AF 00Greetings. We’re pleased and very honoured to announce our second guest. The extremely talented (and definitely going places!!) Rachael Smith. If you haven’t read any of Rachael’s work, please go rectify that now!!

How did you get into comics and how did you get the Leicester Mercury gig?
Like a lot of comics creators, my first foray into the industry was autobio comics, which you can see here: http://rachaelsonegoodthing.blogspot.co.uk/. That project came from my battle with depression. I found drawing very cathartic so I decided to draw at least one good thing that happened to me every day, in an effort to think more positively about life. Once I plucked up the courage, I started to upload the pictures onto a blog for people to see. That’s how the Leicester Mercury (a regional newspaper) first took notice of me and asked if I wanted to pitch for a comic strip. I’ve been doing ‘Vicky Park’, every week for them for four years now! It was actually my first ever paid comic gig.

House Party coverHow did you find doing House Party compared to previous comic work? How has that influenced your work since?
House Party was my first graphic novel, which came out in 2014 through Great Beast Comics. Up until then I’d only self published a couple of mini comics so it was the first time I had written anything long-form, so that was a challenge. I enjoyed it a lot though, it felt like a story I needed to tell. It’s about three 20-something year olds who share a house together. They’ve just finished uni and are feeling a little lost about what to do next in life. They decide to throw a huge party in an effort to recapture their lost youth – which goes horribly wrong of course! I’ve since gone on to release my second graphic novel, The Rabbit, which is about 50 pages longer than House Party I think. So House Party has definitely influenced my work since in that I’m much more confident writing longer stories now.

Rabbit coverYou were nominated for British Comic Awards in 2014 and 2015, has that opened any doors for work?
Oh definitely! I’ve certainly felt like I’m on a few more radars since getting nominated. The BCAs are very well respected so I think more people took notice of what I was doing after I got nominated for Emerging Talent in 2014. In 2015 The Rabbit was nominated for Best Book too which was amazing – so I think a lot more people took a chance on it and bought a copy.

What are you currently working on?
Mainly my new book, Artificial Flowers, which will be out on May 7th. It’s about Siobhan (who was in House Party) who is trying to make it as a fine artist in London, when her pyromaniac little brother Chris is sent to stay with her for the Summer. It’s a really fun story which I’m really enjoying drawing. Other than that I’m still doing my monthly comics for the Doctor Who: Tenth Doctor comic series from Titan. I’m also writing my webcomic, Bess, which will hopefully be continuing in June. You can see the first 28 pages here: http://besscomic.tumblr.com/post/132464573984/page-1 My other webcomic, Ask Flimsy also updates every Saturday: http://askflimsy.tumblr.com/

AF 06What can we expect to see from you at this year’s NCC?
Well, by then I’ll have copies of Artificial Flowers with me! As well as House Party, The Rabbit, my mini comics I Am Fire, and Flimsy’s Guide to Modern Living. Also prints, badges, and, hopefully, some new diary comics!

Rachael must be one of the busiest women in the industry and we really look forward to having her attend this year. Make sure you visit her table and pick up a few books!! If you can’t wait that long…