Friday, 23 September 2016

Review: EASY

The latest Netflix original series Easy is a refreshing take on modern relationships, life and the human condition. Featuring a cast of familiar actors, such as Michael Chernus (that guy who plays Piper’s brother from OITNB), Dave Franco and Orlando Bloom to name a few. Written and directed by Joe Swanberg.

Each episode is a snippet of the lives of these characters who live in Chicago, mostly focusing on an individual or a couple’s relationships. Naturally we see a range of ups and downs between the characters and themselves as they live their lives, whether they’re a married couple with children, single or dating, they all share one thing in common: they’re people dealing with what life throws at them.

There’s an honesty with all the characters as you get personal with them throughout their episodes, so you gradually pick up on what values and morals they hold. You get to know them very quickly in such a short space of time with each episode being no longer than 30 minutes and even though their situations might not be your own, you feel that you can relate to them regardless.

One episode that stood out to me features a middle-aged graphic novelist, who writes from his own experiences and meets a photography student who gives him a taste of his own medicine. This explores a notion I’ve always thought about when writing something auto-biographical; how would others feel about it, starring in a published story of your life depicted in ways they may not want. You can also relate to some of the frustrations of the character throughout the episode as he tries to deal with the modern world that he feels somewhat excluded in. Suitably it features a cameo of cartoonist Chris Ware at the end of the episode.

Two of the episodes cover two brothers who reconnect over a love of brewing beer. One brother becomes reinvigorated as it breaks the mold of his routine and the other is edging him on, encouraging him to enjoy life, telling him his own unhappiness is his own doing. Out of the series, these two episodes hold the most substance and it perfectly ties up the end of the series as we see how these brothers almost switch places in life.

Easy feels like a very believable take on real people, it could almost be a fly on the wall documentary. Thankfully it isn’t and it’s been produced with finesse. There’s a number intimate scenes possibly bordering on gratuitous on opinion but it’s all in context. We see a very intimate perspective of the characters with no distractions, conversations look and feel real as there’s often very little use of non-diegetic music. Although when it is used it’s adding to the scenes, giving a slight stray away from reality into fantasy, adding some comedy into the drama, but at the same time it feels very natural.

I could see Easy coming back for a second season, it could return to some of the key characters such as the two brothers but at the same time each character’s story was set out and tied up by the end of each episode. You feel satisfied that you can predict what kind of life they’ll live in the afterlife of their spotlight. It’s early days yet but I would see it would work best with a new set of characters, possibly still in Chicago with some tie ins with the established characters or it could even work in a new location entirely as it’s not about the location, it’s about life and relationships.

Easy is insightful, relatable and another refreshing and original Netflix series.

All 8 episodes are available to watch as from the 22nd September 2016, and it’s definitely one of the Netflix Originals that you can watch all in one sitting.

Friday, 6 November 2015

Some Comics on Tapastic

Hello everyone,
I've recently been uploading my not-so-daily comics onto this great website I've discovered recently: Tapastic.

Here's the link!

I came across it whilst looking for where I could host a webcomic (for an upcoming project with a writer) and it seems pretty good, and it's available as an App. Which is cool but unfortunately I have a windows phone and I can't get the App - sad times, but maybe you can! I've put all the comics from my website and blog on there and I've recently scanned all of the comics I've drawn in my sketchbook which you may have seen on my Instagram. I'll be uploading those daily for at least the next week and then I'll work out a method of keeping them daily as I draw them. The good thing about Tapastic is that you can schedule uploads so if I just sit down and colour a bunch I can get working on new comics in the time it takes.

Here's a couple that I've uploaded recently.

Thanks for reading! :)

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Dr Apple

I drew this comic yesterday and decided to post it on Imgur to try branch out on the ol' social medias.

Here it is in separate pages, 9 in total :)

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Edencon and Lancaster Comics Day 2015

This year two new conventions started; Edencon in Carlisle, held at the University of Cumbria, and Lancaster Comics Day, held in Lancaster Library, in Lancaster. (Lancaster.) 

This is great news for the comics industry, it's good to see events start up. Perhaps it's just because I'm from a small seaside town but comics haven't really been big in the UK but it looks like that's changing. WHICH IS GREAT. I'm sure there's more events that have propped up this year or in recent years (LICAF in Kendal to name one) but I'm rambling about these specific events because I attended them both on the University of Cumbria Comic Book Collective stall (or UOCCBC). Unlike previous times I've sat on the stall, at Edencon I was trusted to set up the stall and manage it for the most part of the day. I think it wasn't long after Edencon that I discovered Lancaster Comics Day was starting and so I brought it to the attention of Lecturer/Bagatelle Editor Nick Dodds. Unfortunately he couldn't make it but instead sent me with all the usual products and in charge of the stall for the day. Which was good experience.

Anyway, here's a few of photos from Edencon 2015 and Lancaster Comics Day 2015 which turns out to not be many because I didn't take a lot of photos.

The table for Edencon. We were seated behind the stage where talks and competitions were being held.

When Darth Vader walked in on an acedemic discussion about comics.

The table for Lancaster Comics Day, which they labelled with my name and not UOCCBC. 

Both events were great days, it's always a pleasure to sit on the stalls selling Bagatelle as well as some old University publications and my work/work of other students. I had my latest comic ready for Lancaster Comics Day as well which was exciting to be selling my own work that I'd printed a small run of. After Lancaster Comics Day, I talked with the good people at First Age Comics in Lancaster and stocked my own comic as well as all 4 issues of the comic anthology Bagatelle. So if you happen to be in Lancaster you can find them at First Age Comics:

FIRST AGE COMICS are located at 3 Moor Lane, Lancaster - one of the most historic streets in the city. If you're ever in the area and would like to visit, our opening hours are Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm.

"nice shelf!" - Nick Dodds

What's next up for UOCCBC and myself? The Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2015 on the 17th and 18th October in Kendal which I'll be attending again for the third year running. This time I'm staying in Kendal for the full weekend to experience it without the worries of uni work and travel which I'm very much looking forward to.

Been a while...

Wow. I've not used my blog in a while. I suppose because the end of my course got a little hectic at the end and then once moving back to Morecambe I decided to have a break for the Summer. No excuse really.

So my last post was a daily comic, I drew one more after that at the time about growing basil. Thrilling stuff, here's said comic.

I made an ISSUU book collecting them which you can view on the books page of my website, I also made a book collecting the Twitter Illustrations which you can also find on the books page. Link here
There's also a couple of other ISSUU books of mine that you can find there.

That's just part one of many catch-up stories, I'll try keep them somewhat chronological.

Monday, 13 April 2015

The Woman who cried Scandal

Dog Diner Logo

I'm currently working on a project with Derrian Bradder where we're creating a new image for a fictional Dog Diner, like a Cat CafĂ© but with dogs instead. Among the various pieces we'll be making, one is the logo. Below are some of the steps we took to reach the final logo.

Original lineart

Playing with the colours


Revisit with typeface changes

Final logo and grayscaled version