Call for Pitches

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week, and artist Holly Keasey and I are launching an open call for contributions to an anthology focused on role of aesthetics within the long-term processing of direct experiences of physical and psychological abuse.

Contributions can be writing, art, comics, or anything in between so long as they are no more than 4 A5 pages and are B&W.  Also, we’re not really interested in pieces that recount experiences of abuse; what we’re after is how creative people use their work to process these experiences.  We’re just looking for pitches right now, so you have loads of time to create your idea.

Check out our Creative Scotland call out for more information about the project and how to apply.

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Autumn Con apperances

This autumn we’ll be busy jet-setting around the UK (and by jet-setting I mean lugging suitcases full of books onto various trains) to attend 4 different cons.

First up, Lakes International Comic Arts Festival in Kendal on 15-16 October

Next, Fort Con in beautiful Fort William on 22 October

Followed quickly by Ex Libris Book Fair on 23 October

And after a wee break to recover, Edinburgh Comic Art Festival in Edinburgh on 26-27 November

Hope to see you there!

Freshly launched Patreon

So, I’m trying something new…

Patreon is a way to support artists and creatives on a monthly basis, giving them a wee bit of help to cover materials and costs as they work on bigger projects. It’s not a big investment – $1 a month makes you a patron of the arts. I’m a patron to a few super awesome projects myself, and I love it.

I’ve set up a page for myself now, see how it goes. If you’d like to come along on a magical comics journey with me, I’m offering an inside look at the process of creating my big and small comics projects (as well as free digital comics, rebates on physical copies, and even a monthly love letter from Scotland).

Thanks for checking it out!

me

 

Space Cats & AMNWSL eye tracking

I was fortunate enough to meet the awesome Dr. Claire Kirtley at Glasgow Comic Con earlier this month, who is doing a post-doctoral research project called Comic Conventions.  To quote their website:

Words and images are frequently used together to communicate information to the viewer, in signs, instruction manuals, adverts and comics. Despite this, much research has focused on how we gather information from words or images alone. In this project, we aim to further our understanding of how we gather information from both sources, using the medium of comics and the method of eye-tracking.

Not only do comics convey their stories via word and image combinations, there are established theories and rules underpinning how these combinations are presented from influential figures such as Will Eisner and Scott McCloud. Writers and artists follow (or break) these rules to influence the reader’s experience and understanding of the story. Using these theories as a base, we can explore for the first time whether the ideas they propose are borne out by the reader’s experiences.

Eye-tracking allows us to follow a reader’s eye-movements as they view a comic page. We can determine which areas catch their attention and hold it, if they need to re-read areas that seem unclear, and how they may divide their attention between words and images within the panels. By combining these measures with the reader’s reports of their enjoyment of the comics, we hope to gain a better understanding of the comic reader’s experience, and how comic conventions may be best employed to increase their involvement and enjoyment in the story on the page.

Dr. Kirtley eye tracked Space Cats and Alle meine neue Woerter sind Lebensmittel – check it out!