The first part of Avery Hill Publishing’s exciting schedule of 2015 projects was announced last Friday and, as will come as little surprise to anyone who has been following the South London micropublisher over the last couple of years, it was full of the usual mix of eclectic approaches to the comics page that we have come to expect from them of late.
While small press comics fans – particularly in the UK – will be well aware of the names of Rachael Smith (The Rabbit) and Donya Todd (Buttertubs) on that initial list of AHP 2015 books they may not be as familiar with the third comics creator, Tillie Walden. Those who check out Tillie’s website, though, will realise immediately that we have a very special talent-in-the-making here. The End of Summer will be published by Avery Hill in June 2015 and I’m delighted to be able to publish an exclusive preview of the book here today in ‘Small Pressganged’, along with some words from Tillie herself and the AHP team.
The End of Summer by Tillie Walden
64 pages, b&w with a colour cover
In a secluded castle, at the beginning of a winter that is predicted to last for three years, Lars is battling illness, boredom and the pressures of family life. Locked inside for the duration, he passes the time playing with his siblings and his giant cat, Nemo, while tensions within the family begin to simmer…
In her first graphic novel, Tillie Walden tells the tragic and moving story of Lars and his twin sister, Maja. Full of subtle and tender character moments and set in an exquisitely rendered castle, it’s a hauntingly beautiful work that will no doubt be considered as one of the great debuts of 2015.
Tillie Walden was born in May 1996. She studied art at McCallum High School through a fine arts program and began making comics in her senior year. She is currently studying at the Centre for Cartoon Studies in Vermont. When she’s not drawing comics, Tillie can be found sleeping or looking at buildings.
A Few Words from Tillie
The End of Summer is my longest comic to date and the story is a collection of what I’ve learned drawing comics over the past year. I spent a long time drawing short stories and putting in small elements of myself, but with this book I wanted to finally go all the way and tell a story that was entirely out of my head.
The idea came from my obsessive need for detail and my twin brother. We’re extremely close, and our relationship is where my main characters came from. And I wanted to make a place that was everything I wanted. Huge rooms, oversized cats, indoor pools and playgrounds, and intricate patterns over everything. Basically, my ideal home.
I draw everything on the same paper (strathmore 400 series, mixed media). Pencils, inks, and the inkwash. I do all my drawing with technical pens, primarily Faber Castell. I like to work quickly, so inking is a very fast and fluid process for me. I don’t pencil any of the details of a panel because I enjoy making it up as I go along and seeing the page grow organically.
A Few Words from Avery Hill
We came across Tillie’s artwork on Twitter back in Spring 2014. Not knowing anything about her, we immediately got in touch to see if she was interested in having anything published and were politely told that she was unavailable, as she was in her last year of high school…
It was at that point we realised just how amazing her potential as an artist was. Six months later we got in touch again to see if she was interested in having us put a collection of her existing work together for publication. She said she was, but also she had an idea for something new. This turned out to be The End of Summer.
We saw one page of visuals and immediately agreed. Watching her work develop as each new piece of story or art arrived, has been an incredible experience and it’s been a privilege to be there at the beginning of something amazing.
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