The other day I was reading some comics I liked and realised that there are lots of comics that were a big influence on how I developed Rose into a comic! So I thought it might be interesting if I talk about them here a bit. Consider them some of the secret ingredients of Rose.
Well, yeah, I mean, duh. You can see Archie’s influence all over Rose within seconds, and it’s a comparison I’ve never been shy about. That classic Dan Decarlo art style is the light on the hill I’ve been working towards for years, and I know I’ll never get anywhere close to it but I keep trying to move forward anyway. Some of my earliest comic book memories involve Archie digests being passed around the school room, and I quickly noticed that everyone liked reading Archie but only some kids liked the GI Joes and Transformers comics that were also in circulation. I liked that you can hand anyone an Archie book and they would read it, and that’s something I always wanted to be able to say about Rose.
Not many people know about this one, but I absolutely adored the UK comic strip. It was basically a Peanuts clone with kids that talked like adults, a perpetual loser hero, a rambunctious girl who tormented him, and a dog that spoke in thought bubbles, but I always had a soft spot for the strip. Somehow I wound up with a handful of paperback collections of the strips and I loved how the kids talked to each other and made no apologies for their local dialect and accents. Rose is an Irish lass and I really try not to hide that.
Oh man. OH MAN. I was devouring John Allison’s Bad Machinery strips as I started work on Rose #1, and I think it’s only now that I’m realising what a big influence it was. I am smitten with how the kids talk to each other, and the strip is peppered with quiet little moments where you can just soak up the atmosphere. I love how regular words are used as sound effects. Maybe one day Rose and her friends will solve mysteries.
Love And Rockets
Jamie Hernandez’s part of Love And Rockets are just jaw droppingly beautiful. (Sorry Gilbert fans, I just never got into his stuff!) I adore his smooth, expressive lines and how he occasionally dips into Charles Schulz-esque cartooning for comedic effect. I discovered Love And Rockets when I was, what, 13 or so, and was struck by how a comic could have natural conversations about stuff that people really talk about. Every time I write dialogue with Rose talking to her friends I think about Love And Rockets.
(What kind of comic shop was selling a 13 year old Love And Rockets?! Oh wait, the same one that didn’t mind a 13 year old hanging out in the store all day instead of going to school. The world was a different place back then!)
Calvin & Hobbes
I don’t think anyone would fight me for saying that this is the best comic strip to have been made in the last 50 years. There’s a billion articles out there on the internet about why Bill Watterson is a genius, but for me I always loved how Calvin was so self-obsessed but still charming as hell. It’s a quality that Rose has (plus her love of outbursts when she is suffering an injustice) that I like to think I convey in her stories.
Strangers In Paradise
OK truth to tell I can’t draw a direct line between Terry Moore’s incredible series and Rose, but every year I read his incredible How To Draw book and
a) learn something new that I try to put into the comics, especially when it comes to drawing hair, clothing or women in general
b) have a good long cry because I will never, ever, ever draw that well.
So there you go, a little peek behind the curtain! You never know where influences come from!
Hello! Today I am very excited to announce that I’m hosting not one but TWO events at Brisbane’s upcoming Oz Comic-Con September 23 and 24! So now you have even MORE reasons to come by and say hi!
On 3PM Saturday 23 September at the Toys ‘R Us Community Stage I will be hosting a panel about “Creating and publishing your own comics online”! Since you are reading my comic that I put online I can guess that you are already familiar with the subject, but it turns out there are plenty of people who aren’t! Myself and Scott “Agent X” Hampson will be there to talk about how webcomics work, some easy ways to get your comics on the internet and how to promote your work in a world where hundreds of thousands of talented people are doing the exact same thing! Come along and bring your questions because this is a subject I absolutely love talking about!
The day after that (that’s Sunday, I just checked) at 3PM at the Twitch Workshop Stage I am hosting a How To Make Mini Comics Workshop! It will be a one hour version of the workshops I do from time to time, where I teach you the process and skills to make a mini comic of your very own that you can show off! There are always tons of fun and I love seeing the wild and wonderful creations everyone comes up with.
Of course I’ll be exhibiting in Artist’s Alley all during the weekend, so it would be great to see you there!
I am not generally a fan of birthday parties! I have never had much luck with them, and there is too much pressure to make them incredible I would rather just avoid the whole deal altogether. Oh and don’t even start me on birthday celebrations at work. They are so forced and phony! My perfect birthday would be spent doing what I love doing the most: being left alone in a dark room. Bliss!
I do like birthday presents though, I mean, I’m not crazy. Maybe Rose comic books would be a good birthday present!
Ever since I started selling Rose comics at conventions people would suggest I do a story where Rose gains weight from all her incessant eating, and so here it is! Kinda. I promise not to do that many fake outs in the future but I couldn’t resist with this one.
Pizza rolls are pretty awesome. They’re like a pizza, but small, and you can have lots of them and then even have a pizza afterwards now that you have developed a taste for them. Have a pizza roll today!
By the way, don’t put yourself under any pressure to have stuff worked out by a certain age. Some of the happiest people I know have never really got their life sorted and probably never will, and it doesn’t bother them a bit as long as they still have internet and a steady stream of amusing cat pictures.
My fave board game when I was a kid was Trouble because it had that cool pop up bubble thing in the middle that frankly was more fun than moving pegs around the board.
Board games are cool and hip again apparently! But it also involves having friends that can get together in the one place at the same time and that’s just a nightmare I can’t be off dealing with right now.
I have some great news! We’ll be at Brisbane’s Oz Comic-Con this September 23 and 24, and hopefully you will be too!
I’ll have all the latest Rose comics (including the recently released Rose #6 and the awesome Rose Collection) and doing sketches of any character you like – as long as they’re eating breakfast, of course. It’s the most important meal of the day!
This is the first time we’re exhibiting at Oz Comic-Con so we’re excited to see what it will be like. I mean, what kind of muffins will be available at the cafeteria? LET’S FIND OUT.
UPDATE! We now have a map of the show floor so you can find us easily! You can click here to get the official full size one, but really the only important bit of it is right here! We’re at Table 24!
Hope to see you there!