probably spend more time reading X-Men, Runaways and Fables than I do ‘manga’ these days. I get frustrated by the constant need of many to separate the two!
Do you think this differentiation between ‘Western’ and ‘Eastern’ comics is stunting the growth of the graphical medium in general?
I think creators themselves aren’t as worried about the differentiation, so it’s not stunting creativity at least, but I know of several creators, myself included, who have hit hurdles with publishers because our work is ‘too manga’ or ‘not manga enough’, and that’s upsetting; to always have your work compared in some way to whatever litmus paper exists for this mythical ‘manga’ style.
That said, the wave has also lead several larger book publishing companies to get in on the action with graphic novel lines, so on the one hand, GNs are booming like never before.
I think we’re getting there. I’m seeing certain large comic publishers being very open with their new artists, and we’re seeing some fantastically hybrid art styles. Gone are the days of house style, and that’s great news for creativity!
You’re perhaps best known for your excellent work on the Manga Shakespeare range, what was it about those adaptations that appealed to you?
I’m a Shakespeare NUT! Studied him at university, wrote a dissertation on him and then after uni, I became a professional performer for a while and got to do a couple of Shakespeare roles. For him to then find me through comics started to convince me I was being haunted! I just love Shakespeare’s work, and his plays were always meant to be seen and not read as text on paper… So, I thought Emma Hayley’s idea of something between the two was genius!
I can think of worse historical figures to be haunted by! Do you have a favourite Shakespearean play, or character, one which you’d relish the chance of illustrating?
Very true! Haha! Well, lucky for me, my two favourites were Hamlet and Much Ado! In some ways I’d love to go back and apply what I know now to Hamlet – but that way madness lies, haha. I was happy with the storytelling, and that’s the most important part of any comic I think.
Ah, nice King Lear reference! So, when you’re adapting Shakespeare’s plays from the manuscripts, do you take into account stage directions, or just utilise the dialogue?
I don’t use anything but the dialogue… So, essentially I am the director of the piece too – which is great fun. I love trying to add new elements within the set text. Richard [Appignanesi] does a great job of adapting the script down to GN-length dialogue, and then I add what I can to that visually.
To be honest, Shakespeare was very sparse on his stage direction, with the exception of exits, entrances and the occasional ‘dies offstage’, haha!
You’ve been involved in the UK sequential art scene for quite some time now, have there been any noticeable changes during that period, for better or worse?
So many changes! Most notably, there is just more of it – and that’s fab. When Sweatdrop started out almost nine years ago (ARGH!), we did so because there was no one at the time in the UK publishing manga-style work. This was before Tokyopop, before Markosia…it’s hard to believe. Sweatdrop is a bit of a dinosaur of UK small press comics, haha. We’ve seen Rising Stars of Manga come and go, we’ve seen Neo Magazine start up and become the amazing publication it is, and we’ve seen independent sequential artists in the UK move from photocopied, folded comics into pro-looking digital printing. There are so many groups and individuals out there now making the most of cheaper printing and the ever-expanding convention scene.
Shows like the London MCM Expo have exploded comics out into the wider public, while shows like Thought Bubble, BICS and Bristol offer specialised playgrounds where comickers and comic lovers can come together and revel in the shinies. Magazines like ImagineFX have really started welcoming comics into their line-ups, and even the surge in recent comic adaptations to film have all contributed to the notion that the geeks truly shall inherit the earth.
The UK has always had a wealth of amazing comickers, but so many have been forced to take their talents elsewhere in the past. There are a lot of people right now working hard to really push the talent pool we have here in the UK, and I love seeing the results!
Some people seem quite eager to pin this growth on the recent success of comic-book adaptations at the box office, how much do you think this is the case?
I think the film industry has not so much drawn in new readers (though I bet it’s brought a few people ‘home’) as it has strengthened the bond and courage of existing readers. I know loads of people who love the recent surge of adaptations, but they’ve never read a comic and never will… What this recognition has done has made existing readers feel less isolated; it’s made us that bit prouder of our obsessions. We can now wear our geek-shirts with pride and count ourselves amongst those ‘who were there at the beginning, man’.
You’re appearing at this year’s Thought Bubble; do you enjoy attending conventions and other events of that nature?
Well of course! I LOVE events. They’re the times we can come out of our solitary studios and mingle with humanity…and other creators.
I attend as many as I can in a year without destroying myself, though that’s getting harder these days now that there are so many events, what with me trying to span the pure comic events and the anime conventions! As I write this I’m recovering from the MCM Expo, where I actually organise the ComicVillage, so I’m very much looking forward to Thought Bubble, where I can be a creator again. I have huge respect for the people who organise these events after my Expo experiences! This weekend I’m off to my first Italian convention in Lucca, so that should be good fun!
I urge anyone who sees me at an event to come up and say hi! For some reason I get a lot of people after shows saying online that they saw me, but didn’t want to bug me at the show, haha. I’m there to be bugged, people! Don’t be a stranger! ^_^
Alas, as it is said, the rest is silence. Many thanks to Emma for taking the time and talking to us, we here at Thought Bubble are huge fans of her work and really cannot recommend it enough!
A little bit of TB related news now, for those of you unlucky enough not to be able to make it to this year’s festival, we’re pleased to be able to bring a couple of our big-name guests to you! Thanks to our partners at Travelling Man, Ben Templesmith and Alex Maleev will be attending signings at TM’s Newcastle and Manchester stores during the Thought Bubble festival period, details can be found on the flyer placed conveniently below…
That’s all for now, tune in on Wednesday when we have another interview for you with one of our fantastic guests. “Who?” you may ask, well you’ll have to come back to find out. Mystery is our middle-name.
Filed under: About Thought Bubble, Film and Sequential Art, Guests 2009, News, Programme 2009, Thought Bubble 2009, What is Sequential Art?, Workshops 2009 | Tags: Comics, Leeds comic con, Leeds comic festival, Leeds comic workshops, Leeds International Film Festival, Leeds Thought Bubble comic festival, masterclass, Sequential Art, Signings, Small Press, UK Conventions, Webcomics
Greetings Bubblers! It is now less than six weeks until this year’s Thought Bubble Festival and we are very pleased to be able to share with you our full programme line-up for those four heady days in November.
We think you’ll be blown away by the awesome guests and exhibitors we’re honoured to have in attendance, as well as our extensive range of masterclasses and workshops…
Full details as to this year’s programme can be found on the Festival Information 2009 page (on the list to the left), while Thought Bubble’s guest list also looks amazing (although there may be some surprise announcements coming soon), and we have some brilliant small press exhibitors in attendance. Make sure to look out for our brochures, which will be hitting the streets very soon.
We’re all really psyched about this year’s festival, and we hope you feel the same way and will be able to join in the fun in November.
Until then, remember – with great power, comes great responsibility!
Filed under: About Thought Bubble, Film and Sequential Art, News, Programme 2009, What is Sequential Art? | Tags: Comics, Leeds comic con, Leeds comic festival, Leeds Thought Bubble comic festival, Sequential Art, Signings, UK Conventions
Hiya TB fans (that’s thought bubble, not tuberculosis – mycobacteria fans will have to look elsewhere), I have some more information here for the Anime League’s London event which is taking place in November – a mere week before Thought Bubble’s main festival. I don’t believe you would begrudge me a ‘Whoop’ at this point. Whoop! Details are as follows…
Taking place on November 14th in The Slug and Lettuce, America Square, London, and running at between 200 and 400 people, ALCL is London’s fastest-growing anime convention. It’s just £5 for all day from midday to midnight, 18 or older only.
They have dealers, video gaming, anime screening, an Artist Alley, DDRing, roleplaying, card-gaming, along with many events such as a masquerade, pub-quiz, parties, special guests (Roppongi Street, and MasakoX of DBZ/Naruto Abridged are announced, with more to come) and much, much more!
ALCL will take place every 3-4 months (three times a year). Their intention is to enable London to have a proper anime club again, following the sad demise of LAC last year.
The league is always on the look-out for new volunteers, and, lets be honest,who doesn’t want to be able to say they’re a member of a league – sign up to help a brother/sister out!
In Thought Bubble blog news – the, soon to be, legendary series of interviews with the Friends of Thought Bubble will be starting this weekend. It’ll be like Frost/Nixon, in space, on bonfire night. Guaranteed.
Oh, and there’s only 55 Days until this year’s TB festival – about the life-cycle of your average silkworm of the species Bombyx mori. Fact.
Filed under: About Thought Bubble, Art by Guests, Film and Sequential Art, Guests 2009, Programme 2009, Small Press and Independent Friends of Thought Bubble, Thought Bubble 2009, What is Sequential Art? | Tags: Comics, Leeds comic con, Leeds comic festival, Leeds Thought Bubble comic festival, Philip Barret, Sequential Art, Small Press, Webcomics
Greetings Earthlets! Time for another helping of the Small-Press and Independent Friends of Thought Bubble (or the League of Extraordinary Friends); the only series of blog posts which eight out of ten super-cat owners would say that their feline prefers, although quite how we worked that out I’m not sure, because, for the life of me, I can’t think of many past Captain Marvel’s Talky Tawny and Streaky, Superman’s cat. Our friend this time is a favourite from the emerald isle: Phil Barrett. His work, some of which can be viewed in the gallery below (featuring some art never before seen on the interwebs) or at his site, is both delightful and ever so slightly deranged – a thoroughly winning combination.
Philip Barrett resides in Dublin, Ireland and has been working on comics of one sort or another for as long as he can remember, an enterprise which became a bit more regular (i.e. producing at least something a year) in 2001, upon the release of his first self-published work.
Phil has, to date, written and drawn 9 issues of ‘Matter’, which is a catch-all title for various short stories mostly preoccupied with the collision between the worlds of the fantastical and the mundane. He has also worked with Liam Geraghty to produce ‘Gazebo’ and ‘The littlest Arsonist’ (some free copies of which are still available).
Phil has contributed to numerous anthologies including ‘Sorry I can’t take your call right now…‘ and ‘You Ain’t No Dancer‘, and at the moment he’s working on a couple of longer stories, but still allowing himself to be sidetracked at any opportunity. For more information on Phil’s excellent work please visit his blog.
Well, there you have it, we’re at the end of yet another Friends of Thought Bubble, which, as the festival looms, is slowly winding down for this year, inevitably cooling as blue-shift occurs, entropy grinding to a halt, the vast expanses of its reach collapsing inwards until it is nothing more than a super-dense dot of information, a kernel of knowledge if you will, waiting for the cyclical nature of space-time to re-ignite the flame and cause the big bang anew. However, don’t get too morose, the old girl’s got a few tricks up her sleeve, so we’ll be back with a couple more yet. Just promise to never tell us the odds, and we’ll see you with another friend of ours next week.
Filed under: About Thought Bubble, Guests 2009, Programme 2009, Thought Bubble 2009, Workshops 2009 | Tags: Comics, Frank Quitely, Leeds comic con, Leeds comic festival, Leeds comic workshops, Leeds Thought Bubble comic festival, masterclass
A quick update for the festival this year:
Frank Quitely, as well as appearing at the convention on November 21st, will also run an Art Masterclass on Sunday 22nd where he will take attendees through the stages of how he works. Further details of this will be announced soon.
Due to popular demand our dates have been extended, the Thought Bubble Festival will now run from the 19th – 22nd November!
There will be a special launch party at Fab Cafe on the 19th at 7pm, which will include comic-based screenings, a comics quiz, and fancy-dress - theme Heroes and Villains!
Thought Bubble is just getting bigger and better all the time, it seems to be our mutant power: Exponentially increasing awesome-osity. And super-modesty. November can’t come round quick enough!
Filed under: About Thought Bubble, Art by Guests, Guests 2009, Programme 2009, Small Press and Independent Friends of Thought Bubble, Thought Bubble 2009, What is Sequential Art? | Tags: Comics, Leeds comic con, Leeds comic festival, Leeds Thought Bubble comic festival, Lizz Lunney, Small Press, Webcomics
Right, so, after a brief hiatus, covered admirably by the ‘Best of the Web Series’ (installments of which can be found here and here), the internet phenomenon known as the Small-Press and Independent Friends of Thought Bubble (or Defenders of the Mirth) is back once again to astound and delight. This week’s friend is Lizz Lunney whose online comic sushi serves up bite-size portions of excellence to eat-in or take-away on a regular basis – a tasting menu can be found below (click on the images to enlarge) – and are a fine example of haute bandes dessinées cuisine.
Lizz is an illustrator and animator from Birmingham. Amongst other things she likes black tea, knitting and cats. Other animals she thinks are good include rabbits, elves, bears, dragons, unicorns, monkeys, dinosaurs, lions, tigers and meercats.
Lizz’s latest comic is ‘Sushi Karaoke’ which comes with free 3D glasses. Her previous work includes ‘I Love Dinosaurs and they Love Me’ 2008, ‘Tofu and Cats” 2007, ‘Party Animals’ 2007, ‘Waiting for Sushi’ 2006, and ‘Bears in your Face/The Man with Tetris on his Chin’ and ‘Cat Hearts/Peanut butter and Marshmallows’ two colourful flip comics. In May 2008 she became one of the artists for the Top Shelf 2 online comic. Other examples of her illustrative work can be found in her online sketchbook.
Lizz’s site also features examples of her brilliant animation work as well as a shop from which you can purchase all sorts of excellent gifts. This month also sees the start of the one-a-day comic sushi extravaganza, which can be found here. For more information on Lizz’s work please visit her site, her blog, or check out her MySpace page.
As with all the Friends of Thought Bubble, Lizz will be appearing at this year’s convention at Savile’s Hall, Leeds, on the 21st November.
All good things must come to an end, and Friends of Thought Bubble posts are no exception to this age-old adage, so without much further ado I’ll say fare thee well for now and hopefully will see you back here in a week or so with either another Friend of Thought Bubble in tow or a further installment of our Best of the Web series. May the force be with you, always.
Latest news hot of the (small) press: a new workshop has just been announced for later in the year and it’s one all you comic lovers will, well, love!
Thurs Oct 9th 6.30 to 10.00pm Travelling Man Leeds
This October sees an incredible masterclass lead by industry genius Adi Granov. Adi made a huge impact on the comics scene a number of years ago as one of Marvel’s young guns. Since then he has gone from strength to strength, with an exceptional run of covers for various Marvel titles, the brilliant Iron Man Extremis with Warren Ellis and mind blowing concept work for the Iron Man movies, Adi has become one of the comic book industry’s shining stars!
Numbers are very limited so sign up soon to secure a place. (email@example.com or telephone 0113 2436461)
Adi will also be appearing at this year’s Thought Bubble convention, but for a unique opportunity to see a truly great comic artist at work this workshop is not to be missed!
Filed under: About Thought Bubble, Art by Guests, Guests 2009, Programme 2009, Small Press and Independent Friends of Thought Bubble, Thought Bubble 2009, What is Sequential Art? | Tags: Comics, Ellerbisms, Leeds comic con, Leeds comic festival, Leeds Thought Bubble comic festival, Marc Ellerby, Sequential Art, Small Press, Webcomics
Hey there everyone! We here at TB Towers are happy to present the next in the series of posts known pithily as the Small-Press and Independent Friends of Thought Bubble (or Aqua Teen Hunger Friends). This week on the cavalcade of comics we profile sequential-art super-star Marc Ellerby, a name near synonymous with the UK indie comics scene, and for good reason as his work – some of which is viewable in the gallery below – is sheer brilliance. If you don’t believe me check out his diary comic Ellerbisms or his illustrative work both of which showcase his trademark artistic style and infectious sense of humour.
Marc Ellerby is a comics illustrator living in Essex, England. Although he’s dabbled in some illustration work (Mannequin Republic/Atlanta Records, Truck Festival, Drowned In Sound) his main focus over the past few years has been comics.
Marc illustrated the “rock and roll romance” graphic novel series Love The Way You Love (written by Jamie S.Rich and published by Oni Press) which was selected as one of the Young Adult Library Services Association’s top graphic novels for teens in 2009. His work has also been published in the This Is A Souvenir and Put The Book Back On The Shelf anthologies (both Image Comics). He has more anthology work coming-out soon in the shape of Fat Chunk 2 – Zombies (Slave Labour Graphics) and Popgun Vol. 4 (Image Comics).
As well as working for the American comic industry, Marc is still a firm believer of the UK small press scene and reguarly makes mini comics to showcase new ideas and collect work. Previous mini comics have included Venal Muse, Polar Opposites, Sad Girls For Life and Speed Trail.
He is now, however, concentrating on two series, Chloe Noonan and Ellerbisms.
Chloe Noonan (pages of which can be viewed in the gallery above) is a monster hunter – but like most 19 year old girls (whose surname is not Summers), she doesn’t have any powers; she gets a stitch when she runs, is kinda rubbish at fighting and has to take public transport to even hunt the monsters as she can’t drive. Life is tough for ol’ Chloe Noonan, especially when it involves the bus.
Ellerbisms is an autobiographical web comic which takes a small moment from the day and isolates it within a comic. Like life, it can be quite dark at times, though there’s hope and humour throughout – the story now concerning Ellerby’s life with his girlfriend Anna. There are three collections so far, all of which are avaliable from his website.
And with that we bring to a close another edition of the Friends of Thought Bubble, swiftly followed by a couple of quick reminders: first, the thought bubble hotmail account has finally been consigned to the great trash compactor in the sky so contacting us can only be done via our googlemail account (firstname.lastname@example.org); secondly, don’t forget that next weekend sees the first TB Workshop of 2009 (details below) with a free manga masterclass from the thoroughly excellent Yishan Li. See you next week for another post, but until then: Keep watching the skies…
Filed under: About Thought Bubble, Guests 2009, News, Programme 2009, Thought Bubble 2009, Workshops 2009 | Tags: Comics, Leeds comic con, Leeds comic festival, Leeds comic workshops, Leeds Thought Bubble comic festival
Greetings Thought Bubblers!
We hope you are all well and counting the days until our next festival in November (in case you haven’t been it is 155 days until this years Thought Bubble).
We have recently been experiencing problems with our email@example.com account with the end result that that address has now been closed. Because of this we can’t access the account any more and have lost all contacts and information that was on there.
If you have been contacting us or are in the middle of discussions/preparations via this email please could you send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org so we have your new address and can thereby continue any ongoing correspondance.
We apologize for the hassle and thank you all for helping us with this matter.
Filed under: Film and Sequential Art, News, Programme 2009, What is Sequential Art?, Workshops 2009 | Tags: Leeds comic workshops, Leeds Thought Bubble comic festival, masterclass
Calling all manga (and sequential art of all denominations) fans! The first Thought Bubble workshop for 2009 has just been announced and it looks like a doozie, info below…
Breeze International Youth Festival, Thought Bubble and Leeds Young Peoples Film Festival presents a special
FREE 2 DAY MANGA EVENT
SUNDAY 28TH JUNE TRAVELLINGMAN COFFEE BAR (LEEDS)
How to Draw Manga Creatures Workshop with the amazing YISHAN LI + Anime Screenings.
New to manga art and want to learn the basics? Come along and Yishan Li will show you how!
Are you a more experienced manga artist? Bring your portfolio and get some advice!
Creature art from this workshop will be exhibited at the Hyde Park Picture House on Monday 29th June and a winner will be picked to receive a special prize!
12.10pm Anime Screening FLCL
1.00pm How to Draw Manga Workshop
3.00pm Anime Screenings Samurai 7/Slayers
**Please note that the Yishan Li workshop has limited places available, so contact email@example.com to avoid disappointment**
MONDAY 29TH JUNE HYDE PARK PICTURE HOUSE
5.00pm Cosplay Competition/artwork display
6.00pm Surprise Anime Screening
8.00pm Winners announced and prize ceremony
(Hyde Park Picture House event FREE to Breeze card holders, £1 for adults)
This promises to be a great couple of days and an excellent opportunity to either hone any manga-creating skills you already have or to learn some completely new ones!
Hopefully see lots of you there!