Next weekend – the 23rd/24th – sees Thought Bubble kick off once more, officially the best convention in the UK and therefore I would conclude in the world, also. And there are going to be a LOT of new small-press and self-published books launching. Over 80, according to reports. And while we couldn’t feature all 80 here – much as we’d like to – we have spoken to several people launching new titles, and asked them to tell us a bit more about their comics.
So! From Zainab and I, here’s a look at just SOME of the many brilliant comics which will be available at Thought Bubble! (And, if you can’t make it to the festival yourself – we’ve linked to every website you need for an incredibly indulgent weekend of online shopping).
Fever Dreams is a collection of 14 short stories, created over the course of about 3 years, as part of an ongoing project to create by listening, without judgement or fear, to whatever was churning in my subconscious mind. Turns out my subconscious is full of sorrow, joy, sexual obsession and a constant wrestling with the nature of God. Much like most people I’d imagine. Anyway, some of that somehow made it onto paper – this book is the result.
More preview images and info about Fever Dreams are available at http://adammurphy.com/blog/ Books will also be available from my website after the convention.
We’ve got three new titles launching from Improper Books at Thought Bubble. BUTTERFLY GATE sees Benjamin Read and Chris Wildgoose collaborating again [following Porcelain], this time on a silent and episodic SF odyssey. It follows the story of a Brother and Sister, who leave our world and its rules behind, journeying into legend through the Butterfly Gate, where every step they take will come at a price.
Written by Benjamin Read and illustrated by Chris Wildgoose, with colours by Jordan Boyd and lettering by Jim Campbell, BRIAR follows the story of the cursed Princess Layka, and Kaye, The Knight of Thorns, who searches for a way to break the curse and set her free.
Cursed by the shadow-sorcerer, Celik, Layka is trapped behind an impassable wall of enchanted briar, and seeks an end to the magic that keeps her shut off from the world. Trapped for years behind the living wall of the briar, she awaits her one true knight, Kaye, who has been tasked with the quest to break the curse and set her free.
Alongside this, we have KNIGHT & DRAGON, by Matt Gibbs and Bevis Musson. This all-ages book playfully subverts the story of a heroic Knight defeating a ferocious Dragon to rescue the fair Maiden, by offering variant paths and multiple outcomes to the classic fairy tale adventure.
In addition to our new books, we’ll be running a Knight & Dragon art and colouring table thanks to the support of Lisa and the Thought Bubble organisers. We’ll also have copies of PORCELAIN: A GOTHIC FAIRY TALE, plus a free colour preview of an upcoming 2014 book, also by Benjamin and Chris, which we’ll be giving away.
I’ll have two new things at Thought Bubble:
1. I Don’t Like My Hair Neat #2 – a collection of comics from this year, including two new ones: a 4-page short comic about bad omens (inspired by real events) and an 8-page short fiction about an eerie roadside diner and a tragedy, written by Alistair Bohm.
2. The Heroines Zine – an anthology featuring illustration, comics, photography, and writing about inspiring women – some real, some fictional, ranging from Ada Lovelace to Matilda, from Emmeline Pankhurst to Buffy. Contributers include Lizz Lunney, Kieron Gillen, Chrissy Williams, Tom Humberstone, and many more.
Weak As I Am is built on two ideas. “What I’m a comic nerd, but if I had super powers? Would I actually be a hero or fall short?
And what if there was no way to win? No way to beat the bad guy. Or what if beating the bad guy just made things even worse?
And what if it was funny?
No. Wait. That’s three things.”
Based on the poem of the same name by John Keats,La Belle Dame Sans Merci is a four-part series that drags The Beautiful Lady out of the forest and screaming into the modern world.
Containing 32 pages of satirical filth about absent fathers, remorseful werewolves, drunken miscreants, accidental murderers, witchcraft, cannibalism and bestiality, this is the sequel to last year’s BLACKOUT, which Jamie Smart (Bunny vs Monkey) called ” beautiful and obscene and glorious and depraved” and Kasra Ghanbari (CEO of 44FLOOD) said was ” Sick, brutal, odd and precise.” Speaking of the shameful new anthology, P M Buchan said: “For the second year running BLACKOUT was refused by the first printers that we approached, but luckily we found a new printer that wasn’t intimidated by our 100% guarantee that all BLACKOUT contributors are going straight to Hell.
TWISTED DARK VOL. 4 (the latest in the Kindle best-selling series from T PUB) will be debuting at this year’s Thought Bubble Festival. We will also be launching the final issue of TABATHA (our crowd-funded mini-series by Neil Gibson and Caspar Wijngaard).
In celebration of these two launches, T Pub is offering the Kindle best-selling first volume of Twisted Dark for FREE. Read it if you like psychological thrillers!
Simply e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more details!
And Then Emily Was Gone is a dark horror-mystery that tells the story of Greg Hellinger, a man who sees monsters. A former detective driven to the brink of madness by terrifying apparitions, he is tasked with finding a missing girl called Emily. Hellinger’s search takes him to a remote community in the Orkney Islands, where strange and terrible things are happening…
Since its launch in local markets here in Glasgow back in July, the first issue of And Then Emily Was Gone has enjoyed great success. It got nominated for 4 SICBA awards at this year’s Glasgow Comic Con, the only comic to get nominated for every category. And upon making its US debut at this month’s New York Comic Con, And Then Emily Was Gone #1 completely sold out at the show!
In this second chapter, making its worldwide debut at Thought Bubble, Hellinger and Fiona begin to investigate Emily’s disappearance on the island of Merksay, with its highly eccentric locals and terrifying hidden places. Plus, we find out what’s in the box!
It’s 2055 and Jack is bored.
20 years ago most of Earth’s population abandoned the planet to search for a less crowded place to live. But rather than descend into chaos, the world they left became a paradise, free from poverty, war and crime.
Jack spends his days hanging out with his friend Mo, obsessing over action movies and punk records, longing for excitement. But then extra-terrestrial visitors arrive and fulfil Jack’s wish…
Exit Generation is a four part series telling the tale of one boy’s search for purpose against a backdrop of space aliens, big guns and punk rock.
This is a story of a girl and her sword… Raised by trolls in the moat of a castle, Fun Mudlifter lives a life of boredom, until one day when adventure finds her and a sword plummets into her village. Setting off to confront the trolls responsible for the falling items that plague her and her neighbours, Fun begins an off- beat odyssey that encompasses jobsworth trolls, three-headed beasts, soothsaying shamans and headless barbarians, as she valiantly battles her way up through the dungeons to her final goal.
Dungeon Fun is 32 full-colour pages of adventuring comedy from the Scottish Independent Comic Book Alliance Award-nominated duo of writer Colin Bell and artist Neil Slorance, who between them are responsible for titles such as The Amateur Astronomer’s Journal, Jonbot Vs Martha, and Detective Space Cat. Dungeon Fun will go on sale in select comic stores in Glasgow on DUNGEON FUN DAY (Wednesday November 20th 2013), with digital editions available through www.dogoodercomics.co.uk.
BEAGLE is pretty much a classic Detective story, where a fish and a panda are forcibly teamed up against some pretty big cats! Set in a modern day environment it has a slight twist on the evolutionary path, and although maybe a bit more Chandler Bing than Raymond Chandler it is defiantly not all sweetness and light.
Issue one starts with our protagonist Mickey Codd investigate an illegal abattoir, a search which will lead to a new partner, and a journey through all strata of society, from underworld snitches to the very highest politicians. An ongoing series will see a spiral into darkness where nobody is safe, nor guaranteed a long and happy life.
ink+PAPER brings you cosy fireside reading for the winter with its usual mix of comic stories, features and articles. Colourful, intelligent, sometime serious, sometimes fun, issue #4 includes tedious housemates, musical battles, family troubles and even some investigative journalism.
Ninety pages of comics from Sean Azzopardi, Fred Blunt, Sammy Borras, Katriona Chapman, Sam Davies, Paul Harrison-Davies, James Howard, Tanya Meditzky, Kathryn Newman, David O’Connell, Edie OP, Tom Pearce, Owen Pomery, Jade Sarson & Dean McKnight, and Scott Jason Smith with articles featuring Matt Abbiss, Mike Medaglia and Julia Scheele.
[images by me (cover), Fred Blunt, Paul Harrison-Davies and Katriona Chapman]
Monstrosity is an ongoing action/adventure comic following the continuing adventures of Daigo (whose hand has been possessed by a demon) and his best friend Joe (who is a fool).
After Daigo fought with some members of an incredibly dangerous gang, the Venge Trolls, in issue 1, he and Joe decided it would be best to lay low for a while. Now a month has passed and they think it’s safe to head back out into the city, but it’s not just the Venge Trolls who are hunting them down and Daigo’s arm isn’t as dormant as he might have hoped…
Monstrosity issue 2 is a 28-page, self-published comic by Zak Simmonds-Hurn and will be launched at Thought Bubble!
Matthew Bramble presents the Fantastic Feats of Frankenstein! Freak out at the further adventures of that famous monster of Filmland!
Launching issue #2 of P.A.W: Protection Against Wrongdoers at Thought Bubble 2013, artist and writer Chris Gould invites readers to explore the city of Puppville, a place where until recently, Canines and Felines had been living together in a delicate balance of power – when that balance was destroyed and the fur started to fly, Canine Alex Stix became caught up in events that would place her in the protective custody of a mysterious group calling themselves P.A.W, via agents Bones and Spot.
So just who are these guys? What is this organisation they work for and why was Alex of such interest to both the agents and the new Feline mayoral candidate Joseph King? Meanwhile, will the police cope with the darstardly new supervillain making their debut in downtown Puppville and what help can Alex be to the situation? Find out in issue #2 of P.A.W: Protection Against Wrongdoers!
140 CHARACTERS features 140 individuals, measures 140mm x 140mm and is limited to an edition of 140.
Out first at Thought Bubble: Royal Armouries Hall, Table 140. (Joking. Table 9 really.)
Tall Tales and Outrageous Adventures: The Snow Queen and Other Stories is the first in a new series of fairytale adaptations by Isabel Greenberg. In this first issue Greenberg retells Hans Christian Anderson’s ‘The Snow Queen’ and ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’. Taking a playful, modern approach to these classic tales and illustrated in Greenberg’s charming, folk art inspired style Tall Tales… will delight readers old and young alike.
Dangeritis: A Fistful of Danger follows the misadventures of poundshop James Bond, Derek Danger who has a habit of getting into high espionage mishaps even when warming a microwave pasty at the local 24 hour petrol station. Created by Warwick Johnson-Cadwell and Robert Ball, they create each page in turn, ramping up the danger and suspense and leaving it up to the other to carry on the story.
[Wait! While we're here...!]
Athlete. Hero. Intellectual. Lover.
Derek Danger is none of these things. Described by the Walthamstow Guardian as a ‘pound shop James Bond’, Dangeritis was conceived over too may cheap lagers by Warwick Johnson Cadwell and Robert Ball. The idea was to create an online comic by writing and drawing a page and then passing it over and seeing where it went. The result is a story that neatly joins the dots between 70s Martial arts movies and Lovejoy, a 48 page full colour comic full of thrilling adventure, explosions and comfortable slacks.
[And now back to Great Beast's line-up - Steve]
Carry Me by Dan Berry is a beautiful, wordless, and incredibly affecting visual metaphor for love, fear, life and death. A man carries his infant daughter through an overgrown field where they are pursued relentlessly by a growling dog. Illustrated by Berry’s loose pen and lush colour washes, Carry Me is a sublime example of pure visual storytelling.
Hitsville Uk #2 continues the pop art, surreal, musical soap opera following the adventures of the weirdos and wannabes of indy record label, Hitsville UK. What does drug-addled producer Greg Pastis have in store for the angel voiced grotesque Gwillum? Why are The Carrie Nation’s Revenge hunting bequiffed vampires? And will The Dreadnoughts escape the Nazi Frankenstein’s Monster? All this madness and more in the second issue of Hitsville UK by John Riordan and Dan Cox.
Show Me The Map To Your Heart & Other Stories is a collection of stories from John Cei Douglas ranging from nostalgic coming of age tales to long distance relationships, being stranded on a desert island, coping with mental health problems and the childlike wonder of exploring fantasy worlds. The title story, which features a fold out map, revolves around a folk tale romance and quest of self discovery.
All these titles will soon be able to pre-order from the Great Beast Store and will be available in print and digitally from Wednesday 4th December from the GB store, all good comic shops and the Sequential app with Comixology to follow.
Great Beast is a home for independent comic creators to professionally self-publish their work. These are fun, bold, pop comics available however you like to read them. We sell online, in stores and across digital platforms and all profits go to the creators.
THANK YOU SO MUCH to everybody who helped compile the list! Everybody who took part – and especially Zainab Akhtar, who did a load of the work with me. There are so so many books launching at Thought Bubble. For the complete list of all new launches, big and small, head to their website!