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"!

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Hypersomnia Corner!

Hey kids, here as promised are all the links and extra info we couldn't fit into SPBM ep26 - thanks to everyone who got in touch. Great to see so many projects have found new homes - fingers crossed the rest will. If any more former-Insomnians have info on their work please drop us an email at the usual address. HUGE thanks to Nic Wilkinson for contacting so many ex-Insomnians for us and spreading the word - you rock, Nic!

Okay here we go - there's quite a list so you might want to have a quick wee before you start. Go on, I'll wait..


Matt Gibbs and Seb Antoniou Sun Moon with Marksoia.


Matt Gibbs: “Last few weeks has been great for news of Ex-Insomnia people finding new publishers. Also, the friendly spirit that attracted many of us to the publisher in the first place has remained amongst the creators.”


Lauren Sharp - the Survival Stories anthology


Michael Moreci: “I'm the writer of Quarantined, a zombie graphic novel that was just announced for release with Markosia. Here's a post about it. I'm also the Creative Director of The Sleepless Phoenix, a collective born out of the Insomnia debacle; we just released our first anthology last month.


Martin Conaghan and Will Pickering selling Burke and Hare at and Waterstones in Scotland.


Cy Dethan, Stephen Downey, Melanie Cook and Nic Wilkinson Cancertown at Markosia

Cy Dethan and Robert Carey The Indifference Engine at Markosia

Cy goes into more detail: “Moved to Markosia are...

Cancertown (art: Stephen Downey, colours: Mel Cool) - new digital version with full audio commentary returning to PSP store around Xmas, other formats to follow.

The Indifference Engine: A Holographic Novel (art: Rob Carey, colours: Mel Cook) - initial digital release expected Jan/Feb 2011.

The Ragged Man (art: Neil Van Antwerpen, colours: Peter-David Douglas) - artwork coming together now. Initial digital release expected in 2011.

I've also got Slaughterman's Creed (art: Stephen Downey, inks: Andy Brown, colours: Vicky Stonebridge) coming out digitally through Markosia around the New Year - but that was always a Markosia book, not one of the orphaned Insomniacs. All my books will be lettered by Nic Wilkinson.”


Lee Robson and Bryan Coyle's Babble is at Com.X

Lee Robson: “After the whole Insomnia debacle, we were lucky enough to land it with Com.X, which we're ridiculously excited about. We're looking at a 2011 release for the book, and we have a website set up for it, which can be found at

“Also due out in 2011 is Predators from Accent UK, which Bryan and I have a strip in called Just Like You (a sneak preview is at this here). And if that wasn't enough, we're also teaming up for a strip for Zarjaz featuring The ABC Warriors called Broken Dreams which is also out in 2011 (a sneaky peak is here). So, yeah, we're going to be around a fair bit next year.”


Andrew Croskery, Alex Willmore, Lauren Sharp and Jim Campbell's Kronos City is now with Time Bomb Comics


Barry Nugent's Fallen Heroes adapted by Martin Conaghan, Steve Penfold & Gat Melvyn


Coey Brotherson & Jennie Gyllblad – Butterflies and Moths

Jennie Gyllblad: “Corey Brotherson and I used to have a book contracted with Insomnia called Butterflies and Moths. We got one chapter done before the company gently imploded. Currently shopping around for potential publishers, but there's an online preview at my website.


Martin Stiff: “My comic, The Absence, was signed to Insomnia who had initially hoped to publish it as a single volume. Since the company's demise, I've gone back to self-publishing it as individual issues. Currently the first two (of a total of six) are available on the on-demand website and the third should be out around Christmas. Recently I've been lucky enough to get some great reviews of the comic; at and I (sporadically, too infrequently) update a blog on the comic's progress."


Jimmy Pearson: “Patrick Walsh and I are still working on The Reckoning Vol.1 and hopefully will be able to make an announcement regarding its future soonish. In the meantime we have a Facebook page so if people want to keep up to date with any progress it would be advisable to join the group. Patrick and I are also at work on a few other bits together but more news on those as they develop.


Right, that's all for now, folks! If you're a former Insomnia creator let is know what you're up to by dropping us an email and let us know what you're up to.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Episode 26 is online!

Heyyyyyyyy! Welcome to a packed-to-bursting-point Small Press Big Mouth episode 26 where Stace & Lee present a big update on what’s happening with the creators and projects left stranded or homeless by the folding of Insomnia Publications. Which projects have found new homes and what are the creators doing now? Find out in new feature HYPERSOMNIA CORNER. We also have the usual news and recommendations as well as squeeze in reviews of Jennie Gyllblad’s SKAL and Emily Carroll’s HIS FACE ALL RED. Enjoy and, hey kids, be cool!

Direct Download: Episode 26


Sunnyside podcast

Quiet! Panelologists At Work podcast

Tales Of The...

The Wildcats Lair

Clint Flicker Lettering blog

The Webcomicslist Awards

Solipsistic Pop

Everything Comes back To 2000AD blog

David Wynn

(all the Hypersonia Corner links & info will be posted in a separate blog later tonight or tomorrow)

Friday, 12 November 2010

The end of The Thing?

It seems like there will be no more UK Web & Mini Comix Thing events. A post on the website by organiser Patrick Findlay says:

Boo Hoo!!!!
There will be no more Things as the hall is no longer available for hire and my brain is fried. There are some options for using other venues but I think its probably best to call it a day. If I change my mind i'll let you know.

The Thing has been running for seven years and this years event was covered by regular Thing attendee Jamie Warr for SPBM, who also brought this sad news to our attention.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Bargain alert: David Wynne sketchcards for £1.50!

Fab cartoonist and Particle Fiction creator David Wynne is doing postcard-sized sketch commissions for £1.50! Including postage! That's practically giving them away for flips sake! I recommend everyone take advantage immediately - they would make awesome xmas cards for any geeky friends/relatives you might have*

Says Wynne: "Due to financial difficulties I need to make some money pretty fast, so for a short time only I'm offering postcard sized (A6) sketches for just £1.50 including postage! I'll draw ANYTHING- and I should maybe mention that I'm pretty good at likenesses- so let me know what you'd like in the paypal instructions (if you leave that section blank I'll draw whatever i fancy at that particular moment- probably Ideasman, Batman, Blake, or Judge Dredd). Remember, i won't be doing this for long, so please, get one well the getting's good!"

*that's a hint to any of my friends & family who might be reading this

NOTE: David's £1.50 sketchcard offer has now closed. He is however available for his regular commissions - an A4 sketch of your choice for £5 - that's a mere 5 of your Earth pounds!