New UK publisher Blank Slate has announced a further four graphic collections, following hot on the heels of their release of Oliver East’s Trains Are Mint and Mawli’s We Can Still be Friends.
All four stick to the publishers hoped for model of a mixture of new, young, UK talent and translated cartoonists.
October also sees the release of a second collection from Mawil, and if it’s as good as We Can Still Be Friends, you should pre-order now. In Germany it was called Meister Lampe but in the UK it will be titled Sparky O’Hare – Master Electrician. Publisher Kenny Penman reveals a number of the translated strips will be appearing on the Forbidden Planet International blog and website in advance of publication.
“There are about 80 cartoons in total and essentially they are mostly one page gag cartoons about an electrician Bunny and the chaos that swirls around his every move,” he says. “We hope they will build an online following on the FPI sites as we think they are charming, super-cute and very funny.
Also in the pipeline is an English translation of the award winning book Slaapkoppen by Belgian artist Randall C, described as a highly original and funny juggling comix game of clouds and words, dream and reality, poetry and humour, philosophy and absurdity. The book title means Sleepy Heads and it’s a multilayered exploration of dreams and reality.
“It’s an amazingly beautifully drawn book and has won two major awards on the continent in the last 12 months,” says Kenny. “Most recently it won the best debut comic award at the highly prestigious Stripdagen Haarlem comix festival.
Check out Randall’s website and you can see a good number of the original pages, of course still in their native Flemish. Randall will be entirely re-lettering the book for its English debut, probably in 2009.
Finally, for now, comes an as-yet untitled book from Stuart Kolakovic, described by Paul Gravett as “the future of British comics”.
“Stuart is not only a remarkably talented artist but he’s also a scholar of comics,” says Kenny, “and after spending a day with him last week talking comics and looking through his work I think people are going to be totally blown away when they see his first books.”
Stuart’s book will be based on Eastern European folk tales and fairy stories. “I think the outline for the book is a story which will touch people deeply,” feels Kenny. “If you have a romantic soul this is going to be a book for you.”
There’s no set publication date for the title as yet. “We are allowing it to develop at its own pace,” Kenny explains.
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.