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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Introducing KILL SPREE

If it seems I've been quiet on the comics scene it's because I've been using my time to work on a particularly tasking project. No, not baby West, although the little monkey is pretty much sucking every spare minute out of my life, but Kill Spree, the first, next-generation web comic.

There's only so many short stories you can write before needing to stretch out to long form comics. So, like the twat I am, I've jumped in head first with a massive 8 issue epic, that, when (if) ever completed, will form one glorious 180 page graphic novel.

Issue 1 is fully complete and the first 4 pages went live on October 1st. There are now 7 comic pages up which can be seen here: with an additional page added each week.

I'm taking this approach to try and reach as many comic reading folk as possible. This means drip feeding weekly for the web comic lovers and a bigger launch when the final page of issue 1 goes live all to coincide with a Kickstarter campaign to attempt to fund issue 2. It's going to be a fun experience.

What's is all about then?

Created to push the boundaries of both technology and taste Kill Spree uses the latest web-technologies to deliver a unique experience. Cool features include the ability to view the comic book creation stages including pencils, inks and even the script, an additional animated version for those who like motion comics, all wrapped in a responsive website which adapts to fit the screen of whatever device it is viewed on.

There's no point having an amazing website without having an amazing comic to match! Kill Spree is a highly original action/adventure/sci-fi/horror/comedy story, beautifully illustrated by Eliseu Gouveia, and loads of fun too! The controversial subject matter instantly sets the story apart. At heart it's a story about friendship, its outer wrappings, an attack on the media, pop culture and commercialism, sprinkled with a healthy amount of puerile humour and very bad language.

The concept...

A gang of disturbed losers seize control of America’s most high-tech shopping mall and embark on a deadly game of competitive mass-murder, broadcasting the entire event live as the world watches on in horror.

Welcome to the world of Kill Spree

EDIT: I'm planning on doing some making of posts about this. Behind the scenes shit. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

AAIIEEE!!! Night Flight of Terror

Dang! I gone done it again and forgot to update this riveting blog! Apologies, ME fans (My Mum). You might think lack of posts means it's been all quiet on the Tim West front, but no, as always I'm balls deep in comic stuff.

I'm using these pages to update my 'Adventures in Comics' which means anything I do that's comic related will be mentioned here. With this in mind, I must mention the small press publishing powerhouse Dave Candlish's Paragon Comics, or more precisely, AAIIEEE!!! a yearly horror anthology from the Paragon stable. This 2nd issue of this spooky comic was released in August of this year and features a story by me!

WATER OF LIFE, a 4 page horror adventure about the quest for immortality, was illustrated by the awesome Pictsy (her first comic story, and bloody hell does it look amazing), and lettered by the legendary Jim Campbell.

Extremely pleased with how this story turned out. It looks aces plus.

I also had a story in the first issue of AAIIEEE!!! so technically this makes me a regular (I'll take any credit I can get these days).

You can buy this comic, in digital or print format, via Lulu.

Visit the Paragon Comic site for more of this type of thing.

Stay tuned for more comic stuff...

Thursday, 3 July 2014

FutureQuake #25

The finest small press anthology reaches issue 25 in fine style with two covers! Inside the whopping 52 pages we present 12 tales featuring contributions from the finest writers and artists the Small press has to offer. The time has come to discover why FutureQuake has been consistently nominated for best British Black & White Comic at both the Eagle and the True Believer awards. Only £4.00 for 52 pages- you don't get better value than that!

Inside this issue you will find a two page story written by none other than Tim West (that's me). This sci-fi skit, entitled The Travelling Salesman features art by Matthew Harrower and letters by the legendary Bolt-01.

You can buy this lovely anthology by visiting the FutureQuake site.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Home is where the heart is

A Bank Holiday treat for you all your horror lovers, here's a story that appeared in the 5th issue of everyone's favourite Halloween comic, Hallowscream. Written and lettered by my most excellent self, and pencilled, inked and coloured by the splendiferous, The pXd.

The idea for this 5 page story came from purchasing my own house from a lovely lady called Jennifer who had lived in the house her whole life. Inspiration comes from all around.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Pipedream Comics Article

Here's a quick link to a small piece what I did wrote for digital comics site Pipedream Comics for a section they call 'Why I love digital Comics'.

You can read the full story over on the Pipedream Comics website.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

The Wanbies to Infinty and Beyond

Infinity is a bi-monthly FREE online magazine that focuses on digital comics. Brought to you by Panel Nine Publishing, the creators of the most excellent Sequential app, this publication is pretty much the go-to magazine for those interested in the digital comic industry.
INFINITY started out as a small press comics fanzine in the 80s, and now publisher Russell Willis has swapped his photocopier for an iPad and relaunched INFINITY for the digital age. The magazine is stuffed with the latest news and opinion on digital comics and graphic novels, regular interviews with pioneering artists and writers, excerpts from new digital graphic novels, and exclusive artwork you won't find anywhere else. 
This month's issue contains a 4 page story titled The Wanbies, written by yours truly and drawn by Neil McClements.  Russell put a shout out on the Sequential blog asking for short comic strips to include in a new Infinity feature. I sent the strip over for consideration and it was snapped up. Nice one.

Neil and I fine tuned the strip especially for this release. It's The Wanbies 2.0, with added grunge and improved lettering. It looks awesome. This is the first comic strip I have sold. Not for a massive amount of course, but it's aces to make a bit a cash from doing something I love.

You can download the Infinity app for yourself here.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Psychedelic Journal of Time Travel #3

This month also sees the launch of a brand new issue of The Psychedelic Journal of Time Travel. Compared by the Willy Wonka of the small press world, the magnificent Owen Watts, the Journal collects together several short stories from a whole host a indie comic creators.

You can purchase a copy of this fine publication via their Comicsy shop or find out more details on the project on the blog.

Featuring: Andrew Scaife, Blas Bigatti, Bob Molesworth, Carl Pearce, Chris Mole, Chris Redfern, David Broughton, J.S. Adams, Jim Lavery, Jim Woodall, JT Pegg, Gavin Johnston, Geoffery Crescent, George Coleman, Gibson Quarter, Greg Meldrum, Mark Herstal, Mark Keenan, Matt Herbert, Mike Scrase, Nathan Webb, Nich Angell, Shaun Avery, Roland Bird & Tim West.

Look at the name on the end of that list. It's me! Result! I have 4 page time travelling tale, illustrated by the talented Andrew Scaife, titled Timeholes and Teaspoons.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Massacre For Boys - Picture Library #1

Imagine the perfect small press anthology. One so finely crafted, it could be considered a dangerous weapon. Well, imagine no longer, for this month sees the launch of the all new Massacre For Boys - Picture Library #1

Picture Library #1 will go up for sale on the MFB website and Comicsy on, or very close to, March 17th. The digital version will be available exclusively from Comicsy. You can also pick this little beauty up at the London Super Comic Con taking place on 15th and 16th of this month.

One of the reasons this anthology is so damn awesome is because I has a story in it. Oh yeah! It's a 6 page ripping war/cricket yarn titled The Boys from Bashley, illustrated by the talented David Herstal. It's a corker as well.

For mores information they has a Facebook Page and they has a Website and they has a Blog too. Yippee!

Thursday, 27 February 2014

So, you want me to hire you as a comic book artist?

A few weeks ago I placed an advert on the Digital Webbing forum asking to be contacted by comic book artists who would like to work on a paid collaboration. I received over 100 applicants - a huge mix of talents, skills, styles and experience just bursting my inbox. It was all so very exciting that I had to sit down for a bit. After carful consideration, I was able to whittle down the candidates to a top ten, ultimately selecting the winner after much brain-racking and tea drinking.

I thought it might be worthwhile sharing my experience of the process in the hope that artists will be better prepared should they wish to apply for similar opportunities. So here’s my list of DO’s and DON’T’s for those comic artist looking to be snapped up for comic gigs.

DO be professional. Think about it! I’m  looking to pay an artist to create a professional submission package. Your reply to the advert is the first opportunity to show you can be taken seriously. If you reply with a “Yo dude, check out my shit” you’re going to be ignored. I’m  offering you a business opportunity. Act like you mean business!

DON’T waffle. I don’t want to hear your life story. I don’t need to read several paragraphs on your pet’s bowel movements. Introduce yourself. Tell me what you’re working on at the moment. Let me know your what experience you’ve had as an artist. Show me where I can find examples of your work. Keep it relevant, keep it snappy.

DO read the brief. If you’re applying for a drawing job, one that requires attention to detail, make sure you fully read and understand what your potential employer is after. If you can’t, you’re out.

DO have an online portfolio of your work. This gives your application the edge. If I can see a catalogue of your work, clearly labelled, so I know what you’ve done, then I will be more inclined to hire you. There are plenty of FREE sites on the interwebz (DeviantArt, Tumblr, CGhub, Blogger, Behance, Dribbble, to name a few…) that are easy to set up and customise, giving you a smart looking portfolio in under an hour. You are crazy if you don’t take advantage of at least one of these.

DON’T attach a fuck load of high res-pictures to your email. This is wrong on so many levels. Firstly, many email programs don’t have the capacity to deal with emails containing over 10MB of attachments. Your image laden email will not be sent correctly. Secondly, some email programs have a limited amount of space set aside for the account owner. If everyone sent me high res images, my inbox would fill up and any emails sent after that would probably just get lost in the ether. I deleted any emails sent with massive amounts of data attached. Don’t do it. If I’m applying for a writing post I wouldn’t go round someone’s house and jam reams of A4 paper through their letterbox. Nobody likes spam.

DO shrink down any attached images. If you really have no alternative than to send images as part of your portfolio, make sure they are small. Loads of artists use Adobe Illustrator, which by default outputs hi-res images. A writer isn’t planning to print your submissions at press quality. Why would they need hi-res images? 72dpi does the trick. It will vastly reduce the file size and vastly reduce the chance that your submission won’t be instantly deleted.

DON’T expect a reply. If you’ve sent your email and you don’t hear anything back, don’t be disappointed. It takes balls to apply but there are plenty of great artist out there doing exactly the same. If you don’t hear back, stop crying, dust yourself off, and see if there is anything you can do to improve your application for the next time an opportunity comes along.

DO supply me with links to projects you have worked on in the past as well as any portfolio links, blogs and sites that include your work or can help me get a better understanding of who you are. If I’m going to strike up a partnership with you I’d like to know who you are.

I found my artist, and you know what, his was the best, clearest, and most comprehensive email of them all.


Dear Mr Awesome

My name is [name] and I am contacting you in response to your advert on [website/forum]

I am a [current job] of [how many years] and I can fulfil the [skills required] that you are looking for.

I have previous experience of [previous experience], I’m currently working on [current project] and you can see examples of my work here [portfolio site]. You may also be interested in [old project] which I made for [company website].

You can find further examples of my work here [second portfolio site] and this is my blog [blog].

I hope we can work together, [charming remark]. [last chance to impress with a small flourish to show you’re a pro or a sound human being]

Yours hopefully,

[your name]

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Not Everyone Deserves a Second Chance

First post of the year! I believe that's called 'slacking'. So, to make up for my laziness, allow me to post another story from the archives of West.

Not Everyone Deserves a Second Chance is a 3 page sci-fi twister which first appeared in the 2012 issue of The Psychadelic Journal of Time Travel. Arted by the knee-tremblingly talented Dave Thomson, it looks bloody amazing. Hope you enjoy the story.

I have another 4 page strip included in the 2014 issue of PJOTT which is launched on March 15th 2014. You'll be able to buy this, along with previous issues, via their Comicsy shop.