Sunday, 9 February 2020

Comics Retropsective

As it’s the season to apply to table at some great events so I thought it’d make sense to consolidate my comics stuff in one handy post, that's a little longer than usual.

 I’ve accumulated some comics and zines that nicely pad out a half table and have exhibited at Comic and Zine events over the past 6 years, including Thought Bubble, and Dundee Zine fest.

Working independently I create small runs of personal comics and zines - and each project tends to be its own separate setting and story that tries to experiment a little with small press and zine style comics. These include The Factory (2019), Coaster (2018), Red Planet (2018), Inktober 2015, and Stamp (2014)

The Factory is a 40 page no-text picture book style comic telling the life story of an embittered and unlikely industrialist. Rendered in sepia style inks. 2019

The Factory

The Red Planet is a handmade riso printed mini-zine experiment about a spaceman stranded on Mars, designed to be viewed with the aid of a specially altered pair of 3D glasses, the comic plays with changing perceptions to tell a story. 2018

Red Planet

Coaster is a small format comic, exploring a surreal sequence, each page displaying a marker and ink drawing rendered on a cardboard drinks coasters. 2018


Inktober 2015 is a 60 page comic that explores the relationship between digital and physical, ‘analogue’ art practices, and the impact of setting ourselves daily artistic challenges. Probably the densest if not meta comic of mine, the project that both documents the inking and explores a month of creating the images, alongside actual diary reportage of the month. Tweets are rendered out entirely ink, as was the comics specially created font. Features a talking giraffe, Peter Beardsley, Phil 'the Power' Taylor and me. 2017

Inktober 2015
Inktober 2015

Stamp is a small playful comic about longing and day-dreaming, it employs a picture book approach (and it’s own set of stickers) to telling a surreal story of a woman who wished she were a postage stamp. (Originally created and debuted at Thought Bubble 2014.)


I tend to prioritise the sequential story comics that I create when at events but also have some smaller runs of prints and postcards produced from smaller projects;

An Inktober postcard

An Inktober postcard

An Inktober postcard

 I work full time as visual artist in video games, while there's cross over - creating comics is a personal passion of mine, so i'm fascinated by little ways of making things, and maintaining creative momentum around other commitments I'll be getting involved with inktober again in this year to produce something new in 2020.

Perhaps on reflection, my work sits somewhere in the space between comics and zines, by being neither true to some of the more traditional comic formats, or being entirely in the cast of the 'lo-fi' handmade editorial of zines.

I suppose put a touch more simply, (and perhaps more honestly)  I'm making comics simply to figure out what they are. 

Thanks for reading

Matthew Beakes

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Speed Paint (30 mins)

Thought it might be a good opportunity to post these guys up a little more frequently since i'm not so active on here at the moment. Each ones' a 30 min paint (typically done after work) skipping some of the less interesting ones - but they're all numbered still so you can still chart them chronologically.

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Inktober 2019 - The Factory

Well another year, another Inktober, similar to last time I eschewed the prompts wanting to follow more of a narrative sequence instead. It's good to be able to share more work more frequently, and I enjoy getting immersed in something. I'd picked up some neat inks and felt it gave things a good sepia feel so decided to do a sort of unspecified period drama.

The first panel

As an exercise I love Inktober, (and have explored it quite a lot through comics before) mainly it's a case of how the regular creation of drawings yields surprising result that lead you to new places. Technically my inking has probably has improved some, but it has increasingly become less about that for me. This year the key thing was story telling, so it was a case of writing/planning something then  kinda pulling a picture book/ story board hat on (although the scenes are all portrait A4)

Some pre=planning prior to October 
The story revolves around a family business, and is a fairly tongue in cheek period drama (with murder, dubious parenting, and villainous cads) roughly in set a world (not necessarily this one) around a 1900s setting. While it's always interesting to see how one can technically and creatively respond to a daily prompt, I really got into exploring the same spaces and characters within a world. 

The time constraints of producing the artwork (the end project was roughly 48 over the month) were a pretty double edged sword in the respect that it was immensely encouraging and positive to fire out sequential artwork so quickly to form a rough draft, but obviously there were certain pacing issues and design elements that couldn't really be as considered as they might have been to keep on schedule. Thar being said, i'd say the net effect was still a positive one, as getting out a first draft seems by far to yield the most benefit - as ever 'finished not perfect' remains my mantra.

A 'happy' family

The family enterprise

Sent away

Garden scheming

The Wright Wrong' un

Personal discovery, I really like inking horrible old dudes

Like last year I was able to combine into a rough comic, which is an obvious plus in rushing through things  and always super satisfying for a month long project. (It was a pretty last minute thing to get it all printed and ready for Dundee Zine Fest...)

Hopefully be getting these along with some other comic projects up on some online stores soon; but since it's all on twitter anyhow so i'll end on a quick run through: