BugPowder Weblog
Regular slugs of news for the UK Small Press Comics Nation (huh?)
July 30 2003

Tom Gauld and Simone Lia are having their first two anthologies of strips collected by Bloombury as Both, published this November. Nice one.

# Posted by Pete Ashton
July 29 2003

Great article on A4 Paper / International Standard Paper Sizes. Seriously. Trust me, anyone who photocopies zines wil find this at least a bit interesting. I hope.

ISO 216 defines the A series of paper sizes based on these simple principles:
  • The height divided by the width of all formats is the square root of two (1.4142).
  • Format A0 has an area of one square meter.
  • Format A1 is A0 cut into two equal pieces. In other words, the height of A1 is the width of A0 and the width of A1 is half the height of A0.
  • All smaller A series formats are defined in the same way. If you cut format An parallel to its shorter side into two equal pieces of paper, these will have format A(n+1).
  • The standardized height and width of the paper formats is a rounded number of millimeters.

Great innit!
(via MeFi)

# Posted by Pete Ashton
July 28 2003

Since May this year The Comics Journal has been running Dogsbody, a weekly minicomics reviews column by Daniel Holloway. Nice and in depth and a good window onto the contemporary US small press scene.

# Posted by Pete Ashton
July 27 2003
# Posted by Pete Ashton
July 26 2003

Have we mentioned Harvey Pekar, writer of American Splendor, has a blog? Well, he does.

Itís a Monday in July. Iím retired from my file clerk gig of thirty-seven years, but I still get up early, because I still feel weird and unnatural if I lay around in bed too long. My fifteen year old kid, Danielle, has to do home schooling work and sheís up, but sheís taking her time about getting around to it. She asks me if Iíll walk her down to the corner for some donuts. My wife, still in bed, says she has to do her homework first, but Danielle pleads that she has to do her morning walk before sheís in shape to do home work. My wife relents. Danielle and I go down to the corner and she picks out glazed and whipped cream donuts while I get a Brand X type of cornflakes. I introduce Danielle to the check out lady, hoping theyíll hit it off, since Danielleís Italian and the check out lady comes from Clevelandís Little Italy. The check out lady tells Danielle Iím a good guy, but Danielle answers something like, ďYou donít know, you donít live with himĒ.

So we go home and Danielle turns on the television and starts slowly eating her donuts. I yell at her to do her schoolwork, so she goes upstairs and hopefully does it.

What my Monday mornings used to be like was that I got up at five, did some writing, made lunch and put it in a paper bag, ate cornflakes, milk and a banana, woke the wife and kid up and drove to work. Thatís normal for me. Itíll never be the same.

# Posted by Pete Ashton
July 24 2003

The Journal Comic Jam is a very nice looking portal to the world of Journal Comics, or Stripblogs (as I prefer to call them).

# Posted by Pete Ashton
July 23 2003

Well, after a bit of worry about the site and so on, everything is ready to go for Caption! As well as Carla Speed McNeill we're also being visited by Bryan Talbot who'll be giving talks and taking part in a panel. As Jeremy Dennis explains we'll be doing bits in 3 different places on Saturday but it's all looking great. Don't worry if you haven't booked ahead, just turn up on the door. You can even bring us a late addition to the auction or exhibition - we'll have a scanner on site to add to the ancient Mac display as we go!

# Posted by
July 21 2003

The largest exhibition of Women's Comics (ever!) has been announced as part of the Ladyfest Bristol happenings this summer, 9-17th August. The Spike Island Artspace will host art by an impressive list of names, everyone from Julie Doucet to Trina Robbins. There's also comics workshops planned for the weekend by Lucy Sweet amongst others.

# Posted by Mardou
July 16 2003
Neill "Dumbass" Cameron (that's his comic not his nickname, well maybe it is his nickname, anyway ...) is casting an eye over everything at his new Unified Review Theory. In the last fortnight alone it's covered minced beef, part of Tokyo, an old thriller, a new play and a small press comic. And that's for starters. In a high-power no-money cross-syndication coup URT's small press reviews will also appear on TRS2

Natalie D'Arbeloff has a strange webcomic thing going on here. Augustine, Natalie's cartoon alter ego, has her own weblog - which includes interviews with Tony Blair, Vincent van Gogh and more, lots of cartoons, her graphic novel in progress. It's big, it's dense, and I've not seen anything quite like it before.

cafépress, the on-demand t-shirt'n'mug people, have dropped a few quid on a DocuTech and launched a new on-demand book printing service. US based, of course, they offer printing for black and white books with colour covers, in a number of sizes including your standard comic, with stapled or perfect binding. Prices seem reasonable-ish, to my untutored eye at least, but for any kind of multiple you're still going to be best finding a printer local to you. Be interested to hear any feedback on this.

Chum Mitzy's GoonPatrol has lots of cutsey-crayzee-happy-happy-fun stuff. Enjoy.
# Posted by Jez Higgins
July 13 2003

The Sunday Times' Culture (13 July edition) - in it's Doors section - features a small piece about online comics and cartoons. Nod of the virtual head given to www.penny-arcade.com and www.moderntales.com amongst others.

"These days, as with almost anything net-related, online comic strips have slipped into - well, the 'mainstream' doesn't quite seem the right word. Adult-themed strips such as the depressingly engaging Achewood and gleefully bad taste Goats would never be given a chance on the average newspaper page, but blossom in the alternative ends of the net."

# Posted by Garen
July 12 2003

After some worries about the venue being slightly double booked, Caption is definitely still on. Jeremy Dennis explain all:

# Posted by Pete Ashton

Top Shelf Comics have had a website redesign, at last, and the news on the page is that Blankets, Craig Thompson's eagerly awaited follow up to Goodbye Chunky Rice, is out. At last.

Plug over!

# Posted by Pete Ashton

Jeffrey Lewis, the cartoonist/musician who has recently been published in the Sturgeon White Moss anthology, was on Andy Kershaw's Radio 3 show last night playing four songs. You can hear the show again from the R3 site until next Friday. Very good stuff.

[Lewis strip on the Rough Trade site]

# Posted by Pete Ashton
July 11 2003

This week's edition of The New Statesman (14 July 2003) includes a short article by Toby Litt on comics, focusing on the ICA's recent Comica exhibition.

"To say comics are perpetually adolescent is not to undermine them. The popular caricature of comic fans as geeks, freaks, trainspotters and losers is not entirely inaccurate. I once went to a comics fair with a lanky friend of mine. He walked through the door, closed his eyes and inhaled deeply. Then he spread his arms wide and surveyed the various mutants flicking through troughs of plastic-sheathed rarities. "My people!" he said."

And...

"When I asked the staff at the Gosh comic shop on Museum Street what they thought of 'Comica', they said ICA's festival was 'a bit too 'Guardian'.' In other words, it's the same comics getting yet more attention from the same mainstream readership."

[Update: the article is now only available to New Statesmen subscribers (who can read it here. Pete.]

# Posted by Garen
July 6 2003

Here is an excerpt from an interview/chat with Dan Franklin, Publishing Director of Random House imprint Jonathan Cape, the UK publishers of Posy Simmonds, Raymond Briggs, Chris Ware, Dan Clowes and others, as conducted by Andy Roberts.

# Posted by Pete Ashton

Following a link from Kingly Books I found a 23 page, full colour Windy Wilberforce strip by Ed Pinsent. While it was uploaded a couple of years ago it's new to me and might be new to you. Go read.

# Posted by Pete Ashton

"In summary, I see a lot of untapped potential." An interesting angle on the whole webcomics consolidation process which seems to be happening at the moment. I confess to not having found time to read it all yet but it's being bounced around the place quite a bit and should be worth a look. (Via Jez, from Slashdot and in turn Journalista.)

# Posted by Pete Ashton
July 5 2003

Rich Johnson isn't just someone you really wish you could hate but find to be actually a really nice guy. He also has a brain which sometimes he puts to very good use. A recent edition of his Waiting for Tommy column is about the whys and wherefores of advertising comics, a notion I generally very little time for (being one who despises all advertising) but some very interesting points are made. Especially as I've been thinking about the whole "Team Comix" thing of late.
(via Journalista)

# Posted by Pete Ashton

Scott McCloud has announced a new online comic, The Right Number, a tale of "math, sex, obsession and phone numbers" which, while he stresses is very story driven, also has the innovations and experiments we've come to expect from the author of Understanding Comics.

The navigation of the strip is unique, though online cartoonists have been mooting it for a little while now. "Each panel is embedded in the previous
panel of this comic -- you zoom through the panels to read them." But perhaps more importantly is the final realisation of micropayments - the golden fleece of his follow up to UC, Reinventing Comics.

The reason this is important to me, even beyond the comic itself, is that it's the final realization of an 8 year dream of making micropayments a reality. The comic is available for 25 cents an episode. This kind of sub-dollar pricing has been a technical barrier that no one had been able to crack for years. In November though, the founders of a start-up called BitPass contacted me with a system they thought would work. I tried it. I liked it. And I've been advising them ever since.

If you have 3 bucks to spare (the price of their online "debit card")
and a few minutes to check out my comic, I would love to get your
reactions to both the comic and the system. (And if it *doesn't*
work, let me know so we can de-bug it!)

All. Very. Interesting. I was thinking that Scott had been quiet for a while. Good to see he's been hard at work.

Quoted text taken from open email.

# Posted by Pete Ashton
July 2 2003

This sent from Paul H. Birch...

Forget the new millennium...
It's Comic Time!

Have You Heard The News?

There's this small but perfectly formed cute little devil. She takes no prisoners as she invites you to look her all over, admire her perky full colour covers, and then get in Between The Sheets with her. But you can't help yourself... and it's a good thing for you too!

Because what you find as you snuggle up, caressing her softly between her tender folds, is that she's up for some dirty Comic Talk and wants to get things off her chest... Oh, and when she gives you The Authority to go where your fingers please there's Bits & Bobs Galore to have fun with! With four sturdy Extra Pages there's room to wipe over your excitement when she stops shooting the breeze for you about Bulletproof Comics. But there's no need to stop thinking the moment has passed, for even as you're Laid To Rest she promises to let you relive the excitement all over again!

It's Comic Time... has reached its scintillatingly sexy sixth issue! You didn't know? It's been a well-kept secret but things are set to change! Here's your chance to join in the fun and stop missing out.

Ordering the latest issue costs only a measly 50p or if you chose to subscribe you'll get a little extra something now and again for your paltry £4.00p. Make out your postal orders or cheques to Mystery Studios Ltd and mail them to the address below.

A Public Warning to people ordering only a single issue: 3 Printings of each edition are made. The first feature colour covers (and subscribers are naturally among the individuals who get these), the second is in black & white, the third is a photocopied version.

IT'S COMIC TIME, c/o MYSTERY STUDIOS LTD, PO BOX 32,
TIPTON, WEST MIDLANDS, DY4 8YN, ENGLAND.

# Posted by Garen