Wednesday 12 June 2013

We are FOUR!

The first episode of Small Press Big Mouth went live FOUR year ago yesterday! Huge thanks, as ever, to the Geek Syndicate boys for hosting it for us and all their encouragement & support; to Stacey for inviting me to co-host and thank you to everyone who listens in and puts up with our ever-rarer whitterings & whittlings! Cheers, you great big beautiful SPBMers, you!


Monday 10 June 2013

Improper Books announce KNIGHT & DRAGON

As faithful SPBMers are probably aware we feel Improper Books is one of the most exciting new publishers of British comics; their debut title Porcelain is a triumph worthy of a veteran publisher and their upcoming books Butterfly Gate and Night Post are high on our Keenly Anticipated list. So any announcement from them regarding new projects is going to prick our ears up good and proper. And then we find out it has art by Bevis "Muscles" Musson, creator of Dead Queen Detectives - which we totally flipping adore - and we're squealing "But I want it NOOOOW!" like a comicophile Veruca Salt. So slap your ocular receptors all over the following press release and join us in our overexcited ragegasm....



Written by Matt Gibbs and illustrated by Bevis Musson, with colours by Nathan Ashworth, KNIGHT & DRAGON playfully subverts the story of a heroic Knight defeating a ferocious Dragon to rescue the fair Maiden, by offering variant paths and multiple outcomes to the classic fairy tale adventure.

Each narrative begins the same, with a beleaguered Knight riding his Horse into a seemingly deserted village, where the majority of the Villagers mistake him for a heroic warrior. Distracted by the beauty of the Maiden, before he really knows what he’s doing, the Knight agrees to fight a Dragon and, much to the Maiden’s evident dismay, the Village Chief offers the Knight her hand in marriage should he succeed. Learning too late from the Villagers that the Dragon is both huge and ferocious, the despondent Knight heads out to meet his fate, and at this point the stories begin to diverge…

From here, the Knight, Dragon and Maiden, along with the Horse, Farmhand and Village Chief, provide different paths through the unfolding narratives before reaching different endings.

‘It began as an idea to create a comic that allowed changes in the sequence and resolution of its scenes, enabling different stories to be told,’ said Matt, about Knight & Dragon. ‘This lends itself seamlessly to digital comics, but in a similar fashion to gamebooks, a print version is just as possible with a bit of additional heavy lifting, or page turning, on the part of the reader.’

‘It has also allowed Bevis and I to explore our mutual love of fairy tales, and I’m delighted that the branching script didn’t put him off. I’m a big fan of his work, especially the excellent Dead Queen Detectives, and it has been brilliant seeing each page come to life in his style, which is being perfectly complimented by Nathan’s colours.’

‘It's always a pleasure to take things you love and approach them in a new way, so with Knight & Dragon I get to combine my love of fairy tales and comics and do something that is both familiar and surprising,’ said Bevis, about the project. ‘How could I not jump at the chance to draw a story with romance, drama, action, adventure and a whacking great dragon? In the end I even enjoyed drawing the horse, once I worked out he could wear a tablecloth.’

Designed with both print and digital in mind, Knight & Dragon is a picture book comic for all ages, due out in 2013.

Improper Books is a comic and graphic novel imprint focusing on creator owned stories that have a touch of the fairy tale, the Gothic or the macabre.

Matt "Funky" Gibbs is a freelance writer and editor. He has worked on games such as Sega’s BINARY DOMAIN and Ubisoft’s DRIVER SAN FRANCISCO, and is collaborating with a number of talented artists on comic and graphic novel projects. Alongside his freelance editing, he is the managing editor of Improper Books. Originally an archaeologist, he spent several years grubbing about in holes before turning to writing as a career. 

Bevis "Not Beavis" Musson is the writer, artist and letterer of THE DEAD QUEEN DETECTIVES. He would probably make the paper too if he knew how, but that would just be showing off. He lives in Manchester with his family and generally thinks making comics is a much better way of spending his time than anything else. 

Nathan "No Nickname" Ashworth is predominantly a colourist, working in a range of groups from DEAD ROOTS and VS COMICS to AFTERLIFE INC. and Art Heroes’ HALCYON & TENDERFOOT series. Nathan likes tasty bright colours, punching mates and being fed more inks to play about with. 

Tuesday 4 June 2013

Episode 43 is online!

Welcome to Episode 43 which is also our podiversary, 4 long years of Stace and Lee providing your earholes with Geordiebrumophonics and a multitude of Indie press goodness. In this episode we review The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil, The Impossible Crossing, Deadbeats, Solid State Tank Girl, Inktitioner AND more! We also swear a little more than usual for which we blame each other – though obviously it was Lee’s fault!

Direct Download: Episode 43
[Warning: this episode is a bit swearier than usual.]


Sunrise - read it
Sunrise - buy it

No Stace portrait of Grice this time. So instead here's our favourite bit from Deadbeats.
"Come get a bite of the Dixie peach."

Errata: Idiot that I am I said that Titan Comics will be publishing Jack Katz's amazing fantasy comic "The 10th Kingdom" - I meant, of course, The First Kingdom, for that is what it is called. What a maroon. What nincompoop. 

Saturday 1 June 2013

Comic Review: Turning Tiger

Its time for another guest comics review courtesy of Dion Winton-Polak of the almost internationally renowned Scrolls podcast. Take it away, Dion...


TURNING TIGER Special Edition
Renegade Arts Entertainment
When I first met Rich Clements at Thought Bubble a couple of years back I had no idea he was a comic book writer, let alone the fella behind the Hi-Ex comic convention.  As far as I was concerned he was just a nice bloke that I’d got chatting to in the pub after hours.  When I bumped into him again last year we ended up having an epic natter amongst a group of creative folk (who just so happened to be located in an area of the hotel which could possibly be described as a ‘bar’) and his sordid past was revealed.  At one point I asked him what work he is most proud of and he answered ‘Turning Tiger’ with barely a pause for thought.  He told me all about the project but alcohol and an evening of banter burned most of the details away.  All I remembered afterwards was the title and the mental image of a small girl with a gigantic war-robot.  So, of course, I had to buy it...

Plot-wise it’s pretty simple – The military are testing a trio of top-secret war machines, when something goes disturbingly wrong.  Sarah is a young girl with a loving family, lucky enough to survive a car crash.  The family are more than a little shocked afterwards when a giant robot turns up and kidnaps their daughter, but strangely enough the military seem to be almost expecting it.  The rest of the book deals with the growing relationship between girl and machine and the unfolding sins of the past (wrapped up in a big old chase sequence.)  It’s a tight little story, clocking in at a mere 58 pages, yet it packs a lot of punch.  Within the tale are moments of elation and horror, pure excitement and genuine tragedy.  It may not be Shakespeare but the emotional stakes are real and every character rings true.

I found Alex’s artwork took a little warming up to.  The character design is pretty stylised, which I can deal with in general, but to my eyes nine-year-old Sarah looked considerably older around the face, which was a little off-putting.  On the plus side her drawings show consistency, which many first-timers struggle to achieve in sequential art.  Meanwhile, the robots are absolutely fabulous creations – earth-stompingly huge, full of fat chrome curves and pure pistoned power.  Machine versus machine is a real joy to watch here, and the action scenes scream full animated series.  Her page layouts really shine too, popping the action through panel walls with weapons-fire splashing out all over the place.  In Sarah’s presence the colours are vivid and cheery, resonating with the energy of childhood, while the adults are painted in murkier hues.  It’s a subtle cue but it strikes to the heart of the project.

In many ways Turning Tiger is an innocent comic book, the quintessence of wish-fulfilment.  Reading it, you are thrust effortlessly back to that stage of childhood where the world seems full of possibilities and adults are just idiots who try to spoil everything.  A wide-eyed world, then?  Yes, but it has enough of a grip on itself to acknowledge the grown up perspective, of tough choices made and consequences suffered.  There is a much wider world here to be explored though, and it doesn't feel like we've done much other than scratch the surface.  It’s a set-up book, a pilot episode if you will, and as such it leaves you feeling a little short changed.  What happens next Rich, Goddammit?!  Well, we’ll be finding out soon, hopefully.  Volume 2 has been scripted, after all.  So you know what to do now.  Buy it, read it, then start pestering the publishers about the next one.  You know it makes sense.

Rating: 3.5/5

Writer: Richmond Clements
Art: Alex Moore
Letterer: Jim Campbell
Colours: Vicky Stonebrdge
Editor: Alexander Finbow


Thanks, Dion! We're happy to run guest reviews so if there's a comic you want to rave about just drop us a line via our email or twitters!

Tuesday 7 May 2013

Bristol Fitties 2013

Its that time of year again, the sun is out, the sky is blue and Bristol's busting out next weekend. Now, its had its knockers of late but here's a handful of our top tips to keep an eye out for...

Firstly our very own Stacey Whittle, along with Iz McAuliffe, will be hosting another fantabulous 2000AD Mega Panel this year featuring Ian Gibson, Michael Carroll, David Hine, Boo Cook, Mike Collins, Rob Williams, Ben Willsher, Henry Flint, David Roach & John Higgins. Saturday 11th May at 5pm in the Ramada main panel room.

Graham Pearce may or may not have Sgt Mike Battle #19 for sale depending on whether he can get it finished in time. Draw, Graham, draw like the wind! Regardless he will have his back catalogue of SMB and a rough-cut preview of #19.

Jennie Gyllblad ‏will be there with her own table, "being lonely" apparently, so go along and give her a hug from me. She'll also be selling Clockwork Watch Arrival AND Breakaway, Skal, Jenspiration, some new prints along with her old ones.

Dani Abram and Ian Matthews will be there with Razarhawk #1 and #2 along with a special variant cover version of #1 which looks amazing! ‏

Heather L Sheppard ‏will be debuting Sunrise #1 the print version of her gorgeous webcomic. "There's only 75 printed copies, but a digital download with the extra pages will be available to download at the same time - no missing out!" (Print version's £4.50 online, £4 at cons - digital version is £1 online) Heather should also have a few of her travelposter printsDinorawr cards and other bits as well.

Gary Erskine will will have the Roller Grrrls sketchbook and will be sketching too.

Kris Carter will have Lou Scannon issues 1 through 5 for sale - highly recommended.

David Wynne says "I'll be at the Orang Utan Comics table on Saturday, sketching. We'll have Particle Fiction and Hypergirl for sale. Woo!" Incidentally, Particle Fiction now has a new webhome HERE, check it out.

And finally, the ever-fragrant and carnivorous Nic Wilkinson informs us it will sadly be the first Bristol con since it came out that she and Cy Dethan won't be able to attend. "So sad as Bristol has always been the spiritual home of Cancertown." But fear not, sweet SPBMers, Cancertown 1 & 2 are available from Cy's comicsy shop

Friday 12 April 2013

PORCELAIN available from Diamond.

Unless something incredible happens (glances at Cy Dethan out the corner of my eye) Improper BooksPorcelain: A Gothic Fairy Tale by Benjamin Read & Chris Wildgoose is on track to be my favourite graphic novel of the year (though having said they we've still got Butterfly Gate and Night Post yet to come from the Improper folk soooo...) so its without hesitation that we recommend you read the press release below and and haul your peachy buttocks towards your local comic shop to order yourself a copy. 

Or you could get yourself one right now from one of these fine establishments who may still have copies left from the advance indie release. Even if you don't live near any of those shops most of them will have a mail order service and you can have it delivered to your door! Man, are we living in the future or what?

Now, true SPBMers will have done this already on the strength of Stace's recent review, haven't you? But I digress. Do your duty, read the press release, buy the book, tell your friends. Peace, out.



“Porcelain is a gorgeous and haunting steampunkesque fairy tale. 
Creepy, compelling and beautifully realised.”
Kurt Busiek 
(Astro City, Avengers, Conan, Marvels)

“A haunting, umbral, and surprisingly charming story, told with confidence and great skill. I can't wait to see what they come up with next.”
Antony Johnston 
(Wasteland, The Coldest City, Alex Rider graphic novels)

PORCELAIN: A GOTHIC FAIRY TALE is set for a July 2013 release courtesy of DIAMOND COMIC DISTRIBUTORS, and is now available to pre-order (Diamond Code: MAY131178).

Porcelain: A Gothic Fairy Tale is the first graphic novel from the new creative team of Benjamin Read (writer) and Chris Wildgoose (illustrator), and the first title from publisher Improper Books. It has received exceptional and overwhelmingly positive reviews, and a limited indie release of Porcelain in the United Kingdom has sold out to fantastic public response.

“Absolutely remarkable. Never in over two decades have I witnessed such a zealous reaction to a new creative team and a publisher’s first-ever graphic novel in advance of publication.”
Stephen L. Holland (Page 45)

“Porcelain is a bona fide hit at Travelling Man, appealing to lovers of exquisite storytelling, and only held off the top spot in sales by the latest League of Extraordinary Gentlemen!”
Simon Campey (Travelling Man)

Thanks to the support of independent retailers and fellow comic creators spreading the word, our stock of the limited UK indie release sold out in a little over a month, with some retailers taking over 150 copies based on customer interest and pre-orders.

Written by Benjamin Read, illustrated by Chris Wildgoose, coloured by AndrĂ© May, and lettered by Jim Campbell, Porcelain is set within a world that’s a darkly magical echo of our own. It follows the story of a street urchin, known as Child, who leaves the cold streets of a snowy city behind when she climbs the high wall into the Porcelain Maker’s secret garden in a bid to steal whatever she can.

The Porcelain Maker discovers Child trespassing but, amused by her audacity, he offers her the chance to stay. He’s a lonely man, kept company only by his alchemically-powered automata, and he and Child form an unlikely friendship.

Shut off from the world beyond the wall, Child wants or needs for nothing as the Porcelain Maker heaps affection and luxury upon her, indulging her like a daughter. In return, she can do as she pleases, except for one command, one rule that must never be broken, she must not look behind the workshop door.

Twitter @ImproperBooks

Product Title: PORCELAIN: A Gothic Fairy Tale

Creators’ Names: Benjamin Read & Chris Wildgoose

Format: full colour; 96 pages; soft cover, perfect bound 178mm width x 245mm height (7” x 10”)

Retail Price: USD $19.99 / CAD $21.99 / GBP £12.99

On Sale Month/Date: July 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4474-6131-9

Diamond Code: MAY131178

Improper Books is a comic and graphic novel imprint focusing on creator owned stories that have a touch of the fairy tale, the Gothic or the macabre.

Benjamin Read writes comics and makes films. He wrote the TRUE GRIT and SUPER 8 comic adaptations, and also wrote and produced the films WARHOUSE and 500 MILES NORTH.

Chris Wildgoose is an illustrator, and conceptual and storyboard artist. Northern born, but London based, Chris made his comic debut with the official TRUE GRIT and SUPER 8 comics.

Monday 8 April 2013


New Cy Deathan comic! New Cy Dethan comic! *claps hands* Yes yes yes now shurrup and read the press release!



ROK Comics announces the release of Master Merlini, its latest interactive audio comic featuring an all-new incarnation of the real-life, world famous escape artist David Merlini.

Escape artist, crime fighter, adventurer, Master Merlini is all of these things and more, as he battles the villainous Caligari while a mysterious woman helps him discover an incredible truth about his world and his existence!

Written by Cy Dethan, author of the acclaimed Cancertown series and Starship Troopers, with art from Giancarlo Caracuzzo (artist on Marvel'’s Formic Wars and Gorilla Man), the debut Master Merlini audio comic plunges the hero into a strange world beyond our own, linked to a real world event in New York on April 18th 2013!

With full audio 'play' to accompany the comic and escape artist tricks revealed in exclusive videos as well as animations and extra background information on some of the characters, Master Merlini will leave you wondering... where does fiction end and reality begin?

Based on a concept by ROK Comics founder Jonathan Kendrick and David Merlini himself, who also voices his comic alter ego, Master Merlini merges the real world with a fiction that is all too real for its hero!

• Master Merlini Online at

• Full length comic strip adventure starring Master Merlini
• Full length accompanying soundtrack
• Exclusive escape artist trick videos
• Animated sequences offering alternate storytelling (selected pages)
• Background feature on escape artist Merlini

Script: Cy Dethan based on a concept by Jonathan Kendrick & David Merlini 
Art by Giancarlo Caracuzzo
Colour by Kirsty Swan
Letters and Digital Mastering by Jim Campbell

Voice Artists: David Merlini, Shawn Curran, Kirstin Reitter and George Sanders

Available now for iPad, iPhone and Android
• From Google Play for Android: 

• Visit Books That ROK at:


For iPhone and iPad

•The Beatles Story

•Team MOBILE #1
Also available for Android

•Team MOBILE #2
Also available for Android

•Houdini Adevntures #1
Also available for Android


•Rick Fury
Also available for Android

OG Niki

Also available for Android

•Joe Whelan
Also available for Android