Monday, 2 November 2009

Running Ragged

Wow, it's Monday again and time for the blog! I just don't know where the time goes these days. In a minute it will be Christmas.

Still better to have too much to do than not enough :)

So, onto the latest in the world of Insomnia.

The Ragged Man Character Concept Sketches

Writing on his blog this week, Cy Dethan says:

"Right before last weekend's London MCM Expo, I received an email from former Starship Troopers: War Stories collaborator and artist on Markosia's recent Harker graphic novel, Neil Van Antwerpen. Neil's work has always been impressive, both in terms of fluid storytelling and sheer beauty, so when he mentioned in conversation that he honestly felt that The Ragged Man, our upcoming book from Insomnia was going to be the one that really showed what he and Peter-David Douglas were capable of I was chewing my own arms off in anticipation of some previews."

And here are those previews in all their glory:


"You save worlds the same way you end them –
one inch, one hour, one life at a time."


You can read more about the story that Cy describes as being:

"at once a heart-felt love letter and a final fuck-you to the city I've lived in for the past fourteen years"

and why

"Having this vicious, sharp-cornered monster of a story squatting in my brain is the reason I've ended up turning down every superhero-flavoured project I've been asked to get involved in or invited to pitch for."

In his recent blog post and on his website (where there will be updates and a growing gallery as the story progresses) .

Neil and Peter-David were recently interviewed on the Halloween episode of Sci-Fi Pulse on Blog Talk Radio and you can catch the show here.

New Babble Pages

As a special thank you to all the new followers of the @Babble_GN twitter feed for updates on progress on the book writer Lee Robson posted these delicious looking pages by artist Bryan Coyle:






If you want to be the first to see more then you'll need to start following them, too. Go on, make them feel loved.

Lee's well into chapter two now, and sent the latest pages over a few days ago, so it's cracking on.

Martin Conaghan: Radio Star

Earlier today Martin was interviewed on the BBC's Book Cafe along with crime author James Ellroy.

Simon Wyatt: Live and Uncut

Peter "Oz: The Fall Of The Scarecrow King" Forbes and Simon "Unbelievable" Wyatt got talking at the Insomnia table at BICS.

Simon was doing sketches for charity and here is Peter's filming of him drawing a Judge Dredd.

Simon Wyatt Sketches Dredd BICS 09 from Peter Forbes on Vimeo.



Knowing that the Devil makes work for idle hands Simon's been keeping out of mischief by showing off his talents as a sculptor as well as a penciller.

What could this intriguing creature possibly be?

Jennie Gyllblad: Ace Reporter!

Last week on 25th October, 2009, Jennie "Butterflies and Moths" Gyllblad visited Cambridge to attend the Women In Comics Conference .


There is a beautifully illustrated full report up on her blog, which you should read now, but here are the highlights:


Jen and her friend Ellen, feeling a little nervous, arrive at the conference.

Jen Says:

"I’m a very shy person (believe it or not), so when I was confronted by the sight of confident, professional comic-book creators and enthusiasts, I preferred sketching and observing them from a distance, rather than conversing with them myself."


"The first one to take to the ‘stage’ was Asia Alfasi, a Libyan-British manga artist...Asia, as a person and artist was very fascinating and unique! She is currently working on an Autobiographical Graphic Novel about her upbringing with the different cultures meshing together (Muslim, British, Scottish etc), also talking about her choice of wearing the hijab (headscarf). It was a very personal and optimistic talk, which I enjoyed a lot."

"After Asia came Sarah Zaidan who spoke about her post-doctoral study ‘Miss Meta: Analysing the Female Superhero Through Time’. She showed the evolution of superhero-physique and discussed what triggered the changes."

"The final morning-talk was held by Sarah McIntyre who spoke about her experiences within the Picture Book industry and how comics are sneaking into this genre. Even though picture books tend to be for children and I want to do graphic novels for a more adult audience, I found this talk very inspirational."


"When the three first speakers were done, a short panel discussion took place, which I found was mainly dominated by Sarah Zaidan."

"And then, Lunch break! We were all offered food and drinks in the conference hall, so me and Ellen grabbed as much as we could and sat down on the floor in a corner again to eat and draw. I doodled people while munching on some lovely ham-sandwiches."

"Lunch-break over, it was time for the long awaited talk by Melinda Gebbie, the artist of Lost Girls, an erotic Graphic Novel that has been in the making for 16(!) years together with Alan Moore. I didn’t really know what to expect. My initial thoughts were simply: Erotic Graphic Novel? Ooo. Alan Moore? Ooo."

"… And then explained why she did Lost Girls entirely by hand. ‘It’s a loving, stroking, hands on meditation which you could only do with your hands, because it’s a part of your body which goes directly onto this beautiful paper… And then you’ve got the originals forever.’ She spoke of the importance of physically layering the artwork with your own hands, onto paper in front of you, not on a computer screen with a plastic tablet. At this point, I was in love. Perhaps even going slightly lesbian. ‘You must never be hindered by what other people think.’ "

When Melinda was done, she sat down in the front row with me and El. I was starstruck and hated my shyness.

"The afternoon split sessions of talks commenced. I chose the room which focused on Autobiography. At this point, someone had taken my pencil(!) and I was forced to sketch with a pen. This is a serious offense in my book.

First lady to step up was Kate Evans, a political cartoonist who has a history of crazy protests. She’s lived in a tree house. She’s been to a protest rally in a pink samba outfit… In short, she’s a little bit nutty, in a good way of course!


After her came a duo. Namely Woodrow Phoenix and Corinne Pearlman. They wanted to discuss whether Autobiography is a trap. Whether is makes us lazy, not bothering to create something, but simply using our everyday lives as material. Corinne also showed some images relating to her jewish background. I had a fleeting thought of creating an atheist comic."

"Both me and El were exhausted at this point, but we really didn’t want to miss the last talk of the day. It was going to be a conversation between Dominique Goblet and Paul Gravett."

"I am personally a big fan of Paul after having a tutorial with him at University last year and then being invited to the Bristol Comica event (which ultimately lead me to Insomnia Publications) [Thanks Paul - we owe you one! - Nic].

I see him as the person who helped me get to where I am now. He was the one who told me to come to the Comic Con and bring my drawings with me to show to people. Something I wasn’t very confident in doing.


"Dominique Goblet is a French painter of complex narrative. She has the ability to switch between styles seemingly effortlessly. I personally liked her more detailed and lifelike drawings. She’s brave enough to challenge the boundaries of comics and fine art, asking things like: ‘What IS a comic?’ and also inviting the audience to think about ‘the truthfulness of autobiography’. Are the creators making some of the stuff up? Are they exaggerating? Leaving some important bits out? Twisting it? You need to approach Autobiographical Graphic Novels with care."

It sounds like a fascinating day and wish I could have gone along. It's also great to see such conferences happening more and more often as the medium we love continues to spread its wings.

And then Jen came back to London, where she met her Butterflies and Moths co-creator, writer Corey Brotherson and this is what happened:

Not sure I have not ushered in the apocalypse in some way, putting these two together!



Now, what with this and the now legendary Citadel of Comics BICS report I think we now claim the prize for having the creators who do the GREATEST EVENT REPORTS EVER!!!

Off to start getting ready for Thought Bubble now - those 3 weeks will just fly by.

1 comment:

Writing Gaijin said...

It's ok, 2012 still a few years off – we’re just the crazed harbingers ;-)