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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

More Christmas Greetings.

I kinda ummed and ahhed about this mainly because it is not a script. Then I thought what the heck. Every year for the last two years I have written a christmas story for my blog. This year I thought that it would be nice to share it with a wider audience.

I hope you enjoy it. Merry Christmas.

The Dream of Snow
By Anna. J. Thomas

Dathan reached the front door of his home, it had been a long day, and he had been looking forward to seeing his family. He knew that the moment he opened the door he would be met by the smiling face of his five year old, Alina. He placed his hand on the iron hook of the door, lifted it and walked in. The first thing he noticed was the warmth. It had been a particularly cold day, and he was glad to hear the fire roaring in the grate. Before he had a chance to take his coat off and put his work tools away his daughter had run in to the porch way and had pulled her father into a hug.

‘Daddy, you’re home.’ She said excitedly. Clearly he was not the only one who was glad he was home.
‘Hello you.’ Dathan kissed the top of her head. ‘Let me put my coat and tools away I’ve only just got in.’
‘Sorry, Daddy.’ She said still smiling.
‘Hey, there is no need to be sorry, I am glad you are happy to see me. Just let me put my things away first and then I can come into the sitting room and see you and your mother properly eh?’
‘Okay daddy. Daddy, will you be telling my stories later?’ Alina stood on the spot, looking up to her father’s face expectantly.
‘Yes, of course I will be doing your stories later. In fact if you go to your room and get ready for bed then I will be in very soon to do your stories okay? I want to say hello to your mother first though.’
‘Okay, and then stories right. I can be ready before you have finished speaking to mummy’ Alina looked up again and smiled.
‘Then stories, now off you go. It’s not a race you know.’ Dathan ushered her to her room, Alina skipped away excited that her father was home, and that very soon she would get her stories.

Dathan put his coat on the hook by the door, and placed his bag of tools on the floor. He walked into the main sitting area to find his wife relaxing on one of the chairs. She looked as though it was the first time that day that she had been given the chance to sit down and have a rest.

‘Hey Eirian, Good evening.’ Dathan leaned over and kissed his wife. ‘She’s worn you out again?’
‘Well it is to be expected, we are rather close to Valane’s day now, she is very excited and very excitable as well.’ Eirian gave a small smile, though she was clearly tired.
‘Well, I think she is also very tired, which is a good thing, at least she will sleep. I will go and tell her her stories and then we can get the last minute prep work done ready for the big day. I don’t want to be leaving too much until the day before.’
‘I agree.’ Eirian spoke quietly. ‘We will have some visitors on the big day anyway, it’s a good excuse to have everything ready. I will go and check on supper while you are telling Alina your stories.
‘Oh don’t think that I’ll be that long, I’ll come out and help you when I have finished. She looks exhausted so she may be asleep before I begin to talk.’
‘You underestimate how much she likes your stories dear. She’ll try to stay awake as long as she can, you know what she’s like.’ Eirian stifled a giggle.

Dathan knocked the door to Alina’s room, hoping that she would be dressed already. A small, but nonetheless excited voice could be heard through the crack in the door.


Dathan went into Alina’s room to find his daughter already in bed tucked into the covers. It had been a cold day, and it was only getting colder the darker it got. Dathan walked over to the window corner to retrieve the chair that he would normally sit in for stories, it was not there. Dathan looked over to where Alina was laying, and found that she had already moved it to beside her bed.

‘See daddy, I have moved it already for you. I helped didn’t I?’ Alina pointed to the chair.
‘Very helpful my darling, now what story would you like this evening?’ Dathan asked in a voice that suggested that he knew what she would ask for.
‘Do you know any good Valane’s day stories. One that I have not heard before.’ she asked excitedly.
‘Some how I knew you would ask that, and its just as well that I have the perfect story in mind. I hope you are comfortable?’
Alina nodded and waited for her father to begin. Dathan noticed that her eyes were flickering open and shut even now. He would have to make this story a short one.

‘This story is about the very first Valane’s day. It happened a little while after the king died. The people looked for way to celebrate his reign, one that would be long lasting, and this is how they did it. No-one really knows why the first Valane’s day happens during the winter. Some have argued it is because his accession happened at around the same time, but I am not so sure that was the case. I think that it was something much simpler than that. I think it had something to do with the snow. Now, I know many people will think that this kind of thing is just for children, but it was widely known that Valane enjoyed the simple pleasures in life. Snow was one of those occurrences that did not happen very often, but when it did it seemed to bring out happiness in people. Valane always liked the snow.
Now some years after his death the people decided that there should be one day of the year when they would celebrate his reign. Accession day seemed a good choice, but they went for much later in the winter instead, toward the end of the year. They knew that the people would want to get involved in the celebrations, but no one could have predicted that it would go as well as it did. There was one thing that made the celebrations even more special though.
Everyone in the city got together on the appointed day, there were festivals, street parties, fairs, everyone had gotten together despite the cold, despite any problems that they may have had and they celebrated together. No-one could have asked for a better day. All the children ran between the different attractions and tables, the city had been decorated in the most beautiful ornate banners and flyers, even houses had been decorated for the event, mainly paper decorations, but the fancy ones came later. It was the children that noticed it first, it is always the children that notice it first, the small flecks falling from the sky. They did not recognise the significance of the event, but they did not care, they ran about hands in the air hoping that the flakes would fall on their gloves. Some children even had their tongues out, they wanted to taste the snow. The grown ups huddled together in their couples or families, but they did not go inside, even as the snow got heavier; for them nothing could have made the day more perfect. Perhaps this is why the king had loved the snow so much. Everyone was together, all their concerns gone, and the childlikeness that they had almost forgotten surfaced as the flakes fell from the sky.
That was the first Valane’s day. It has been people’s great wish every year since that it would snow close to or on the day. It has been a long time since we have seen any snow in Vareah, we never got it much before that day either, but now it is part of the celebrations and it gives the people hope, it brings them together.’

Dathan was glad that he had told a shorter story. He looked at the bed and Alina had already fallen asleep. He was not sure how much of the story she had heard, if she had heard any of it. Remembering the old tale brought back some good memories though. He wondered for a moment if he would see any snow this holiday. He too hoped like everyone else.

‘Dathan.’ Eiran whispered through the crack in the door. ‘Is she asleep, I need you for a moment.’
Dathan pulled up the covers slightly closer to Alina’s chin so that she did not get cold in the night and left the room.
‘What is it, is everything alright?’ Dathan asked Eirian.
‘Of course it is, but come with me, there is something that I would like to show you.’ Eirain took Dathan’s hand and led him toward the door. She had left it wide open and he could feel the cold seeping in to the room. Eirian, stopping at the door and motioning toward the sky, turned and took in the serene and contented look on Dathan’s face. Every year they hoped that this would happen close to Valane’s day and there it was, flakes of snow falling from the sky, getting heavier and heavier the longer they watched.
‘Alina will be pleased. It will be the first time she will have properly seen it, and fitting too so close to the holidays.’ Dathan gathered Eirian into his arms as they continued to watch the snow, now sticking to the ground. There would be a lovely white blanket of it by morning. This year, snow would not be just a dream for the people of Vareah.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry X-mas, everyone!

We've had a great first year, we ran some workshops and we published our first comic!
Thanks to all who have supported us, attended our workshops, visited us at Heroes and Legends or bought our comic. Last meeting of 2009 will be on Wednesday 23rd December at the Brunswick, 8ish.

Pic by Mark 'Son of Ken' Hughes with colours from MWPete.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

SCC Ashcan Comic Released at Heroes & Legends

We were invited to 'Heroes & Legends V' and given a table and free rein. So we thought it was about time we bundled some of our work together and put it 'out there'. The resulting comic is 24 pages and contains 10 pages of strips plus sketches, scripts and previews of upcoming stories from Swansea based artists and writers. We sold 20 copies at the event and sold out completely soon afterwards but fear not if you missed out, we are reprinting!

Check the Comix Shoppe (13 Shoppers Walk, Swansea, SA1 3AY) after Christmas for copies or if you can't make it into town, email our Orders Hotline for delivery details.

All the old favourites were back at the Heroes & legends event, the Ideas Machine, the wall comic and plenty of willing vistors sitting around our table drawing! Thanks to Steve at Freaks, Geeks and Autographs for inviting us and donating the table and thanks to Anthony Williams for sharing his Comics Corner with us.

Here's some pics from the event...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Dream come True

Ever wanted one of your favorite artists to draw a character you created? Well it's happened to me and I couldn't be happier. Check out Matteo Scalera's sketch of my Gaslight protagonist Alisdair Keyes.
Also check out other sketches and artwork by Matteo at his DeviantArt page

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Im Back online!!

Im back!! and I have now got a pair of websites!! check em out!!
Why a black grouse you ask? because its a sturdy bird!

Gonna see some more of the LOVE girls soon enough! and Im gonna try my hand on a collab effort with some of the other SCC members! But before all that stay tuned for an X-men group pose Im working on!

Monday, November 2, 2009

SCC Halloween Patrol

The mean streets of Swansea were just that little bit safer on Saturday night as Thor, The Spirit, the Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus toured the pubs and clubs of our fair city. Righting wrongs, dispensing justice and spilling pints...

...and ending with a team-up.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Most Fun Comic I Have Read In Ages

Hey All,

Just thought I'd throw up a little review for what I believe is an incredibly impressive comic.

That comic is Strange Tales issue 2 of 3

This little gem is a collection of many of comics great indie creators having some incredible fun with Marvels well known heroes.

I won't ruin the stories but I shall point out a few of my favourites.

Tony Millionaire creator of Sock Monkey does a hilarious Iron Man tale where he faces some meat-headed (literaly) foes. He sticks to his usual wacky humour roots and it works well even with such a rigid character like Iron Man that has become very serious these days.

Another one that blew me away and was just a pleasure to see being a huge fan anyway was Jhonen Vaquez's M.O.D.O.K. 'N' Me. Being largely absent from releasing new content in comics for a while it was nice to see him pick up his pencil and give us a new slice of sick humour and it was all improved by involving M.O.D.O.K., who is in my opinion criminally underrated.

The last one I shall give my full opinion on is Matt Kindt's Black Widow story. Unlike many others in the collection this one uses far less humour and it is just as strong for it. It is a nice slice of indie espionage. I could easily see this kind of story in mainstream comics. The art not so much but I would like to but it is not the normal style of art and the public can be quite picky.

Other artists that graced this issue with thier talent were: Peter Bagge, Johnathan Hickman, Nick Bertozzi, Jacob Chabot, Jim Rugg, Max Cannon and R. Kikuo Johnson

This issue is a joy to read for any fan that loves both indie and mainstream. It is the characters you love being crafted by some of the most fun artists in the business. None of the characters look odd when not drawn in the usual styles. They are all well crafted and I mean no offence to the pros that work for mainstream Marvel but some of these stories are far better than some of the stuff in the mainstream. Indie is about substance and the mainstream is about flash this brings the two together and makes an incredible package. If you like indie comics and want to get into marvel give it a try. If you love Marvel but can't get your head around the indie scene then this could be the gateway drug. If you like me just love comics then this is perfect.

I cannot wait for the next issue of this in which Becky Cloonan one of my favourite artists tackles Namor one of my least favoutite characters. I wonder if she can change my mind.


"Pumpkin faces in the night!"

Look! Pumpkin-Head!

It's Me!

Happy Halloween!!!

A day late, I know, but look! Pumpkins!

That's mine. I took a great deal of time sitting on my mother's kitchen floor, hacking, slicing and scooping and ta-da!

That's my younger brother's Bat-signal pumpkin.

I wish I'd taken more pictures, but it's too late now, my brother and I spent a glee-filled ten minutes or so, throwing our pumpkins around the garden this morning. There aren't many things that are as awesome as hurling a pumpkin up in the air and then watching it splat upon the ground...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Dragon Heir: Reborn

One of my favourite independent comics has to be Dragon Heir from the lovely people at Sweatdrop Studios.

Dragon Heir is illustrated and written by Emma Vieceli. She is probably best known for her work with Self Made Hero's Hamlet and Much Ado About Nothing. Furthermore, she has had many other publications including: Image's Comic Book Tattoo, Tokyopop's Princess Ai and EV,Violet for the Guardian Newspaper, and the DFC, and has been a guest artist on Phonogram 2: The Singles Club.

However, it all started with Dragon Heir! There are nine issues so far. The Graphic Novel has the first six issues collected and is available from Sweatdrop Studios, along with the more recent issues seven, eight, and nine.

The first five issues were released many years ago, and now Emma has decided that she is going to re draw, and in some cases rewrite sections of the original story. I love the story as it stands, but I have had a look at the first two chapters now available on Emma's blog, and they are well worth having a look/read. Immediately I was blown away by the first page. Buildings and backgrounds have now been added to the fantastic character design, and it really fleshes out the world that the story is set in, and this is seen throughout the first two chapters. People who read the original series (the original single issues) will notice that the characters have been completely redrawn, and when you compare the two images you can really see how far Emma has come as an artist. It just goes to show what can come of hard work and practise. Dragon heir: Reborn proves this in spades and I highly recommend old and new fans alike to check out this outstanding piece of work out. Dragon Heir: Reborn is available as a webcomic so all you have to do is click the link below, click on the cover image, and then read away.

Edit: I also forgot to mention that Dragon Heir: Reborn will be updated every Monday.

Until Next Time ^_^

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mail and meetings

We've had a few technical problems here at SCC Towers. First our quinjet failed it's MOT (see above) and then someone (ADAM!) connects the comms server to the Negative Zone portal and all our email got sucked into Annihilus's awful realm. If you've emailed us recently and didn't get a reply please try again.

If you were mailing about meeting dates then see the new handy, MEETING DATES section in the sidebar.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

And another thing...

Look! Look at this!

Yeah! That's right! It's a Peanuts collection. I recently planted myself, like some gruesome vegetable, at my sister's and read this for a couple of days. Peanuts shouldn't need any introduction of course; everyone knows about it and it's characters, right?

No?! Some of you out there are shaking your heads, or looking a little sheepish. Okay, so there was this young cartoonist called Charles M. Schulz who decided to create this world (alomst solely) inhabited by a cast of small children and a dog named Snoopy, and so, Peanuts was born! Okay, so I may have missed a few steps, and left out any 'struggle to become a famous comic strip artist/writer' bits, but that's because we all know of course (or should know) that Mr. Schulz did make it, in a big way.

Anyway, the picture above is a shot of the first collection. That's right, the first proper Peanuts daily and sunday strips. In this collection you'll find over 300 pages of hundreds of shorts, all realized, written and drawn by Charles Schulz. Plus a sizeable essay on Schulz, an epic interview with Schulz himself and an introduction. It's a great collection too. Right from the off that gentle, Schulz-brand humour shines through; whether it be delivered through slapstick, a running gag or some quick, quirky, meaningful monologue delivered by Charlie Brown, one of his friends, or even his best pal Snoopy.

It's nice to see the characters at their origin; Charlie, Lucy, Violet, Shermy, Patty, Linus (before his comfort blanket!) and Shroeder are all slowly introduced to us. Shroeder, is probably easily the character who evolves the most through the progressing strips. And, before you know it, he discovers his love of Beethoven and his attachment to his toy piano.

Of all of the characters that first appear here, in this collection, Lucy has to be my favourite. Her wide-eye, almost vacant stare, and her dopey grin are instantly appealing. She seems to defy the laws of gravity and physics now and then too; it's almost as if, because she isn't aware of them, they do not work for her. In one strip Charlie Brown watches her bounce a ball, and stares on in disbelief when, after she walks off to get lunch, it continues to bounce in place on it's own.

I wish my childhood had been like Charlie Brown's, maybe then I wouldn't be wearing this fetching straight-jacket/rubber nappy combo, and typing this with my feet...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

So Farewell Then, Peter-Maggs...

Peter-Maggs, stalwart secretary of the Swansea Comics Collective is today Plymouth-bound. Off to finally learn 'how to draw proper'.

Peter-Maggs, we salute you.
Goodbye, good luck... and good riddance!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Happy First Birthday SCC!

Hey, whodathunkit? One Year later and still going strong, scripts written, pages drawn and strips completed. And fours days of Workshops at Swansea Museum, we didn't see that coming...

In celebration, I have updated the blog style and changed the header to showcase some of the artwork from our museum panels.

Happy Birthday Us, here's to the next year...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

SCC Comic Workshops - The Wall Comic

Here's the last bit of stuff from our 'Creating Comics' workshops at Swansea Museum, The Wall Comic.

We started with one panel stuck to the wall at one end of the room. The story was developed and continued by members and visitors one panel at a time. By the end of the workshops we had nearly covered the length of the wall with forty panels.


Sunday, September 6, 2009

A Comic by James, 4 ½

James is one of the youngest SCC Sidekicks and also one of the fastest. On the very first day of the 'Creating Comics' workshops at Swansea Museum, powered by a diet of crayons and a love for Rob, he wrote a short comic story which was then passed onto to different members in turn to illustrate. The completed story and his script is presented here for the first time...

Well done, James.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Evening Post article for the SCC

As you probably will have guessed from the previous posts, the SCC have been recently holding informal comic workshops at Swansea Museum. On the 3rd September in Swansea's local paper the Evening Post an article was devoted to what we did in the museum. Fear not if you missed out on getting a copy of the paper, for the article as well as the adjoining video, which details what we are doing, how we got started and our aims for the future, is available below and on the This is South Wales website.

Hope you all enjoy ^_^

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

SCC Comic Workshops - Day 4 Sketches

Here's the last lot of SCC sketches taken from the Idea Machine on Saturday 29th August at Swansea Museum plus a few strips and pics from visitors that were missed from previous posts.

Stay Tuned, a couple more things still to come...