There’s something strange, in your neighbourhood, who’s to blame? Probably the smashing independent comics publisher Madius Comics, who are back with another spine-busting, game-changing, fist-pumping mega issue of Papercuts & Inkstains, wrapped in cover by Angela Sprecher, who has conjured up a nostalgic tornado-uppercut of eyebrow-raising magnitude.
Just look at the thing! You can almost hear the rewinding of VHS tapes from just a single glance.
Every issue of Papercuts & Inkstains is always bursting at the seams with content but this time Madius, also publishers of Griff Gristle and 50Signal, have taken it to a whole new level, with their first perfect bound issue and a plethora of positively perky strips within.
“This issue has been carefully crafted to act as an ideal jumping-on point for new readers, so if you’re new to Madius Comics, fear not, this issue will take you by the hand and show you everything you need to know,” says Robin Jones. “If you’ve been along with us since the start, hey, it’s great to see you again!”
All four of the stories housed within this hefty volume are by Robin and Michael Sambrook and we join them as they plunder the memory archives of their respective childhoods to take you on a hilarious detour through the 1980s and early 90s.
The first story inside the issue also comes from the talented art paws of Angela Sprecher called “Meat the Minotaur”, a tale that peeks behind the curtain of office based grocery acquisition. It’s Monday morning and a crisis has broken out amongst the staff… There is no coffee! A plucky intern is sent on a perilous quest into the bowels of the building where she’ll contend with paperclip goblins, labyrinths and an uninvited and frustratingly chipper sidekick. It’s Aladdin meets Indiana Jones!
Next up we have a Madius Comics debutante – Darren Stephens, who helps Robin and Michael conjure a throwback to everyone’s favourite British pastime, the good old village fete. But this ain’t yo momma’s fete, instead it’s a rather ill fated fete. In a story that’s equal parts Jam & Jerusalem and John Carpenter’s The Thing, we find out what happens when a small town is thrust into the middle of unexpected cosmic horror just as they are in the throws of the raffle draw. What will become of the cream cakes!? It’s “Eton Mess”!
Then, just as you’re trying to catch your breath you’re hit with “Where’d Wendigo”! It’s another story from another spectacular debutante, Ceri Harvey, a story of camping, friendship and unfathomable horror. A group of girl scouts are staring down the inevitability of moving away from home and have decided to celebrate their friendship with one last trip to the woods. What’s the worst that could happen, right? In a story that’s equal parts Predator and the Goonies where we find out how far these girls are willing to go to keep each other safe. If it bleeds… You can grill it.
Finally, just as you’re about to faint from all of the awesome you’ll be faced with the small press story of the year, it’s “The Profits of Doom” who’re back in a star studded special! Mike Smith will, as always, be on hand to render everyone’s favourite nimrods but this time he will be accompanied by no less than 5 guest artists that’ll be sure to delight and surprise. Want to know more? Then you’ll need to pick up the issue to find out exactly what those devious chuckleheads are upto. Trust us, you’re going to love it.
• Papercuts & Inkstains #6 is due to land at this year’s Thought Bubble Festival on 5th November and it will be available on the Madius Comics webstore soon after on BigCartel | Payhip | DriveThru -= along with all the publisher’s other titles
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.