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Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Focus On Paul Ashley Brown (but not his leg!)

Now, I could have written a long piece about Mr Brown (you HAVE to call him "Mr" or his mother will knife you -seriously) but he might think I'd gone sweet on him and that ain't the way the Hooper Drum Rolls, dig?

What better way to make people aware of his etchings before this Saturday's Zine Fair in Bristol than post a few past reviews and lots of lovely art and a wee bit of info about him (if you want the real truth just give me a wad of cash).
Paul Graduated from the University of the West of England in 2001 with a BA (Hons) Degree in Illustration. Since 2008 he has been self-publishing the Zine Browner-Knowle, a collection of his short narrative drawings and comic-strips. as well as other one-off titles. His work has featured in publications The Illustrated Ape, Strike! , Publish YOU!, The Comix Reader, The Affordable Amazement Catalogue, Indestructible Energy, Workburger, Stripburger, and Colour Me BAD !  .

He lives and works in Bristol, England.

Up-dated website with recent drawings, and Yo-Yo Buk Stupidity-see examples below if you can't be bothered to go there.

Defective Comics Get A Copy -QUICKLY!

Tell you what, you stick to your "They'll be worth even less in 50 years time" DC and Marvel comics. Me, I just bought a dozen of these because the legal notice should be served in late August -28th- so banned by DC, all the things in this mean I'll be making some easy money in about a year from now.

Never say I didn't give you the heads up.  Once gone -you lose!

Up-date If you really want to buy a book that will be rare and therefore a good investment and have a story behind why it is rare -this is it.  Word on the grapre-vine is that DC are about to threaten legal action to stop this loving parody.

Buy quickly because lawyers work fast on high salaries!

Defective Comics
Writer: Peter (The Golden Wonder Boy) Lally
Art: Paul (Bat-Probe) BrownA516pp
According to Mr Brown: "Hallo Tel um, it's £3 + £1 p&p. Paypal me at, with your address. Isn't that enough eh? 

 Oh dear. I kept hearing Batman's dialogue in Adam West's voice and the Joker's in Mark Hamill's. Naturally, we all know whose voice Robin had -?

I reviewed the last hilarious outing of this creative duo back in 2010 -Donald Hamilton: Mind Your Manners, which looked at the sad story of a former TV icon and his fall from grace...hilariously. Sadly, the review was on the old CBO and not on Blogger.  However, Comic Reader recommended it: 

This was all rather fun and the ending sees everyone happy except, maybe, Commissioner Gordon. Lovely solid negatives (Holy black and white art done proper!). This is The Killing Joke as Moore should have done it and very relevant at the moment. Hoy -Moore: read this and see how fun comics with "social comment" should be done.

Lally does not produce enough scripts but that could be because he is living "outside the system" in Berlin and on the run from Opus 21 hit-squads -you did read my review of that, right? 

People: this is what Small Press comics should look like.
Browner-Knowle 8 (or BK8 for d'yoot)
Like The Strangers That You've Met Drawings By Paul Ashley Brown

This is a darker, jaded Batman who might be described as "very weary" and angry. Quite, quite Bat-angry.  Look at that Front cover. Bloody "Hoodies".  But then, Aquaman seems almost on the verge of a breakdown while Robin...well, Robin apparently has a nice arse but cannot get a girlfriend though he does get his bum pinched a lot if he goes into bars.  ahem.

But when "The Golden Wonder Boy" teams up with Paul (Bat-Probe) Brown it all clicks together to make a great, and very funny read.  Add to that the quality of printing by Pat-Print Prods (my scans aren't doing it justice) and lovely thick and almost glossy interior pages -it's pure quality.

Paul Ashley Brown
A5 (Digest)
Black and White

Firstly, no, I have no idea how you can get a copy other than to look out for Mr Brown at some effete Small Press event. Review after review I say "People need to know how to order" but does it sink in?  No. And I give up.  But it does mean -this will irritate him- that if you are looking for investment comics you need to latch on to Browner Knowle -not widely available and with limited print runs.

Before I do my bit, for what it's worth, I thought I'd look around and see what others had written -if any had- about BK 8.

Well, I found one review posted by Peter Stanbury
"Once again, Paul Ashley Brown serves up a motley crew of characters passing through the melancholy landscape of a lost and lonely England.

From shopaholic old ladies reeling round supermarkets, to doped-up sofa wastrels off their faces and out of their minds; half-glimpsed street nutters and lonely female librarians, war veterans and street photographers, all are revealed in words and images that are by turns cruel, funny, perverse, sad, tragic, compassionate, violent and contemplative.

Expect melancholic musings of love, loss, and what it means to be (barely) alive. With added excessive offensive language, and scenes of a (peculiar) sexual nature, this is sure to affirm Brown’s position of being the most anonymous outsider out there. With justifiable cause!"

The link will take you to links for a couple other PAB books.

Paul Ashley Brown exhibiting himself in Finland

Having seen all the Browner Knowles one thing struck me straight away -colour cover.  And a very nice colour cover to boot.  There is also another nice illo on the back cover but you need to buy the book to see that!

The other thing I noted is quality of the paper and printing.  No one really cares what I think, I know, but after seeing thousands of publications in 40+ years these things jab my brain.  The thickness and sturdiness of the paper are good.  These pages are not going to tear or crease unless you want to do that. The printing is quite luscious. No faded or not-quite black printing. 

This is very good quality printing and so the negatives (black -ink/white -paper) are excellently balanced.  This is also a Perfect Bound book and I can tell you the spine is tough as concrete.  I know this because while I was on the floor (you don't need to know why) BK8 fell of a shelf and almost concussed me: that is one tough spine.

Quality wise, I have to say that this is the best issue to date.  So then we have to contents.

My two favourite pages -well, double spread- are the character looking out of the window at the night bus as it passes.  Vivianand Satellites of Love are two other favourites. Missus Necessary  might look like it is going to be just a humour strip but there's more to it.  In fact, BK8 was not as suicide inspirational as you might think from the usual Mr Brown fair.

Very enjoyable but I still have to ask why, with all the far, far lesser talents picked up by publishers to produce graphic novels, no one has approached Paul Ashley Brown?  That shows the poor state of comics or, as the arty farty set prefer to call it, the "graphic illustration scene"

If you can find a copy buy a copy!

21 x 21.5 cms
black and white
available from  Paul Ashley Brown, c/o 15 Wedmore Vale Road, Bedminster, Bristol BS3 5HQ

Having just sold one heck of a lot of books at the Alternative Press event in London, Mr. Brown is one of those creators I keep telling people that they need to invest in. 

His books have sold in Europe and he has been to Finland and Japan which adds to his already existing following in the UK.

Mr. Brown is currently working on other projects but tends to not over expose his work.  So this makes that work much sought after!

Rather than use the familiar format of the Browner Knowle series, Mr. Brown has opted for a more squarish format and, sadly, my scanner does not show the nice yellow shade of the cover -but that's scanners for you!

The scanner does not do justice to the pencil artwork which is a great pity as these centre pages I really like.  And it is an even bigger annoyance because with today's printing technology you can reproduce pencil art superbly -it's when it gets into the hands of kack-handed scanner-reviewers that it goes wrong!

For investment, and if you can get a hold of copies because these are low print run books, I would say buy this book orBrowner Knowles or any of his books -the mini Yo Yo books sell like hot-cakes on a cold Winters day so if you can buy any of those do!

And if you have bought a copy of  number 6 of The Comix Reader -check online to buy at
 - you will see some of Mr. Brown's colour work.

Again, if you get a folded newspaper size comic it will get creases -and the actual colours on this piece are quite subtle.

No Tobias Tak in this edition which means that Mr. Brown's work is the stand-out piece in the comic.  Again, I don't think The Comic Reader has a massive print-run so worth getting and there is the added bonus that newspaper format comics in the UK are VERY rare

But you can order the latest Paul Ashley Brown book directly from him so why not ask him to sign your copy?

Really is a nice book and I have to add it to my collection which includes Judge Dredd and Blue Saviour illustrations by said Bristol's own King of Zines!

Highly recommended.

The Return Of Paul Ashley Brown Anon.

Paul Ashley Brown
Browner Knowle Publications
8 or 16 pages
A4 or A3
£3.00 + £1.00 p&p 

The Bristol art leg end that is Paul Alouitiuos Makepiece Kitchener Lady Chaterley Brown -aka Ashley Simpson aka Paul Ashley Brown was bound to return. After the Browner Knowle issue cited in Parliament as being responsible for mass suicides -and which I am legally obliged not to mention here- we have another offering from the living Erzatz.

You know he hates me, right? Rival more like.

There may be a few who wonder why I've written "A4/A3" and "8 or 16 pages"?  Simple.  This is an un-stapled, loose-leaf offering offering double spreads so they are A3 folded to A4. There is the usual collection of eccentrics and sketches from life and do not panic -still the faint hint of depression here but all enjoyable.

However, there is ONE reason why you ought top get a copy of this latest offering. If only the story behind it were included but it is a case of "protecting the innocent".  Here is that reason:

Paul Ashley Brown: Anon 2

Anon 2
Paul Ashley Brown
Browner Knowle

Firstly, this is printed on a slightly tinted paper which looks nice but fecks things up on scanning. So I had to turn 'em into black and white art pages.  Does look better with the tint, though.

Now, I do not usually look at other reviews but this one caught my eye:

"Reading this will make you a goddam sexual tyrranosaur!"

Dr Jessie Ventura
Karachi Medical Gazette

That is some recommendation.

Well, if there was one positive side to last weekends BCZF it was that Mr Paul Ashley Brown sold a fair doings of zines. He stood there, drinking an espresso with his t-Shirt emblazoned with "Je ne suis pas prétentieux, je ne suis que l'artiste!"*

 I have written "16 pages" but that is not quite accurate.  This book is not stapled and that is for a very good reason: the pages open up to make four A3 posters.  My favourite of these is this one:

 I have written "16 pages" but that is not quite accurate.  This book is not stapled and that is for a very good reason: the pages open up to make four A3 posters.  My favourite of these is this one:

 You do get the one page treats such as "Humpty On The Edge Forever" that Mr Brown calls "Mon déchirant chef-d'œuvre de la vie!"** And who could argue with that? I cried. I truly cried.*** I do like the use of solid black and white here which balances out the page.

 And Mr Brown did say that far more would be revealede about what he calls his "mes penchants sexuels torrides" and I'm guessing this page covers that. Believe me, that illo is physically spot on accurate, boy. This is half of one of the A3 posters I was referring to and if you want to see the women in the other half you will have to buy. Gave me the right horn. Although, this illustration of its own accord has a slight, what the French call "taquineries sexuelle".  Hmm?

Yes, no cover logo...and yet we knew it was Anon 2 because Mr Brown told us so.

Here is a comparison with Storm which I just reviewed.  This is an art style I've not seen anyone other than Mr Brown employ and it works for style of story telling -whether simply illustrative or text accompanied. I don't have any problem recommending this -simply contact Mr Brown and ask the cost!

 Reviewers notes.
*"I am not pretentious. I am merely THE artist!"
**"My heart wrenching masterpiece about life!"
***And did I cry -I whacked my big toe against the table leg.

I may have been lying about some things in this review but not the book.  Buy a copy and get in on why he's so popular!


And if none of that convinced you that you need to get some PAB books for your collection let me just add that Defective Comics has been well received in Finland, Germany and, I believe, Japan.

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