Sunday, August 19, 2012

Join in with the Magic

Now here's one of the new projects I've been meaning to talk to you all about for quite some time.

I've been writing and drawing comic pages for many years and have seen, and been excited by, the growth in webcomics, as they are the one media that I truly believe to be the future natural home for all cartoonists with talent, a message or an original voice: where as the syndicates had to pamper to the mass market for fiscal reasons, the web cartoonist can write for as little as five thousand dedicated fans on a fringe theme and still earn more than most other cartoonists do via the syndication route.

Now over the years, as I've said before, I've worked on comics and seen their sad demise; it was a format I loved as a child and one that I aspired to working on as an adult. I was also very lucky to have been able to have drawn at least one of the UK industries top iconic luminaries, Beryl the Peril. But unlike a lot of my contemporaries, and the ones who came after me, I have accepted that the old world order is dying. The dinosaurs of the old media world have been blasted by the meteorite of the Internets new world order, and to that end, I intend to move through the ice age of confused comics artists and into the gloriously bright new dawn of the electronic media.

So, what am I going to do? Well, quite plainly I don't yet have the funds or the time to set up a large webcomic site, but what I do have is a collection of interested people (that's you lovely folks reading and following this blog) who keep coming back to see and read about what I'm up to. Some may come to see the tutorials. Some may come along to read my wildly irreverent short stories or you may just be here to  view my portfolio or learn more about me or just see what I have for sale in my store.

Okay that's the blatant marketing bit over with, now onto the real reason for this blog post.

I wrote and created, about thirty years ago, a series of characters and put them together into a strip that I called Pixy Wood. It was a tale about a magical community of woodland spirits; the strip had no political agenda, no cute talking dogs or cats, just a group of odd-ball, whacked out eccentric faerie folk nut-jobs who lived a simplistic life in a magical woodland. They had the odd anti hero and a lot of visiting characters who dropped by from time-to-time, just to spice things up and rattle their collective cages and lives.

The strip was very nearly picked up by King Features Syndicate, Tribune Media Services and the Telegraph Syndicate. Sadly my little strip lost by one vote on the panel of adjudicators every time. But no matter what I do and no matter how I grow creatively, I've never been able to move away from my beloved little Pixy's.

I think they are just my thing.

They've been in a strip, produced as a graphic novel, were commissioned by a comic two weeks before it folded and was due for publication by an Irish publishing house just before they were acquired by a large London publisher who cancelled all their new projects, mine included. But still I refused to give in. You might say that all those near misses are what spur me on: I just keep on thinking that if enough people who are in a position of power and market knowledge to know what they're talking about, wanted this to happen, then there must be something in it and this morning, over a cup of Earl Grey and my Kindle, I had a spark of inspiration as to what direction my strip may progress in.

The page set out above is just a sample. It follows no storyline or has no punchline (hence the lack of dialogue), at this stage I just wanted to see how it would look with the format of cartoons on a realistic background, and more importantly, I wanted to hear what you, my faithful and intellectually superior followers, thought of it.

I'm going to be writing a few episodes over the next few weeks and I'll also produce them in a more traditional format--- that of all cartoon as well as in the photo format illustrated above.

So please do leave a comment and let's get this ball rolling and if it grows, as I hope it will, we can all say that we were here at the very beginning.


By the way, if you are in need of books, DVD's, games, electrical goods and you're going to use Amazon to buy them, please click onto it through my site on the banner advert to your right; for every person that does I get a payment from Amazon, and if you order from that click then I get a commission on what you buy. It doesn't cost you a single penny extra but it does help fund this blog, enabling me to carry on giving you free cartoon advice and stories.

Please remember, every click you make helps me entertain you! Thank you

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