Friday, 24 October 2014

Black Tower Books -Yep, Not Just Comics and Graphic Novels!



It's been pointed out to me that many people may think that Black Tower Comics just publish comic albums and graphic novels.  well, the banner reads "Black Tower Comics and Books.


Many people may have missed the mention of those books considering the number of newbies each day and, of course, the number of posts.  This is a BIG blog!


So, for those of you who are unaware of the books Black Tower publishes here's a run-down:

It's a very chunky book as noted and the first of its kind from a UK publisher containing as it does interviews with many UK comic stars as they were breaking into the big time as well as a few American creators -including Marv Wolfman.
Black Tower Books has always tried to step away from what other publishers produce and this has already been called "a major contribution to British comic history!" and I don't argue with praise like that!

The Hooper Interviews

Terry Hooper-Scharf
A4
Black & white
prose and very fully illustrated!
365 pages
Price: £15.00

From a huge selection of interviews covering the Small Press,Independent Comics from the UK,Europe and US,here are a few of the best from over 25 years. These interviewees include:

Including…deeep breath:

JOHN COOPER
YISHAN LI
DONNA BARR
ROBERTA GREGORY
EMMA VIECELI
SONIA LEONG
ALAN CLASS
PAUL BIRCH
KAREN RUBINS
WILLIE HEWES
PEKKA A. MANNINEN
OLIVIER CADIC
JON HAWARD
MARV WOLFMAN
TANIA DEL RIO
JEFF BROOKS
MIKE WESTERN
MORAG LEWIS
DAVE RYAN

And many others.  And, yes, fully illustrated throughout!   This is a bargain book at £15 -a price reduced until 24th December, 2014.

The Truth About Spring-Heeled Jack


The Truth About Spring-Heeled Jack
Terry Hooper-Scharf
Paperback (prose)
A4
53 Pages
Price: £7.00
The terror and mystery created by “Jack The Ripper” has been the subject of countless books, magazine articles as well as movies and TV documentaries. Ask anyone if they have ever heard of Jack The Ripper and it is doubtful anyone would respond with a “no idea.” 
By that same token, ask people who “Spring-heeled Jack” was and you would be lucky to find anyone who had ever heard of him. 
Spring-heeled Jack was the subject (loosely) of a film The Curse of the Wraydons (1946) and Dominic Keating also appeared as Spring Heeled Jack in the 2010 film Sherlock Holmes by The Asylum film company. The character has also featured in both American and British comic books and a number of books, for both children and adults. 
But the fact that the Springald held the country –not just London– in a grip of terror much longer that the Ripper did is all but forgotten except for some half-truths and fanciful theories. 

Now be prepared to read the full story of Spring Heeled Jack!

Illustrated throughout.

The Red Paper:CANINES vol.1


The Red Paper:CANINES vol.1

Terry Hooper-Scharf
Paperback,
A4
202 Pages
Price: £10.00
Up-dated 2011 edition includes section on sarcoptic mange in foxes and treatment plus a list of wildlife sanctuaries and rescue centres in the UK.

 By the 1700s the British fox was on the verge of extinction and about to follow the bear and wolf into history having been hunted for sport for centuries.

The first solely wildlife book by the noted naturalist.

 The answer was to import thousands of foxes per year for sport. But foxes kept dying out so jackals were tried. Some were caught, some escaped.

Even wolves and coyote were released for hunting.

The summation of over 30 years research -all backed up with full references including from books and papers by famous British "fox hunters" and manuals and game keeper guides to keeping foxes for hunting- reveals the damnable lie of "pest control" hunting but also reveals the cruelty the animals were subject to and how private menageries as well as travelling shows helped provide the British and Irish countryside with some incredible events.

The legendary Girt Dog of Ennerdale, a favourite of cryptozoologists and mystery writers, is also dealt with in detail.

Arctic foxes, coyotes in Essex and many more near forgotten mysteries of wild nature in the UK and supported by illustrations and photographs once thought to have been lost many years ago.  Trawling newspaper archives does pay off. 

Low price until 24th December, 2014

Some Things Strange & Sinister


Some Things Strange & Sinister

Terry Hooper-Scharf
Paperback,
A4
358 Pages
Profusely illustrated with photographs, maps and illustrations.
Price: £15.00
After more than 35 years as an investigator and more than forty as a naturalist, the author has opened some of the many files he has accumulated dealing with such things as  The Terrifying Events At The Lamb Inn, The Ghosts Of All Saints Church, Dead Aquatic Creatures of Canvey Island, captured bigfoot like creatures in India -all exclusively presented for the first time and with new added research previously unseen.

PLUS a vastly expanded section on Spring-heeled Jack!

Photographs,maps,line drawings and up-dated to make 358 pages looking at Things truly Strange and Sinister. The cryptozoologist, Ghost Hunter,Ufologist or Fortean will find this book has something for everyone -including the just plain inquisitive!

Low price until 24th December, 2014

Some More Things Strange & Sinister


Some More Things Strange & Sinister


Terry Hooper-Scharf
Paperback,
A4
327 Pages
Price: £15.00
Follow-up to the hugely successful Some Things Strange & Sinister.

For those interested in Ufology, cryptozoology, hominology, unusual natural history, ghosts and mysteries in general.

The secret history of gorillas in the UK -before they were officially  'discovered'. The history of  the Wild men of Europe, the UK and US: something that in the 1800s become very "pop culture"!

Hominology. Sasquatch and Bigfoot -is there evidence for their existence?  You might be surprised.

Giant snakes. Amazons. The Giant serpent of Carthage. The Girt Dog of Ennerdale -another big cult 'creature' amongst paranormal and cryptozoological circles. The Beast of Gevaudan -what was it and were there really descendents of the creature in the 19th century?

 Believe it or not more than one incident of historical crocodiles cases in the UK.

And, after more than a century of claims by 'researchers' that it no longer exists: Silent City of Alaska and the near legendary photograph taken of it.

 And much more. Updated with extra pages and photographs. 

Low price until 24th December, 2014

Pursuing The Strange & Weird:A Naturalists Viewpoint


Pursuing The Strange & Weird:A Naturalists Viewpoint



Paperback, 
A4
249 Pages
Price: £15.00
2013 UP DATE -From Dead Aquatic (Humanoid) Creatures, the giant squid and yet undiscovered sea creatures; submarine and ships crews encountering true leviathans. 
There is a fully expanded section which also refers to the so-called ‘Ningen’ sightings and video footage. 
Extinct animals at sea that have been re-discovered. The subject of Sasquatch and other mystery Hominids around the world is dealt with including a look at the “Sasquatch-killer”, Justin Smeja. 
Dr. Bryan Sykes and his DNA test results for TVs The Bigfoot Files as well as the controversial Erickson Project and Dr. Melba Ketchum’s Even more controversial Sasquatch DNA test results. 
Also included are two early French UFO entity cases that still baffle. Ghosts, strange creatures and the Star-Child hoax. All dealt with by the naturalist and pursuer of the strange and weird

Low price until 24th December, 2014

The Amazing World Of Alan Class


The Amazing World Of Alan Class


Terry Hooper-Scharf
Paperback,
A4
24 Pages
Price: £5.00
Marvel, Timely, Atlas, Charlton, ACG, MLJ/Archie Dennis the Menace (US) -one man published them all. Alan Class. Who?

Class is legendary for bringing black and white reprints of US comics to a country starved of the medium thanks to a certain war! From 1959-1989 Suspence, Sinister, Astounding and Uncanny gave us a comic fix for a few pennies.

Learn more about the man and how Class Comics came about in the long awaited print version of Terry Hooper's exclusive interview!

Saturday, 18 October 2014

The Attacker: War On Injustice

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
                                                                                  Martin Luther King, Jr.

LOOK OUT -COMING THIS DECEMBER -Dr LeFun's Psychopandemonicum of Terror!




Oh yes.  Dr LeFun originated in a three page story I wrote and pencilled back in the 1980s.  Around 2010 the character appeared in Dr LeFun And The Curse Of The Yucatan Mummy!

And that was it.
Until.....
Until one of the UKs most under-rated comic strip artists resurrected the character for appearances in Black Tower Adventure, Black Tower Super Heroes and Tales Of Terror!  And that man was none other than Ben R. Dilworth.
The re-told origin of Dr Lefun takes centre stage and this collection contains strips previously published and never-before-published behind a trademark Hooper-Scharf nut-job cover.
More information before publication which is expected to be some time in December.
By-the-way, have you not noticed the pair of glowing red eyes in that dark corner.....?

Friday, 17 October 2014

Black Tower Comics & Books Are Going -Are YOU??


Just So You Do NOT Forget! BCP International Book Fair & Comic Expo

BCP International Book Fair & Comic Expo 

 Mercure Holland House Hotel & Spa, Bristol UK - 22nd November 2014

http://bcpexpo.blogspot.co.uk/ 

Tickets

Tickets to the BCP International Book Fair & Comic Expo are £5 per person 

Exhibitor tables are £25 per table (includes 2 x guest passes)

  • To order through PayPal please email Kate at:  kate[at]backcoverpromotions.co.uk (Paypal charges are as follows: £5 per table booking and 50p per ticket booking).

  • To order through BACS, Cheque or any other method please email Judy at: judybainbridge46[at]hotmail.co.uk

**Admission to the event will be via proof of purchase receipt, purchaser must have printed copy with them to gain access**

BCP Panel's Announced

Excited? How can you not be!!! The Panel line-up is absolutely stellar this year!! We will be releasing the location and times as soon as they are confirmed so please check back. 

But for now the Panels are...........

"What editors do, what they're looking for, and how to make their lives so much easier." 

Alternative Realities will be hosting an informal panel discussing what editors do, what they're looking for and how to make their lives so much easier. In other words, how to improve your chances of not being rejected even before they've even started reading your submission and how to rise to the top once they do.


"Fear, Uncertainty and DRM" 

In 2012, sales of eBooks overtook sales of physical books, but are consumers getting what they bargained for? Whether you are a publisher, writer, or reader, the new rules that govern who really owns and controls the digital content that you pay for affect us all. Join novelist, technologist, comics writer and nerd Chris Lynch for a whistle-stop tour through the dark side of "Digital Rights Management" (DRM) and find out just how much power Apple, Google, Amazon, and Microsoft have over our books, music, games and more in the digital millennium



"Poetry workshop"

Open to adults with little or no experience of writing, as well as those people who have been writing for sometime. Somerset poet Paul Tobin will be running a 90 minute poetry workshop. Paul is an experienced facilitator, who has run many workshops across the south west and at festivals for the past six years. Paul facilitates Taunton's popular poetry group Juncture 25, where he runs a poetry workshop once a month. Why not come along and let the muse speak to you.



"The Changing Face of Horror"

Horror, as a genre, is constantly evolving. Found-footage and torture-porn films are becoming increasingly popular and in recent years there has been a resurgence in zombie and vampire fiction. This informal panel will look at the ever-changing face of horror. Are we becoming more difficult to scare? Whatever happened to the humble ghost story? When will the zombie trend end? What's next for horror? Featuring Adam MillardSimon Marshall JonesA.S. Chambers and Scot Stanford.
We are so excited to have the following confirmed and ready to join us at the BCP International Book Fair & Comic Expo! As more guests are confirmed we will add them to the lists under the right areas! As you can see we are hoping to bring to you a diverse and unique convention with BCP International Book Fair & Comic Expo! We hope you are as excited as we are.

Please click on each name to learn more about our guests

Headliner:


Authors:

Poets:
Artist In Residence:

Artists:

Publishers:

Editors:
Traders:



Black Tower Will have a modest selection of books at the event including

Dr Morg   


Silvermaign:Knight Ghoul Hunter  
 

The Collected Phantom Detective   

 

GoBo   
GoBo 

The Collected Ben Dilworth   


The Dark Night Detectives  

The Dark Night Detectives

Return Of The Gods   
 

The Cross Earths Caper
 

 

Merriwether -God's Demon Thumper 

The Iron Warrior Vs Big Bong


The Iron Warrior Vs Big Bong
 and other goodies including Ben Dilworth's hot Dark Hope comics!

And -and- going for £1.00 each are Black Tower Blockbuster! -Bristol Events only tasters to the Black Tower Universe!


Sunday, 5 October 2014

I'm Too Radical For The 'Kids'! -The BCZF




  
I would like to start by pointing out I am not ranting.  It seems that, if you have an opinion and try to get it across it is seen as “ranting”.  The “ranting” I do tends to be fairly tongue-in-cheek but I guess people don’t get it because there is no “smiley” after humour.
Believe me, if I ranted you would know it.
I need to also point out that I have attended and sold at zine and comic events for over thirty years.  I’m not some wide-eyed newcomer who expects to earn a fortune.  I know the business and in thirty years have been quite happy that I make back table costs and a small profit,
Neither do I expect to have people worshipping at my feet.  Particularly with the Small Press I like the fact that you are –or were- always taken as one of “the folk” who produce and sell zines.  It was very informal, swapping ideas, talking about all aspects of the Small Press.
I go into events never expecting to make money. I don’t think “I need to sell £15 worth to cover table cost, £x for travel and I’ll set the money I want to make today at £xx!”  That is not how it works.
What I did expect at the BCZF –at which I actually was the only comicker- was to have a good chat with creators and people attending the event.
My attending was to support a Small Press event in Bristol. Simon, one of the organisers is a very nice fellow and as helpful as you would really want a helpful person to be! 
It was not about making money –my books were being sold cheaper than a lot of Small Press books at the event and, basically, at cost. I was just going to get my money back on anything sold and no profit.
So, let me begin….
I arrived at the event location, the Station, at around 11:10hrs –the Station is a really nice place for an event and I’d hope that someone organising a comic mart might one day look at this place.  Okay, a few people seemed to be freaked out that they had to use unisex toilets.  I’m 57 years old and I’ve lived in Germany and travelled through Nederlands, France and Belgium. It takes more than that to phase me (and something was going on in one cubicle that we’ll not talk about). The Station is a lovely location.
So, met Simon who told me where my table was and that there was a name tag on it –so I looked and found!  “Hello. How’s it going?” I said to one zinester I had met previously.  “Yeah” he muttered as he turned away.  Okay, maybe had had a bad night.  The guy on the table next to me was setting up. “Hello –I’m Terry, how’s it going?” Response: “nngh. Okay.”   I began to think that I might need to drop the “how’s it going”.  So the other chap next to me turns up with his mate. I say “Hello” and nothing. In fact, I began to suspect both were deaf after another attempt to be friendly.
I then realised that my t-shirt emblazoned with the phrase: “Jim Fixed It For Me To Meet Rolf Harris” might have been a bad idea.  I’ll point out here that that last sentence was dark, satire. Of a kind.
So, I spotted someone who had friended me on Face Book and went to say hello. I got a grunt and a turned back. Yes, I did check that my trousers were not undone. I then spotted another FB ‘friend’ so went to say hello and made a nice comment about the display on the table.  “Yeah. Right” and he then walked off.
I checked my shoes.  No, I had not stepped in anything obnoxious. Trousers WERE done up.  My breath was okay.  My biggest shock was that someone I had more than a few email chats with as well as friendly exchanges on Face Book just totally blanked me twice when I said hello.
Don’t call me paranoid but I was beginning to suspect that the problem might be me.
NAH!
My sign (on MY table) declaring cut prices for the BCZF on all books was repeatedly knocked over by the next table who seemed happy to just leave it as it ended up but I consigned this to “wasn’t aware what he had done” on those occasions. A “right on guy” I’d met at previous events just totally blanked me and apart from “Hi” would not talk to me.
So, I thought I’d just get on with what I was there for –to “press the flesh” of the punters (insert “smiley” here).
It was really weird. I think I spoke to five people over six-and-a-half hours and those were quick, short outbreaks.  People stopped at my table to stretch over to pick up and read zines from the tables either side of me. A jokey “Hey, there’s some nice books here, too!” was either ignored or got a scowl.  Maybe the t-shirt with “I Have Ebola” on it was a bad idea.  (sigh. Joke)
It was almost as though some kind of force field smoothly moved people to either side of my table. But I did get some people checking out the books. The Dr Morg Trilogy cover got more than a few views.  Some people even flicked through the book.  I would now like to quote some of those comments:
“Yeugh. Weird.”
“That just looks weird”
“mutter mutter mutter weird mutter mutter”
Then came the man who was flicking though the book –and I do mean “flicking” as though the rapid movement of pages would produce a moving image of some kind.  So I said: “It’s quite an odd book but I’ve had some good responses from readers outside the UK….”  Nothing but a quick look at me.  “There’s some black humour and there is a complex story there –and I played around with design—“ A response:”Yes. And then there is this” –it was almost spat out as he pointed at the page. The man pointed to one page out of over 50 which has a silhouette of a devil-winged foetus and the caption reads “We gave it our DNA”.  That was, it seems, totally offensive and he tossed the book back on to the table as I said, perhaps he might like to go through it and take a careful look.  No.
Then several people pointed to the GoBo book and made muttered private comments.  Later a young woman told me that it looked like a character from a movie…Sylvester Stallone?
At one point my two neighbours, in loud voices which was odd as they had been quietly talking all the while, said “At least we’re not in it for the money!” and burst out laughing.  There was another comment later on that made it quite apparent that it was a reference to what I had written about people in zines not being in it for the money but for fun.
The books I sold were not mine but placed on the table for me to sell.  My actual sales were a £1 Black Tower taster and a copy of GoBo bought for a lady’s “young brother” –as it was intended for general readership and to raise a smile  no problem.
In all, I made a HUGE loss.  Normally I wouldn’t care but even people I knew were nodding and saying “hi” and going to other tables to buy.
Now, GoBo and Mr Morg were getting looked at a lot but it seemed to be the opinion that there was nothing similar to Black Tower books at the event.  A LOT of sub-Manga, some nicely produced books and a great deal of not well drawn books.  As I have pointed out over and over again, the quality of the art does not matter in zines but everyone seemed to be using two styles that were similar and it didn’t look good.
But the major shock to me was how, when I told people I was based in Bristol I got blank looks.  I was not the only one there!  I did mention having worked in comics and zines since the 1980s and the look I got from the man next to me!
Some French girls were overheard by someone I know and they seemed to think some of the books on my table were European!
The overall opinion, though, is that I am too radical for the kids.  Yes, I’m putting that on a t-shirt.
So, my books don’t fit in with comics.  They don’t fit in with today’s zine people. And the opinion of one person who is a proper fine artist was that my books were unlike others at the event carries far more worth because he would be looking at things visually.
Face it, even at my age I’m too radical.  Some people find it hard to pigeon hole me.  Good.
But after years of promoting and pushing the Small Press, yesterday killed it for me.  Reviews yes but that’s it.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Remember: It's Not Just The BZ&CF on 4th October In Bristol!

AniMangaPop! Up-Date!

 

aniMangaPOP
 For Visitor, cosplay and Exhibitor info check out the link below:

 http://amp.keep-it-secret.co.uk/

Special Guests

The team here at aniManga POP! Love to bring you some of the most exciting & interesting guests to our show. Below are some of the guests you will be able to meet on the day!
Momoiro Otome Ensemble
Momoiro Otome Ensemble
Performers
A Meidol (Maid idol) unit! they also work as Maids at 'Maids of England', a maid cafe based in London, UK! They perform dance and song covers of Doujinshi, Anime, J-pop and idol songs!

Naomi Suzuki
Naomi Suzuki
Singer/Songwriter/Presenter/Actress
Brought to the UK by Polygram records in the late 90’s and since then has embarked on projects of both critical and commercial success. Reaching number 12 in the UK singles charts. Naomi is also a reputable events host and worked with Matsutake Kabuki and NHK broadcasting amongst others.

Himezawa
Himezawa
Actress/Model/Performer/Cosplayer
A published novelist, model, actress, cosplayer and performer, originally from Germany, now living in the United Kingdom. She started cosplaying in 2009, taking part in in German Cosplay events. Making many appearances here in the UK at events such as MCM Expo and London Anime Con and also appeared in publications such as Neo Magazine.

The Truth About Spring-Heeled Jack



The Truth About Spring-Heeled Jack
Terry Hooper-Scharf
Paperback (prose)
A4
53 Pages
Price: £7.00
Ships in 3–5 business days
The terror and mystery created by “Jack The Ripper” has been the subject of countless books, magazine articles as well as movies and TV documentaries. Ask anyone if they have ever heard of Jack The Ripper and it is doubtful anyone would respond with a “no idea.” 
By that same token, ask people who “Spring-heeled Jack” was and you would be lucky to find anyone who had ever heard of him. 
Spring-heeled Jack was the subject (loosely) of a film The Curse of the Wraydons (1946) and Dominic Keating also appeared as Spring Heeled Jack in the 2010 film Sherlock Holmes by The Asylum film company. The character has also featured in both American and British comic books and a number of books, for both children and adults. 
But the fact that the Springald held the country –not just London– in a grip of terror much longer that the Ripper did is all but forgotten except for some half-truths and fanciful theories. Now be prepared to read the full story of Spring Heeled Jack!


Erm, some "adult lyrics" in this one! But what the hey!

My British Comic Book History Project?



I have been asked -and not via the internet!- what happened to the book on British comics history I was working on?

Well, as is always the way, I've kind of changed "mid-flow" as it were.  The book was meant to be a British comics history but I decided that I should not really supply plagiarists with more information that they can steal and call their own.

I decided that, yes, there will be British comics history but the book will also feature articles that I have written on the Small Press, German and British comics and much more. And, yes, it WILL be another "big 'un"!

When it will appear is another matter. I have a few comic albums to get out of the way as well as the Green Skies graphic novel which, like Return (see the ad to the right), should be well over 300 pages in length. I am also currently working on a book of my Maakika art so.....

Add all of this to the two up-coming Bristol comic events and I'm quite busy.  I'd estimate maybe February, 2015?  That is not legally binding, mind you.

So, keep watching and waiting and saving those pennies!

US Comic Book Implosion IS On Its Way




In the early 1970s, Marvel comics were hit by the slump in sales -as was DC.  Fans of either company will argue "DC was hit worse than Marvel!" and "Marvel was still chalking up the success unlike DC!" -this is what I call the "Fan Stupidity Factor" (FSF).

FSF is seen in a number of forms but the most common are the almost petulant child-like stamping of feet -I've seen this at comic events- when Marvel Comics is mentioned.  And the phrase "I'm sorry -'Marvel' -what's that? Never heard of it!" and, seriously, a few times I have really wanted to hit some of these people but then I realise they are suffering a mental health issue.  Oh yes, I've seen the same at Marvel panels regarding mention of DC.

I even had a conversation with a man in his thirties in a comic shop when he was looking at comics and asked "Is there anything you'd recommend?" I pointed to a Marvel comic on the next row of shelves.  He wouldn't look. In fact, he responded to my pointing to the book in question again with "I do not recognise any company than DC."  FSF.

The truth is that Marvel and DC were hitting very bad times and sales were declining and titles being cancelled and reprints featured a lot!  It was after the movie Star Wars that Marvel just avoided going under. Roy Thomas pushed hard for the company to publish a Star Wars comic.  They did and it gave them a breathing space.

Remember there were no real comic shops as such back then selling anything other than old books, old comics and so on and in the UK it was a similar story.  Flea market stalls and book shops selling old pulps also sold comics -Bristol Book Centre in Gloucester Road, Bristol was run by a rather quirky American lady who used to be an opera singer. Pulp sci fi,crime pulps AND comics. Man, those were the days.

But back on track, Marvel and DC were dying.  So, the UK companies were faring no better -to an extent. Bosses were making sure titles were being cancelled and looked for a good excuse. Once a month "the boys upstairs" would take a look at 2000 AD -which was why you'd get a lot of violence then, suddenly, an issue became quite..."tame" -that was the issue that was going "upstairs". But titles were featuring new talent and DC realised this -visits to the UK to meet, wine and dine UK creators are a matter of common knowledge.

At a UK Comic Art Convention I actually asked Archie Goodwin what real contribution UK creators had made to a company such as DC?  "They saved the company. Period." was the response.


Marvel and how it escaped death to be reborn (hmm...no. Let's not get into the reboot thing!) is also well known.  But DC and Marvel turmoil led the "The Black & White comics explosion" which made fortunes for some creators (many then squandering the cash thinking it would always be coming in!) and this included the "Small Press Comic Explosion" and "UK Small Press Invasion" of the US where things had become stale and very chaotic. Creators from the Independent comics were also recruited thinking that working for Marvel and DC was going to rake in money (seriously, if you have not watched the Bob Layton interview to be found on Tales From The Kryptonian do so and you WILL learn a lot).  How'd that turn out?

The point is that many -many- of the old DC and Marvel comics fans who invested emotion and money in books and characters no longer buy -or are very selective about what they buy.  Reboot after reboot. New 1st issue after new 1st issue.  So many variant covers that it has become ridiculous and the FSF kicks in "I MUST buy every variant cover!"  -look, I've written about this so often that it would be ridiculous to do so again.  Fans are encouraging the immense greed of the companies so it will -it will- continue and then........

BOOM!

 

Cancellations. Maybe even Disney stopping publishing comics -just collections. "They will NEVER do that!" you scream.  They will.

Take a look at this BBC Entertainment item from May, 2013 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-22686413

Iron Man 3 enters all-time box office top five

Robert Downey Jr and friend in Iron Man 3  

Robert Downey Jr reprises his role as billionaire crime-fighter Tony Stark in Iron Man 3

Comic book blockbuster Iron Man 3 has become the fifth top-grossing film of all time, according to online movie tracker Box Office Mojo.
The sequel, which has now made $1.14bn (£760.5m) worldwide, overtook 2011's Transformers: Dark of the Moon to claim fifth place in the chart.

Now, Comichron (The Comics Chronicles) http://www.comichron.com/monthlycomicssales/2013.html has this interesting fact plus a complete breakdown:


2013 Comic Book Sales Figures Comics Sold to North American Comics Shops as Reported by Diamond Comic Distributors


OVERALL North American Dollar Sales for Diamond's Comics, Trade Paperbacks, and Magazines for 2013 around $517.66 million (up 9.04% year-over-year)

Hmm. Now we already know Disney has started replacing Marvel people and putting their own Disney folk in place.  There are rumours of other (unpublicised) little take-overs of former Marvel areas by Disney. 

Before you decide to dig up the road, cut down tracts of woodland you always send in the surveyors to decide what to do and what to get rid of.  Are people not seeing what's going on here?

Now, publish comics...pay writers, artists, editors, printers, distributors and we all know what artists and writers are like with their wanting a per centage and creative rights (which, in fact, they do not get with Disney).  That is a LOT of expenditure for a cut of $517.66 million-their "overall share" was 33.50% now, forgive me but even with my dyscalculus I can see that the big earner for Disney is not the comics.

Big investment in making the movies but, equally, huge financial rewards and most of the money from the movies and movie related merchandise will be from people who have never ever read the comics. Seriously. At a couple of events I talked to people about the Avengers and Iron Man films and not a single person knew either had started as comics.  Stan Lee was "that character in The Big Bang Theory" and Jack Kirby...the blank expressions said it all.

As Bob Layton pointed out in his interview, almost all the merchandise you see is old stuff from the 1970s-1980s where creators cannot ask for a cut.  There are decades of comics that can be re-packaged and sold as collectors books and earn money and not a single cent going to anyone other than Disney.



Iron Man 3 took $1.14bn (£760.5m) worldwide -and that figure is well over a year old. That makes revenue from comics "small change" and Disney just ain't that concerned with small change.

They are changing the Fantastic Four and almost everything else from Marvel Comics into "The Marvel movie universe" -they have been using that phrase so often why has no one questioned what is happening? You want to know?  The "Comics media" are heavily invested in getting the latest Marvel and DC news and there is no way 99% of that media is going to even give "negative news" through fear of being "cut-off".

Marvel Comics is a tiny, insignificant little thing.  It is the Marvel Movie Universe that is important -even comic talk from Marvel is "Marvel movies" referenced so often that it is a sign that must not be ignored.

Groot and Rocket Raccoon on all the Marvel titles covers...just like Deadpool was.  I just find it hard to believe that people are this stupid....then again, it's comics. New variant covers on 20 Marvel titles in December: plain white with text: "I'm An Ass-Hole"......You gonna go out buy that?

DCs overall share was worse than Marvels at 30.33%.  DC, however, are...well...they just seem unable to decide what they are doing other than making sure their movies will be 100% humorless and dark...dark...very, very dark.

DC and Marvel has lost its old, long term fan base simple to scrape in more and more money. I think DC is circling the pan hoping there isn't a second flush.

But Disney. Look at it as a businessman who has absolutely no interest in the comics just the money.  Continue paying out for new work or make 100% profit from just re-packaging old books/series (that they charge a lot for? A few million dollars over a couple billion?  Comics that are hit-or-miss sales wise or movies that are always hits? Iron Man 3 came in for a lot of criticism but is Disney crying over that criticism or ejaculating over the well over $1 billion it made them?


As a businessman who could not give a flying fart about fans -"piggy banks" as Disney and DC call them-  I'd go for the movies and merchandise and re-packaging of old books that make the money. Disney would never cancel X-Men or Fantastic Four?  Why shouldn't they?

In business it is known by many names but, essentially put, it can be explained in this way.  Organise a bank robbery. Hire four men to do the job and bring the money to your hide-out.  Kill the hirelings and take the money and run. It's all yours.  No one else gets a penny.

This is what Disney is doing with Marvel. It does not give a crap if Marvel Comics dies a death.  It has all that free archive material and merchandise.  It's the movies that make the money. I swear, one day there WILL be a Star Wars-Avengers cross-over.  Continuity? As even the (like to think of themselves as) top men at Marvel have said "screw continuity -this is comics!"

There has been, for about ten years now, an increase in the number of Small Press publishers -what we used to call "desk-top publishers"- who produce their own comics and books and there are more Small Press events than comic conventions in the UK.  The interest in buying and  investing in SP comics is increasing and it may be a year or so down the line but DC and Marvel -maybe even Dark Horse- will implode and the Small Pressers will rise and sell and those Marvel and DC fans will sit at home waiting for the companies to pull a rabbit out of the hat.



This is not the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s but 2014 and the entire face of comics changed the moment Marvel sold out to Disney.  I noted all of this back in the 1990s -it's all on CBO or in print somewhere out there. Disney takes over and they take full control -they are almost like the Borgs -assimilation WILL take place. Disney then controls everything, it feasts on the carcass, picks the bones and dumps what is left into a drawer because it may never be of use again but it is theirs.

It's too late to change anything.  Fans sat there and took it from Marvel and DC.  Fans were the companies "enablers".  The companies saw that "the suckers will keep paying" and over and over again screwed them. When -not "if"- the comics industry implodes the fans may not like it, they may plead innocence, but they helped this happen.

Call me names. Get nasty because of what I've written but it will not alter a thing.  I've read comics for over 50 years and up until the early 1990s I was a true die-hard Marvel fan boy with a few DC favourites. I bought every title every month. I stopped that three years ago.

You have been warned.


Working For The Small Press -What's It Worth?


 I was thinking how things have changed over the years. Back in the 1980s/1990s, if I had a zine that was short of 3-4 pages I'd knock out a letter and send it off to other zine publishers/creators.  Within a week I could guarantee having enough material to fill 2-3 zines.  And, if contacted by other zine publishers looking for material, well, yes, I'd send something to them.

At no point did anyone ask "How much are you paying?"  It was simple fun -contributors got a copy of the zine their work was in. Again, no one asked: "If you make anything out of this what's my cut?"

We were selling our "end product" for 25 pence.  50 pence.  75 pence or, and, I tried and succeeded in never crossing this particular price barrier myself, £1.00.  Yes, £1.00 which back then was 50 cents? So, buy my zines and you got a lot of pages for little money.  I try to keep doing that still.

Although, via Zine Zone mail order or marts you could sell quite a few zines -in fact, it's odd but you would guarantee at least doing fairly well sales-wise back then where as now the attitude and expectation is that selling one or two books is a good day! In fact, zine publishers reported that they did far better sales-wise with Zine Zone than they did with Fast Fiction (which saw ZZ as a competitor though we never considered there to be any rivalry).

"Hey -I made £2.00!" Not bad -snicker-  now to divide that up between 10 contributors! Seriously, no one expected to make big money because it was all for fun. Also, a lot of the creators of the 1980s who made it into comics as writers or artists all started in the Small Press -it was seen as a place where you could hone your skills. It is interesting to note that a few of these creators when asked how they got started in comics tend to gloss over any mention of the Small Press!  It all seems to be "I started writing/drawing and used every opportunity to hone that skill and then DC/Marvel saw my work" I think that is actually shameful.

People ask me how I got started I'll tell them.  Putting together a school magazine (Greenway Boys School, Bristol, 1972) titled Starkers -The Magazine That Tells The Naked Truth which was a title suggested by our Deputy Head, Mr Wright. Getting everything together, drawing, typing on the stencils for the Gestetner copier and then....getting banned by the Head because one of the secretaries complained about the title (yes, there was more to it because I was seen as an "H-dropping" pain-in-the-ass by the snobbish head and his school kid cronies).

Then I got work with a printer.  I then started working with the early photocopiers.  I wrote articles on everything from nature to astronomy and history and then I decided I wanted to get into publishing so I got friendly with those folk as well as editors and distributors and even stupidly spent money buying rights to certain characters/publications (see one of my previous big posts -they are there somewhere).

Putting all of this together helped in making dummy copies of proposed titles to submit to publishers.  Some of those titles, such as Preview Comic got a few people into permanent comics work both in the UK and US.  Then there were scripts for London Editions, Fleetway/Egmont, Marvel UK and so on.  And even while doing my comic work (and the officially unofficial other job) I was writing comic articles for publications such as Comics FX and other publications promoting comics and particularly the Small Press which has never gotten even 2% of the publicity 'real comics' do.

Today, obviously and I never ever do this any other way, all art is (c) the artist. If the contributor wrote and drew something then it is all (c) the creator. Even if I lost out I made sure contributors got something.  But then you hit the big problems.

You learn, quite by accident, that an artist you have written a script  for and who then with no explanation break all contact, are actually trying to sell the strip with a couple of character name changes.  When found out and contacted over this there is either silence or "Oh, I thought you'd left comics" -right.  Then you have the artist who wants to have full control over the end product which includes changes made "to make it better" and believe me I have had artists change characters names, sex and even whole chunks of story because they feel they know better.  That just is not on.  The writer writes and the artist draws -perhaps making an odd change to make action flow.

I have had one artist ask me to draw character sketches because he just could not understand what I meant by stating the right hand side of a characters body was all robot while the left was wholly human.  Another had to have a sketch when I described a central tower in a city had, at the very top,  a clock face on each of the four sides...?

Then you get an email out of the blue "I don't want this published unless I get a 60% royalty deal, a page fee and creative rights"  hmmm.  Or, you publish after putting a lot of work into a book and the artist then says he doesn't want to be associated with it because it might affect his work prospects with Marvel or DC???

You will also get artists who email every single week asking about sales.  "You can't be doing enough to promote the book!" And then there are the artists who complete books and simply vanish.  They no longer answer emails and so the book HAS to be withdrawn.  Or the families of people you have worked with....don't even get me started on that.

There are no huge profits in Small Press publishing and Independent comics will not make you rich!  So, as a publisher you have to make decisions that affect your output.  Books are withdrawn. Decisions are made so that you no longer have to rely on other creators and all the problems associated with them.

Black Tower no longer accepts proposals from creators.  Everything is in-house and there are only two creators...and a very large selection of books to buy.  No distractions or problems other than those you get normally as the UK largest Independent comics publisher.

The small Press rely far less on collaborations these days.  There are some but more and more it's an individual thing with the creator writing, drawing and publishing the book.  No profit no problem. A profit -nice.

I think the anthology titles of old with any number of contributors will eventually vanish because unlike the doing -it -for- fun days where publishing was smooth and creators did not scream out "I'm a star! Pay me!" 

If you ask what money you are going to get out of the Small Press as an artist or writer then the true answer is that you'll be lucky to make any.  And the proof is there if you don't believe me: publish yourself and see all the 'joys' first hand!

So if you go to this weekends Small Press event remember: no one there is getting rich!

Bristol Comic And Zine Fair -IT'S SATURDAY!!!!!




Exhibitors

We have over 60 incredible artists, writers and makers exhibiting and selling their work at BCZF 2014. You can read about them all on this page. Here are our first batch of amazing exhibitors, with MORE TO COME!


Avery Hill Publishing Logo - Bristol
AVERY HILL PUBLISHING
Avery Hill Publishing is an independent publishing house that was setup in South London in the long dark winter of 2012. We are currently promoting use of the word ‘micropublisher’ to describe ourselves, as it sounds boutique-y and glamorous. We publish comics, zines, fine art and anything else that grabs our fancy under our two labels, AHArts and AHComics. We also have three ongoing house publications: ‘Tiny Dancing’ – a miscellany of nonsense and genius, ‘Reads’ – a comics anthology featuring some of the best talent from the UK small press comics scene and ‘Fronts’ – an arts showcase that focuses on an artist whose work we admire, featuring images and an interview with the creator regarding their process.
Our canon includes psychogeographical mappings, drunk 19th century scientists, time-travelling beagles, minimalist musings, kids running amok in dance tents, and much more.
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SEAN AZZOPARDI
Sean is a London-based cartoonist and has been making and self publishing comics for eleven years. He’s produced numerous mini comics and books for his Phatcomics imprint, including acclaimed titles such as Ed, Twelve Hour Shift and Dark Matters. Away from self published titles he is working on Necessary Monsters (First comics) and has drawn a back up strip for indy smash Phonogram (Image). He has work in numerous anthologies and magazines, most recently the current Off Life and Ink + Paper.
 bark
BARK
We are two cool kids who really care about the world. We are setting up a mag called Bark which we hope to sell to raise money to buy rain forest from the worldlandtrust.org. We will be launching
our comic at the zine fair, which includes loads of great artists. We will also be selling original artwork from the zine and we have made some exclusive comics and other goodies especially for the fair.
Check out the bark blog (bark-cc.tumblr.com) to see all the amazing artists involved.
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ANDY BARRON
Andy draws comics and cartoons based in the world of OM.  OM is a series of short wordless comics featuring an expanding cast of characters.  Andy will be showcasing a brand new comic at BCZF.
@omcomics
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SAMMY BORAS AND SARAH FOGG
Sammy and Sarah are friends who make comics. Sammy specialises in comics, while Sarah specialises in illustration and zines. As a team they produce a comic anthology once a year and a music zine whenever they feel like it. They both work on the quarterly zine What’s The Time, Mrs Woolf?
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BREAKFAST CHAMPION
CM Carter creates comics and illustrations under the guise of Breakfast Champion. They draw influence from alternative comix, low brow culture and dark humour. Their work can be seen in various places including Off Life, Design Week Blog, Doodlers Anonymous and Peculiar Bliss. As well as old fashioned pens and paper Breakfast Champion works with digital media, silk screen and single malt.
Gareth Brookes
GARETH BROOKES
Gareth has been small press publishing since 2005, beginning with collaborations with Banal Pig and later becoming involved with groups such as The Alternative Press and The Comix Reader. Goodies to be found artfully arranged on his table include The Black Project – a Graphic Novel created entirely in the mediums of embroidery and linocut relief print, the psychidelic sci-fi epic The Land of My Heart Chokes on its Abundance, and a bountiful preponderance of original prints and handmade zines.
Paul Ashley Brown
PAUL ASHLEY BROWN
Since 2008 has been self-publishing Browner-Knowle, his collection of short, poetic melancholy narratives and comic-strips, as well as other one-off zines, and has also been published in The Illustrated Ape, The Comix Reader, and Stripburger. He can usually be found loitering in Park Street cafes, drinking copious amounts of tea and drawing the denizens of Bristol very very quickly, as they pass.
 laura-callaghan
LAURA CALLAGHAN
Laura is an Irish illustrator currently based in South East London. Her work is largely hand painted using watercolour, indian ink and isograph pen, depicting women in environments which are ostensibly bright and beautiful but that cultivate a sense of mystery or unease. She will be selling publications, art prints and cards and will be debuting the third instalment of her ‘Fancy’ zine series.
 EmmaCarlisle
EMMA CARLISLE 
Emma Carlisle is a freelance illustrator and makes stories, prints, hand painted badges and ceramics, based in Malvern UK
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Craig Conlan is a Scottish artist living in London. He has worked as an illustrator for many years but has recently returned to his first love- comics! His site, Craig’s Comic Land features a new story every month, on the first of the month, with a rotating cast of characters. Craig will be selling comics, prints and original art featuring Ghost Cat, Hairy Mary and friends.

DECADENCE COMICS
DECADENCE is a comic anthology and collective that publishes science fiction stories. Their comics feature psychedelic altered states and dystopian visions. Futures and alternative realities are projected while an awareness of the past and present are retained. Decadence comics attempt to break down reality and confront the idea of duality within the Cosmos.
 DIRTY
DIRTY ROTTEN COMICS
Dirty Rotten Comics is an underground comics anthology curated by Kirk Campbell and Gary Clap. We will be debuting our third issue at the Bristol Comic and Zine Fair, featuring work from upcoming UK artists and writers
 dry comics
DRY COMICS
Dry Comics is a newly-founded publisher of minicomics based in Cardiff. Debuting at BCZF will be ‘The Architect’ by Ioan Morris, a poetry zine by Rhydian Parry, and an adaptation of Gemima Salt’s short story ‘Treehouse’. They’ll also be selling other comics/zines/illustrations by founder Ioan Morris.
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EYEBALL COMIX
EyeBall Comix began in Bristol, the first issue was printed in 2010. EyeBall produces toxic garbage in the underground/horror tradition and has printed works by among others; James Quigley, Motohiro Hayakawa, Kyle Platts, Aidan Cook and Brigid Deacon, alongside your main EyeBall honkies; Paul Arscott, Barry Cook and Robscenity.
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HARVEY FINCH
Harvey is the creator of the swords and sorcery adventure – Logar The Barbarian, and more recently, Nadir – a pre-apocalyptic story set in South London. 
@harveyfinch
 FLAPJACK
FLAPJACK COLLECTIVE
A collective of freshly graduated illustrators from the Arts University Bournemouth. Made up of Louis Craig Carpenter, Maia Fjord, Allie Oldfield, Hope Sloan and Florence Zealey. We’ll be selling zines, comics, screen prints, t-shirts, postcards and the like. Previously we’ve exhibited at Comica Festival in London. Come and say hello, we don’t bite!
Fold Collaborative
FOLD COLLABORATIVE
Fold Collaborative is an independent publication produced by 9 illustration graduates from Falmouth University. We will be releasing fold issue 10 at BCZF along with other printed things and goodies!
 Print
 FOOTPRINT
Footprint are a printer co-operative from Leeds. This Risograph specialist, zine-happy, anti-capitalist, booty-shaking collective have started doing a zine distro of the finest wares that rattle off their machines and they’ll be bringing a tableful of it to Bristol. They’ll also be happy to talk to punters about printing, co-operatives and anything else they do.
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LORENA GARCIA
Lorena Garcia is a freelance illustrator, designer and artisan. Currently based in London, she published the first issue of her zine Compendiums of Curiosities last April, featuring botanical illustrations of poisonous flowers. Lorena has a passion for knowledge and curiosities, specially regarding Botany, History and Literature. She is the kind of person who believes you can never have too many books, just not enough space.
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ISABEL GREENBERG
Isabel is a London based illustrator and writer. She is currently working on her first graphic novel ‘The Encyclopedia of Early Earth’ which is due to be publushed in 2013 by Jonathan Cape in the UK, Random House in Canada and Little Brown in the US. She studied illustration at the University of Brighton and since graduating has worked for a variety of clients including Nobrow Press, The National Trust, Seven Stories Press, Solipsistic Pop and Wrap Magazine. In 2011 she won the Observer Jonathan Cape Graphic short story prize.
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GRIND YOUR TEETH
​Two parts of Bristol based collective Grind Your Teeth. Gwion Christmas and Paul Mcquay are two illustrators brought together through a love of pens and print.
 Alex Hahn Publishing Bristol icon
 ALEX HAHN
Alex Hahn Publishing is an independent producer of comics, zines and graphic novels. With products ranging from small, home made editions to 100-page graphic novels and more. The charm of Alex’s products is matched by the characters within them: The emasculated hero, Heracles; the lovestruck cupcake known as Muffnut (doughnut/muffin) and his muse, the Cruffin (croissant/muffin); a determined little space man and, of course, Blop -everyone’s favourite Martian!
Visit Alex’s table for a wide selection of titles, prints, cards, original artwork and other cool merchandise; free signing and a friendly smile. Look out for a brand new book launching at the fair!!
@alexhahns_twits
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TERRY HOOPER-SCHARF
Terry Hooper-Scharf is a writer and comics journalist and has worked in comics since the early 1980s for Fantagraphic Books, MU Press, Blackbird Comics, Marvel UK, Fleetway and Egmont. He has been a major supporter of the Small Press in both the UK and Europe and Black Tower Comics and Books recently celebrated over 30 years of publishing.
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JAZZ DAD BOOKS 
Jazz Dad Books is a small press publisher based in Bristol. Founded in 2013 by Edward Cheverton. Jazz Dad Books focuses on producing small runs of Zines, Comics and Artist’s books from a variety of Illustrators and Artists. We will have titles from Nick Edwards, Disa Wallander, Chris Harnan, Jayde Perkin, David Biskup, Rosie Brand and many more, as well as prints, original art and the legendary Jazz Dad badge.
Graham Johnson bczf
GRAHAM JOHNSON
Mr G Johnson, sometimes known as Graham, is a Bristol based artist currently mostly finishing his illustration degree and slowly drawing http://portinastormcomic.com, but sometimes does other stuff like raising a pet lizard (and drawing him).
creepsquaddisplay
MAX K
Max K; organiser of the up & coming ‘SHAKE BRISTOL’, comic & poster illustrator and creator of the saddest/raddest mutants. Come say hi.
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JOSEPH P KELLY.
Joseph P Kelly is a comic book artist, illustrator and screen printer based in London. His work is created using traditional pen and ink techniques often adding colour digitally before reproducing through hand made screen prints.  He will be selling zines, hand made screen printed posters and art works.
Stephen Kelly
STEPHEN KELLY
Stephen is a Scottish artist living in Bristol, working mostly in publishing as an editorial illustrator for magazines like Classic Rock, Total Guitar and Rock Sound. He will be selling his first foray into comics at BCZF 2014, so please be nice.


leadache
LEADACHE
Marie Callum, Hamish Steele and Melissa Trender are animators with wildly different styles but a shared love of exploring pop culture, human nature and the macabre through comics. Hamish (@hamishsteele), creator of Cartoon Hangover’s Dead End will be signing copies of his new comic Pantheon: The Heavenly Cow.

ISAAC LENKIEWICZ

LIZE MEDDINGS
Modernist 9 spread Karel Teige
THE MODERNIST 
the modernist magazine is a quarterly publication about 20th century modernist architecture and design. Published  in the North of England and now spreading its tentacles across the world. We’ve hand picked a team of experts, and dilettantes alike, to bring you news, reviews, musings and delightful titbits about modernist architecture and design. So, if you love 20th century architecture and design, the modernist magazine is just the ticket.
 momo
MOMO WORKS
Momo Works is a small press based in London. After publishing Flamingo Magazine, it now focuses on short-run essays.
 MEP square for BZF
MONSTER EMPORIUM PRESS
Monster Emporium Press was born in 2009 out of the constructed chaos of south London arts collective What They Could Do, They Did and one of its innumerable projects, a zine, ‘They Did’. Out of MEP’s own chaos now come art books, zines and new writing.
@MonsterEmporium
 roselbadge
NUALA MURPHY
Nuala Murphy puts out a comic about once every 5 years in a half-arsed, photocopied sort of way.
 louisnetter
LOUIS NETTER
Corruption Comics is the brainchild of Louis Netter and it seeks to crawl under the reptilian skin of the power brokers of the world and shine a light in the dark corners (with more than a laugh or two thrown in). Four comics will be available with one never before seen journey into LSD and CIA mayhem.
 fixed_up_logo_comixcology
IAN NORRIS
Fixed Up is the story of one man’s journey from a geeky, awkward, shy teenager in Cape Town – to a geeky, awkward, shy adult in Oxford. It tells the story of how being in love is the worst thing ever. The first three epic issues will be on sale, as well as a speak preview of issue 4.
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 OOMK
One of My Kind (OOMK) is a highly visual, handcrafted small-press publication whose content largely pivots upon the imaginations, creativity and spirituality of women.
 OTA_Logo
OPPOSITE THE ALLEY
Opposite The Alley is a small independent press founded by Illustrators Emma Evans and Iselle Maddocks. It offers a platform for illustrators working in a wide variety of styles and aims to shed light onto both emerging artists and young talent. We’re friendly so be sure to say ‘hi’ if you stop by our stall!
sandraortuno
SANDRA ORTUNO
Sandra Ortuño is a female human currently living in the UK but was born in Spain. She claims to be an illustrator and graphic designer. When she grows up, she wants to be a crazy cat lady but since she’s got no cats yet, for now she’s just crazy. Besides cats and every living creature wandering on the planet, she also loves cake, colourful things, cartoons, gentlemen with goatees and sunny days. Sometimes she grabs a pencil and draws silly stuff.
 Otto_Press_Logo-02
A varied selection of comics, art books and prints published @ottopressuk will be on display for your discernment.
Mark James B icon
MARK PEARCE AND JAMES STAYTE
Mark Pearce is the creator of Ronin Dogs. James Stayte is the creator of Big Jimmy. They are the Wyld Stallyns of comics.”
 tom plant
Having realized at an early age that he was a bit of an introvert, Tom decided to become a cartoonist.  He has since gone on to produce work for The Beano, The Dandy, The Guardian, The Readers Digest, CBBC, Nessy and many others.  Tom is the author and illustrator of The Broadmead Colouring Book, Sunshine Bay: not half as bad as people say, A Load of Old Rubbish and lots of magazine comics.
 fingers crossed bristol banner
JIM POWNALL
Jim Pownall is the writer of the autobiographical comic series Fingers Crossed. The stories give us an insight into the author’s life to date as he attempts to find his path and just do the right thing. However, standing in his way are suicidal frogs, crazy best friends, aggressive French women, ex-girlfriends and ruined weddings.
These are definitely not your typical coming of age tales.
 zoepower
 ZOE POWER
Fresh off the boat from Montréal, where she’s been living for the past few years, Zoe is moving back to her hometown with a paintbrish in hand and a thirst for collaboration. Bikes and food are some of her favourite things as are black marker pens, sexy lettering, relief print and dry humour.
 princesa_pirata
PRINCESA PIRATA
Princesa Pirata is a small queer/anarcha feminist distro with a love for cycling and all kinds of D.I.Y. It’s run by A-K Pirata and based in Bristol. Princesa Pirata stocks zines, small press comix, badges, postcards etc. princesapiratadistro.wordpress.com
 shape of my heart
 SHAPE OF MY HEART
Based in London, I write perzines focusing on mental health recovery, travel and penguins!

SICKER THAN THOU
Sicker Than Thou is a comic collective consisting of Andrew Godfrey (artist, writer) and Emma Mould (writer) who make autobiographical comics about chronic and mental illness with a twist of humour. Andrew was born with the chronic illness Cystic Fibrosis, a degenerative disease that affects the lungs and digestion, amongst other things, and Emma Mould was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder aged 18.They are currently working on a strip for the forthcoming anthology of mental health recovery comics edited by mental health nurse and educator Theo Stickley and cartoonist Brick (Depresso, Knockabout Comics).
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SAMANTHA STARKEY
Samantha Starkey is a London based character Illustrator who’s drawings humour the mundane, and celebrate the beauty of the ordinary.  She’ll also be teaming up with some of her buddies from Kingston Uni.
Expect digestible zines and mini stickers.
 LeeTaylorPic
LEE TAYLOR
As well as having co-created issues of the music / art / stuff zine ‘The Screever’ since ’09, Lee also makes a perzine called ‘Larry’, draws bleak comics for folk, and writes, records, and releases a bunch of music that no one listens to.
 MAIR
MAIR THOMAS
Mair (A little lost) makes DIY lo-fi surreal comics and colouring books, which often feature flying tortoises. She has a weekly updated Welsh Language online comic called ‘Llong’ about a boat’s adventures around a flat world. Mair’s work can sometimes be seen in Bear Pit Zine and What’s the Time, Mrs Woolf Zine.
 twin-freaks-logo
 TWIN FREAKS
Twin Freaks are Bristol-based illustrators Alys Jones and Ryan Gajda.
ALYS JONES likes almost anything which is over 100 years old. RYAN GAJDA is unable to relate to anything except through an increasingly alienating filter of pop culture and geekery.
They will be selling: zines, postcards, badges, prints and various pieces of illustrated esoterica.
WCP
WATER CLOSET PRESS
Richard Worth is a bearded comics writer; he’s Northern. Jordan Collver is a bearded comics artist; he’s Canadian. They have been making comics together as The Water Closet Press since 2010.  Their chief export is a small press serial comic entitledLadies & Gentlemen.  The Water Closet transcends all divides and is located in both Leeds and Bristol.
 OwenWatts
OWEN WATTS

The Psychedelic Journal of Time Travel is a bizarre anthology filled with the best of the small press – short self-contained tales of the strange and the inexplicable
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ELLICE WEAVER
Ellice Weaver is a young comic maker, self publisher and cake artist from Bristol. She studies Illustration at the University of West England and prints her zines and comics under ‘Cringe Press’. Most of her Comics are autobiographical and deal with the problems of everyday life: petting soft animals, getting a haircut and the creeping feeling of not belonging anywhere.
 Image_for_bristol
WE STUDIO PRESS
We Studio Press is a wee/small press publishing initiative based in
Glasgow and Dundee set up by Glaswegian illustrator David Kerr. We will
presenting books and prints by a select few illustrators and comic
artists.
 dunce_500
WOLF MASK
Wolfmask is a cartoonist based in London who has been commissioned/featured by people such as Kerrang! Magazine, Download Festival, The Murderburgers, Don’t Panic, Asian Man Records, Bizarre Magazine, Secret 7″ and many more.
Over the past few years he has released over a dozen zines ranging from the childish to the purely idiotic.
 yetispaghetti-bio
A father and son independent publishing powerhouse delivering heavy hit after heavy