Just some of the creators gathered at Gosh in London for the successful launch of the Broken Frontier Small Press Year Book 2016 on 29th April. Photo: Mauricio Molizane De Souza

Broken Frontier Publishes First Small Press Yearbook

Just some of the creators gathered at Gosh in London for the successful launch of the Broken Frontier Small Press Year Book 2016 on 29th April. Photo: Mauricio Molizane De Souza
Just some of the creators gathered at Gosh! Comics in London for the successful launch of the Broken Frontier Small Press Year Book 2016 on 29th April. Photo: Mauricio Molizane De Souza

Following hot of the heels of the release of its brilliant Broken Frontier Anthology, the comic book and graphic novel news site has just released another great publication – the Broken Frontier Small Press Year Book 2016.

Broken Frontier Small Press Year Book 2016

Launched on Friday 29th April at London’s Gosh! Comics, the Broken Frontier Small Press Yearbook 2016 celebrates the work of BF Editor-in-Chief Andy Oliver’s ‘Six UK Small Press Creators to Watch in 2015’ – Rozi Hathaway, Jess Milton, Danny Noble, Emma Raby, Alice Urbino and Adam Vian.

The book is now available for purchase in North America and Europe.

In the style of his British Comic Awards-nominated Long Lost Lempi, ‘Court of the Mapkeeper’ is another splendid fantasy romp from Adam Vian. Art by and © Adam Vian
In the style of his British Comic Awards-nominated Long Lost Lempi, ‘Court of the Mapkeeper’ is another splendid fantasy romp from Adam Vian. Art by and © Adam Vian

A natural extension of a year’s worth of dedicated coverage of these six very talented creators in Oliver’s popular ‘Small Pressganged’ feature at Broken Frontier, the Yearbook is the ultimate expression of the column’s mission of “unearthing the gems of the small press”, and of bringing the work of new voices in self-publishing he has championed to a far wider audience.

Danny Noble gives us a campfire ghost story of World War One in her own singular irreverent style in "Plain as the Nose on Your Face". Art by and © Danny Noble
Danny Noble gives us a campfire ghost story of World War One in her own singular irreverent style in “Plain as the Nose on Your Face”. Art by and © Danny Noble

Each of the six creators has contributed an 8-10 page story on the theme of “breaking frontiers” and interpreted that broad starting point with their own distinctive takes. It also features back-up stories by a number of established names in UK indie comics who started in small press including Gareth Brookes (The Black Project), Gill Hatcher (The Beginner’s Guide to Being Outside), Jessica Martin (Elsie Harris Picture Palace), Mike Medaglia (One Year Wiser), EdieOP (Maleficium), Owen D. Pomery (Between the Billboards), Alex Potts (A Quiet Disaster), Paul B. Rainey (There’s No Time Like the Present) and Donya Todd (Buttertubs), as well as guest contributions from Rebecca Bagley and Kim Clements.

“The prime philosophy of the Small Press Yearbook is to provide a promotional showcase for last year’s participants in our ‘Six to Watch’ initiative,” says Oliver. “To that end we’re sending out a significant proportion of the print run for free to selected publishers, micropublishers, and comics commentators as we seek to raise the profile of 2015’s half dozen stars-in-the-making across the medium.”

Rebecca Bagley’s “serene tale about relationships, interaction and all the space in between” is an exquisitely realised six-pager. Art by and © Rebecca Bagley
Rebecca Bagley’s “serene tale about relationships, interaction and all the space in between” is an exquisitely realised six-pager. Art by and © Rebecca Bagley

“Rozi, Jess, Danny, Emma, Alice and Adam have very diverse stylistic approaches to the page,” he continues, “but what they all share is an innate understanding of the storytelling possibilities of the form and an eloquent fluency in the pure language of comics.”

“Broken Frontier have demonstrated an ambition to elevate not only the form of comics, but the different people who are exploring it” notes Simon Moreton (SMOO Comics, Plans We Made, Minor Leagues) in his Foreword for the book.

That aim of active championing of deserving new practitioners is reflected in the cover price of the Broken Frontier Small Press Yearbook which retails at just £6.00 for 100 pages (83 of story) in colour and black and white, in order to make its contents as accessible to as wide a readership as possible.

• The Broken Frontier Small Press Yearbook is sold here for Europe and North America

‘Afloat’ by Rozi Hathaway is a beautiful and poignant tale of “finding friendship and comfort in the face of life’s harshest realities.” A prime example of Rozi Hathaway’s ability to subtly communicate emotion and the most personal of experience. Art by and © Rozi Hathaway
‘Afloat’ by Rozi Hathaway is a beautiful and poignant tale of “finding friendship and comfort in the face of life’s harshest realities.” A prime example of Rozi Hathaway’s ability to subtly communicate emotion and the most personal of experience. Art by and © Rozi Hathaway
The machinations of the notorious Edinburgh murderers Burke and Hare are brought to chilling life by Emma Raby in another piece of stunningly rendered storytelling. Art by and © Emma Raby
The machinations of the notorious Edinburgh murderers Burke and Hare are brought to chilling life by Emma Raby in another piece of stunningly rendered storytelling. Art by and © Emma Raby
Jess Milton looks at a formative moment in the life of the ‘Young Marquis De Sade’ in a brilliantly paced study of the early years of the infamous historical figure. Art by and © Jess Milton
Jess Milton looks at a formative moment in the life of the ‘Young Marquis De Sade’ in a brilliantly paced study of the early years of the infamous historical figure. Art by and © Jess Milton
A powerful use of visual metaphor examines themes of depression and anxiety, ‘Teenage Dirtbag’  by Alex Urbino explores similar subject matter to Alice Urbino’s acclaimed series Dimension. Art by and © Alice Urbino
A powerful use of visual metaphor examines themes of depression and anxiety, ‘Teenage Dirtbag’  by Alex Urbino explores similar subject matter to Alice Urbino’s acclaimed series Dimension. Art by and © Alice Urbino

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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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