November 23rd, 2011


Introducing the best of British comics! 54 creators (including me, all my studio mates and loads of former DFC comic colleagues!) have worked like mad and, in less than a year, turned an idea circulated on Twitter into a beautiful book crammed full of amazing comics. The profits all go to Shelter charity for the homeless, so it's an all-round perfect Christmas prezzie!

My studio mate Lauren O'Farrell's knitted Nelson at the Cartoon Museum, photo by Dan Fone

The Blank Slate publisher website describes it: Part exquisite corpse and part relay race, Nelson spans decades of British history and a myriad of stylistic approaches in telling the story of one woman’s life by 54 creators, in 54 episodes, detailing 54 days. I've just written a blog post about it over on the David Fickling Books blog... have a peek! Even though the book is published by Blank Slate, so many of the creators came together through the DFC comic.

My three pages cover a day in the life of our character, Nel, when she's five years old, living with her family in 1973 Dagenham, east London. It's not a comic for young children. (Kate Brown drew a sex scene! Even though all the dodgy bits are amusingly covered up.) But older teenagers and adults will seeing how so many different talented artists drew the same person, and the carefully edited collaborative story works brilliantly.

So this week is NELSON WEEK and, wow, it's been a busy one! I'm going to do a separate blog posts about Thought Bubble comics festival in Leeds last weekend, where Nelson was the talk of the fair, a launch party for an exhibition of original rough drafts of artwork and final art at London's Cartoon Museum, and a stint at Gosh Comics at Berwick Street in Soho, where four of us - Woodrow Phoenix, Will Morris, JAKe and I - spent much of Monday painting Nel on the shopfront window. If you're in London, you can still go to two more events! There's a signing at Forbidden Planet on Shaftesbury Avenue on Thursday and I'll definitely be at the Gosh Comics signing on Friday.

More news and photos soon! Meanwhile, get a hot drink, some cake, and start reading!

nelson exhibition at london's cartoon museum!

You just can't keep Nelson within the pages of a book! Here's the most recent contribution to the collaboration with Blank Slate Books, from my fab studio mate Lauren O'Farrell (aka Deadly Knitshade). The story in the book goes up to 2011, but Lauren's taken it to 2012, when Nel writes a book about her little brother, Sonny. We all got to see her creation for the first time at the Cartoon Museum, at the launch of an exhibition of comic roughs and final artwork from our book. You can see some of our pictures on the wall behind Lauren... exciting!

Look at all the detail Lauren put into this! She was up til 4am the night before, making these tiny polaroid photos of scenes from the book. The exhibition runs until late February, so do pop by for a look! It's just a couple streets away from the front of the British Museum.
Edit: I just found out that you can bid on Nel at the Gosh Comics party on Friday, and the profits will go to Shelter's charity for the homeless! Go look at Lauren's amazing post about her Knitted Nel.

Speech! Speech! Here are our fab editors and fellow creators Woodrow Phoenix and Rob Davis, the original two who mused about the Nelson book idea on Twitter and then took it forward with our whole gang of 54 creators. (My web designer, Dan Fone, took the photo.)

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