Thursday, 28 November 2013

Disaster Diaries!

I think, after about a year of silence, I'm finally (and extremely excited to be) able to start revealing the projects I have been working so (flippin') hard on this year! The silence has ended! Jamie SHALL SPEAK.

First up: 'Disaster Diaries' Written by R. McGeddon (aka the brilliant, award-winning Barry Hutchison) and published by Little Brown, and illustrated by none other than...well, me!

It's an hilarious (and I seriously mean hilarious, I had to keep calling people over to read them excerpts...) series of survival handbooks for young readers set in the town of Sitting Duck, following the mis-adventures of school kids Sam, Arty and Emmy as they struggle for survival against a zombie apocalypse, an alien invasion and a mad-scientist mind-control plot to take over the world!!!!! (Over-abundance of exclamation marks show that this is intense business!)

There are currently 3 books in the series: 'Zombies!', 'Aliens!' and 'Brainwashed!'. I'll get up the other covers asap, plus a few tantilising glimpses at the interior artwork too, closer to release...

Basically, this is one of the coolest and most ridiculously fun series I could have worked on, and I couldn't be happier and more thrilled that it's nearly time for the first book, 'Zombies!' to be released in March (fly my little books, fly!!)

Here's an Amazon linky, though I'm sure all manner of wonderful bookshops would serve you just as well...

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

In the Jungle, the Miiiiighty Jungle...

Corr blimey, is that some artwork I see?! On this blog?!!!!!!! Yes, observational reader: your senses haven't abandoned you, nor your mind left the country: this is indeed an illustration I did (relatively) recently, and have only been able to show it in all of its finery.

It was a concept piece for Hodder Children's Books in the hope of getting me another children's picture book project, but due to timing/schedule issues, it was never to be. Still, I got to draw a lion, so it's a win in my book. And never fear: there are a lot of very exciting children's book projects that I am working frantically on (hence the deathly silence of my blog as of late), all of which will be the most spectacular of releases. More soon!

Thursday, 13 June 2013

'Monsters of Medway' at Fuze Festival - 15th of June

This Saturday (the 15th of June, a most special of 15th's), I shall be taking part in comicking madness at the 'Monsters of Medway' activity tent at the Fuze Festival near Chatham, alongside such spectacular comic creators as Gary Northfield, Neill Cameron, Laura Anderson, David O'Connell and Alex Milway! And check out that awesome poster, drawn by the incredible David O'Connell!

There shall be drawing. There shall be monsters. There shall be workshops from us artists as to how to draw comics and characters. And monsters. There shall be drawing show-downs, drawing activities and general comic mayhem, as well as monsters. There shall be books on sale, and there shall be laughter. And excitement. And genuine giddy laughter and frivolity. And monsters. I hope to see you there!


Friday, 10 May 2013

Oxford Children's Comic Festival Round-Up and a quick Catch-Up

My goodness, it's been too long! I've even forgotten how to do half of the coding on blogspot. But I'm back! No, no, applause isn't necessary, but thank you. I've been INSANELY busy, which is great, and has me clicking my heels in joy, but it also means my blog has suffered somewhat from a lack of updates.

What have I been busy doing, I hear you ask? Well, apart from moving house (which I can vouch is one of the most stressful things you can experience in the sheltered, cozy life I lead...), I have completed a new 2-part Cogg and Sprokit adventure, the cover of which you can see above, which begins in this weeks Phoenix Comic. The Phoenix also have a brand new, loverly website which I urge you to check out: it now has a new regular blog of various comic goodies and a shop, where new Phoenix merch is being added all the time (I'm currently planning some Cogg and Sprokit stuff!), and the ability to buy single back issues too! HIGH FIVE!!

Last week I also took part in the first ever, fantastic Oxford Children's Comic Festival, which was an absolutely stupendous day filled with comic workshops by lots of great Phoenix creators, comic stands, drawing tables and everything you could want from a children's comic convention! The event and workshops were completely sold out, so much so that The Phoenix team had to sell morning and afternoon tickets seperately. This really gives hope to th festival becoming a successful annual thing.

I arrived in typical gung-ho fashion. The place was already packed, and I was only 10 minutes late (I know, I know...but there was TRAFFIC!)!

Fellow Phoenix creator Laura Anderson and I discovered that the legends were true: that there really was a holy, sacred set of Phoenix stickers...

I then took part, alongside Phoenix artists Neill Cameron, Sarah McIntyre, Laura Anderson, Matt Baxter, Zak Simmonds-Hurn, Robert Deas, Adam Murphy and some genuinely talented younger artists, including Zoom Rockman, in the huge comic story that was being created in real-time in the courtyard. I had the pleasure of the highest panel in the comic, but luckily had the ever trusty Neill 'Safe Hands' Cameron holding my ladder steady.

The story was thrilling and epic, with all the twists and turns you expect from high-calibre pirate fiction, as I'm sure the photos of the final result above will show.

Go team Phoenix! Here's to next year's event(And thanks to Sarah McIntyre for some of these great photos!)!

Ooo, and this cheeky photo was sent to me of a Foyle's window display, and none-other than 'Mum's the Word' smiling back as us! It's the weirdest and bestest feeling seeing your work on the shelves like this! So - sorry for the MASSIVE blog post, but I had a lot of catching up to do. More to come soon, in, hopefully, a more concise form...

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Mum's the Word Publication Day

At long last, the countdown is over!! My debut children's book, 'Mum's the Word', written by the great Timothy Knapman and published by Hodder Children's Books, is out today!

HUZZINGO I hear you cry!

It's been emotional, guys. I hope you've enjoyed the few examples of development work I have posted up over the last week - if you would like to see how the book and artwork ended up'll have to grap a copy of the book, available here, at places like Amazon (are we allowed to advertise that place?!) and Waterstone's and all other good bookshops and such et al etc etc. Or, the few examples on my website. But yes...what a ride. What excitement. I'm so chuffed with this book, and really hope you all enjoy it. On to the next one, I guess...

See ya soon!

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

One Day to Go!

One day to go before Mum's the Word is released!



Tuesday, 5 February 2013

The Development Continues

Some more ink and watercolour try-out pieces, trying to get the looks of the mother and puppy together, and the love they share. Ahh. The look of the dogs changed a bit from these drawings, but you can start to see the characters coming through.

Two sleeps before the release of Mum's the Word!

Monday, 4 February 2013

Mum's the Word - The Revenge

Some more concept art and designs for 'Mum's the Word' for you there. Designs, I say!

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Mum's the Word Progressing.

I know I've posted the illustration above before, and that it's on my website, but I thought I'd post it up again in context. This was a sample piece I did for 'Mum's the Word' before we had made the decision for the wolves to become dogs and the wildlands to become homely environments. Goodbye, little wolfies, hello awesome doggies.

This was one of the first 'samples' I did to get to work on the book, 'Mum's the Word', even before the designs in teh previous posts. And you can really tell it's one of the first samples. I mean...whoa. This how the final book came out. I was using lots of ink and heavy line here, but we slowly adapted the look of the book to be of soft pencil, for that extra-sensitive touch. Not that I dislike it: it's just I haven't seen it for a long time and had forgotten how different the general look of this sample is to the finished's inevitable, that the style will develop and grow during a project, but still, it's usally a shock when you look back over the progression. I still love using an energetic ink-line, but I realised during this process that it has its place, and perhaps my 'younger' children's book is not that place. You can definitely still see the playfulness and the mega-cutie-power that carried on through to the final book though. Max was growing wings! Or balloons. Do dogs grow balloons? I forget.

Four days until the book is released!!

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Mum's the Word Designs mk.II

Here's some more designs for Max the puppy in Mum's the Word. This puppy's got a lot of adventuring to do.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Mum's the Word Designs

And he gets an image in for today, with 5 minutes to spare! Hah - there is no way I forgot that I was meant to be posting some developmental stuff for 'Mum's The Word' every day until its release (on the 7th of February! Repetition - repetition), no way at all.

I have sketchbooks and enough watercolours pages to make more sketchbooks filled with designs for Max the puppy...he originally started life as a wolf character I had in mind quite a few years ago, and slowly became more and more domesticated and, well, puppy like. So we thought - chuck a collar on that wolf, he is now a puppy. A bit like sticking a fork in a potato when it's done. But with a puppy. And no fork. That would just be cruel. We (we, being the wonderful team at Hodder and myself)thought that making the character into a dog, and bringing him into a house environment instead of the wilds, would make the character and his relationship with his mother more recognisable and relatible for the audience, more cozy and familiar. Unless you live out in the wilds. In which case; I'm dreadfully sorry. Maybe next time. It's so weird to see these designs again - it feels like so long ago now that I did them...

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Mum's The Word

I do believe I said that this was going to be a good year, and the beginning couldn't get much better than this! My debut picture book, 'Mum's the Word', written by the ever-so-talented Timothy Knapman, will be released on the 7th of February, published by Hodder Children's Books!

Look, it's over here, and also is available all over the online dimensions and in all good bookshops (I've always wanted to say that!), and I really couldn't be more excited.

It's one of those weird things where I finished this book at the beginning of last year, and had to keep quiet about it. A year passes, new projects come and go, and suddenly this blasts back into my life like a fiery ball of awesome excitement! I'm very, very pleased with the way it's come out, I worked so hard and learned so much whilst working on this project, the printing is lovely (and it's in hardback! That's like, un-heard of these days!) and Timothy Knapman's humoruous and touching lyrics are a just so energetic and fun to read.

The books is all about a little puppy (secretly named 'Max', after my own late dog, Max, who was not late when I started this project, more just on time) and his heart-warming relationship with his mum. And believe you me, despite what the illustrations above would tell you - the book does have words in it. Just not on the files on my computer. Sigh. As a celebration of its release, I will post some developmental work onto my blog every day leading up to the release next Thursday, so stay tuned, lords and ladies!

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Cedric LeGrande (and Jamie) says: 'Happy New Year!'

A Happy New Year to you all! 2013 is already looking to be busy and brilliant for me - I have a few new children's book/fiction projects that I'll soon be working on which I'm very excited about and hope to be able to share with you guys soon.

Some great comicy related news too - the Phoenix Comic has gone digital! So all you people across the vast oceans who have so far been unable to read this fantastic weekly comic, and for those people that just like reading comics in a digital format, now's the time to get involved! The app can be found over here! I also have a new comic series, the idea of which I have been working on for a few years now, which finally looks to see the light of day, thanks for the incredibly kind folks at the Phoenix Comic (as well as more mis-adventures from Cogg and Sprokit!). I am over the moon about this, hopefully it's going to be a huge, awesome, epic adventure of Victorian-fantasy proportions, but yes, once again; More on that SOON.

Wow, I've just spent this entire blog post speaking in cryptic suggestions and riddles of things to come. What about things to NOW?! Here's a pug. I call him Cedric LeGrande.

And here's to a fantastic and exciting 2013!