Yesterday, 7STRING Volume 2 went to print. And not only that, The Heavenly Chord as well… allowing me to end 2014 with TWO NEW GRAPHIC NOVELS completed. I can’t quite believe it. TWO! And not only that, I heard today that I was successful in my application for a new dayjob… say hello to NICH ANGELL – DESIGNER/ARTWORKER!! So much for me to take in and its all happened at once!
I’ve had the craziest last two weeks. They began with me going on half-term holiday from my current dayjob (part time science tech at a school) staring down the 14 days til the print deadline for 7STRING Volume 2. The deadline that would allow me to make launch date at Thoughtbubble comic convention in Leeds on November 15th. In the middle of a mind blowing Kickstarter campaign, the book was definitely going to be… there were no excuses… I had 14 days to draw 16 pages, and to my fellow comickers out there, you know that is bordering on insane.
Comfortably it takes me two days to draw a page. That isn’t two days SOLID, that’s two evenings allowing for things like work, food and a bit of chill out for me time. So to need to draw MORE than a page a day was looking tough. But it gets worse…
I was then faced with a full weekend convention in London (MCM – lost 2 days) and a 5-day trial in a graphic design studio for a potential new job (5 days… lost)… that meant 16 pages… in SEVEN DAYS. It was knackering, and it nearly killed me, but I did it. I took my entire computer setup to my girlfriend’s Mum’s house for the job trial (closer to the job and meant I could keep my evenings instead of travelling) and spent all the evenings there bashing out pages… then went to ‘work’ and had to’ impress’ on my week long interview… it was crazy.
As if THAT wasn’t enough Jon Lock was badgering me for a cover for The Heavenly Chord GN which was only going to print because it was a successful stretch goal on the Kickstarter! But it’s print deadline was the same as Volume 2’s!! So I HAD to do the cover within the same time window. To be fair though Jon did so much on that book, all the layout, the back cover (which is awesome) and the incidental interior pages… absolute legend. I was more than keen to squeeze that cover into my hectic schedule… and I managed.
ON TOP OF THAT I needed to order more Volume 1’s to coincide with the launch of 2… but it was in the half started process of being re-lettered as I wanted to produce a more definitive and in-keeping version (a second edition if you will) to be worthy of a Kickstarter reward… so Ali, my amazing girlfriend spent a day and a half finishing re-lettering Volume 1… that’s right… she’s a letterer now. Watch out comics! I couldn’t have done most of this without her amazing support and then she went and did that for me… amazing.
As of yesterday morning I finished all the work and the 3 books went to print, 2 7STRINGS and a Heavenly Chord. They’ll be arriving in time for Thoughtbubble and I can’t wait to see them in all their fresh steaming book glory.
I crashed. We had sushi to celebrate, and I bought a Breath of Fire artbook and I fell asleep on my DS on Monday night.
This afternoon I got an email from the design company saying I’d got the job. Full title, Graphic Designer and Artworker. Not only is it better paid (taking home double my science tech wage) but its in line with my skills… my interests, my passion. It is so important for my main future though… my comics future. It will allow to invest some of my money into my projects, to grow my comics business and my books and my scope… it will improve my quality of life which in turn will improve my art and after a few years of it, with my comix fire burning ever stronger in my heart, it will help us make Big Punch the Big Reality it is destined to become.
I’ve struggled this year, things have been tough and I’ve doubted myself a lot. I always doubt my art but I was concerned about my future too, with not much money around and a deep seated knowledge that I’d never let go of my comix dream I didn’t know how I was going to take the next step forward… but with help from some amazing friends and the frankly bewildering level of belief and support from my parents and Ali… i’m feeling so positive now. The dream never went, and it never will, but I’m back on course with it now, my sails are full and nothing can stop me.
2015 is going to be huge. Big Punch has some plans for new comics, new stories and new… THINGS that are going to blow you away and I can’t wait to start drawing them… but for now, I think I’ve earned a night off.
I’m going to go eat pizza and watch Treasure Planet.
love to you all.