Cup of O – Small Press Reviews

Cup of O - Small Press Reviews

Before diving into some reviews I just want to give a shout out to on-going webcomic Warm Cube by the masterful Neil Ford – an absorbing and astounding weekly odyssey which is as absorbing as it is gorgeous. See the web links at the bottom of this post to check it out and I really urge you to.

Sentient Zombie Space Pigs (Disconnected Press) Liz & Conor Boyle

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The subject of one of the finest Kickstarter campaigns I’ve ever seen – with a gloriously simple brief and a refreshingly tiny target – Sentient Zombie Space Pigs does what it says on the tin and delivers on the glorious promise of that long-ago campaign. The story by Lizzie Boyle is suitably dark – crammed as it is with Whitesnake lyrics and rambling rednecks – although whether it would have been more satisfying as a single self-contained tale is a matter of debate – although really I’m perfectly happy to see this tale continue on. Conor Boyle‘s shadowy art is utterly brilliant throughout and his porcine portrayals are perfect – he even handles the lettering with no small skill. This porky volume from the Disconnected Press duo is a startlingly satisifying small press KS success story – and I’ve only just heard that the second issue (of a proposed four) will be out this August! OINK!

The Heavenly Chord – Part 1 (Self Published) Jon Lock & Nich Angell
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This ultimate small press mash-up from perennial indie nice-guys Lock & Angell is a pleasing, if brief, foray into mixing their two chief universes (Afterlife Inc. & 7String). Lock deftly manages to blend them without bombarding the reader with weighty continuity cake. Angell’s art is nicely cartoony and very glowy – the animated kineticism of his fight scenes is hugely compelling. There’s a tantalising glimpse of 7String’s characters as drawn by Afterlife’s Ash Jackson as well which sets the mind racing. And always a shout needs to be hurled to demon letterer Michael Stock who does a brilliant job here.
Bought from the enthusiastic duo at the very enthusiastic Melksham convention in 2013 – it’s hard not to be bowled over by the sheer exuberance of it all. The two clearly loved every moment of it – it doesn’t matter that the free Heavenly Chord playlist you’re directed to in the issue is maybe eighty times longer than it takes to the read it – the fact is they MADE A PLAYLIST. There’s a QR code linking you to it and everything. The UK small press scene would be a dark and hollow place without the spirit and passion of these two bonafide auteurs – long may it continue! In fact… as I type a teaser has just gone up for the incoming second issue…

 

Where’s North From Here? (Alternative Press) David Ziggy Greene

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If the little freebie comic that Private Eye cartoonist David Ziggy Greene was handing out at the Bristol Comic and Zine Fair last year wasn’t enough to convince me of his genius (it was) this handsome crowdfunded A5 volume of his work containing one-page gags, doodles of gigs and longer stories is a real clincher. Whereas a lot of the gags didn’t land in the freebie – the slightly longer stories suit him brilliantly – his storytelling is fantastic and his elastic cartoon style is phenomenally readable – hell even his loose pencil sketches of gigs are extraordinary and the thought of a whole book of them made my mind race. In fact his next work out this summer is Scene & Heard – a hardback collection of “illustrated reportage” for Private Eye and that’s instantly such a definite purchase for me that my wallet has just escaped. BRIAN. COME BACK HERE BRIAN.

• Read a past news item on Sentient Zombie Space Pigs

Web Links

• Warm Cube: www.warmcube.com

• Disconnected Press: http://disconnectedpress.wordpress.com/

• Jon Lock: http://www.jonlock.com/

• Nich Angell: http://www.nichangell.co.uk/

• David Ziggy Greene: http://pourlafrime.blogspot.co.uk/

 

Owen Watts

Owen Watts is a small press editor, artist and colourist. He currently co-edits The Psychedelic Journal of Time Travel - a twice-yearly small press anthology featuring over 15 different emerging creators every issue. He has recently helped colour Ben Dickson & Gavin Mitchell's Santa Claus vs. The Nazis for Aces Weekly which is due out as a single volume with Borderline Press later in 2014. He also runs the 2000 AD forum art competition, reviews small press comics and becomes a hippo every second Thursday.

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