"There is a place deep down South where dreams come true and nightmares find flesh."
Saturday 12th May, I held in my hands for the very first time my very own published copy of my very first comic project!! It doesn't seem so long ago that I was sketching up the concepts and colouring pages for mine and Matt Gibbs' story 'Promises', but it's longer than I think!
It was back in Nov 2010 that I got an email from Matt asking if I'd like to work with him on a story for Bayou Arcana!
Matt and Jennie Gyllblad (Bayou Arcana illustrator for 'Irons in the Fire' with Corey Brotherson) knew each other before Bayou Arcana came to be. She brought him along to our degree show at the Coningsby Gallery in London where Jen and I were both exhibiting our 3rd year Illustration work, having been on the same course as each other at uni!I didn't meet Matt that night, but he obviously remembered my name and my work, as in that fateful email he asked if I would like to collaborate with him on a short comic story for the Bayou Arcana Anthology!
Bayou Arcana is my first involvement in any kind of graphic novel publication, so having just completed my degree I needed a nice big project to sink my teeth into and I was INCREDIBLY psyched that Bayou Arcana would be it!!
Through my involvement in Bayou Arcana I have not only built firm friendships with the other creators and learnt LOADS about what is involved in making a comic, but also this project has opened a door into the wonderful world of the UK Small Press comic scene! I have met and collaborated with many wonderful people since my initial concept sketches for Bayou Arcana went up on this blog!
If it weren't for BA I wouldn't have been asked to illustrate for Dark Harvest: The Legacy of Frankenstein, Sugar Glider Stories 2 or Into the Woods: a Fairytale Anthology!
I owe a LOT to Jennie, Matt, Jimmy and the whole Bayou Arcana Project for getting me at where I am today!
But enough reminiscing! Let me show you this beautiful comic and it's long awaited launch!!
Cover art by Jennie Gyllblad, integrating characters designed by the other creators; Swamp Pussy there is by Nic Wilkinson and I designed the One-Eyed Racoon!
(Showing here the Limited Hardcover edition)
One of my early Bayou colour concepts was used for the back cover panel! It's on my blog right here!
Bayou Arcana, as part of the Markosia Showcase, was given special treatment with this gorgeous table and display set up in the Ramada Hotel!
It was there at 4:30pm on Saturday that a bunch of the writers and artists, myself included, sat on the panel and discussed Bayou Arcana's roots and ambitions. Here was the first time that I actually got to meet some of our very widespread creators, the lovely Jenny Clements (The Skeeter) and Trish Echavarri Riego (Six Bullets) who flew from Mexico! I enjoyed the experience thoroughly despite being slightly nerve wracked!
After the panel discussion it was time for the signing! I was slightly unprepared and nervous about defacing someones beautiful book by scribbling my name in it! It was a rather surreal experience, but it was wonderful to see people who were as excited to read our comic as we were to see them buy it!
I had an amazing time the whole of the Bristol Expo weekend, I mean the excitement of BA launching aside, I got to see and catch up with people I hadn't seen for a year, met plenty more brilliant people for the first time, and got my hands on LOADS of excellent comics!!
This'll certainly be one con that I'll remember!
To find out more about each of Bayou Arcana's creators, visit the BA blog:
You can get your very own copy of Bayou Arcana: Volume One. Songs of Loss and Redemption on the Markosia website:
If after reading you find yourself wanting more, never fear!! There are plans for a Bayou Arcana Volume Two, not to mention other parallel arcs focusing on Earth's 6 other Arcana's (Outback Arcana, Amazon Arcana & Tibet Arcana being some of the ideas!)