Has it really been five months?

Yes, unfortunately it has. Hello all, I do apologise for the lack of updates, although just looking through our previous posts we wrote you around this time last year, so you would of been expecting it I suppose. How are you? Well? That knee not bothering you much? Good.

We’ll all good, Steve is still dreaming up ideas and writing them down in notes and attending numerous conventions around the land. Well Liverpool, London and the West Midlands so far, but he’s off up to Leeds in September and very much looking forward to that trip and the new experience of Thought Bubble earlier in the year. We think everyone is looking forward to that one with their fingers crossed to some extent or other. Kel and Mike are both still busy with everything they do.

But we seem to have come to a stop for some reason. The search for an artists to join us for the big 12 parter featuring Gideon Black, Victorian Cryptozoologist for The Foundation, and his family is taking a lot longer than we had all hoped. Partially it’s the size of the thing, 12 issues is a lot of work for someone to commit to; and partially it’s the way we run things around here when it comes to money.

The Gee Bees has always been run as a profit share. No money up front at all but a equal share for everyone involved at a future date. So, for example, with “The Grand Tour”, once the initial 100 hardbacks were sold and after the print cost had been recouped all profits are shared between Kel, Mike and Steve the three people who produced it. We wish we were in a position to offer a better deal but we’re not (and by we, we mean Steve as that’s who’s behind all this and who is currently typing). It was the best way we could come up with when we started out and the fairest: no-one gets any money until we all do.

But as we get more ambitious with our stories and our comics books then the strain of the work will fall on everyone’s shoulders with no initial gain other than a letter handed to the artist/artists by Steve detailing his commitment to them along the line.

Still we live in hope and have a small advert on our exhibitors tables at every show on the off chance an artist walks by, and we’ve just posted in three comic book groups over on Facebook with the hope we’ll find someone or more.

We have more stories to tell, it would be a shame if our ambition is thwarted by a lack of belief in others.

Oh, before we forget Steve got interviewed by Comics Anonymous which came out two days before his birthday in June. You can read it here….

 

 

Has it really been five months?

Upcoming events….

Hello all, I know we’ve been away for a while but we are ever busy back here in GeeBee HQ. Just thought we’d drop you a line and let you know about our convention schedule for this year. So far. It’s a big one. More shows then we’ve ever done in the three (this will be our forth) years we’ve been attending them. So if you’re about and attending these shows stop on by and say hi. Or better yet say “Gideon sent me” and watch a grown man crack a seriously large and very silly grin….

These are the shows that are confirmed. More may be added later so stay tuned….

Upcoming events….

Merry Xmas

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A rare image of our writer Steve ferrying our artist Kel to an important meeting on a motorcycle and side-car he borrowed from some chap called Gideon….

Conventions and catching up….

“Everyone knows I’m Jamie’s painting in the attic”*

Hello all, been a while hasn’t it. In our defence we have been busy. Well some what busy. Well….

No we have been busy. Issue two for “Prodigal” is written as is issue one of “Captain’s Orders” which is the follow on adventure from “The Meditating Businessman”. We also had a break through for the back page material for issue two of “The Meditating Businessman”. In fact it is so good we’ve had to split it into two and the second half will appear in issue two of “Captain’s Orders”. That’s more cryptic than we meant it to be. When we publish issue two of “The Meditating Businessman” we’ll explain further. Promise. As long as we remember. Someone remind us.

Speaking of issue two of “TMB” it’s in the process of being drawn. Kel is a truly busy man (unlike Steve) with lots of things to juggle at the moment so we fully understand it may take him longer than we first thought. When we met up in Nottingham at the end of October we decided it should be ready for the start of next year. Must remember to tell Mike this too (another ridiculously busy man).

So since July when we last talked we’ve started up exhibiting at conventions again. First up was Steve’s favourite show ICE. It’s his favourite show for three reasons: 1) it’s in his home city of Birmingham; 2) it’s the show we first launched the hardback copy of “The Grand Tour” and 3) it’s just a great show and brilliantly run. As well as seeing a lot of old friends, chatting about and selling the comics Steve was also interviewed by the guys at Geeky Brummie again. This time (the third we believe) he managed to talk quite well. He was happy with what he said anyway which is all you can hope for. A good time was had by all even though Steve embarrassed himself in front of the artist Steve Pugh. Fortunately all was forgiven and drinks bought and laughs exchanged.

Just after that we were also involved in the Eye Candy Festival in Birmingham with copies of both our titles in their pop-up store in the beautiful Great Western Arcade. It was very complimentary being included amongst some of the best contemporary artists and designers at the moment.

And then there were the two weekends which saw our Steve first go to Nottingham for the comic convention and then go to Leeds for the great Thought Bubble the following weekend. Nottingham was good, mainly because Steve got to spend time with Kel and catch up and plot and plan which is always fun. Thought Bubble is THE British convention for a lot of people. A brilliant mind described it as “three rooms of artist alley” over the weekend which, as we mentioned is brilliant. Especially as the professionals writers and artists can be found right next to the self-publishers (who are just as professional in their own way). Steve had a great time chatting and selling to people over the weekend. He even managed to have a wonder around the marquee, something he’s not managed in the three years it’s been up. The power of having friends exhibiting in there.

As for the future, we’ve booked for next years ICE, booked a mere 51 weeks before hand. We are also booked in for Leamington Comic Con which is at the end of March next year. The British conventions are under-going some changes over the next 12 months so we shall see what happens. And of course let you know through here or our Twitter feed.

Talk to you all soon….

*The quote at the top is from Saturday night at the mid-con party of Thought bubble in Trinity Kitchens and from a conversation with Jamie McKelvie and Kieron Gillen, which was nice….

Conventions and catching up….

Thoughts on our mind….

Middle of a British heatwave, what better time than now to sit under a heated laptop, and write a bit….

So how are you all, keeping cool in your own special, and consenting, fashion I hope. We’ll fine, if a little melty. Especially our writer Steve who doesn’t do well in high temperatures, and is land locked here in the Midlands so hasn’t got the benefit of coastal living like, for example, our letterer Mike down there in Poole. He’s probably on a beach now as we (that is Steve, “hello” {waves}) type.

But other than the temperature we’re good. Had an amazing time at MCM London at the end of May. Three great days which also saw us produce issue one of “The Meditating Businessman” and start selling. And selling well if we may crow for a moment. As well as physical copies we also produced digital copies and those went on sale through Comixology at the start of this month. You can find it here. And for all of our digital titles you should go here.

Another thing that we took part in was Small Press Day. A whole Saturday celebrating those of us made enough to go in for self-publishing around the country. For our part this meant sending our writer Steve to his favourite shop in Birmingham and have him sit and chat with people about our titles. He even got interviewed by the “Geeky Brummie” show from Brum Radio alongside fellow creators. Although it was a week last Saturday we believe the actual show with Steve in it is broadcast this coming Saturday. You can listen out for him between 12pm and 1pm on their site or catch up through their page on Mixcloud.

And I think that’s us caught up. Issue two of “The Meditating Businessman” is being drawn over the summer and should be ready for November time. Speaking of November we’ve been told where we’ll be for this years Thought Bubble convention up in Leeds. We’ll tell you closer to the time what we have planned for that weekend. Let’s just say there will be fireworks (because it’s on over Bonfire night so of course there will be fireworks whatever we decide to do). Oh and we are making giant leaps in progress with the long awaited “Prodigal” featuring the Victorian Cyptozoologist GIdeon Black and his whole family. Again more on that soon.

All this just because Steve couldn’t decide whether to be cheeky and put a comment on Twitter where we “clarified any confusion” between Team Gee Bee and Team GB. There isn’t any confusion of course, he just thought it might be a nice and topical way of getting publicity for us and the comic. In the end he chickened out due to the fear of appearing in Private Eye’s “Desperate Marketing” section. Instead can we(he, me) take this opportunity to wish everyone competing in Rio 2016, Olympian and Paralympian equally, the best of luck.

Thoughts on our mind….

The writing process….

With a book at the printers, one issue two script written and about to be typed up and another issue one and two planned out (one more than he other) we thought now would be a great time to open the door and let you see how a comic book is made. Or at least how our writer works….

The first thing is the notebook. That trusty repository of every idea you have. And we say trusty as the other repository of ideas: your head/brain, isn’t that trustworthy when it comes down to it. Just remember all the times you went to add an artist to your Spotify play-list only to find you already did ages ago (Steve, our writer does that, more than he’d like to admit). It can be the fanciest Moleskine notebook, some interesting app on your smart phone or the back of a cigarette pack just make sure you carry it with at all times. You never know when that killer idea, character or line of dialogue will occur to you.

With a notebook full of ideas you can now begin the task of writing your story. When it comes to comics there are, usually, two approaches to writing your script: full-script or “The Marvel Method”. Our writer uses the “full-script” method when creating the scripts.

This may seem odd, especially considering what we said in our last post about how “Comic book production is…. a team event“, but we have our reasons. To our mind our writer has one job and one audience for which he writes for and that’s the artist. Steve has a visual mind and has to, somehow, relay those pictures to Kel. Inspire in him the same pictures or, on several occasions better pictures than Steve could ever think of. And for our Steve that means putting as much information in the panel descriptions as possible.

Once written the script then goes to Kel (if it’s Gideon and Miss King story) who weaves his magic over a page and sends back amazing things. Steve is found of a saying: “The worst an artist can do is exactly what you ask them to do” and he’s quite right you know….

The writing process….

Meet the team….

Comic book production is, for the most part, a team event. Have a look at your favourite comic book and you’ll see a good half dozen people will of worked on each issue: writer, penciller, inker, colourist, letterer, editor, publisher, etc.

Here at the Gee Bees we may not have as many people but we are definitely a team. First off there is Steven D Quirke, our writer (and who is really struggling typing about himself in the third person at the moment so bare with me/him). He’s the dreamer and mythomane* who comes up with the adventures and characters you enjoy reading.

Alongside Steve is our artist Kel Winser, a splendidly bearded man who is currently defying the laws of nature by somehow teaching art while studying art (an MA in Illustration no less) and drawing the latest Gee Bee adventure. Obviously the East Coast has more than the normal 24 hours that the rest of us get to use.

Another fella who’s work ethic puts us all to shame is our letterer Michael Stock. Name a British small press title published in the last five years and chances are our Mike had a hand in its production.

The nature of our stories and the numerous Gideon’s and Katrina’s means we are open to tell different stories, in different genres and with different artists. So if you are an artist get in touch as we have, at least, two other “GBs” whose stories are coming soon. Go to our contact page and fill in the email form and we’ll chat about the prospects of working together. Who knows you may have the thrill of a hastily typed out piece saying odd things about you.

*”a person with a strong or irresistible propensity for fantasizing, lying or exaggerating”.

Meet the team….