Thursday, 28 April 2011

Small Press Big Mouth Anthology

I started the ball rolling yesterday on Twitter and Facebook with news that I am putting together an anthology under the Small Press Big Mouth Banner.

The theme for the anthology is going to be Fairytales and Folklore. For very selfish reasons, I want to read a fairytale/folklore comic anthology, I love dark, twisted fairytales and I've always read a lot of them. From the Brothers Grimm as a child up to most recently I picked up a

n anthology edited by Angela Carter and I'm enjoying it so much, a rich variety of stories, some familiar but many not. I also really love reading modern or modern twists on fairy tales and the best ones I have read lately are Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman which is a selection of short stories and a full length novel, Jasmyn by Alex Bell. This basically what has inspired me to try and produce this comic. I have also been really impressed and inspired by the work I have seen produced so far for Bayou Arcana.

I have recieved quite a lot of interest in the anthology already so here are the details: I am planning for the anthology to be roughly 45 pages and I am looking for pitches for 5 page stories, with some room for negotiation. You do not have to pitch as a team, I am happy to pair up artists and writers. If you would like any more information or would like to pitch please feel free to get in touch my email address is

EDITED TO ADD A FINANCIAL NOTE: I shall be self publishing this first anthology and funding it myself. I won't ask any writers or artists for contributions to publication (thanks for asking though!) but it does mean I can't afford to pay anyone for their services. My hope is to make enough from sales of this first issue to fund the second.

ANOTHER EDIT: The comic will be in black and white - I missed that out above. Also I am over the moon with the response so far, there seems quite a lot of interest so I am going to have to put a deadline for pitches. This will be the Thursday 12th May. I will not make any firm decisions until that point - although I may contact you for clarification or more information.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Megacast ep5 online - Stace & Iz interview Colin McNeil

Megacast ep5 – Colin MacNeil

Its another interview podcast and this time the Megacast girls are joined by Dredd artist Colin MacNeil to discuss his work and answer questions posed by users of the 2000AD forums
One point of note : At the time of recording Colin was down to attend the Bristol Comic con which is unfortunately no longer the case (which the girls are particularly gutted about).
Available free through itunes (just search for 2000AD in the store) or as a direct link mp3 from our podcast host HERE

Monday, 25 April 2011

2011BC announced - Birmingham Comicon 2011

Paul Birch in his excellent Speech Balloons column for the Birmingham Mail broke the news yesterday of a new comics convention coming to Birmingham later in the year. From International Comics Shows - the folks behind BICS and Comics Launch Pad - comes  2011BC (the BC standing for Birmingham Comicon) 

2011BC will be a one-and-a-half-day event held on Saturday 27th August (the half-day presumably being the Friday night launch party) at The Holiday Inn, which is right next to Nostalgia & Comics and about 5 minutes walk from New Street station.

Guests announced already are Dave Gibbons, Chris Sprouse, Jimmy Broxton (unsurprisingly, who also provides the awesome promo art), Peter Hogan and Declan Shalvey with many more promised to be announced later.

Standard Tickets cost £11.50 and gains access to Saturday access all areas, all events, all signings, plus entry to dedicated convention and bar areas

Party Tickets cost £20 and gets you the above plus an invite to the exclusive Friday night launch party (venue TBC) where complimentary food will be served. (Limited to 200 only)

Super BC Tickets cost £50 as as well as the above gets you an enhanced goody bag containing cool stuff with a retail value exceeding the ticket price. Convention exclusive signed art print. Early bird access to the Saturday con. VIP early bird entry to the Friday night launch party, your chance to mingle with our star guests, and have exclusive access to the preview night signings. Access to the VIP preview night open bar area (for a limited period only) 

Personally I'm pretty excited by this as I was really disappointed when I heard there was no BICS this year. For full details and updates keep an eye on the 2011BC website and hope to see you there!  

SPBM recommends: ComicbookGRRRL's Women In Comics

Laura Sneddon is a freelance writer who frequently enjoys writing on the subject of women in comics (amongst other things) on her website She's currently in the process of publishing a series or articles specifically entitled Women In Comics "...that will explore each of the comic book ages, the difficulties encountered by female characters, and a look at the female writers and artists across the history of the industry." So far they've proved fascinating, if sometimes uncomfortable, reading.

The series started with Women In Comics: An Overview

Then came Part 1 proper with The Platinum & Golden Ages

Part 3, which will be entitled Batwoman And The Revenge Of The Supergirls, will be published soon and I look forward to it, and the rest of the series, with great interest.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

SPBM recommends: Hey Women! Comics! Survey 2011

Hey Women! Comics! is a blog aimed at women who want to read comics but aren't sure where to start and, by extension, is also a great blog for guys like me who want to everyone reading comics. Recently they ran a survey on women's attitudes toward comics, both those who read comics and those who don't. They published the results this week and it makes very interesting reading.

HERE are the results of the survey from comics readers

HERE are the results from non-comics readers

HERE (and most interestingly I think) is "What we can learn from the Women & Comics Survey"

Check it out, its good stuff, and many of the conclusions drawn mirror my own feelings on how comics as a medium and as an industry can better promote itself.

Friday, 22 April 2011

SPBM recommends: How I Built My Father

How I Built My Father is a lovely wee strip that's quite old but new to me - it popped onto my radar via twitter today. Originally created as an entry for the Observer/Cape Graphic Short Story Contest 2010 but ace cartoonist Rob Davis posted the complete comic on his site. you can read it HERE - its brilliant!

Rob got a couple of mentions in the latest SPBM as part of Stace's review of The Lovecraft Anthology from Self Made Hero, on his blog recently he posted a fascinating look into his process of his upcoming SMH project: an adaptation on Cervantes' Don Quixote. It really is worth a read - check it out HERE.

Comics @ Sci-Fi London

Hey Kids! Here's a really great looking comics even that seems to have slipped under the radar in all the Kapow! and pre-Bristol excitement Comics @ Sci-Fi London is a two-day event which is part of the 10th Sci-Fi London Film Festival which is being held at the BFI from tomorrow (23rd April) until the 2nd of May.

Day One of the Comics event will be on Saturday 30th April from 10am at the BFI Southbank - entry is FREE for both days and both days and will have a significant small press presence with creators & dealer tables. The panels sound really great too...

11am – SF comics for kids

Paul Collicutt (Robot City adventures), Phillipa Rice (My Cardboard Life), Alex Milway (The Mythical 9th Division),Eddie Robson (Doctor Who adventures) discuss creatingScience-Fiction and Fantasy comics for kids and having interested children in the format, how to keep their love of comics going. Followed by a children’s workshop run by Paul Collicutt

12.30pm – City of Abacus

A panel discussion with four of the creators of the serialised graphic novel CITY OF ABACUS including writers V.V. Brown and David Allain and artists Lee O’Connor and John Spelling, who drew issues two and three respectively, looking at the intriguing mix of dystopian SF and fantasy that the comic presents. Followed by City of Abacus signing

2pm – Manga Jiman

Three recent finalists - Zarina Liew (Runner-up 2009/2010), Yuri Kore (Winner 2009/2010), Clio Millett(Winner 2010/2011) – of the Japanese Embassy’s ‘Manga Jiman’ (Pride in Manga) competition join one of the judges, to discuss the homegrown manga scene in the UK and the difference between Manga and Western style comics.

3.30pm – The work of Warren Ellis

Writer Ian Edginton (who collaborated with Ellis on X-Force), Matt Jones (principal, BERG design who commission Ellis’ new comic SVK) and Matthew Sheret (writer, whose love of comics started with Warren’s work) discuss the work of comic book / multimedia writer Warren Ellis who has penned some of the most influencial SF comics of the last twenty years.
Followed by 20 min preview screening of new documentary - WARREN ELLIS: CAPTURED GHOSTS

Day Two - Sunday 1st May - looks just as good, again its at the BFI Southbank, entry is FREE and there will be small press dealer tables. Check out the panels list from their website...

11am – Small press to mainstream

Al Davison (IDW Doctor Who comic), Tom Humberstone(Solipsistic Pop) and David Hine (Batman) talk about how working in small press comics has lead to work for mainstream publishers, but also provided a home to publish alternative titles throughout their careers so far. Followed by ‘Drop in and draw’ activities for first time artists wanting encouragement in creating comics, run by Tom Humberstone

12.30pm - HP Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe

Novelists China MiĆ©ville (three time Arthur C. Clarke award winner for SF literature) and Denise Mina (The Field Of Blood) alongside writer David Hine and artist Alice Duke (Self Made Hero) discuss the influence of American writers Poe and Lovecraft on comic books and the difficulties posed by adapting their stories into strip format.

2pm – Horror and noir

A panel looking at the crossover between two popular genres with guests Denise Mina, graphic novelist Hannah Berry who will be previewing her new book ADAMTIME and Ian Edginton who has written further comic strip adventures of Sherlock Holmes in which the great detective fights zombies, vampires and serial killers.

3.30pm - Comics and moving pictures

Comics have been both the basis of and influenced the look of much TV and film over the past few years and so creators Martin Fisher (Battle among the stars), Huw J. Davies (Freeman, Garth), Edward Ross (Filmish, Parasites!) and Roger Mason (2000AD, The Mice) will be talking about how their interest in both fields has led to cross-pollination in their work and how they see this influencing both media as a whole.

The whole event looks just SPBM's cup of tea frankly and I wish I could get there. If anyone does go please get in touch cos we'd love to have a pair of eyes there for a little write up. Full information can be found clicking the links above or by visiting the Sci-Fi London site HERE - looks ace!

Monday, 18 April 2011

Episode 30 now online!

Welcome Ladies and Gentleman to Episode 30 of Small Press Big Mouth, we have a plethora of news and reviews for you as always. Stace reviews all the L’s – Luchadoras, London’s Calling and The Lovecraft Anthology vol 1 and Lee tells us all about Accent UK’s The Wolfmen  & Fall Of The Wolfmen, Moon from Beyond the Bunker and he gets cute with Katie Cook's Gronk. Not to be confused with The Gronk – oh his poor heartses!
Direct Download: Episode 30

Friday, 15 April 2011

Sugar Glider #1 sells out - gets 2nd printing

One of our favourite small press comics of last year was Daniel Clifford and Gary Bainbridge's Sugar Glider #1  so it is with great sorrow we present the following press release what we just received. Turns out Sugar Glider is a big fat sell-out! I'm gutted! I thought she had more integrity that that!  ...wait what? It means what? Oh awesome, that's good news then! Take it away, Russ...


Surrounded by friends and family with it all figured out, Susie Sullivan is desperately unsure of her purpose in life. Casting ordinary pursuits aside, Susie takes to the Newcastle skyline as the crime-fighting…


After successes at Thought Bubble, Leeds Alt Comics Fair, Travelling Man Newcastle and OK Comics, Sugar Glider has sold out and been sent back to print.

Readers and reviewers praised the 1st edition of Sugar Glider for its high production quality, but moving to a new printer has meant the 2nd edition looks even better.

The wraparound cover now really is wraparound thanks to full-bleed printing, which also means Sugar Glider is the size it was always intended to be. The colours and paper stock have also been improved.


Set in Newcastle upon Tyne, Sugar Glider tells the story of Susie Sullivan - an 18yr old with a habit for giving up on hobbies, jobs and potential careers at a moment’s notice. Having given up on so many ‘dreams’ already in her short life, Susie is poised to drop out of college and give her mother, Brenda, an ulcer.

But Susie has a secret more likely to give Brenda a mischief; she’s gotten hold of a high-tech gliding suit and is quickly becoming attached to it. Susie’s late night crime-fighting adventures are becoming more frequent and more successful. But there’s something else about that suit - it bears a striking resemblance to the ones worn by MI5’s Vigilance super-agents. The same super-agents who are about to be rolled-out all across the UK.


Sugar Glider comics are designed to capture the imagination of younger, mainstream and casual comics readers while still holding true to the ethics of the small-press/DIY community. To achieve this crossover appeal, Sugar Glider is presented in US comics dimensions, with a colour cover and 22 pages of story.

Helping to widen the appeal and accessibility of Sugar Glider, each issue is designed as an independent story, but with a larger arc becoming clear when all 3 issues are read together.

Sugar Glider 1 was launched at Thought Bubble in November 2010. Sugar Glider Stories 1, an anthology based in the Sugar Glider universe and drawn by 16 of the top artists on the UK comic scene, was launched at Leeds Alt Comic Fair in March 2011.


"Truly the best small press comic I have ever read." 4.5/5 -

“Reminded me of those old classics Billy the Cat and The Leopard from Lime Street…a strong debut.” -

“I really recommend you buy it!” - Small Press Big Mouth

“Someone else said that Sugar Glider was the best small press comic they had ever read, I wish I had said it…I can, however, be the first to say that Sugar Glider Stories can take its place alongside the best small press comics I have ever read.” 9/10 -


Sugar Glider 2 is currently in production, and scheduled to be released in the early summer. Issue 3 is planned to be released in time for the Thought Bubble convention in November.

A second issue of Sugar Glider Stories will be published between issue 2 and 3 of the main title, building further on the SG universe. Although the format will be the same, Sugar Glider Stories 2 will feature small press creators writing strips as well as drawing them.


Sugar Glider and Sugar Glider Stories are each priced at £3. A double-pack featuring both comics can be purchased for just £5.

Daniel will selling Sugar Glider comics and merchandise at Bristol Comic Expo on 14th & 15th May - sharing table 47 in the Mercure Hotel with O Men and Spandex creator, Martin Eden.

Sugar Glider, Sugar Glider Stories and other titles by Daniel can be purchased from the Cottage Industry Comics store at

Sugar Glider, Sugar Glider Stories and other titles by Gary can be purchased from the Unterwelt Comics store at

The ‘Sugar Glider Comics’ Facebook is the best place online to find Sugar Glider news and reviews. The page also features Fan Art and Reviews sections for readers to share their SG artwork and thoughts.

Interviews with the Sugar Glider Stories artists (by Gavin Jones of the Sidekick Cast podcast) can be read at


Daniel Clifford was born in South Shields, 1986. In the early 90s comics taught him to read, and in 2009 he set out to make comics that could have a similarly positive affect. Alongside his published works, he organises comics workshops with the artist Jack Fallows.

Gary Bainbridge was born in Durham, 1985. He has been making and self-publishing comics since 2005 across a range of genres from crime fiction to super heroics, from artist’s books to personal journals. His artwork has appeared in galleries in Newcastle & Japan.

News Bites 8! What a whopper!

LOADS of news to get through so brace yerself, Sheila!


ITEM! Doug Wallace of Self Made Hero is running in Sunday's London Marathon to raise money for The Book Trade Charity. Sponsor him HERE

ITEM! Pat Mills has written a review note about small press comic Dougie's War which deals with a veteran of the war in Afghanistan.

"It's embarrassing to admit that there are no other graphic novels about our modern colonisations  of other countries. ...  Hopefully Dougie's War might inspire others to write and draw something on the subject and expose what we're really doing in the Middle East."

Read the full note HERE

ITEM! Leeds' Thought Bubble Festival now has a shiney new website - check it out HERE 

ITEM! The scrotnig Everything Comes back To 2000AD podcast has a complete recording of the 2000AD panel at last weekend's Kapow con. Click HERE creeps!

ITEM! Andy "Fall Of The Wolfmen" Bloor has posted the sketch prize for his 100th Twitter follower. Its bloody brilliant! See it in full HERE

ITEM! Four of the mega-talented artists involved in the superb Tales Of The Spiffing anthology are hosting an open audience panel on "screen and page" at the Bristol International Comics and Small Press Expo (BICE)

"We’ll chat about visual storytelling in general before going on to our moonlighting as comic illustrators and the differences between the formats, how working in film can inform comics and vice versa."

 They will also he running a nifty contest with a fab prize. Full details HERE

ITEM! Brighton-based independent publisher Myriad Editions are running a graphic novel contest. Their website appears down at the moment, but full details can be found at the splendid Down The Tubes website

ITEM! In a similar vein the highly anticipated Strip Magazine will be announcing an opportunity for budding comics creators to get published in their mag. The STRIP magazine Comics Challenge will be announced at BICE but more details can be found HERE

ITEM! Uber-talented cartoonist Laura Howell (The Beano, The Bizarre Adventures Of Gilbert & Sullivan) has a new website. Check it out HERE, also follow her on Twitter HERE. She also spoke to libraries in her home town of Birmingham about the benefits of stocking comics - read the blog HERE

ITEM! Highly anticipated Com.X SF/Horror comic Babble from Lee Robson & Bryan Coyle now has a Facebook page - clicky HERE and clicky 'like' if you please.

"Carrie Hartnoll is a girl lost in a life going nowhere fast, but a chance meeting with an old flame sets her on a path that will change the world as we know it forever…"

ITEM! What is Paul Thompson's Tales Of The Hollow Earth: Cosmology exhibition about? Find out and see mega-lush artwork HERE

ITEM! Upcoming (in 2012) children's comic The Phoenix now has submissions guidelines up on its website! Looky HERE

ITEM! Comedy Genius (TM) Jamie Smart has been interviewed by Shadowlocked website. Also he's updated his Endless Chaffy webcomic

ITEM! Webcomic phenomenon of 2010 Axe Cop now has a fantastic new archive page. If you've not yet sampled the insane joy that is Malachai Nicholle (age 5)'s writing frankly you've never lived. His brother Ethan (age 29) is a pretty good drawer too!

ITEM! Neil "Mo-Bot High" Cameron done drawed THIS reaction to his experiences at Kapow!

Monday, 11 April 2011

Comic Review: David O'Connell's Royal Wedding Comics Bundle

The Royal Wedding Comic Bundle
review by Rich McAuliffe

Ok, that’s not the official title of this collection. It doesn’t even have an official title. But as you can only buy these three comics bundled together online I thought it needed to be called something.

So what you are getting here are “Kate Middleton’s Diary” a six page mini comic that you will read in under a minute and “Mine’s a Gin & Tonic” and “The Green Lady Mystery” both longer and more traditionally laid out mini comics dealing with the Queen Mother. All the above written and drawn by David O’Connell.

Dealing with the Middleton one first you are basically getting six one page cartoons each based around a fictitious entry in the diary of “our adored future Queen”. Like it says on the back, “Read the story of her incredible romance with Prince William as told in her own graceful words. Gush at the general loveliness of it all”. As you’d probably guess this isn’t designed for the same audience as some of the other royal comics currently doing the rounds. That said though, while it does of course poke fun at the inbred idio… I mean lovely royal couple, it actually isn’t half as nasty as it could be or as you might expect. The art is basic and cartoony but totally works and definitely got a few chuckles out of me. All in all a fun little book and one that is probably closer to the truth than the other sugar coated versions out there destined to be placed between commemorative plates and used just as much.

Onto the Queen Mother comics. As I mentioned these are actual comics as opposed to a collection of one page cartoons, each detailing an adventure of the gin soaked old bat. In the first she tries to place a bet, rides off on her giant corgi “Corgantua” and meets up with some friendly queens of the leather clad variety. In the second, as the title suggests, she solves the mystery of the ghostly Green Lady. Both are quick reads but funny and again the art style really suits the general surreal sillyness of the stories.

You can get all three of these sent to you for the bargain sum of £4.50 from David’s website: I did after seeing a preview page posted by the guys from Forbidden’s Planet blog and am glad I did so and will definitely be keeping an eye out to see what David puts out next.


Huge thanks to Rich McAuliffe of the awesome Everything Comes Back To 2000AD podcast for this review. This is something we'd really like to have a lot more of on the blog so if you've got an indie or small press comic you want to review, or feel like sharing your experience of a con or comics event please get in touch!

Sunday, 10 April 2011

new Stace SFX blog: ComX interview

The Stacemeister has another fabulous SFX blog up!

"In her second Spotlight on Indies, Stacey Whittle talks to the very lovely Eddie Deighton from Com.X, publisher of Razorjack by John Higgins and Cla$$war by Rob Williams amongst others"

Read it HERE

Thursday, 7 April 2011

new Stace SFX blog: Blank Slate Books interview

El Stacerino has a new blog up at the SFX website - an excellent interview with the publisher behind Psychiatric Tales and Luchadoras: Blank Slate Books. This is the first in a series of spotlights on indie comics publishers - collect the whole set! 

Read it HERE

News Bites 7!

Its a Twitter-Bite Special! Seemed like such a great idea; C&P all the relevant tweets into one simple blogpost. Easy as cake, but no it became a formatting nightmare! But anyway you don't want to hear my troubles.... Blogs? Don't talk to me about blogs.... here I am, brain the size of a planet etc...

granulac Here's a preview of the next Octopus Pie book cover. You'll soon be able to pre-order it!

StacebobFrosty  So my sponsor page looks a bit sad right now; please sponsor and/or RT, innit! Thanks to those who've sponsored x

BristolExpo Newsflash Bristol 2012: Expo is going back to the future next year, returning to the Empire & Commonwealth Exhibition Hall by public demand

HiExComicCon Wooooo!! looks like we may have a date for HiEx 2012! Stay tuned...

stace_w Does anyone know the way, there's got to be a way to BLOGbuster! more Bloggers Week fabness at @SFXmagazinewebsite

stace_w Really interesting art blog by lovely @Robgog (via @SelfMadeHero ) really looking forward to reading Don Quixote!

bintykins Looks like I will be doing some live painting @Upfest this year! 4th/5th June - you buggers better come cheer me on! Nervous already :D

splinister New blog post, Jennifer Wilde, about the comic book I'm working on with @stephenmdowney & @SubCitycomics

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Marvel At The Museum event cancelled

CB Cebulski posted on his Twitter this afternoon that he's unable to attend the Marvel At The Museum portfolio review event at the Cartoon Museum this weekend. 

Unfortunately this has resulted in the event being cancelled. The Cartoon Museum are attempting to contact everyone on the attendee list but they can be contacted themselves at

On 23rd February 2006 London's first cartoon museum opened to the public. Situated at 35 Little Russell Street, a stone's throw from The British Museum, The Cartoon Museum exhibits the very finest examples of British cartoons, caricature, and comic art from the 18th century to the present day.

Jennie "SKAL" Gyllblad was one of the artists who had been accepted for a portfolio review. She's expressed her reaction to today's news in comics form on her blog - see it HERE