Currently available in our Shop at Lulu.
Last Tuesday Jay and I nipped over to Nottingham for an evening of comicky goodness. We headed to Nottingham Writer’s Studio for the bi-monthly meeting of Nottingham Does Comics, who kindly hosted us as guest speakers back in June.
This time around, the guests were Magoria Studios co-founders: writer William Starling and illustrator Adam Willis, and Drugs & Wires webcomic creator Cryoclaire (aka Mary Safro).
William and Adam talked about the steep learning curve of jumping into comic creation and setting up Magoria Studios as a comics publisher. They had initially planned on working on a wide-ranging mythological based graphic novel series, but soon realised that it would be best to put out a few short one-shot comics first. Their first publication was a short comic called Filigree.
They’ve been doing lots of work behind the scenes to establish themselves as a business, looking at distribution routes and mentoring new creators. They are hoping to have lots more comics out soon, starting with the younger reader aimed Drones.
Cryoclaire has been publishing her webcomic Drugs & Wires for two years and has gained a loyal following for this alternative past cyberpunk tale. She talked about how the comic came into existence due to posting sketches of the characters and setting online – this led to people asking when she’d be doing a webcomic. On admitting that she wasn’t a writer as such, one of her online friends suggested that they work on the storylines/writing together and she gained her writer Io Black. The two live in different countries and mainly work via online chat and skype.
We picked up the first two printed issues of the comic on the night and the third issue at Thought Bubble a few days later (as we are terrible at reading comics online and prefer good ole dead tree). Highly recommended and if you’re not luddites like us you can read all the story so far online.
There were lots of questions for the speakers and then a chance to natter to other attendees, and it was all highly enjoyable.
We’re hoping to make it to the next meeting on Tuesday 14th November & you should to, as they have an excellent line-up in the form of Corinne Pearlman, Jade Sarson & Sally Jane Thompson.
Before the NDC meeting, we also popped into Five Leaves Bookshop for a meeting with my editor and publishers at Five Leaves Publishing. Five Leaves are a radical, literary and political small independent press who have been publishing books since 1996 and running Five Leaves Bookshop since 2013.
One of their latest initiatives is Five Leaves Graphic – an imprint for comics, graphic novels and related books. Their first publication was East of Aleppo – Bread, Bombs and Video Clips, by Brick.
I’m working on a book for them about my own personal journey researching the history of women working in British comics. I’m aiming to give an overview of the many women that have contributed to the industry from the 1860s to the present day. It won’t be comprehensive, as I’ll be concentrating on the stories that interest or resonate with me, but I hope it will showcase the largely ignored history of women in comics. The writers, artists, editors, publishers, letterers, colourists, designers, art editors etc…
Our visit to Thought Bubble at the weekend proved once again that there can be no denying the huge talent pool of women currently working in comics in the UK!
Provisional publication date: June 2018.
Jay & I will be guests at Nottingham Does Comics on the 13th June.
The Speculators (the writing group we are in) will be running this event for the Clarendon Park ArtBeat Festival on Friday 23rd June at 6.30pm.
Friends Meeting House (Small Meeting Room), 16 Queens Rd, Leicester.
States of Independence is our favourite local book festival, and this year we’ll have a stall.
INDEPENDENT PRESS DAY
Free of charge | 10.30am – 4.30pm | Open to all
Clephan Building, De Montfort University, Oxford Street, Leicester LE1 5XY
Workshops | Readings | Panels | Seminars | Book launches
Bookstalls | Independent presses | Regional writers
Fiction | Non-fiction | Poetry | Plays | Artist books | Magazines | Journals
We’ll have stock of a variety of our publications on the stall. Including:
A zine raising money for HOPE not hate and including prose, poetry, comics and more by lots of local Leicester writers.
Two new collections of Lee Kennedy’s autobiographical comics.
We’ll also have a handful of copies of the latest book that includes short stories by Jay & myself:
That night I dream about Whitby.
It’s the place that Effie says I belong to. I’m sitting in a cosy room, with a small window overlooking a storm-lashed town. I can hear the sea, an endlessly restless noise. The fire crackles in the grate and I’m sipping a very sweet and delicious drink from a tiny glass. The woman called Effie is sitting across the room from me, but goodness – she looks ancient. She’s like a wizened old hag sitting there.
Effie is talking in between sips of sherry and she’s making plans. Plans of action, of attack. We’re involved in a kind of… yes, series of adventures. She’s talking like the whole world is depending on our working together to foil not one but several kinds of evil menace.
What a bloomin’ palaver!
Nine brand new stories about Brenda and Effie’s adventures in Whitby by Greg Maughan, Jay Eales, Tony Jones, Andrew Lawston, Matthew Bright, Morgan Melhuish, Neil O’Brien, Nicholas Campbell and Selina Lock, with a prologue by Paul Magrs.
We’re also hosting some friends’ books on the stall:
Purple Prose: Bisexuality in Britain is the first of its kind: a book written for and by bisexual people in the UK. This accessible collection of interviews, essays, poems and commentary explores topics such as definitions of bisexuality, intersections of bisexuality with other identities, stereotypes and biphobia, being bisexual at work, teenage bisexuality and bisexuality through the years, the media’s approach to bisexual celebrities, and fictional bisexual characters.
Filled with raw, honest first-person accounts as well as thoughts from leading bisexual activists in the UK, this is the book you’ll buy for your friend who’s just come out to you as bi-curious, or for your parents who think your bisexuality is weird or a phase, or for yourself, because you know you’re bi but you don’t know where to go or what to do about it.
Plus this novel by local author and fellow Speculator Daniel Ribot:
Ludmilla Vatinashkaya already struggles to balance the challenges of marriage and family with her promising career as a captain in Stalin’s army when she is ordered to direct Vampsov, a covert unit created to fight the most implacable enemies of the Soviet Union: vampires. Astonished and initially skeptical, Ludmilla takes her unit on a thrilling and violent trail of destruction as Vampsov hunts down the blood sucking enemies of Socialism. With the help of Vassily, a dark and brooding creature who denies his very nature for his love of the fledgling Soviet state, they confront the most notorious monster of all in his Transylvanian lair.
Vampsov 1938, brings to life in luscious detail the Stalin-era Soviet Union. Daniel Ribot has beautifully navigated this turbulent page of history to create an an edge-of-your-seat thrill ride that’s hard to put down and impossible to forget.
Hope to see some of you there on Saturday!
‘Do Something’ – Official Leicester Launch
Upstairs at Firebug (1 Millstone Lane, Leicester, LE1 5JN)
3-5pm, Saturday 3rd December
There will be a panel discussion, raffle and readings, and fine company. Also, cake.
Several local contributors will be taking part in the launch, including Rod Duncan, Jay Eales, Jenny Walklate, Ambrose Musiyiwa, Will Ellwood, Penny Jones & Cynthia Rodriguez.
The cake will be free, but the zine will cost you a fiver.
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1678502645705533/
‘Do Something’ at Astral Gypsy (Coventry)
Astral Gypsy comic shop (Unit 2E, Fargo Village, Far Gosford Street) in Coventry.
Sunday 4th December, 1.30-3.00pm
Astral Gypsy are kindly hosting us (Editors: Jay Eales & Selina Lock) for the afternoon to sell copies and chat about the zine.
We will hopefully be joined by local creator Yen Quach. Each copy of the zine comes with a free print of an illustrated poem by Yen.
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/226533384445814/
Do Something is a zine that came about as a result of the EU Referendum and the rise in hate crime that followed.
We sat in shock for a few days, and wondered what if anything we could do. We saw others in our social media feeds who seemed similarly lost. We put out a call to arms to the writers, the artists, the poets and comic creators. The political cartoonists. Many from Leicester, but also from much further afield. We called and they answered. Leicester based novelist Rod Duncan. Political cartoonist for the Morning Star, BlueLou. Mike Carey, writer of X-Men and The Girl With All the Gifts. What we originally expected to be a 24 page photocopied effort ended up a professionally published 72 page beast.
All profits from sales of Do Something go to the charity Hope Not Hate, which sums up the ethos of the project. It may not be a big thing, but as the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu said “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. We hope that you will join us in adding to the sum of Hope and tipping it away from Hate.
The event ties in with the ‘HOPE not hate’ weekend of action.
If you are unable to join us for an event, but would like to buy a copy of the zine then please PayPal £6.50 (includes UK p&p) plus your delivery address to email@example.com
Do Something – a charity zine to raise money for ‘Hope not hate‘ was born.
This was our response to the Brexit referendum vote and rise in hate crime in the UK.
Zine is 72 pages, perfect bound with some colour illustrations.
Do Something – Contents:
TO ORDER in the UK:
Paypal £6.50 (£5 per copy plus £1.50 p&p) to firstname.lastname@example.org
Profits will be donated to Hope Not Hate
For overseas orders please contact us for a price via email@example.com
Thanks to our friend Regie Rigby of Desination Venus Comics (Harrogate) you’ll be able to buy our newest publications at their table at Thought Bubble this weekend.
They are at Stand 1, Royal Armouries Hall.
Hot off the presses you’ll be able to purchase:
The first two volumes of the Lee Kennedy Collection.
Inner City Pagan collects strips from Lee’s small press Inner City Pagan comics plus extra material. With a foreword by Zograf.
Wage Slave collects strips from Lee’s small press Wage Slave comics plus extra material. With a foreword by Roberta Gregory.
Each volume will be £10 each.
You’ll also be able to pick up copies of Do Something! our charity zine in aid of Hope Not Hate. This will be the perfect bound edition with some colour illustrations and a free A5 print of an illustrated poem by Yen Quach.
It includes a brand new short story by Mike Carey, illustrations by Dave Windett, Emma Reynolds, BlueLou and comic strips by Vicky Stonebridge and Paul Rainey. For full table of contents see our previous post. They will be £5 with profits going to the charity.
So pop along to see Destination Venus Comics at Stand 1, Royal Armouries Hall.
22 October at 14:30–15:30
Leicester Central Library, Bishop Street, Leicester LE1 6AA
A panel discussion with Jay Eales, Selina Lock and James Worrad from The Speculators., a Leicester writing group. We will cover writing fan fiction, short stories, novels, comics & short films.
BOOKING ESSENTIAL – call the library on 0116 2995401
For more information on StarBase and the Sci-Fi festival, go towww.starbaseleicester.co.u
For more information on The Speculators, go to https://
Ten days ago Jay and I were feeling powerless and angry about the current state of the UK, especially the reported rise in hate crime. So we decided to do something we know how to do – make a zine.
Do Something – a charity zine to raise money for ‘Hope not hate‘ was born.
Many thanks to all our contributors for such a quick and supportive response. Many thanks also to Jay, as he enables me when I have mad ideas and then does all the production work!!
We will have 25 photocopied versions of the zine for sale at Small Press Day at Forbidden Planet Leicester, 2-5.30pm, Saturday 9th July.
Over the next few weeks we will also look at making the printed version and a PDF version more widely available for sale. Watch this blog for updates…
The event at Forbidden Planet Leicester is:
2.30pm – 5.30pm
23 Silver Street, Leicester, LE1 5EU
Creators appearing as part of the event are:
Drew Sumner – Ink & Booze
Jade Sarson – TeaHermit
Esme Baran – Undine Adventurer
Sally Jane Thompson – Atomic Sheep
Jay & I will be running free ‘Introduction to Writing Comics’ workshops.
The workshops will introduce you to the elements of a comic script, and provide a taster of the foundations of comic book writing.
We are running the workshop twice at:
2.30 – 3.10pm and 3.50 – 4.30pm
To book your place contact Forbidden Planet Leicester with your preferred timeslot.
More info on their FaceBook event and you can book by commenting on the post there.