BugPowder Weblog
Regular slugs of news for the UK Small Press Comics Nation (huh?)
July 29 2004

The Whores of Mensa is finished and will be launched at this years Caption! It's a concept comic by Jeremy Dennis, Lucy Sweet and Mardou (me) inspired by our meeting and collaboration at last years LadyFest Bristol. It's a 32 page humour comic featuring (to name but a few) Aphra Behn, Justin Timberlake and Pat Morita. See the advert here and read some nice praise here!

# Posted by Mardou
July 28 2004

Jon Chandler has put his two Boobytrap comics online for you to read for free.
There's other strips there, if you're a Ripper virgin, it's time to get acquainted!

# Posted by Mardou

Phil Barrett's updated his comic's site Jinx, and really nice it is too. Check out his archived strips.

# Posted by Mardou
July 25 2004

Simone Lia has just released her follow-up to the excellent Fluffy.
For a full list of stockists and to order direct please visit www.simonelia.com.
Cabanon Press have also put some of Fluffy and Daddy's holiday photos in the Gallery.
Simone's work goes from strength to strength and Fluffy should definitely not be missed.

# Posted by Gary Northfield
July 21 2004

Coupla links from Poopsheet:

Global Hobo is a new mini-comix distro in the US. Currently the stock looks similar to the Catastrophe shop, which is no bad thing, but they're just starting out so expect interesting developments. (Poopsheet described Global Hobo as a "handmade comics distributor" which I really like and must remember to use more often.)

Comixpress is a print-on-demand service specialising in pamphlet comics (ie, not square-bound). No idea if they're any good or not, but this kind of thing has potential to be interesting - allowing you to be distributed in the US without actually doing any of the donkey-work. In theory. If anyone knows of a decent PoD service in the UK, please let me know.

# Posted by Pete Ashton

Baz Renshaw of Engine comics, writes:


Britain has only recently started to realise the vast potential of the comic book as a valid and powerful art form beyond superheroes, following the assimilation of graphic novels like Chris Ware's JIMMY CORRIGAN and Spiegelman's MAUS into high street book shops, and Hollywood adaptations such as ROAD TO PERDITION and AMERICAN SPLENDOR. Many are still unaware of the talent pool still languishing in obscurity, or the quality illustrated literature produced by these independent creators.

However a group of writers and artists wanted to change that. Last year they set out to combine resources to produce a magazine that would provide an introduction to the UK indie comics industry for the real mainstream audience, proving the versatility of the form, as well as a resource for the creators themselves.

The result, described by SFX Magazine as "an excellent overview of the UK/Irish comic scene" and a "vital read" (SFX #120), was nominated for the 2004 Diamond Distribution Award for Best Comic Related Magazine after just one issue. ACCENT UK's quarterly REDEYE MAGAZINE has since continued to expand on its mandate to promote and examine the ever growing British indie comics scene.

Each issue is structured to be a cross section of the industry, mixing new and raw talent with the more established. Under a new original cover by spotlighted creator Grant (PEST CONTROL) Springford, RE3 also includes interviews with Alan (BATMAN/2000AD) Grant, Mardou (STIRO), Jock (THE LOSERS) and Paul (XTINCT and New Dr Who Series writer) Cornell. With articles on the 2000AD art of Brian Bolland, the rise of the Brit Nostalgia Comic, the classic DR WHO comics, and the concluding part of The Fall of Dan Dare, the magazine is bigger and better than ever before. Plus exclusive preview art from hot upcoming new titles, an extensive reviews section, reports on conventions and festivals, exclusive competitions and all the news and gossip from the frontlines of a comics industry not quite as dead as people may think.

"The self publishing/indie scene has been rapidly growing for the last five or so years, effectively becoming the new UK comics industry after the newsstand 2000AD and WARHAMMER," explains Barry Renshaw, REDEYE Editor. "There is so many great comics out there that are just not being seen, either because the creator can't afford a big print run or because they're not aware of the support networks in place to get them out there. REDEYE was really created to help give some focus, to give the same exposure to a so-called 'small press' or 'amateur' creator that someone working for 2000AD or DC would normally get." The UK independents are not the only ones in the spotlight, however. "We're also looking at US, Australian, and international indie creators, to place the UK in context, contrasting the approaches, seeing what works abroad and apply it to this country. We're looking for the next Chris Ware's and Craig Thompson's, rather than just fondly remembering the Beanos and Dandy's, or lamenting the great Boy's Own type comics of the past."

For further information please do not hesitate to contact BARRY RENSHAW, EDITOR, at editor@enginecomics.co.uk.

# Posted by Mardou
July 20 2004

A fanclub for someone who isn't famous? Indie guerilla Daniel Battams emailed to let me know that a new installment of his magazine is out:

Daniel Battams Fan Club MAGAZINE No.3

American Tour - out NOW

American World News, Catford Mews, Dave's Fashion, Sarah's Scene, Ghetto Fried Chicken
American Tour – Naples, Everglades, Miami Beach, Coney Island, New York City
Our Transatlantic Correspondent, Fan Club Members and Patrons

On sale from the 4th of July @

Tatty Devine (236 Brick Lane + 57B Brewer St, Soho)
• Magma Books (8 Earlham St, Covent Garden + 117 Clerkenwell Rd)
• Rough Trade (130 Talbot St, Portobello + 16 Neals Yard, Covent Garden)
Gosh! Comics (39 Great Russell St, opposite British Museum)

• Surface to Air boutique (46 Rue de L'Arbre Sec)

• Mail order from Made Up Studios


Daniel Battams Fan Club MAGAZINE has been sold outright and is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Made Up Studios - an evil Commercial Art, Graphic Design, Street Style & Publishing Corp. based in London. Their ambitions plans include stocks and shares, the first Fan Club Annual and professional litho printing.

Made Up Studios celebrate the sell out with the launch of a range of limited edition Art prints by Daniel Battams.
Designs range from glamourous images inspired by DBFC Magazine to scenes of unknown depravation and poverty.

Made Up Studios
27 Old Gloucester Street
London WC1N 3XX

Made Up Original

DBFC membership is being modernised. We are taking our system online with a full electronic membership processing system and back-end.
New members joining under the scheme include Franz Ferdinand, DJ Motiv8 and Sarah from Lewisham.
We apologise for any inconvenience caused to you whilst we transfer over our database.

Apply @ http://groups.myspace.com/danielbattamsfanclub

# Posted by Mardou
July 14 2004

Colin Mathieson writes:

The Accent UK tour bus is stopping at this weekend’s Birmingham comic fair where Colin Mathieson and Dave Westwill be in attendance with the latest Accent UK releases including the swashbuckling themed anthology, PIRATES and the acclaimed indy news mag, RED EYE, along with a strong selection of self-published titles from creators old and new. Please pop along and say hello fromnoonat The Claredon Suites,Hagley Road,BirminghamSaturday 17th July, see goldenorbit.co.uk for directions and the Accent UK site for info.

If you're running an SP table at a UK mart or other event, you are more than welcome to a plug on BugPowder.

# Posted by Pete Ashton
July 13 2004

A letter from Jeff Mason of Alternative Comics follows. While not as "cool" or ambitious as other American boutique publishers, Alternative do push a lot of good work along with Jeff tirelessly promoting good comics (not just his own) and it would be a real shame if they were to go under.

Dear Comics Fans:

I’m Jeff Mason making a direct appeal to you, our faithful readers, in a time of serious financial difficulty. If you could find a way to buy some of our books listed below, you would greatly help in our time of financial crisis. Please check off the books you want below and then buy these books from your favorite retailer. You can also use the checklist in the back of your copy of Alternative Comics #2 that was given out by your local comic book store on Free Comic Book Day. If your retailer does not stock our comics and books, they can use this form below as a way to order our in-stock titles form any of our distributors.

Alternative Comics is suffering some very dire cash flow problems and I am turning to you for help. In the spring of 2002 our book trade distributor, LPC, filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy owing Alternative Comics a lot of money. I had hoped that I could weather the storm by taking money from my savings and by borrowing on credit until receiving the agreed-upon 42% of what LPC owed us. Now over two years later, LPC is still in bankruptcy proceedings and I am completely out of savings and credit.

In the past (prior to LPC) I had ample working capital – I had great credit terms with my various printers. Now (post LPC) I have absolutely no working capital and must pay up front to print every book.

For each publication, I now wait for all of the retailer advance orders to come in to Diamond, then I contract Diamond to assign the payment they'd pay to me to my printer to print the book. This contractual agreement costs money and cuts into our razor thin margin.

Lack of cash on hand has also caused me to have to shrink print runs on some books. This increases the cost per unit of each book, and speeds the looming reprint costs.

I've been increasing my publishing schedule over the last two years, and in hindsight, I expanded too quickly. Alternative Comics is moving forward with a much more reasonable, much more foresighted publishing schedule, with some really amazing projects in the works!

Alternative Comics’ cash flow problems have been the only reason for not yet reprinting Bipolar #1 and Humor Can Be Funny as well as having been the only reason a number of books have been arriving late or re-solicited.

I am asking you to please buy Alternative Comics books from your local retailers. In my fanciful imagination, the best result would be for retailers to quickly sell out of all Alternative Comics books in inventory to customers and hurriedly place nice reorders with distributors.

Alternative Comics has no staff other than myself, so I am unable to handle orders directly. I ask that readers buy from your local comic book retailers, and retailers to buy from your favorite distributors.

The single most important variable for our publishing efforts is the number of comics or books advance ordered by retailers. Retailers decide their advance orders of books based on what you, the reader, let them know you want to buy. Currently, we have the following books scheduled for release in September 2004. These books are in all of the distributors’ catalogs right now. If you want to get copies of these books, please let your local comic book retailer know!

• JUL04 2534, A Few Perfect Hours and Other Stories by Josh Neufeld (Xeric Winner), $12.95
• JUL04 2535, Escalator by Brandon Graham, $12.95
• JUL04 2537, Slowpoke: America Gone Bonkers by Jen Sorensen, $12.95
• JUL04 2538, Turtle, turtle by Jed Alexander, $11.95
• JUL04 2539, Waterwise by Joel Orff (Featured Item), $14.95

If you can find it in your hearts to help Alternative Comics, I will be eternally grateful.

Thank you,

Jeff Mason
Publisher – Alternative Comics
# Posted by Pete Ashton

American cartoonist Mary Fleener has been told by PalPay that her comics for sale on her site violate the PayPal terms and conditions. More info on the Comics Journal Message Board. If you're selling stuff that could be considered "mature" using PayPal you might want to give this a read through...

# Posted by Pete Ashton
July 8 2004

The recently revamped site of award-winning mag Albedo One now features stories, interviews and reviews galore. Also on offer (for the struggling servicers of speculative fiction among you): details of The Aeon Award - a short story competition with the grand prize of €1000! Yup! Time to wipe-off those moist palms and finger that keyboard again!

# Posted by John Robbins

CherryBomb comic shop has opened it's site as a clubhouse for ladies of the comics underground. It's a New Zealand project but aims to have a world wide coverage. Go see!

# Posted by Mardou
July 7 2004

Jo from Caption writes:

This month seems to have whipped by and it's time for another Caption open meeting again before you even know it! It's a little short notice this time, but anyone who would like to join us in the Oxford All Bar One (on the High Street - opposite the covered market) this Sunday at 2:30pm to help us to make plans and listen to how we're getting on so far would be very welcome.

If you'd like to read what we discussed at last month's meeting, my notes are available on the Caption LiveJournal community. As always, bear in mind that all people/plans mentioned therein are speculative, may not appear in the final program and may not have been contacted in relation to Caption yet.

And, last but not least, don't forget to send us in your advanced memberships.

# Posted by Pete Ashton
July 6 2004

Hutch Owen's Working Hard Tom Hart crashed onto the international indie comix scene in the mid 90's with Hutch Owen's Working Hard. It was a new benchmark.
Now all 53 pages are available online for you to peruse. -
so read! enjoy! be inspired!

# Posted by mooncat

Every month or so I ask people on the BugPowder mailing list what they're up to and then post it up here in an attempt to sketch out the activity that's going on in the UK Small Press scene. If you want to be in the next bulletin join the list and await my call.

# Posted by Pete Ashton

If you buy one mainstream media-tie-in action comic this year it might as well be Star Wars Tales #20 as it features work by Tony Millionaire, Peter Bagge, Gilbert Hernandez, Bob Fingerman, Rick Geary and James Kolchaka. I'm pissing my Boba Fett bedsheets in anticipation!

Ahem, normal service will now resume...

# Posted by Pete Ashton