BugPowder Weblog
Regular slugs of news for the UK Small Press Comics Nation (huh?)
July 31 2006

According to Andi Watson there's a monthly book club at Page 45 in Nottingham where they recently discussed Little Star and The Fate Of The Artist. Those in the area might want to check it out.

# Posted by Pete Ashton

Dates across six time zones lead to love for this comics couple. Mardou and Ted May do the "How We Met" thang for the St Louis Post-Dispatch.

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The Alan Moore Sounds Collection is a project to collect all the strips Moore did for Sounds (a music newspaper our younger readers might not have heard of) from 1979 to 1983. 40 strips are up already but they need your help. I'm sure some old UK comics types have these buried away somewhere so get digging and break out the scanner. The rest of us can enjoy some very rare Moore artwork and the original appearance of Axel Pressbutton!

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Cartoonist, journalist and boy botherer Lucy Sweet has a new novel out tomorrow! It's called Coming Apart at the Seams.
She writes "ALSO, for anyone wanting a secret dose of Chica magazine, you'll be pleased to know that the new website will be launching at the beginning of next week, and the long awaited 3rd issue is out end of August."

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July 30 2006

D'Freebies of 'Israeli
Various template and resource files that artist D'Israeli has made over the years, which others might find useful. (Via)

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July 29 2006

Strontium Dog fanzine Dogbreath has a new editor and is looking for contributers.

I've been meaning to post a link to web-comic Beaver and Steve for a while now.

Two dates for your diary:

COMICA RETURNS THIS OCTOBER

The first two COMICA festivals at London's Institute of Contemporary Arts were held over the summer for an intense 10 days in 2003 and 2004 with a stellar guest list including Charles Burns, Chris Ware, Joe Sacco, Seth, Craig Thompson, Lewis Trondheim, David B. and many more. Since then, a number of one-off COMICA events have been staged, such as Philip Pullman talking to Art Spiegelman and a Manga Live! season. This year the Festival returns with a variety of events taking place throughout the month of October.

I can't attend, which I'm really gutted about. But maybe I'll make it to:

May Contain Graphic Content - Tuesday 12 September 2006 - 7pm

Paul Gravett is taking part in a discussion with Dave McKean, Posy Simmonds and Cape publisher Dan Franklin that has been organised by the charity PEN, founding centre of the worldwide association of writers committed to promoting literature, protecting writers' freedoms and providing a platform for the exchange of ideas. It's a sign of the times they are discussing graphic novels and their status and censorship, especially after the Danish cartoons furore and the upcoming publication of Lost Girls.

Venue: Guardian Newsroom, 60 Farringdon Road, London, EC1R 3GA
Tickets: £5.00 PEN Members / £7.00 non-members

I imagine this will sell out quickly, so get your skates on.

A short, but interesting, interview with artist David Lloyd here.

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July 28 2006
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Caption is next weekend. Here's the programme.

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A little off topic but an interesting article nontheless which asks is Superman Jesus?

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July 27 2006

Douglas of Strip For Me has drawn my attention to this. Yes, it's in French, but fortunately he's on hand with an explanation:

'It's an anthology in French of British Small Press comics, featuring Sean
Azzopardi
, Richard Cowdry, Daniel Goodbrey, Matilda Tristram, The Rubins
Sisters
, and more - including myself. I hadn't seen they had a website 'til
today.'

Minicloud is posting a daily comics journal at her blog. (Via)

Paul Gravett interviewed about his new book here.

There are new reviews of lots of UK small press comics at Bypass Review Zine.

And it's definitely worth re-stating that not only is Andy Kronky Kru one of the best cartoonists out there, but that he's also a damn fine artist.


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Here's a new interview with comic artist Bryan Talbot. Meanwhile, Dirk Deppey steps down as editor of The Comics Journal. And I've only just noticed that cartoonist Arthur Goodman has updated his website. Sorry, Arthur. This seems to be a one-stop shop for online comics. (Via)

Sean Duffield & Paul O Connell are seeking creators who would be kind enough to contribute to a fun comix project. "Essentially, we want people to design their own celebrity race machines in the style of Wacky Races (meets Death Race 2000!)," says Sean.

And finally, Douglas of Strip-For-Me has sent word of BAM!, a new mini-comic anthology that is soliciting submissions. It has its down points as a project but is perhaps still worth investigation.

The lead-time is very tight though.

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July 26 2006

The first issue of the second volume of small press superhero comic The O Men is getting cracking reviews.

A short interview with artist Quentin Blake.

Paper Tiger Comix wants you.

On a bit of a personal note, I'm halfway through Maybe Later by Dupuy & Berberian and it's up there with the best of Andi Watson, Tom Gauld, Matt Abbiss and Matt Broersma.

And this from Kenny at Forbidden Planet International:

Thought I'd just give you a bit of an update on how FPI are getting on with our small press/small publisher project. So far the following peoples/studios comics are up for sale online and they are all linked from our blog. We are always looking to list more and more creators - so please feel free to get in touch with either myself (MANPEN@aol.com) or Joe (see below).

Absolute Dumbasss, Accent UK Comics, Angry Candy Blog, Bevis Musson, Bulldog Empire, Clamnuts, Ellen Lindner, Engine Comics, Flying Monkey Comics, Hocus Baloney Books, Hope for the Future, Monkeys With Machineguns, Neill Cameron, Paper Tiger Comix, Paul B Rainey's Book of Lists, PhatCatz Artz, Rob Jackson Comics, Sick Puppy Studios, Sweatdrop Studios, The Bedsit Journal, The O Men and Underfire Comics

We have also decided now to experiment with the comics in a few stores. To begin with it will be Worlds Apart in Liverpool and Nostalgia and Comics in Birmingham. We expect to try it shortly in both Nottingham and Leeds. Here the rules will be a bit different from the online listings - where we are listing anyone who wants to be listed. The shops will need full sale or return (which seems pretty standard with the small press) and they will only be selecting a smallish number of titles to begin with. They will be obtaining many of them through Shane at Smallzone but if anyone thinks they have a comic we should carry that doesn't go through them they can contact Dave Hopkins at the Birmingham store who will be doing the selecting. noscomic@noscomic.plus.com is his address.

If people would like to send sample copies the address is
Nostalgia and Comics
14-16 Smallbrook
Queensway
Birmingham
B5 4EN

Getting the comics into stores will take a few weeks to organise but we hope to have decent size ranges instore by mid August.

Joe Gordon, who writes our blog, has developed a whole new enthusiasm for the UK small press and would like to continue to blog peoples creations, do interviews and advertise events in the months and years to come. He's always up for info and people can contact him at joe.gordon@forbiddenplanet.co.uk.

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July 25 2006

Lots happening.

I managed to delete my previous post about cartoonist and illustrator Simon Gane's website. Sorry, Simon.

Shane Chebsey of Smallzone fame and friends are organising a comic convention in Birmingham.

I've been interviewed about British comics over the Forbidden Planet International Blog, alongside Baz Renshaw of Engine Comics, Dez Skinn of Comics International, Rich Johnston of Lying in the Gutters and John Freeman of Down the Tubes.

Modern Monstrosity Comics are having a launch party and it's free.

Cartoonist Joseph Butcher wants feedback about his web-strip Ted the Purple Gerbil.

And ex-2000AD editor David Bishop has written about artist Colin Wilson at his wonderful blog, Vicious Imagery.

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July 24 2006

Pimp Bugpowder Day!

I think we do a good job at Bugpowder, but I'm not sure we have the readership we deserve.

Consequently today is Pimp Bugpowder Day! If you read Bugpowder, like what we're doing and have a blog, I'd like you to find the time to pimp the site in your next entry. If you publish a fanzine, a comic or have access to any other media, please feel free to pimp Bugpowder there as well. Also, try to get any/all of your blogging friends to pimp Bugpowder too.

Cheers.

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July 23 2006
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Issue nine of Spaceship Away has just been published, continuing its mission to create new original Dan Dare adventures and much more for a growing readership. (Via)

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The UK needs a Sparkplug Comics.

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July 22 2006
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July 21 2006

From Neil Cameron of Dumbass Comics:

Just a quick heads-up/spot of shameless self-promotion: The new issue of NEO magazine (issue 22, on sale 20 July, £3.70 from all good newsagents - or failing that, Borders) features a rather nifty 6-page full colour original comic strip by me (Neill Cameron, hello), describing me and my wife Di's recent trip to Japan, and all the funky things that happened therein. Featuring giant robots, manga cafes, drunken exuberance, and a Very Special Guest Appearance from indy comics superstar Sean Michael Wilson.

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Thought it was worth reminding you all of the following:

If you're involved with small press comics and think BugPowder fails miserably at covering the stuff you're aware of then you're the perfect potential contributor, so get in touch (matthew@bugpowder.com).

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The work of cartoonist and illustrator Mr Clement. Quite, quite wonderful. Also slightly reminiscent of the work of small presser Bridgeen Gillespie.

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Longtime Comics International contributor Mike Conroy has just done his first job for the BBC, providing research for Waiting for Superman. Broadcast on Radio One on Monday night, it includes input from Dan Jurgens, Denny O'Neil and Grant Morrison as well as Superman Returns director Bryan Singer and Brandon Routh. (Via.)

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July 20 2006
# Posted by Pete Ashton

Comic artist and illustrator Simone Lia has updated her website with new images, prints and paintings for sale.

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An interview with Leah Moore and John Reppion, who have written for small press publications such as The End is Nigh and Monsters as well as for American companies such as DC and Dark Horse.

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Cartoonist Ed Pinsent's website. It's a work in progress, so add it to your favourites and return at a later date.

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July 19 2006
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A Q&A with Paul Rainey over at the Forbidden Planet International Blog. Also featured: a mini-article written by Paul. Again, there's a big gap early on in the blog entry, so make sure you scroll past that.

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July 18 2006
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As if it isn't enough being "the most exciting British creator of comics at any level" (Mike Kidson, Comics International), it turns out that Mike Weller is also the man who drew 'The Man Who Sold The World'! Stock your library with Weller from here.

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July 17 2006

The Daily Moomin. New strips posted ever weekday from the forthcoming collection of Tove Jansson's pretty much unseen Moomin comics.

# Posted by Pete Ashton

Does anyone remember Niel Bushnell's 'Over the Edge' from the early nineties? Well, never mind, but issue 3 has made an astonishingly delayed appearance.

# Posted by Garen
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A fascinating and massively racist piece of social history: How to Spot a Jap by comic artist Milton Caniff (Via.)

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This looks like it will be fun.

The small press comic convention Caption takes place on August 5th-6th (although most of Bugpowder's readers will already know that).

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July 16 2006

Brit comic artist Simon Fraser's website is full of beautiful art.

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The new Matter Summer Special by Phil Barrett will be out in a week or so. Buy it! The man gives very good comic book (that was my attempt at yoof speak).

Worth noting is that his website has lots of free strips on it.

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July 15 2006
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July 14 2006

According to Ellen, Matt Madden, professorial muser on all things comics, will be appearing on Radio 4's Open Book show this Sunday.

Amended 17/07/06 at 00:01: If you missed this, catch it via the BBC's Listen Again service at the Open Book page.

# Posted by Pete Ashton
July 13 2006

Forbidden Planet International's new British small press section.

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Small press company Monkeys with Machine Guns featured on the Forbidden Planet International Blog. NB: There's a blank space halfway through the blog entry, so keep scroling down as it doesn't end where it appears to.

Elsewhere on the same blog, here and here for example, you'll find other stuff about various small press creators.

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Sean from Phatcatz Comics is working on a new web-comic.

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July 12 2006

Fanzine Eagle Flies Again is looking for contributors for their final issue. This from Down the Tubes:

...we have now decided to go 'out with a bang' making Eagle Flies Again #14 a "double issue" size -- but release it in time for the Lancaster Comics Festival in October. And we need creators help...
Celebrating the very best in British Comics, we're appealing for comics creators and longtime British comics fans to send us their 100 - 150 word only best/favourite memories of British comics. Got an all-time favourite comic or character? Tell us what or who it is, and why.
The comic can be from any period: whether you're a fan of Wallce & Gromit or The Beano, The Eagle or TOXIC!, we want your comments. (Pics of panels from favourite stories would be helpful, though!)
Eagle Flies Again has a tradition of featuring pin ups by established and upcoming artists: this last issue will be no different. Black and white art featuring your favourite characters will be very welcome. (This is for a print publication so please supply at 300 dpi to johnfsfreeman@btopenworld.com)

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Info about Paul Gravett's forthcoming book Great British Comics.

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July 11 2006
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Mechamitzy aka Jessica, creator of Psychosense, groupie-puller 90s sp comics scene has decided he's going to take on give a go at a regular web comic. More here and here.

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Caption, the small press comics convention held Oxford on August 5th-6th is looking for gophers to help out on the day. Free entry in return for a few hours of your labours.

# Posted by Pete Ashton

SAVAGE PENCIL:
THE BITE OF THE PENCIL

In the same way that R. Crumb's comix captured the hippy experience of Sixties America, Savage Pencil's cartoon outpourings embodied the punk rock spirit of Britain in the late Seventies. Ever since, his comix and music journalism, bands and performances, record and book covers, have confirmed 'Sav' as a true renaissance monster.

Read Paul Gravett's article about Savage Pencil.

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July 10 2006

Lancaster's litfest organisation has just agreed to partner with the Lancaster Comics Festival (28 October), providing support for the one day event which will take place at the Ashton Memorial and is being widely promoted to the UK small press.
Litfest, which is funded by Arts Council England (North West) Lancashire County Council and Lancaster City Council, has previously organised comics events and activities in Lancaster but not in recent years, so recognitions for comics by such an organisation has been welcomed by Festival organiser Anthony Mercer.
Confirmed guests so far include Bryan Talbot - who will be giving a workshop on comics storytelling and Star Trek comics writer Chris Dows, plus many small press creators. The event will also see publication of the very last issue of Eagle Flies Again, the British comics fanzine edited by Ian Wheeler. (Via.)

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Bid for Dave Shelton's doodles covering a sheet of A3. Currently at 50p!

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July 9 2006

NORTHWEST INDEPENDENT BOOK MARKET, 1-2 Sep, St Ann's Square, Manchester

Literature Northwest is organising the above independent book market. Apparently they have thirty stalls available for independent book and comic publishers. If you're interested, contact Ra Page at Comma Press.

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July 8 2006

And then I stumbled across the work of Mike Bertino.

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Part of the Dundee Summer Festival, there will be a free Beano comic event on Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 July at the 10am until 4pm The Apex Hotel, 20 Quayside. The Beano Editor, Euan Kerr, and artist Jimmy Glen will be in attendance on Sunday, giving a talk and demonstration on how a comic strip is put together. On both days there will be a Dennis the Menace costume character on hand to keep the kids entertained. (Via.)

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Gay League, the fan site for gay comic readers and creators.

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July 7 2006

Charity Draw the World Together and 2000AD have teamed up for what could turn out to be the biggest online auction of Comic Art ever in the Galaxy.

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Small press comic convention Caption now has a Flickr group so that people can post images related to Captions past, present and future.

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It's British Comics Month at the Forbidden Planet Blog.

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Bryan Lee O’Malley (of Scott Pilgrim fame) offers a sneak look at his creative process here

via

# Posted by Dan Fish1000
July 4 2006

If you haven't been freaked out recently, and you feel as though you need to be slightly freaked out, just a bit, then go and view Cyriak's Beast Enders animation. You can also view comics (and more animations) on his website. (via David Lloyd).

# Posted by Garen
July 2 2006

Adding text to comics is something I've always struggled with, because I always forget exactly how I did it last time.

If you have similar troubles, you may want to fiddle with GIMP. Basically it's a free (That's right, I said FREE!) alternative to Photoshop ($649!!) and others of that ilk.

It can be used in all sorts of graphic-packagey ways, but of note is that there is a basic tutorial on creating speech balloons at Wikipedia, I've had a go, and it seems to work ok.

# Posted by Dan Fish1000
July 1 2006
# Posted by Pete Ashton

Interesting extract in the Guardian of Tom McCarthy's new book Tintin and the Secret of Literature where he asks, and intelligently answers, the question is Tintin literature?

# Posted by Pete Ashton