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For a glimpse at my latest story, hastily coming together for my MFA thesis due in a month. All comments welcome, as ever. Warning: includes a healthy dollop of 70s un-PC ness, so take that with a pinch of salt won't you. More pages up every other day on www.archcomix.com

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It's been several months now, as I've sort of forgotten about the old LJ at the expense of flickr and my website, so I'll stick up some random pages from a piece I'm doing on Chile in the 1970s. Here's the first one, which is probably a good place to start.

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Current Location: Palo Alto, CA
Current Mood: chipper chipper

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As it's week 1 of year 2 round CCS way, this is the first homework assignment we were given, entitled "Wimbledon, 1988". The exercise gave us just 20 mins to dig deep into our subconscious and pull out an event from our childhood attached to an overwhelming sense of fear. The first thing that immediately came to mind wasn't so much a particular event as a series of waking nightmares I used to have about being buried alive. Good ol' fashioned 8 year old psychodrama. Seeing as we had such a strict time limit, and weren't even allowed to pencil, I opted for the coffin layout to accentuate the overriding sense of claustrophobia, darkness and isolation. The panel borders at the bottom were sposed to be my teeth from my screaming mouth, which arguably borders on cliche a bit.

Here's the strip:

One thing I didn't particularly enjoy about the strip was that it was autobio, which is usually an area i tend to avoid like the plague. Maybe because I don't find mining my past experiences particularly fruitful for interesting, original narratives (other buriedalive-ophobes raise your hands now), being a middle-class guy from a suburban town just outside of London. Adding that new take on cotidian events just isn't my bag if you'll excuse the American beauty analogy.  Also, my memory being what it is (as we steathily approach 30), I find my recollections of specific episodes really aren't that sharp any more. Hardly what I'd call polished then, but fun to not be fussing around with pencils, panel borders etc.

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Current Location: Palo Alto, CA
Current Mood: happy happy
Current Music: The Crimea - Lottery Winners on Acid

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Part 2 of the Comic Book Creators' excerpts, as well as the good news that a regular publisher of my monthly comics, London'sThe Other Side Magazine, was recently featured in The Guardian's media section. Click here to read the interview with Sam, TOS's fresh-faced Editor.

Details aplenty from Nate:

Current Mood: full full
Current Music: The Black Keys

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As promised, here are a few excerpts from the comics created by my students over the course of the last 2 weeks. In no apparent order, we have:

Pablo the Sacred Runyip by Spencer

The Epic of Mibus by Gavin

The Sweet Escape by Maggie A Ghost Aghast by Haley

Current Music: The Level Devils - Rockin' Chair | Scrobbled by Last.fm

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Yep, that’s right. The Comic Book Creators session I've been teaching at Galileo Summer Quest came to an end today, with nearly all of my 32 students walking away with 10 copies of their very own comics (see below for proof). And not just comics they’d banged out in clipart a la David Rees (not to knock the magnificent Get Your War On), but real comics that they’d thumbnailed, pencilled, inked, scanned, photoshopped and coloured. Not bad for 9 days work!

I’m so proud of all the students in both my classes (spanning 5-8th grades) that I’m going to stop gushing and sit down with their comics for a good read. What better praise is there.

I’ll post excerpts over the weekend, but just to whet your appetites, we had comics covering: an escape from a haunted town; a star wars take-off, done with sausages; an epic knight’s tale; a man who’s shrunk and can only communicate with his dog; a space story with a twist in the tale; Hercules fighting Kung-Fu Panda; a nature documentary featuring a Runyip (from Star Wars - come ON); unemployed taxi drivers panhandling; more plots to take over the world than I could ever have imagined; and even the odd (semi) wordless piece. An ink-stained pat on the back to everyone involved.


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Current Mood: exhausted exhausted

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I'm back after a protacted leave of absence involving blogger, moving from one side of this sprawling north american clump o' land to the other, and getting a full-time job. Yep, 7-6pm. The new 9 to 5. Still, it is teaching kids how to make comics, and it is pretty inspiring and awesome (as well as more exhausting than anything I've done in a looong while). We're coming to the end of the latest 2 week session this Friday, which means we're knee deep in scanning, inking and digitally touching up artwork, which the youngsters (youngest being 5th grade, eldest 8th) have taken to like consummate pros. Pros who put their hands up alot but pros all the same.

Here's my new all-singing, all-dancing website: www.archcomix.com

where you can currently find a story I've just done on being busted by the party-poopering pigs on July 4th, just as I was beginning to call it quits between us british and the 'mericans. Speaking of which, if any CCS-ers are reading this - I can vaguely make out your silhouettes in the cyber ether - then drop me a line and don't be a stranger. The toll of IKEA and full-time employment has put a dampener on my comics uploading so consider this a return to the fray. More soon.

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Current Location: Californ i a
Current Mood: exanimate exanimate
Current Music: jimmy mcgriff hammond organ funk

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Behold! The first five pages of the last strip I did for an anthology based on the antics of 4 separate groups of guests at the eponymous Hotel Chier. For all non-francophiles out there the translation is 'Hotel Shitty'.

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For my imminent anthology piece for the soon-to-be award-winning "Hotel Chier"... The three on the far left are french exchange students, the middle chap in the towel is an alcoholic pharamceutical salesman, and the bag of bones on the derecha is an OAP who meets the grim reaper on his birthday.

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