Thursday, 28 October 2010

It is Mo-Bot High Day! Let us celebrate!

OUT NOW

Hey, I know I've been going on about this a bit, but indulge me. My first ever Graphic Novel, the Girl's School Comedy Soap Opera Sci-Fi Mystery Giant Robot Action EPIC that is Mo-bot High, is out today! Please go and buy it! You can pick it up on Amazon, over on Forbidden Planet, or - hopefully - at all good bookshops everywhere!

US & International peoples: it's only out in the UK for now I'm afraid, but hey, why not check out The Book Depository which is selling it at a very good price with free international shipping?

Or of course you can always buy a signed, sketched, personalised copy direct from me at neillcameron.com! I'll be sending out the first batch of these as soon as I'm back from Expo this weekend!

Okay, can I stop trying to sell this thing now? I'm exhausted.

Genuinely, I'm really, really happy with how the book's turned out. It's easily my favourite thing I've ever done, the early response from kids (and grown-ups for that matter) who've read it has been fantastic, and I really hope it does well enough that I get to crack on with Book Two. I have a lot of SUPER SECRET AWESOMNESS to get to!

Hey look, here's a really great review by Richard Bruton, over on the Forbidden Planet blog. And, marvelously, from his daughter Molly too:

Yay! Hey, I'm going to have a SUPER FUN COMPETITION to win some original art here on the blog - tomorrow? As soon as I figure out the best way to do it, anyway. Check back soon!

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

How To Draw Comics The Neill Cameron Way!

STEP ONE: DRAW THIS:

1-mo-bot-high-neill-cameron-thumbnail

STEP TWO: MAKE IT LOOK LIKE THIS:

mo-bot-high-neill-cameron-5-lettered

I go into slightly more detail in this 'Directors Commentary' piece over on the Forbidden Planet blog, although for reasons of space I still leave out several steps, mostly consisting of nervous breakdowns, crippling back pain, and sobbing.

I'm only joking, kids! Comics are fun!

Look, here are some mo-bot high stickers. On a potty.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

MCMo-Bots Expo

MCM flyer


I will be at London's Mighty MCM Expo this weekend, experiencing all the excitement and lunacy to be found when you take a building that closely resembles a major international airport, and fill it with people dressed like ninjas. Oh, and selling copies of Mo-Bot High Book One, too! It should be a really fun show - I'm sharing a table with my DFC Library compadres the Entirely Excellent Etherington Brothers, and I think we're just next to Vern & Lettuce creator Sarah McIntyre and her Fleece Station buddies. And just across the aisle from one of my favourite comics creators in the world, Garen Ewing, who'll be selling bundles of books 1 & 2 of his fantastic series The Rainbow Orchid.

Other fun stuff happening: the DFC Library crew will be doing a live stage event at 12pm on the Saturday, where we will wow you with awesome pictures and possibly even engage in another titanic Sheep VS Robot Live Drawing Battle! Also, I'm thinking I might do something which seemed to go down well at BICS the other week, which is to offer sketched portraits of con-goers, complete with custom personalised Giant Robot. Come find me if you want one, we'll be at Table C53 in the Comics Village!

Oh hey, you know what? I have a book coming out this week! Not sure if I mentioned it yet. I am very excited. Just saw my first review of Mo-Bot High, over on the Nayu's Reading Corner blog. They liked it, yay! Also up there you can read an interview with me, and even win a copy of the book! Why not go do that?

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Nigel Dobbyn: Is Awesome

nigel dobbyn spidey1
Not sure if this takes place in regular Marvel Earth-616 continuity. Lovely work by Rik Hoskin and Nigel Dobbyn on Spider-Man & Friends

As I mentioned the other day, one of the really nice things about attending BICS 2010 was getting the chance to chat for a bit to Nigel Dobbyn, a wonderful artist with a wide range of credits to his name, including a couple in particular that I'd like to ramble on for a bit about here.

A vintage Medivac 318 Cover by Mr Dobbyn - courtesy of The Internet. Now them's some fine aliens and spaceships right there.

The first of these was Medivac 318, a war-hospital-in-space strip that Nigel drew back in the heyday of my 2000AD-reading days. I absolutely loved the strip; it flipped the rather standard 2000AD 'space war' setting on it's head really nicely by focussing not on the warfare itself but on the medical staff who had to clean up the mess. It had a much more thoughtful, interesting quality than a lot of the strips I've seen in 2000AD, and made for a really refreshing change of pace, I thought. Whilst still having cool things like aliens and spaceships, obviously. And of course, it was all illustrated in Nigel's beautiful clear, emotive artwork. It really was one of my all-time favourite strips in 2000AD. (Along with Time Flies, Hap Hazzard, Hewligan's Haircut and Zippy Couriers. And that list right there pretty much tells you all you need to know about why I will almost certainly never be offered work by 2000AD).

I'm sorry to say I stopped seeing Nigel's work for a long while after that - I think he was drawing Sonic the Comic to much acclaim for a long time, but I guess by that point I was off at university discovering girls, existentialism and Tennants Extra, and kind of lost touch with comics in general. However, I've recently had the pleasure of encountering it again, on the Panini licensed title Spider-Man and Friends, which is a big favourite of my 3-year-old son Logan. I always snap it up whenever I see it in the shops, because compared to a lot of the other licensed comics aimed at pre-school children, it's - well, it's just so much better. A lot of these titles barely have any actual comic content at all, and what there is will just be a one or two-page photo-strip made up of stills from a TV show that you've probably already been forced to watch a thousand times. (The various BBC Worldwide titles for this age-range - Bob the Builder etc - are probably no more crappy in this regard than any others, but they are somehow particularly disappointing. One expects better from the BBC.)

Anyway, Spider-Man and Friends may only have four pages of comics in each issue, but they are four pages of engaging, funny, and lovingly crafted comics that are clearly created by people who know how to make comics and enjoy doing so. Call me sentimental, but I feel that's rather a fine thing. The strips are by Rik Hoskin and the aforementioned Nigel Dobbyn, and - well, Logan loves them, and considering how many thousands of times I end up having to read them to him, the truly remarkable thing is that I actually still like them too. The characters are illustrated with a lovely chunky line, and the backgrounds in particular have a level of care and detail that is above and beyond what one might expect from this kind of a younger-readers licensed title, and often border on being rather beautiful.

And come on, how could I ever get sick of panels like this:

nigel dobbyn spidey2
That's right, Cap. It does.

So, yeah, it was nice to get to meet Nigel and gush at him about how much I love these little strips for a bit. And for no reason other than that he is a lovely chap, Nigel was kind enough to draw a quick sketch for Logan, of the web-headed one himself.


Logan was quite pleased with it.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Neill is a total sell-out

(Photo of me at BICS, in the process of becoming a total sell-out. Nicked from m'colleague Sarah McIntyre's excellent and rather on-the-money write-up of the event)

I spent this weekend at the British International Comics Show in Birmingham, and a very enjoyable time it was too. A large part of this was down to the fact that I was sharing a table with my longtime comics compadre and Bulldog: Empire co-creator Jason Cobley, and a nicer chap to spend a couple of days with hanging out and chatting about comics you would be very hard-pressed to meet. Jason was selling his brand-new anthology Bulldog Clips, which marks the return to comics after a brief leave-of-absence of his creation Captain Winston Bulldog, the longest running character in British small press comics! I think Jason was only planning for Clips to be a one-off, but the response to it was so positive that hopefully it might now become a regular event. I have already volunteered my services for the next issue!

(Jason Cobley, pictured here - and I swear this is an accident - with only those of his comics which I DREW)

Anyway, the main reason I was at BICS was to try and sell some exclusive pre-release copies of Mo-Bot High, and I'm happy to report that I was successful in this, and indeed managed to TOTALLY SELL OUT! Which made me very happy, not least because hardback books are actually pretty heavy, as it turns out, and I was really hoping I wouldn't have to carry them all home.

BICS didn't really feel like a very kid-focused event, to be honest. As the hall first started to fill up with punters, I was a bit worried that the whole weekend would be a bit... well, a bit like this, basically:

BICS2010

However, it ended up being a lot of fun, and of the small number of children that were there, I think I managed to send a good proportion of them home with a healthy new interest in Digital Mobile Combatsuits. Case in point:

The star of Mo-Bot High Book Two? If he gets his way, anyway.

That's Finn, who bought a copy of the book on the Saturday and then came running back up to the table on Sunday demanding "I WANT BOOK TWO! NOW!!!" Which was gratifying, but as I told him, he should really pass that on to my publisher. Finn kept popping back over the rest of the day to ask me more and more detailed and highly observant questions about the specifics of how mo-bots work, the different modes, certain SPOILER-FILLED aspects of the storyline, etc - and to demand a starring role in Book Two. He ended up making himself so comfortable behind our table - and was so enthusiastic in his efforts at trying to get other passers-by to "BUY THIS BOOK IT'S AWESOME" - that I only found out at the end of the day that a lot of my fellow con-goers had assumed he was my own kid. Nope, just a satisfied customer!

(Also pictured above is Finn's very own mo-bot, a collaboration we worked on over the day. He then insisted I draw my own mo-bot, and we made them fight. The fight... did not go well for me. Come on, Finn's had NINE LASERS. And - and this was entirely his own idea - giant laser swords that he pulls out of his OWN HEAD, which is just straight up the most metal thing I ever heard of.)

It was lovely to meet lots of comics buddies and put faces to some names of people I've 'internet-known' for a while but never met. Great to see Laura Howell and meet her fiancee Tim, and to catch up with the frankly amazing Warwick Johnson Cadwell (whose frankly amazing underwater samurai comic Kani I was very happy to grab a copy of), my old Temple APA buddy Tony Suleri, Rob Davis (who was selling prints of this wonderful Doctor Who poster), PJ Holden (if only ever so briefly), and - gosh, lots more who I hope I am not offending by temporarily forgetting. And to meet new people like the lovely Abby and David of Dumpy Little Robot, our aisle buddies, who seemed lovely and whose comics I look forward to actually managing to check out at a future comics event! (It really is ridiculous, they were RIGHT THERE all weekend. Oh, you know how these things are. Thought Bubble for sure!)

Also: Nigel Dobbyn. But he was so awesome he gets a whole blog post to himself. Coming tomorrow!

So yeah, given that I was a bit apprehensive of how the event would go, I ended up having a really good time at BICS, and as my first attempt at launching Mo-Bot High onto an unsuspecting world it went really pretty well. Did I mention I TOTALLY SOLD OUT?

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Internet, meet Mo-Bots

Sticker 3 - Shelly

Brace yourselves, internet, because I've just put the finishing touches to the brand new Mo-bot High website! Please point your browsers to www.mobot-high.com and enjoy a fine selection of artwork, preview pages, reader art and bonus fun extra website type stuff. And then tell all your friends! And family. Co-workers. Nemeses. That girl on the bus you've always wanted to strike up a conversation with. Your barber during the awkward lull after you've exhausted the conversational potential on the subject of holidays due to the fact that you're only going to Skegness this year, what with there being a recession on and everything. Ah, just tell EVERYBODY, how about that?

(I say 'finishing touches' - I'll probably be tweaking the site and adding stuff here and there for a a while, but as I'm going to be spending all weekend in Birmingham handing out flyers and stickers and indeed selling books with the website address printed on 'em, I thought it was about time we had something up there!)

Oh, and I've added a page to my own site where you can buy personalised signed & sketched copies of the book, for people who might want such a thing but won't be able to make it to any of the cons and events I'm attending. Taking pre-orders now!

Right! I better go pack for Birmingham. Um... what am I doing there again?

Monday, 11 October 2010

Birmingham, Meet Mo-Bots

BICS flyer 1

Hey! I will be at the Birmingham International Comics Show this coming weekend (16-17 Oct), and I will have with me a few exclusive pre-release copies of Mo-Bot High Book One available for purchase! As well as lots of mo-bot postcards, stickers, and a banner that threatens to have snow settle on the top of it. I'll have some of my other comics and stuff for sale, a few A-Z posters - lots of fun stuff, generally. Come and say hello! Seriously, do. I'm lovely.

I shall be sharing a table with my equally lovely comics compadre Jason Cobley, who will have a bunch of fab Bulldog comics for sale, including the brand new, hot-off-the-presses return of Captain Winston Bulldog to comics!

BULLDOG CLIPS #1: Cover by the fabulous Andrew Wildman

Other upcoming events you can find me at:

MCM Expo, London (30-31 Oct)
Exeter Children's Literature Festival (3 Nov)
Thought Bubble, Leeds (16 Nov)

Friday, 1 October 2010

Mo-Bot Vern and Lettuce!

Vern and Lettuce Mo-Bot bg RGB 600px

Following on from yesterday's Sheep VS Robot shenangians, here is an example of Sheep and Robot working together in a more constructive fashion!

This is a picture that Vern & Lettuce creator Sarah McIntyre and I put together which we've been showing at various joint events and stuff, and I thought that this being the week that the grogeous V&L book is released, it was time to unleash this pic onto the internet. Thanks to Joe at Forbidden Planet for sticking this up on the FPI blog yesterday and spreading the love!

And here's how you do it. Take one rabbit and one sheep:

vernlet_mobots_clr

Draw robots for them:

Vernbot rough 600px

lettucebot rough 500px

Put them together:

Vern and Lettuce Mo-Bot INKS 600px

And then, y'know, make it all shiny and stuff. Bish bash bosh.

Did I mention that you should go buy Vern & Lettuce yet? It really is a rather beautiful book.

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