Musician and cartoonist Babak Ganjei is a very funny man. Best known for his self-deprecating autobiographical comics, the primary example of which is his first graphic novel Hilarious Consequences, Babak also runs a humour blog at hilarious-consequences.blogspot.co.uk and performs in Wet Paint, Old Men and with his son as Dinosaur and Junior.
In a super-sketchy style, somewhat reminiscent of Jeffrey Brown, Babak’s Hilarious Consequences charts his life as a broke, balding, hypochondriac father in 34 six-panel vignettes, combining pathos and hilarity to great effect.
Following Hilarious Consequences Babak went on a Twitter rampage, posting similarly autobiographical, but generally zanier three-panel strips to @BabakGanjei, which he later collected as Twit.
Babak’s current project is a silent, frame-by-frame retelling of the 1989 Patrick Swayze vehicle Road House (of course) which you can follow right here.
Nottingham-based Philipa Rice produces funny, sweet comics, whose sardonic humour, sharp wit and self-awareness stops them falling the wrong side of saccharine. Philipa first came to Gosh!’s attention with her webcomic My Cardboard Life, a paper cut-up comic about a cheerful cardboard square named Colin and his sarcastic friend Pauline.
My Cardboard Life has made it into the real world in the form of several books published by Philippa, including a recently released 3D(!) version of the strip, We’re Out.
Philippa has also produced a number of non-cardboard comics, including Looking Out from US publisher Hic & Hoc, and Soppy, of which two Risograph printed issues have so far been released.
Soppy is, as the title suggests, a series of vignettes showing the soppy old home life of Philippa and her boyfriend Luke (of Hilda fame), and following the great success of the comic it has just been announced that it has been snapped up by Square Peg/Random House in the UK and Andrews McMeel in the US for publication!
Since 2003 Decadence have been publishing forward-thinking, politically aware science fiction comics. Fearlessly led by joint founders Lando and Stathis Tsemberlidis, they wear their influences, from European comics to manga, proudly on the sleeve of their laser-scarred jumpsuits.
In Olympic Games and Pyramid Scheme, Lando’s razor-sharp, Otomo-influenced line draws you into a post-civilization landscape, where future war games play out among deserted neo-classical ruins. Lando makes no secret of the allegorical nature of his silent comics, which, despite being set in the far-spun future, comment on the nature of capitalism and the economic and societal structures of today.
Stathis’s comics have a dream-like quality; Moebius fueled fantasies that look closely at the internal workings of the human mind. Comics where fungal growths jostle for space with the brain light projections of lizard men. Heavy stuff, but enormous fun.
Especially recommended is his new book of illustrations Transmutation Of Human Bodies And Flora.
Alongside their own works they have been publishing a regular self-titled anthology with contributions from a hive of like minded cartoonists, including Gosh! alumni Jon Chandler, and Leon Sadler of Famicon Express (more on them later in the month). Also contributing to Decadence’s Ballardian psychedelic trip, is Gosh! favourite Emix Regulus whose clinical, cosmic cartooning offers a viewport into a multiverse of possible futures.
Comics can be anything to anyone.
Over the course of March we are going to be showcasing a range of brilliantly talented individuals and collectives. Today I want to have some fun though, and fun is always at the forefront of todays spotlight creator, Claude TC, a longstanding and well respected member of the UK independent comics scene
Whilst not always safe for work Claude brings a pure sense of mirth to his comic work. He has an honest cartooning style, full of raw energy and expressively animated characters.
Working under the umbrella of GronkComics Claude has built up a wonderfully bizarre portfolio of material.
From the darkly funny Journey into Stupid, which follows the oddball exploits of an unlikely gang of, well not friends exactly…
To the epic mythological mash up misadventures of Swanzeus. A retelling of the classic Leda and the swan but seen through the distorted eye of Mr Claude TC. It’s testament to his creative prowess that he manages to take an already strange tale and top it!
All the way through to People of World., a vast action-adventure romp which sees some of our favourite art from Claude.
I’m sure you’ve all seen our lovely shop postcards we keep displayed at the till, right? They were done by Kristyna Baczynski, a talented illustrator and comics creator whose beautifully detailed pictures and patterns you will definitely be aware of if you’ve had any interaction with the British indie comics scene.
Based in Leeds, she was Thought Bubble’s first artist in residence, and has done regular work for Solipsistic Pop, The Stool Pigeon, and appeared as one of the many British artists in Blank Slate’s mega-anthology Nelson.
Apart from having a whole bunch of professional illustration work under her belt, Kristyna also makes and sells her own zines and minis (which are currently on sale in the shop!), and even makes her own jewellery, which you might see me (Julia, hi) wear around the shop. Definitely go check out her work on her beautifully designed website here! And do try to catch her at a convention if you can – her stall always looks wonderfully put together.
Backwards Burd began as a university project which was set up by Caspar, Sajan and Daniel to produce an anthology of their fellow students work.
Now, armed with a risograph printer, their own production space and endless enthusiasm, they accept submissions from anywhere that ALL go online and then pick out their favourites for their regular print editions.
Among those who have made it in so far are Matt Boyer and Anna Dowsland. They’re also happy to put together artists that need writers and writers that need an artist to help people get their comics made.
Pretty good right?
On top of the anthology the guys all produce their own titles.
Daniel writes and draws Oi!, a hilarious strip which is set in medieval Ireland and sees Bryan, a newly qualified bard, sent off to work in a village in the middle of nowhere. Bryan’s annoyed by his posting and the villagers aren’t that impressed by him either.
Childish Butt-Vomit is a collection of strips from Sajan that includes the adventures of Kicky-Poo, a bird that just goes round kicking stuff.
Casper uses Man Spider Bat to look EXACTLY just how disgusting a superhero that was part man, spider and bat would be.
Creative duties are shared between the team on Kitty Jenkins, the story of a spirit animal that travels between dimensions to appear to offer advice and help to those in need but really just annoying them or getting them in trouble.
When they’re not making comics, or helping people make comics, they run Backwards Burd as a publishing and design concern and are always looking for new creators to work with to get even more comics out there…
Tom Humberstone has been the mastermind behind the exquisitely designed anthology Solipsistic Pop, which landed with a crash-bang-whallop in the middle of a very small and self-contained UK comics scene in 2009 and gave a spotlight to many many talented cartoonists of today’s comics landscape – such as Kristyna Baczsynski, Stephen Collins, Joe Decie, Katie Green, Isabel Greenberg, Alison Sampson, etc, etc, etc.
The Bear Of The Artist, written by Chrissy Williams
Tom himself has been a prolific illustrator and comics-maker for much longer, though. From his earliest efforts, I’d highlight the fantastically vitriolic Art School Scum, the informative 24-hour comic Everything You Never Wanted To Know About Crohn’s Disease, and the illustrated reportage of the 2008 American Elections, My Fellow Americans (written by Dan Hancox). Ellipsis, an ongoing comic of which #1 has been published so far, is his latest in sequential storytelling. You can find out about all of these through his website here!
I really love his political comics though – the ones for Cartoon Movement, and his regular weekly New Statesman strip, In The Frame. I wish there was more political cartooning in the UK at the moment!
You can see his weekly New Statesman strips if you follow him on Twitter here (or if you buy the New Statesman!). And of course, you can buy his comics from us or from his online shop.
I first came across Sammy Borras’ work in ink+Paper (that nice anthology David O’Connell puts together which you have probably already heard of or even bought in the shop). Since then, I’ve been following her work on Tumblr and have become more and more charmed by it.
Her nice, solid black lines show off some competent cartooning, and her comics (frequently about kids in bands) are just really fun. I also like the pacing in her story-telling, and compared to some other Small Press out there, her longer stories feel very thought-out and very dense.
From her site of short comics, I especially like “2002″, which you can read from here - and she’s also done a really nice Lumpy Space Princess fanzine for all you Adventure Time appreciaters out there, which you can read from here.
Plus, she is madly prolific. Every time I look away and look back, she’s made a new zine! Her newest thing is Giant Rhinos in Space, which I’ve already lost a lunch break to and which you can check out here.
Andrew here, stepping in for Steve this week to inform and edify with new release info and pertinent news. Strap in, because there’s a bit to get through!
If you’ve been hiding from all social media and last week’s blog, you may have missed the fact that we here at Gosh HQ have decided to spend the month of March celebrating British comics in a spectacular series of events and blog posts we imaginatively like to call BRITISH COMICS MONTH! Seriously, we’re pulling out all the stops and putting ourselves through the wringer so that you, we, us together can wallow in the sweet wonder that is the current British comics scene. There are events galore, with signings, talks and parties on every week throughout March, not to mention a series of daily blog posts where we highlight talent who might be under your radar: the often unsung heroes of the self-publishing scene. The UK is an incredible hotbed of talent right now, so if you’re not normally familiar with what’s coming out locally, do yourself a favour and keep an eye out each day for our British Comics Month Spotlight posts!
The big events post for the month can be found here, and don’t miss the first party of the month this Friday, celebrating Spring with our good friends at Selfmadehero! And as an added bonus, all this week there is 25% off on all Selfmadehero titles, so get your butt down here.
Read the rest of this entry »
Click the full post link below for a list of items in store this week.
Read the rest of this entry »