Sunday, September 29, 2013

Novel scribbles

I finished a rewrite of part one of a novel recently, and printed it out with gaps in it for illustrations. Yesterday I found some time to fill some of the gaps.

It's a novel set in a world where animals talk, as they do in picture books. - I have been thinking about this story and working on it for over a decade now, and the universe it is set in is quite clear to me by now. It's a challenge to make it clear to the readers as well without overexplaining... I am starting to see why so many fantasy books come with maps and prefaces and appendixes.

Thursday, September 26, 2013


I was helping out with a production of Noye's Fludd today.

I had ONE JOB: make a raven and a dove. As props. For Noah. I got there in the morning...

...and I made a very large raven out of very hard to fold black card. I used my multi-tool, my hands and teeth and eventually my boots.

Then I made a dove, which took me a very long time... a really very long time... because THE INSTRUCTIONS WERE WEIRD and I only had them on my mobile and it kept crashing.

Then I realised I had made a mistake.
I went away to be sad, bought some books and came back.

Then I made a new one the right size.

Then it was the end of the day.


Insomnia Comics: Hysteria

Had another mostly sleepless night. A mosquito bit me on the bum. It reminded me of the old days. So I drew this. You're welcome.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Tiny Pencil

Have you seen Tiny Pencil Magazine yet? IT IS BRILLIANT.
The latest issue is aimed at children, and it comes in a box... with some really nice pencils and other treats.
But the main feature, of course, is what has been drawn... all drawn in pencil, and beautifully printed and bound into three themed booklets about MAMMALS, MARTIANS and MONSTERS. It's an amazing publication, so much love and care has evidently gone into it... I am very impressed, and proud to have helped a tiny bit by drawing a couple of things.

This is exactly the kind of magazine I would have LOVED as a child... and actually, I still do love this.

My friend Frøydis Sollid Simonsen has a beautiful comic in the Mammals section. It made me cry a bit.
I think the mammal booklet is my favourite one.

There are many puzzles and activities, lovingly drawn... this one by Briony Clohe.

Here's a little bit of mine. I made instructions for a game in the Martian booklet.

There's even papercraft! Some monsters by Kristyna Baczynshi.

Buy the magazine. Have all the fun. It is PACKED with wonders.
You can also follow them on Twitter for more pencil goodness.
And, if you like, read an interview they did with me some time ago.

Small Comic: Heart

Another tiny insomnia comic.
I noticed one morning that a heart upside down with bird feet would look extremely funny.


The Sleepwalkers made it on the shortlist for a British Comics Award - the Young People's Comic Award.
It's a fine list, check it out... the winner will be chosen by some actual young people and announced in November at the Thought Bubble Festival in Leeds.

Well done, my beasties!

Finches... drawing many, many, MANY FINCHES.
Mostly late at night.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Goat of K'Toth

I promised myself to make a few diary comics a week, no matter how rough.
Here's a dream I had.

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Belly of the Whale

I have been drawing many guts. This book I am making is not very digital - parts are assembled that way, but the actual marks are all real world materials this time.

I painted a load of shapes in watercolour...
Then I turned them into organs, using assorted reference books.

Here is part of the finished artwork, digitally assembled.

As you can see, some small creatures find themselves in a tight spot...

All the original artwork goes into a big box on my coffee table, for the time being...

And in case you wondered, here is the hat that was visible in the background in an earlier photo. It's the hat I wore most often in school, and it had gone quite saggy. I shaped it with sugar water and sunlight, it's a reasonably proper pork pie hat again.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Back to work.

Am working late to catch up.
It's suddenly autumn, so I cooked a soup earlier to cheer up the household. I shall reheat a bowl now (which makes it taste nicer, I expect).
Here's a bit of what's on my screen.
This book will be very, very simple for the most part, and simple is terribly complicated sometimes... yawn...
Good night!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Studio space!

I am leaving my wonderful studio in central London to set up a new one with some friends... I will miss the place, it's very friendly and I had a great time there.
If you are interested in taking over my old desk space, here are the details:

I can leave any time, so it's totally flexible! You could be in there next week!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Alexis on observational drawing

I think you should read what Alexis has to say about observational drawing.

Observational drawing is good for you, right?  I certainly think so.  I have never been much into sitting in front of something for hours on end and trying to make an exact duplicate of it though.  We have cameras for that.  There are loads of things that you can do with a drawing that you can't do with a camera.  One of the most useful is the power you have to recombine elements you have observed into entirely new arrangements.  I use this all the time when drawing moving subjects like people or animals.  The are almost always going too fast to get as much information as I would like so I have a couple of tricks for collaging several together. If the subject is say, a cat, it might well be moving constantly but it will also be repeatedly hitting the same sorts of pose or taking the same sequence of steps.  If you have a few drawings on the go at once you can wait for each pose to come around in turn and work on the related drawing when it does.  With people, I often like to draw them in segments, taking a posture from one subject, a hairdo from another, shoes from a third etc.  This has the added bonus of making the people you ultimately draw unrecognisable should any of the subjects happen to see your sketchbook.  It also means you don't have to gaze intently at one poor fellow for hours on end.  Knowing you are being drawn is like having the sensation you get when someone is taking your photo stretched out over half an hour. 
Read the rest at his blog!

Alexis Deacon

Helsinki Comics Festival...

Hey! I am back from Helsinki. The Comics Festival was wonderful. I laughed so much that my voice is still hoarse. - I feel a bit sorry for all the people who had to put up with my hyper-excited festival persona, I get very loud and silly when surrounded by so much niceness.
I drank a lot of coffee, and Finnish beer, and ate reindeer and not much else.

drawing by Frøydis!
My great friend Frøydis was also there, by pure coincidence she had the table next to ours, and we danced a lot and tried to speak Finnish and had pancakes for every breakfast.
I made a dress from the festival T-shirt, using a sewing kit that a lovely Russian artist lent me. And when we were too tired to dance, we covered the tablecloth in a bar in drawings.

T some point I dragged people away to the Zoological Museum and we saw the best taxidermy exhibits I've seen in my life. We had to run through because it was just before closing time...

And oh, the books! And the zines! Frøydis brought me a copy of her new book. It is beautiful. I'll have to somehow translate it all slowly from Norwegian...

And I bought "Kummituslapsi" by Terhi Ekebom, a book about a ghost child, it made me cry (in a good way).

from "Kummituslapsi", Terhi Ekebom
My hair went very odd from the hotel shampoo, or maybe the sauna or lack of sleep or all of that, but that kind of suited the robot workshop I was running.

And we did make robots!

Photo taken by the official festival photographer, see here 

 On the plane I blindfolded myself with a moomin scarf to get some sleep. Someone's vodka bottles broke in the overhead locker which led to a spectacular diagonal rainfall, but else all went well.

And now I am back, still in bed, I will do some work today in my book-castle where all is quiet and peaceful.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Helsinki Robot!

I ran a workshop in Helsinki at the Comics festival, and I had no camera, so I only have these photos that the mother of this awesome robot sent me. LOOK AT THE DETACHABLE POWER PACK also feathers

Monday, September 2, 2013

Welcome to my Awesome Sister

I thought you'd like to get an idea of where Welcome To Your Awesome Robot comes from.

Of course it's also about my other sister and my mum and my dad... but she was always up for making the most wild and wonderful things. Still is!
And dungarees are the best.