Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Comic artist Christmas cards

One of my favourite things about Christmas is when comics artists start posting Christmas card art they've created themselves. Check out these three bad boys from supertalented pixies Jamie Smart, PJ Holden and Garen Ewing. Love 'em!

Jamie Smart

PJ Holden

Garen Ewing
 More please!

EDIT: and here's a beauty from Emma Vieceli!

Emma Vieceli

Valium Kapadai
...Sarah McIntyre did a little Christmas comic instead of a card...
Sarah McIntyre

...Vicky Stonebridge and Rich Clements, organisers of the Hi-Ex Comics Expo among other things.

Vicky Stonebridge & Rich Clements

SPBM recommends: 20 Favourite Female Creators of 2010

Kelly Thompson in her She has No Head! column  for Comicbook Resources has listed her 20 Favourite Female Creators of 2010 - and a damn fine list of talent it is too! Some names I'm a firm fan of - such as Faith Erin Hicks and Amanda Conner; some I have personally just recently discovered - such as Nicola Scott, who blew me away with her sketches at BICS this year, Emily Carroll and Katie Cook - and some are completely new names to me. 

The list is in two parts - here's PART ONE and here's PART TWO.

My own personal list would have to include amazing talents such as Emma Vieceli, Jennie Gyllblad, Valium Kapadai, Nic Wilkinson, Vicky Stonebridge and Sarah McIntyre.

Thank you to Hey, Women! Comics! for tweeting about this.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Stace's new new podcast: The Megacast!

Stace's plan for world podcast domination continues apace! Regular listeners to SPBM, If You Like This, Everything Comes Back To 2000AD, Comic Racks, Geek Syndicate and any of the other 'casts she's co-hosted or guested on will be well aware of her affection, nay love, nay lust for the shiney helmeted lawman Judge Dredd. Well now she and Comics Racks' own Iz McCauliffe will be regularly reviewing The Judge Dredd Megazine is a sister podcast to the drokking awesome ECBT2000AD called The Megacast.

Episode 01 is available now HERE or is available through itunes via the same feed as ECBT2000AD

Monday, 20 December 2010

Jamie Smart does Doctor Who

SPBM loves Jamie Smart. We also love Doctor Who. So the news on Jamie's blog that he's working on a new Doctor Who project is very very exciting indeed. Hear that high pitched SQUEEEEEEEE noise? That's us. 

This is Jamie: "There’s a brand new Dr Who partwork magazine coming out in Spring 2011, and I’m very pleased to say I’ll be spending most of next year drawing for it. ... I can’t tell you what kind of thing I’m drawing, but if you’re canny or seen the previews floating round t’internet you may have worked it out."

SFX Magazine were able to add more details as they have seen one of the preview issues. On their website today they said: "It was called Doctor Who Monster Invasion, and it was connected to a collectable card game. ... One of the best things about the test issue was, indeed, Smart’s double-page Ood spread" SFX provide a wee pic of the Ood spread which looks fantastic!

In other Jamie Smart news, his brilliant online graphic novel Kochi Wanaba is in its final stretch. Running daily during December its due to conclude in just a few days and we strongly suggest you give it a read - its a stunningly beautiful piece of work.

Daily Spine Chiller for Christmas

There's a festive treat for fans of Ben Clark's hilarious weekly comic strip The Spine Chillers - its going daily from now til Christmas. Huzzah! We raved about it in early days of SPBM, but here's Ben himself to fill you in if you missed it:

"My idea for the comic strip is to take the writers from The Spine Chillers series, (HP Lovecraft, Ambrose Bierce and Edgar Allan Poe) and have them all live together in a grotty, 1950s style boarding house, with an indifferent battleaxe of a Landlady called Mrs Parkinson. I thought the boarding house backdrop provided the most scope for stories, conflict and most importantly, jokes.

So treat yourself and do the clicky thing

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Creator Shops!

Christmas is right around the corner and if you're short of ideas for presents for the comics geek in your life check out the comics, sketches, art commissions, prints and other goodies from these fine and talented comics creators!

David Wynne - Particle Fiction

Ben Clark - Spinechillers, Mike Neville

Jamie Smart - Whubble, Bear, The Dandy

Vickie Stonebridge - Hi-Ex, Slaughterman's Creed

Rich Clements - Futurequake, Zarjaz, Turning Tiger

Jennie Gyllblad - Skal

Stephen Downey - Cancertown, Torchwood

Garen Ewing - Rainbow Orchid

Emma Vieceli - Dragon Heir

Valium Kapadai - Innocent Soul

Barry Nugent - Fallen Heroes

Gary Bainbridge - Sugar Glider, Grainger Street

Luke Foster - MoonFreight 3, The Gang From The Store

Andrew Waugh - Show and Tell, Hermit

Matthew Craig - Hondle, Tryhard & Tearaway

Dean Stahl - Headlocks and Headaches

PJ Holden - Judge Dredd, Numbercruncher

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

The Indifference Engine launches on PSN.

We reviewed The Indifference Engine in episode 22 and loved it  - Stace infamously called it "Philip K Dick flavoured" - but you can decide for yourself as it is now available on the PSN platform. here's the full press release...


The Indifference Engine: A Holographic Novel launches today on PSN.

“Being a science fiction fan, I sometimes ache for a comic that will challenge my perceptions of the world, of the universe, of my way of thinking...The Indifference Engine, written by Cy Dethan (Cancertown)with pencils by Robert Carey, scratches that itch spectacularly!" said Wayne Hall of Sci-Fi Pulse.

Happily you can now find relief for all your own interdimensional itches, as, with a little holiday magic The Indifference Engine (Dethan, Carey, Cook, Wilkinson) has been bumped up Markosia Publications’ release schedule and made its way to the Playstation Network Comic Store just in time for Christmas.

Responding to a strangely specific job advertisement, Alan Blake, a distinctly ordinary twenty-something suburban slacker finds himself in the middle of an inter-dimensional task force staffed entirely by superhuman alternate versions of himself. Struggling to fit in, he uncovers a conspiracy that strikes at the very heart of the organisation – a conspiracy that only he can stop.

"Cy Dethan's script is superb on this book", said John (Sci-Fi Art Now) Freeman on Down The Tubes "This [is a] tightly-written multi-universe-spanning adventure tale and it's...definitely a book to look out for."

My name is Alan Blake. 

I've got no resources, no skills and no friends.

But if I were you, I'd be the very last person on Earth 

I'd want coming after me...

The Indifference Engine reunites the Cancertown team of Dethan, Cook and Wilkinson, joined this time around by penciller Rob Carey on his first full length graphic novel.

Harry Markos, publisher, speaking about the launch on the PSN forum said: “You’re going to be freaked out. I warned you , a while ago, that The Indifference Engine would blow your minds, well, as promised, issue one is here to do just that!”

Meanwhile over on the PSN blog, Pauline Martyn, Publishing Manager, Digital Comics posted: “Cancertown was one of the highlights of our early offerings – a great series which steadily grew a loyal cult following during its time on the store. Now, writer Cy Dethan is back with the superlative The Indifference Engine through Markosia.”

Before we go, a final word from Sci-Fi Pulse:

" I LOVED having to pay attention and taking my time to keep track of what was going on. I LOVED the pay-off at the end as well. It’s a great mental exercise–my brain was tired for a long time after reading it....In fact, I LOVED that, too! What a great comic!"

If you want to try before you buy then you can read a free preview of the first 14 pages from Cy Dethan’s website at along with a sneak peak at art from later episodes.

For those without PSPs other versions are expected next year in a variety of formats and media. A sequel is already in the works!

Thursday, 25 November 2010

The Newge bows out - Geek Syndicate ep171

Welcome to Stace’s last episode. Sorry it’s late, if you want to prevent it being late again then buy Dave a state of the art laptop to replace the tired one he has. Anyway as it’s Stace’s last episode I thought we would start and end with a Staceism, keep listening after the end theme.
On this show Dave and Stace talk about the new Green Lantern trailer, Incredible Hulk TV show, they also talk about the Conjour, the upcoming Science Fiction and Fantasy one day literary convention in Leeds, Karen Gillan's new casting in a bizarre-sounding take on Romeo and Juliet and the return of the podcast Q!Paw
Week that was
Dr Who: Tesseract by Tony Lee
Judge Dredd: Mega City Undercover &
the excellent show Community.
Main: Shows we left behind
This week we take a look at shows we used to watch and then stopped watching and examine what made us say goodbye.
Direct download – GS episode 171
PS. For owners of the Geek Syndicate app, there is a snazzy pic of Mega City Undercover to use as a wallpaper if you so desire

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

awesome Innocent Soul preview art!

Check out this preview art from upcoming webcomic Innocent Souls written by Travis Legge and illustrated by the fabulously talented Valia Kapadai.

Innocent Soul is a dark supernatural tale about a man who sinks into
the shadowy world of the occult to save his child from unearthly peril.

Fifteen years in the making, the strip is scheduled to d├ębut on the 1st January 2011 and will be available at the Aegis Studios comics page. Stay tuned to Travis's blog and Valia's Deviant Art page for more updates & info!

Jamie Smart wants more Chaffy art!

Several months ago Comedy Genius™ Jamie Smart of Whubble and The Dandy fame launched a communal webcomic to tie-in with his beautiful Find Chaffy book. The webcomic was fiendishly called...

...and so I had a crack at submitting a panel for it. My panel was this one... was great fun to do and it was ace seeing it accepted and published online with all the other panels. Now Jamie is again putting the call out for new artists to submit panels and he's also asking all the previous artists if they want to have another go! I'm having a think to see what ideas I can come up with and you should have a go too. Click HERE for details!

Monday, 22 November 2010

Stace guest-co-hosted ECBT2000AD ep38 - online

After getting their wrists slapped for being too mean on the last episode, Rich and Flint take a week off and let two much nicer people stand in for them. Despite this expect the same non kiddie friendly language and alcohol abuse you get in the other episodes. Progs 1709 & 1710 are reviewed and the first picture from the Dredd movie is discussed… well, technically its more perved over.

Direct Download: Episode 38

Friday, 19 November 2010

a wee Stargazer update

We plan to review new all-ages SF-fantasy adventure Stargazer in the next episode of SPBM, but that will probably be out too late for shops to pre-order it from Diamond (cos there's sure to be a mahoosive demand once its been mentioned on our show donchaknow) so anyone who likes the look of Stargazer - and it dies look lovely, check out these splendid character illios! - should let their local comic shop know asap. (ISBN of 978-0-9781237-2-7, Diamond Item Order code NOV101057and RRP of $14.95)

Stargazer creator Von Allan has also contacted us with the exciting news that...

"The Maverick Graphic Novels Committee is a group of Texas-based librarians that are proponents of graphic novels. Each year they put together a list of recommended titles and I'm very pleased to discover that Stargazer made the cut. There's actually a further round of voting still to come; the titles on that list are the "best of the best." While I'm obviously very hopeful that Stargazer will be on that list, too, being nominated at all is very, very neat."
Stargazer was also the cover feature of Comic Shop News #1221 and had an article inside! Excellent!

Stargazer Cover to Comic Shop News 1221

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

How's BAYOU? ARCANA be more excited!

Hello kiddies! Its your old pal Lovely Lee on the blog once again. This time I have news of a feast of fear that should be oozing its way into production soon.

When we put a call out for sex-maniacs... oops! sorry, I meant ex-Insomniacs to get in touch and lets us know what they're up to, Jimmy "The Reckoning" Pearson told us about a book he's working on that got my creepy Cajun heart all a-flutter, but I'll let him tell you about it in his own words. It's a book he plans to call...

"In the deep American South a band of escaped slaves seek shelter in a magical swamp that becomes not only their refuge...But their guardian as well!"

The vibe of Bayou Arcana is totally Southern Gothic/Swamp Thing-esque and should read like a horror-laced adult fairy tale. The book will be made up of about ten - 12 short stories (5-10 pages each) that will be written by different authors. I'll be doing four of the stories myself. Corey Brotherson (Butterflies and Moths) and Darren Ellis (Accent UK Zombie and Robots anthologies) are on two more and Martin Conaghan (Burke and Hare) has just confirmed he's doing a story. I have more guys up but I have to wait before I can confirm any names with you. The concept (and a unique selling point!) behind the anthology is to team male writers with female artists and see what a totally uni-sex team can produce. So far Valia Kapadai (who is working on the story The Tale of Ol' Mercy), Lynsey Hutchinson and Jenna Whyte are onboard with several others I can't confirm just yet but hopefully more news soon.

The Tale Of Ol' Mercy sets out the basics of the Bayou Arcana universe and acts as a kind-of "origins" story. I have written a book-end final chapter which sets out the parameters for the other writers and ensures we are working along a rough frame. This first book is intended to be the set-up for a bigger story which (hopefully!) will carry on in further volumes (with the same creative team if things work out). The writers we have onboard already are the sort of guys who you know will write something of meaning and depth without skimping on the visceral horror. I really hope to dig into a Bernie Wrightson-style Southern Gothic vibe with these stories and it will be interesting to see which direction the ladies take the imagery. I dare say the results will be unique.

I am still looking for a couple more writers and more artists so if anybody is interested (I would love for Cy Dethan to script a story!) in getting involved please get in contact!

I spent a lot of time at BICS listening to what publishers were looking for (when they weren't groaning about how bad things are) and it came up time and time again that they were keen for horror/dark fantasy with a feminine twist and this is how the concept for the anthology evolved. I had written the first Bayou Arcana script about a year ago and it was only post-BICS that the concept of teaming guys and gals came to me. The response so far has been excellent in such a short time and it would be awesomely helpful if you could put out a call for any interested parties.

Because this is work on spec I am providing the sweetner of a full and equal share of intellectual rights to everyone involved in this first book. Once we have pieced together enough of the project to start shopping the book to publishers I am pretty certain that the unique set-up of the creative team will be an added attraction. I figure that these are all short stories and shouldn't involve any huge commitments of time and energy. As Bayou Arcana is designed to be an ongoing saga if we make it beyond this first volume it is an easy way for all those involved to make sure they have something in print every year. With the level of talent already onboard I am pretty excited!


That does sound pretty great! I love a bit of Southern-fried supernaturality! If any creators want to get in touch with Jimmy about being a part of Bayou Arcana, drop us a line at SPBM and we'll happily pass on Jimmy's email.

Monday, 15 November 2010

first ever SGT MIKE BATTLE Trade Paperback

Hey kids! We've mentioned Sgt Mike Battle a few times on SPBM (I believe we described it as "absolutely fuckin' hilarious!") so we heartily recommend read the following press release and then buy the book, unless you're some kind of commie what bombed Pearl Harbor and that!


The first ever SGT MIKE BATTLE Trade Paperback!!!

For the first time ever, a trade paperback of Graham Pearce’s cult small-press comic SGT MIKE BATTLE has been released and collects the first 7 issues of Sgt. Mike Battle: The Greatest American Hero!

SGT MIKE BATTLE Volume 1 is a US-sized, black & white trade paperback featuring 280 pages of freedom-loving fun and is the perfect jumping-on point for new readers (and is the perfect excuse for existing readers to buy the collection that can go alongside their other TPBs on the bookshelf).

For those who don’t already know, Sgt. Mike Battle is an All-American comic book hero with a fictional publication history. “Even though I created him in 2000” explains writer/artist Graham Pearce “the premise is that Sgt. Mike Battle has been around since 1916 and has appeared in his own monthly comic book ever since. As the world of comic books, pop culture and politics has evolved and changed over the years, Sgt Mike Battle has rode those changes and continued to defend America from whoever was the biggest threat of the time”

The fictional history gives Pearce an almost endless range of storytelling possibilities, which is best described by the fact that in SGT MIKE BATTLE Volume 1 the Sarge goes from WW2 to the Cuban Missile Crisis to Vietnam to the Gulf War (issue #1), from 1920s Chicago to the launch of Sputnik (issue #2), from the trenches of WW1 to behind the locked doors of Clinton’s Oval office (issue #3), from the 1980s Animal-themed terrorist groups (issue #4 and 6) to the image-obsessed superheroes of the early 1990s (issue #7).

The inspiration behind Sgt. Mike Battle was the film U-571 which rewrote a crucial moment of World War 2 and it prompted Pearce to satirize Hollywood’s disregard for historical accuracy. “The first ever Sgt. Mike Battle story was World War 2 inaccurately condensed into 6 pages showing how a single American soldier liberated Europe, defeated the Nazis and killed Hitler on the same day!”

Looking back at the earlier issues, Pearce explains how the book evolved. “In issue #1 of SMB:GAH there was an over-riding storyline which ended up parodying a big Marvel story several years before it actually happened. The next couple of issues were like an anthology with several unconnected short stories. As I became more confident in my writing, the stories started to get longer from #4 onwards. The other aspect of the book is that my artistic skills and overall story-telling craft have improved with every single page and I find it quite refreshing, and slightly cringe-worthy, to see how I have grown and developed over the years”.

For those readers who have mistakenly dismissed Sgt Mike Battle as a war book or a Captain America/Nick Fury knock-off, Pearce is quick to correct them. “The book works on several levels. It is a parody of every genre and every type of comic character, is crammed with references to other comic books both new and old, has tonnes of references to Hollywood movies and has loads of satirical political and historical references as well. I forget most of the jokes in the older issues which is why it is still so much fun to go back and read them again.”

Pearce openly challenges potential readers to pickup any issue of SMB:GAH, turn to any page and try to read it without laughing. “I issue the challenge at every convention to anyone who will accept it. It’s a pretty good way to lure in new readers. 40% of people laugh at the covers, 30% notice something amusing as they flick through to a random page and 29% chuckle as the read the dialogue on their chosen page. The remaining 1% of people either find a page with no jokes on it or they just don’t have a sense of humour. I want everyone reading this news item to come by at the next UK convention to take on the challenge, if they dare!”

SGT MIKE BATTLE Volume 1 is out now for £12 from, can be ordered via, via SGT MIKE BATTLE Fan Club on Facebook or from Lulu

Brand new Matthew Craig update!

Hey kids, this weekend Hondle, Trouble Bruin and Trixie Biker creator Matthew Craig dropped us an email to let us know what he's been up to, how he got on at BICS, what he's working on and what he'll be bringing along to Thought Bubble next weekend.

Take it away, Mr C...


Hiya! So yeah, BICS was, uh, different. Me and Donato were right on the edge of the film set and I got to be in the film, though, kind of, so that's something.

The big news is that I've completely banjaxed my drawing hand. I did so much so fast in the month leading up to BICS that I've wrecked my right hand to the point of maybe needing surgery.

Fortunately, it appears that I can also draw with my left hand. So I'm doing a little left-handed Trixie Biker story. God help me.

I'm thirty-five! Who discovers skills like this at thirty-five?

However, I'm in danger of hurting this hand as well - its not used to the work - so I'm making this first left-handed comic my last.

It's all very sad. I've got a ton of ideas that I've been bursting to get down on paper, such as the girls' sports comic I've been trying to do for ages. Plus all the stories I can't hand off to anyone else (it'll be ten years since the first Hondle story next year, and I was hoping to try something new, maybe even a new format, for that anniversary). But who knows? Maybe it'll finally motivate me to get off my arse and write some stories I can sell (although to whom, I'm not sure). I've got a couple of anthology stories in the pipeline, touch wood, so there's a start.

But by this time next week, I should have four new comics for my white rose chums.

TRYHARD & TEARAWAY - the Welsh schoolboy superhero comic I debuted earlier this year. I've added an extra page of awesomeness and revised the dialogue to round out the story a little. I want to do more with these characters next year, although where...who knows?

TRIXIE BIKER VS. THE TIME-WASTREL - the comic that crippled my hand! The pixie-powered petrolhead juggles affairs of the heart with clockwork catastrophe as a middle-aged scientist turns back the clock for the woman he lost... 48 pages: my longest story to date.

BOSTIN HEROES #3: BLACK CATS AND BOSTINMOBILES - The Yam Yam supergang follow the trail left by Godvilla to the streets of Aston, where they fall afur of a mess of mutated moggies, in a situation that might just break the heart of one of our cast... And in our second story, tea turns to torment as another of our Heroes returns to Wolverhampton for a fraternal flaying only slightly marred by an outbreak of armed robbery.

TRIXIE BIKER: RIGHT HAND DOWN - A lazy lunch-hour turns somewhat sinister as the pixie-powered petrolhead confronts her original foe: the perfidious paper scientist Dr. Kropotkin! From The Left Hand Of Craigy!

And of course, I'll have my full range of HONDLE comics, and all the usual posters, stickers and one-shots, including LE MOT FAUX, the sci-fi horror that debuted (and sold out!) at last year's ThoBubs. So I'm not licked yet! I'll also be at the Light House, Wolverhampton on December 11th for the Festive Flair craft market, in case anybody's in the neighbourhood.


Thanks for that update, Matthew! Gah, hope the hand gets better soon! By the way - bonus points for excellent use of the word "banjaxed"!