Monday, 31 December 2018

The 42nd Post.

I feel very fuzzy headed.
So all I can do really is post a photo..
Have a great evening and all the best to you all in 2019.
Promises to be an interesting year.

Most eagerly awaited Kickstart has landed.

Skies Of Fire collected edition.
A nice end to the year.
Came home to find this :o)
Just wish I was feeling well enough to play with the photo, taken by my iPhone, to get it the right way up.
Sadly I'm just starting another cold.
Feeling crap.
Concentration not great... but I have to do one more posting to keep up the 42 Posts a year.

Coming in 2020 - a secret project.

I've been in discussions in the background about finishing off one of my earlier projects.
I would love to see this happen.
Oh yeah.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Coming in 2019 -WesterNoir Issue 9

This one worries me less than the others as Gary Crutchley, co-wrtier and artist, does most (if not all, the work :o).
I call it the Marvel method.

This year has had me feeling a little odd.

Maybe it's the Brexit fears.

Toronto (TCAF) Con.

And... as if that isn't enough... if we get accepted for Toronto than I'll need to finish my collage book.
The A to Z of Super-Weirdoes.
OK... now I'm really worried.

Coming in 2019 - Enter The Asylum Issue 2

We need to get busy on this one first thing next year.
That'll be tomorrow then.

Coming in 2019 - Stephenson's Robot - issue 5.

I've been busy with other projects this year and got too distracted on them to actually do what I needed to do to get Issue 5 to the printer.
This is my top priority now and I'm getting there with colouring.
And the back up story in this issue is the Blind Priest from David Hitchcock.

Coming in 2019 - Kickstarter Exclusive, working title 'Vengeance Mask'.

Also, as a dabble in the Kickstarter world, I've worked with Barry Renshaw to produce a 12 page comic in the Blessed / Cursed range which will be released on KS with either Kan Mesmer, which never went through Diamond (no surprise there then) or The Changeling.
I'll be looking to greyscale this one I think, although it is nice and clean... I just want to play with the Mask.

Coming in 2019 - Kia Wordsmith issue 2

Ian has been producing some excellent pages behind the scenes and what I've seen is as stunning as expected. He's really perfecting his craft, his already is already up there.
The eagle eyed amongst you might see something strangely familiar.
It's all part of the plan.

AQUAMAN - A whole lotta film.

I think that quote from one of my nephews says it all really.
It really didn't stop from the offset, flipping with ease between Arthur as a baby, young boy, young man and then fully grown bridge between two worlds.
Flipping between understated, but very effective, underwater cinematography and your more normal land based affair.
Very enjoyable and up there with Wonder Woman.
I think DC have turned a corner and I'm looking forward to the next movie, although I'm not sue what and when that is.
If you do get a change then go see it.
It is certainly a film that will work better on the big screen.

Friday, 28 December 2018

Christmas is a RISKy business.

Time again for the annual RISK challenge.
Me vs my daughter.
Would I reverse a trend?
My green arm, if I can call them that, ran out of continents and ended up fitting their last engagement in Australia.
Maybe next year I'll fair better.
Mind you... it's difficult competing with die rolls like that ... just saying.

Spider-Ham, Spider-Ham, does whatever a... err...well...

Went with Jemma to see the new animated Spider-Man movie.
It was this one or Aquaman and we decided on this as we didn't think it had much time left in the cinema.
Was it a good choice?
Yep. A great little film full of heart.
Is it the best Spider-Man film I've ever seen?
Yep, I think it is. Lots of laugh out loud moments too.
If you do go and watch it then do stay for the post credits extra ... very funny.

I hope they do a sequel.

Next up - Aquaman. I hope it moves DC movies in the right direction. I've just heard that Titan here pulling the plug on the DC comics they publish for the likes of W H Smiths. Hope things pick up for DC soon. marvel is doing some great stuff, but it's good to have a decent alternative.

Friday, 21 December 2018

Lindor Loveliness.

Well, gone are the days of fighting over the dark chocolate Lindor chocolates.
At the local Sainsburys you can pick and mix.
Luckily I only noticed this on the way out.
I might have to pop back tomorrow though...

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Coming in 2019 - Working title 'The Changeling'.

I wrote a story about 3 years ago, another in my Blessed / Cursed series.
Gustavo Tataje illustrated a tale in issue 3 of Tales of WesterNoir, to see how he did at story telling.
I gave him the script.
It's a pretty big script.
A year and a bit later (he had to fit it around his fabulous personal projects) and it's largely completed.
I've read the first draft, and made my usual requests to re-write bits in an attempt to lift my writing to the level of his art (much as I do with Ian's work on Kia Wordsmith).
It should be ready sometime early next year.
I think people who liked the earlier Blessed / Cursed books will love it.

Yep, this will certainly be out, but it won't be first.

Sunday, 16 December 2018

Portsmouth 2019

First Con booked for next year.
I'll be flying the Accent UK banner at Portsmouth.
Last year, which was their first, was great, so I'm really looking forward to going back.

Illustration Cupboard.

I popped into London yesterday and one of the things I wanted to do was to pop into The Illustration Cupboard for the last time.
Sadly it's closing at the end of the year.
Rates were increasing year on year and had just become too expensive.
Very sad news.
I'd met David McKee in store earlier in the year and bought some of his originals.
I'd also promised myself a Shaun Tan one day.
Doesn't sound like they will be opening up elsewhere.
I love unique little shops like this.
It's a shame that they are struggling to compete and becoming fewer and fewer as time goes on.

Sunday, 25 November 2018


I was happy to find an old collage book.
Something I'd played with years ago.
Cutting and pasting.
Trying to make no sense of images brought together on a page.
this little notebook has an image that I want to include in my SuperWeirdoes book.
I'll have to scan him from this page, that's the problem with collaging. Once it's stuck down it's stuck.
Made me smile to find him again though.

Super Weirdoes.

I'm working on my own little artist project in the background.
Hopefully sometime next year I'll be printing this, and maybe getting it on Kickstarter.
I now have an Instagram (davewest42) account and pop progress up on there.
Each image will represent a Letter of the Alphabet in an A to Z.
Each will have a story, poem or some other prose to accompany the artwork, and hopefully explain it.

Enter the Asylum.

The first Kickstarter (KS) for me, and Accent UK, was Enter the Asylum.
This is a steampunk book written about the personas of the people who dress up for and attend the Steampunk shows across the country.
We started with a fairly small (24 page) colour comic and told stories of a handful of characters.
Involving the people themselves in plot development was an interesting departure from our normal approach, and proved to be fun.
Ahead of the launch we produced and handed out fliers at a couple of Steampunk Cons, and other comic shows.
We also plugged the KS on various Steampunk Facebook Groups.
Then we launched and went around the Facebook Groups again telling people it was now active.
A £500 target was hit very quickly, I think within a day or two.
The final amount raised pretty much paid for everything.
I think we were short a little on what we paid out for artists and colourists etc but it certainly allowed us to consider reporting the whole thing next year.
And every year going forward if the KS boost continues.
A great first Kickstarter.

Kickstarter and me.

Anyone who has discussed Kickstarter with me over the years knows about my reservations.
It never felt right that people should ask others to help them fund something that they should really be funding themselves. Somehow to me it just seemed wrong.
And then time passed.
And I chatted to a lot of my fellow comic book creators who were using it for every project.
I got an account and started backing a few things and exploring what it was really all about.
I noticed that other people like myself were actually now turning out more works than they used to and it started to make sense.
In order to make the money back on a comic book and have enough cash to finance the next one takes months of selling at Conventions. You end up with a backlog of things in development that have to wait for the cash to come in before they can be sent to a printer.
If Kickstarter can provide that initial capital. Enough money to get the book printed then that's a huge help and actually means that you can start to consider producing more books. You can also start to consider paying artist more money than before if the Kickstarter money coming in is sufficient.
I'm convinced there is a limit to how many books it is healthy to produce and a maximum that the good people backing Kickstarter projects will support. You don't want to become a nuisance.
For me having now done three comics this year through Kickstarter I think the limit is one comic per quarter.
There's a lot to do in the background.
Setting it up.
Promoting it on Social Media and anywhere else available.
Working out the little extras that will hopefully tempt more backers.
Producing the book itself.
And then if successful, posting the comics and any extras out after the campaign.
It's a little nerve wracking at times too... my first had me sat in front of the monitor watching its growth. Hoping it'll reach the target. Then hoping it'll stay above it. Then hoping it'll hit targets that I set week by week.
It's stressful but ultimately rewarding.
And one of the things that I like the most is that people across the globe get involved and get to see your work, not just those that you see at Conventions in the UK.

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Mr Benn in Manchester

A friend sent me this photo of the Mr Benn version of one of the Bees in Manchester.
A little weird but pretty cool

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Kia Wordsmith

Our third comic is up on Kickstarter.
Kia Wordsmith is a story that I've had in pre-production (as it were) for many years.
It needed the right type of artist.
It's about a young woman thief living in a fantasy type setting.
So it needed someone who could draw the human form as well as non-human forms and fantastical settings.
Enter Ian Ashcroft.
Ian's work is astonishing and I'm incredibly lucky to have him on board for at least 4 issues.
He captured my view of the look of Kia better than I could explain, almost as if he read my mind.
As t the little creature.
Well, I had no real picture of what it wold look like and asked Ian to 'do his thing'.
I love the result.
The Kickstarter has already exceeded its target, which is fabulous, and there's still 21 days to go.
I'll be looking to get it printed before the Kickstarter finishes, as I want it ready for the Nottingham Convention on the 20th October where both Accent UK and Ian Ashcroft (who will have his own table for the first time) will be selling copies.
All looks to be on track so far.


We must say that we were pretty excited about this year's Asylum event.
This is THE Steampunk event and is probably the biggest in the World, it's certainly the biggest in Europe. This year we had our secret weapon..
No, not Colin, our very own comic that tells stories about the Steampunk personas wailing around us for the three (or four) days.
This year Jemma came down to visit my in High Wycombe and we both set off early Friday morning to get to the event and set up in the University building before the weekend's event took off. Interestingly when we arrived we found that the hall we were to put our table in was already very busy and so it was an even quicker than normal set up (helped by the fact that Colin hadn't arrived yet and so I could get away with my less than perfect attempt).
And trade was brisk.
I'm glad we didn't stop off for a coffee on the way up, as I'd intended.
Colin arrived later on and re-arranged things a bit but we had a very busy afternoon.
Gary arrived even later on, he'd stopped for a nice cup of tea with Karen on his way up Steep Hill.
The highlight was when Lady Clarajane (one of the characters in the Enter The Asylum comic) turned up and let us borrow the airship (made from Lego) that her husband, Capt. Rivington, had made based on the image in the comic. It added very nicely the table display.
On Saturday we were moved a little and found ourselves next to Timebomb Comics, selling their Chapbooks and Flintlock. We had enough people manning the stalls that Jemma and I could wander into town where we met old friends who had just popped over to see what it was like and I met up with Ian Ashcroft, artist on Kia Wordsmith, our new comic. It's always great chatting to Ian and we discussed Kia's  (which is now launched over at future issues amongst other things.

Saturday evening saw us all chilling over a meal and talking about how well Enter The Asylum had done. It had been a risk but it seemed to have captured the attention of the Steampunkers.
Sunday was similar to Saturday, just as busy and we met a number of the Mountain (errr... Steep Hill) Climbers from one of the Enter The Asylum stories..

which was great fun. They loved the story and felt honoured to be in the book. The honour is all ours of course.
A few presentations and a good day at the table later and we found ourselves sat with Timebomb comics enjoying a nice meal.
This is a great event and one of our favourites for many reasons.
Monday was much quieter which meant more time to socialise and we took this great photo of the Enter The Asylum cover stars...
It was funny that we had to close the door that someone (what ? me?) had opened in front of the banner and which had obscured one of the 'stars'...
I've no idea how that happened ... honest.
So, another great Con and one that celebrated 10 years of Asylum.
I'll leave the post with my favourite costumes.
Group costume...

and individual...
but there were so many to choose from.
I need to work on mine for next year. I've got a hat that fits now, which is a start and something that some people thought impossible :o)

From Manchester to Worthing.

Well I've been to a few Cons since my last posting and have decided to try to catch up this weekend.
This post will call out the high points of the Manchester MCM and the Meanwhile event in Worthing. Very different shoes and they actually sum up, for me, the polarity of shows today.
On one side you have the small comic event that pulls in local people (both creators and customers) and at the other a monster event that pulls in people from across the UK, and beyond.
MCM Manchester then was its usual huge self. Loads of dealers selling, well... stuff you can buy in stores in the main, and smuggled in amongst it all the Comic Village.
As always the quality of independent comics was high but we had a great weekend and caught up with existing customers..
Josiah Black pops in the check on things...
and new...

visiting the stall and checking out our books.
As always it's great catching up with people and the MCMs are two full on days.
Worthing's Meanwhile Event, on the other hand, is a small event in a Town Hall type building. Much fewer stalls and comic creators but much ore relaxing with much more time to chat to people.
The Kingdom figure got his first outing and got plenty of attention.
Fewer comics were sold but I had a really enjoyable day and with driving there and back again on the day I kept costs very low. Simon (Blue Fox Comics) is certainly doing all the right things and I'll certainly be back next year.
All set up in plenty of time.

Sunday, 5 August 2018

A Kingdom table display for the Conventions.

When I was at the C2E2 event this year in cold and windy Chicago I came across a stall that sold the basic shapes for you to paint your own superhero on.
Now I've always wanted something to put on the table at Conventions.
Something with some height.
Something that would attract the casual passer by.
I'd had some success with my customised Lego figures but always struggled with the fact that people wanted to buy them and could understand why I had them on the table if they weren't for sale.
So, if I could make a Kingdom from Stephenson's Robot then that could be the answer to my problems.
It shouldn't be too difficult.
Fast forward a few months and I decided that I'd spend a weekend and do it.
I actually bought two figures, the idea being to use one on the Convention table and maybe to put the other one on Kickstarter as a reward tier.
I decided to use SuperSculpey as a means to adding the structural parts to the figure, which was recommended to me by a great scratch building modeller at the Portsmouth Convention (it's great what you can pick up at these events).
The shaping and positioning seemed to go ok.
I had to drill a hole in the head to insert the cigar, as I didn't want it breaking off later, but apart from that all was good.
I did the two and put them in the oven. I decided to bake at each stage to stop me messing the boys I'd made up when I was fiddling elsewhere.
15 mins in the oven...
was too hot for the plastic.
The arms and legs melted a bit.
Yes, I realised afterwards than I hadn't needed to put their arms and legs in in order to cook their faces.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
Luckily, the box of figures came with two sets of arms and legs. The second set being shorter and thicker.
Actually it made the thing feel like it was an Animated cartoon version of Kingdom, which I quite liked.
I carried on.
Building up the major bits.
I realised that it was taking a while and that I'd been concentrating on one of them and not the two.
I decided to just make one of them.
Once I'd added the major pieces I gave it a nice black undercoat and then a nice silver.
Very shiny.
Too shiny.
I'd need to sort that out later with the varnish.

The thing about paint is that you can do a number of nice things.
Dry brushing and black washes bring it all together.

And before you know it he's taking shape and looking OK.

Painting straight lines is really difficult, but I argued with myself that when he was built it was unlikely that every line would be perfect so as long as it was pretty straight and with the same thickness of line then that'd be ok.
Then it was a matter of attaching some lego chains and other bits and bobs, painting them and then giving the whole thing a nice matt varnish.

Painting little gauges and clock hands at the end of the chains to to add detail.
All I all, it was a bit of a challenge but I'm please with how it came out.
I'm almost tempted to have a go at a Wolfboy one, but it would be a lot of clay and I'm not sure the frame would take the heat. Tempting though.

It's funny but as I look at him I'm reminded of the figures in Trumpton and Camberwick Green. Maybe a crossover is called for.
If you want to have a go yourself then you can buy them through

Kickstarter .. another success.

Well our second Kickstarter has also been successful, hitting the £1000 target, which is great.
This one is Gary Crutchley's Hard Country
it's a great story that we're linking to our WesterNoir world.
The book is going through some final minor changes and then it'll be off the the printers.
A big thank you to everyone who backed it on Kickstarter.
All backers will get free Art Cards.
Here's the original art from Gary with colours by Matt Soffe.
We're hoping to make it a 2 sided print card..
We'll see how it goes.

Saturday, 14 July 2018


Well our first ever Kickstarter campaign was a success.
We hit out £500 target for Enter The Asylum steampunk anthology in less than a day, if memory serves.
The tiers helped it get over the target and it made me aware that had we not had Stephenson's Robot reward tiers then we would have jut missed the target, something to remember for future campaigns.
All's well that ends well though and we made it.
As I type this the special print cards and the comic itself are with the printer.
It is a lovely looking little comic and I can't wait to see it in the flesh.
Hot on the success of Enter The Asylum we are in the middle of our second Kickstarter campaign, Hard Country.
Hard Country has been Gary Crutchley's pet project for a good many years and we've Brough the tale into the WesterNoir universe and published it as a Tales of WesterNoir special.
You can check it out over at, it's doing pretty well, hitting the 92% of target mark in a week. Pop over and watch the great video that Andy Bloor pulled together for us.
So, all's looking good on the Kickstarter front.

London MCM.

It's been a busy couple of months, what with Conventions and Kickstarter.

Since my last post I've been to two Conventions, wildly different in appearance and connect but both going to.

London MCM was, it has to be said, a little down on last year. It just didn't seem to be as busy and whilst I'm trying not to, I'm wondering if the concerns about what state the country will be in post Brexit are causing people to be a little more cautious with their spending habits.

Everything seems bigger at the MCM in London...
There was the usual display of costumes and I always respect the time and effort that goes into the Cosplays, regardless of how effective they turn out to be.
The Green Soldiers from Toy Story as impressive...
as this version of the Powerpuff Girls...
was disturbing.
Sales were tough, maybe because we had only a single table and were tucked behind an artist with one of those table displays that effectively blocks ours if you were approaching from the left or maybe because we had nothing new out.
Regardless it was a tough 3 days for Jemma and myself but we soldiered on and did ok in the end.
It did hit me that everyone is looking younger these days, a sign of getting old I guess, even Judge Death was looking like he was too young to leave school...
All in all we had a good time chilling with our friends and chatting to returning customers, but it was a long tiring 3 days and I was glad when it had finished so I could put my tired feet up and have a good rest.
I didn't forget my hammer on the way out though.