Love Bites by Fred Jeffries

Tube Surfing: Anne Kirkbride’s cartoon connections, digital Charlie Hebdo launched and a new Joe Decie interview

Love Bites by Fred JeffriesHere’s a quick round up of short comics news items that have caught our eye on Twitter and other social media over the past few days…

• The Hemel Gazette reports that veteran artist Fred Jefferies, 85, a cartoonist since 1962, has created a cartoon book 13 years after being registered blind, thanks to a special magnifying glass provided by Blind Veterans UK, Fred has been able to draw again. After being a freelance artist for 50 years creating cards and posters, Fred has channelled his rekindled love for art into his new book, Love Bites, a light-hearted look at the most wonderful joy that can happen to all of us, which will be available from 29th January 2015 from Book Guild Publishing. His wife, Nora, says he draws with his heart plus the help of the angels – a magical combination! You can pre-order Love Bites from amazon.co.uk

• Search Laboratory are looking for children’s film/book experts to help them in a project around World Book Day on 5th March for a Fancy Dress Ball.  They say they will need to find influencers by the 31st January 2015. Contact the project organiser Charlotte Corner via charlotte.cornerATfancydressball.co.uk

• Charlie Hebdo is now available digitally for both iPad and iPhone on iTunes; and for Android devices via Google Play; the digital version offers an English translation.

• Comics writer Kevin Gunstone has dropped us a line to let us know the second issue of Future Primitive, pulished by Markosia, will be available digitally from Comixology this month. “We had an overwhelmingly positive response to the first issue of Future Primitive in terms of reviews and attention,” he says. “With the story drawing comparisons to the work of Robert E Howard,  and artist Slobodan Jovanovic praised  for his excellent, detailed art, the series has been described by the ComicCrusaders website as ‘immersive’ and  ‘the kind of stuff cult classics are made of’.”

• Illustrator Judith Kerr will be at House of Illustration in London talking about her life and work on Tuesday 27th January. Judith is a highly regarded figure in the world of children’s literature both for being an illustrator and an author. Her Mog series and The Tiger Who Came to Tea have engaged generations of children and remain popular today. Her autobiographical novels When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit and The Other Way Round were seminal in informing younger readers about the rise of Nazism in 1930s Germany. In 2012, she was awarded an OBE for services to children’s literature and Holocaust education.

In an informal conversation at House of Illustration, writer, critic and broadcaster Nicolette Jones will be asking Judith Kerr to discuss the motivations behind her work and why her books continue to be relevant to new audiences.

Cat Corday of the RSFCommando and Dan Dare artist Keith Page has posted some teasers for a new Charlotte Corday project, Cat Corday of the RSF, written by Stephen Walsh, on his personal blog. A spin-off tale from the Charlotte Corday universe, Paint It Black, will be published by Time Bomb Comics in April. Full details of Paint It Black here on the official Charlotte Corday web site

Coronation Street actress and artist Anne Kirkbride, who has just died, was the daughter of the late cartoonist Jack Kirkbride, one of the original and long term members of the Cartoonists Club of Great Britain. The Club noted on Twitter that when Anne was a child she used to attend the Cartoonist Club conventions. In 2013, the Oldham Evening Chronicle suggested the cartoonist be the subject of a new statue in the town, where he worked as the paper’s cartooist for many years, noting that he had gained acclaim for thousands of topical cartoons, which appeared in publications all over the world. The Club published an obituary to Jack in the November 2006 edition of The Jester (PDF link). View Anne’s art here: www.anniekirkbride.com

InkStuds has a new interview with artist Joe Decie you can listen to on their site. “I’ve been meaning to interview Joe for quite a long time, so this was perfect timing,” says Robin McConnell. “He was in London to see Deltron 3030 that night, so we were able to make the time work.”

Sources include: The Cartoonists Club of Great Britain, Hemel Gazette, the House of Illustration, InkStuds, the Oldham Evening Chronicle

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John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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