With Thought Bubble on the horizon, 11-18th November, with a guest list which includes but is not limited to Jason Aaron, David Aja, Cameron Stewart, Becky Cloonan, Paul Duffield, Jamie McKelvie, Fiona Staples, Sean Phillips, Nick Spencer and Mark Waid, hopefully attendees have saved hard.
We thought we’d take a closer look at books for which the festival is their début.
First up, Grow: Tales of Parenthood by Edward Ross – one man’s take on fatherhood, portraying anxiety, frustration and happiness.
We spoke to Edward who told us “the project came out of a kind of creative low point I was facing after the birth of my son. I knew I wanted to make more comics, but a lack of time, energy and inspiration meant that anything else just couldn’t gain traction.”
And whilst he was “really wary about doing more autobio work, especially baby themed” realising it was a love/hate genre, he felt that he could “offer something new by focussing on my own experiences and trying to show parenthood in all its facets – the moments of happiness contrasted with all the frustration, fear and body fluids!” – something which our Editor Mark can sympathise with.
The first strips, which were to test the water, for Edward creatively and ‘the market’ received a positive response, so he thought “I might as well give it a proper try”. We’re glad he did. Glow is an honest account of family life, through pregnancy and the six months afterwards. Rather than self-involved, it’s heartfelt.
Edward is “interested in how comics can reach difference audiences” – his series ‘Filmish’ tackles “film history and theory and reaches a lot of people who maybe haven’t read comics before”. We are agreed that “it’s an important thing for comic artists to do when they can…to seek out new ways to get their work out there, and also to try and attract new audiences to their work and comics in general”.
Edward will be signing and sketching in copies of Grow: Tales of Parenthood at this year’s Thought Bubble, where you might be fortunate enough to meet the “wee one”, who’ll be happy also to make his mark by “chewing or drooling on them”.
Grow: Tales of parenthood will then be available to buy online (possibly as a digital download) and in select comic shops in late November.