Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Dr Who One-Page-What-If-Christmas-Special


So I (Rik) watched this series of Dr Who and was left a little wanting. I love Capaldi and think he's got some potential to bring some gravity to the character but I really didn't care for Clara. More and more I find that I am watching a children's show, not that there's anything wrong with that but it means my expectations of Who isn't meeting up with the reality.  Having said that. {SPOILERS} when Clara got Raven'd, not only was I thinking "at last" but also we got see a little bit of the Doctor's dark side and that's something I always find richer that silly hats and talking to babies. Anyway The Doctor gets all pissy and goes a bit season 3 Malcolm Tucker.  Immediately I wrote the following piece. Consider this an extra scene after the Raven episode and the last 2 episodes of the season being very different.

 I did think as the season came to a close that they might have gone this way but they didn't for obvious reasons. Anyway enjoy.

Click to embiggen.

There you are.

There was a bunch of fun thing that happened whilst making this comic.
1) It's a miracle it got made with it being xmas, both of us being super busy with work and in JC's case becoming a master of science.

2) JC has never watched Who so had no idea what was happening, but after he read the script he said that he felt the gravity (semi pun intended) of the piece. That's rewarding to hear as a writer.

3) It's all upside and crazy. Those of you who follow our work, both of you, know that we like to play with panel layout. I had this idea that if you could traverse a small astral body you can physically take a character from looking up at something, in this case a planet, to looking down at something. Hey presto, a visual metaphor. Comics don't use these enough despite the visual nature of comics. Anywho that got us talking about the layout and we decided that it would be fun to make the comic rotate. I was worried how that would translate to digital viewing but the results speak for themselves. There's something sinister about an upside down character, facing away from the reader and threatening a planet. It's not a traditional panel but it's a fun little experiment.

We're getting together in the new year to discuss what we want to do going forward. We're both pretty busy, JC in particular as he is creating comics to teach people science, and these one page comics are fun and quick to do so you might be seeing a whole lot more of them.

Merry Christmas and to all a Good Night.

Rik and JC

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Arthur Machen: The Accidental Propagandist

I want to be a Machen man!
 Hello again,

     We'd like to share something we did last year for the To Arms! comic anthology commemorating the 100th anniversary of the First World War.  It's a great collection if you can get your hands on it (available from Limehouse Comics and from Gosh! comic shop in London).

Our particular comic centres on the true story of esteemed Welsh fantasy author Arthur Machen, and how one of his short stories, "The Angels of Mons" was adopted as a piece of rallying wartime misinformation.  You can read more about Machen here (Guardian article) and here (The Quietus feature).  He's a pretty fascinating guy, largely lost to history.

We're not entirely sure why it's taken us until now to upload it, but here it is...


Friday, 20 November 2015

Man Will Fly

Hello fellow humans,

We were honoured to be included in this year's charity Thought Bubble Anthology alongside some fantastic creators.  Here is the one-page story we contributed (featuring definitely Not-Superman and Not-Chris Hadfield)...  

It is meant to portray the character as an embodiment of human aspiration, hope, optimism, the Spirit of Progess - you know, all those old-fashioned notions - and was written as a kind of antidote to what Richard describes as the growing "Man of Steel vs Man of Tomorrow" dichotomy.

Here's what The Big Comic Page had to say about the comic:

"Providing an impressively poignant perspective on an invulnerable “Superman”-esque character, this feels like a complete, self-contained story of man’s curious relationship with this hero, and features some wonderfully sepia-tinged artwork from Collver."

Head on over to their website to see what they thought of all the other fantastic stories in the Anthology, and we hope you enjoyed our latest creation.

Until Tomorrow,
Jordan & Rik

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Post Thought Bubble Post: Convention Sketches

Hello one and all,

Well, that's a wrap on another great year at Thought Bubble.  Besides the river flooding over into the streets, the weekend in Leeds went off without a hitch (except for the fact that Jordan's pens were perpetually drying up).  Thank you to everyone who stopped by the table to look at our stuff.  It's always a pleasure talking to readers and fellow comics creators.  Here is some photographic evidence of what went on at our table...

It's us!

Daredevil vs Punisher
Batman: good thing he remembered his cagoule

Bojack: the man who is also a horse

Another satisfied customer of Jeff Goldblum

The mighty (and obscure) Klamos. I ran out of space in his speech bubble...

The mid-con party was a blast too.  Hip-hop legend DMC made a guest appearance, for example.  A big shout out to all the organisers and volunteers who made the weekend possible.  Hooray for Britain's best large-scale convention.

That's all for now.  Until next year!

Keep on truckin'

Monday, 9 November 2015

Houdini & Doyle: A Certain Symmetry

Hi everyone,

We are pleased to present a mini-comic about the unlikely friendship and rivalry between Harry Houdini and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  This is a kind of proof-of-concept piece for a much larger project we have in the works called Escape! which will elaborate on the same story, themes, and ideas found here.  Although this also stands on its own.  It has been featured on Bleeding Cool, and you can have a gander below (click on each image to enlarge)...

If you'd like to see more pages like this (like... several dozen more) then please consider supporting Water Closet Press on our brand new Patreon page and help us make this comic a reality!

Thanks for reading,
Jordan & Rik

Fun fact: This comic is itself symmetrical....

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Thought Bubble Approaches

Hello dear readers,

We are delighted to have a table at this year's glorious Thought Bubble comic festival in Leeds (14-15 November).  It will be our 5th appearance!  We'll be stationed at Table 84 in New Dock Hall alongside artiste-extraordinare...

Come say hello to us at Table 84

Look for our brand spankin' new dynamic-duo banner design.  You will then be able use this as a guide to help you recognise us in a crowd.  It will also help that we will be sitting right in front of it, perhaps even wearing the clothes depicted, in the same pose.

We will have copies of the Thought Bubble Anthology on sale (featuring yours truly), along with some new and previously-unpublished material...

To be unmasked at the convention!

And of course Issue 1 and 2, The Irregulars, and all things Ladies & Gentlemen you know and love.  I'll also be keeping myself busy by taking commissions throughout the weekend, so if you want something drawn, come and chat with me.  Hope to see all y'all there, y'all.


Monday, 21 September 2015

Little Story and Open Submissions


How is it going? We kinda have a treat you. You know that strip from the Thought Bubble Anthology by Image Comics we've been harping on about? Well, here is the story that inspired it. It basically grew out of our ongoing debate about Superman, specifically the latest Supes film. I won't say who thinks what, who is incorrect about the nature of Superman or why Jordan is a fat do-do head, but what I will say is that we both agree that there are two Supermans (Supermen?). One is the Man of Steel - he's grey, punches things, has angsty foibles and he's boring. The other is the man of Tomorrow - he's primary colours and always does what is right and inspiring. He represents the best of humanity's aspirations, an icon of hope. This story is about the latter.

It was difficult making this story into a comic. I had written it as a kind of exercise. I wanted to look at constructing a some superhero prose. I didn't mind the result and let Jordan have a peek. He liked it, thankfully, but it still didn't lend itself to one page of comics. So we had to cut out a few of the nods and winks to the reader, a lot of the references disappeared but he managed to hold onto the essence of the story. What's great about comics is the "show don't tell" aspect. This meant that we could cut out a whole bunch of my clumsy, cack-handed words and put in a whole bunch of Jordan's clumsy, cack-handed art (I'm just kidding, it's beautiful, wait till you see it.) We did also lose a character in the translation, he isn't a vital one but he was missed. I kinda want to do the missing scene as a strip and footnote the comic but it's off to the printers now. Never mind. Anyway, hope this whets your whistle. Stick around after the story because I have something to ask you...

Man Will Fly
by Rik Worth

I first saw him when I was 13. Pa didn’t like me playing with the two boys from the Jewish family who ran the convenience store, but I’d heard stories from the other kids about their spaceman. I didn’t pay it no heed until I saw him. I’d been flying for a year and was destined to follow in Pa’s footsteps. Pa had been ill so I took over dusting the Doherty’s fields. As I was banking to return home I caught a glimpse of him in the distance. He was springing through the air, across whole fields.  I scrambled to get myself turned around, to find out whatever it was that could throw itself through the air like that, but that fixed wing had no chance of keeping up with him.  I didn’t really believe what I saw, who would?

Next time I saw him I was in something with a bit more speed. I’d managed to get myself signed up. Those two Jewish boys had run off to Europe to fight a war and I found myself with the RAF.  I was barely seventeen, but my flying was good enough to get that overlooked. He showed up again. Said this fighting had gone on too long, it was time to make himself known.  My corps had been given the job of flying with him into battle. He looked at me before we set off, don’t think he remembered me at the time, he thanked us for looking after. Imagine that. Mortar shell bounced off this guy’s chest, like they came from a peashooter and we were looking after him. When we set out he flew ahead of us. Some of the older guys in the corps thought he dressed something stupid; bright primary colours like something from a circus. I was still a kid so I thought it was amazing. Still do. He stood out in that grey and brown sky. With one word he stopped the shooting.  Us, them, the world watched him. Not in fear, but in awe. Strikes me now that this was what made him an alien, he could of got in there and tore tanks apart with his hands but he didn’t, he didn’t want to fight. He didn’t want us to fight and that was it. We didn’t fight anymore.

Didn’t see him for a few years after that. He went public; the most famous face on the planet. I went secret. Flying experimental jets. That was until the day I almost died. I feel foolish now. One of the technicians was explaining how to fly this craft, and I couldn’t get past his dorky glasses. Who was this awkward lump of a man to lecture me? Like a hot shot I was up there flying around like a jackass. I was unofficially the first man to travel faster than sound. Probably the first man to explode a million dollar jet.  The engines had lit up; no doubt she was going to bite in. I pulled the ejector chord and nothing. There’s me, flying through the air, fast as anyone has ever gone, wreathed in flames, and I whisper mayday. I wanted to shout, trust me, but that amount of G force on your chest, you’re lucky you can inhale but somehow, he heard that whisper. Canopy was torn away like it was paper and he plucks me out of my seat like a doll. We watched as what remained of the ship span off into the distance and boom! I never ignored a technician after that day. Managed to thank him for looking out for me. I’m sure I caught a smirk before I passed out. When I was ready to be debriefed, that same guy in the glasses was in the room asking what went wrong. I tell him the logistics of it all, how the engine ruptures, the ejector chord, the whole thing. Only thing I really should be saying is I didn’t listen to you. Guy’s real swell about it though. Asks a bunch of questions about the alien, tells me he really must be something and don’t worry, we’ll get it next time.

Next time has been and gone as many times as I have greys on my temple. It’s been a few more years, but we’ve moving in leaps and bounds, just like when I first saw him. I’m seeing the Alien again now.  He’d been a part of the program. He flew ahead to help us arrange the landing and survival facility. Said he knew we could do it on our own and that we’d already achieved so much. He wanted to help us with this, not because he had to, not anymore, but because he was proud and he wanted to.
I’ve climbed out of the capsule and bounced over to him. He offers his hand. Through my suit I can feel the strength in it; it’s like shaking hands with steel. It’s anchoring me to the world.  He smiles. I’m certain he remembers me now. That red and blue doesn’t stand out so much against the dusty orange that surrounds us, heck, in all this white I dare say I’m standing out a little. I can see a blue twinkle in his eye. Reminds me of home from up here.

“Good work commander. Today you’ve become the first man to walk on Mars. Imagine what you’ll be tomorrow.”

Right, now that that excruciating embarrassment is over, we are looking for submissions!

You may or may not know this but we have been working on a side project called Annotations. It's an online arts magazine that will feature prose, poetry, articles and art. It'll be themed each month and then every quarter we intend to pile all the themes together and release a printed magazine.

Hopefully my little story inspired you and you'll want to join in. Our first theme is "Capture". Get all the details on submitting here.

Hope you enjoy the update and we'll see you soon.

Rik and JC

Monday, 7 September 2015

Thought Bubble Festival 2015


Just a quick update to let you know that we will be at Thought Bubble again this year so if you want any commissions done, please get in touch with us.  You can let us know what you're after at

We've spent most of the past year working on one huge project.  It's been up and down and has really affected our output over the course of the year. We have been making comics but we've just been keeping them under wraps as we've had our little dalliance with publishers. Alas and a-lack, through to one reason or another none of these dealings has come to bear fruit (so far), so we will be releasing more material at T-Bubz, including a brand-new strip called "Man Will Fly" which will be appearing in the TB Anthology! 
Here's the first panel.

 Can't wait to see you all and as always, thanks for the support!



Friday, 3 July 2015

A Few Annotations

Hello internet, it's been eons!

Our silence hasn't been due to a lack of comic-ing, though. On the contrary, we've had shiploads of stuff going on in the WCP... working on an ambitious new project, navigating the roller-coaster ride of a potential book deal (including a New York agent!), and starting up a writer's periodical called Annotation Magazine with Dr. Simon Hilton-Smith as editor.  Check out the spiffy website and Facebook page to learn more about that.
And here's a wee look-see at a story we have appearing in the next Thought Bubble Anthology 2015...

That's not Superman, we swear.

Stay tuned!

Friday, 6 February 2015

True Believers 2014

Greetings, true believers!

For the first time ever, The Water Closet is going to appear at TRUE BELIEVERS COMIC FESTIVAL 2014 in Cheltenham...  Well, I say The Water Closet, but it's just going to be me (Jordan), as I live in Bristol which is much, much closer to Cheltenham than Leeds is, where Sir Richard dwells these days (the chump).  Ah well, who needs writers at the table anyways, amirite?  I'll be fine on my own.  Probably better, actually.


Details of the convention (which is TOMORROW) are here: