Although comics tend to be understood as a mass produced and highly industrialised medium, there has long been a tradition of small scale/artisanal production through which voices alternative to the “mainstream” have been able to speak. Small press and underground publications have served as platforms for artistic experimentation, political expression and technical innovation that have often had major influences upon the field of comics, and upon wider culture as well.
Technology has also driven change, with the growth of the internet and web 2.0 facilitating low-cost worldwide distribution that perhaps challenges the term “small press”.
Comics Forum, part of the Thought Bubble sequential art festival (which has always been a popular venue for small press creators to present their works), is ideally situated to consider this aspect of comics. At Comics Forum 2013, the fifth event in the annual conference series, we will discuss a wide range of subjects relating to small press and underground comics.
Subjects for discussion may include, but are not limited to:
· International manifestations of the small press
· Methods of production and distribution
· Notable small press/underground comics creators and/or movements
· Political applications of small press and underground comics
· Small press/underground comics as a platform for speaking the unspeakable
· The small press in the age of the internet
Proposals of 250 words are invited for talks of 15-20 minutes in length, and should be emailed along with a short biography (around 100 words) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put the phrase ‘CF2013 Paper Submission’ in your subject line. The deadline for submission is 14/07/2013 and notification of acceptance or rejection will be emailed by or before 01/08/2013.
• CF2013 page at the website: http://comicsforum.org/comics-forum-2013
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. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 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.