Sunday, May 08, 2011

365 Doodles - Day 128

Today's doodle comes from the turn of the century and features two comic characters called Big Mack and Frize invented by some small press friends - Noel K Hannan and Rik Rawling. Their Bad to the Bone imprint was banging out indie comics at the same time that I was and we were all part of a happy little network of creators all mutually helping each other. They were fun days
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They did guest art and writing for us and vice versa. There was a real sense of community among the small press in those days and many contributors went on to bigger and better things. Rik is now a fine artist and Noel has had several books published and writes for The Guardian. Others, like Paul Grist and Gary Spencer Millidge have created wonderful comics, most notably Kane and Strangehaven.

It was while doing the rounds of the various UK comic conventions that I also met journalist Joel Meadows, co-creator of the review magazine Tripwire. The magazine has been running for nearly two decades and has managed to remain self-funded and independent of other publishers. Consequently, it has retained a deserved reputation for impartiality and fairness. Just recently the magazine has gone digital and you can download the latest copy for free by clicking here.

A couple of years ago, Joel and colleague Gary Marshall decided to use their network of contacts and the good reputation they'd earned to write Studio Space, a visit to the studios of some the world's top comic artists to get an insight into how they work. Among the artists featured were Brian Bolland, Steve Dillon, Dave Gibbons, Mike Mignola, Alex Ross, Jim Lee, Frank Miller, Adam Hughes ... and many more. If you love comics, or aspire to create them, the book is a must. Naturally enough, I'm not in there - these are guys at the top of their game - but look closely at the top part of the cover and you'll see that Joel and Gary kindly included one of my knees.

Top blokes. Top book.

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