The comedian artist Leomi Sadler about her new e-book and the journey there

Leomi Sadler has been in the comics scene for over a decade and runs the UK-based publisher Famicon Express. In addition to comics, Sadler has worked with commercial clients such as Givenchy, Nike, and Vice. However, her personal work has stayed relatively under the radar. When Breakdown Press reached out to them to create a collection of their comics, they decided to approach them in a way that felt right to them.

"I couldn't help but feel like if I were to make a great compendium of everything I've ever done, it would be extremely incoherent and feel like I died," says Sadler. "So we decided instead to have a library of books, each revolving around a separate channel of my edition." This first volume in the Leomi Library is titled Tummy Bugs and collects material from the past ten years. Readers can expect that in the various vignettes "cartoon characters are mistreated, wisdom is shown and a feeling of joy, simplicity and perseverance" is shown.

All pictures: Tummy Bugs by Leomi Sadler, Breakdown Press

The stories in Tummy Bugs are absurd, surreal, and funny, and a cast of strange characters carries the stories with them. "The protagonists are mostly non-human, with very flawed personalities, lots of misguided behaviors and relationships," says Sadler. "It's a book with messages that are kind of nihilistic, but in a way that is silly and comforting."

The visual style is expected to change in the Leomi Library volumes, and in Tummy Bugs the pages are full of color, detail, and blurring the lines between fantasy, reality, and science fiction. “I think my approach is based on a basic ideology, an appetite for certain atmospheres and rules for images that are not acceptable,” explains Sadler. "I think it's a great way to get in touch with you and keep track or decide if it's time to change the rules." I don't think this is a particularly special approach, and it's funny that I think more about what to avoid than having a goal of what I want to achieve. "

Sadler tends to turn to cartoons from the 70s and 80s while drawing inspiration from branded mascots and packaging. "I think I'm influenced by a lot of things outside of comics and illustration, especially pirated copies and cheap items. I think that feeds my interest in making things look a little 'wrong'," they say.

“It would be nice to say that I want my stuff to look like it's unclear what decade it was made in, but I can see the influence of my friends and colleagues and the way my close relationships mean Have shaped the way we work, do not deny it. ”

The artist's images were created using markers, pens, and even paints to create varying degrees of depth. "Like many artists, I've found that I work best on really crappy pieces of paper. The flatness of solvent-based markers is incredibly satisfying, I never get tired of it, and it's really fun using that with a collaged surface," they explain .

“Thin, crappy paper is easier for me to tear up and collage. I like to press firmly into the paper when drawing, so I use ballpoint pens, but every now and then I use a Pentel Sign Pen when I want to achieve a certain cartoony look. "

Since Tummy Bugs is a reflection on past work, Sadler said that in retrospect they did not always find it pleasant, also because they were personally in a completely different place when the drawings were made. “It's strange to take an archive of old work that you created ten years ago and bring it back to the surface and be celebrated. Thinking about the past and paying too much attention to previous ideas can be counterproductive to judge what you did and how you defined yourself before, ”they say.

“It feels a bit twisted to be looking back like this. I probably learned that from the transition. We are all people who are constantly evolving, and every day something big or small or unexpected can happen and change us. Publishing work I did when I was a completely different person is a bit of a head fuck, especially since everything was published under my old name. But I think I balance that out pretty well by bringing out a lot of new things as well. We just created a brand new book in the Famicon Collection in December and I'm working on a big book with new drawings that will come out this year Les– ”

What Sadler made the process easier is the community around self-publishing and the freedom it offers in creating a publication that feels personal and right. "It's nice to know that people aren't trying to manipulate me, it dissolves any mischievous urge to test their limits, and instead I can just focus on my own standards," explains Sadler.

“Sometimes it can feel like the world actively doesn't want weird things like that to be done, but knowing that there is such a thing as Breakdown Press is a great comfort. They seem so irrationally motivated to follow their artistic vision. I really think these breakdown people add so much to the world that I hope they are never allowed to stop. "

For Sadler, it is positive to show that people only discover their work in the years leading up to the latest projects. "I think time is working in a strange way right now, so it's comforting to have this physical evidence of part of my story," they say. “When I looked at the pre-order page on the Breakdown Press website, I also realized how difficult it would be for someone to find my work in print. Most of my self-published articles are out of print, and many of the anthologies I contributed to are now out of print. It's comforting to know that this is for new people! "

The satisfaction with posting has never left Sadler, but they look forward to posting something more formal. "It's exciting to think my book will be out in stores. It will be in places I've never sold my stuff and reached all kinds of strangers."

Tummy Bugs by Leomi Sadler, published by Breakdown Press is out now; @leomi_sadler