Sunday, 13 October 2013

Lakes International Comic Art Schedule

And breathe!

The last week or so has seen everyone work like true champions in order to get Raygun Roads ready for consumption.

The book is currently with Stuart & Sharron Gould of UK Comics and bound for its launch at the Lakes International Comic Art festival in Kendal next week. Having heard from Julie how swept off their feet everyone's become with this show I'm convinced it's going to be something special and the hard work gone in will pay off. I'm also incredibly proud that the element of the festival I was privileged enough to help shape in a very small way, the Comics Clocktower, is going to be open to the world! 

Without further ado, here are the details of my appearance at the show.

Saturday 19th & Sunday 20th October 

You can find me all weekend on the 1st Floor TABLE 53 between some of my favourite people in the world, Orbital Comics, and Andrew Tunney who has produced this brilliant limited edition Raygun Roads print, which will be available to purchase all weekend.

Sunday 20th October
Countryside Comics event w/ Lizzie Boyle of Disconnected Press.
Time: 11-00am-12:00pm
Venue: The Brewery Arts Centre: Screen Two, Kendal
Box office: 01539 725 133

Myself and the wonderful and horrendously talented writer/editor Lizzie Boyle will be discussing a broad spectrum of topics in this event on Sunday: artistic work in the context of its geographical point of origin; magic and the otherworldly and how many stories of this kind are couched in a remote or countryside setting; distribution and location in small-press comics; isolation and creativity; history and relevance, and . And we'll probably talk a lot about ourselves and our own work. Just 'coz.

There are still some tickets left for this event so if you fancy hearing us wax lyrical, give the Brewery box office a call or order online.

If they'll have me I also plan to drop by the Accent UK and Disconnected Press tables to sign copies of 'Who On Earth Was Thaddeus Mist?' and Disconnected Vol. 3 respectively, the latter of which is available for the first time at the event.

Monday 21st October
Raygun Roads signing
Time: 11-12
Venue: Imagination Station, 41 Bank Street, Carlisle, CA3 8HJ

A flying visit before I hit the trail back to London. Store-owner Tommy has always been super supportive of my stuff so will be the first to receive copies of Raygun Roads. I'll be scribbling between 11-12 so if you're stuck for something to do after the festival drop by before disbanding across the country. Imagination Station is a fantastic comic store to visit if you haven't done so yet.

Hope to see many friends old and new over the course of the weekend!


Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Thaddeus Mist reviews

Some lovely reviews for 'Who On Earth Was Thaddeus Mist?' 

The Speech Balloons one from Paul Birch I meant to share eons ago, the Richard Bruton Forbidden Planet one dropped last month. Here are some pieces:

"With regards to the writing, yes, you can tell the differing styles - some more purple prose others more pulp styled as they mimic a Victoriana narrative, but they also appear to have been edited into a generally coherent to read, as one voice - or many voices coming together in a crowded room and us as readers picking up on different aspects of the various conversations going on." - Paul Birch, Speech Balloons

"Each individual tale is insightful, adding a little to the man each time, building up our image of him, and every single tale works, story and art all doing really well. There’s genuinely not a thing I can pull the book up on, it’s something I’ve read three times now, and each time, I’ve gone cover to cover without a break, captured and entranced by the tales spun within. Most enjoyable stuff." - Richard Bruton, Forbidden Planet International Blog

My sincere thanks to Paul and Richard for taking the time to read and write about the book in such depth and detail.

If you'd like to get hold of a copy, the book is available at Travelling Man Newcastle, Imagination Station Carlisle, Orbital Comics London, or from the Accent UK website.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Reviews: Glasgow Comic Con

Hey everyone! 

I picked up a bunch of books from fellow exhibitors at Glasgow Comic Con last month. I very much enjoyed all of them. I shine some light on those I was taken with the most below! 

God I loved this book. It’s beautifully packaged. It’s charming and tender. It’s effortlessly illustrated. The thing has a lovely arc. It remains intelligent and informative throughout; the whimsy conceals a reassuring depth of knowledge on the topic of astronomy. It also weaves miniature memories into its narrative. A thoroughly optimistic and generous piece.

Favourite bit: It’s ma boy, Saturn!

Never Mind Sigur Ros, here's Colin's Godson by Colin Godson & Adam Smith

Brilliant and knowing mash-up of underground comics and punk music (with a CD and everything!). Vivid and psychedelic, dense and compact. This kept me going for hours. Really inspiring, I’ll be sure to pick up the back catalogue in a heart-beat.

Favourite bit: The Day We Went Into Space

Eight issues in, and the Team Girl Comic collective continues to produce idiosyncratic independent comics. Witty, observant and honest. An anthology that strives to provide something different and interesting without resorting to poe-faced soul-searching. Simply put, there should be more stuff like this out there.

Favourite bit: Ghost Dog

This book genuinely made me chuckle to myself during an agonizing cross-country bus journey. For those unaware, the basic premise of Metrodome is to mash together and combine random words selected from an issue of the London Newspaper The Metro as inspiration for inventing weird characters that then battle each other in a death-match. Thus the birth of wonderfully surreal creations like The Exploding Ghost, Sewer Vision, and Sparkling Tumour. These really have to be seen to be believed. It’s an inspired idea that produces joyful results. The end battle is utter chaos, and I would have been satisfied with an entire book of single image illustrations featuring such bizarre characters. Thrilling.

Favourite bit: Exploding Ghost

Taking Flight by Stephen Sutherland & Garry McLaughlin

I’m not normally one for independent superhero books. It’s a record scratched on warped with overuse – thanks to the previous efforts of Morrison and Millar. Having said that, I thought there was something new in this one from Laser Age Comics. Crisp, clean and confident, with eye-catching colours. Garry McLaughlin’s art has a Quitely – but to a greater extent Chris Burnham – vibe to it. 

Favourite Bit: Newspaper strip headline – SUPERHERO WAS MY BOY WONDER

AND THEN EMILY WAS GONE By John Lees, Iain Laurie & Colin Bell

This was a wonderful, twisted little surprise. A David Lynch air throughout, it made me feel itchy and uncomfortable, which is the highest praise I can bestow. John Lees’ script is tight and mysterious, with a few curve-balls that really add to the sense of hyper-reality. The off-kilter energy. The real stand-out is Iain Lawrie on art duties. Equal parts Paul Pope, Nick Pitarra and Morgan Jeske (this reminded me frequently of Jeske and Ales Kot’s Change). Despite the content raw as a picked scab, the presentation and print quality is supremely professional. Extremely impressive. Find a copy.

Favourite bit: Bandaged Fiona

Great books, worthy of your attention. 


Thursday, 11 July 2013



You think it's all a Death-Trap but the Death-Trap is you,
Buck up, Rogers, you're flying don't be blue.
- Raygun Roads & The Kittlebach Pirates, The Infinity Loop Death-Trap of Ullysses Pomp


The 22 page limited edition ashcan copies of Raygun Roads have arrived, and they've only gone and knocked this fellas boots off! Madness.

For you morons that ain't heard of this book yet, here's the essentials.


Raygun Roads is a psychedelic science fiction comic concerning an imaginary pop-culture icon who – along with her cosmic punk band The Kittelbach Pirates – kidnaps Vince Paradise; the teenager that concocted her.

Exploding through the wall of the job-centre in their Suicide Machine, The Kittelbach Pirates rescue Vince from murder at the hands of his personal spiritual virus, D-Void. Raygun and Vince take a road trip through his psyche with the intention of assassinating Ullysses Pomp – head of D-Void and mastermind of The Infinity Loop Death-Trap, a mechanism with the power to destroy all teenagers. 

A full-colour flip-book, Raygun Roads & The Infinity Loop Death-Trap Of Ullysses Pomp is our love letter to vinyl records, outsider ‘beat’ culture, and the transformative power of pop music. It’s a satire on the state of youth unemployment and the government’s failure to take responsibility.  It’s just a piece of candy-floss nonsense.

Do you feel neglected? Then it’s time to get infected! 

Now that's out the way, look at them pages!!!

As always, a massive thank you to the endlessly professional and wonderful Stuart and Sharron Gould and everyone at UK Comics. They are proof that you can, indeed, polish a turd. 

 BUT WAIT: Who is the abundant talent behind this degenerate tripe I hear you cry? Well that would be INDIO, ANDY BLOOR, AND MIKE STOCK.

Look, people think it's good! Honest!

And we're ripping you off! It's not even the whole book! This is the first 22 pages of our story, which will be released as a full 49 page flip-album (just like vinyl!!) in September. But's it's only cheap (financially and morally), so stop complaining!! 

DISCLAIMER: Those cheeky Scots get it first. This weekend you can grab a copy of the 50 copy limited edition run at the BONKERS AND BRILLIANT Glasgow Comic Con ! This comic is inspired by the Scottish underground scene (along with other things) to it's a spiritual home for the book. And they're the only ones that will have us. 

NOT JUST THAT: this edition comes complete with an access code to experience the first track with it's original soundtrack at the RAYGUNROADS website. It's really a confusing experience and not recommended if you have epilepsy. Or taste. 

Talking of the website, there are more talented muthas involved in that. Go and check it out to see unbelievable work by musicians Steve Harrison and Ben Johnston, animator Matt Sandbrook and super-genius criminal web-builder Inigo Saenz. The wider experience would simply not have existed without them and I must thank them. You, on the other hand, must blame them. 

So, I'll see you in Glasgow? 

Monday, 10 June 2013

Disconnected at the Lakes

Hello friends,

I just received the artwork back for a short story I wrote for a new anthology by the brilliant people at Disconnected Press! It's wonderful; take a look.

Unlettered page from 'The Place The Big Boys Go' copyright 2013 Verity Glass

My collaborator on this is a wonderful artist called Verity Glass. I haven't had the pleasure of meeting her yet, although I came across her work while creating the Comics Clock Tower section of the programme for the Lakes International Arts Festival. Being a comics writer I wrote my story, sent it off, and anxiously settled in for a very very long wait. Verity worked quickly and did a fantastic job of making sweet the bits I wanted sweet, and horrifying the bits I wanted horrifying, and funny the bits I wanted funny. I am beyond thrilled with what she's done with it.

The story is called 'The Place The Big Boys Go'. It is a revenge of-sorts, and a romance of-sorts, and a memory of-sorts. Conor and Lizzie Boyle are hoping to have it feature in their third house anthology Disconnected Vol. 3 - lettered by the mighty Jim Campbell (who I had the privilege of working with on Who On Earth Was Thaddeus Mist?). You should buy it. I think you'd enjoy it.

The anthology will be launched at the Lakes International Comic Art Festival in October, where Disconnected Press and Verity will be guests. Lizzie Boyle and myself will also be speaking at an event on the Sunday, which you can buy tickets to here. We'd really like it if you came along!


Sunday, 28 April 2013


 "D-VOID of Pashun is a stick-figure in a gimp suit. He has black visor goggles and the focal point of his outfit is a six foot sentient strap-on with razor-blade centipede legs and a skull face. 
D-VOID of Pryde is a twisted Venus Demilo wearing a long wedding dress of tissue paper. There is a massive hole punched through her chest  and there’s a veil over her head.
D-VOID of Punch is a life-sized Judy puppet from the Punch & Judy show, complete with little baker's outfit and petticoat, maid’s hat, and cracked porcelain face (see reference drawings). The creepy thing about her is the legs – the hairy legs of an adult male. On the feet, Dutch clogs."

These are our Henchmen.

Monday, 11 March 2013

The Lakes International Comic Art Festival

Since January I’ve been on the organizing committee for the first ever Lakes International Comic Art Festival, to be held in my home-county of Cumbria between 18th-20th October. One glance at the festival website will give you a clue as to the caliber we’re aiming for with this show, all spear-headed by the magnificent Julie Tait and founder-patrons Bryan & Mary Talbot as well as local hero Sean Phillips. Here’s Bryan’s wonderful festival poster to whet your appetite.

Off the back of my work on the Megacon event last year (see below), I was approached to join the team, and what a team it is! Everyone’s been ridiculously supportive and I’m very excited to be part of what is shaping up to be a truly special event.

My designated role is that of Independent Talent Co-ordinator, and involves working closely with media, marketing, and logistics (as well as the hundreds of astounding artists, writers, publishers who have been in touch) to curate a British festival in the mould of European comic’s celebrations. I will also be facilitating the Comics Clocktower; an independent and small-press marketplace taking over Kendal town-hall for the whole weekend. Here’s a snippet from my website press release: -

The mission of this portion of the festival is to champion breaking talent of all styles and genres. We believe these creators are pioneers of a new wave of innovation in the field of comics and graphic storytelling. We are striving to celebrate them, and in the process introduce their work to a whole new audience. For Cumbria, The Lakes International Comic Art Festival is an event of unprecedented scale, held in an area of outstanding natural beauty – an area largely unfamiliar with the exceptional art being produced on its doorstep. We aim to change that, for good. Accessibility and originality is encouraged, and there is an emphasis (although not exclusivity) on creators working or living in the North of England.

Details on how to become part of the Comics Clocktower, and the festival in general, can be found on the contact page of the website. 

There is bound to be more on this in the coming months, but for now, I’d like to express my gratitude to Julie, Bryan, Mary and Sean, as well as the rest of the great Comic Art Fest team for being so welcoming and generous. A lot of work to be done, but I’m thrilled to be involved with this. 

Hope to see many of you there


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