Friday, 18 November 2011

SPANDEX #5 comes out!

Okay right, if you're not reading Spandex you really should be okay? Issue 5 has just come out (fnar!) so there's no reason you can't get caught up real quick. Here's the press release for the latest issue that you can read now or slip inside your stocking top for later...



Get ready for some cross-dressing crossover craziness in Spandex 5! After the shocking events of the previous issue, the story focuses on transvestite superhero team-leader Liberty as she attempts to find out what happened to her missing Spandex team-mates!

Liberty ends up having to face every single supervillain in the Spandex universe – including Gayzilla, Big Boy, Muscle Mary and The Fashionistas – but she does get a little help from some friendly faces too... And along the way, we learn her origins, how he came to wear a female powersuit, and what it’s like to grow up as a transvestite superhero...

Entitled ‘Big Secret Crisis’, Issue 5 is the second chapter of the epic 4-part ‘O.M.F.G’ storyline. Spandex writer/artist Martin Eden comments: “The issue is completely mental. It features every single character I’ve created for the Spandex world, and it’s a slight piss-take of incredibly tedious comic crossovers too. Hopefully the readers will see the funny side of it! We also get to see what has happened to the missing Spandex team-members and there’s a whopper of a cliffhanger at the end!”

The issue also comes with a couple of very special extras – readers will get one of 64 mini-trading cards featuring characters from the Spandex universe, plus there is a free 4-page mini-comic featuring Spandex’s Japanese supergroup, The J-Team. “The trading cards are really neat,” says Martin, “and they introduce characters who, for space reasons, aren’t properly named in issue 5. The extra comic is fun, as I adore the J-Team characters, and it’s a nice little experiment for me as it’s told in Manga-style (ie, the reverse reading-order to English comics).”

Spandex issue 5 launched at the MCM Expo on 29 October and is now available from

Issue 5 costs £3.20 and is also available as a PDF for £1.

LAST ADMIN HERO at Thought Bubble

'Tennnn-hut! Okay listen up, you commandos! Here's the latest dispatch from your hero and mine Sgt Mike Battle...


LAST ADMIN HERO – the greatest action movie never made?

Graham Pearce publishes new SGT MIKE BATTLE Trade Paperback with Bonus Material

Sgt Mike Battle may have been fighting the enemies of freedom, democracy and capitalism for over 90 years but in November 2011 he appears in a new trade paperback entitled Sgt Mike Battle LAST ADMIN HERO. Writer/artist/publisher and all-round creative force Graham Pearce has collected issues #8-10 of the cult small-press comic Sgt. Mike Battle: The Greatest American Hero! into a brand new 160 collection of the LAST ADMIN HERO storyline.

Regarded by many Sgt Mike Battle fans as its story to date, LAST ADMIN HERO is both a tribute to and parody of Hollywood action movies. The story features a terrorist group called ACRONYM who takeover a US weapons facility and threaten to upset the balance of power in the world. The fate of the entire planet is at stake and not even Sgt Mike Battle can save the day. Everything rests in the hands of John Trojan, a simple office assistant who is more suited to filing paperwork and processing invoices than fighting bad guys.
I’ve always described LAST ADMIN HERO as the greatest action movie never made!” explained Pearce. “Its a homage to all those 1980s/1990s action movies that feature a lone hero fighting a terrorist group in a confined location, the only difference is that John Trojan is a regular office worker with no military training. Action movies always have a hero with some sort of law-enforcement, combat or outdoor pursuits background but I wanted to do a story where the hero wasn’t a cop, an ex-navy seal or stuntman. To stack things against the hero even more, I decided to arm him with only the contents of the stationery cupboard so he literally has to stop ACRONYM with a heavy-duty stapler!”

The movie analogy continues with LAST ADMIN HERO in the form of some never-before-seen extra features that is included in the collection. “I’ve added about 60 pages of bonus material in LAST ADMIN HERO, including the preview “trailer”, an alternate ending, the abandoned original 24-page version and there’s a huge sketchbook section that explains how the characters and storylines evolved during the creative process!”

LAST ADMIN HERO represents a game-changing moment for Sgt Mike Battle. As Comics International described “The sharp wit and clever satire of previous issues is present and correct, but this comic is an improvement in that writer/artist Graham Pearce backs up the jokes with a solid and interesting plot, resulting in the most well rounded issue so far". Small Press Big Mouth said ““Absolutely f***in’ hilarious!” and Redeye says “If this series doesn’t have a massive genuine cult following, the human race should hang its collective head in shame”.

Sgt Mike Battle LAST ADMIN HERO, a 168 page US-sized black and white trade paperback is out now for £6 from It can be ordered via, via SGT MIKE BATTLE Fan Club on Facebook or from Lulu (

Dick Plague at Thought Bubble!

Favourite blog title ever! (I'm so mature!) Stand and deliver! Time Bomb Comics' are looking flash and demanding your attention at Thought Bubble as they premiere Dick Turpin and the Crimson Plague! Here's the press release...


Time Bomb Comics is delighted to announce that their next release, Dick Turpin and the Crimson Plague, is being released internationally as well as in the UK.

Dick Turpin and the Crimson Plague is being launched at the Leeds Thoughtbubble weekend of the 19th & 20th November, where the creative team will be conducting a mid-day signing session at the Time Bomb Comics table on the Saturday afternoon.

One week later, Steve Tanner and Time Bomb Comics will be at the Malta Comic-Con taking place in Valletta, Malta over the weekend of 26th & 27th November to launch the book internationally.

The long-awaited follow-up to the critically acclaimed one-shot Dick Turpin and the Restless Dead, Dick Turpin and the Crimson Plague features the notorious highwayman up against a nest of vampires in 18th Century London. Once again written by Steve Tanner, this second horrors and highwaymen mash-up from the Birmingham based company features artwork from rising star Graeme Howard – who is currently drawing Cy Dethan’s Cancertown 2 for Markosia – and lettering by the talented Nikki Foxrobot.

Dick Turpin and the Crimson Plague also contains The Rogues Gallery featuring exclusive Dick Turpin artwork from Keith Page, Stuart Tipples, Simon Wyatt, Alex Thompson, Josceline Fenton and Glenn Jones.

It has also been confirmed that Dick Turpin and the Crimson Plague will be available to order in the December 2011 Diamond Previews Catalogue.

DICK TURPIN AND THE CRIMSON PLAGUE, 56 pages, Graphic Album, perfect bound, full colour cover, black and white interior, retail price £6.99/$11.99, ISBN 978-0-9561822-4-1

From the hanging tree at Tyburn to the pleasure houses of Pall Mall, there’s only one thing stopping the notorious highwayman Dick Turpin leaving 18th Century London and returning to the open road - a nest of vampire prostitutes eager to spread their Crimson Plague!

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Bubbling up!

This weekend is the annual Leeds Sequential Arts Festival aka Thought Bubble and it looks like it will be a fab event with loads of brilliant guests and awesome events. We asked a bunch of Indie & Small Pressers what they will be up to at TB this weekend...


Bevis Musson: I'll be there. No table but will have some Dead Queen Detectives #1 & 2 with me and happy to draw for money.

Pete Rogers: Copies of The Interactives will be on sale at the Orang Utan Comics table, along with the latest issue of FTL. And of course the Unseen Shadows anthology Tales of the Fallen with the mighty Nugewing.

Nic Wilkinson: Pete's already mentioned Tales Of The Fallen and we also have The Indifference Engine and Broadcast: The TV Doodles of Henry Flint launching. Rob and Henry will both be sketching.

Graeme Howard: Dick Turpin and I'll be with Timebomb on Saturday sketching and that kinda thing.

Jennie Gyllblad and Corey Brotherson: We'll be on table 67 in the Royal Armouries. Me selling Skal, artwork/prints and taking commissions. Corey selling magic of myths and pimping the first chapter of Butterflies and Moths (Hello publishers!) (Corey: And dont forget - we have Wham mini bars... Lots of Wham minis bars.)

Lee Robson: I'll be wandering the floor on Saturday, so if you’re so inclined, come and find me and ask me anything you want to about Babble. Not much of a consolation for the lack of previews, I know, but, hey. However, if you absolutely must have some of our pre-Babble collaborations in your possession, Accent UK will be there, too, selling their anthologies Robots, Western and Predators – all of which feature strips by us!

Andrew Waugh: I'll be at table 128: please come and say hi.

ink + PAPER: We're at Table 123 (easy as ABC) at Thought Bubble this weekend, sharing with the mighty The Strumpet . See you there!

Cinebooks: will be there with their usual selection of brilliant books (we recommend Green Manor in particular!)


SPBM will be represented by The Gorgeous Stace so if you see her around say hello!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

ART HEROES announced

'Small Press Stan Lee' Daniel 'Denis' Clifford's plans for world domination continue apace as he announces his latest project Art Heroes this time allied with artist Lee Robinson. Now naturally I could tell you all about it in my own awesome and hilarious words but I'm frightfully lazy so here's a press release what Denis wrote and some pictures what Lee drew.



Daniel Clifford (Sugar Glider writer) and Lee Robinson (Sugar Glider 2: Anthony artist) have launched Art Heroes, a new comic book publishing and workshop facilitation company.


The first Art Heroes comic book, Halcyon and Tenderfoot, is an all-ages title intended as a fantastic entry point for new comics readers and a refreshing change for older readers.

Although Halcyon and Tenderfoot tells a long-form story focussing on superheroes, individual arcs will experiment with different genres.

In the British comics tradition, Halcyon and Tenderfoot will be A4-sized with colour covers and black & white interiors. It will launch in March 2012 and then be released quarterly throughout its first year.

Halcyon and Tenderfoot will be previewed with an issue 0 at Thought Bubble in Leeds this November. This A5 black & white preview comic will introduce readers to our heroes as well as giving clues to events that will occur throughout the series.

There are various options for buying Halcyon and Tenderfoot comics - you can purchase single issues in physical or digital versions, and you can even get a yearly subscription.


As well as publishing comic books, the Art Heroes team will be offering workshops to schools, libraries and other organisations to get young people making their own comics.

Art Heroes workshops will launch in January 2012, operating mainly in Tyne & Wear and Northumberland. The workshops will inspire creativity and positive activities, aid in development of literacy skills and build new comic book audiences.

The Art Heroes team will have Public Liability Insurance worth £5m and hold current CRB Disclosures.

Content development

One of the long-term goals of Art Heroes is to develop content for other publication and mediums. The team is already working on pitches for a number of larger publishing companies.


Visit for more information, to buy comics or sign up for a subscription, and to book comic book workshops.

Convention appearances

  • 19-20th November - Thought Bubble, Saviles Hall Leeds
  • 10th December - Canny Comic Con, Newcastle City Library

Art Heroes will hopefully have a presence at Bristol Comic Expo, Glasgow Comic Con and others throughout 2012.


“Art Heroes is a chance for me to take everything I’ve been doing over the last few years in self-publishing and comic book workshops, and bring them under one banner. I’m hoping that I can make a lot of great comics with Lee and we can run some really fun workshops, building on the successes I’ve had with Sugar Glider and Jack and Daniel’s Comic Book Workshops.” - Daniel Clifford

“Setting up Art Heroes gives us the opportunity and freedom to create work we can be proud of, and to reach as wide an audience as possible with that work. I’m excited about the comic books we’re working on now and even more excited to see what else we can come up with next.” - Lee Robinson

The team

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 effect. His published works (including Sugar Glider and Sugar Glider Stories) have been focussed towards an all-ages audience. He organised comic book workshops around North East England with the artist Jack Fallows for two years before establishing Art Heroes with Lee Robinson.

Lee Robinson was born in Hexham, Northumberland in 1986. He has worked on a number of projects as an illustrator and cartoonist over the last few years, and earned an Animation Foundation Degree in the process. His comic book work has been published in Sugar Glider issue 2 and Sugar Glider Stories issue 2. He has worked with vulnerable adults for a number of years before establishing Art Heroes with Daniel Clifford.

We (heart) Cy Dethan

Its no secret that we here at the SPBM mansion consider ourselves Cy Dethan's biggest fan - and yes we do mean in a scary Kathy Bates/Misery kind of way - so we already now what he's up to in November (we also keep a journal of his bathroom habits and think he should get that mole on his left bum-cheek checked out cos it looks a bit funny to us) but for those of you who don't have him under 24-hour video surveillance here's this handy-dandy press release on two books he has out this month...


Fractured Realities:

Two Mind-Altering Markosia Releases in November

It’s not often you get to release a book that causes people to worry about reality and feel unstable after reading it. It’s almost unthinkable, dangerous even, that you might release two such subversive creations at once. That, however, is just what Markosia Enterprises is planning to do this November. Stay tuned to find out what will be left standing when these monsters collide.

Broadcast: The TV Doodles of Henry Flint

The mind of Henry Flint is a galaxy of beautiful atrocities – a nightmare factory where the bestial becomes benign, the mundane magical. Henry Flint is at once a full-service doodling savant and a one-man alien zoo, and this never-before-seen collection of his personal work is an attempt to chart a single, crooked leg of the artistic journey he takes daily. Welcome to the best of the bestiary.”

Broadcast offers something very different from Henry Flint’s narrative artwork, familiar to fans worldwide from his books for 2000AD, Vertigo and Dark Horse. With writer Cy Dethan acting as guide to the reader, the book is at once a treasure map and an open invitation to explore Henry’s personal work and zen-like experiments in art.


The Indifference Engine: A Holographic Novel

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.”

“Being a science fiction fan,” says Wayne Hall of Sci-Fi Pulse, “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 scratches that itch spectacularly!"

This is Cy Dethan’s third original graphic novel from Markosia and he is joined this time around by hot-shot new artist Rob Carey, along with colourist Mel Cook and letterer Nic Wilkinson. Following the convention-busting performance of the horror- noir Cancertown and the surreal gangland thriller Slaughterman’s Creed, it already looks as if Dethan’s first creator-owned sci-fi story, described by John Freeman as "a gripping, nihilist alternate reality adventure" will be enjoying the same levels of success. Dethan first explored the genre for Markosia as writer of their Starship Troopers line.

The digital version of the book has already been incredibly popular. "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."

A free preview can be read HERE

Preorders can be made through the Markosia website HERE

NELSON is on sale now!

I haven't got my copy - yet - but I saw it in Nostalgia & Comics at the weekend and, man, its a thing of beauty! Nelson is, as I'm sure you all remember, a fantastic new book from Blank Slate featuring a stunning line-up of talent - beyond that all profits from the book go to Shelter the charity that helps the homeless.



Over 50 of the UK’s best comic creators have teamed up for a ground-breaking charity graphic novel project  released this week. EntitledNelson, the book will see publisher Blank Slate donate all profits to Shelter, the housing and homelessness charity.

A celebration of the incredible diversity of talent within British comics today, Nelson sees acclaimed literary graphic novelists such as Posy Simmonds (Tamara Drewe) teaming up with mainstream sensations like Duncan Fegredo(Hellboy) and a whole host of artists associated with Marvel, DC, 2000AD, The Beano and the rapidly-growing British small-press scene and beyond.

Co-edited by Rob Davis and Woodrow Phoenix,Nelson tells the story of one woman’s life from birth in 1968 to the present day. Each creator individually details a single event or moment of protagonist Nel Baker’s life before handing over to the next artist, resulting in a vast narrative told via yearly snapshots. Part exquisite corpse, part relay race, Nelson spans decades of British history and combines a myriad of stylistic approaches in one compelling, beautifully-rendered graphic novel.

Blank Slate publisher Kenny Penman believes that “the UK comics scene is more vibrant than ever before, making now the perfect time for people to come together to aid the greatly important work that Shelter does in these difficult economic times”. He states that “When Davis and Phoenix came to me with the idea of uniting this diverse group of creators behind the charity, I knew the opportunity was too good to miss”.

Arriving in comic and book stores across the country this week, Blank Slate will be going on tour with the book this November, holding Nelson events at Comica Festival’s Comiket Fair on the 12th (Bishopsgate Institute, London) and at Thought Bubble Festival on the 19th and 20th (Saviles Hall, Leeds), before holding a exhibition launch at London’s The Cartoon Museum on the 22nd and an action-packed public launch party at Soho’s Gosh! Comics on the 25th.

ISBN: 978-1-906653-23-1 | 252 pages | 236 x 178mm softcover with flaps, full colour | £18.99 | Released 9th November 2011


Paul Grist, Rob Davis, Woodrow Phoenix, Ellen Lindner, Jamie Smart, Gary Northfield, Sarah McIntyre, Suzy Varty, Sean Longcroft, Warwick Johnson–Cadwell, Luke Pearson, Paul Harrison–Davies, Katie Green, Paul Peart–Smith, Glyn Dillon, I.N.J.Culbard, John Allison, Philip Bond, D’Israeli, Simone Lia, Darryl Cunningham, Jonathan Edwards, Ade Salmon, Kate Charlesworth,Warren Pleece, Kristyna Baczynski, HarveyJames, Rian Hughes, Sean Phillips & Pete Doree, Kate Brown, Simon Gane, Jon McNaught, Adam Cadwell, Faz Choudhury, JAKe, Jeremy Day, Dan McDaid, Roger Langridge, Will Morris, Dave Shelton, Carol Swain, Hunt Emerson, Duncan Fegredo, Philippa Rice, Josceline Fenton, Garen Ewing, Tom Humberstone, Dan Berry, Alice Duke, Posy Simmonds, Laura Howell, Andi Watson, Dave Taylor


STOP PRESS: just saw this tweet from Kenny Penman of Blank Slate:

Kenny Penman
Buying Nelson? advise from   or us - that way all money goes to project - Amazon 68% leaks out