Corban Wilkin: Illustrator


Dreaming of a Low Carbon Future
October 16, 2013, 17:23
Filed under: my comics | Tags: , , , , , ,

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On November 23rd, Dreams of a Low Carbon Future will be released at the Thought Bubble festival in Leeds. We’ll be there Saturday and Sunday the 23rd and 24th promoting the book so if you’re going to Thought Bubble then come and get a copy.

Dreams of a Low Carbon Future, with James McKay as editor, is a big collection of stories as comics, prose, and illustrated prose, which discuss the science and history of energy and present projected ideas of Earth in the future as a utopian/dystopian society, based on the different ways we may use energy and deal with climate change in the near and distant future.

Above is an excerpt from my comic in the anthology, which outlines a brief, general history of human usage of energy.



Floating Settlement
September 16, 2013, 10:57
Filed under: exhibitions, illustrations | Tags: , , ,

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Just an illustration for an anthology being put out by the University of Leeds called Dreams of a Low Carbon Future. It shows a potential future scenario where parts of the population live in totally self-sustaining colonies of artificial floating islands in the sea.

It’s ink and watercolour. I thought about colouring it digitally, but the colours came out quite vibrant in the end and it means it has that natural, grainy texture that you can’t really emulate properly with digital colouring.

Along with other work, the original art’s going to be exhibited at The Cartoon Museum in Holborn later this year. Details in the next post.



Appearing in Off Life
August 21, 2013, 21:40
Filed under: breaker's end, my comics | Tags: , , , , , ,

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On Thursday the 22nd of August Off Life issue six comes out.

In it is my brand new four-page comic If Not Now then When?

Off Life is a really amazing comics periodical that’s featured such comics masters within its pages as Adrian Tomine and Tom Gauld. It’s available for free in London and Bristol if you find them in a hip coffee house or gallery, but I believe you can also buy them from Foyles on Charing Cross Road and London’s two best comics shops: Orbital and Gosh.

Off Life‘s slogan is ‘Comics for a lost generation’. I like to think I’ve captured that sentiment in my story. If Not Now then When is about a young woman who, with nothing going for her in life and her only friend moving away to Paris, skips town one day and lives out a pathetic little fantasy.

I’ll say no more.

The Breaker’s End Kickstarter campaign only made a quarter of its funding, unfortunately, but copies of the paperback book will still be available to anyone who’d like one.

In the meantime, go and buy Off Life issue six!

For their generous help with the Kickstarter campaign, many many thank yous to: Paul Gravett, Alex Fitch, Mia Warren, Tom Lowenstein, Toby Litt, Daniel Humphry, Kenny Penman, Richard Bruton, Joe Gordon, and anyone else who helped in any way. Thank you!



Pre-order Breaker’s End, the graphic novel, at Kickstarter now!
July 22, 2013, 20:53
Filed under: breaker's end | Tags: , , , , , , ,

The Kickstarter to fund the printing of my graphic novel Breaker’s End has now begun.

It’s only £10 (or around $18 for US residents) to get a copy of the complete 200-page book, so what are you waiting for? Read chapter one here.

Breaker’s End is about an ageing couple who live their lives in a tent in a dingy forest somewhere in England. Chloe sells paintings and seashells for a bit of money. Isaac wiles away his days playing a tuneless upright piano someone dumped in the forest years before. It’s miserable, but it’s the only life they know. But then the government passes a bill authorising the sale of England’s remaining forests to private interests, and the simple little life they’ve managed to eke out is split apart…
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Breaker’s End Kickstarter
July 17, 2013, 11:24
Filed under: breaker's end | Tags: , , , , ,


new cover lulu size

That’s right.

On Monday 22nd July, Breaker’s End goes live on Kickstarter, and then we’ve got 30 days to raise at least £5000 to fund the printing of the book for the backers.

This story of Chloe and Isaac living in their shabby forest with an old tent and a piano is one that’s come to mean a lot to me. The artwork is in brush and ink and in the tradition of artful black and white comics of Will Eisner and Craig Thompson. The completed project has come out beautifully. I can’t bear the thought of it sitting in a ring-binder for years to come and neither can you, I’m sure. So I’d like to share it with you, but I need you to get involved.

I worked on Breaker’s End over the course of two years and I really want you all to be able to read a beautifully printed copy of this story. As you’ll know from my earlier posts, the book is completely finished and about 200 pages long and 100% pretty good. All that we need now are your pre-orders so that it can be sent to print!

A printed copy will only be £10, and that includes postage. Once the project makes its funding, you’ll receive your copy within 6 weeks.

I’ll be posting the link for the Breaker’s End Kickstarter page as soon as it’s up. For now, why not read the first chapter of the book here.



Drawing Comics? Me?
June 27, 2013, 16:14
Filed under: comic artists, my comics, soft teeth | Tags: , , , , ,

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Of those four new potential graphic novels mentioned last time, I’ve written one as a prose-only novel, one has been ditched like yesterday’s baked beans, and one has been put on the back-burner since I still really want to do it.

The final one of the four has emerged as the victor (cue sound of cheering crowd) as I kind of knew it always would; which is much to my horror, as this is by far the most complex and difficult of the four. It’s probably going to be about seven-hundred-thousand pages long, and some of the first pages (above) have finally starting spewing from the end of my pencil. More on this as it develops.

Also working on short comics for two very different publications. I still think it’s ludicrously hard to fit a complete story into a few pages of comics. Nevertheless I will attempt to do so. Also it means that every page has to look really good since there’s so few of them. You can’t get by on the sketchy-sketchy hoping that the 300 pages will all support eachother like the sticks in a teepee. It actually has to be GOOD: shock horror.

I have a new cartoonist idol who has inspired me recently despite the great difficulties of writing a long book: Simon Hanselmann. Here’s his Tumblr, Girl Mountain. His main comic Megg, Mogg & Owl/Truth Zone is really worth a look (below). Great character designs, very funny, very deep. Mainly I love how loose and quickly-drawn it is. He seems to dash them off at an incredible rate, and this is particularly what inspired me. Sometimes the best things come out of spontaneity and letting all your ideas and wacky notions come through onto the paper without thinking too much about refinement or perfection. I love that. Also, the witch, Megg, is one of the best character designs I’ve ever seen. She’s ridiculously simple, but so well defined and characterful.tumblr_mkkhdo0TIS1ru22woo1_r1_1280



Hammering Out Stories
April 25, 2013, 16:48
Filed under: my comics | Tags: , , , , ,

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There are several problems associated with writing four graphic novels at the same time which hadn’t previously occurred to me.

For a start it makes each one take four times as long. (Who knew?) Also I have the issue of being able to give up too easily. You see, with just about every comic I’ve ever created, or any project at all for that matter, I usually give up about once per day. It’s sort of an organic part of bringing a project to completion: throwing one’s arms to the sky and declaring that what you’ve done is worthless, telling yourself quite authoritatively that it’s over, you can’t do it any more, before coming back twenty minutes later with a cup of tea and carrying on. Whilst writing four at once, I lose faith in each story just as one of the other stories (inevitably the one which I’ve left the longest without working on) starts to seem like the best idea I’ve ever had.

Now this might sound like a good thing, rotating through the projects, and always working on something, but it begins after a while to seem impossible to focus on one story for very long. If you’ve only got one thing on the go then eventually you’re forced to carry on with it and though you curse and swear and despair and kick the thing across the floor, soon enough the rusty motor kicks into gear and it starts to chug along by itself.

What I’m sure will happen is that one of these stories will begin to take precedence, and as I begin drawing finished pages  it will become the only thing I work on, the other stories put on the back burner to be reconsidered at a later date. However, the biggest problem is that that I like I like them all so much I want to see them all come to fruition!

Unfortunately (or fortunately), though, ideas are only worth the time and effort you put into them. Ideas you don’t at least start bringing into being remain as just that: ideas.

I don’t like to discuss subject matter too much until a story’s completed. I tend to always regret telling people my ideas before they are at least at the roughs stage. But I’ll tell you this much about these four in utero graphic novels: one is set in the past, one is set in the very near future, one is set in the distant future, one is set… somewhere very surreal.

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P.S. If you want to be an illustrator but don’t know how to start, you could do worse than getting a copy of Martin Ursell’s How to Illustrate Children’s Bookswhich, completely coincidentally, features me as a case study of an illustrator.

Click on the image to go to Amazon and buy it! —–>