Strip!: Publishing a Blank Slate

Trains are Mint by Oliver East

Concluding comic book publishing month on radio show and podcast Strip!, Alex Fitch interviews Kenny Penman who runs Blank Slate Books, a new British publishing company that has been around for just under a year and have four books to their name so far, including Eisner award nominee Trains are… Mint by Oliver East and and Mawli’s We can Still be Friends.

Alex and Kenny talk about what factors decide the choice of books he publishes, the travails of finding a market for new graphic novels in the middle of a credit crunch and how his history as one of the founders of Forbidden Planet International has helped his new career as a publisher.

Trains are… Mint received high praise from several quarters on release. It’s a diary of walks tracing the train tracks between Manchester and Blackpool in the northwest of England, the comic dispensing with word balloons in favour of text and speech written in longhand superimposed upon the images.

“Oliver East has produced one of the most unique works to come out of the UK small press scene,” says Kenny Penman, “and one that I believe has a chance of crossing over to a much wider audience.”

• Strip!: Publishing a Blank Slate airs later today, Thursday 30th April 2009, at 5.30pm, repeated Sunday 3rd May 11.30pm, onResonance 104.4 FM (London), streamed at www.resonancefm.com, extended podcast online now at http://panelborders.wordpress.com

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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