Tag Archives: guest blog

Interview with Morgan Straughan Comnick

Special foxy thanks to Morgan Straughan Comnick for this interview- if you would like your work promoted check out www.reynardcity.com/advertise 

 

  1. You describe yourself as a “nerdy otaku.” For people who don’t know what does that mean?

An otaku is a person who loves or has a happy, healthy obsession with Japanese culture, commonly consisting of anime, manga, attending conventions, and cosplaying along with culture.  Once I watched my first anime (other than Pokemon because every kid watched that) and dove into my first manga, the world expanded, my eyes were open.  I have learned so many wonderful things through the medias of being an otaku, formed lasting relationships, fueled my creative soul, and had personal enjoyment that made me accept myself.  I was always meant to be an otaku and I am so honored it chose me.

I also am still a super proud Disney, Power Rangers, 90’s/00’s cartoons and music fan, hence the rest of the nerd part in the title. I still deeply enjoy childlike things, cute items, being silly, voice acting, hobbies that might not be seen as adult, but you know what? It is the era of the nerd and I will be victorious, for that super shy, long hair girl who was scared to speak and terrified I would offend or harm anyone!

  1. You describe Farmington, Missouri as having “magic hidden it”. Like Woody Allen with New York or Richard Curtis with London would you say this has a profound effect on your work?

Farmington is the only place I have ever lived, the only home I have ever known and I want to keep it that way.  It has given me my roots, my family, friends, my true love, inspiration, safety.  It is a middle sized town, so big enough to explore, but not massive enough where I would feel unimportant and lost.  It has the heart of the future and a lushness for the past, woven seamlessly into one.  I knew it could be the only setting for Spirit Vision.

  1. What are the Spirit Vision books about?

Spirit Vision is about fifteen-year-old Stary Moon, who, after having a life-altering dream, is informed that she is the Spirit Warrior to the Lord, meaning she is able to talk, see, and help spirits and ghosts.  Her first assignment is to find the murderer of the sweet Maren Rowe and the crud Umbra, whose background is as impaling as his spiky hair.  Stary now has to adjust to her new powers, balance her normal high school life (with a crush to boot) while keeping her spiritual side a secret from her loved ones, and tracking down a killer who has the powers of Lucifer on their side. If Stary fails at stopping the murderer, not only will she lose her life, but Maren and Umbra will lose their entrance into Heaven and the madness of the murderer will be unleashed to the world for 40 years.

New Beginnings (Spirit Vision 2) continues Stary’s adventures of being God’s Spirit Warrior, developing her powers along with discovering new ones, encountering allies and foes, and keeping her duty a secret from her loved ones to protect them.

  1. What is your writing process?

I have an on-going imagination so I can come up with ideas fairly easily. Music, walking, singing, anime, manga, and dreams inspire me as well. Once I do, I outline them, jot down lines or quotes in chapters I know I want to use. Since it is on the computer, if I need to change or move things, it is simple (I am a visual learner).  I listen to music normally when I write.

Finding time to write is the challenge.  I would love to say I write an hour or so a day for practice, but since I work full time as a teacher and have an adult life, my writing time must be flexible and I cannot force myself to write unless I have a deadline (I am overly-organized). Not to sound snobbish, but I write when the iron is hot. The outline helps keep me in line, but if I do not feel it, I rarely can.  I still work hard and turn my assignments in early though. J

  1. Who are your role models?

Most of my characters are based on the important people in my life and their impact on me; I just spun my own twist on their traits and fit them into my world. My family, husband, friends, loved ones, teachers…are all my role models!

  1. Who would be on your superhero team?

Oooh! Fun question and it was hard to narrow it down! Well, let me see…

#1.Roxas (Kingdom Hearts series, with both keyblades),

#2.Kimberly, the Pink Power Ranger from Mighty Morphin (Megazord power and bow!)

#3. Sebastian Michaels (The Black Butler.  The main can kill people with butter knives!)

#4. Shadow Cat (X-Men who can phase through about anything)

#5.Sailor Pluto (Guardian of Time and magical girl).

#6. Edward Cullen (Twilight; vampire who can read minds)

  1. Who would play you in the film of your life?

Well…since it is my life and I like acting…I would want to play myself. Who knows me better than I do?! 😉  We can get ahold of that “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” technology and my voice acting, it could totally work!

  1. What are your dreams for the future?

To get a classroom teaching position in my field, to continue to be with my loved ones, madly in love with my husband and start a family with him, be an otaku, stop bullying, and have Spirit Vision, my other works, and Paper Crane Press, be loved and successful (New York Times Best Seller would be grand!

 

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Chapter 2 snippet from Spirit Vision (chapter 1 is on my website for free to preview):

When I returned from the lunch line, I stopped hastily in front of our lunch table, expecting to hear the sound of laughter and talk of Mr. Tin, but the discussions at my table had taken a dramatic turn. My eyes paused their happy flicker from the food and fixated on the words being said.

“Do you think they will find out anything?” a female voice said.

“This is all so messed up!  People are sick! No wonder they are searching all the lockers and classrooms,” chimed an on-edge male voice.

“Can we think for a moment for the poor person?  How tragic…” this came from Ami, whose heart was always so kind.

“The person had no family and no records in Plantersville. I don’t understand any of this at all!” Allen said in a scared tone, biting his lips until they were white.

“The staff is supposed to talk to everyone officially tomorrow.  Hopefully the officers will have something to report.” This intellectual statement came from Lauren.

“I hate that we’re all trapped here like animals at a zoo!  What if the mad person behind this is here among us?  I’m not going down without a fight!” Rin ranted.

“Rin, please control yourself. The school has to question everyone, which is why we’re still here, just under full watch,” Chloe squeaked.

“A girl is found buried dead behind a wall in one of our janitors’ closets and no one knows her in the area…This all seems pretty twisted.” Barbara made everyone quiet with her cold tone.  She was holding something in her now shaking hands.  It appeared to be a newspaper.

“What…?”  Was all I could utter; Mark had heard me and stood, placing his hands under my tray for support.  He must have known I was about to drop it.  Chloe, Rin, and Lauren, who were closest to me, jerked their heads upto give me a kind expression, an expression that shone light on my question: everything they said was true.

“What do you mean what?  How can what I said be clearer to you Stary?  It’s been the talk of the school all day,” Barbara barked.  She shoved her chair away from her and slapped the newspaper into my hands.

“The school paper isn’t supposed to come out for two more weeks,” I informed her, my confusion controlling my logic that told me to never question Barbara.

Barbara was about to say something rude, but Mark butted in. He was always there to defend me. “It’s a special edition. Please read it.” He dragged over to me and gave me a big bear hug, almost knocking me down. Although I couldn’t move, it felt like Mark was using me for support as his chest heaved. I gently returned his tenderness before he walked back to his seat.

I held the paper with a firm grip and opened to the first page and then…it all happened at once. I saw…her. I plopped hard on the floor in disbelief, tossing the paper to the ground, unable to direct my muscles. Mark ran to me , Chloe right behind him. They tried to get me on my feet, but my head was racing with a million questions, a million worries, and a million unwanted answers.  The answers flowing through me stopped, as if we were disconnected.

Allen looked amazed and in a hyper, child-like voice, yelled, “You’re a really fast reader!”

Barbara gave him a you’re-so-stupid look. She gave me the article again with an angry stare plastered on her pasty face. I held my hand on my head, trembling with fear that I would explode due to unknown grief and confusion, unable to glance at the paper.

Chloe touched my forehead with her sweet, cool hand.  Her touch made me realize I wasn’t in a nightmare. “She’s warm,” Chloe told the audience of my pals behind her while giving me a panicked look…the same one from my dream before she got possessed!

That alarm made me stand up and violently grab the paper.  I refused to allow any other part of my dream to come true, especially if it affected my friends or after what I had heard.

“I’m fine…A little shaky, but fine,” I said in a voice that sounded like I was speaking a newly created foreign language.

Chloe looked a little less troubled, but still concerned. Moisture became trapped in her baby blue eyes. I sat by her, struggling, but patted her soothing hands as I stood up to thank her before I looked at the picture once more.

It was a picture of an extremely pretty young girl, about my age, maybe a little older. She had beautiful, wavy golden blonde hair to her upper back. Her skin was about as white as snow. Her eyes were sky blue and it was as if one could almost see through them. I knew they were a portal in a pure soul.A happy smile crossed her angelic face, a face that looked youthful and mature, graceful and cheerful all at once. In my heart, I knew the girl well, but I didn’t remember her at all.  Then, it hit me: she was the lovely light beam that took form, the girl of the maiden I talked to from my dream!  No wonder my body was in complete shock!

“No one knows who this girl is, but she was found at our school,” Lauren said.  Found? I was unable to face anyone in the natural world surrounding me, forgetting that I belonged to it.

“The article tells all about it,” Rin stated. I was frightened, but I began to read by instinct:

PHS Knights Page

            Today is a sad day for our beloved high school. Sixteen-year-old Maren Crystal Rowe, daughter of Robert and Clara Rowe, was found dead in the supply closet in the northern business wing.  Her body was buried deep in the back of a hidden wooden wall that no one had noticed before until a trashcan accidentally slammed it down. There is not much left of Maren, but she had an ID card near her, the only proof of who she was. 

Not much is known about Maren.  When she was two, her mother, Clara Hombeck Rowe, died of breast cancer. Two years later, her father, Robert Rowe, was killed when one of his government machines blew up and the explosion destroyed his lab.  His body was found in the Gate River, only half of a mile away from his home.  Maren and her older brother, Elbert, went to live with their only family left: Professor Glen Rowe, a very famous inventor working for the nation’s Department of Defense. His home and research center are still unknown.

When Maren was ten, her seventeen-year-old brother left to follow his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps.  Three years ago, when she was sixteen, Maren and her grandfather went missing. The professor’s body was found right away, but young Maren was nowhere to be found until today. 

PHS has given her remains to the SRL in St. Louis to find the cause(s) of her death.  Even though none of us knew Maren, PHS will wish her peace.  Funeral service and burial will be at Holy Rest Church and Cemetery in Oldfield on Thursday, April the 16th. All are welcomed to come. More information will be given when known.  All of this information was given to us by the Department of Defense and by Dr. Elbert Rowe.

I could not believe what I read!  A poor girl that didn’t even go to our school or even live in the area was found dead in our supply closet? How did I not know about this?  Everyone seemed to assume I did or was hiding it from me. Wait. That crash during first hour. When Mr. Jerry knocked the trashcan into the wall of the closet, the closet that’s now blocked off…That’s when he screamed, that’s when all of this must have happened.  I never had to head in that direction until now and because I was with Mrs. Timber, I must’ve been overlooked for questioning.

This poor girl. Her life appeared lost, confusing, and heartbreaking. Yet in her photo, she looked happy, innocent, and carefree.  I prayed to God, wishing for the sweet and wonderful child to find eternal bliss with Him in heaven.

I stood up slowly, careful not to lose my balance, and handed the article to Barbara, who looked at me, traumatized.

morganauthorpic

Morgan Straughan Comnick:

Educator of young minds by day, super nerdy savior of justice and cute things by night, Morgan Straughan Comnick has a love for turning the normal into something special without losing its essence. Morgan draws from real life experiences and her ongoing imagination to spark her writing. In her spare time, she enjoys doing goofy voices, traveling to new worlds by turning pages, humming child-like songs, and forcing people to smile with her “bubbliness.” It is Morgan’s mission in life to spread the amazement of otaku/Japanese culture to the world and to stop bullying; she knows everyone shines brightly.

Http://morganscomnick.com

http://papercranebooks.com

https://www.youtube.com/user/sakurastar07

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Morgan-Straughan-Comnick/167241833430209

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7510773.Morgan_Straughan_Comnick

https://www.pinterest.com/morganscomnick/

https://twitter.com/MorganSComnick

http://www.ebay.com/usr/starymoon07


No Letting Go Guest Blog

http://www.nolettinggo.co.uk/No Letting Go

 

 

Want a guest blog? Email reynardcity@gmail.com (Sponsors get priority- more info www.reynardcity.com/advertise)

 

 

If you are going to move into a new rental place then it helps to have someone knowing the condition of the furniture, plumbing etc. This is what inventory companies like No Letting Go do.

 

No Letting Go are an inventory management company. Their job mainly covers four things- inventory, property visits, checking in and checking out.

 

The Inventory

 

The inventory is a written statement covering both the contents of a building and the condition of it. This is good for tenants because if there is a problem with the landlord who says they damaged something when they didn’t there is proof of the original condition of the property, contents and fixtures (although this is also true for the landlord as well!)

 

Check in

 

Nice and simple this- tenant and landlord look over inventory. Once this has been agreed the landlord can hand over the keys and you can move in!

 

Property visits

 

Tenants often get nervous when it comes to property visits and inspections (though if you keep it reasonably tidy you should have nothing to worry about!)

 

However it works two ways- while a property owner can bring up issues with the tenants they can also point out anything that needs fixing or any problems they have had while staying at the property.

 

Check out

 

This is where things get tricky- landlords may withhold deposits if they think tenants have caused any damage. With an inventory company they can take photos and compare the condition of the property at the end of the tenancy with the start. Therefore any disputes can be settled by a neutral third party.

 

Why No Letting Go?

 

No Letting Go are an experienced inventory company. Their experienced team create accurate inventory reports and cover all the necessary details to protect the needs of both the tenant and the property owner .

 

If you are moving into a property and want peace of mind before you move in contact No Letting Go today!

 

 


Lawrence Blackman profile

Want to be interview for a guest blog? Email reynardcity@gmail.com (Sponsors get priority- Special thanks to Songbird Radio, Ed Couzens-Lake, Leapfrog Training and Flag Wizard)

 

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Where are you from?

 

I’m from Worcester, a small Cathedral city in the Midlands near Birmingham. It’s the epitome of England in many ways, with all its shades of grey, pleasant enough with a nice river and plenty of scallies. I guess for me it was a bit boring – whatever was going to happen had already happened.

How would you describe your art?

 

I’d say it is the simplist, most boiled down possible way I have found to say what I want to say. Vague as that is, to try and represent it in prose so people can imagine what it looks like I’d say it is cartoon like drawings with a range of influences also manifest, including expressionism, graffiti styles, adverts, and doodlings. A lot of it is purely writing, and most of it is my imagining of a childlike deranged mind processing the world. I suppose it’s a way of removing the barriers and processes we develop and using that as a lens to see the world. It’s meant to be funny, but also to have a kind of off-hand profoundness.
At its essence though, it is intended to start a conversation with a viewer (rather than dictating) – the terms of engagement are the viewers as much as mine, which is why I’d always encourage people to see it for themselves and make their own decisions on what it is or isn’t.
Laurence Blackman aka Loz Vegas
You called your collection “Mountains of Light.” What does that refer to?
 ‘Mountains of Light’ is a reference to people. The book is about relationships, both how people interact with each other and also how we interact with the world around us. The idea is that we only see the tip of what we really are poking above the sea level, and no matter how tall the mountain reaches it is still linked to all the others via the sea bed, i.e no man is an island you could say. The Light part is about the preciousness of individuality and effervescence of humanity – ‘we are luminous beings, not this crude matter’ (Yoda, Return of the Jedi)
Your site includes a “manifesto” section. How would you describe that?
It depends which manifesto you mean! The first one you come across is I think the most honest (as abstractions tend to be) and to the point – the message should be ‘take as you find’ really. It’s also a kind of a send up of manifestos in general which generally tend to get betrayed by the people who write them – if you’ve ever seen Banksy’s or The Communists’ you’ll know that! Plus I genuinely am made from flesh, living in a house and I like jumping on beds.
The one past that (the biography) is I think a fairly standard self assessment and not nearly as fun or thought provoking.
What are your influences?
I think I have alot influences. I have always been fascinated by the art of young children and the honesty they hold. Also graffiti styles and expressionist artists like Basquiat or Francis Bacon. I generally love all forms of cartooning and graphic novels and in particular Chris Ware. Also Morrissey and Knut Hamsen and anyone who tries to look at the non remarkable to find poignancy. Also David Shrigley whom I love and Cormack McCarthy (writing style wise) and the gibbering of simpletons. I guess I like people who try to see with a fresh perspective – I teach a boy I’m fairly sure is autistic (Korea is loath to approach this) and his mind is one of the most fascinating places I’ve ever peeked into, through the things he says.
my cat
Who would be on your superhero team?
Is that a dream Superhero Team to A) protect the Universe or B) play instead of England at the World Cup? If it’s a superhero team to protect the world I would have The Tic, Earthworm Jim, Bananaman and Inspector Gadget with Batman as their leader just to see how that would all pan out. There’s also a hero I invented a while ago called the Mug who’s just a mug with no special powers at all, he’d be bad ass. But if you want a serious answer then clearly Phoenix can take on all comers on her own, unless she gets in a scrap with Green Lantern or Doctor Who – there are just too many, I’ll just have me and my cat Megatron (are pets allowed?).
If it’s option B then I reject the question and refuse to comment as I try to ignore any and all forms of organised sports apart from WWE Wrestling, however I’m sure it wouldn’t take much to assemble a group that would do better than we always seem to do (I’d recommend the home for the blind, infirm and mentally disadvantaged or infirm as a recruiting ground).
That was a great question.
Who would play you in the film of your life?
I’d have Jason Statham of Brad Pitt or someone sexy like that for bravado, but actually I’d have had Rik Mayall and I think dying was an over the top way to avoid the gig. If you ask my students then just any old dickhead, if you ask my close friends then probably Ade Edmonson.
Where do you see yourself in five year’s time?
In 5 years time I genuinely have no idea. I have goals but that’s not the same as who or where I’ll be – I hope is as unpredictable as where I am now would be to me 5 years ago. All I ask is that I’m still travelling and making artwork. And a millionaire. And famous.

 

You can see more of Lawrence’s work on his official site and his Facebook page.

 

infographic colour


Flag Wizard Guest Blog

Special foxy thanks to our latest sponsor The Flag Wizard– if you would like a guest blog submit one or chat to us via reynardcity@gmail.com (Sponsors get priority)

 

Flag Wizard

 

Backpack flags

 

As someone who has been to a few conventions there is one thing I have learned- a good backing board or ad space can stand out. Steve Hannant of The Flag Wizard has over 20 years of experience and has worked with a range of companies (as well as castles, churches and cathedrals) to make sure they get seen-

“Based in the UK, with over 28 years experience within the Flag and Exhibition industries, also Agricultural shows, The Flag Wizard specialises in a number of different products. 

Our selection of flags includes hand sewn and digital printed flags, table flags, coded flags, marine flags, national and international flags. The company can provide a unique bespoke flag design service from the customer’s artwork or have something specially designed for you. We also hire flags to help your budget. “

 

Feather Flags by Flag Wizard

 

 

Find out more about how Steve can help you by going to www.theflagwizard.com We’d also like to say thanks to him and all our sponsors for keeping us going!

 

 

Flag Wizard

 

 

 


All About Project Turnip

If you would like a guest blog please email reynardcity@gmail.com You can submit your own or we can supply questions to you. Sponsors/contributors get priority.

Project Turnip

1. How would you describe Project Turnip?


“Project Turnip” is a journal webcomic about a rough around the edges
northern lass who has given up the sleepy greenery of her home town and
ventured to the Capital for a taste of the rat-race and to find her path
in life (which still seems as foreign to her as the constant battle on
public transport).

2. Your comic features people in your life. How have they reacted to being
immortalised in ink?

At first they were a little stunned at the idea of being sketched into a
comic, but this was mostly followed with “does my nose really look that
big?” or “have you just given me a quiff?” they mostly seem resigned to
the idea now.

Funny thing is if I leave them out of the comic for long
enough I get a slap on the wrist for neglecting to add them! I mean really
consistency please folks!

3. What would you say are your influences?

Ah there are so many webcomics I could mention as my influences, the ones
off the top of my head are;

-“Wasted Talent” by Angela Melick
-“The Devils Panties” by Jennie Breeden
-“Today Nothing Happened” by Shazzbaa
-“Reynard City” by Will Turner and Co
-“The Littlest Elle” by Elle Skinner

I could go on and on!

As for general – I have an affinity for noticing the simplest of human
interactions or environmental changes so I guess everyday life is a major
influence.

I include books, artists, theatre performances and films in
this too – as an aspiring writer there is a lot of cross over when it
comes to style, character creation and creative impact but I also find
hiding in a fantasy/daydream world can take you away from perfectly good
inspiration happening all around you.

4. If you could have any superpower what would it be?

Yikes that’s a difficult one….especially as I always thought if I was
given a superpower I would use it for evil. I suppose the ability to
control lightning/electricity would do for me, if I got bored I could
create my own light show or merely use it to shut off my neighbour’s loud
incessant pathetic excuse for music.

5. Who would play you in the film of your life?

Brian Molko in drag! (He does have nicer legs than me though Harsh! Honestly you look lovely!). In
seriousness I’d probably opt for Helena Bonham-Carter to be honest, she’s
funny, quirky and a little bit eccentric – which is me to a tee (That’s more like it :D) .

6. Who would be in your Avengers-style super team (not limited to
superheroes- you could throw in Sherlock Holmes, Lara Croft or Magneto if
you want)?

Good god I do love Magneto, he is quite a bad-ass! Also if we’re talking
Sherlock Holmes I’m thinking the Benedict Cumberbatch portrayal over the
others…as for the rest:

Gambit (because as a child I was fascinated by his powers) – “X-Men”

Merton J.Dingle (because every team needs a smart but cowardly gothic nerd
with amazing hair) – “Big Wolf on Campus

Ford Prefect (because that Frood knows where his towel is) – “Hitchhikers
Guide to the Galaxy”

Harley Quinn (because she’s a hopeless romantic with an evil streak) – “DC
comics”

Yeah…mine looks like a real mish-mash of peculiar characters! Could you
imagine that dinner party?

7. Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?

Drinking Tequila and wondering where my life went…oh wait no, I’ve done
that already. Hopefully in five years’ time I will have settled into a
creative career (although this is still a cloudy area) and “Project
Turnip” will be a regular on the comic con scene (I’m thinking of allowing
P.T. to get to 1yr old before I consider my first comic con!).

8. What advice would you give for people who want to start their own
webcomic?

Take a deep breath and seriously think about it – churning out comics to a
schedule may seem a glorious challenge but trust me when I say that a
webcomic quickly becomes a part-time (and in some cases full-time) job and
your fans do not react well if you promise an update and don’t deliver.
Now that I’ve mentioned that bit of criticism – if you really do want to
do this then awesome, welcome to the family! Here goes the advice:

-Find a style you’re happy with, if your work seems a little rough don’t
panic over time it will improve (P.T. is still a rather rough version of
what I want it to be). Also don’t feel compelled to compare yourself to
other people, it’ll only cause issues.

-Socialise with other comic artists and ask advice (there are so many ways
to do this now – comic cons, twitter, facebook or just through email),
don’t be shy, we don’t bite…well, most of us don’t.

-Remember that you won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, some will love you and
others will hate you, it’s just the way of the world.

-Enjoy your comic, the instant you start to resent it is the time to get
out! (Or start a new project).

Nogwai! (Lisa)

lisa@projectturnip.co.uk

http://www.projectturnip.co.uk/ 

Editor’s note- I heartily endorse this webcomic. It is most amusing 🙂