Great Beast Comics, a group of independent comic creators self publishing their work to a professional level founded in April 2012 by Adam Cadwell and Marc Ellerby has announced it is to shut down next month after just two years publishing some amazing, fun, poppy, accessible, and entertaining stories which can be enjoyed by a wide age range however you like to read them.
“I started Great Beast with my best friend and I’m dead proud of what we achieved,” said Marc on Twitter yesterday.
The group – which cites becoming a victim of its own commercial success, impinging on the creative work of the core team – takes its name from the very first Monster In My Pocket released in 1990 because they thought it sounded cool. Their comics come straight from the artists who make them, brimming with passion and imagination.
Their tiles include Adam Cadwell’s Blood Blokes, a six-issue series about slacker vampires sharing a house in Manchester; Marc Ellerby’s Chloe Noonan: Monster Hunter, set in the fictional British town of Ravensdale, where eponymous hero Chloe Noonan teams up with a government led squad of Monster Hunters to solve the ever growing monster problem; and House Party, the graphic novel debut by award-winning illustrator, Rachael Smith.
We’re sorry to learn of this news – as are many British comic creators. Great Beast has delivered some terrific titles over its short life – and I’m sure all the creators involved will continue to do so and we at downthetubes wish them all the very best.
“Ill miss Great Beast,” mourned Sarah McIntyre. “You did a fab job and I can totally understand your reasoning. Good luck with future projects.”
“You achieved something truly worthwhile,” lamented professor of Film and Cultural Studies and Editor of the Cinema Journal Will Brooker. “That can’t be taken from you.”
“Will miss all the top books you guys stood for,” said Andy Poyiadgi. “Long live GB.”
“You’ve done amazing things,” agreed Jamie Smart. “Really sad to hear this, but the reasons are entirely understandable.”
“It’s such a shame to hear this,” added illustrator and designer Dan Bailey, “but everyone involved should be so proud of what you all achieved.”
The company has issued the following statement on the closure, and if you haven’t already bought some of their books you might want to take advantage of their special sale of their print editions.
On 7th January 2015 Great Beast Comics will close it doors for the foreseeable future.
This means that all of our creators will no longer self publish comics under the Great Beast banner and our online store will close. All our creators will sell their titles personally until the end of their print runs. Our titles will only remain available digitally on Comixology.
The reason behind this decision is that the Beast has grown too big for us to handle. As the group got bigger, as the books became more successful and as we widened the range of shops we sold to there became more of a need for the management and promotion to come from one or two people and Marc Ellerby and I (Adam Cadwell) happily took up that role. However, as time went on we found that the time spent working for the benefit of the group was getting in the way of us actually making our own comics, which is why we started the group in the first place. In Summer, Marc stepped back from the ‘publishing’ side of things to focus on his freelance work and his comics and now as 2014 draws to a close I feel like it’s time for me to do the same.
We looked at many ways of monetising the group so we could pay someone to run things whilst still giving the creators the bulk of the profits but we just couldn’t find a fair way to make it work. I wish we could find a business minded person who loved our comics (but didn’t make comics themselves) who could find a way to make the model financially viable and take over but I can’t imagine who that would be or how it would work.
Marc and I started Great Beast in April 2012 as a place to self publish comics to a professional standard and create a home for fun, accessible comics for a wide age range. Over the last few years, Great Beast has gained a reputation as an exciting and innovative publisher of quality comics and I’m enormously proud of that and of all the books we’ve helped produce. I hope we’ve improved the perception of what self publishing can be and shown the appeal of fun, bold, original comics. Please continue to follow the work of all our fantastic creators, I’m sure there’s a lot of incredible work yet to come.
To celebrate the end of an era we’re having a 25% off sale on everything in our store. Simply use the code SHUTITDOWN on checkout to receive the discount. Order before Friday 19th December in the UK if you want a chance of receiving your goodies before Christmas.
Thanks to every single person who bought one of our comics either from our store, from us directly at a show or via Comixology or Sequential. Thank you to all the shops who supported us and gave new titles a chance because of the GB logo. Thanks to everyone who reviewed our work and to anyone who told a friend or colleague about us.
The Great Beast was born of bold ambitions and grew to be an incredible creature that brought joy to many but with age and success it became ungainly and stifling to those who loved it. The Beast must die.
• Check out Great Beast Comics at www.greatbeastcomics.com
• All of the Great Beast titles are available in print and digitally. Some Great Beast titles are on sale at the following retailers
- Gosh! London
- Orbital Comics, London
- Foyles, Charing Cross Road, London
- Travelling Man, Manchester, Leeds, York and Newcastle
- Chorlton Bookshop, Chorlton, Manchester
- OK Comics, Leeds
- Page 45, Nottingham
- Waterstones, Lakeside Thurrock, Bluewater, Southend, Basildon, Ilford, Romford.
- Millennium Comics, Warrington and Northwich
- Gnash, Devon
- Plan B Books, Glasgow
- Dead Head Comics, Edinburgh
- The Beguiling, Toronto, Canada
- Wooden Bird Comics, Beijing, China
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.