BugPowder Weblog
Regular slugs of news for the UK Small Press Comics Nation (huh?)
July 26 2009

"Tempo Lush Release Mini-Comics Collection... In the shape of a Bear...

Ten A4 mini-comics, both colour and Black & White, snuggled up inside a box in the shape of Square McBear who also stars in the final comic in the set...

Read comic samples and buy your own bear at www.myspace.com/tempolush."

# Posted by Dan Fish1000
July 15 2009

Yet more build up to the Alternative Press Festival, taken from the Appalling Nonsense blog:

"I quizzed the infectiously enthusiastic Mr Gherkin in the following penetrating manner, in order to elucidate the aims and objectives of the forthcoming (and terribly exciting) Alternative Press Festival:

AN: So Jimi give us a quick round up of what the Alternative Press is about and what we can expect from the Alternative Press Festival.

JG: What we’re about is pretty simple, and that is, promoting creativity through self publishing. It’s something that we know a bit about ourselves, and something which satisfies our creative needs, makes us happy. We want others to experience that. We’re constantly bombarded by stuff in the mainstream media, entertainment and arts. Don’t get me wrong, some of it’s really good but the institutions that run it and their motives are bogus. It encourages mediocrity and passivity. Never do they say “give it a go” only “buy, buy, buy”. We want to show people what is possible, and encourage them to try for themselves. The festival is our way of trying to reach out to many different groups of people, we’re trying out different venues, different approaches to the idea of small press events. We’re all pretty sick and tired of events that reflect the old “comic con” format. We’re experimenting. Hopefully we’ll bring in people from all different kinds of backgrounds, radical literature, comix, there are a lot of groups of art students these days producing zines or starting collectives, distros and such. It’s great to have them involved too.

AN: Sounds pretty broad. What do you think these scenes can learn from one another? What for example could a small press comic creator learn from a small press poet?

JG: Good question, very specific though. I never really thought of it like that really. The point is that it’s good to look at what’s going on outside what you’re into. It broadens your scope as a creative person (as everyone is). I don’t want to go to events, see the same people every time, the same work. But that’s what’s happening, a lot of the time these things seem like a really sad annual get-together of piss heads. A comic creator could learn a lot from a poet and vice versa. Just as we learn a lot from each other as people. It’s nice to meet people outside your usual group of friends, it opens your eyes to how people live, their beliefs and ideas. This makes you a more tolerant, open individual. Just as being a comic creator, meeting zinesters, poets or whatever makes you a better artist. At the very least it could give you something to write about outside the subject you normally might tackle.

AN: You’ve said that one of the aims of the festival is to get more people involved in small press and to encourage creativity, but do we really need more small press creators? What would you say the individual gets out of making their own publications?

JG: Well I think that it makes people feel good to be creative. It makes you more confident in your ideas. A lot of people have ideas but they keep them to themselves, maybe they think they’re not clever enough, or maybe it’s just that they’re not encouraged to give their opinion enough. Self – publishing is, I think, a remedy to that mentality; once you’ve done it, it’s hard to say “I’m not good enough” anymore, and then when others give you good feedback it really cements that. I don’t know if we need more small press creators, however, I think people, at least need to know about the small press. I think people need to be creative, I know I do.

AN: Moving off the subject of the Alternative Press for a moment, how did you first get involved in the scene? Was there a ‘eureka’ moment when you knew that you wanted to do your own stuff?

JG: No, no eureka moment… I’ve always drawn, you know, but never felt I was good enough to be a “proper” comics artist, it seemed so difficult, writing off to publications, sending work here there and everywhere. I never did all that by the way, by the time I would’ve been old enough to get into that, I wasn’t into those kinds of comics anymore. I just started submitting work to small zines and stuff, and started getting some good feedback, eventually I had enough material for a comic, so I put one together. That was it, I was exposed to the scene. I met a lot of cool people. I was inspired by their efforts to get their work out there. So, I thought, why not organise an event in London?

AN: What do you think of the small press comics scene at the moment? Is it changing? Where do you think its going?

JG: I think it’s becoming a lot more diverse. There’s stuff out there now that it’s hard to define what it even is! People ask me “what’s the difference between a comic and a zine?” I find it hard to answer. There are “comics” that some people wouldn’t even consider are comics. There are art books that are amazing creations of folding techniques. Zines that read like diaries. I think that is awesome! It really is wide open for anyone to try what they like. I think like anything, some people are happy to keep things the way they were… that’s fine for them, personally I like change. The thing about the small press scene, is that each title is so personal to it’s creators that it’s difficult to pin down exactly what the scene is about anyway. It’s about what ever people want it to be.

AN: What would you say to someone who has never made a comic or zine before but wants to get started? How does the Alternative Press help them?

JG: If you want to get started then there are lots of things you can do to ease yourself into it. First of all find a couple of zines or small press comics that are made collaboratively, that is to say they feature the work of many people. Get in touch with some of them. Go along to an event, or some comics shops have a small press section such as orbital or gosh! Or even go to myspace or something and type in “zine”; you’ll find tonnes of stuff. That’s the way I started. Or if you feel confident, just go for it. Get it done and out, before doubt starts to set in. We’d be happy to help anyone out there who wants some advice, just email us, or come along to one of our events. We’ll be happy for you to put some stuff on a communal table. At the Collaborama event on Saturday 1st August you can even join in to help us make the zine on the day. I think that a lot of it is inspiration or disgust that gets people going! Seeing something wicked and going “ I love this stuff, I’m going to have a go!” or equally powerful “this is complete shit, I can do better than this!”

The Alternative Press Festival runs from the 29th july to 2nd August, thanks to Gareth Brookes & Jimi Gherkin for the use of the interview

# Posted by Stevo Tillotson
July 14 2009

A glimpse of comics goodness at the recent 2D Comics Festival in Northern Ireland – with organiser David Campbell, Matter creator Phil Barrett, and Gar Shanley, co-creator of Windell Classics' Superhero Showcase.

# Posted by John Robbins
July 12 2009


chris getliffe sez:
"On Saturday the 18th Of July, I’m painting live at the Southbank centre with 9 other artists care of United Underground & Ctrl+Alt+Shift magazine. Leading up to a huge gig there with the likes of Bashy, Plan B, & Theoretical Girl". Details here

Also, ‘EARLY LIES’ Exhibition @ The Tank Gallery: This exhibition of my paintings, doodles, & funs is still going on till the 18th of July, if you fancied having a nosey. Lots of new work up and Canvases & Prints for sale. It’s Free and can be found here
Wed-Sun 12-6
Tank Gallery
80 Ladeywell Rd
(You may have to enter via the Ladeywell Tavern depending on day)
SE13 7HS
facebook group here, chris's website here

there's another zine related event on the 26th july in the foyer of the Barbican in London, where its all about the swapping- details here

challenging sleazy dan lester for the most esoterically themed anthology, rob jackson has just released the pasty anthology- yes, an anthology about pasties, featuring Jim Medway and Francesca Cassavetti amongst others, available from his website

simon perrins' hope for the future web comic now available in book form, details here

interesting stuff at asthmatic comics blog

and dont forget about the alternative press festival

# Posted by Stevo Tillotson
July 10 2009

London Underground Comic's own Oli Smith has a prose story appearing on the Official Doctor Who BBC Website soon, celebrating the anniversary of the first (human) moon landing. The Down The Tubes website is also celebrating the event with various art pieces (I have a strip there) - And he's still taking submissions if you fancy joining in.

# Posted by Dan Fish1000
July 8 2009

there's just a few weeks to the Alternative Press Festival, running over 5 days from the 29th July to 2nd August to be precise, and to help whet everyone's ziney appetite, there's a 2 page feature in the ubercool Art Rocker Magazine.
If you can't wait and want to get involved, good old Jimi Gherkin is holding a day of craft, making banners and all that this saturday, details at this facebook group.

# Posted by Stevo Tillotson
July 2 2009

A while back I ran some links to the work of John Miller on here. Adam (aka A.J.) Smith,

"the post you refer to is in fact advertising issue 18 of The Glasgow-based minicomic Khaki Shorts, which I co-founded in 1999. John Miller has been contributing to Khaki Shorts since issue 7 in 2005, and has had at least one strip in every issue since."

When I wrote the piece I confused Electric Sheep with "the 1989-92 Scottish humour comic, which John never contributed to", Electric Soup

So how does this all tie together into a news story and not just an embarrassing journalist's muddle?

John Miller, Adam Smith and Rob Miller (no relation) will be doing a signing in Deadhead Comics in Edinburgh This Saturday, July the 4th. They'll be promoting Khaki Shorts and 2 of John's recent mini-compilations of comics "Secret Agent" and "Super Tales". The signing is scheduled for 1pm

I met the legendary John Miller years ago at Deadhead Comics, which has a nice old shoppe alternative feel to it, like some precious vinyl collection find location. So if you're in the area, its a recommended WIN.

# Posted by Andrew Luke