Will Esther and company ever show up in Bad Machinery, or are they going to stay mostly in Giant Days?
If those characters show up in Bad Machinery, it would make creating new Giant Days stories less fun. They will never appear in Bad Machinery. Wherever they are, it’s a different part of the country. I like the fact that Esther et al’s future/past is unwritten at this point. Obviously Erin is in both (or was) but whatever she did back then, she ain’t letting on.
Let me tell you a little story about innovation and creativity. Years ago, I worked on a wiki-based project to find the first instance of ideas/techniques in video games (like the first game to use cameras as weapons, or the first game to have stealth as a play element). It excited me to dig to give credit to those who laid the foundations of ideas that we now take for granted. I couldn’t wait to show the world how creative and innovative these unknown game designers/developers were.
I went into it with much passion and excitement, but unexpectedly, it turned out that there were almost no “firsts”. Every time someone put up a game that was the first to do/contain something, there was another earlier game put up to replace it with a SLIGHTLY less sophisticated, or SLIGHTLY different version of the same thing. The gradient was so smooth and constant that eventually, the element we were focusing on lost meaning. It became an unremarkable point to address at all. We ended up constantly overwriting people’s work with smaller, less passionate articles, containing a bunch of crappy games that only technically were the first to do something in the crudest manner. Sometimes only aesthetically.
After a lot of time sunk into this project, I came to the conclusion that I was mistaken about innovation/creativity. It would have been a better project to track the path of ideas/techniques than to try to find the first instance of an idea/technique. I held innovation so highly for years before that, but after this project, I saw just how small it was. How it was but a tiny extension of the thoughts of millions before it. A tiny mutation of a microscopic speck that laid on top of a mountain. It was a valuable experience that helped me very much creatively.
I was going through your scary go round archives and came across this guest strip for may 28 2007 (i can't post links). I couldn't figure out whose page it was and i was wondering if you could tell me.
It’s by Carly Monardo! A great artist, colourist, background painter, illustrator and improviser. A “renaissance woman” if you will.
Get past the first 14 minutes where the fella interviewing talks about his bad back (chiropracty is a quack science mang) and here is an amazing, fascinating back and forth with Phil Elverum about DIY culture, self-sustaining enterprise, music and much more. So much to learn, so much sense talked.
In my UK shop I have a few things you can’t get elsewhere - various prints, personalised books, teatowels etc. I’ve also got all my Giant Days, That and Murder She Writes books in stock, some of which won’t be on Topatoco until the new year. I ship all this stuff myself, and if you want it by Christmas and you’re outside the UK, I would strongly advise you to get your order in by Thursday morning GMT (the 5th). If you’re in the UK, the sooner the better, but the final deadline is December 17th. After that, I will be nailing the doors shut until the new year.
I’m sorry not to be able to offer postcard drawings or small commissions this Christmas. Pressure of other work, alas. If you want a character drawing, your best bet is to order a personalised book.
With the giving season imminent, may I make a small suggestion? Give Bad Machinery - The Case Of The Team Spirit to someone you like a lot. Packed with new pages, extra items and added polish in a luxurious large-format book, it’s ideal for just abut anybody. Give it to the young, give it to the slightly older, give it to the considerably older - I have met readers of all three stripes and none seemed disappointed.
If you’re in the USA, Topatoco is my vendor of choice - it works out best for me if you buy it from there. But you can get it everywhere - if your local comic shop doesn’t have it, ask for it, they can order it for you. When all else fails, there’s always Amazon.
Hello. I love your comics and art, but I have a question: what is the origin of the title "Giant Days?" I know one of the adults used it in an early Bad Machinery strip, but I presumed it was a common term. Yet when I look it up, Google always directs me to you. This is not a bad thing... I'm just rather curious. Did you coin the term, or has Google merely failed me? Thanks.
The Giant Day was an EP by Athens, GA band the Olivia Tremor Control. I thought it was a nice turn of phrase.
I understand that Tackleford is set in West Yorkshire, so I don't understand the presence of a harbor with access to the ocean in some of the Scary Go Round / Bad Machinery stories, given Yorkshire's landlocked status?
West Yorkshire has a long and luxurious coast featuring such seaside towns as Welford-le-Mer, Boatsthwaite and the offcumden-stricken riviera towns like Bensham, Oxtail and Mare.
you know, you influenced my musical taste growing up more than anyone else. every year you would post your favourite album list thing and i'd go and download everything on it... what i am trying to say as hey thanks for having good taste
This is amazing, thank you! I hope I am still finding the odd record that you like.
I'm psyched about Bad Machinery Volume Two! But I thought I might ask you where I could purchase it that it would benefit you the most. I bought Volume One at Emerald City Comicon (it's every March in Seattle) in the dealer's room from a local comic store's booth. I like to support my local shops and all, of course. But would buying it somewhere else benefit you more in some way? Do preorders help more than providing business for shops that order your books?
If you get it from Topatoco, it works out best for me. Simple as that. But supporting local businesses is important too. Comic shops and small bookstores have been tremendous supporters of my work over the last few years.
You want me to draw something in them and sign ‘em to you or a close personal friend? That’s okay too! I spoke to a doctor and they said that these self-contained yarns are an ideal gift for someone you want to impress.
We are only a week and a bit away from this year’s Thought Bubble Festival in Leeds! Thought Bubble is Britain’s best comic convention, it gets bigger every year. Plus it’s in Leeds, not London, a treat for anyone who enjoys the fact that England is a country and not just London and some extraneous fronds.
I will be at table 144 in the New Dock Hall. Where’s that? HERE:
I will have the following items, in ascending price order:
RAW LOVE FOR FANS (free) Badges and stickers Giant Days 1, 2 and ALL NEW ISSUE 3! Murder She Writes and THAT Postcard sketches 4U Tea towels Prints in a “variety of sizes” Bad Machinery Vol 1 softcover and hardcover Original artwork from the Scary Go Round epoch
The thing that frightens me most about starting a new webcomic, even just for fun, is that on the first day, there’s one page up, and there is no way to feel more creatively naked.
If someone reads the first page of any of my existing series, there are hundreds of pages to confirm (or deny) what that initial first impression says. If I start something wholly new, there’s nothing. It’s not like I can make 30 pages in my nonexistent spare time, and give people something to go at. A page a day is all I can reasonably manage, and if I stop to catch my breath, I’m losing money.
Bad Machinery only had a “soft pilot” in, and shares cast members with, Scary Go Round because I was terrified of putting that first page up with no history behind it. There was no other reason to do it that way. I don’t regret it - I was never going bring back old Scary Go Round characters and have them drive a story at the expense of the kids - because if I want to, I can just make a Scary Go Round story. Doing it the way I did it didn’t really help anyway - it took about a year for the strip to find its feet.
A couple of months ago I had an idea for another series, the sort of thing I could run for a couple of months in between Bad Machinery stories. I think one six month-long story a year is probably about right. But not a “Tackleford universe” story. Putting that first page up with nothing behind or in front of it worries me enough that I still might not do it. But it feels like time to stop leaning on the old crutch and do something different. After all, who knows what might happen.
If you’re in the northwest, I’ll be in the Comics Clock Tower at the Kendal Comic Art Festival on Saturday October 19th. I’ll only be there from 10.30am to 2PM as I’ll be doing portfolio reviews at 3, but I’ll have a few books for sale and I’ll be doing sketches, so if you’re in the general vicinity, stop by! It looks like being a great event.