What Happened To The Nigerian Dream?

Happy New Year!

After juggling projects, plans, and my personal life, I decided to take January and most of this month off to visit my family in Nigeria, something I haven’t done in ten years.

While there, I found out that the country was preparing for a presidential election, and decided to keep a journal about the experience.

My thoughts are being published on Medium under the title “What Happened Tp The Nigerian Dream?

Hope you have time to read about my adventure in Africa’s most populous country.

Year Of The Angels

The remainder of 2018 was spent plotting a new adventure for my graphic novel Clockwork Watch and working with the Lakes International Comic Art Festival in Kendal.

The team introduced me to students at Kendal College who were to be my actors in our latest immersive adventure, which was inspired by the centenary of women’s suffrage.

The project was centred around Angel Corps – a fictional all female airship squadron who are known to be Queen Victoria’s favourites. This part of our narrative was created by Haley Moore of Texas. The Angels featured in the Clockwork Watch online story, and will be making their first appearance in Sins of My Father, later this year.

Working with students at Kendal was a blast! Our immersive event was set across the whole town, and ran from 10am till close to 2am. The students created profiles for their own characters, costumes were made, and posters were plastered around town. Put another way – they rocked!!!

Here’s a short clip of them parading through town.

The event was called Angel Corps Homecoming, and featured Hodgson’s India Pale Ale, a special brew created from the Clockwork Watch world, and the first beer to be named India Pale Ale. This was created by our friend and supporter Henry Hodgson, who has generously helped us with many aspects of this narrative.

The event also featured a pub takeover, and a live band, courtesy of the McGarry Brothers, and David Silverman of the Simpsons.

A Year Of Doing Things Differently

It was another great year at SDCC, where I not only met Bootsy Collins – one of my all time favourite musicians, but launched our new book – Clockwork Watch: Evolution Two, alongside Corey Brotherson, and Megan Bradbury.

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San Diego was hot as hell again, but thanks to careful planning and a lot of Uber rides, I was able to sidestep the annual heatstroke dilemma that has plagued many of my trips to the West Coast.

We’d booked a two bedroom apartment on the outskirts of the Gaslamp District, which was within a 20 min walk from the convention Centre, and perfectly quiet. Corey, Mon and Claire raided the local Costco and packed the fridge full of goodies, but as usual we all ate out every night. It’s hard to cook when you’ve been standing on your feet in the conference hall, trying to get the attention of people walking past your booth for almost 11 hours. We sold well, but as usual, it was hard.

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Halfway into the convention I shot off to Las Vegas to DJ at a corporate event, which meant leaving Corey to manage the table, but I was back in San Diego for a conference call at 8am the following morning. This was a year where I juggled four projects, while on location in the US with jet-lag.


One of the best things about the event is cosplay – the amazing costumes created by people, many based on characters from film, TV and comic. Here are a few from SDCC 2018, for more head over to the Clockwork Watch production blog.

Evolution Two was well received, books were sold, Megan had her very first comic published – which was quite emotional – as you can see in the little video posted online, and the team has been invited to help produce an immersive theatre piece for a new comic arts festival in Huntington Beach outside Los Angeles.

Here’s to a year of doing things differently.

A Sneaky Way To Read A Comic…

This is the best way to read a comic – the #script to one side, and art on the other, but without the speech / thought bubbles. Welcome to Clockwork Watch: Evolution Part II (@clockworkwatch). Great work by Megan Bradbury (@BusyMatches) and awesome editing by Corey Brotherson (@CoreyBrotherson). We are creating a proper #Steampunk for #London. Some of this narrative is based on live events hosted at Weekend at the Asylum (Lincoln), and the Make Believe Festival (London).

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Larry Harvey – Another Legend Is Gone

He was a great friend. So much nice stuff has been said about Larry, yet each beautiful word is like a stab to my heart.

My best memory was him sitting at our kitchen table in a dressing gown, chatting philosophy and british politics, sipping a cup of coffee, as an auditorium of people were waiting for his keynote, several miles away.

I rushed into the house, thinking he was dressed and ready to go, but there he was chatting with Claire. I said “Larry, we’ve got to go” he looked up and said “OK”.

And in a blink of an eye, he was back to being Larry Harvey of Burning Man.

Our generation owes so much to this man. Even if you’ve never met him, I can almost guarantee his vision has impacted your world in one way or another.

My heart goes out to all his family and friends.

A shining light has just gone.

 

British Library Chat and We’re On Patreon

It’s been a long and amazing ride, but things are about to get super exciting in the final stages of the Clockwork Watch adventure – we’re on Patreon!!

This Patreon is to help fund bigger and more ambitious projects. With your generous assistance I will be creating engaging and immersive comics, films, and live events. So kindly support in whichever way you can.

We will be publishing three more books, as well as host several live events around the UK to open up the narrative a little bit more. The hope is that participants who have co-created the story with us since launch in 2011, will help make the ending go with a bang!

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Last week, I joined Bryan Talbot, Kate Ashwin, Daniel Merlin Goodbrey, and John Freeman at the British Library to chat about digital comics.

It was a great session, and the hope is that there will be more opportunities like this in the future. Much gratitude to the British Library team, and everyone who came to the event.

Photographs are courtesy of Jemima Gibbons.


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Spring is for writing

An absolute joy to have finished my first year of lecturing at the Royal College of Art. Huge gratitude to Eleanor Dare, and Neville Brody for giving me the opportunity to share my practice with the students, who allowed me to expand their understanding of storytelling.

From now till summer, I’ll be working on my writing chores, including the next immersive theatre piece from Clockwork Watch, which will debut at the Lakes International Comic Art Festival in Kendal this October, where Corey Brotherson and I will be collaborating with Kendal College, and members of the public.

A Digital Conversation at the British Library

The British Library has invited me to talk about my work with graphic novels and new forms of narrative, alongside the legendary Bryan Talbot, Kate Ashwin and Daniel Merlin Goodbrey. The event will be chaired by John Freeman of Down The Tubes.

I’ll be explaining how readers have helped to co-create the Clockwork Watch story for almost a decade through writing and role-play.

Tickets are available through the British Library Box Office