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In Review: Sliced #1 – A free experimental small press comic anthology

Sliced Quarterly #1 - Cover

Edited by Ken Reynolds
Cover by Freja Steele (Redshift Press)
Featuring the work of Chris Sides (Redshift Press, Futurequake, British Showcase Anthology), Denis Vermesse (BD Adult, 100% Biodegradable, Action Lab), Tony Suleri (100% Biodegradable), Chris Redfern (The Psychedelic Journal of Time Travel, Zarjaz, Hallowscream), Lukasz Kowalczuk and an exciting crop of relative new comers on the small press scene

"The Body Bag" written by Chris Sides, art by Denis Vermesse

“The Body Bag” written by Chris Sides, art by Denis Vermesse

The Book: Editor Ken Reynolds, spent four months curating the first issue with small press creators to make an anthology that explores the boundaries of comic book narrative. Sliced Quarterly #1 features ‘slice of life’ stories told in extraordinary ways. The emphasis has been put on HOW the story is told as much as WHAT it’s about.

The driving principle behind the project is to create a playground for creators to experiment with how they tell stories and communicate ideas through comics.

Issue #1 features nine stories including an attempt to render music as a comic: a silent version of a spoken narrative, a story with panels that can be read in multiple orders, an examination of an inner monologue, playing with panel transitions, self-aware characters and abstract narratives open to interpretation.

Sliced will be digitally published every three months. The issues will be between 20-30 pages, depending upon submissions. The first issue will remain free in the hope of attracting readers and future contributors. Future issues will carry a small charge through digital comic marketplaces with all proceeds going towards an annually collected print edition.

Sliced Quarterly #1: "Meta Affliction" by Ken Reynolds

“Meta Affliction” by Ken Reynolds

Sliced Quarterly #1: Ontologue by Rob Cannon

“Ontologue” by Rob Cannon

The Review: Right from the first strip (“Meta Affliction” by Ken Reynolds), Sliced Quarterly neatly stabs you in the eyeballs and the funny bone with its eclectic but thoroughly enjoyable take on comic storytelling, as a non-comics person becomes at first the victim of an observing comics creator but neatly takes their revenge on their unseen tormentor.

There’s a thoroughly eclectic mix of strips here, and plenty to enjoy: “Newspaper Man: Geophagy” by Stewart Moore, for example, is a bizarre one page story with some striking art, sits easily within a title like this alongside the more traditional but glorious art offered by Denis Vermesse in “The Body Bag” by writer  Chris Sides, in which a thief gets an unexpected surprise.

Sliced Quarterly #1: Pulse

“Pulse”, written by Scott Melrose, art by Tony Suleri

Then, of course, there’s a fine tale from Scott Melrose, “Pulse”, drawn by Tony Suleri, one of the busiest men in British indie comics, who steps away from the all-out action adventure you should all know and love him for in anthologies such as 100% Biodegradable in favour of a far more contemplative work. Fine stuff.

Not every strip will be a hit with every reader – as I always say, that’s the nature of an anthology – but there’s much to challenge the senses and enthuse about if you take one click and download this entertaining first issue.

Just one click. It’s that simple. Will you?

Sliced Quarterly #1: The Elevations and Depression of a Local Radio Presenter

“The Elevations and Depression of a Local Radio Presenter” by Ken Reynolds

Sliced Quarterly #1 is available to read and download for free on www.slicedquarterly.co.uk | The title is operating an open submissions policy. Guidelines are on their website – slicedquarterly.co.uk/submissions

Sliced Quarterly #1: All Along the Watchtower

All Along the Watchtower, written by Chris Redfern with art by Dave Snell

Find Sliced Quarterly on Facebook | Follow Sliced on Twitter: @SlicedQuarterly

Editor Ken Reynolds was born in Suffolk in 1983. He currently lives and works in Ipswich along with his lovely (and tolerant) wife and beautiful daughter. After graduating with a Degree in Graphic Design he has been working in the industry for over 10 years. The skills of layout, typography, pre-press processes and time management acquired in this time made the transition to working in comics feel like a natural evolution.

Ken has lettered for many independent publishers and creators including upcoming work for Grayhaven Comics, Insane Comics and Arcana. In 2015, Ken was made Assistant Editor for 100% Biodegradable, a quarterly digital anthology comic that showcases a breadth of indie talent. Sliced Quarterly is the first project for which he has taken on sole editing duties. Follow him on Twitter: @kreynoldsdesign

About John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a "freelance comics operative" who is currently working as a freelance editor for TITAN COMICS, as Creative Consultant on the new DAN DARE audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the LAKES INTERNATIONAL COMIC ART FESTIVAL and LANCASTER COMICS DAY. John has worked in British comics publishing for over 25 years, starting out at Marvel UK, where he edited a number of the Genesis 1992 books with Paul Neary, including DEATH'S HEAD II and WARHEADS. At Marvel he wrote strips for THE REAL GHOSTBUSTERS, THUNDERCATS, DOCTOR WHO and co-created SHADOW RIDERS with Brian Williamson and Ross Dearsley. His numerous credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines, where he was Managing Editor. He also edited STRIP Magazine and worked as an editor on several audio comics for ROK Comics, including TEAM M.O.B.I.L.E. and THE BEATLES STORY. He has written comics for Marvel UK, Judge Dredd Megazine, Lucky Bag Comic, CGL (an Italian publisher), STRIP Magazine and ROK Comics; and edited some of Titan's British comics collections including Dan Dare and Charley's War. Most recently he is writing CRUCIBLE as a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and DEATH DUTY and SKOW DOGS with Dave Hailwood for the digital comic 100% Biodegradable.
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