Halfpenny Dreadful Comic Publishing – punk pulp fiction from Mike Knowles

Halfpenny Dreadful Comic Issue 2

Halfpenny Dreadful Comic Publishing – the brainchild of veteran comics writer Mike Knowles – is seeking aspiring writers and artists who might enjoy producing punk pulp fiction.

Mike has  been a published writer/artist for over 30-years working mainly in comics, (DC Thomson and the former Fleetway Publications). He’s also worked in TV, radio, spent three years as a gag writer and worked in animation where I wrote a Channel 4 TV series, The Bunburies. On top of this he did some freelance work for the late Bob Godfrey and later on worked for an Indian animation studio in Mumbai. He also contributed a number of gonzo style articles to one of those “top-of-the-shelf” magazines, but tells us his foray into gonzo journalism was conducted without the late Hunter S. Thompson’s voracious appetite for mind bending substances.

“What is punk pulp fiction?” says Mike when we asked what he meant. “Think Crumb, Burroughs and the Sex Pistols. Then wonder what they might have produced if they’d pulled out all the stops!

“Yes, this sounds like the sort of hyperbole you get from advertising agencies,” he admits. “The effect of too much blue sky thinking. You may ask yourselves can anything possibly out-punk punk Crumb, Burroughs and the Sex Pistols? Only time will tell… and then it might not.”

If you’re still interested, then be warned, HDC Publishing is looking for writers and artists who don’t mind working their fingers to the bone for no upfront payment. “Just the dim hope that, one fine day, they’ll become rich and famous,” Mike teases. 

Your first job will be to work on the Halfpenny Dreadful Comic which is currently awaiting renovation. Two issues have been published free so far and are available online here.

“It was initially created as a bit of fun and put together by someone who has spent well over 30 years writing for two major comic publishers here in the UK,” Mike explains. “HDC will publish satire along with any other kind of rubbish that springs to mind.”

He’s still working up his ideas for the comic after putting out the first issues for free, wondering if it should remain so, serving as a showcase for a bunch of starving writers and artists – or become a paid-for title? (“Some great writers and artists have starved,” Mike cautions. “Some because they had no money and others because they were just too busy to eat. Check on Google if you don’t believe me).

“What are the best publishing options? Anyone got an old Gestetner Duplicator they’re not using any more?” he implores. “Is it worth crowd funding “Halfpenny Dreadful Publishing?” Or is bank robbery and extortion a better option?”

• If you’re intrigued by Mike outright silliness – note that some of the material is “adult” – check  out the first two issues of the Halfpenny Dreadful Comic here | Contact Mike through Facebook – or email him via comicsauthor AT gmail.com

John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a "freelance comics operative", working as a freelance editor, as Creative Consultant on the new Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. John has worked in British comics publishing for over 30 years. His credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel UK and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines. He also edited STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics, including Team M.O.B.I.L.E. and The Beatles Story. 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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