It was at the end of April, 2010, aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship on the way from Florida to the UK that I first put pencil to paper to start drawing Insurrection. It was a strange end to an amazing year of travelling the world, which we did without flying. I could write a lot more about the benefits of travelling the world by land and sea, how you get to see the shift of landscapes and cultures, sometimes gradual, often sharp as a mountain range or a border cuts through more than just the countryside. Suffice to say that this was the last part – returning home on a cruise ship on what’s known as a re-positioning cruise. Essentially a cut price cruise that takes the ship onward to a more profitable route.
Just before boarding the cruise ship we’d been staying in a hostel in Fort Lauderdale and I’d dragged my other half on a last minute quest to get some paper to start work on the comic whilst we were at sea. I had romantic visions of returning to the UK and steamrolling out this great idea of a comic, one that I’d scripted the previous April in a hostel in Helsinki (the core idea is much older). This turned into a bit more a struggle due to how spaced out everything was in Florida, and how poor the bus network seemed to be. I had visions of idling time away in the cabin, or in the bar of the ship wistfully crafting my new comic. This was how I’d spent time the previous November when we’d crossed the top part of the Pacific on board a cargo ship. Not this time though – I’d completely under-estimated how passenger life aboard a cruise ship would be a non-stop barrage of supposed entertainment. Every time I tried to sit down somewhere a game of bingo would begin, or a show.
The cabin had a tiny desk with no windows (it was the cheapest of cabins) it was there, with a sense of adventure and perhaps homesickness, that I started to draw a tube train snaking through the blackness of night time London.
Since then progress on the comic has been… slower… than anticipated thanks to many changes in my life, and the comic itself has evolved away from that initial script and the thumbnail sketches drawn whilst travelling through China. It has grown and I’m proud of it, hopefully this year will see the next issue published, but the first putting of pencil to paper to define the start of the comic began there. Eight years ago in the middle of the Atlantic.