Friday, 28 November 2008

Paul B Rainey - There's No Time Like The Present Part 8

There’s No Time Like the Present Part 8 is another excellent read in this series. In this episode Barry is very depressed after his long time prostitute retires and plans to throw away his lifetime of science fiction collectibles. Lots of new details are revealed and some of the gaps from the previous comics are filled in so the story is coming along nicely. Paul Rainey says this episode has ‘sexy new printing’ and he is right, the colour cover has come out very well on fancy glossy paper. This episode has come out very quickly so I hope Paul can get episode 9 out for May as he says he plans to in the back of the comic.
You can buy it from Paul Rainey’s website.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

My Website

You may have noticed that my website is getting a bit out of date. It was described by The Daily Crosshatch as 'careful.. it's very nineties...' Also my two newest comics '8 Stories' and 'Bog Wizards' are not mentioned on it (if anyone would like these please e mail me, '8 Stories' is £2.50 and 'Bog Wizards' is £2). Now I have a new computer I'm going to re-do the whole thing over Christmas and hopefully launch a brand new 21st century sort of website in the New Year.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Joanna Hellgren - Mon Frere Nocturne

Wow this is a very beautifully drawn book. Joanna Hellgren is Swedish, from Stockholm. Her drawing reminds me a lot of Anke Feuchtenberger which is a very good thing, especially in the girls complicated hair. Also she does a lot of painting with brushes and black ink to show the dark night brother. The book doesn't have any panels and is more like an illustrated picture book with one or two pictures on each page and all the text painted with a brush so it becomes part of the drawings. The story is about a young boy called Jakob who fears that like his brother he will die on his tenth birthday. While learning to play the piano he makes friends with a girl called Miranda. A really very good book.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

West Coast & East Coast

Just sorted out that the very excellent Sparkplug Comics are going to be distributing 'On The Banks of The Mighty Croal' from the cartoonist filled city of Portland, Oregon. I hope they sell well there...

Saturday, 22 November 2008

J C Menu - Lock Groove Comix No. 1

A month or so ago I thought i'd buy a bunch of the comics that won prizes at Angouleme to treat myself cos I passed an exam at work. Sadly since then the pound has crashed against the euro so they ended costing me more than i thought, boo hoo hoo. Never mind.

Here's the first one, J C Menu's 'Lock Groove no.1'. There's the cover above, then the back cover 'Vinyl and Papier forever' he says on it, which seems to be the theme of this comic, a celebration of vinyl records. He talks about records he bought when he was little like the Beatles, Carl Douglas (of 'Dance the Kung Fu' fame) and Sparks, then he talks about going to concerts and clubs, doing a DJ set, seeing Neil Young and Pere Ubu and ends with a kind of record review section. It's all very good cartooning and it's great to see something new from Menu. It has such a lot of energy in the drawings, and he goes to see Fugazi too!

The third picture is Mini Mune, Menu's contribution to the Pattes de Mouche series of minicomics from L'Association. This ones a bit old (from 2003) but I bought it cos it was very cheap. It's got funny stories from all Menu's different characters like Meder and Lapot.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Peter Beare - Dangnabbit 4

Peter Beare writes really good one or two page gag strips. In this comic he also does a 9 page story called 'Junior'. The cartoons are very well drawn with a lot of drawing craft evident. Well worth a look. Dangnabbit

Francesca Cassavetti - The Most Natural Thing In The World

I traded Francesca this book for some of my comics. It collects all the issues of 'The Most Natural Thing in the World' into one softcover volume. It's really good, even if you don't have any babies yourself. It's a great looking book, and very well drawn. It's very warm and funny, full of stuff about how having a baby totally changes their lives even though at first they think they will be able to carry on as usual and still go out.
Have a look at it here Fabtoons

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Adam Cadwell - The Everyday Collection 2

Adam's new Everyday Collection is very good. It's 40 pages long and collects strips 51 to 100. If you like good quality diary comics you will like this one. Have a look at some here

Also this week I saw Adam's 2007 entry for that Observer Competition which is here and is awesome by the way... i'd never seen this one before. I wish I could organise myself to enter this one year.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Gareth Brookes - Can I Borrow Your Toilet?

The cat is trying to burrow into my scanner so these reviews are very short and difficult to do tonight...

I like everything I've seen from Gareth Brookes in this detailed cross hatching style. I really enjoyed his story in the Dan Lester Monkeys Might Puke Guest Artist Issue.
This one is a day in the life of his job as stock boy in a little warehouse, moving boxes in and out of vans. It is told in an extremely dead pan way, but is very funny. He draws the different van drivers, other stock boys and pigeons eating a puddle of sick that he sees in this day of work.

Steven Tillotson - Banal Pig Comic #4

First in a series of 'what I got in Leeds' is Banal Pig Comic #4. It has a lovely very fancy cover (and back cover too) with every character in the comic drawn in a little box. My favourite stories were the first two, 'Not Santa Claus' and 'Cat Dad'. If you like the other Banal Pig's you'll like this one, his drawing has got better too, and I think it's the best Banal Pig yet.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Leeds Thought Bubble 2008 Report

I had a very good time at this one and have bought and traded some good new comics so I'll be mentioning them next week. I had to get up at 6 so I was getting really sleepy by the end of the day, just got the train home afterwards so didn't go to the after party (I am trying to save money this month as i'm skint).

I had a big pile of old books and comics to sell. I was a bit worried they might effect my sales of my own comics and also make my table look a bit like a jumble sale, but they were fine. Some people looked at my small press comics and other people looked through the second hand books, there were only one or two people who had a look at both, they are totally different crowds. I had some manga to sell so it was nice to sell something to all the millions of manga kids who were there and usually have no interest in my stuff at all. It was good to have a bit more to do instead of just waiting for the next small press person to come wandering round. It's very easy to sell other people's stuff instead of your own work, so much less personal involvement...

In the end I made £44 of the second hand stuff which was great and nearly sold all of it. I sold, or traded for stuff I wanted, about 25 of my own comics which is good for me too. In the end I had covered all my costs and made a bit of money too, so that's great.

I was happy with my cardboard wonder, hopefully I'll find a picture someone has taken of it and be able to post it up on here. I was sat next to Peter Beare and his family who were very nice even though I had to ask them for change twice. He does Dangnabbit which I had seen before at Lancaster a few years ago and is great.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Here's the First Page of Bog Wizards 2

It's not cleaned up yet so it won't be quite this messy... to show more pages would give away my joke (there is only one so far... but hopefully there will be more).

Leeds Thought Bubble 15th November 2008

Don't forget its Leeds on Saturday. I'm going there on the train in the morning, so I'll have to get up fair early. Never mind. I'm going to take a pile of second hand comics and graphic novels along to sell (cheap!) so even if you hate my stuff have a look at my stand and grab yourself a bargain...I'm going to try and make some extra cash off them to pay for the stall as I'm poor this month.

My fancy cardboard stand is finished and will be displaying '8 Stories' my newest comic.

I hope no one thinks I was trying to rip off 'Trains are Mint' after my review on the Forbidden Planet Blog yesterday. I wasn't.. I was trying to make a cross betweeen Jiro Taniguchi's 'The Walking Man' and Bryan Talbot's 'Alice in Sunderland' but no one ever notices that....

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Three New Reviews

Richard Bruton reviews 'On the Banks of the Mighty Croal', 'Bog Wizards' and '8 Stories' today on the Forbidden Planet blog.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Third Annual Manchester Artists Book Fair Report

I had a good time at this on Saturday, I sold the same number of comics as I did at Birmingham, which meant I broke even in the end money wise, so I was pleased.
I was sharing a table with Adam Cadwell Lou Naniibim and Will Kirkby

Looking forward to leeds next week. Maybe I will even make a profit there, I am building a fancy table display to hold one of my comics because I feel my table will be too flat otherwise as I didn't book a backing board. If you are there why not come and marvel at its cardboard wonders.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008


I'll be at the Manchester Artists Book Fair on Saturday and Thought Bubble the week after selling my comics. I don't have much money at the moment to buy anything but if anyone wants to trade books I'll be happy too.
Yay, i passed my exam so I can get back to drawing Bog Wizards 2 tonight....

Monday, 3 November 2008

Carlos Nine, Sfar & Trondheim - Donjon Monsters - Creve Couer

Carlos Nine is an Argentinian cartoonist and draws this Donjon book in his very strange and unique style. It really is very different drawing and well worth a look. The people look a bit like some sort of wind up metal toys, the kind that are tied together with wire inside them. There are loads of pencil lines all over them and the backgrounds and everything is very warped and organic looking. The story in this book is from the early life of the assassin Alexandra who returns in the Donjon Early Years Book - The Nightshirt. I'd like to see more work by Carlos Nine, I hope some comes out in English at some stage.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Akira Toriyama - Dragonball 1-10

The first ten books or so in this series are really great. They are so cartoony and lively and a lot of fun. After that I get bored as they turn into an endless series of martial artist fights to win some kind of competition. I got them all in Korea for £2 each so I can't read them but thats ok. I know the basic story anyhow as it's the story of 'Monkey'. The jokes and gags in this one are really very good and the character design is great and very cute.

Moebius & Jodorowsky - L'Incal Tome 1

Has this never come out in English? Or was it in one of them old Heavy Metal magazines, I don't know. Its definately awesome drawing, have a look at the top picture to see Moebius at his best...
I don't know if the story is as great as the art, it might have dated a bit as many films and comics since have used its ideas. The film it reminds me of the most is 'The Fifth Element', I assume this is on purpose. The comic is stuffed full of excellent and interesting ideas. I read this one and then Part 2 but didn't bother carrying on after that, perhaps I should. There are loads of books in the series and lots of spin off series too, like 'The Meta-barons' series.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Old Comics Covers

Here are the covers to the comics I made at university in case anyone would like a look. They are pretty badly drawn now I look at them these days, i'm glad i've actually got a lot better....
They are 'Cannibale de la Luna' - this one had a long Lovecraft adaption in it, 'The Haunter of the Dark' which I quite like still..
'Robs Journeys' - this one had stories of me wandering about and getting beaten up...
'Bride of the Effigy' - this one was a Tezuka rip off / homage with people living in a desert and worshipping a giant bronze effigy - which is clearly a vast statue of me at the time - its very freudian...
'3 and a Half Hours on Milton Keynes Station' - my first travel comic which is just what it says in the title. I must have done these in about 1998 or so... They were all A4 as i hadn't though of making A5 comics at this stage as i'd hardly seen any minicomics by anyone else.