• The Alternative Press Fair is back! Taking place in London on 13th February, this is a free event celebrating all things self-published and DIY: Comics and Zines, Radical Literature, Poetry, Printmaking, Book Arts and even a bit of DIY Fashion come together in this carnival of modern cottage industry!
There will be a huge variety of things to see and do, including collaborative drawing and live screen printing where you can make your own poster of the day. Plus, in the evening there will be a party to celebrate the first birthday of the Alternative Press Fair with an open mic night for all comers to try, also featuring poetry, spoken word and music. Get along and help the organisers blow out the candles! More info at www.alternativepress.org.uk
• Talking of events, Bryan Talbot and Denise Mina will be attending Glasgow’s Aye Write Festival on Friday 12th March at 7.30-21.00. Bryan will of course be well known to most readers as the creator of Luther Arkwright, Alice in Sunderland, hailed by the Guardian as one of the ten best graphic novels ever and, more recently, Grandville, inspired by the work of the nineteenth-century French illustrator Gerard. Denise Mina is well known as a crime writer but recently worked with Leonardo Manco on John Constantine: Hellblazer: Empathy Is the Enemy, set in Glasgow. They’ll be discussing graphic novels in a specially illustrated event with Stuart Kelly. Tickets are £7/£6 and you can find more info here on the Festival web site.
• (via Bugpowder): British independent Unico Comics is on the look out for British artists who can complete books they intend to publish in 2011! Unico’s plans include a series of 22 page one shots published in b/w or using grey scale. Paul H Birch has the story at speechballoons.
• News that Kieron Gillen and Steven Sanders’ S.W.O.R.D. series from Marvel, which guest-starred Death’s Head in its first two issues, is to meet an untimely demise has prompted a flurry of debate over on the Marvel UK-inspired It Came from Darkmoor blog. #3 came out this week, to be rewarded with the news that #5 will now be the final issue, and the Darkmoor editor has joined others campaigning for its continuation, offering several insights into the state of US comic publishing. It’s worth checking out the comments on the piece, where we learn the success threshold of a US comic is, apparently, some 27,000 copies. (#1 of S.W.O.R.D. sold 21,988, according to ICV2)
• A much longer living comic was Britain’s weekly title Film Fun, which celebrated its 90th anniversary last week. One of the most successful comics from Amalgamated Press, it ran from 1920 to 1962, compiling over 2,000 issues before it merged into new kid on the block Buster and Lew Stringer has published an affectionate tribute on his always-entertaining Blimey! It’s another blog about comics blog…
• And finally… comic creator Simon Mackie, who kindly dropped us a line about his new blog devoted to The Beezer earlier this week, is certainly keeping busy. He’s currently working on ‘digitalising’ an old comic strip he drew with Ben Rowdon Called ‘Ride Your Horse Cowboy’ and you can view the first two pages over on the Drunk Duck web comics portal. Also, look out for an autobiographical story of his coming out very soon in the mature readers only US comic Satyr, in #10, available from Dimestore Productions and other online stores.
(Compiled with thanks to John Owens and Matthew Badham)
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.