A. P. Watt have been around since 1875 and have a varied client list including Quentin Blake, Boris Johnson, Zadie Smith, Philip Pullman, Richard E. Grant and also the estates of Rudyard Kipling and H. G. Wells (among others). This is great news for the comic, and another step on the way to the completed book seeing publication. I'm very grateful for their interest and support.
Wullie in 1936 and in 1968 by Dudley D. Watkins
The Good and Evil Angels by William Blake
I also visited the new(ish) Forbidden Planet, and though I hadn't intended to buy anything I found Trondheim's 'The Hoodoodad', which I have been after for a while, in their sale section, so bought it.
The meeting at the end of the day was good. It was with the literary, film and television agent AP Watt, and they will now represent my comic strip, The Rainbow Orchid, which is excellent news. They have been around since 1875 and have a varied client list including Quentin Blake, Boris Johnson, Zadie Smith, Philip Pullman, Richard E. Grant and also Rudyard Kipling and H. G. Wells.
My ancestors in this line stopped travelling and settled in about the 1860s, and most of the facts about them had been forgotten by the time I started looking into it, but I wrote an article about what I did discover and it has just appeared in the latest issue of the excellent Romany Routes, the magazine of the Romany & Traveller Family History Society (Vol. 7 No. 6, Mar 2006). It's a much more detailed version of a brief online piece I wrote here.
I like the fact that I have created quite a rich plot with Rainbow Orchid, and I really need to be careful that it does not get confusing in the telling. Part one threw several balls up in the air. I want to make sure I catch them all neatly. I don't find writing the easiest process, so for that reason I work harder on it. I don't think a day has gone by in the last four years when I haven't been turning over some aspect of the story in my mind, and how I can tell that aspect in pictures.
Now, don't think this is a statement that precedes a long silence and then a comic that never appears as I lose interest. It is partly due to increased interest in the comic that I have to make sure of my writing more carefully now. The first 7 episodes of Rainbow Orchid will remain online and I am also going to continue with the colouring, and I will post the updated strips as they're finished. Shane Chebsey recently called The Rainbow Orchid (book two) "the most eagerly awaited comic in the UK at the moment", and while that's a rather over-generous statement, I am aware some of you have been very patient for a long time. I hugely appreciate every reader I have. I know comics aren't the most important thing in the world, but this one's very important to me. I will now be working harder on The Rainbow Orchid, and it will definitely appear, and it won't be years away. I'm very wary of giving time-promises, but I hope this writing period won't be more than two or three months. The plot is there, I just need to tighten the details properly. There are some bits in part three I can't wait to draw!
I don't want to get too rambly, but I will just add that you can sign up as a registered reader at the website, and if you subscribe to the very infrequent newsletter, you can make sure you'll be kept up to date, though of course this blog will also keep you informed.
Around 30,000 civilians have lost their lives. God gives the thumbs-up.
Britain's government, without the sanction of its people, sends its soldiers to invade a country that has not committed an act of aggression against us (or the US). God is so proud.
How can we criticise Islamic extremists who use God as an excuse for acts of violence, when we (because Tony Blair represents us (unfortunately)) admit to doing the same thing.
* Having now seen a little of the interview, he does actually seem to say that God helped him to make the decision. As bad as I feared. How come the rest of the time Blair comes across as quite a nice chap? I can't see Bush ever doing Parkinson (though he is currently doing Pakistan).
Life recently has been taken up with a not-too heavy workload, but ticking along nicely. A couple of logos, a theatre poster and a few rough sketches that I hope will develop into fully-fledged jobs. I have not done any Rainbow Orchid recently, and a surprising number of reasons contribute to this, if I'm honest. Actually, it might be interesting to look at those reasons...
i) I've already mentioned the pain in my right arm, and while drawing seemed okay, I was worried about it, and wanted to use it as little as possible. I have been using the mouse with my left hand for about a month now, and I think I can feel some improvement. I've also done a fair amount of work-drawing with no problems, it's mouse micro-movements that bring on the twinges.
ii) Editing that film of me drawing has put me off slightly as I realised how dull the actual process of drawing really is. This may be more from my perspective, as having gone through the laborious process of creating those drawings, I then had to go through it all several times again as I edited the film and watched it through two or three times while doing so. Of course, what's missing from the film is the internal dialogue, involving mind, hand and eye, that confronts the challenge of getting what is in your mind out into physical form onto paper, and that's the part that makes drawing interesting. But the film shows only the soulless version, and it's uninspiring.
iii) I've had a few negative things in my email inbox recently to do with webcomics and also self-published comics, and that's been eating at my brain a little. I really try and ignore the world of egotistical creators (and readers), but I'm only human, and it can get to me when I'm dragged into it. I'll keep battling away on that one! More often than not I prefer not being part of any kind of scene, and I'm in that frame of mind at the moment, but I mustn't forget all the good people who are involved too. I would just like to say I find it amazing that some authors/artists think they are owed a readership (and fame) as soon as they publish something, and even more amazing that they actually berate people for not genuflecting at their feet. You have to earn every reader with sweat and tears and be thankful for anything. Even your biggest fans will forget you once they put your comic back on the shelf. Please accept that, and just do your best*.
iv) I need to rewrite the next bit of script as the dialogue is bad.
v) I also found myself indulging in a strange feeling of glee at my diminishing daily stats for the webcomic (when not updating). But I also noticed some of those IP addresses that come back day after day to see if there's an update. I owe them a comic.
In other (non) news... last night I had a yoga session that felt as if I am getting back into it at last. I'm now trying to find a local karate club that will suit me too, but this is proving very hard. Ellie and I watched 'Downfall' last night. Not on the TV (where it was on Channel 4) but as our last of February's three rentals from Amazon. An utterly amazing film, more so for it being made by Germans, which did affect the way you watched and understood it. Is it wrong to feel a lump in your throat as Hitler says goodbye to his staff in the bunker before he shoots himself? It must be, it's Hitler! Perhaps it's locking on to anything human within him, but that quickly disappears when he talks about his proudest achievement being the wiping out of Jews in Germany - totally inhuman and impossible to relate to. It's amazing to think that the Nazis were in power within living memory - we all know people who were affected by those years. What a terrible and compelling story. Our other Feb films were '28 Days Later' (good) and 'Forty Year-Old Virgin' (alright, perhaps slightly more intelligent than I thought it was going to be, but still quite forgettable Hollywood fare).
I'll end there. Sorry for the little rant - I don't indulge that often, it's quite negative really.
* (Please don't email me to ask if I'm talking about you. No, I'm not talking about you. It's someone else...)