Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Nightbus Review at FPI


Richard Bruton of Forbidden Planet International Blog has only gone and reviewed Nightbus! Not just the new one but the whole series. Mint. Here's a couple of quotes, firstly on issues one and two.

"The story and art in those first couple issues are snappy, jumpy things, script and storytelling fast and interesting, designed to impress in a quick hit."

That kind of hits the nail on the head with what we were going for, telling the beginning and middle, or maybe just the middle of stories and letting the reader fill in the blanks. On to issue three,

"Bainbridge had a lot more to do here, both scripting the story and delivering more pages of art, and it definitely shows in the storytelling, as this finale is something far more satisfying, something whole, something with a definitive ending."

Richard picks up on a lot of subtleties of the series and as you'd expect from something I started while I was at university, there are faults here. Nightbus isn't perfect, because it's conventional in unexpected ways and unconventional in unexpected ways. But perhaps that's why I've revisited it.


You can read the full review here and buy digital or phyical copies of Nightbus here.

Friday, 4 January 2013

A Bit of a Review of the Year 2012

I know it's late, but I don't want to get into the habit of just missing out the even numbered years. Nevertheless, let's look back at 2012, the Year I promised would be the Year of the Trilogy. Which it wasn't. But it was too.

I started off with the foolhardy notion that I could draw something everyday and blog about on a weekly basis. I did a total of nineteen Draw Everyday posts. Which is pitiful. I reckon I might give it another go. The pressure of having to blog something was a good motivator, but also a hinderance, in that I got hung up with having something ready for public consumption. Bottom line is, people are glad to see anything, and with Twitter and Instagram, those are probably the best places for such updates.


While I was waiting for the Sugar Glider 3 script from Daniel, I went to see The Artist at the cinema. There's a scene within a scene where one of the characters reminded me of Don Quixote from Sugar Glider 2, and after looking at the film's poster, an idea was set in motion that resulted in the most popular post of 2012 on the blog, and also the idea of promoting the free web serialisation of Sugar Glider with DVD box-esque posters. We quickly decided to do posters for the main title based on some of our favourite independent films, some of which related to the content and themes of the books. Then we thought it would be hilarious to parody more schmaltzy, sentimental romantic comedies for the two Sugar Glider Stories books to reflect their ensemble cast.




In February, there was still no sign of the SG3 script, but this little lady made an appearance, courtesy of Laura Swaddle.


March was spent mostly building up for the fourth Leeds Alt Comics Fair which took place in April. It's consistently one of the best comics events I've attended. I had time to work on a small mini comic called Column, about my thoughts on public art. I was going to do a larger and longer version if there was any interest, but I think it served more as an incentive or reward for people buying more than one comic. Here's my poster again, I was dead chuffed with it.



The merry merry month of May is home to my birthday, so not a lot of comics work going on there. However, I did find time to work on Nightbus 3, which at this point was pretty much simply called Nightbus. The lack of numeration was a conscious decision to not put off people who may think they were missing out on one and two, but simultaneously, could have been confused as an issue one. Comics, eh? Interestingly, a few people have said that it works as a starting point as well as an ending. I'm pleased to have created something that ends, not on a bang, but a full stop and an ellipsis.


In August, I went to the City of Lights to be proper romantic on mine and my wife's second anniversary (naturally), track down some BDs (success), capture a giant Totoro (he escaped), visit the Robert Crumb Retrospective (extensive) and cross the canal Saint-Martin and la Seine a few times (#riverfans). I adore Paris and love that they take comics seriously there, without question, clarification or defensiveness. I got the new Lewis Trondheim book for Christmas. It is an absolute joy. I'm going to write a comic in French. It'll be mint.


About a week later, I was at the Carlisle Megacon, another small to medium event that was lots of fun to attend. Sales weren't great, but I think this is the first of its kind in the area, so hopefully word of mouth will ensure a greater footfall next year.


Nightbus launched online in October, in time for Thought Bubble and the Canny Comic Con. It's been met with positive reviews and good sales so far. I'm really pleased with the book and the series as a whole. You can see a great leap forward from the first 'snapshot' to this one. I feel that my writing, really came into its own here, both in terms of visual storytelling, dialogue and story. It's something I've been looking forward to getting back to for so long. Leaving a trilogy unfinished is poor form, so I was glad to get back to those characters even if it was just to give them the send off they deserved.


What's new for 2013? Well SG3 is on its way, I can't guarantee a specific launch date, but you'll find out soon enough. And after I finish the second of my two trilogies? I plan to take a little break from comics. I'll concentrate on learning a few new tricks in Photoshop and Illustrator and maybe just drawing. I have plans to work with Daniel on something soon though, so don't get too upset.

I'll take this opportunity to say a massive cheers me dears to everyone who's helped to make 2012 a superawesome year, and will hopefully be there to make 2013 even better.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Coming in 2013

So, some of you will have seen this image today, especially if you've read Daniel's round up of the year on the Forbidden Planet International Blog. So I thought I'd show you too.


In the gap between SG2 and 3, I started doing a few film poster mash ups, starting with this one for SG2 and then this one for SG1. Daniel and I talked about SG3 and what we'd use as a starting point. Like all the best ideas, this one fell into place rather smoothly. Anyway, feel free to start guessing how the Sugar Glider Saga will end.

Keep checking back here for updates. I may post a few preview pages if you're lucky.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Canny Comic Con 2012

That's right folks, I'll be at the Canny Comic Con this Saturday at the City Library.


Last year's event was great fun and it's always a pleasure selling Sugar Glider in her home town. You can pick up the tales of the Tyne Titan and have a chat with me and Daniel about SG3. Sadly, you'll have to wait until 2013 to get your mitts on that one.

In other Sugar Glider news, we sold the final copies of SG1 at Thought Bubble, so the only places you can read it now are on the black market or in digital form. You can buy a PDF version of Susie Sullivan's first vigilante stint at my Comicsy site and Daniel's Big Cartel. The digital comics are £1.50 each.

I'll also be doing a talk/lecture/rant/Q&A about comics and location, but you'll have to keep checking the CCC blog for more info.

See you on Saturday.


Sunday, 11 November 2012

Thought Bubble 2012

On Saturday 17th November, I'll be exhibiting at Thought Bubble in Leeds. This year, I'll only be able to make it down for the Saturday, but I'll be joined in the New Dock Hall by the beardy wonder, Andy Waugh and on Sunday, we hand over the keys to the table to printmaker extraordinaire Helen Entwisle. The table in question is 170, illustrated below. It's near the back so we can be naughty and get away with it.


Thought Bubble is frequently a boatload of fun and I'm looking forward to seeing how the crowd take to the new issue of Nightbus. If you want to pick up a copy right now, head over to my Shop or Comicsy. Either that, or I'll see you on Saturday. Do come by and say hello, talk comics or buy something awesome.

I'll give you something for free if you cosplay as a character from Sugar Glider. Something free probably means a high five or a hug. Maybe a fist bump. Haven't really decided yet.


Sunday, 4 November 2012

Nightbus on Comicsy

Attention all discerning shoppers of the Internet! You can now buy all three issues of Nightbus online from the small press marketplace, Comicsy.



That's right, you can now buy the new issue of Nightbus for £3.00 here. You could also pick up issues one and two for £1.50 each here.



But there's more! Fans of digital comics can buy a PDF version of all of the Nightbus comics. Issues 1 & 2 are available digitally for one penny. The digital version of Nightbus 3 is half price at £1.50

There are loads more exciting creators putting their stuff up on the site, so have a look round after you've filled your shopping cart with Newcastle's favourite student vigilante bus drivers.

If you prefer, you can buy all three issues of Nightbus, as well as Sugar Glider, Show & Tell and Grainger Street, from my Big Cartel Shop.

Nightbus Review on Geek Syndicate

The good people of Geek Syndicate have only gone and done a review of the whole Nightbus series, giving four out of five stars!


Reviewer Luke Halsall looked favourably on all three issues, in spite of there being a massive gap between issues two and three and in my view, a massive leap in quality. Here's a quote that made me beam with delight,

"Bainbridge's art is glorious... The panel structures are clever, making the book look and feel different."

Now would be a good point to read the whole review if you haven't already. I'll wait here.

Luke mentions references to the superhero genre, which although we tried to step away from those, were undeniably an influence. Also mentioned is Kick-Ass, which I first heard about when somebody came rushing up to me at a comic con saying that Mark Millar had stolen the central idea of Nightbus. My lawyers were called off before things got too messy. Brian Wood's Demo is also mentioned, and while I've read some of his work, Demo has escaped me. Maybe I'll give it a look.

I was chuffed that the panel breakdowns were mentioned too as I spend a lot of time thinking about them and how the story, sequence and narrative actually flows. With one and two, I felt I was a little too experimental; but that was the nature of the beast, we wanted something that would be attention-grabbing as a whole if found lying around a pub. With issue three, I was much more pleased with the breakdowns and overall flow, which makes it roll along at a solid pace I think.

Thanks again to Luke and Geek Syndicate for the review. Nightbus 1 and 2 can be bought in the Shop, I'll let you know when you can pick up number three.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Nightbus

Here it is, folks, the big reveal of the cover to the long awaited Nightbus 3...


Yeah, colour. I deliberated hugely over that. I knew it needed something to lift it, but felt that the black and white version was still really strong and true to the noir roots of the book. In the end, I decided to take a risk, and I hope it paid off. Colour remains, one of the hardest things I have to deal with.

Let's talk composition, seeing as I understand that. I was never happy with the last two covers of Nightbus. One seemed to carry the impression of a narrative, but it just seemed forced and static. Two was even worse. So with this I tried to make a composition that complements the feel of the book, fractured, overlapping and with pace and movement. It's set against a backdrop which is Newcastle unmistakably, but isn't hampered by the landmarks.

I've decided to release this before Thought Bubble so you lot can get your hands on it earlier if you are so inclined. Hopefully a few reviews may inspire people to seek the book out specifically at TB. It seems a better tactic than relying on the whim of the crowd to bring punters to the table.

The cover features our core of characters from issue one, left to right, Conrad, Scarlet, Nadine and César. But who else may turn up?