Friday, 21 September 2018

Some last minute Thoughtbubble suggestions....


This is a piece that appeared in last week’s mailer. Thought it might be worth sticking out for those attending Thoughtbubble tomorrow and Saturday.

BUT, do not fear. If you cant attend there are some handy links to assist you in buying all these glorious comics!

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So.... Thoughtbubble is so close you can taste it.
 
Last week I wrote a few paragraphs on who would be good to visit and this is part two.
 
First up is that crazy person Todd Oliver. Now don’t get me wrong when you meet him he seems totally normal and friendly but you cannot hope that is really the case if you have a look at his comics! They are THAT good!
 
 
His most recent work is a book called Smedley that I absolutely devoured when I bought a copy at ELCAF earlier this year.
 
A comic depicting the life of a worm shaped man.’ Todd Oliver.
 
Buy your copy and have a look for his other series Boxes that is also full of outrageous strangeness in the ComiXology Marquee at table 167a.
 
If you cant make it to Thoughtbubble then head to https://toddoliver.bigcartel.com/ or find him on Twitter @ToddOliver
 
 
Why wouldn’t you head to the Improper Books table in the Mercy Marquee? (They are at tables 7-8).
 
A great group of creators. Christian WildgooseLaura TrinderMatt GibbsSara DunkertonBen Read. All to a person are putting out some outstanding work. It is impossible to choose between any of their books. ( I already own them all).
 
 
If I were a betting man I would say that it is now a good time to get some original art from Chris Wildgoose. If the work he’s doing on the YA Batman book is anything to go by it’ll be shooting up in price anytime soon.
 
Visit them and breathe in their sexiness!
 
If you cant get there then you can order some of this comics crack from http://www.improperbooks.com/ and follow them on Twitter @ImproperBooks
 
So. Who else...
 
 
Like Penguins? Like Dad jokes, word play, chuckling during the morning business? I make no bones about this The Penned Guin is the only book you need in your downstairs loo. Alan Henderson is an absolute machine of ideas and art. He puts his books out and I gobble them up.
 
Find Alan in the ComiXology Marquee right next to Mr P. Alternatively find him on Twitter @Shadow1972 or buy some frozen goodness https://pennedguin.bigcartel.com/
 
How about a cracking artist to chat to and possibly get a commission from? (It’s always best to preorder!)
 
Here are a couple of saucy options.
 
How about the artist responsible for one my favourite series of the last few years? Nick Brokenshire cleaned everyone’s clocks with his work on the Amelia Cole series! A cracking series that I recommend to everyone. Also have a look at The Once And Future Queen and now for Star Wars Adventures from IDW.
 
Max Rebo has landed! 
 
Find Nick at Table 24 in the Originals Marquee. Or find him at https://nickbrokenshire.co.uk/ and on Twitter @NickBrokenshire
 
 
How about an artist who has drawn Apes, Marvel Capes, Noir Gangsters, Star Wars and now James Bond.
 
Yes folks. Step forward Mr Marc ‘Lambo’ Laming. I’m the proud owner of quite a few pages from this fella and they are true class!
 
Find Marc at Table 52 in the ComiXology Marquee. Or find him on Twitter @monkey__marc or at his site
 
And finally, something that is getting a launch at the festival...
 
 
 
I’ve just heard from my bosses at Nobrow that the hauntingly atmospheric Kingdom from Jon McNaught will be available from our table.

This is a genuinely really special book and in the running for my favourite book of the year so far. It is beautifully sensitive and hauntingly nostalgic. I am immediately a fan of Jon’s and now keen to get more by him.

If you are going to get one book at Thoughtbubble this year it should, in my humble opinion, be this one.
 
Here’s what the press release says:
 
Jon McNaught returns with another beautiful comic that makes the ordinary, extraordinary. A family sets off for a long weekend at a caravan park on the British coast. We follow them through the familiar landscapes of a summer holiday: motorway service stations, windswept cliffs, dilapidated museums and tourist giftshops. In this atmospheric and contemplative work, Jon McNaught explores the rhythms of nature, the passing of time, and the beauty and boredom of a summer holiday.
 
This 128 page hardback will be available for the first time at Table 28 in the Victoria Hall. Come past whilst stocks last.
 
Preorder your copy online here https://nobrow.net/shop/kingdom/?
 
Many thanks for reading.

Saturday, 15 September 2018

Thoughtbubble recommends..... Part 1.

This is a piece that in part ran on the mailer last week. I thought it was worth reposting here as we are getting close to the comics event of the year.

Part 2 soon.

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Morning Bastards.


All eyes are now on Thoughtbubble. My inbox has been building up with review/preview and promotion requests in the last week or so and this is only going to get more frenetic.

Seems like there are a lot of people releasing new books at this event.


Don’t forget that I’ll be there with the Nobrow and Flying Eye crowd. This will coincide with the release of the Hilda The Animated Series on Netflix. We will have a limited number of these books but if you want one and feel like you might not get to the table in time feel free to preorder through me for collection.

Drop me a note on Twitter @Ezohyez or at Tony.awesomecomicspod@gmail.com and you wont miss out.

We’ll also have all the other great books from there catalogue and some great deals to be done.

Obviously the mighty Nick Prolix has a table that you should also visit ( "In the Comixology Marquee and sharing with Russell Mark Olson" - ed.)  They are both sure to be taking commissions so grab one while they are hot!

So... what else is coming out that has caught my eye?


I’ve just seen an advance copy of this beautiful book. Other than it being a collection of some of the best art you’ll see its also a collection of stories with a lot of heart and done by a group of friends. The fun that the Wine & Zine Collective have had making this book shines out from the pages.

You can find this talented group at table AFM 57-58. If you cant make it to Thoughtbubble then head over to https://wineandzine.bigcartel.com/ and buy something from their shop. You can also follow them on Twitter @wineandzine

What else.


You must have seen me this week getting very excited about this comic that I got sent to preview. You can read my opinion here http://neverironanything.blogspot.com/2018/09/in-review-needleman-by-martin-simpson.html

I also just got a gorgeous A4 full sized anthology from Martin that I ordered straightaway after reading The Needleman. It came with some great prints. Both titles are highly recommended.

You can find out more about this creator at https://martinsillustration.com/projects and follow him on Twitter @SIMO_paints

What about the Mighty Harrower?!


I love this guys crazy visual eye! 

He draws like no one else and does so with huge enthusiasm and originality. He’ll have comics, prints and sketchbooks at his table. Find out more about this artist at https://hpmatt.bigcartel.com/ and follow him on Twitter @hp_matt


It’s going to be great to finally catch up with Europe Comics. They are sharing a table with Cinebooks. Both companies produce some breathtaking books. Have a look as there is bound to be something that you’ll like. If you like original sci-fi may I suggest anything by Leo. His work never fails to hypnotise me with it’s strange beauty.




They will be in the Mercy Marquee at tables 60-62. It’s my experience of years gone by that they tend to have a sale on that is well worth taking advantage of whilst you are at the convention.

You know I am a convert! Be one too. 

You can find Europe Comics at http://www.europecomics.com/ or follow them on Twitter @EuropeComics

Cinebook can be found at https://www.cinebook.co.uk/ and look them up on Twitter @CinebookLtd

Watch out for Avery Hill. They have for some of their best ever books launching at this festival.


Of them all I would have to plump for Katriona Chapman’s book Follow Me In. A book that sensitively, intelligently and beautifully accounts a journey that Kat and her now ex boyfriend took through Mexico. It is exceptional and at 248 pages is a steal at £18.99.

(Further to the above I have just read Retrograde Orbit by Kristyna Baczynski. A sci-fi story that follows the life of a refugee girl and her mum on an alien planet. The girl grows up and we learn about her as she discovers a life not so dissimilar to our every day now. A real thing of beauty that had me quite emotional. More on that soon.) 

You can grab a copy by heading to www.averyhillpublishing.bigcartel.com or follow them on Twitter @AveryHillPubl

Find out more about the creator and find some more examples of her comics, art and travels at www.katrionachapman.com and follow her on Twitter @katchapman

Find more about Kristyna at https://www.kristyna.co.uk/ 


CLOSE

These fuckers are clever. A thriller is a hard thing to pull off in a comic but Chris Sides (writer), Chris Travell (artist), Ken Reynolds (letters) and Colin Lorimer (cover art) have done so with panache. Imagine what would happen if the stalker becomes the detective. That’s the jumping off point that may welll become much more complicated further on. Wait and see.

CLOSE is launching at Thought Bubble 2018 and will be available to buy via the Comichaus website (www.comichaus.com) and available to read digitally via the Comichaus app (www.comichaus.com/app). I shall be grabbing a physical copy.

You can find Chris Sides (IMPOSSIBLE, DARK MATTER, WHISPERING SANDS)
At www.chrissideswriter.com and on Twitter @Sidesy1982

Find more art by Chris Travell (DARK MATTER, WHISPERING SANDS)
 At www.instagram.com/travellsky and on Twitter @travellsky

Edited, lettered & designed by Ken Reynolds (COGNITION, IN TROUBLE, SLICED QUARTERLY) www.kenreynoldsdesign.co.uk and find him on Twitter @kreynoldsdesign

Cover art by Colin Lorimer www.instagram.com/colin_lorimer

There will be more recommendations next week. This is only the tip of the iceberg. Look out for the next mailer or have a look at www.neverironanything.blogspot.co.uk for updates.

Many thanks for reading.

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Hilda!!!

If you’ve been listening recently you’ll know that I’ll be running the Nobrow table at Thoughtbubble in Leeds this year. We’ll be situated at Table 28 in the grand Victoria Hall.






My first full outing for this company coincides with their first television outing of that adventurous kid Hilda on Netflix. For anyone who went to the East London Comic and Art Festival last June or has been to the screening events Flying Eye, Netflix and Nobrow have been running will know one thousand percent that this is a great cartoon that will capture you and sweep you along with a big grin.


Created with total love and skill by Luke Pearson this is a story of Hilda and her dog Twig. They live in a country full of supernatural and often dangerous creatures. But Hilda doesn’t mind, she loves to run and scramble and explore her world. There’s seemingly nothing that this young girl cant take in her stride. You marvel at her enthusiasm and fearless escapades. You also worry for her, will she come out the other side unscathed?


Not only will your kids love this series but you will too. It is a comic (and now a cartoon series) that has melted the heart of even this grumpy old comic fan. A total solution to all the toxic troubles of the modern world. This is pure and fun and totally extraordinary.


This cartoon magically translates all the hallmarks of the comic onto the screen. It is due to launch in the days before Thoughtbubble (22nd - 23rd September) and I fully expect there to be a dash to our table to get the books. So I thought it might be handy to have a list of what you’ll need. 


Here’s the running order.






Hildafolk - now released as Hilda and the Troll.





Hilda and the Midnight Giant.





Hilda and the Bird Parade.





Hilda and the Black Hound.





Hilda and the Stone Forest.


Just because we love Thoughtbubble we’ll be selling the graphic novel series at £7 each rather than the usual price of £7.99. 


But believe me when I say that you need to get in early. I’ll also be taking preorders for the Con attendees so let me know at Tony.awesomecomicspod@gmail.com or find me and DM me on Twitter @Ezohyez






Addicted yet? Then you might want to try this newly released novel that ties into the comic series and the new Netflix cartoon.


Hilda an the Hidden People is written by Stephen Davies using the ideas, tone, fun and characters of the original series and is well worth £9.99.


Here’s what the Nobrow site says about this new release.


‘Based on Luke Pearson’s award-winning Hildafolk graphic novels, the magical and mysterious world of Hilda continues in a new fiction series written by Stephen Davies. Catch the new Hilda series, coming soon to Netflix!

Join our beloved heroine as she encounters her very first troll, negotiates peace with some very persnickety elves, and reunites two lovelorn ancient giants. Fantastic creatures and daring adventures are all just part of another average day for Hilda… but what will she do if she is forced to move to Trolberg city, far away from her beloved valley home?’


Head over to www.nobrow.net to find out more or follow us on Twitter @NobrowPress or @FlyingEyeBooks


You can find out more about Luke at https://lukepearson.com/ and follow him on twitter @thatlukeperson


You can find out more about the new cartoon series at http://www.hildatheseries.com/


Many thanks for reading.


See you there!

Saturday, 8 September 2018

A Preview of ‘Adrift’ by John Tucker.




Adrift.


Created by John Tucker.


40 pages - Black and White - £2.


(Launching at Thoughtbubble Festival this month).



The General Idea - This is a world exactly like ours. Full of motorways and people and forks.


One day gravity decided that it wanted to just up and go. Suddenly and without any kind of warning it just left the Earth.


At first the occupants of the Earth liked the effect of floating around. It was a novelty. Just like that first day of snow where we can stay at home and play with it. Later though, it might, maybe, become a pain in your neck, and/or possibly a little dangerous.


That’s what it’s like when gravity goes away. How will the human race cope? How would you cope? Will we adapt or will everything go to hell?


That’s what John Tucker posits in this new illustrated tale.


What is for sure is that there are a whole load of naked and old and fat people having sex right there in front of you!


Don’t go gravity? Please.....






What I thought (as if you aren’t already hooked!).


“The Guide says there is an art to flying", said Ford, "or rather a knack. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.”


Douglas Adams, Life, the Universe and Everything


I’ve always loved the every day simple yet funny nature of that quote. It came back to me after reading the new book from John Tucker.


This has a wry and sarcastic wink at you as you read through it’s pages. It is fun, telling and at one moment just a little bit touching. From page one when that fork with a life of it’s own floats past the reader I knew this was something I would enjoy. It is not done in a traditional comics style but rather a series of full page images that face a page of commentary, comments and text. It’s an interesting and very readable style. It is a short read but really entertaining.


It takes all the cynicism of the depressing things like The Walking Dead and The Road and shows that as changes come that are considered catastrophic we can find a little humour and just possibly some light at the end of the tunnel. It is written with that idiosyncratic humour that is recognisably a Tucker creation. A little bawdy, a little strange and a whole lot funny.






I heartily recommend anything by this creator.


This will be getting a release at Thoughtbubble this year and you can find John and all of his art and comics in the ComiXology Marquee at table 120B. You can find him online at www.johntucker.co.uk on Twitter @JohnTuckerArt and on Instagram @JohnTucker


Many thanks for reading.


And PS. The Review copy came with this comment that made me laugh loudly in Cafe Nero.


‘Please don’t cross my name out and release it as your own. Thanks.’

Thursday, 6 September 2018

A few mumblings on something rather strange.

Here’s an article that went out in the mailer. Just thought it might be worth a look for those not yet signed up.

If you like it why not head over to http://www.tinyletter.com/cockneykungfu and see what myself and Nick are talking about every week.

‘Renewal Festival in 88 minutes and counting...’

So. As you all hopefully realise now it has been a habit of mine lately to read a chunk of European comics. I’ve been breathing in the goodness from Humanoids for a couple of years now and had another look at some digital comics from them again this week.
 
So I thought that I would recommend one you might dig.
 
Warning....Adult Material ahead.
 
This is a big slab of madness that is Megalex.
 
 
 
I’m now two (and a bit) volumes into the three that are available. It’s written by that master of the transgressive Alejandro Jodorowsky and drawn by Fred Beltran.
 
Here’s what the Humanoids website says about volume 1.
 
On Megalex, the city-planet, the laws of nature are prohibited. The tyrannical order reigns over a renewed population controlled by genetic manipulation. Due to the repeated attacks of the neighboring forest, primitive and impenetrable, the urbanized system in command allowed an 'anomaly,' a clone policeman nearly 10 ft tall, to escape. Guided by Adama, one of the rebels fighting for their freedom, the gentle giant manages to join the camp of the 'objectors' and help them go up against the evil powers of Megalex.’
 
This is science fiction strangeness that could well be on a whole other level compared to what you normally consume. It’s that area of the genre that is nasty yet satirical. It has a strange sense of knowing itself and will give you nightmares like you’ve spent the previous evening eating the wrong cheese!
 
 
It is a story that 2000 AD even in it’s glory years could only have dreamed of printing. The woman are often over sexualised to eleven but are also simultaneously driven warriors. These (often) bald headed battle axes are hypnotically beautiful whilst also being shockingly immediate in word and action. The men are often fools, also often more caricature in their facial features they run round and shout and are victims of lust and anger and self importance (and lasers!).
 
Like a lot of Jodorowsky’s work this has that all pervading weirdness, a brutality to the fiction. Life is cheap, sex is found everywhere and violence causes immediate and shockingly sudden loss of life. But, this isn’t without a wry smile. Who could argue that the 10 ft anomaly, a warrior who went a bit wrong in the gene pool, looks a ridiculous and lanky/awkward figure. The moment where two cliched fantasy wizards argue with each other about who is the real one and who is the dreamlike construct is absolute hilarious class. It’s that humour that also in a clever way amps up the unnatural and creepy mood of the piece.
 
 
 
Beltran has a bright and hugely imaginative style that will startle you at every panel swipe or page turn. I am flabbergasted at the changes of setting he manages combined with the amazing originality in every design. Completely and utterly in your face with every single figure and action. His people, creatures, mutants and robots border on the obscene in design. Like turning a 1970s sci-if trash novel cover into a sequential story. I found it all hypnotically disturbing as well as unrelentingly funny.
 
I would call this a comedy. Jodorowsky may well call this reality.
 
For this society is on the edge of a destruction. They are in many ways well past the point of no return as their individuality has been taken from them. Everything different must be destroyed as an angel like alien crashes their domes with destructively captivating violence. The scene where a family face death and welcome it because they have become bored of television is laugh out loud on the commuter train funny.
 
 
The outrage and excitement that you feel whilst reading this series is like an infection that fights the straight going, preprogrammed and safety of the modern world. Beltran and Jodorowsky are chuckling at and destroying our banality through this book. I came away from reading the first volume a little affected and somewhat troubled. It assaults you page after page. This is where I want my sci-fi. It should battle the established thoughts, it is pure in it’s antiestablishmental yearnings (with an emphasis on the mental’). Watch this creep into your subconscious. The only thing I can compare it to is the first time you saw porn. In the woods or by the railway sidings it felt unusual and strange and you couldn’t look away.
 
I think that Jodorowsky might well like that comparison somehow....
 
You can find out more at https://www.humanoids.com/work/99
 
Many thanks for reading.
 

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

In Review - ‘The Needleman’ by Martin Simpson


The Needleman.


Created by Martin Simpson.


Published by Soaring Penguin Press.


19 pages - Full Colour.


‘Needlemen are the dark enforcers of a dystopian city of slaves. For one particular Needlman, a seemingly everyday investigation will spiral out of control and comprehension....’






The Review - This is a collection of a series that was previously published in Soaring Penguin’s anthology series Meanwhile. It is however new to me and was kindly sent through to us at The Awesome Podcast by the creator Martin Simpson. I opened it on my phone and immediately swapped messages with Vince and Dan on how ‘Fucking great’ this book looks.


I think the cover is worthy of a mention. It immediately stands out. The face of the Needleman (aka Agent Rasp) is that of a cross between a Steampunk zombie and a funeral director in a 1970s western. A wizened and skinny tough guy with a bow tie. He looks out at you with vicious efficiency from the cover daring you to try something. Either side of his face are the flared lights of a golden city shooting up into the night sky.


‘They only wanted black and white. Do you see?’


I am taken immediately by Simpson’s art. He combines some cleverly interlocking panel arrangements and then throws in some gorgeously detailed splash pages full of mood and menace. The Needleman comes across in his intentions as a cross between Judge Dredd in that he is prone to acts of sudden and violent punishment and the characters who seem faceless and mechanical crawling over the movie Dark City. Simpson portrays the humans as grey in a bright world of light and gold. There’s some remarkable design work on show here.


This is a city where the life of it’s inhabitants is cheap. The people are crammed into city blocks and named only as numbers. The Needlemen are the feared enforcers, snuffing lives out with expertly effective bullets. They use the Needles of their names to torture and interrogate.


Rasp is a special case. His voice is portrayed in square and black backgrounded speech balloons and he narrates much of the action. He is tasked with tracking down an escaped and missing female employee working in one of the factory complexes. He finds something else. Something that may well change him.






This is a book that I highly recommend. Something that you really need to read for yourself and I have purposely left out a couple of the splash pages that will blow out the bulbs in your downstairs toilet with how incredible they look. I would say that the last third suffers a little from too much talking and that there is a moment right towards the end that may have spoken to much of what they said without the need for a couple of pages of explanation. But this is a small aside from what is a book that speaks to much and does so with absolute style.


What did Rasp find?


Something wonderful. 


The revolution will be lead by the artists..... (they just need to keep off Twitter for five minutes - sorry, couldn’t resist that.)


You can find out more about the creator at www.martinsillustration.com Buy some of his art at www.etsy.com/shop/tweekhed and follow him on Twitter @SIMO_paints


Many thanks for reading.