Friday, 21 July 2017

In Review - 'Chunks' issue 3.

'Chunks' issue 3.

Written by Matt Garvey.
Art by Cris Canfailla.

The Story - The punk rock band called 'The Pineapple Chunks' continue their shambolic rise to fame. This mentally unhinged band manage to cadge themselves a guest spot on a cool drive time show out of a radio station in Los Angeles. A show conveniently called 'You Got It From Dick!'

Of course nothing goes to plan. There is a robbery and some added 'complications'....

The Review - Get ready for one of those really cheap comparisons. Chunks is like a mixtape of 'The Bash Street Kids', 'Airheads' and 'The Filth and The fury'. How does that work? Now pay attention because I actually carry on by reviewing the content and not making shit-arse comments.

Chunks issue 1 was the first comic I encountered by Mr Matt Garvey. It's also still my favourite (with Ether a close second). He throws any Social Justice Warrior type caution to the wind and is gloriously and triumphantly irreverent in a comic that has such incidents as an old woman getting smacked in the face with a tin of fruit, two band mates having a really crap fight, a rubbish robbery attempt and the sexual assault of a bagel.

(Don't lie, we've all looked at a bagel and had the same thought...)

Matt and Cris do not give a flying fuck who they lampoon, take the piss out of or throw into the mix. There are no feelings being bruised because everyone gets a fair dose of the poo stick! This comic is rude, sexy, violent and very funny. It also has a 'told you so' ending that had me smiling.

We need more like this....

Matt writes some dialogue that is a cross between what you hear people say on the bus and what you really want to hear people say on the bus. Sharply cutting and full of punk character at every turn. I kind of get the feeling that Sid himself would get a few chuckles from this comic.

Cris on art perfectly renders the tone that is required in this comic. He has a great feel for character and motion. (He also perfectly depicts the sadness of the bagel - loved and then left alone on the shelf!) I can't wait to see what he comes up with next. 

I luckily got to see a preview copy of the last issue of the current storyline and highly recommend it to passing strangers, bakers, punk rockers and even Social Justice Warriors.

Head over to to grab a copy or follow him on Twitter @mattgarvey81 

Many thanks for reading.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

In Review - 'Women Who Kill' illustrated by Sarah Tanat-Jones.

'Women Who Kill'.

By Sarah Tanat-Jones and Deevine Devans.

Publication Date - 30th June 2017. (48 pages - ISBN: 978-1-908714-41-1).

HHardcoover - 12 x 16cm.

'Women Who Kill was released in early June this year and is an adult nonfiction title that tells the tales of nineteen female murderers throughout the ages. Beautifully illustrated by Sarah Tanat-Jones it is an informative and gruesome title for anyone with an interest in crime, comics and illustration.'

'There is nothing more shocking than the story of a homicidal woman. It contradicts everything we are told that womanhood should be about. And yet, history is splattered with violent femmes. This book profiles nineteen murderers from through the ages: the self-defenders, the vengeance seekers and the psychopaths.'

This is a new release from Cicada Books. A company that I had previously missed out on but came across when they recently contacted me prior to the East London Comics Arts Festival this year. They have actually been a busy bunch of folks since 2009 producing illustrated books for adults and children and based in the north London area.

This book tells a history of what was once stupidly referred to as the 'fairer sex' but seems timely given movies like 'Atomic Blonde' and 'Wonder Woman' showing us that women are often more than capable of kicking our males arses round the room. (And then apparently slaughtering you and maybe a few of your friends?) This will convince you to be a little more careful when you are rude to the woman at the counter in Starbucks or you cut up a female driver when you are rushing to get to work! Watch your ass men folk! These women are not to be messed with (Mr Wardle, my fifth form Physics teacher may have been right all along? And to think I just assumed he was going through a painful divorce?)

To be fair, this isn't a comic, so not something that I would normally notice or review but an exception is made here for a couple of reasons. The art by Sarah has a sketchy, airy immediacy to it's pages. A keen and sharpened eye to design has the colours floating and stabbing in washed out red, grey/blue and white. They have an iconic edge that tells the story really well as you turn from story to story. Each 'murderess' as they used to be known has a single striking illustration followed by a short summary of their punchy, kicky, shooty, stabby, poisony (I'm stretching it a little bit there) offences. Faces stare into the camera, hands reach for poison bottles, offenders celebrate and dance under nooses hung from trees and so on.

A small niggle would be that the writing side of the book seems a little bit like it could just be something you read on wikipedia. A little more flourish and poetry would have lifted this more (but that's just my humble opinion.)

It is however and grand little book. Around A5 size it has an iconic cover image on it's hardback and is only £7.95, absolute bargain.

Grab a copy at or follow this exciting company @cicadabooks.

PS This book also made me feel fortunate that I am far too old to be bothering with internet dating!!

Many thanks for reading.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Small Press Invades Swindon!

The Incredible Comic Shop in Swindon has some spiffy new premises in The Plaza Brunel Centre and welcomed the great unwashed of the Small Press Community to a Small Press Signing Day on Saturday the 15th of July. I popped along and bothered people.

I crept in to support some pals and it turned out to be a great day with plenty of footfall. It was an event organised by the Mighty Sarah harris who is a comics fan and a regular at this shop. She wanted to be involved and spread the love of comics, she told me. Sarah devours comics and has been a friend of The Awesome Comics Podcast since it began. It was great to see her and chat about small (and big) comics.

The guest was like a line up at Wormwood Scrubs. My old mucker Vincent Hunt was there with his comics The Red Mask From Mars, Stalkerville and his new 'Mandy the Monster Hunter' stories in the Comichaus anthology. (Higghly recommended)

Tune in to the podcast I'm on with Mr Hunt and Dan 'Guns' Butcher as we'll be having a good old chinwag about the event at

Pop over and say hi to this particular gangster at or follow him on Twitter @jesterdiablo

I bumped in to Matt Garvey at Membury Services and grabbed some fuel/breakfast for the day. We chatted about his new and upcoming work and I can't wait to see issue 3 of punk band tomfoolerycomic  'Chunks'! Here he is in a photo trying not to look 'awkward'! 

Matt is a machine and sells comics like hot cakes! (It occurs to me that a lot of moaners could watch and learn from this creator!)

Find Matt at and on Twitter @MattGarvey1981

Creative beast (and I mean that in the nicest possible way) Nick Prolix was there. He is a class act! His work (as shown above) has such a great quality to it's line and execution. He was there selling his retro story anthology 'Slang Pictorial' to Swindonites. Yoou need to see this guy's work! I'm currently working on a story with him and I am loving every moment of it!

Grab some copies at and follow him on Twitter @nickprolix

Matt Gibbs and Sara Dunkerton are two of the funniest and most talented people in comics. Their anthropomorphic adventure series 'Mulp' is a freaking masterclass in quality art and detail. I grabbed a copy at C.I.C.E. last weekend and got a great sketch from Sara.

This is gearing up to be one of my books of the year and you seriously need to get in on the ground floor before they hit the big time.

Headd over to for a copy and follow the mice adventures on Twitter @MULPcomic

Lasst but never least was comics power couple Emily 'Baracus' Owen and Gavin Mitchell. Both of them were there with their freshly relased comics. Emily has been a soaring success with her mental illness diary comic 'Brain Shoodles' (tripling it's Kickstarter amount in under ten days) and Gavin had the absolutely flipping amazing 'Trolltooth Wars' (see if you can spot me being unhelpful in it's pages?)

They are also two of the biggest promoters of the medium on the scene and great fun to stop by and chat to!

Pop over and get a copy of 'Brain Shoodles' at or follow her on Twitter @TomboyPrincess.

Grab 'Trolltooth Wars' with art by Gavin and written by PJ Montgomery at and follow him on Twitter @bobgoblynn

Excuse my language but this was a fucking excellent day and Sarah Harris put on a great show for her local comic shop that hopefully will grow in to many more in the future. I cchatted to all the tablers and they had a great day both socially and in sales. A credit to the shop and organsier running such a smooth day!

I got a chance to chat to the guys from the shop - Troy Loveday, Johnathan Brown and Keefer Bishop and they are hugely enthusiatic about the medium and spent the day chatting about actual ruddy comics - very refreshing!

You can find 'The Incredible Comic Shop' at or at 21 The Plaza, The Brunel Centre, Swindon, SN1 1LF.

Many thanks for reading.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

A Lost Article.

I wrote the below piece in July 2014 and thought that I would check back in with the sites selling this artist' work. (The piece originally posted on Beard Rock but that site has now gone).

Some oieces are selling for more than £7,000.

I will allow you to make your own minds up.

Last week I was followed on Twitter by the Imitate Modern Gallery who are situated at 27a Devonshire Street, London. I had a look at their site and saw that they are in the middle of a showing by artist Rich Simmons called 'Kryptonite'. I contacted them and paid a visit this week as they were getting ready for a party. They are a smallish space packed full of buzz and activity as I walked through the door. Walls of Marvel and DC Superhero inspired paintings surrounded me. Big and colourful seemed the catch words of the day. Many of the images I recognised as straight from the comics page.

Being the hard nosed comic fan I was all ready to plough straight into artist Rich Simmons for his casual acquisition of art by Neal Adams, Jack Kirby, Brian Bolland and the like. He appeared from the basement of the Imitate Modern pop art gallery with rings around his eyes and a tired look. His weary look soon changed to a welcome exuberance.

So I started softly. I asked him the obvious 'Why comics?' I have to admit to being a bit off guard when he described his love for our medium. Admittedly when asked for influences he went for the obvious - Alan Moore. But he broke this down in an interesting way. He explained that his favourite character is Doctor Manhattan. It's this character that heavily influences his style. Colour me intrigued I thought? Rich went on to explain with gusto that it's Manhattan who has the ability to break down things and recreate them as something new. This is what Rich proclaims to do. He takes elements of many pieces of art and modern culture and builds them up to pass on a message. 

'I'm glad that I can do a show and pay respect to the comics that I read growing up.'

Quoting Batman and Iron Man as other favourites this artist went on to describe how he grew up reading Marvel comics and learned to draw by copying their style. He is inspired by the old silver age marvel comics and quoted Jack Kirby as a huge influence.

Rich stressed that as an atheist he can see the draw in the heroes from a quasi religious standpoint. He referenced a piece of his that is part Superman and part Jesus Christ. Heroes of the silver age were gods he told me, they passed tales of morality. Superman himself had a father 'in the clouds' and that was the starting point for that particular piece. He strikes an interesting point. Throwing ideas freely about in our conversation.

'This is a social commentary show'.

One of the points of the exhibition he told me was to hook the viewer in with iconic superhero images and to give then a twist. A perfect example of this is the image of Superman and Batman kissing reflected in the sunglasses of a woman looking on and crying. I jumped to the opinion that this woman was Lois Lane. Rich was quick to suggest that it may not be and that he leaves this to the viewer. Some people had suggested it may be Wonder Woman and some that it was just a female fan. He uses the cliche of the Pop Art Movement to smack some sense into the observer. Hooking the eye with bright iconic images before pushing morality on them.

'Gay men can still be superheroes.'

Rich was keen to show that his art has a moral meaning. Be it sexual freedom, feminism (one image has Wonder Woman ironically on the cover of Playboy) and materialism (we see a dramatically posed Captain America covered in YSL logos). The images are certainly striking. Many of them push an idea on the reader that does represent societal issues and this is something we discussed. In many ways comics have always been the frontline of diversity. One only has to look at The X-Men and their alienation, Peter Parker's teenage angst, the Black Panther and so on. 

Does this exhibition work? I am going to say that it does as social commentary. It's in your face. It's bold and big. Of all the pieces it's the Wonder Woman that carries the most power for me. As a comic exhibition it lacks richness. The artist has gone for iconic rather than storytelling and as an old comic reader I spotted his 'influences' immediately in almost every canvas.


There's the rub.

The art in places is not original. Rich admits this freely and claims homage but I can't help but be reminded of Jack Kirby's family and their fight for his original art to be returned. Or artists who couldn't afford healthcare in later less productive years. The fact that Rich has shown an homage to the mighty Neal Adams is a worry. (He might be better off if Mr Adams never heard about this!) It's not only the Silver Age of Comics that Rich homages. I spotted a John Romita Jnr Spider-Man (albeit rendered into 3D) and a Dan Jurgens drawn Superman. All of the canvases cost my monthly wage each - incidentally.

Rich wasn't backwards in coming forwards in discussing this and told me that he hadn't had any real hardcore comics fans attend yet but hoped that they would visit. He's started work on a comic himself and enthusiastically discussed it with me. I found myself warming to this chap. He's exhibiting in the Bowery in Manhattan through to August and was visibly excited when I mentioned that Kirby grew up nearby and that the New York Comic Convention is taking place just after his showing.

I am still pretty conflicted by this sort of art. It does seem to be the built in the fallacy of the Pop Art Movement that snarkily normalises the free range acquisition of what it considers to be lower brow art. Since Lichtenstein cheated his way up the expensive art world ladder this sort of art has become every day. Eventually being mimicked and sold in every card shop and cheap seaside gallery. Being commonplace doesn't make it right. During my visit to the gallery I pointed at each canvas and loudly explained who the original artist was. Rich tells me he has problems remembering names.

Rich is however message driven. He has the vigour of youth. He leaves me with the message that it was his love of the medium that has been on his mind for many years and that combining it with his own personal art is a technique to get his principles across. Let's face it, who is gonna argue with Batman? If he wants to kiss Superman who is going to stop him?

I leave the gallery voicing the hope that maybe this show will get some people into comics? But I am worried by the nature of the works 'homage' coupled with a high art world prices.

 His enthusiasm was contagious however and I was pleased to hear that he helps with a charity (so give it a visit).

You can find Rich Simmons on Twitter @richsimmonsart or at his website

The gallery is and also on Twitter @ImitateModern

After checking it out go buy a comic. We could do with the numbers. I have been shy of posting the art within the review. For a healthy balanced view why not visit their website and then try a local comic shop.

Thanks for reading. 

You can find me on Twitter @Ezohyez or in the Comics Section here. I am also heard ranting about the Bronze Age of Comics in local ditches and bus shelters (or at

In Preview - 'The Human Beings' issue 2 from S J McCune.

The Human Beings - issue 2.

Created by Stuart J McCune.

Published by Millicent Barnes Comics.

The second issue of this strangely creepy anthology series and the one where you begin to sense that there is a plan in place. I sense a viciously dark overlaying consciousness. It radiates out of my tablet like a digital Videodrome.

Stuart again reveals some secrets, hints at others and lets the world he creates gradually open in front of your eyes.

A book of visually haunting poetry at every turn. The words and emotions that pass between the creator, the comic and the reader are often complicated and this is something that I relish in every panel of Stuart's work. It has one of the most intelligent progressions of story and theme that I have read in a comic for a long, long time. The creator plays with perception like no other, reading us as we read it - I sense and suspect many things in the to and fro of conversation, emotion, action and pacing. Appearances are often deceiving and the words cement a nervous uncertainty in the reader. I am one thousand per cent along for the ride.

'I fade in. I fade out.'

The Human Beings and Monologue before it take that chance of freezing on certain moments and feelings. We get reality at different speeds. Sometimes the action is amped up and fast and frenetic and then at a moments it is halted for the reader to sit and ruminate on that captured second of time. Triumphantly playing with the medium. Those words that are spoken will echo onwards, bouncing back at the reader when the void orders it....

The stories vary in length and carry themes that involve human relationships, assassination, science fiction and more. For me, much of Stuart's stories begin and end in the faces of the protagonist. He has a specific style of cool with their appearances and the words sway and flow like a jazz song (we even get a little bit of an appearance from the mighty Ornette Coleman in one short one page story). 

'A man who's done a lotta time says it doesn't exist.'

It is also a comic that isn't only serious. 'Mecha Love' hilariously tells of a character's anxiety of telling his partner that not only she isn't the one for him but also that he knows this because he can see the future! 

The Human Beings has moments of danger in it's eyes. I wonder constantly what it means and when it will swerve past me and suddenly confront me with claws out.

I'm trying not to give too much away. It is without a doubt a series that you need to experience for yourself. This book connects with you, I would even go as far as to say that if you don't understand his work you may need to turn off the trash you are ingesting and get serious! Sit up and pay attention. There are things going on in these stories that need close examination. I was lucky enough to see an early copy of this and also under strict orders not to share. When it does reach your in or letter box then relish it and re read. That's an order.

After some disappointing backings on Kickstarter over the last couple of years this is the creator who brought me back to the crowd funding system. His work is always really quickly financed and so it should be. Watch out for the stretch goals and added extras he sends out too. Get on board!

'To all the people who believe that they've met me and not the guy I pay to be me.'

PS. I dare you not to fall in love with the story 'La Mancha'. One sweeping and gorgeous story told on the horizon before that beauty is transposed elsewhere. Excellently paced and a frame is needed I do believe!

Buy yourself a copy of this and more of this creator's work at and follow him on Twitter @StuartMcCune

Many thanks for reading.