Thursday 29 November 2012

Thought Bubble

Hell of a Thought Bubble this year, lots of amazing folk, lovely chat and overpriced booze - as is always the way with conventions!

Best way to view it is through the comics ye've brought back - so without further ado it's time for a bit of stash dissection. Disclaimer: If my synopsis of any of these things are vague it's because I haven't read them yet - I've got a backlog of comics to read!

(from left to right)
Something Wicked #8 (Futurequake Press)
With a cracking cover by Small Press man-about-town Conor Boyle, I got this comp copy for colouring the back page. It's a horror anthology by Futurequake ran by my favourite editorial team in the history of the world - Richmond Clements & Dave "Bolt 01" Evans.
The Last Ride of Henry Holden (Time Bomb Comics)
This is the one-shot that I spent my summer colouring - by Steve Tanners' Time Bomb and a cracking story from Alex De-Gruchy. It's had some very good reviews and it's worth buying, I'll say that. If not for morbid curiosity at what my colouring looks like over more than five pages but for the story, the art, Mike Bunt's epic inking and Nikki Foxrobot's kickarse lettering.
Afterlife Inc. #2 (Jon Lock)
Mr. Jon Lock is one of the most passionate, hardworking and consistently creative people in small press - which is a lot to say for a field composed entirely of passionate, hardworking and consistently creative people. If the first volume was anything to go by - the second collection of Afterlife Inc. will be a well of slick artwork, brilliant characters and unique scenarios. Highly recommended. 
The Last Days of Man (Omnivistascope)
Look at this bloody cover. I bumped into editorial king of kings Paul Von Scott and had this on sale - I literally couldn't stop myself buying it. It's a compilation of collaborations between him and Paul McCaffrey, who, if the cover alone is any measure - is the most amazing man on Earth. 
Futurequake #22 (Futurequake Press)
The latest Futurequake - my favourite small press anthology ever - always brimming with glorious Future-shocky style tales from the most varied and reliably brilliant creators in the Small Press (me being the exception). Another comp copy for colouring the back cover - a brilliant story drawn by MY FAVOURITE ARTIST EVER George Coleman.

The Complete Rainbow Orchid
Garen Ewing's Rainbow Orchid has been recommended to me by literally every small press person I've ever met. A rollicking adventure-style thing with pleasingly European artwork - one of those that I bought off the man himself and only realised on my return South that I could've got him to sign it d'oh! 
Lilly MacKenzie & The Mines of Charybdis
My absolute creative hero Simon Fraser - was selling copies of his graphic novel - and I managed to nab one of the last ones. Serialised in the Judge Dredd Megazine and ACT-I-VATE - it's a brilliant sci-fi thriller crammed full of his beautiful fluid artwork and coloured masterfully by another inspiration: Gary Caldwell. Worth obtaining if you can or at least reading if you can't!
How to Kill Bears (Disconnected Press)
The aforementioned Conor Boyle forms one half of the creative duo that run Disconnected Press - formed just this year they've already got four very strong anthologies to their name. The other half of the duo - Liz Boyle - puts together a smaller themed anthology to go alongside their main and I'm privileged enough to letter it. The first one was called Lost:Boys and in this, four stories are linked by a beary theme and by the fact that all the artists in it are up-and-coming female creators. Brimming with new artistic talent and odd tales, it's a fascinating tome
Zarjaz #16 (Futurequake Press)
The holy grail of fancomics - the wonderful Zarjaz. I can't recommend it higher, and with such a beautiful cover the fantastically fantastic Jon Haward and the amazingly amazing Nigel Dobbyn it's truly a challenge NOT to want to buy it. 
The Lovecraft Anthology #2 (Selfmadehero)
A truly accidental purchase this one, as I was jabbering nervously to editor Dan Lockwood and he opened it to point something out. I remembered reading about it, and saw that it was of a surreal and magical quality so I bought it on the spot. Whoops. But also notwhoops - because it looks bloody special.
Who on Earth Was Thaddeus Mist? (Accent UK)
I was introduced to the author of this superb-looking gothic halfthology who shares my name and occasionally a goblet full of ale at the secret annual "Meeting of the Os" - where Owens from all walks of life meet and talk over eachother. He be Owen Michael Johnson and Thaddeus Mist be one of the finest-looking tomes I saw that weekend. 

Stiffs & The Pride (Dead Star Publishing)
Until Gavin Mitchell is hotter property than my Sun-based beach shack I urge you to enjoy his small press artistic output in the searingly slick two books I utterly failed to buy off him & the chaps at Bristol but DID manage to get at TB. Since then he's got all tangled up with the brilliant Aces Weekly 

MOA-192B (Decadence)
I can't adequately express the deep, unsettling, transcendent nature of Stathis Tsemberlidis' amazing intricate artwork. So I'll settle for being tediously facetious. Stathis is a Bristol chap and partially responsible for the Bear Pit Zine group wot produce rad wee anthologies and have wizard marts and that. The next one is coming in the new year - details are here. Anyway there Stathis was and who do I see enthusiastically buying his stuff but the legendary Dave Taylor which is an endorsement and a half surely! 
Disconnected #2 (Disconnected Press)
The second Disconnected anthology with a cover by the indefinable, insuppressible, indestructible Matt Soffe who is not only one of the finest artists I've ever had the pleasure of meeting but is also a RIDICULOUSLY good colourist (get your face around Aces Weekly's Paradise Mechanism if you don't believe me) - a quick flick through assures me that, like the first volume - this is the most stylish small press anthology you could possibly want to buy. 

Western/The Scorpion #1/Thorgal #1 (Cinebooks)
If you like comics, which face it, you do to some degree - you'd love Cinebooks. European books translated into English - those cats do comics on a fairly epic scale, pretty much all of them are stunningly constructed - masterpieces of storytelling. I'm still waiting on the series that won my heart (Long John Silver) and the glorious Orbital to return (I've been assured this'll happen next year) so I gave a punt on these: The hauntingly gorgeous one-shot Western, swashbuckling saga  The Scorpion who many have said is like 2000ad's evergreen Nikolai Dante and utterly breathtaking nordic epic Thorgal which won me on art alone. If you've been tempted by Cinebooks but haven't decided to get some THEN BUY SOME. If you've never heard of them but are intrigued by what you hear THEN BUY SOME. If you've got tons of them and you couldn't possibly buy any more THEN BUY SOME. 
WJC Prints
I've said it before and I'll say it again until my throat swells up and my head explodes: Warwick Johnson Cadwell is a genius. Got some prints, buttons and stickers off him. Plastered my face with them. 
Carcass & Slime #1
Ever since Birmingham con last year I've been meaning to follow-up on Carcass & Slime as Neil Williams was sitting next to us there - lovely chap with a gorgeous style so sharp that you could use it to cut open a horse. Don't though, you'll damage the horse. 
Porcelain Sampler (Improper Books)
Finally, something HAS to be said for Porcelain - the guys at Improper Books had a quadrillion free comics that they gave out - and literally everyone that I saw was either holding one or ranting on about it - and even a minor gander through it shows why it generated such a buzz. It is utterly gorgeous - Chris Wildgoose is a ridiculously talented feller and I don't think I've been this excited about something I know so little about since bigfoot.

Also I met Robert Llewellyn. Who is a lovely man.

Oh - and I got interviewed about the Professor Elemental comic by The Geek Show that'll go online at some point - until then they're running a competition that I contributed a print to:
Here's Jazz, me and our table with all it's numerous bits and bobs on there - we were ably assissted by the writer of the Elemental comic Chris Mole and did strong business all weekend, met some lovely folk!
This is also the first con I've ever sold prints of my own artwork - which I was a little trepidacious about but they all sold quite well. None more so than my picture of Gregg Wallace which went almost immediately. People love that bald glorygrocer.
In other news - we sold out of Dr WTF so the only place both issues are available now is digitally via the brilliant Comicsy service, the first is £2 the second is £2.50 - head over there and fling some pennies if yer of a mind to! It all goes to funding the first print run of The Psychedelic Journal of Time Travel :D
Also here is the latest teaser for the Journal - from my story with Rob Phillips. Tis mighty strange, and that's a promising thing indeed - it's been confirmed the Journal will debut at Cardiff next March. Which I literally cannot wait for - not for comic selling, you understand, but for the next inevitable STASH DISSECTION.
Here's the latest entry into the November Art Competition on the 2000ad boards - there are only three days left, but be part of next week's voting and BRACE YERSELVES as there'll be no new competition 'til January due to the phenomenal forum advent calender. Which. Is. Phenomenal.,37381.0.html

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