A kind of comic book life: Gary Spencer Millidge on the return of Strangehaven

meanwhile-01-cover-final

Way back in December last year I posted a snippet of news that one of my all-time favourite comics, Strangehaven, was due to make a comeback in May 2014 in the pages of ‘Meanwhile…’ a comics anthology published by Soaring Penguin Press.

Although that original date slipped; the official date for its appearance in comic book shops (for the U.K and the rest of mainland Europe) is 17th October.

I’m delighted that Gary Spencer Millidge generously agreed to return to Imagination is spicy to answer a few questions I put to him on this long-awaited continuation of the series.

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Review: Lush – Million Dollar Moisturiser

Lush Million dollar pot

The summer is seemingly rushing past, so it seemed a good time to post up a review of a new (to me) moisturiser with high SPF that I’ve been trying out: Lush’s Million Dollar Moisturiser.

As many people with rosacea know; the summer is usually the hardest time of the year to avoid experiencing flare-ups as exposure to UV light increases. Having some form of sun protection, whether under make-up or not, is very necessary. Depending on skin type this can also be a really tricky balance as sun protection formulas can contain chemicals that react badly on sensitive skin. The other main issue is the level of greasiness that creams and lotions leave behind.

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Review: Talika Nail Regenerator Serum

Talika Nail Serum 1

I’ve always had rather weak nails that are ridged and prone to splitting and breakage. Aside from a monthly massage of cuticle oil for a home manicure; their condition is not something that I’ve given any specific treatment to before. After last December’s intensive bout of nail polish application and removal my nails were suffering more than usual and that wasn’t much helped by the winter months either.

I’d been avoiding using polishes but that wasn’t quite enough as my nails were getting more splits than ever. I decided to try out one of the many available nail treatments with Talika’s Nail Regenerator Serum. I’ve been using this since early May, as noted in My nail and hand care basics post.

The serum is composed of three plant oils and the instruction leaflet say that it ‘hydrates, softens cuticles and stimulates growth for brittle, split and uneven nails’.

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Don’t Give Up: One Cat’s Story of Chronic Kidney Disease

CKD cat

We all rely on doctors, nurses and many other medical staff who work in human-based medicine to help care and assist in what are often the most difficult of times. In the same way; we rely on the professional skills of veterinarians for the care of our non-human family. We hope that their expertise is combined with an understanding of the animal they are seeing, compassion towards them and clarity in explaining a diagnosis and treatment.

Unfortunately just like the terrible, shocking stories we read or hear relating to medical care of people that goes tragically wrong, this can also apply to animal medicine.

It doesn’t need to be a case of gross negligence or incompetence or a deliberate malicious act. A certain mindset or attitude that to a distressed, bewildered human trying to make a decision about an ill and highly stressed animal can do the greatest damage of all: the irrevocable decision to euthanise.

This story is about our cat, Bod, a British shorthair who, until a sudden, seemingly trivial urinary infection seemed healthy and happy.

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Goldwork Embroidery: Logo Project – Part Two

Completed Abiogenesis sewn design

Completed Abiogenesis sewn design

I’ve been much delayed in doing the follow up to Part One of the goldwork project but here it is. This post looks at the next sewing test and final version of Gary Spencer Millidge’s Abiogenesis Press logo I made with some new equipment: a 30cm x 30cm Elbesee hand rotating (roller) frame and an Elbesee Posilock stand.

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Goldwork Embroidery: Logo Project – Part One

Abiogenesis logo IIS

I’ve been learning about goldwork embroidery for just over a year now by working from a few kits and trying a couple of projects from books.

I thought I’d share how I came to do this project as it’s the first time I’ve completed a design which is not from a pre-made kit or beginner-specific tutorial. Over two posts I’ll explain some of the processes, equipment and materials I’ve used.

I do want to say that I’m not an expert in goldworking, embroidery or any other textile art and these posts are not meant as a tutorial.

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A kind of comic book life: Interview with Kirsty Mordaunt

Kirsty Mordaunt - Manga Studio portrait

Kirsty Mordaunt – Manga Studio portrait

In November 2013 I featured a favourite web comic ‘164 Days’, created by the talented Kirsty Mordaunt. I’m delighted to post an interview with Kirsty, which she kindly agreed to do via email, answering some questions regarding her work as a comic writer and artist and details behind the origins of the charming, intriguing, story featuring the Andersen family and Ysendra the Weatherwitch.

164 Days has been running online since August 2011. Have you found that the way you approach the story has changed over time? Do you keep an outline or written notes on the story line and character development for the future?

I can’t believe I’ve been doing it for that long! I’ve found over time I learned to be a lot more ruthless with what I cut out of the original plans – it was written as a prose story rather than in script form. I love to write dialogue but I had to learn to remove pieces that were unneeded and did not push the plot forward.

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Review: a-England – Dancing with Nureyev

a-England Dancing with Nureyev

a-England is a fairly new brand for me as I only came across them six months ago, having seen fabulous review swatches for Fated Prince and Sleeping Palace on Swatch and Learn.

When it comes to nail polish there are lots of eye-grabbing puns and references used these days, but for me a-England has names that instantly make me want to wear them. This is particularly true for Dancing with Nureyev. It is from the 2014 Ballerina collection of four polishes; one which is named after the Rose Adagio from Swan Lake and three that are named after two of the most famous ballet dancers (and their legendary on-stage partnership) of the Twentieth Century: Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev.

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Review: By Terry Cover Expert

By Terry Covert Expert

Like many make-up fans; I’ve had a foundation that I’ve stuck with for ages, Laura Mercier Silk Crème, as being my favourite. After using one product for so long there’s always that nagging question of if there’s something new or different that might be even better, so I started to look around in the ongoing quest of ‘what’s the perfect foundation for me?’

Reading so many enthusiastically positive reviews online about By Terry Cover Expert I saved to buy it in Fair Beige, as it’s definitely the most expensive of high-end foundations I’ve used regularly.

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A kind of comic book life: Berlin

Berlin by Jason Lutes

Berlin by Jason Lutes

Berlin, an ongoing series by American creator Jason Lutes, was one I first heard about it in 1996 when it was originally published by Black Eye Press (it is now published by Drawn & Quarterly).

Berlin is a historically set comic; the first chapter in the collected volume City of Stones opens in 1928. It follows one of the main characters, Marthe Müller, a young woman from Köln, travelling on a train to Berlin to begin studying at art school. What follows is a grand, elaborate and complex view of what will become the final days of democracy in the Weimar Republic as the fascist NSDAP (the National Socialist Party) becomes the leading political and cultural force in the country.

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