steven tillotson sez-
I trained as an artist at Batley School of Art and Design, and went on to do a masters degree at the Royal College of Art, London. being a fine artist didn’t quite work out as i planned, so i started making comics as an outlet for my frustrations (artistic and otherwise).
Gareth Brookes, a fellow student at the RCA, contributed the poem for the “gutter stupidity” story in banal pig 1 and has contributed poems and story ideas for the other banal pig comics since, as well as making his own excellent series of comics and a graphic novel from Myriad Editions, The Black Project.
And so, we stumbled into the UK small press comics scene without knowing anything about it, and banal pig comic number 1 was finally printed at the end of 2005, after quite a lot of naive fumbling and fundraising.
We took Banal Pig 1 to the Brighton Comic Expo 2005 (thanks to Ed Traquino and Ez who let us share their table) and it went down quite well. that got the ball rolling really, and Banal Pig Comics have taken part in loads of events since then, from the big events like the Bristol and Birmingham shows, to more niche things like the Web and Mini Comix Thing and the Alternative Press Festival, to smaller fairs and gatherings throughout the UK.
Banal Pig 1 took so long to get printed i was half way through number 2, and that was published along with Jolly Bear and Fun Coconut Summer Special 1 in May 2006, in time for the Bristol Comic Expo, and Banal Pig 3 was released in December 2006.
After this, I decided to have a bit of a change of genre, and collaborated with Miss Jemima Von Schindelberg on a full-length story, Ethel Sparrowhawk. It was a different way of working for me, as we chucked the story back and forth until we were happy with it, and then i illustrated it.
Another Jolly Bear and Summer Special followed towards the end of 2007, and work began in earnest on Banal Pig number 4, but to fill the gap we released the Banal Pig Fan Club Member’s pack, which is a joint effort between myself and gareth- the comic features both our work, there is a poster by me and gareth made a music cd.
May 2008, work continued on Banal Pig 4, and a full colour collection of the best web funnies was released in time for the Bristol Comic Expo.
The labour intensive Banal Pig 4 was put back a bit by my decision to collect Banal Pigs 1-3 in one volume, and this and BP4 were finally released in time for Leeds Thought Bubble in November 2008. I jacked my job in around this time, so had a lot of time on my hands, so i decided to give away some of my artwork for (almost) free, some of which is still available so feel free to have a butchers and stake your claim if you like it.
Into 2009, The Manly Boys Annual, a collaboration with Gareth Brookes was published for The Web and Mini Comix Thing in March, and a follow up to the BP Portrait anthology, The Banal Pig Landscape Anthology was published for the Bristol Small Press Expo in May.
The second Ethel Sparrowhawk story, Ethel Sparrowhawk’s Terrible Hangover was completed in time for Thought Bubble 2009. Again this was co-written with Jemima Von Schindelberg, and is a longer and more involved tale, with a slightly different art style as i rendered the artwork with tones of grey to add depth, rather than my previous crosshatch style.
I created this as a new product for the web and mini comix thing 2010 (now sold out unfortunately) and banal pig’s showcase was released in time for thought bubble 2010. Also in 2010 myself and Hugh “Shug” Raine decided to put on an event of our own, the Leeds Alternative Comics Fair had its inaugural event in September 2010, which was so popular we’ve run one every six months since then, most recently LACF4 in April 2012.
Next came the two Chrises, Chris Sandwich, the third banal pig summer special created for the Aternative Press Fair in May 2011, and just 11 months later Christopher Wren an ingenious folding minicomic with two endings. I have also been working on illustration projects and some posters, check out the illustration section which has recently been updated, and Untitled Ape’s Epic Adventure, an ongoing webcomic which hopefully will be collected as a book is also keeping me busy.
Please feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, i am open to commissions (and one-hour drawings) and all that sort of thing, and I also have a sideline in animal portraits, so please check that out. Thanks for taking the time to have a look at these humble web pages.