August 21st, 2013


seawigs: stitch your own sea monkey!

Look, we have a new little star in the studio! Our very own Sea Monkey! We really ought to be more worried, because when there's one Sea Monkey, there are always lots more near by. True fact: when you are at sea, you're never more than nine feet away from a Sea Monkey.

You, too, can stitch your own Sea Monkey! Or a whole jabber of Sea Monkeys, if the urge overtakes you! There's no better prezzie to give along with a copy of Oliver and the Seawigs:

* If your friend likes knitting, you can print out a free copy of the pattern and tuck it into the book.

* You can present both the Sea Monkey and the book together, what a fabulous, cuddly gift that would be!

* Or you can just make the Sea Monkey, if you like! Send photos! :)

Here's a peek at the start of the pattern, which you can download from my website:

A big thanks to my studio mate Lauren O'Farrell (aka Deadly Knitshade) for putting together this pattern, and thank you, Oxford University Press, for commissioning it! If you subscribe to her free Stitch London newsletter, you can get lots of updates like this, and there's even an Oliver and the Seawigs giveaway. (Once you've subscribed, you can look at the archive of newsletters and it's in the most recent.)


interview with monica lee

Big thanks to American designer, blogger and style consultant Monica Lee for interviewing me at Smart Creative Women! You can watch the 30-minute, in-depth interview over on her blog, where we talk about publishing (comparing American and British experiences), making books and setting ourselves challenges. Click here to watch!

It was loads of fun talking with Monica, even after we finished recording. She reminds me a bit of my studio mate, Deadly Knitshade, in the way she understands the Internet and apps and things so well. These are really useful people to have around, and they're both great fun, too. Thanks for all the helpful tips, Monica!

Okay, lots more stuff to bookmark if you're interested! I've done a written interview over on the Tiny Pencil blog, about... using pencils! Funnily enough, just doing two pages for the Tiny Pencil Summerzine was so interesting that I adopted elements of the technique for the next picture book I started working on. (Just finishing that book now!)

Some great festivals coming up! Lots of festivals! I'm in Edinburgh this weekend so I'm gutted to be missing Caption Comics Festival in Oxford. But if you can go, DO. It's a brilliant place to meet up with other creative people and talk about making awesome stories. It's much more social than most comics conventions, with much more emphasis on the seminars and meeting people than on the comics sales, although you can pick up lots of great comics and t-shirts, too. Like this year's, designed by Rian Hughes!

David O'Connell's just blogged about Caption, and if you want to see what it's been like in past years, you can browse my earlier blog posts about it here. My favourite part is always Tony Hitchman's quiz night. You don't even have to know that much about comics to find it hysterically funny. He gives the best tour of the silliest and most jaw-dropping things you'll ever see in print. (See the whole list of events here.)

So this weekend I'm going to be at the Edinburgh Book Festival! And even though Oliver and the Seawigs is not technically comics, the excellent people in the special comics focus part of the festival, STRIPPED, have included Philip Reeve and me on the programme for its pre-launch event on Sunday, 2pm. (Book your place here!)

Big thanks to fellow writer and illustrator Cathy Brett for the mention in her Stripped interview! She has lots of good things to say about her work and career and it's definitely worth reading. Here we are at the Hay Festival earlier this year, and Cathy's drawing of the two of us! Here's the Stripped full list of events.