British independent publisher Accent UK Comics bows out

Accent UK Comics, comprising creators Dave West and Colin Mathieson, one of the UK’s longest established independent comic collectives, has announced that they are to disband.

Accent UK Cover Collage

Founded in 2001 in the North West, Accent UK united the small press publishing activities of Barry Renshaw’s Engine Comics, Dave’s Deva Comics and Colin’s M56 Comics into a single collective.

A string of themed anthology titles were produced, such as Remembrance Days, Phobias and Pirates, drawing on submissions from the UK’s then small press community, including the likes of David Baillie, Jason Cobley, Ben Dickson, Garen Ewing and Dave Hitchcock. Red Eye Magazine, a much-loved spotlight on the UK independent comics scene, with contributions from Matt Badham, Leon Hewitt and others, was edited by Barry, and published by Accent UK until his departure in 2006.

The Accent UK team at a Bristol comic con in 2004
The Accent UK team at a Bristol comic con in 2004
Colin Mathieson and Dave West with artist Bryan Talbot at Komiks.DK Copenhagen in 2004
Colin Mathieson and Dave West with artist Bryan Talbot at Komiks.DK Copenhagen in 2004

From 2007, Accent UK’s titles were distributed globally by Diamond Comic Distributors, leading to contributions to their themed anthologies ZOMBIES, ROBOTS, WESTERN etc. from the likes of Kieron Gillen, Steve Bissette, Frazer Irving, John Reppion, Leah Moore, and many others.

A series of self-contained one-shot or comic series, written by Dave and illustrated by other artists were also published, including WOLFMEN with Andy Bloor, the Eagle award-winning Whatever Happened to the World’s Fastest Man? with Marlene Lowe, Stephenson’s Robot with Indio, the acclaimed WESTERNOIR series, co-written with artist Gary Crutchley, and Kia Wordsmith with Ian Ashcroft. The Moments of Adventure series collected Colin’s historical fiction strips and a trilogy of works were published from Danish artist Martin Flink: The Man of Glass, The Troll and The Lizard.

Dave and Colin with artist Martin Flink in Copenhagen in 2017
Dave and Colin with artist Martin Flink in Copenhagen in 2017

In recent years, Accent UK returned to their anthology roots with a series of annual comics, The Asylum, based on the world’s largest steampunk festival of the same name in which Colin, Dave and Gary Crutchley regularly participated in talks, workshops and events.

Escape To The Asylum  - cover by Gary Crutchley
Escape To The Asylum – cover by Gary Crutchley

In all, Accent UK published around 60 comics and graphic novels, the majority of which were designed by Andy Bloor and featured regular colour collaborations from Matt Soffe.

The team were regulars on the convention scene with nearly 200 appearances, many overseas, including the US, Canada, Finland and Denmark, where since 2004, Accent UK had enjoyed a loyal following.

“It is with great sadness that this announcement is made,” says Colin, “but both Dave and I can take great pride from the respect that the Accent UK name is held in and the achievements of the many writers and artists that we have worked with. Thanks to everyone who has contributed to, reviewed or bought our books over the years and to our families for supporting us.”

Dave West and Colin Mathieson at MCM earlier in 2022
Dave West and Colin Mathieson at MCM earlier in 2022

“It’s been a great journey,” says Dave, who is joining Time Bomb Comics and taking his titles with him, including WesterNoir – Volume 2, currently seeking crowdfunding on Kickstarter. “Both Colin and I evolved our styles and perfecting our craft over the years and with Accent UK we both have much to be proud of.

“We have lots of great memories of collaborations and things that happened at the many Comic Conventions and we will both continue to be involved in the independent UK Comic scene, in our own ways, for many years to come. Thanks to all who were with us over the last 20 years, in whatever capacity, your support has always been appreciated.”

WesterNoir Volume 2 - TimeBomb Comics Cover

Accent UK’s website and social media channels will remain open until further notice, to allow outstanding orders and distribution obligations be fulfilled. Both Colin and Dave remain active in the comics community and news of forthcoming projects and activities will be released in due course.

We wish Colin and Dave the very best in their future endeavours, whatever they may be – and thank them for bringing us so many great comics down the years.

Accent UK, for now, remains online at accentukcomics.com | Facebook | Twitter

Colin Mathieson is online at momentofadventure.blogspot.co.uk

Dave West is online at strangestoftimes.blogspot.co.uk

The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Explorer (previously known as Star Trek Magazine) and more. 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 "Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies" for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.



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