BugPowder Weblog
Regular slugs of news for the UK Small Press Comics Nation (huh?)
January 31 2003

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/arts/2710963.stm

As comics historian Paul Gravett puts it: "Angouleme is not just the Cannes of comics, but also the Mecca."

# Posted by Steve Block
January 30 2003

American Splendor
Directors: Robert Pulcini, Shari Springer Berman.
"A biopic about the editor of a cult comic book claimed top prize at America's leading independent film festival yesterday." The Independent

"Harvey Pekar works at the VA hospital in his hometown of Cleveland and fills his days with reading, writing, listening to jazz, and engaging in cerebral banter. When his buddy Robert Crumb earns wide acclaim for comic art, Harvey is inspired to write his own brand of comic books."
From the entry under the films title on the Sundance festival site.

# Posted by Mikal Dyas
January 29 2003
A really sweet newspaper article about your friends and mine Chris Staros and Brett Warnock of Top Shelf and how the company was saved on that heady day last year.
Staros picked up the phone again, this time to give Warnock the bad news.

He was at his then-day job, working behind the marble bar at Wildwood restaurant in Portland.

"Phone for you, Brett! It's Chris!"

Chris never calls me here, Warnock thought. Something's up.

He listened, stunned. The dream is dead, he thought. We worked so long. I put my inheritance into this company after Mom and Dad died. Chris put in almost everything he'd saved from his job at Lockheed Martin.

Warnock could barely focus on mixing a martini. His boss sent him home.

# Posted by Pete Ashton
January 28 2003

An illustrated article about the Parisian artist Y5/P5 appears on the Raw Vision website.

# Posted by Mikal Dyas

I've been musing for the last few days on the possibilities that text and picture messaging allow for the medium, and it looks like others are too.

GridBloc Comix on the Orange SPV

GridBloc Comix homepage

# Posted by Steve Block
January 27 2003

Dirk's Sunday scraps on the Journalista blog has many things I would post here, so you might as well just go over there and see them rather than me type them out again.

# Posted by Pete Ashton

The Things You NEED to Know to Make a Great Comic is one of those "hey, you idiots, sit down and LISTEN for once" articles pointing out the bleeding obvious to people who should know better. But these kinds of articles are always necessary and it's good to have a new one. I fell for many of these pitfalls when I started my zine/anthology "career" as a teenager and I'm sure many more have followed and will follow in my footsteps. (from Journalista)

# Posted by Pete Ashton

A touching strip from Lynda Barry.

# Posted by
January 25 2003

Prophecy Magazine seems to be creating a bit of a buzz at the moment. I'll admit to being intrigued by their forward-looking outlook. Press release follows...

# Posted by Pete Ashton
January 24 2003

Just got through the newsletter from OzComics which I thought I'd repost verbatim here.

# Posted by Pete Ashton
January 23 2003

Really small puff piece on self publishing in a US local news website that had some interesting quotes from self publishers.

# Posted by Steve Block

Flat Earth is an interesting looking weblog. There's a very good pictorial obit for Bill Mauldin which told me much more about him than the other mentions around the place. Will be keeping tabs. S/he (there's no name I can see!) also runs a stripblog.

# Posted by Pete Ashton

Just received two anthologies from Asema, a bunch of artists based in Finland. These are beautiful books called LAIKKU, but what makes them extra special are that they come with English subtitles printed into the books themselves. Issue 2 is over 100 pages long and has four extra mini comics, all in English, slotted inside, wow! Both can be ordered direct from Asema and can be paid for in UK pounds or Euros (roughly working out at 12UKP for the pair)

Artists range from the relatively unknown Mika Lietzen and Ville Ranta (both wonderful and also the editors) to Scott Mills, Nicolas Robel and Frederik Peeters

The artwork is simply breathtaking - check it out...

# Posted by
January 22 2003

From this page on the late Al Hirschfeld, I've just discovered this fantastic selection of illustrators. Wow. Cartoonists alongside fine artists alongside cheesecake painters alongside children's book illustrators alongside pulp cover artists... Lots of good stuff. [via Coudal Partners]

# Posted by

In case you missed it, there's an exhibition of Arthur Rackham's fantastic illustration work at the Dulwich Picture Gallery, which finishes in March.

# Posted by

Lots of coverage on comics in last week's LA Weekly. [via Scrubbles]

# Posted by

Rik Hoskin writes to announce that Nucomix, the anthology, has a cover by Gary Spencer Millidge for a forthcoming issue. Currently it's on #10 which ain't bad going.

# Posted by Pete Ashton
January 21 2003

This article in the Honolulu Advertiser has a lot of information about the Hawaiian comics scene which produced Pineapple Man who, for a short while, outsold Batman on the islands. (via Journalista)

# Posted by Pete Ashton

There's an interesting selection of links to various artists'/political collectives here.

# Posted by

Pete's post below reminded me about TCAF. Just look at that guestlist. I'm so not jealous of people in Ontario. No, really. I'm not.

# Posted by
Came across this Canadian site: The Monthly Montreal Comix Jam
Every last Wednesday of the month comix artists & Illustrators from all over Montréal meet to take part in the collaborative narrative art form called a COMIX JAM (also spelled Comic Jam). Much like free jazz or the surrealists Exquisite Corpse the jams provide an opportunity for an artiste to flex their creative muscles in ways they otherwise couldn't. Jams sharpen the storytellers mind, hone problem solving skills, refine the imagination and give rise to innovation.
They have a blog, too!
# Posted by Pete Ashton
January 20 2003
It's been reported around the web already but I didn't bother posting it here because CafePress are not based in the UK, but it's only a matter of time before either they set up a Euro distribution centre or someone else does. So, here's the meat from this long puff piece:
The CafePress print-publishing arm will produce comic books, booklets and perfect-bound tomes. Imagine what it will do for all those poets who have limited audiences or those self-absorbed types who believe the world breathlessly awaits their memoirs. Jain also sees this media service channeling the adaptability of digital information to fulfill a long-discussed dream of offering print versions of Web publications -- blogs included -- daily.
What this means is you upload a PDF of your comic, complete with colour covers, etc, to the CafePress computer and whenever someone orders a copy of it they print out out, bind it up, and send it off to them. The technology for this has been around for a few years now (academic publishers often do print runs of 10 or 100 copies) but it looks like the costs have come right down. No news on the price point, but seeing as their base price for a T-shirt is a tenner I image it'll be at most 2/3 the retail price of a comic or book.

Implications of this? Imagine being able to order 20 copies of your comic for a convention at base cost and have them in a week. You could use your CafePress shop as a distributor, directing shops there, especially those overseas, possibly having a special price for them. No more having to print up 1000 copies in order to get the cost down. No more storing them under your bed for a year. No more raising the cash and then trying to break even. No more going out of print.

Now, is someone going to take this thing world wide?

(I did a quick shop for BugPowder if anyone fancies a BP hat or mug...)

# Posted by Pete Ashton

A few years ago whilst on a day trip to Saint-Malo I bought a copy of the French comic mag Jade and I'm glad that I have now looked up the website.

# Posted by Mikal Dyas

Paul Gravett wrote the following to various mailing lists:

Crumb makes a rare appearance in London Wed Feb 19th at a evening screening
of the 1980s Arena BBC TV documentary. For more details and tickeys (£5)
ring The Prince's Foundation on 020 7613 8542. See you there?

# Posted by Pete Ashton

Rebel Visions, the book on underground comix by Patrick Rosenkranz, which I posted about here has been banned in Canada.

# Posted by

Cafe Press is branching out into publishing. Print-on-demand books, CDs and DVDs will soon be available. Looks like a convenient way of getting your work published. Story here [via Boing Boing]

# Posted by
January 16 2003

The on line portfolio of Max Andersson includes, as well as comics, a gallery of his odd car headed dolls.

# Posted by Mikal Dyas
January 13 2003

I've just been listening to an excellent documentary on Radio 1 about the DIY punk scene which had a lot of overlaps with the zine and small press comics scenes, especially the "why do you do it" aspects and the publishing out of your bedroom brigade. Their archive page is here or you can stream it directly from here (RealAudio). It was presented by Mike Davis who does their non-commercial punk show, which also comes recommended.

# Posted by Pete Ashton
January 12 2003

These two anthologies,Little Lit: Folklore and Fairy Tales & Little Lit: Strange Stories for Strange Kids have been around for a while but the site is worth a visit. Includes contributions from Posy Simmonds, Joost Swarte, David Mazzuchelli, Kaz, Chris Ware and loads more.

# Posted by Mikal Dyas
There's a new issue of Komikaze online. Komikaze is a strange beast, best described by itself:
on the jedinstvo (="unity") website you can find original comics / i.e: comix, photocomics, haiku cmx, drawings & comiclike pictures , , ,topics: dada, anticonsumerism, anarchism etc... an e-gallery of characters: a weird depot of absolute zer(0)es, grotesque + unusually stupid figures drawn on bills, little-pieces-of-cardboard-that-you-put-under-a-beer-glass-but-dont-know-the-english-word-for-them; unbelievably imbecile names & stories; a variety of products of very ill minds .../.

in short, these comicxs are provocative, sick, dark, dirty, or subversive, deformed, evil, confused, nightmarish, sexuallyfrustrated, retarded, absurd, brutal, black- and otherways-humored, here are morbidities, cynicisms, madnessessss, unconscious/subconscious and other traumas, flashbacks, traumatic visions, bad_trips, paranoias! and other deviations and zaums.

Contributors are dunja jankovic, claudio parentela, vanco rebac, djul bastilja, igor coko, isabel grosse holtforth, ondrej svadlena novotny, skamfak, ivana armanini, maja veselinovic', neda dokic, miro zupa and aleksandar zograf.

Keen-o!

# Posted by Pete Ashton
January 11 2003

Also from Garen via the list:

A very interesting article on self-publishing by occult author Phil Hine. Covers pretty much everything. Nothing astounding to 'those of us who have gone before', but still very good stuff..

# Posted by Steve Block

Courtesy of Garen from the mailing list:

A fine resource for printing terms, if you haven't seen it. Simple and basic, but useful...

# Posted by Steve Block

Ooor Wullie is celebrated by Ian Jack in The Guardian Review today.

# Posted by Steve Block
January 10 2003

Cabanon Press, being the aforementioned Tom Gauld and Simone Lia, have updated their site I notice with lots of new comics and pics.

# Posted by Pete Ashton
January 8 2003

Nifty looking anthology due in June from Adhouse books. Telstar is an anthology themed around "robots and space" and features cover art by Dave Cooper and work from Tom Gauld, Simone Lia, Paul Rivoche, Jay Geldhof and others.

# Posted by Dave Shelton

Rough Guide To Publishing

by Toby Tripp

How to get an ISBN and what to do with it...

# Posted by Pete Ashton
January 7 2003

I found this site whilst surfing, a bibliography of cartoonists, mainly from the US and Britain, a smattering of German, Russian and elsewhere.

# Posted by Steve Block

A handy guide to making A7 minicomics on the Caption site.

# Posted by Pete Ashton

Andy Konky Kru has posted up what looks like hundreds of his Realistische Zeichnungen (Realistic Drawings) many of which from comics events around Europe.

# Posted by Pete Ashton
January 6 2003

Go to Sparkplug Comic Books and check out the samples for Orchid, an intriguing themed anthology by a bunch of US minicomics creators who are definitely making their mark.

# Posted by Pete Ashton
January 5 2003

In todays Observer, to be found here, David Thompson reviews Joe Sacco's Palestine.

# Posted by Steve Block
January 4 2003

There's some artwork from the forthcoming Acme Novelty Library #16 on the Comics Journal message board featuring good ol' Rusty Brown. Check out the cover, too.

# Posted by Pete Ashton
January 3 2003

An intriguing step by step process guide by D'Isreali for his Scarlet Traces Project, entitled Digital Artwork Step By Step.

# Posted by mooncat

Mr D'Isreali has been at it again.
You might have seen the Scarlet Traces in the Judge Dredd Megazine.
On the 'minisite' he has created for the story you'll find some fun stuff & content that the printed page cannot handle (it being originally designed for the Internet).
Most fascinating is the "How I drew this comic" section entitled Digital Artwork Step By Step.

# Posted by mooncat

Three quarters of the way down, this discussion on lettering mutates into a mass of reminiscences about The Westminster Arms pub in London (as immortalised in Eddie Campbell's How To Be An Artist) where the entirety of the UK comics scene used to meet up every couple of months 20 years ago. Richard Starkings, Eddie Campbell, Mike Collins, Lew Stringer and John Freeman share their stories.

Link from ECC via Journalista

# Posted by Pete Ashton

From The Magic Pencil site, an upcoming Reading Group is being given by Posey Simmonds about Gemma Bovery. At The British Library. Event time: 18.15-19.30 Speaker: Posy Simmonds Price: £5.00 (concessions, £3.50)

Also of interest was the following event...
Tuesday 4 February & Wednesday 5 February Narrative Illustration: Making Pictures and Text Work Together (in two parts) Event time: 18.15-19.30 Speaker: Brian Alderson Price: £5.00 (concessions, £3.50), each event

# Posted by Steve Block

I knew about Joey Manley's Talk About Comics forums but I didn't know how many there were. Every artist connected with Modern Tales has a forum plus others. Of interest to BugPowder is Creating Comics, Roger Langridge and a lot of the Serializer forums. Personally, I'm hanging out in American Elf.

# Posted by Pete Ashton
January 2 2003

The major stage in the revamping of BugPowder.com just took place. I hope you like it! I'll write some more what's new and improved and what's to come soon.

# Posted by Pete Ashton

Stripcreator - an online thing that lets you make your own three panel strip by selecting various characters and giving them dialogue. Better than it sounds.

# Posted by Pete Ashton

An old discussion thread on Sequential Tart has lots of opinions on the question, why self publish?

# Posted by Pete Ashton
January 1 2003

Matt Brooker's, AKA D'Israeli's guide to colouring comics on computer is very comprehensive and serves as notes to a talk hes done at various conventions. Very useful indeed.

# Posted by Pete Ashton

The Xeric Foundation gives out grants to US based cartoonists to publish their work. Not much use to UK pipple but if you're a Yank...

# Posted by Pete Ashton

Sweatdrop Studios is an online shop for UK manga including small press comics. From what I hear it's quite a success.

# Posted by Pete Ashton

Down the Tubes is a huge resources site put together by John Freeman. Of particular note is his breaking into comics guide, being "a Personal Guide based on my experience as an editor for Marvel UK in the 1990s, and including comments from other comic professionals who continiue to pit their wits against that arch-nemesis, the comics editor... "

# Posted by Pete Ashton

24-Hour Comics, what they are, why you should do them, and links to loads that have been done, on scottmccloud.com.

# Posted by Pete Ashton

If you're not already on it, subscribe to the Page 45 mailing list which picks out all the "good" comics coming out including relatively obscure imports. Email them.

# Posted by Pete Ashton

The Catastrophe Shop - for all your US mini comics needs. Highly recommended.

# Posted by Pete Ashton
Somehow The Peanuts Arcana Tarot Deck is just right (via LMG)
# Posted by Pete Ashton