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Sunday, 24 June 2012

IAPF: Lamb Conduit Street Take-Over


The following was posted over on the Alternative Press site concerning this year’s International Alternative Press Fayre.  I hope they don’t mind the re-post (my email just is not working!):

The programme for the 2nd Alternative Press Festival will include a week of varied exhibitions showcasing in a parade of independent shops in Lamb Conduit Street in Holborn. We spoke with organiser, artist and writer Tanya Meditzky to get some ambiguous insight on the event.


What are you doing?

Organising a collection of exhibitions in shops, mostly on Lambs Conduit St, Bloomsbury in London.

Why do you want to do this?

Because there are a lot of great things being made that are rarely seen; to give visitors to the International Alternative Press Fair (IAPF) more to explore, and to insert this kind of work into a non-comic environment and see what happens – a bit like continental comic fairs which spread through a city.

What was the response from the shops?

Mostly positive.

Do they think you strange?

Who doesn’t?

Roughly when will it be?

21st July – 5th August. Roughly.

They should do a soap “Lambs Conduit Street”, and instead of the usual miserable TV soaps that show a bunch of strangers moaning and pretending to be unhappy, you just have people going shopping, having a coffee and generally taking it easy.  No serious social problems would be addressed, but that’s good, we have enough of them every day in real life.

‘Watching People Shop’ would probably be a very successful TV show.

The work of the talented Tanya Meditzky can be found at: http://www.milkkitten.com/

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Can Get A Copy Of Savage Jungle Princess? Go To Glasgow Con NEXT Weekend


A message from John Short:


Hi Terry,

Kult Creations will have a table at the Glasgow Comic Con next weekend, so if anyone can’t get ‘Savage! Jungle Princess’ 001 they can buy it off us there. Here’s another peek at 002 (sans lettering so as not to give the story away.)


Will you be there?
All the best,
John A. Short

http://kultcreations.blogspot.com

Will I be there? No.

Friday, 22 June 2012

I’ve Ordered The Headstone.

It has been a cold, wet, windy and very miserable morning. Quite suitable weather for the funeral of the British ‘Comics Industry’ I’d say.

I will not mention “the company which must not be named” cuz that’s cursed. I have put proposals together for both Panini and Egmont and been quietly and diplomatically working my way through the process -I even contacted artists to be short-listed as was requested.

I’ve had a phone call, a letter and two emails that have announced the death of professional comics in the UK.  Two artists, one of whom has spoken to editors at Panini, have let me know that Panini AND Egmont are not interested in anything new comic-wise unless it is franchise related -TV, film, toy.

“I still hold out hope!” I shouted to a rather surprised Hidey-the-Cat.

Then I opened the letter: Panini is not looking for anything new only projects associated with a commercial franchise” -I dribbled my coffee. At least that’s my excuse for the wet trousers.

An email…uh, Egmont…ditto.

I phoned the nice enough fellow I’d been in contact with and asked how “set in stone” this was? “We don’t do comics -we publish magazines.”  On top of a certain Scottish company that must not be named because of the curse stating it was NOT touching serious strips only the usual lame humour strips this is indeed notification that the professional comic in the UK is dead. Dead and buried a while ago but no one really telling us.

The ramifications for those in the UK now wanting to get into comics as a profession is clear. You cannot in the UK.  Try the US…but there are many thousand creators from the US and other parts of the world trying too. You have a far better chance of surviving the ebola virus than you do of getting a professional paying gig in comics.

This could be debated long and hard and to be honest, I’ve been warning of this on CBO and elsewhere for years now and all the negativity thrown back at me for doing so now makes certain individuals look like real ass-holes.  CBO will not debate this. No point. Too late.

What I hope it might mean is that creators might get together/individually publish their own books for which they will take full responsibility from putting together, editing and then promoting/selling their comics.

There is no positive side for the UK professional in this. And there are gathering storm clouds over Dundee if we are to believe the rumours. With Dandy about to be cancelled.

Sorry I missed you guys at the funeral…you were invited.

I just wish I'd gotten it all wrong. :-(

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

The Complete Flash Gordon Library – On the Planet Mongo (Vol. 1)



Creators: Alex Raymond and Don Moore
Introduction by Alex Ross
Titan Books
Hardback
Full colour
208 pages
Dimensions: 280 x 253mm
Publication date: 22 June 2012
ISBN: 9780857681546
RRP £29.99


Being a comics historian and interviewer there is one thing I can say with 100% absolute certainty: the Flash Gordon newspaper strip influenced and inspired many US as well as British/European Golden and Silver Ages creators.  In fact, the influence of the strip on comic creators world-wide was incredible.

But is it really that good?

Yes, is the simple answer. This volume covers the Sunday newspaper strips from 1934-1937.  It needs to be pointed out that at the time Raymond could not really be inspired by the comic books since they really did not exist when he started –there were mainly illustrated stories or pictures and text boxes.  But Raymond started drawing very early on in life.  It is one reason why I like this book –the excellent illustrated text feature by Doug Murray “Birth of a Legend” and Alex Ross takes a brief look at “The Flash Gordon Legacy.”

What I also like is the excellent restorations carried out by Peter Maresca. Forget the 1930s cinema serials or the 1970s film (most fondly recalled by many because of actor Brian Blessed!) –all borrowed from the strips.  Here you see it as a generation saw it –reading wide-eyed at the rockets, the evil Ming, the, uh, ‘troubled’ scientist Zarkov, the lion men…the beautiful women!  And Raymond’s art style is there to explode Don Moore’s story into print.

The production on the book is of the highest standard and if the rumoured Mandrake collection is as good as this then I think a whole new generation has the chance to be introduced to what was shaping the comics industry –and some creators/wannabes today can learn a great deal from this.

An excellent book from Titan that I have no trouble recommending!

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

A Few Thoughts…


I’ve been hearing a strong rumour that D. C. Thomson has stated it is no longer interested in “serious” strips only humour.  I’ve just checked my pro Face Book page and there is a posting by Nigel Dobbyn (one of the most under rated UK artists) stating that a Billy The Cat submission he had sent to Thomson has been rejected on those grounds.

How the mighty have fallen. Thomson will be all the poorer for this but as an editorial decision from them…it just does not surprise me.

Also, people are still asking “Why aren’t you mentioning such-and-such convention?”  Because no one has asked me to.  Whereas I get a press and guest invites and news of conventions in France and other parts of Europe where I’m told that I, and of course CBO, have a good reputation.

It really is almost as though there is a huge cultural abyss defined by the English channel. On one side we have huge numbers of comic albums, etc., being published covering all genres and in all styles.  And business is going great. “Yeah, but you’ll notice they do not do super heroes!” one person recently wrote to me. I can only repeat here what I wrote to him: yes they do -you have NOT been checking out CBO “daily”!

On the other side of the channel there is no industry. A few magazines with comic strips but everything else is basically amateur press -and as I have written before, nothing wrong with that except you cannot make a living in it.

In the UK comics seem almost a lost cause. But WHY?  In a previous comics industry report I noted that comic buying/reading ages in the UK are higher than France and yet France produces far, far more. I’m afraid the illiterate, TV soap watching dullard who thinks looking at photos in The Sun newspapers is high literacy have achieved superiority.

It has been left and ignored for so long that it might take more than one generation to get kids/adults into regularly buying/reading comics (but WHAT comics????). A continuous diet of pap and regurgitated sludge from the US companies seems to be what younger readers want because it is all they can mentally digest…in amongst the need for their favourite Brit writer  to include as many obscenities and rapes as they can in their books.  “Gritty realism”…sure.

So we plod on realising that those who killed the UK comics are those who worked in it and were succeeded by people who just did not have a clue how to produce a comic.

Nothing will change.

Live with it.

Comic Con' Paris 4th Season & Japan Expo 13th Impact



Each year Comic Con' Paris is an occasion to discover or re-discover the whole range of cultures of the imaginary. This 4th edition is held between July 5-8 at Paris Nord Villepinte and once again, great names of the world of images, books and games are there.

This year, Ivan Reis – the creator of Aquaman – is our guest of honor for Comics and he designed the poster for the festival as well. On Artist Alley, we are also welcoming artists Tony Daniel and Jorge Molina (of Batman Detective Comic and X-Men fame respectively), Siegfried writer Alex Alice, and also Rafael Albuquerque, Mahmud Asrar, Yanick Paquette, Ian Churchill and Marco Santucci. Previously unpublished plates from the new volumes of comic books Le Scorpion and Murena is showcased in an exclusive exhibit. Dark Fantasy is also being distinguished with exhibits for Ballad of The Lost Moors, Asgard and Thorgal.

Comic Con' Paris grows a little more each year, as shown with the novelties of this 4th edition. Stay tuned, for the festival has not yet unveiled all of its surprises...

Japan Expo is the European leader in the Japanese culture and entertainment sector since 2007. The festival was created in 1999 and quickly became number one by welcoming over 190 000 visitors last year. Japan Expo is the best place to know everything about Manga, Anime, videos games, technology, J-Music and traditional Japanese culture. Don’t miss the date of the 13th Impact! Japan Expo is back from the 5th to the 8th July in the Parc des Expositions of Paris Nord Villepinte.

Mangas are an essential part of the popular culture in Japan. There are for every age and every taste. Japan Expo welcomes Naoki URASAWA as a Guest of Honor “Manga” this year. He is there to talk about his work, do signings and even go on stage to perform the music he created for one of his anime. Other mangakas are there such as Natsumi AIDA, Makoto SHINKAI, Tetsuya TSUTSUI, Tatsuya SARUWATARI, Moto HAGIO, Toshio MAEDA, Ein LEE, Rei TOMA, Mariya NISHIUCHI, and many more.

Japan Expo is bringing the best of Japan in Paris for four days exploring all of the aspects of the far east into the heart of Europe for an inevitable annual date. Rendez-vous from the 5th to the 8th July for a bit of Japan Culture à la française.


Monday, 18 June 2012

Black Tower adventure 8 -IT’S OUT NOW!!!!



Creators: Ben. R. Dilworth, Terry Hooper-Scharf, The Patriotic Beard and The Prussian Terror
A4
58 pages
Black and white
Price: £5.50
Ships in 3–5 business days
 
At last! After cameo appearances in Tales of Terror and one strip over the last twenty years THE PHANTOM DETECTIVE returns in two tales to horrify!
 
Plus, The Thinker…thinks DOOM! Having discovered the Iron Warrior in the African jungle, three adventurers are about to get a shock”
 
A wizened old man offers to give Kelvin Nolan his helmet which creates a few misunderstandings in Kelvin Nolan and His Helmet of Power!
 
Runestone tests the rune that has embadded itself in his hand.
 
In The Cross-Earths Caper (pt.2)Bristol is, quite virtually, The Wild, Wild West Country..and Selenites threaten to destroy Earth. Thought that ought to be mentioned.
 
All delivered a week earlier than advertised because Black Tower Comics supports the 2012 British Work Ethic!

Michel Vaillant News


Michel VaillantSebchoq, as always, has come up with some interesting news if you are a Michel Vaillant fan:

Hello Terry, I think you know Michel Vaillant (don’t know it’s name in German). For some weeks now, there are several news, promotion stuffs and announces to introduce a “relaunch” :D for this BD set to November 2012.

1- New authors
http://www.michelvaillant.com/#1
http://www.michelvaillant.com/#3
http://www.michelvaillant.com/actus23032012.php
http://www.michelvaillant.com/actus19042012.php

2- A racing team wearing Vaillante colours
http://www.michelvaillant.com/#4
http://www.michelvaillant.com/#5
http://www.michelvaillant.com/#7
http://www.michelvaillant.com/#8
http://www.michelvaillant.com/actus04062012.php
http://www.michelvaillant.com/actus25052012.php
http://www.michelvaillant.com/actus30052012.php


3- Michel Vaillant in Brussels Autoworld Museum
http://www.michelvaillant.com/actus12062012.php
http://www.michelvaillant.com/actus14062012.php

Friday, 15 June 2012

Dynamite brings back Peter Cannon, Thunderbolt...


sadly, it’s the same old reboot and a story that has been done to death over the last 20+ years and a ******** awful new costume -WHY???????

Originality in comics is dead, buried, decayed to worm food and been shat out by the worms...and used by comics.


Press Release
Dynamite proudly presents – Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt returns to comics this coming September!  Peter Cannon was created by the late Pete Morisi. Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt #1 is written by Steve Darnall and Alex Ross, drawn by superstar artist Jonathan Lau, with covers by Alex Ross, Jae Lee, John Cassaday, and Ardian Syaf!

In Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt #1, Peter Cannon is a world-famous author, an international celebrity, and the superhero known as Thunderbolt.  He is acknowledged far and wide as the man who saved the world from destruction. Unfortunately, he has little interest in fame, even less interest in people, and the peace he has created is based on an illusion. Now, as old and new enemies plan to destroy his efforts-unaware of the secret he carries-Peter Cannon must fight to keep the peace and preserve his own existence, while fending off deadly foes…and mysterious admirers.


Issue #1 also contains extra material – Peter Cannon’s never before published origin story by Peter Cannon creator, Pete Morisi for a total of 48 pages all for the regular price of $3.99!  This issue is soooo big, it features a foreword by Mark (Kingdom Come) Waid!

“I have a great sentimentality for all of the Silver Age heroes,” says Alex Ross.  “Peter Cannon belongs to that age of the heroic pantheon, and we have the chance to use him, and create a future for him.  This is exciting new ground for us all.”


“Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt fascinates me; for one thing, he’s got the most amazingly colorful costume,” adds co-writer Steve Darnall! “More than that, however, Peter Cannon is a character with a lot of interesting facets, and I am excited to explore them in the series!”

“Peter Cannon, the original Thunderbolt, is one of my all-time favorite characters.  Having first read Crisis on Infinite Earths – a watershed series by Marv Wolfman -  with beautiful art by George Perez, seeing that glimpse of Peter made me want to find out more about this cool looking character.  Having read DC Challenge #5 with Peter Cannon, Dr. Fate, Adam Strange and others with art by Dave Gibbons, I was hooked and I sought out as many Peter Cannon comics as I could find! And when I learned that he was the archetype for Ozymandias, my love for Peter Cannon grew.  Twenty-five years later, Dynamite is publishing Peter Cannon.  We are giving Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt the respect he deserves by bringing aboard the most dynamic creative team possible,” says Dynamite Entertainment President and Publisher Nick Barrucci.  “With Alex Ross, Steve Darnall, and Jonathan Lau, as well as fantastic covers from Alex Ross, Jae Lee, John Cassaday, Stephen Segovia, and Ardian Syaf, Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt will not disappoint!”




Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt is a superhero originally published by Charlton Comics, notable for containing some of the earliest respectful invocations of Eastern mysticism in American pop culture.  The character debuted in Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt #1 in January of 1966, part of Charlton Editor Dick Giordano’s “Action Heroes” superhero line.  After Charlton Comics sold its superhero properties to DC Comics in 1983, Thunderbolt reappeared after almost two decades in the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover series (April 1985 – March 1986, Thunderbolt appearing in #6, 7, and 10) when he joined the heroes of the Multiverse in their crusade against the Anti-Monitor. 

Introducing him into the new DC Universe, DC published Peter Cannon – Thunderbolt, by writer-penciler Mike Collins and inker Jose Marzan Jr.. The series ran for 12 issues from (Sept. 1992 – Aug. 1993). During the series’ run, his recurring foils were the criminal terrorists-for-hire known as Scorpio. He later discovers that his girlfriend Cairo DeFrey was actually in charge of the organization.  The character also appeared briefly with the Justice League.




About Dynamite Entertainment:

Black Tower Adventure 8 -OUT NEXT WEEK!


Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Erlangen Comic Salon 2012




Straylight’s Blog (in German) takes a quick look at events at the 2012 Erlangen Comic Salon (in Germany) with some nice photos:

http://straylight9.wordpress.com/2012/06/10/erlangen-2012-tag-3-und-4/


Comic.De also reports on Erlangen with some nice photographs:
http://www.comic.de/


And over at Tales From The Kryptonian, which is always enjoyable, we get to read how Santiago prepared for a shorter trip than usual and much more. Part 2 to follow and I’m looking forward to that!

http://talesfromthekryptonian.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/suddenly-erlangen.html

I’m hoping that I’ll get to one of these but probably only as a punter. The event lasts 4 days, Thursday-Sunday and to be honest it seems that only the Alternative Press people in the UK organise events last a week. A great pity.  A Bristol Comic Expo starting Thursday and ending Sunday…I dream on!

If anyone attended Erlangen please let me know what it was like -and photographs ALWAYS welcome!
Straylight Blog (auf Deutsch) dauert einen kurzen Blick auf Veranstaltungen im Comic-Salon Erlangen 2012 (in Deutschland) mit einigen netten Fotos:
 http://straylight9.wordpress.com/2012/06/10/erlangen-2012-tag-3-und-4/~~V
Comic.De berichtet auch über Erlangen mit einigen netten Fotos: http://www.comic.de/

Und mehr als bei Tales From The kryptonischen, das ist immer angenehm, bekommen wir zu lesen, wie Santiago für eine kürzere Reise als üblich und noch viel mehr vorbereitet. Teil 2 zu folgen und ich freue mich darauf!

http://talesfromthekryptonian.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/suddenly-erlangen.html~~V

Ich hoffe, dass ich zu einer von diesen zu erhalten, aber wohl nur als Punter. Die Veranstaltung dauert 4 Tage, Donnerstag-Sonntag und um ehrlich zu sein es scheint, dass nur die Alternative Press Menschen im Vereinigten Königreich Veranstaltungen zu organisieren letzte Woche. Sehr schade. Ein Bristol Comic Expo ab Donnerstag und endet Sonntag … Ich träume weiter!

Wenn jemand besucht Erlangen lass es mich wissen, wie es war-und Fotografien immer willkommen!
Eingang zur Comic-Messe
photo (c)Comic.de

Internationaler Comic-Salon Erlangen

Black Tower Comics:Denizen Ark:Unemployed Crime-Fighter


 
Denizen Ark:Unemployed Crime-Fighter
W/A: JOHN ERASMUS
A4
Black & white
157 pages
Price: £9.00
Ships in 3–5 business days
 
It was the 1980s and the Small Press had a hero for that age of Thatcherism and bleakness. Amongst the three million unemployed was a man. An athlete. A street-fighter. A man who would not stand by while crime spread. ..
 
DENIZEN ARK…Unemployed crime-fighter.
 
But whatever happened to him? Read the further adventures of Denizen by one of the most under rated comic artists in the UK -JOHN ERASMUS! Superb black and white artwork that will make any wannabecomic creator weep.

Savage! Jungle Princess Not Good Enough For Diamond UK But Get Ready For Issue 2!

I wrote this back on 18th May but held off of posting in the hope that Diamond might change their minds but…




I cannot say that I was surprised to hear from John Short that Diamond UKs “Purchasing Dept Brand Manager” had turned down the excellent title.  Oh, the idiot called it “Savage: Jungle Girl” and gave the reason “to decline offering this in Previews as I don’t expect we’d get many orders.”

Of course, no “Marvel” or “DC” logo.

If you are a store owner all I can say is that this is a great fun comic -not many of those around today.  Contact John at Kult Creations and order copies -even if only five copies.

Diamond showing once again why no one really likes the company.  This is what happens if you have a monopoly calling the shots in an industry.

BUT the first issue was so well received that there is going to be a second issue! YAAAAY!!!!

How can the team possibly make the second issue better than the first?  John Short would only whisper “ninjas” -I have no idea if he is employing ninjas to sneak copies of the book into comic stores, assassinate people at Diamond or, as seems more likely, include them in the next book!

If you run a comic shop or if you know someone who does then please tell them that they can order this EXCELLENT title directly from John at the Kultcreations site (see blog roll).  So far I have neither seen nor heard anything negative about this book. But how to get you ready for issue 2? Not difficult really since a little oriental guy in black pajamas just gopt into my room and handed me this.



black pajamas….oriental…..

BLOODY HELL HE WAS A NINJA!!!!!

Monday, 11 June 2012

Fluide Glacial: Points Noirs & Sac a Dos/Blackheads and Backpacks



Points Noirs & Sac a Dos/Blackheads and Backpacks
Leslie Plée
Hard Cover
Full colour
58 pages
20 x 25 cms

ISBN   2352072638
EAN    978-2352072638
Release Date   20/06/2012
12 Euros
Available 20 June

As you’ll guess from the title, which is as accurate a translation as I can make, this is a coming of age type book.  Normally, there is an info sheet with the books so that I can see what it’s all about. Not with this one.  Pages not numbered so I had to take the time to count them and, when I opened the book up to scan pages -CRACK page binding went but no really bad damage.

Sadly, my French is not good enough to get all the subtleties here but the art has a certain innocent appeal and I’m guessing here, but aimed at younger readers? Pity I didn’t get most of it but here are three sample pages -you’ll not find the cover or preview pages any where else on the net!

Enjoy!


Fluide Glacial: Al Crane Integrale



Al Crane Integrale
Lauzier & Alexis
Fluide Glacial
Hard cover
Full colour
96 pages
23 x 31 cms
ISBN  9 782352 072669
25 Euro
Released 20th June 2012


Now, I know a little about this. Al Crane was initially published in Pilote in..1976(?) and is written by Gerard Lauzier and illustrated by Alexis.  This is basically an “Essentials” style book.

Now, if you like Spaghetti Westerns then you’ll love this. Fast guns, loose women, fist-fights, some injun action, stampede, saloon fight (there HAS to be a saloon fight), a disastrous locomotive ride –have I mentioned gun-fights and loose women?  Quite violent, brutal and gory in parts –the bounty hunter has ay of proving he got his man without carrying the body about (see page below).

The colour and format bring back a lot of memories of 1960s/1970s comic buying in Germany.

I love Western comics!


Friday, 8 June 2012

COMIC EXPO : MORE EVENTS for 2012!


  … JUST UPDATED!  the Fantasy Events website with not one,
but two new COMIC EXPO EVENTS!

Exeter 23rd September and back by popular demand,
Cardiff on 4th November.
Both EXPO’S are one day one shots with the focus on Small Press.
Full details will be released over the summer on EXpo EXclusives, Guests New Title debuts and much more….

www.fantasyevents.org


  …and the NEW PLYMOUTH ANIME COMIC EXPO details will be released soon!

Regards,
Mike Allwood
Producer
Cardiff & Exeter Comic Expo
www.fantasyevents.org

Thursday, 7 June 2012

CBO...To Continue Or Not?

Between 2004-2006 Comic Bits Online went from printed magazine to online format. Personally, I prefer print but what do my feelings matter?  Anyway, the previous CBO was on the notorious Freeservers system where there were LOTS of limitations and legally placed spam (unless you paid for non-advertising. I did once and I still got legit spam!).non-advertising. I did once and I still got legit spam!).


I tried a couple other servers but then stuck with Word Press which itself involves too many problems to go into.  So WP CBO is not seen as the prime site any more; that’s on Blogger these days - http://hoopercomicart.blogspot.co.uk/


News, reviews, interviews and previews aimed at the UK market but with international interest.  No DC or Marvel.  Just Small Press and Independent Comics whether English language or otherwise.  With hits amounting to 20,000+ a day I even tried to offer very cheap advertising to small publishers –and even a couple of bigger ones.  That was met with absolute disinterest.  Revenue would have helped to expand the site but, luckily, I was not pinning any hopes on this.

Best, I thought, to just concentrate on promoting British comics.  Every year, without fail and like scratched old records I’d talk to publishers at the comic expo and elsewhere and they all said the same things:

1.  “No one ever wants to review our books!”

2.  “We can’t get any publicity to promote our books!”

3.  “Shops will not touch pour books!”

And every single time I responded that CBO could take care of 1 and 2 and explain about hit counts and so on.  The immediate response was usually “Oh, we can sell you review copies!”  No. It does not work like that. Were these people contacting blogs saying they needed their new books publicised and it would only cost the blogger the cover price?

Seven years later the same moans but now I do not listen.

As for “3” –well, Excelsior! Comics in Bristol and another shop owner took some small press comics after deciding it worth selling these items.  Both gave up. They never heard a word from the publishers, never got new issues and in one case, Steve (the shop owner) found that publishers would not respond to emails.  Both dropped small press comics.

I have always made it clear that I will review every publication sent to me.  When I first got actively involved with the Small Press in 1983 I began reviewing and promoting –this ultimately leading to the setting up of Zine Zone Mail Order Service and the publication Zine Zone.  Publishers back then knew what they were doing. We reviewed and we sold.  There was Zine Zone or Fast Fiction and ads or reviews in comic fanzines.  No internet.

Amazing Heroes and the comics newspaper Comics FX credited me as being one of the lead influences in the UK small press invasion of the US.  Things seemed to be going great.

Come the internet come collapse.

Everyone set up their own web site or web comic and the “screw you” attitude to anyone wanting to help promote them was quite prevalent.  They were all “stars” –their mothers told them so! I saw some incredible web page designs for creators whose art was…well, just plain not good.  That didn’t really matter as long as the creator was having fun but there were some massive egos not matching the talent.

Which brings me to why some comic publishers say they will not send review books out: “I have my own site!”  That is one site lost amongst thousands of others globally. The chances of someone just happening across your site are very high –against.   It reminds me of the letter from AC publisher Bill Black: “There are over 300 publishers out there it just isn’t worth publicising” –it still doesn’t make sense after all these years.

Oh, I love the other excuse of publishers who do not send out review books/news –“I attend the comic conventions!”  Well, that’s worked.

No one can guarantee extra sales because of a review but it does let people know you are there and what you are publishing.  Getting that message across can be very important in today’s market.

But I’ve knocked myself out on this. I get 95% more review material from France/Germany than I do the UK (or US).  And this non-UK material has seen hits from comickers in France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands shoot up.

As for events in the UK.  I’ve given up.  I still get accused of black-listing or boycotting events that I have never heard from or from whom I have requested Press Releases or info but heard nothing.  I try three times with each event I hear of and then give up.  Then I hear that I’m not supporting their events.

Europe I can get as much info from on events as I want.

The UK just seems disorganised and not willing to support a site that supports and promotes it.  Think about it: thousands of Small Press/Indie comics are published each year in the UK and CBO sees maybe 4-5?

The thing that I find myself debating now is whether the UK side of things needs to be dropped in favour of going all-Euro?  It gets rid of all the hassle and flamers and no need for me to keep chasing up news, review copies, etc..  There was the option of actually pushing DC ands Marvel news but I keep kicking that back.

Go all-European or, the other alternative, close CBO?  I’m far more in favour of one rather than the other, especially when you consider UK publishers moan about my not publicising them (but who do not send news/books!).

In August you may click on and find CBO gone.  I’m not really sure whether that would even concern anyone since there are very very few comments actually left on CBO.  Would anyone miss it?   Comic fans? Publishers?  Who knows –certainly not me as I am not possessed of telepathic powers so I have no idea what you –yes, you reading this- thinks.  It doesn’t kill you to leave a comment but it would help me assess things.

So, apathy in the UK may well see CBO going and a lot of hard work vanishing from my desk top.

If you care…say so.

IAPF2 Bulletin!


IAPF2 Bulletin Special!

Preparations are in full swing for this year’s Festival!
Leading up to the main fair at the Conway Hall on 4th & 5th August we have two weeks of exhibitions at Orbital Comics including Dave Ziggy Greene who draws for Private Eye magazine and is published by French small press publisher Editions Meme Pas Mal.
We have 10 independent shops along Lamb’s Conduit Street in Holborn which will be exhibiting Comix artists work, including Kevin Ward, Hurk and Tobias Tak to name just three!
Comix Reader Issue 4 will launch as part of the festival with an exhibition at GOSH! Comics.
And all this will culminate in the main fair at the Conway Hall on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th August where there’ll be over 100 artists selling comix, zines, book arts, print and other self published work. We’ll have workshops including a really cool Book Binding class with WeMakeBooks. Also this year, in the Bertrand Russell Room we will have a weekend of spoken word and poetry with Vintage Poison, ReadHorse Zine, Structo Magazine and the Camden School of Enlightnement!
How can you be involved?
Well, if you’re Self Publisher we still have spaces available and will be doing a second round of table allocations soon! You can apply here, otherwise come along, tell your friends and help make this year as excellent as last year’s festival!
See you in the Summer!!!


Alternative Press /// London /// alternativepress.org.uk