Saturday, 20 October 2018

LICAF 2018 - Drowning in comics culture

Storm Callum in Kendal. Photo ©2018 Mark Stafford.
Last weekend was my one and only festival appearance this year, at LICAF, the Lakes International Comics Festival in Kendal, held over the weekend of 12th-14th October 2018. Invited by Meanwhile… publisher Soaring Penguin Press at a relatively late stage, it gave me a chance to hook up with chief penguins John and Cheryl Anderson before their impending relocation to Vancouver. It also enabled me to reacquaint myself with their new co-publisher, Tim “Bad Cop” Pilcher, to discuss plans going forward, as well as witnessing the historic signing of the contract between the new partners.

It was a soggy start, to say the least. Arriving on the Friday evening after a five hour train journey, just as the heavens opened and the wind started to blow. Storm Callum was a deluge of biblical proportions which unfolded over the next thirty-six hours or so and led to roads flooding and serious concern from some locals that the River Kent might burst its banks again, as it did less than three years ago, causing extensive damage.

Popular wisdom suggesting that getting a taxi from Oxenholme station would be a more efficient solution compared to continuing directly to Kendal proved unfounded, as everyone else had the same idea. There were no taxis to be had for almost an hour from the station, and rail travel was suspended for a while.
Tim and John shake on it.
Eventually the taxis came and from Kendal high street I kayaked my way to the Brewery Arts Centre to collect my guest badge, but due to the call of hot food, missed the announcement of Hannah Berry being announced as the new Comics Laureate, taking over from dead man walking, Charlie Adlard.

Possibly the most memorable part of the weekend (apart from the rain) was to finally meet Canadian superstar cartoonist and designer Seth at the bar in the Brewery Arts Centre. This was quite possibly the only event we’ve both attended at the same time, although his business card looks very familiar.

It was also the first time I’d met the much lesser-known and definitely non-Canadian Martin Simpson (aka “Simo”) and his wife Tish, but Martin’s time will come. I’ve been a huge fan of his since pledging to his Kickstarter anthology Misc, to which he's added his Meanwhile… serialised Needleman collection and some spectacular prints.

The rain continued to fall throughout Saturday, and understandably, this put a literal damper on things. Once everyone’s footwear has dried out though, people really started to enjoy the festival. This was my first trip to LICAF since 2014, and the event has matured a great deal and embedded itself into the community, with a huge Comic Art Trail in the form of dozens of window displays throughout the town.
ILYA's fun family workshop in the Westmorland Shopping Centre.
I spent most of the weekend perched on the end of the fun-packed Soaring Penguin Press table, upstairs in the impressive Clock Tower, sandwiched between John Freeman (celebrating twenty years of his Down the Tubes website) and extraordinarily talented newcomer Jessica on Paper.

As always, old relationships were renewed and new friends made. Among those whose paths I crossed were the pop culture hound himself, Chris Thompson, always smiling Doug Braithwaite, found Room to Love ILYA, Tripwire’s Joel Meadows, and festival organiser, the great Dane, Árni Beck Gunnarsson. I haven’t seen Árni for about fifteen years, and whose non-regional-specific accent remains uncannily English, yet even moreso.

I caught up with another blast from the past in the form of Littlehampton design guru Brad Brooks, and Flix Gillett (promoting his new Mockingbird collection) with whom I once sat on a panel at the Comic Creators’ Guild Small Press Show, held in a London pub called The Cartoon Page way back in 1996!

It was also good to meet another creator new to me, Emmeline Pidgen and and her imminent fiancee, write, musician Andrew Jolly. I found fellow Meanwhile… cronies David Hine and Mark Stafford ensconced on the Self Made Hero table promoting their gorgeous new book Lip Hook, and browsed the mouth-watering, jaw-dropping selection of graphic novels brought to the festival by Page 45’s Stephen Holland. Stephen and I reminisced a bit, particularly about the dear departed Terry Wiley and his erstwhile cohort, the thankfully still alive, Dave McKinnon.

Then there was the always effervescent Jessica Martin, the somehow increasingly comprehensible Jim Stewart and Ben Dickson showing off his monumental New Jerusalem. Great to see David Hitchcock, table-less and floating free around the convention with his gorgeous Signalman book, hardy Lakes perennial Sean Phillips (visiting with his son Jacob, a real chip off the old block) and the esteemed Doctors Bryan and Mary Talbot. Shackled to the table for most of the weekend, I managed to sneak away on Saturday lunchtime to see Bryan and Mary’s presentation of their upcoming graphic novel, the rather appropriately named Rain.

Saturday evening’s New Talent presentation at the Brewery Arts Centre boasted presentations by Jenny Robbins (Biscuits), Sabba Khan (Pluralism) and comics’ most handsome man Owen Michael Johnson (Reel Love). They were followed by Tim Pilcher announcing a new initiative, Breakthrough, aiming to give disenfranchised voices a chance at developing a career in comics.
The secret speakeasy
Possibly my biggest regret was missing Brian Gorman’s One Man Bond show - every James Bond film singlehandedly performed in sixty minutes - again, due to dinner - but Brian and I hung out a bit later. To complete a damp but cram-packed day, I was part of the audience thoroughly entertained by Marc Jackson (Grow a Pair) and Nick Connor‘s funky fresh hip-hop band The Dopes who delighted audiences at Ruskins Bar for minutes. What’s your favourite finger, indeed.

The rain finally dried up on Sunday, and the sun even peeked out in the late afternoon, transforming Kendal into a different place. I congratulated the Sergio-Award-winning Hunt Emerson, did a little bit of business with Tony Bennett of Knockabout Comics, and caught up with his glamorous assistant Nora Goldberg-Fourrel De Frettes.

Winner of the Best Worst-Kept Secret Award went to the super not very secret speakeasy on [redacted] Street, to where the select few of nearly everybody gradually found their way sooner or later. Hidden bell-rings, spectacular cocktails, charming bar staff, table service and free snacks contributed to an unrivalled retro-ambiance. Here I was finally introduced to the very dapper Englishman in San Diego (in Kendal) Leonard Sultana, another fellow mojito fan.
Waiting for the train. Photo ©2018 Tim Pilcher.
So, finally, after all the farewell hugs, Monday morning came, and it was beautiful, bright and sunny. I hooked up with Tim Pilcher and Ben Dickson to catch a taxi to the station where we bumped into Yomi Ayeni Yomster and Claire Wearn. And as luck would have it, on the train journey home my booked seat was directly opposite Seth and his wife Tania.

It was a very civilised end to a chaotic but hugely enjoyable weekend, and I must acknowledge all the hard work put in by Julie Tait, Carole Tait and all the red shirt volunteers for another supremely well organised festival.

More photos on my Instagram feed here.

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Talking Inkheads

Sketchbook illustration of me holding court by Priya Kuriyan ©2018 Priya Kuriyan
The local branch of the arts group Metal invited me to give a talk to a group of comics creators at Chalkwell Hall on October 2nd as part of a five day, residential culture LAB called Inkhead, a week of study and creativity in the Essex seaside town of Southend.

Chalkwell Hall is a beautiful Grade II listed Georgian building, renovated by Metal, set in the picturesque Chalkwell Park, about twenty minutes walk from where I live. I could hardly turn down an offer to contribute to a comics event so close to home, only somewhat daunted by being asked by Metal to speak for two hours, “about [my] life in comics.”
Photos: ©2018 Metal
This was my first attempt at throwing together a PowerPoint presentation, limited to the couple of days leading up to the talk, and ultimately it surprised me on how well it went. Speaking to the creators (plus a sizeable contingent of the Metal arts group) in what was essentially 120 minutes of almost unadulterated narcissism, I used a chronological history of my career as a springboard for my opinions and philosophies about comics, creativity, freelancing and self-publishing.

A plastic folder containing ten pages of notes I had prepared for myself didn’t get opened, as I managed to ramble on regardless, and somehow my unrehearsed presentation concluded with one minute to spare. I then spent some further time answering some astute questions from the well-mannered, warm and receptive audience.

I was invited to hang around for some pea and leek soup, eaten on the terrace overlooking the rose garden in warm autumn sunshine, which gave me the chance to mingle with the LAB’s hugely talented constituent parts; Alexandre Szolnoky (Buddha Boy), Amy Ison (stepping from fine art to comics), Clio Isadora Delcour-Min and her amazing-looking Risographed zines, Carl Doherty of the Shelf Abuse blog, Daniel Locke, (Out of Nothing), freelance illustrator Dominique Duong (The Black Cloud), Emma Burleigh (My Other Mother, My Other Self), Priya Kuriyan (Ebony & Ivory), Ros Asquith (Guardian cartoonist working on a spectacular new book), autobiographer and fellow comic festival veteran Sean Azzopardi (Voice of the Hall) and Wallis Eates (Fear of Mum...Death and the Shadow Men).

The day also gave me the opportunity to finally meet bestselling local horror author Syd Moore (The Drowning Pool), as well as catching up with the other marvellous Metalheads who made the whole thing happen; writer Colette Bailey, designer Camilla Fox and painter Simon Monk.
Left: Kokaachi talk [Photo: ©2018 Metal] / Right: Sketchbook illustration ©2018 Priya Kuriyan
 After lunch I stayed on to watch two brief but concise and fascinating presentations by Laydeez do Comics founder Nicola Streeten (Billy, Me & You) and Pratheek and Tina from Indian publisher Kokaachi, highlighting their fine body of work.

Then the main event of the day took place, local hero Warren Ellis’ Q&A session, where Warren did what Warren does and everyone gasped and laughed and listened in respectful awe in all the right places.

Little known comics factoid: Warren and I grew up in the same local village of Thundersley, albeit a decade apart.
The Thundersley Thames Delta Comics Massive Reunion. Photo: Syd Moore ©2018 Metal
The five-day exploratory LAB concluded on the Friday evening with a Drink & Draw & More evening open to the public, which I also popped along to. Each of the creators involved gave a three-minute presentation of their own work, which was a real fun half hour. As you might imagine, there was drawing, drink, music and a better opportunity to converse with the Chalkwell Hall crew in some further depth.
Left: Carl Doherty's three minute wonder. / Right: Drinking and drawing. Photos: ©2018 Gary Spencer Millidge
Comic creators who like the sound of this might want to keep an ear close to the ground in case Metal decide to do this again next year! The Metal website is here.

Friday, 31 August 2018

Destiny takes a break


The somewhat overdue issue #9 of Meanwhile... has finally been scheduled for release, and will be available in comic shops worldwide this November.

Meanwhile…#9 features part two of the stunning Needleman by Martin ‘Simo’ Simpson, Sarah Gordon's The Collector, the penultimate episode of Mark Stafford and David Hine’s The Bad Bad Place and a second episode of Ginny Skinner's Gail Key's Psychic Lost Item Helpline.

But, Strangehaven: Destiny episode 9 won’t be in the issue. Due to some minor but disruptive health troubles leading to some lifestyle changes, a heavier workload for my freelance design (much of it due to GDPR), involvement with the Where We Live project and other factors, I’ve taken an enforced break from drawing for much of this year.

In its place will be a very special guest Strangehaven story, written and drawn by none other than my fellow bass-playing, Mojito-drinking, Essex native, Frazer Irving. It’s called "Atlantis,"and it looks a bit like this:
Intriguing, no? Frazer is an international comicbook rockstar and you should follow him on Instagram @frazerirving and check out his book Playful Inversions on Unbound.

You can pre-order copies of Meanwhile…#9 directly from the publisher Soaring Penguin Press right here. The official listing in the Diamond Previews catalogue is here.

Strangehaven: Destiny episode 9 will return in Meanwhile…#10 early in the new year.

Thursday, 23 August 2018

Return to the City of Lakes

I have been keeping a very low profile as far as event appearances are concerned in recent times, and plan to continue to do so until Strangehaven: Destiny is completed, but I have received a late invitation (from my publisher) to appear at the LICAF, the Lakes International Comic Art Festival in Kendal, next month.

Guests include Benoit Peeters, Bryan and Mary Talbot, Charlie Adlard, Frank Quitely, Sean Phillips, Canadian superstar Seth and fellow Meanwhile…  stalwarts Martin ‘Simo’ Simpson, David Hine and Mark Stafford.

The festival runs October 12-14. You’ll find me at various times at the Soaring Penguin Press table in the Clock Tower to sign your copies of Strangehaven, Meanwhile... and anything else you might have to hand.

This will be my one and only appearance this year.

Read more about the festival on the LICAF website.

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

A change in management

Illustration: Tim Pilcher by Andrew Richmond
John Anderson of Soaring Penguin Press, publisher of the comic book anthology Meanwhile… (currently serialising Strangehaven book IV, Destiny, of course) has taken on a new business partner and co-owner. And it’s none other than veteran editor and perennial comics enthusiast the ever-lovin’ blue-eyed Tim Pilcher.
Way back in either 1993 or 1994, Tim was one of the first editors that I showed my Strangehaven ashcan (a pre-publication photocopied preview of part of the first issue) while he was working for the London office of Vertigo Comics. If my memory serves, it was at the Comic Creators’ Guild’s annual pre-UKCAC portfolio review, upstairs at the historic Sketch Club.

Much later, while at Ilex Press, Tim was the commissioning editor of my books Comic Book Design and Alan Moore: Storyteller, and more recently he was the UK liaison for Humanoids.

So I know it’ll fun and productive working with him, alongside SPP founder John Anderson, who’s moving back to Canada to open a North American office for the company, leaving Tim in charge of this side of the transatlantic operation.

You can read more here: Tim Pilcher joins Soaring Penguin

Saturday, 4 August 2018

Minotaur no more

The Bull, Hockley after the fire. Photo: Essex Live News
The Bull Inn pub in Hockley, Essex, suffered a devastating fire on the 3rd August, and those of you familiar with Strangehaven’s The Minotaur will have already noticed the similarity in appearance. Indeed, the Grade II listed 16th Century country pub was a regular haunt for me in the mid-1980s and 1990s, and was one of the first locales that I selected as a potential location for Strangehaven. It was never quite the same after the Faccinis moved on and it became part of a pub food chain, but I still hope that the owners and brewery will decide to rebuild it.
Fire causes severe damage to the Bull Inn, Hockley

Update: 6 September 2018After just a month, progress is already being made in rebuilding the structure:
The Bull fire in Hockley: New photos

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Where We Live: the Las Vegas benefit anthology


Where We Live is an important new anthology from Image Comics to benefit the victims and survivors of the Las Vegas massacre on 1st October 2017.
The brainchild of Las Vegas resident and writer/artist extraordinaire J H Williams III, it’s a 256-page full colour trade paperback featuring over 150 creators, and I’m extremely proud to be counted among the contributors.
Some of the phenomenal talents enlisted include Mike Allred, Brian Michael Bendis, Kurt Busiek, Amy Chu, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Neil Gaiman, Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Mike Mignola, Mark Millar, James Robinson, Gail Simone, Brandon Graham, Rob Williams, Geof Darrow, Tess Fowler, Joelle Jones, Jeff Lemire. Sean Phillips, Bill Sienkiewicz, JH Williams III himself and way too many more to mention here.
I’ve always had a morbid fascination with the apparent American obsession with guns, the NRA and the gun lobby, the Second Amendment and all the statistics, and I was particularly moved by the Las Vegas shooting last October.
A gunman opened fire from a hotel room on to the audience at the Route 91 Harvest music festival taking place on the famous Las Vegas Strip. The casualties from the single shooter’s actions numbered fifty-eight dead and 851 injured (422 by gunfire), which to be frank, are numbers more comparable to a warzone.
So, when J H Williams III invited me to contribute to this noble project, I didn’t hesitate. My own humble contribution is a six-page strip called “The Watershed” which I’ve written, illustrated, coloured and lettered. Not easy subject matter to tackle for sure, and it’s a tragedy that this book needs to exist at all, but I’m sure like everyone else involved, I poured my heart into it.
My grateful thanks go to JHW3 for giving me this opportunity and for all his valuable advice, as well as the inestimable Will Dennis for his editorial skills and my conduit to Image central, Michael Perlman.
Here’s a glimpse of my art process for one of the panels in my story.
Where We Live is released on 30 May, but I’d highly recommend that you pre-order it from your local comics retailer right now to secure your copy. You can quote them the Diamond distributor code: MAR180600.
One hundred percent of the proceeds will be donated to an existing GoFundMe campaign for the survivors in Las Vegas.
You can read Image’s official solicitation here, and follow the project on twitter: @WhereWeLive_LV

The full list of contributors:
Michael Allred & Laura Allred
Henry Barajas, Isaac Goodhart & Kelly Fitzpatrick
Jennifer Battisti, Geof Darrow, Dave Stewart & Bernardo Brice
Jennifer Battisti & J.H. Williams III
Brian Michael Bendis, Michael Oeming, Taki Soma & Bernardo Brice
Haden Blackman & Richard Pace
Haden Blackman, J.H. Williams III & Todd Klein
Jeff Boison & Tyler Boss
Ivan Brandon, Paul Azaceta & Bernardo Brice
Ryan Burton, Tony Parker, Dee Cunniffe & Bernardo Brice
Kurt Busiek, Andrew Maclean, Lee Loughridge & JG Roshell (at Comicraft)
Amy Chu, Gabriel Hernandez Walta & Alexander Chang
Rachel Crosby, J.H. Williams III & Bernardo Brice
Al Davison
Kelly Sue DeConnick, Joelle Jones, Dave Stewart & Bernardo Brice
J.M. DeMatteis & Mike Cavallaro
Gustavo Duarte
Aaron Duran, Joe Mulvey, Jules Rivera & Bernardo Brice
Joshua Dysart, Pere Perez & Bernardo Brice
Pierce Elliott & Monica Gallagher
Joshua Ellis, Jeff Lemire & Bernardo Brice
Lucia Fasano, Tess Fowler & Bernardo Brice
Ray Fawkes
Joshua Hale Fialkov, Noel Tuazon & Bernardo Brice
Neil Gaiman, J.H. Williams III & Todd Klein
Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Dee Cunniffe & Clayton Cowles
Brandon Graham
Justin Gray & John Broglia
Lela Gwenn & Matthew Dow Smith
Matt Hawkins, Aaron Campbell, Dee Cunniffe & Bernardo Brice
Daniel Hernandez, Moritat & Casey Silver
Talia Hershewe, Jock & Bernardo Brice
David Hine, Brian Haberlin & Geirrod Van Dyke
Joe Illidge, Ray-Anthony Height, Andrew Dalhouse & Deron Bennet
Van Jensen, Eric Kim, Chris O’Halloran & Bernardo Brice
Scott David Johnson, Phil Hester, Eric Gapstur, Mark Englert & Bernardo Brice
Justin Jordan, Tom Fowler & Taylor Esposito
Jarret Keene, Craig Cermak, Marissa Louise & Taylor Esposito
Neil Kleid & Nick Pitarra
Greg Lockard, Tim Fish, Michael J DiMotta & Sal Cipriano
Ollie Masters, Jason Harris, Sina Grace & Shaun Steven Struble
Mariah McCourt, Ariela Kristantina, Bryan Valenza & Bernardo Brice
Mike Mignola & Dave Stewart
Mark Millar, Alex Sheikman, Marissa Louise & Bernardo Brice
Gary Spencer Millidge
Fabio Moon
B. Clay Moore, Kelly Williams & Chas! Pangburn
Greg Pak, Triona Farrell & Simon Bowland
Alex Paknadel, Chris Wildgoose, Triona Farrell & Aditya Bidikar
Curt Pires, Matt Lesniewski & Alex Petretich
Christina Rice, Richard Pace & Bernardo Brice
Darick Robertson, R. Eric Lieb & Christopher Crank
James Robinson, Dean Kotz, Stefano Gaudiano & Casey Silver
Robert Rose & Matt Strackbein
Chris Ryall, Gabriel Rodriguez, Nelson Daniel & Bernardo Brice
Rafael Scavone, Rafael Albuquerque, Patricia Mulvihill & Bernardo Brice
Erica Schultz, Liana Kangas & Cardinal Rae
Alex Segura, Marco Finnegan, Kelsey Shannon & Janice Chiang
Gail Simone, Ryan Kelly, Giulia Brusco & Bernardo Brice
Matthew Dow Smith & Michael Gaydos
Matt Sorvillo & Sean Phillips
Jason Starr, Andrea Mutti, Vladimir Popov & Bernardo Brice
Cameron Stewart
Larime Taylor & Sylv Taylor
Paul Tobin, Dustin Weaver & Bernardo Brice
David Walker, Damon Smith & Motherboxx Studios
Malachi Ward
Rob Williams & Javier Pulido
Scott Bryan Wilson & Cliff Chiang
Chris Wisnia, Bill Sienkiewicz & Jeromy Cox
Wendy Wright-Williams, J.H. Williams III & Todd Klein
Warren Wucinich

Friday, 22 December 2017

Every time a bell rings...

...an angel gets his wings


I can hardly believe it, but even though those hot summer days seem only like a few weeks past, It’s already time for my end-of-year annual update. 

For my now-traditional seasonal illustration, I’ve done something a little different this year, paying homage to my favourite Christmas film (and actually one of my favourite films, full stop), Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life. It would be a cool tribute to draw a scene from the film, and, or so I thought, would save me some valuable time. But as is always the case when I start working on something, things got a bit grandiose and unnecessarily complex pretty quickly. Maybe if people appear to like it, I may go full Mondo and make an art print available for next Christmas (assuming my online shop is actually up-and-running by then), even though Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed probably don’t have the same selling power as Star Wars these days.

It has been an exciting year for me, and I’ve been as busy as I’ve ever been with both comic-related projects (mainly Strangehaven, of course) and in my parallel career as a designer, despite some disruptive albeit minor health issues. Helping my brother David with the first London gallery solo exhibition of his ceramic sculptures was a highlight. Go take a look: davidmillidge.com

The final volume of Strangehaven continues to be serialised in the British anthology Meanwhile..., and three issues of the new squarebound format volumes were published this year. You can get a good deal on all the issues at the Soaring Penguin Press website here: soaringpenguinpress.com

In an effort to to avoid keeling over my desk just yet, I am attempting to ensure at least some kind of regular exercise by starting each day with an hour or so’s walk around the local environs of Leigh-on-sea. To give myself a bit of creative incentive, I’m taking snaps with my iPhone as I saunter along and selecting one photo to post on my Instagram account from that day’s stroll. My Instagram account is here: instagram.com/gsmillidge


The newest issue of Meanwhile…should be reaching comic stores and subscribers’ letterboxes early in the new year. Number eight contains the latest episode of Strangehaven of course, in which those cuddly Knights of the Golden Light return, a fragment of which you can see below.

It’s a fab issue which also includes The Needleman, the first of a two-parter by the astonishingly good Martin Simpson, a new short by Darryl Cunningham and the usual continuing features by David Hines, Mark Stafford, Sarah Gordon and Ginny Skinner.


As always, thank you for your continued support, it’s greatly appreciated. 

Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and a happy, healthy and successful 2018.

Peace and Love,

--Gary Spencer Millidge.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Knight of the Golden Light at the Chess Hall of Fame

Long-time readers of Strangehaven in its periodical format may remember my cover to issue #6, which featured an inset of the good Doctor Houseman (given that name, incidentally, almost ten years before Hugh Laurie’s Doctor House hit our screens). The background section of the artwork consisted of a Knight of the Golden Light’s costume and some chess pieces hovering about in mid-air.

The interior of the comic also featured the doctor and his brother playing chess, as well as incorporating a number of chessboard pattern motifs throughout, which is why it’s become part of a huge chess-themed comics exhibit at the World Chess Hall of Fame in Saint Louis, Missouri.

Yes, comics can lead you down some unusual avenues. But chess is a frequent theme for many comics covers, and one that I have a penchant for collecting myself. In fact, the exhibition, POW! Capturing Superheroes, Chess & Comics! has assembled over 200 chess-related comic books, and has them all on display, along with comic character chess sets, and plenty of fun stuff for kids to enjoy.

Among the gems on display are More Fun Comics #76 (1942), Action Comics #112 from 1947 featuring Superman in “The Cross-Country Chess Crimes” and original artwork by Bob Clarke from Mad Magazine #78 (1963).

There’s short video that's worth a watch here: KSDK website.

POW! Capturing Superheroes, Chess & Comics! is open seven days a week and admission is free. It runs until September 17, 2017.


Friday, 3 February 2017

Post-valentine cure-all at Orbital Comics


Like a slightly anaemic grey-haired cherub, flying in from stage left I have the perfect antidote for all those lonely hearts who are destined to spend St. Valentines Day evening at home alone with a bottle of Southern Comfort and DVD box set of Peter Sellers' Pink Panther movies (i.e. me).

On the 15th February 2017 between 5:00pm and 7:00pm at London's fine pop culture emporium Orbital Comics, there will be a Meanwhile...#5 signing event to relaunch the freshly invigorated British anthology in its new 96-page format (which of course features the latest instalment of Strangehaven). I'll be joined by a selection of the other contributing creators including (in alphabetical order by surname) Nick Burton, Matthew Dooley, Sarah Gordon, Mark Stafford and Laura Trinder.

I'm sure we'll all be happy to scribble over anything that you legally own or have purchased on the night from the good folks at Orbital, and will happily interact with you dear reader, just like we are merely human and not the unfeasibly talented superstars we know we are beneath our modest demeanour. There's a rumour that Soaring Penguin Press publisher John Anderson will also be present, so if any potential contributors wish to,they can flash their portfolios in his general direction. Come drown your sorrows with us on Wednesday the 15th.

Orbital Comics' page on the event is here.