Corban Wilkin: Illustrator


Nominated for a BCA!
November 8, 2014, 10:52
Filed under: breaker's end, comic artists, my comics | Tags: , , ,

British-Comic-Awards

At next week’s Thought Bubble Festival in Leeds (15th & 16th November 2014) I’ll be at the awards night for the British Comic Awards, and I myself have been nominated for the Emerging Talent award. Specifically for Breaker’s End and my work on Dreams of a Low Carbon Future.

Looks like I’m up against some serious contenders though, such as the formidable Rachael Smith and Alison Sampson and… I think I might just be the underdog here.

I’ll be sure to keep all of my various digits and limbs firmly crossed for good luck until next Saturday, which will no doubt increase my chances significantly.



Horsing Around

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You’d be hard-pressed to find any visual artist who would disagree that horses are hard to draw, but I’m working with Greg Neri on a comics project heavily involving horses. Like my short comic If Not Now then When?, we’re looking at working with a nice brown wash on ink lines, which seems to give it the right feeling.

Not going to say a whole lot about it at this point, but it should be a great project.

Gail

I have to share Kim Jung Gi’s portfolio with anyone who’s not familiar with him. Somehow I’ve only recently come across his unbelievably rich and detailed and living line-drawn panoramas. Do yourself a favour and spend some time looking at his interiors and street scenes, because I certainly am.

Below: just a little sketch of nothing in particular that was drawn digitally but looks sort of like pencil!

Untitled-12 copy

 



The Long Journey

stewwebres‘The graphic novel’ is being worked on and will be for a long time, and that’s all I’m saying.

Although it looks this way, I haven’t, in fact, dropped off of the face of the earth, but I have been extremely busy (haven’t we all?), with, as well as ‘the graphic novel’, a full-time job which I might talk talk about in a later post.

Some of my work from Dreams of a Low Carbon Future is currently on display in The Cartoon Museum in Holborn and will be until 1st June 2014.

Have you ever noticed that to tell another about a planned project intended to be completed on one’s own steam, or a mighty ambition one has every intention of carrying out, often ruins the possibility of making said dream a reality? I read somewhere, at some time, that to explain a hitherto secret idea, for a story, say, to someone else actually gives us some facsimile of the pleasure we associate with great and self-motivated achievement. By revealing that we have every intention of writing the greatest screenplay in history we in fact feel that the friend we simply had to confess this ambition to thinks highly of us for planning to do so. We imagine to ourselves that they are in some way impressed with our plan and our motivation and it thereby robs us of the ability to make real what is already so comfortingly extant in the shared consciousness, which seems almost good enough to replace the real thing. Making something real takes a tremendous, in fact inordinate, amount of time and energy. Making anything significant must by necessity take over one’s life. If we can feel, subconsciously or otherwise, that we have already been a bit impressive to the people whose opinions we value then the effort seems futile. We’ll give over a chunk of our lives to creating or realising something, and to present it to those we first mentioned the idea to will be anticlimactic: “See? I told you I’d do that thing and look at me now. I’ve gone and done it!”

How much grander and more exciting to step out from behind a doorway and present a fully-formed piece of brilliance to one’s peers, the excitement of their response to this wholly unpresaged, fully, or perhaps, at least, mostly, accomplished idea a powerful motivator in the graft of hours upon hours doing the labour of creating the thing in reality. Rather than presenting a now-poorly-motivated shadow of a grandly (or, indeed, failingly) expressed idea, one instead has a grand statement, all laid out and out of the blue, with no grand idea that it tries in vain to live up to.

Resist blurting out every idea to your friends and peers; explaining your bold vision to them. An idea that is just an idea ought to be kept a grave secret until, through work, you ripen it and cause it to exist: make it ready to be enjoyed. Until that time, all you have is an idea and all of the experience in my short life so far has taught me that an idea alone is worth next to nothing.

Of course there are exceptions even to this rule: the idea for chocolate-covered peanuts, for example.

Above and below: VECTOR DRAWINGS. Remakes in fact of some old children’s book illustrations. I liked these and haven’t bandied them about enough yet.

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Sci-Fi and Sci-Fact

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Just a piece I neglected to post until now: an ink and watercolour inspired by the Doctor Who episode ‘The Eleventh Hour’, for a big fan of the programme.

The Doctor crash-lands in the back garden of Amelia Pond, and when he leaves, tells her he’ll return immediately. By the time he does get back to her, Amelia’s now a grown woman who’s been obsessed with him her whole life, even though, to The Doctor, very little time has passed. I liked the night-time tone of the greens and blues.

Once again, don’t forget if you’re in Leeds or anywhere nearby, come to the Thought Bubble Festival next weekend (23rd and 24th) and get your free give-away copy of the graphic compendium that is Dreams of a Low Carbon Future, featuring comics and illustration by myself, as well as a mixture of other comics artists, climate researchers, and school-children who have contributed their own work.

Come for the book, stay for the talk on Sunday at 3.50pm with James McKay and Paul Gravett:

NOVEMBER 2013 THOUGHT BUBBLE



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.



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.



Latitude
July 10, 2013, 11:37
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

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On Sunday 21st of July I’m going to be at Latitude, speaking as part of the ‘New British Graphic Novelists’ panel, along with Joff Winterhart and Glyn Dillon, with author Toby Litt heading the panel.

If you’re at the festival, come and see me jabber on about lord knows what.

It’s on Sunday 21st July at 5.45 – 6.45 pm

UPDATE: There’ll be advance copies of Breaker’s End available at the event. I will be signing them and sketching on the inside cover live on the day for the ten people who manage to bag a copy.



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

SP_A1604_001

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