Remember those days of the small press scene when you would turn up at Bristol and it would be the same small press and indie comics for sale year in and out? Well, “No more!” shout the mighty Avery Hill Publishing who (at my count) put out more than a dozen quality books in the last year.
Run by Ricky Miller and David White, this is an indie company juggernaut that has been putting out comics of beautiful and thought provoking content. This year alone has seen books such as The Last Days of Nobodies: Wheatfields After the Rain by Mike Medaglia, A Quiet Disaster by Alex Potts, Metroland by Ricky Miller and Julia Scheele, Grey Area: From the City to the Sea by Tim Bird and many, many other quality books.
The company held their Christmas Party at Gosh Comics in London’s West End on Friday, where Ricky, David and the gang revealed that despite 2014 proving a prolific year, they’re planning an even bigger push in 2015. They have a number of books lined up, with new and returning talent from their ever expanding roster. It was great to hear, for example, that Metroland Issue Three is being written by Ricky and will see the return of Julia to art duties. I have been loving this classy series: it’s a perfect merging of the rock and roll lifestyle with slice of life indie comics. Julia’s artwork captures an edgy ennui of those formative years.
Mike Medaglia is also planning Volume Three of the intensely beautiful Last Days of Nobodies. I chatted to him about the nature of art against the nature of a fame that is attainable during your life (a central theme of this series) and he has some really intriguing future storylines to explore through his art. His enthusiasm for the project is palpable. One of the most original artists I have seen for years, anything Mike does is well worth reaching into your pocket for.
I was over the moon to finally meet Tim Bird in person. His series Grey Area was an early coup for this company and it tells the stories of journeys through the UK. They are told with the poetry of an outsider observing the world around him and issue 3 came out earlier this year and is well worth a look.
As well as being a beery meet up, this shindig was also the release party for Avery Hill’s ongoing anthology Reads (Volume 2 issue 2). It contains the next instalment of The Megatherium Club by Owen D. Pomery, The Bullpen by Luke James Halsall and Tim Bird, Muriel by EdieOP and Hitchcock & Film by Ricky Miller and Tim Bird. It’s got another superb cover by Eleni Kalorkoti. (£4.00 from the Avery Hill website).
Keep an eye on this company in 2015. I get the feeling that they will be breaking through further into the mainstream art scene as well as the comics scene.
• EdieOP is at www.edieop.com and @edieop
I am also legally bound to inform you that I drank zero eggnog!
Many thanks for reading.
Antony Esmond is a comic reviewer and writer – his hips don’t lie.