Hello everyone, my name is Tom Boyle, I'm a 22 year old Comics warrior from Sunderland in the North East of England. I recently graduated with a first from Sunderland University with a degree in Illustration and Design, which was nice! To get the degree I had to make a Final Major Project and being such a nut for comics I thought it would be a sweet idea for my Final Major Project to be a Comic book, and so I began the lengthy and arduous task of making one! It was fun really, but it was a lot of work! I'm going to take you through some of the thinking behind this project!
So my first port of call was coming up with an idea, as I'm not the most inventive kid ever I didn't have a clue! Luckily at the time, I was reading a lot about Norse mythology and the Nordic legends, so I thought why not just pinch one of their stories cut my work load in half, sorted! So I delved deep in to the Norse creation Myth (The Prose Edda, it's a wonderful read) and came up with nothing... Yeah I had a bit of trouble trying not to make a comic about Thor, whose blockbuster film had just dropped in the Cinema, and I didn't want to use him and copy Marvel in any way, although he makes the briefest of appearances in the book, along with his Hammer!
The narrative of the story I could not find so people told me to draw from personal experience. At the time though my Mam, Yvonne, was struggling against Terminal Cancer in the brain. It was tough to come to grips with and during my work time it kind of consumed my thoughts. There was no way I could help her get better. So using this as my motivation i thought of an odd way in which i could do something! in fiction I could make some sort of show of defiance against the Cancer, and so with my Mam's Cancer in mind, and sourcing a lot of the Norse Universe I created the Monster of the piece, A giant Tumour that was destroying the Norse Universe The 'Yggdrasil' or the Life Tree or World Tree. (Which is the name of the book and the setting of the story)
So now I had my Setting, my antagonist and after reading the Prose Edda and slightly obsessively, I had a few favourite characters I wanted to use, namely The Valkyries, Hel, The Wolves, Jormuggandr, Rattatosk and of course Odin! Using my knowledge of the Norse Legends and using my own personal experiences I started to create the Comic, and it just came out in waves! I was working constantly for weeks, I even took my work to a house party a friend of mine had and after everyone had gone to sleep, or passed out pissed, I began to work until the early hours of the morning! Tough as nails me haha!
I work with lots of materials, namely Mechanical Pencils, Copic fineliners, Posca paint pens, Sharpies and some bottled ink. I draw the pages on Bristol Board paper, which is nice as when a page is finished it feels like an actual finished piece of art not something scribbled on some printer paper, which is fine by the way draw on whatever you can get hold of, but its just my own personal preference. I like to colour with both water colours and digital colours just depends on the feel I'm going for but my main strength is in the black and white pages!
So I kept working for a long time and the more work I got done the worse my mam's condition got, it was difficult to see my Mam die but during the entire time she was sick, she told me to keep working and keep striving for my goals. One time she wouldn't let me visit her in the Hospice until I finished pages for the night, I attribute this to being the main reason I got my Final Major Project finished and Printed in time for the Degree Show at the University. And my Mam got to see the book which I dedicated to her before she passed away, I've never felt more proud! I then had the idea to sell the comic in aid of cancer research and had 20 books printed which recently I sold the last of!
So now that I've graduated and reached my 200 pound goal for the Cancer Research Charity, I've started work on my next comic. This one is a collection of Science fiction stories all set in my fictional alternate universe, called ZPACE! I've been weaving together lots of ZPACE stories and ideas and it's getting pretty serious now! I'm experimenting and trying new things with these stories and hopefully they will lead to my main story idea I've had, which will be a cosmic ZPACE epic (hopefully haha) this one won't be for charity but it will mainly fund underprivileged comic geeks who are called Tom Boyle.
Hope that I've shown you a bit of the process of my work and some of the thinking behind it, and hopefully I haven't babbled too much! Main thing I learned from my time at Uni was that it doesn't matter whats going on in your life you can still do amazing things, as long as you work hard and work lots, like lots and lots to the point of madness haha. Keep an eye out for new books being printed soon and also re-prints of my old titles, if you'd like to see more of my work please check out:
Big thanks to Bethen for letting me spam her blog to bits haha and thanks to Bexy Bizzle for being awesome also thanks to anyone who had a read or just a look at the pretty pictures! Your solid gold!
Peace out peeps!