Sunday, 29 July 2012


Dave Kirkwood emailed me the following this week :-
''I am (amongst other things) working on 3hundredand65 a unique one-off project in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust. 365 people write one tweet each, their tweet is a contribution to a year long story written tweet by tweet and every day I make a drawing based on the tweet the end product is a single graphic novel written by 365 writers. The sketches are just first stage rough ideas which we'll adapt and work up next year when we write the full story. I've dropped a couple of images on to the end of this email starting with yesterday's. We didn't predict how quickly the project would grow. We've been in the national: ( Radio 6, Guardian Weekend ) press and local ( Breakfast Show, MEN ) and we currently appear on hundreds of blogs.
The 3hundredand65 idea came to me on December 30th last year and it's all been a bit of a whirlwind since then. I'm a designer not an illustrator I haven't drawn for over 20 years. I nearly lost my sight two years ago in a freak accident, Manchester Eye Hospital saved it, but I'm under the continuous threat of it going at any time. I started drawing sitting in the waiting room at the Eye Hospital one day and couldn't stop. For me it's about ideas and bringing characters to life. It's become a bit of an obsession so it's my channel swim if you like, without getting wet! I wrote a simple blog post about it here: ''.
This looks to be an incredibly ambitious and worthwhile project, that actually is more than 'just' the graphic novel mentioned above, and I've jumped at the chance to contribute a Tweet. Dave is looking for more contributors, so why not contact him and get involved. Also check out his blog for more up to date information.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Manchester's MCM.

We missed the MCM Con in Manchester last year due to it clashing with an event at a Library that we'd already committed to, and so we had no idea whether it would be good, bad or indifferent.
What it had in its favour was that it's a very local event for us, so no trains, no hotels to sort out, no lugging heavy bags of stock across city streets. No, it took us only 30 minutes from Colin's house. Which is why we were late.
What never ceases to amaze me at the MCM events is the colour, the costumes and the sense of fun from all the people who take the opportunity to dress up like their hero. Colin would love to dress up as Captain America, I know, but we've told him there's an age limit, and he has yet to find out that there actually isn't. There should be, but there isn't. I can rely on the fact that he rarely goes online and so will never see this posting.
And so there we were. A nicely stocked stall, a banner telling everyone who we were and Colin dressed normally. But would it all count for anything ? We know that the percentage of actual comic readers at these events is quite small, probably around 10%, but with 5000 or more people coming through the door (and they were still queueing to get in at 2pm), that's ... err ... at least 500 potential customers. So, signs were quite promising.
We know that the queue was still there at 2pm because Gary Crutchley was in it.
Once behind the table though he was in fine form. Doing a fab job of selling all the Accent UK books, that he was in, and giving away free sketches and signatures if the customer began to show any hesitancy.
Shauna, The Space Girl from Starburst, teleported down to say 'Hello', it turns out that she's the girl who puts my copy of Starburst in the addressed envelope, for which I thanked her. Actually I think she's employed to pack more than just mine but it was nice to meet her anyway, and give her a copy of WesterNoir as a small 'Thank You'.
Business was steady all day, with 2OMBIES (Zombies 2) being our best seller, closely followed by WesterNoir, which is great.
Gary got to meet the winner of the KAPOW raffle for his original artwork (I still owe you that £10 Daniel) and we then realised we'd forgotten to raffle of his new one (it was an honest mistake .. really .. although it does look very nice on my wall), which we'll take with us to MegaCon.
...and then it was 5pm. The show was over and we'd managed to sell more books than at any other 1 day event before it. A great day, a great range of independent comics on display from all manner of publishers and great sales ... who could ask for more?
We ended the day talking comics over a pint in the oldest pub in Manchester, apparently, with Steve 'Timebomb' Tanner, who had also had a great day. Hope you managed to catch your train OK Steve, see you at Thought Bubble.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

WesterNoir Original Art Raffled At MCM

Gary Crutchley, artist on WesterNoir, has produced another great piece of original artwork to raffle off with purchases of WesterNoir from our stall on Saturday.
It's a reproduction of his excellent cover for Issue 1. Gary will also be at hand to sign copies and via the wonders of technology (his iPAD) will be able to show pages from Issue 2.
Be sure to pop by ...

Saturday, 14 July 2012

MCM in Manchester next Saturday

We will be at the MCM Expo in Manchester on the 21st July (yep, that's next Saturday), with copies of WesterNoir and  Zombies 2, do pop in and say hello if you're in the Manchester area.
This also means that I'll finally be able to send out contributor copies, apologies for the delay, I won't bore you with excuses but suffice it to say that I'm sorry I couldn't get them out sooner. If you're a contributor and haven't emailed me your address yet then please do so.

And .. speaking of WesterNoir, from tomorrow up until 12th August, the Birmingham Mail's Speech Balloons will be featuring a summer season of Gary Crutchley's pencil art on the Carter's Column comic strip series.  As ever you can keep up with it at:

Sunday, 8 July 2012

The Government seems to have it in for the little creative guy...

Check this out :-


and if you're an independent creator based in the UK then consider signing the petition.
I'm never sure whether petitions do much good at the end of the day but it is the only way to show your disapproval of what is happening.
Well ... not the only way I guess.
The other is to restrict your output to that printed on good old paper where you have a chance of proving that you produced it when you say you did, and less chance for others to say that they weren't aware of it's origins.
Kinda kills blogs like this and my own creator blog as it'll be restricted to work in print rather than discussing and showing things in production or pieces of artwork.
It'll be a sad day if this happens.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

WesterNoir Review over on the Accent UK Comics Facebook group

Thought I'd post a review from Lazy Bones Studios' Ken Thomas that has been posted over on Facebook.
Gary asked for a non-spoiler review and Ken sure spades.
Cheers Ken....

WesterNoir by Dave West and Gary Crutchley. (Review)

I have always liked a good... western.........and loved a great western. Which brings us to WesterNoir. The hook was equally great between the Name as well as the Cover Art. All that was left was to actually read it.

Many a book are in my position with the intent to someday read. Unfortunate for most in that they will remain in that state of promise as titles like WesterNoir so easily claw their way to the front of the line.

To Mr. Crutchley & Mr. West I tip my hat in respect for a job not well done but rather extraordinarily so.

The tale WesterNoir is centered on a man, a hard man named Josiah Black. Josiah has spent his life on both sides of right and wrong. Some say Josiah's life has left his soul calloused with sin others say it is like his name, black & dead. In spite of his rugged spit in your eye disposition, it was always tempered with a sense of honor. A man of honor always pays his matter how great. These things are the essence of Josiah Black and are his driving force as that of the story.

This story works and plays out at a pace where you find yourself anxious to finish and turn to the page. My only regret is that I only have Book I and it has infected me with that itch, that question that begs to be answered "What happens next?"

Bravo mates, Ken (Lazy Bones)