A Brief History of The Intercorstal (as far as I can remember it)

The Intercorstal is a comic I started by accident in 2008. After the first page was done, I decided that I had a story I could tell, and that once I’d been telling it for (the totally arbitrary number of) 96 pages, I’d collect it all into one impressive volume. That didn’t happen.

The first 32 pages were collected as ‘The Intercorstal‘ and I ran about 20 copies off at home, and sent it out to anyone who was willing to give me their address.

After that, I was asked to take part in a cross-Atlantic comic project called ‘Liminal’, and for that created ‘Collider‘, which was half ‘traditional Intercorstal’ and half repurposed home furnishing catalogue.

Sometime after that I got involved in a project where each participant sent a hand-made Valentine to a complete stranger. For some reason, I thought turning a cruise-liner advertising pamphlet into an Intercorstal comic would meet the brief. It was at least 2 months late, and all told it was pretty creepy.

As part of the 2011 Chelmsford Arts Trail I made a site-specific comic based on photos of Man About Town Gentlemen’s barbers, for which I enlisted the help of four other artists. Nobody in Chelmsford really knew what to make of it.

Then I made ‘Butcher’s Park‘ out of an advertising pamphlet from an e-learning company, whilst sat in a park near Smithfield’s Market. Butcher’s Park was originally going to tell a fairy tale I made up whilst asleep on the way to work, but got lost somewhere in translation. For what it’s worth, I’ve got that fairy tale written down, and have no idea what I was on about.

THEN I started on what was to eventually be called ‘The Intercorstal 2‘. During this time I sort of just played about with styles and ways of working, which was when I started re-doing existing comic pages. Selected pages from this were collected earlier this year, and sold with handmade covers.

And along the way I’ve done a few exhibition-only Intercorstal comics, which have only been collected on walls (or in windows): ‘After Wainwright‘ and ‘Neighbours Bring Food‘, both for the Lakes International Art Festival, and ‘After Smith‘ for Projektraum 404’s Abstrakte Comics series.

In 2016 I crowdfunded a print run of ‘The Intercorstal: 683‘. 683 represented a closing off for a particular way of working for me, as up until then I’d been making comics by redrawing existing comics in my own style. Since then I’ve widened my repertoire a bit.

2017 saw the release of Found Forest Floor, a novel made in collaboration with the poet Erik Blagsvedt and the publisher/editor/artist/etc David Quiles Guillo. It got reviewed favourably here by Broken Frontier, and here by Tony Esmond for Down The Tubes.

In 2018 I’ll be releasing ‘An Extension’, a comic that’s on the one hand about drawing practice and on the other it’s about hauntings. ‘Too Dry To Haunt’ will also be released as part of the ‘Noise In Opposition’ collaborative release.