Paperjammeners assemble

So, the Paper Jam Comics Collective is nearly nine years old and is releasing it's twelfth anthology Happy ...And That at The Paperjammening - a micro comic con happening in Travelling Man Newcastle's basement tomorrow, with loads of excellent comics for sale from Paper Jam members plus there'll be doodling and jam comics and good times.

I've got a story in the new anthology about beer, plus I'll be attempting to flog my range of very small comics at the event, but don't let that put you off.




Well, it's getting a bit autumnal, the nights are starting to draw in, and it's Halloween soon. What better way to contemplate this spooky time of year than with an exhibition of works addressing the idea of monsters?

North Shields' finest arts hub, Creative Up North will be running just such an exhibition, curated by creative polymath and all-round megadude Paul Thompson, from 28th October through to 8th November...

I'm delighted to be part of it, and will be exhibiting some slightly silly collages (around the theme of chimeras, naturally). Here's a sneak peek...

Whoa! See more of this handsome fellow at the exhibition.

Plus! There'll be a fabulous catalogue book of the exhibition for sale, and there's an opening preview event on the evening of the 27th (and possibly other stuff happening as the exhibition goes on). See the facebook blah for more details.


Radio On Out

Check this!

It's the cover of the second issue of the excellent, music-themed anthology Radio On. And it's released this weekend (at the Lakes International Comic Art Festival)! And I did a little story (about the medicinal benefits of rock music) for it!


All the contributors were also asked to recommend some albums. In the spirit of my story, I recommended this fine rock music:

Baroness - Blue Record

Graveyard - Lights Out

Greenleaf - Trails and Passes

Red Fang - Red Fang

I heartily recommend you check out Radio On, it's full of quality comics. I also heartily recommend you listen to rock music.



Tales of Extraordinariness #5: Muffins is now out. It features a demonic minion of the infernal pit and an actual recipe for blueberry muffins, though it is possibly actually about comics.

As usual: available from me directly or maybe (maybe) from the Travelling Man Newcastle small press section (at some point) (maybe).



The latest Paper Jam Comics Collective anthology, Food ...And That is out. It's a running buffet of food-themed comics! I did a two-page story for it, called 'Tastes', about how our taste in food and life-experience changes (or not) over time. More details here.


Weak As I Am

Fan art / mini-review time!

I finally picked up a copy of Weak As I Am by Nigel 'Spleenal' Auchterlounie at the Sunderland Comic Con. I'd read the story when Nigel had first published an early version of it online and I'd been impressed - impressed enough to want to obtain a slightly beautified but mainly similar print version. Why? Because it's mint.

It's an indie superhero story. That is to say: IT IS A SUPERHERO STORY. It's not a spoof (though it's very funny), it's not just using superhero motifs in a more personal story (though it does have a grounded sense of humanity in its everyman main character who accidentally gains superpowers, plus it ditches all costumes, codenames and other such nonsense), it genuinely has a load of awesome super-powered stuff going on.

And the thing is: I usually do not think superhero stuff is awesome. I find that it's often tired, empty showboating, mired in continuity knots. Weak As I Am manages to keep all the potentially cool stuff (including varied powers, complex superhero-superhero and superhero-society dynamics), drop the baggage, and inject vitality, wit, and humanity, telling a story that clearly feels part of the superhero tradition whilst at the same time standing apart from it.
So I did a drawing of two characters from the book - Durmot and Gary, they are (literally) super friends. Durmot is made of stone and has a non-Newtonian field (maybe that's what that blue stuff is, not just poorly-rendered blue sky, ahem), and Gary has a variety of superpowers including super-strength and speed. There's a whole load of other super-powered characters, and even when they only have brief 'screentime' due to the blazing pace of the book, there's a definite sense of character and identity to all of them.

The art style (and central character) continue from the equally excellent Speenal, and, while there's still much of the same humour and ingenuity, in Weak As I Am the humour is occasionally dialled back to allow for some moments of genuine drama.

I think, as with all indie superhero comics, there's a risk that the 'indie' readers don't give it a go because it's superheroes, and the 'superhero' readers don't give it a go because it's indie. And that's a shame, because I genuinely think both groups (well, y'know, everyone really) would get a lot out of this.