12 Books in 12 Months

writing books and blogging about it



Merry Winterval

Happy Festive Season to you, dear readers, from me and this weird sideways faced owl I found at the German market in Edinburgh.

I was hoping to have a PDF of the falcon comic for you to download as a present on Sunday but alas, time got away from me and I’m not going to manage it before embarking upon a round trip of Ayrshire and Perthshire in about an hour.

You can look forward to that next week sometime, but for now why not see if you can make your face go sideways too? It’s hours of fun.  This is my one:

Have a lovely weekend.

Lunchtime Comics

All this time I have been bemoaning the fact I can’t do comics during my lunch break in the office in the same way as I can novel, having forgotten the existence of MS Paint.  That oversight is now rectified with one for the uni crowd…

Interview: John Allison

I am mixing things up a bit and putting this week’s guest post up today.  After all, if you can’t go a little crazy at Christmas, you might as well be a lobster (or other secular life form / member of a non-Christian religion).  Also I had quite a manic weekend so I haven’t drawn anything…

Please put your hands together for the very talented web comicker John Allison, creator of Bad Machinery and Scary Go Round.

John Allison
image by @deadlyknitshade

Continue reading “Interview: John Allison”

Who Do You Think You Are

Page 4, in which the falconer tells the falcon a bit about his parents, his roots, and his destiny.  He is old money, like the royals – a lot of responsibility is going to be coming his way soon.

Interview: Cartoonist Alexander Matthews

This being graphic novel month, I have organised a few interviews with proper artists who do this sort of thing for a living.  Alexander Matthews is a freelance cartoonist who draws comics for loads of people, including Private Eye, The Spectator, The Week and The Dandy (which I’d recommend buying solely for his strip, Nuke Noodle – read the first episode on his blog here).  He currently lives between Russia (where he teaches art) and the UK.  He very kindly agreed to chat about what it’s like to be a proper comicker, rather than a charlatan like me.

The Artist

You trained in illustration and graphic design and you’ve also been a teacher – which came first and how did you get to the point where you are now?

Illustration came first; the teaching thing was really a way to make money. It’s extraordinarily difficult to make ends meet as a freelance illustrator straight out of college. Teaching very much took over my life for a number of years, however. It’s a tough job but one I love.

You draw in a few different styles (strips and panels, colour and monochrome) – which is your favourite to draw and do you have different processes for coming up with them?

I don’t really have a favourite style. The demands of the publication tend to dictate how I draw. With gag cartooning I might sell one out of every 10 I draw, so I tend not to spend so much time on the images. The strips sort of write themselves-I start at picture one and end up at picture 12. Then I go back and stuff a few more jokes in there! Writing gags is much more difficult-a lot of staring out of the window, drinking coffee and going for walks. I draw all my cartoons directly onto the computer because I’m lazy and paper is a fire hazard.

Continue reading “Interview: Cartoonist Alexander Matthews”

Health and Safety

Captain Hopscotch is many things to many people.  It’s hard work being this mysterious all the time, but he manages it.

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