– Johanna Draper Carlson, Comics Worth Reading

As Charity fought her way through Something’s Wrong for the Variance Anthology, I promised that I’d write something full of things she likes drawing to do next. I think both of us thought it’d be another short piece, but due to a rare case of an entire story downloading into my forebrain in a single toilet-trip, it’s to be an eighty-page graphic novel.

Described elegantly by Charity as “A story about what happens when foolish little girls fall in love with the fairy circus”, it’s an unashamedly girly comic which exists on the meniscus between her need to draw impossibly beautiful costumes and my need to talk about The End Of History, the nature of inspiration and all manner of other fairly hefty themes. Of all the comics I’ve written, it’s the one I’m most pleased with.

It’s being released in narrative-chunks of three-pages or so as they’re completed online. Feel free to get yourself a ring-side seat.

Also, Charity and I did an interview with Sequential Tart about the comic, which can be read here.

My longest webcomic so far, by far, and it’s not actually online at the moment. Conceived in response to Jim challenging me to do a regular comic for his art-collective website Big Robot. I expanded it, deciding upon a bi-weekly schedule to run consistently over the site’s year existence.

A series of necessities lead to the comic’s form: I had no significant art talent or reliable enough artists to help me produce. I wasn’t interested in doing a found-media comic (which I’d done on an earlier iteration of Big Robot) or something with computer models. This lead to a photo-comic approach, with the images simply presented as negatives as the most simple method of hiding the identity of the actors while keeping something intrinsically human. Realising that getting friends to pose constantly would put a strain on everyone, this lead to the actual content of the comic. I simply dragged a camera around and took photos of whatever my friends were doing, then looked for any implicit narrative. This lead to the story — held together by a reality-TV device –charting , commenting upon and satirising that year in that Bath social circle.

It’ll find its way back online, probably around the time when I put together a promised Print-on-demand edition of the project.

Post HIT, I was looking for a next webproject to do. Homo Depressus was planned to be it, an extremely dark Satirical social science-fiction story in the Dystopian tradition. Mark Nicoll, who I had previously worked on videogame-mod The Cassandra Project, wanting to experiment with comics. This lead to a collaboration, and his eventual completion of this test episode. While he’s currently working on a second episode, one way or another, I plan to return to this material.

A short three page comic I wrote in the same period of the HITs, inspired by watching a documentary with the sound off in the pub. About a young anorexic, I found myself nonplussed about the girl but fascinated by the mother’s reaction as she dutifully dropped the three-coco-pops into the milk. Lovely, brutal art by Tim Twelves.