Wednesday, 23 December 2020

Lockdown, Storm Alex and Glad Tidings

This year’s virtual Christmas card from me to you is a little different - this image was based on a photo I took during the great snowfall of 2018 in nearby Belfairs Woods. Walking alone through the park, shin-deep in snow, with more snow falling, in eerie silence and not another soul in sight was a magical experience. Anticipating that I wouldn’t have the time to draw anything as elaborate as the film-themed illustrations as I have been doing in recent years, I chose this scene and digitally manipulated it (for want of a better description). I hope it captures some of the magic that I felt that day.

Apart from the fact that it has been quite an extraordinary year for pretty much everyone on the planet, I’ve had somewhat of a disastrous end to 2020 domestically too. At the start of October our bedroom ceiling collapsed about an hour after the Geen Geenie and I had risen for breakfast and thus avoided being crushed by falling hundred year old lime and horsehair plaster in our sleep.

Thanks to a combination of Storm Alex and a hitherto undiagnosed leaky roof, there was substantial water ingress which soaked the plaster and caused the sudden catastrophe. I was on the phone to the insurance company within the hour, but finding available roofers, scaffolders and plasterers at short notice became an almost full-time project management task. As further problems were uncovered, electricians, plumbers and decorators were also contacted. The act of merely trying to obtain quotations for works was a nightmare in itself if the tradesmen even deigned to show up at all. Eventually though, everything got done, in sequence, and the carpet fitters were booked for today, so we could be back in the bedroom for Christmas. Except that they called yesterday to say all of their available fitters were self isolating due to Covid-19 infections.

So, we will continue to be sleeping on a mattress on the living room floor for another couple of weeks yet. And that’s fine, because there are many far worse off than us.

And it’s barely worth mentioning that in the past couple of weeks one of my teeth disintegrated requiring a new crown, my television sound system stopped working, my car spectacularly failed its MOT (road safety certificate) and required extensive repair, meaning that it’s already been a very disrupted and very expensive Christmas period.

Earlier in the year, those who follow me on social media might be aware that I suffered a  recurrence of my irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation) which required more drastic treatment this time around and I was admitted to Southend University Hospital for an electrical cardioversion - which is essentially an electric shock to the heart under sedation. And thankfully, that seems to have fixed the problem. My heart is beating to a regular drum right now, but recent adjustments in my medication has left me with a recurrence of chronic migraines and fatigue, but I am working on that now too.

Is he going to even mention Strangehaven? Yes, he is:

Even with all that, I can’t pretend that it hasn’t been a frustrating time creatively, with absolutely nothing new being released this year. My health issues and other factors mean that a couple of other projects that I had intended to pursue this year have effectively been put on hold for now; but I sincerely hope to make one or two announcements regarding Strangehaven in the coming months. For now, here are a couple of pieces of non-spoilery artwork from forthcoming episodes. Not terribly exciting on the face of it, but as I get closer to Strangehaven’s conclusion, it’s becoming harder to select any artwork without giving too much away, and from experience, I know that many of my readers don’t want to know anything ahead of time.

Meanwhile remains on hiatus. I believe there is some news in the pipeline about that, but it has already been announced that publishers Soaring Penguin Press will be moving to a crowdfunding model. Exactly what that means for Meanwhile… and Strangehaven remains to be seen, but I will of course continue to work on the last few chapters regardless of external factors.

I’m also regretful that I couldn’t celebrate Strangehaven’s twenty-fifth anniversary in any meaningful way like a special publication or small celebratory event. But like I said on my blog post here, working for a quarter of a century on something isn’t an achievement in itself. Hopefully there will be the opportunity to celebrate properly once it’s finally completed.

I am still posting photographs from my regular walks around Leigh-on-Sea (among other things) on my Twitter and Instagram feeds although I’m no longer posting those every single day. Next year I fully intend to start posting more artwork and work-in-progress on social media, now that I have figured out a more convenient way to do so, as, after all, I am supposed to be an illustrator.

Don’t Give Up Hope 

I just received a delightful Christmas card from one of my loyal and infinitely patient readers who never fails to send me one, with the inscription, “I must say I have given up hope to ever see the ending of Strangehaven.” My friends, please don’t give up! It’s coming, albeit slowly. 

Many others have included with their greeting a sentiment that next year can’t possibly be as bad as 2020 has been. But it seems we’ve all been saying that for several years in a row now. As I’m writing this, London and the south east of England are in the freshly-created tier four lockdown (“Stay at home. Cases are very high in your area”) due to the new N501Y variant of the coronavirus, effectively cancelling family Christmas get-togethers only days in advance. Most countries are banning air travel from the UK, and France has just closed the border crossing which will likely lead to food shortages next week. And then on January 1st the Brexit transition period ends. All of this succinctly summarised by BBC presenter Ross Atkins and gloriously parodied by the incomparable Cold War Steve, who if you not already following on Twitter, then please do so immediately.

But, vaccinations are being rolled out so hopefully there’s an end to this pandemic in sight and there will be a grown-up in the White House so it’s not all bad news. As I seem to say every year in this Christmas message, things don’t always turn out as good as we might hope, but they are rarely as bad as we fear.

And I will be locked down over Christmas with my favourite person in the world, a freezer full of food, stacks of blu-ray discs, and piles of books and comics. And I honestly couldn’t wish for a better Christmas than that.

Here’s hoping you all are able to share this holiday period with the ones you love the most, and that 2021 is a happy and healthy one for you and yours. 

Stay safe, people.

Peace and Love,

--Gary Spencer Millidge.

Monday, 29 June 2020

Dark Skies and Silver Linings: Twenty-five Years of Strangehaven

Twenty-five years ago, the first issue of my self-published comic book series Strangehaven shipped to distributors. According to a fax document from the Texas-based printing company Brenner (who I used for the first few years), Strangehaven #1 shipped to Diamond on 29th June and to Capital City and other distributors on the 30th.

Yes, “Capital City and other distributors” – there were still multiple distributors of comic shops back in 1995. Aside from Capital, Heroes World and Styx International also preordered copies of the first issue. Orders exceeded the distributors’ minimum required level by some distance, and I knew that I could continue to self-publish Strangehaven for the foreseeable future, and hopefully indefinitely.

Left: Fax from Brenner Printing with ship dates.
Right: Solicitation for Strangehaven#1 from Diamond Previews catalogue, June 1995.

So, if you had told me in 1995 that I would still be creating new Strangehaven stories twenty-five years later, I would have been overjoyed. If you had told me that I would working on volume four, then maybe not so much. After the initial euphoria of contributing in a modest way to the artform which I have always loved, the financial and physical realities of making a full-time living from creating comics gradually became apparent.

But I am nothing if not resilient, and I have pressed on through good times and bad; through personal upheavals, bereavement and health troubles, to prestigious award nominations, potential movie deals, meeting my comics heroes and making new lifelong friends.

Strangehaven #1 hit the comic shops worldwide in a time before eBay, before the launch of Windows 95, before Se7en and Toy Story hit the cinemas, before anyone had heard the Spice Girls or Kula Shaker, before Dark Skies and Everybody Loves Raymond came onto our TV screens. So, like, a long time ago.

If you have been with me since the beginning, or you have joined me somewhere along the way, I can’t thank you enough for your continued faith and support.

The last quarter century has been a weird, wonderful and wild ride, and I don’t regret a moment of it. But, please, no congratulations on reaching this ‘milestone’ just yet – I don’t deserve an accolade merely for persistence - you can save those until I actually finish this bloody thing. Then we can talk about the tickertape parade.

Strangehaven volume 4, Destiny, is currently being serialised in full colour in the British anthology Meanwhile… from Soaring Penguin Press. Nine chapters (of thirteen) have been published to date.

Saturday, 21 December 2019

Christmas Isn't Just a Day...

On the face of it, 2019 has not been a productive year for me. There’s been no new issue of 
Meanwhile… and ergo no new Strangehaven. But work has been continuing behind these dusty curtains and word is that there will be a Meanwhile… relaunch next year.
I have also been working on a couple of other projects, one Strangehaven-related and one or two not, although it remains to be seen exactly when they will see the light of day. I also have one or two other irons in the fire that I can’t speak about either. But rest assured dear reader, my main concern as ever is the completion of the Strangehaven project I initially conceived in 1993, and like the marathon runner, these last yards are the hardest. But with you cheering me on, I’m sure the finishing line will soon be in sight.
Here’s a sneak preview of an episode which may contain (shhh…spoiler alert!) the last time we see the Knights of the Golden Light

Life in 2019, however, has been good to me, and the irregular heartbeat that was identified after my operation last November to have my pesky gallbladder removed (breaking: you don’t really need one) is at last under control, thanks to an assortment of betablockers, anti-arrhythmics and anti-coagulants. Which, it must be said, did leave me feeling pretty lethargic. But I’m off most of the medication now and my heart is doing pretty much what it’s supposed to be doing, thanks.
There was some good news in that Image’s Where We Live Las Vegas shooting benefit anthology to which I contributed a six-page strip last year raised over $100,000, gained numerous award nominations and won multiple Ringo Awards.
Also, out of nowhere, I suddenly found myself partnered with a live-in editor, cheerleader and all-round special person. Which although momentarily messed up my routines and good habits, it’s proved to have changed things much for the better. And she’s a doll.
Having a partner this year has meant an increase in activities like ‘going out’ which had been a rare occurrence these past ten years of bachelorhood. Live musical delights have included seeing Robyn Hitchcock (twice), Heather NovaAmanda Palmer and Public Service Broadcasting at the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall. Also enjoyed was a visit to the spectacular Stanley Kubrick exhibition at the Design Museum, walked the Leigh Art Trail, saw some of the Southend Film Festival and journeyed to Devon, Cornwall, Brighton and Belfast.
Finally, a visit was made to Thought Bubble at their impressive new home in Harrogate, which by all accounts was a tremendous success. Hopefully I’ll be seeing some of you from the other side of the table in a year or two.
Photo by Geenie Gillespie
From a political perspective, 2019 has been a pretty horrible year, but as I said in my Christmas message last year, things don’t always turn out as good as we might hope, but they are rarely as bad as we fear.
Fingers crossed that after the implementation of Brexit and the 2020 US presidential election I won’t be having to cut and paste that same sentiment next year. But I promise I’ll have more comics news for you.
Until then, peace and love to you all.
–Gary Spencer Millidge

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Let me Introduce you to...

I’ve been lucky enough to have been asked to write not one, but two introductions for comics projects in recent months, and although I wrote them some time apart, they both turned up in my mailbox this week, just a day apart.

The first of these to show up was for the Kickstarter project Here and There, a full colour psychological horror graphic novel by Chris Sides and Adam Jakes (with Aljosa Tomic and Ken Reynolds). I’ve known Adam for many years, as he was always kind enough to send me copies of his self-published comics Floid and Whatever in the mid-late 1990s and it has been great to see his tremendous development over the years.

It’s an excellent example of British indie comics at their best, and it comes with my highest recommendation. You can purchase the book (or a deluxe package with prints and art book) on Chris’ website here:

The second introduction I was asked to write was Under Ice by comics newcomer Claire O’Brien, a 20-page comic adaptation of the Kate Bush song, originally created for the online art challenge Inktober. Claire was kind enough to include a beautiful sketch in the limited edition she sent to me.

If you’re into comics and Kate Bush, then this is a no-brainer. You can order the signed regular copy, or the sketched limited edition on her website here:

Thursday, 20 December 2018


Artwork (c)2018 Gary Spencer Millidge
So, I'm not one for making new year's resolutions, but I think I really should resolve to stop making predictions about what I expect to achieve in the coming year in these Christmas messages of mine. My own personal road to the netherworld has been paved with more gold than stored in the Bank of England's vaults.

I have excuses, mainly revolving around relatively trivial but persistent heath issues, necessitating some rather severe dietary restrictions and ultimately resulting in some pain, low energy and lack of motivation. Having my gallbladder surgically removed by the wonders of keyhole surgery in November has certainly helped and I'm progressively getting back to something approximating my former self. My parallel career as a graphic designer also proved massively distracting, especially the whole teacup storm of GDPR which meant an overhaul of numerous websites that I'm nominally in charge of.

These things have inevitably affected the rate of production on Strangehaven (although I'm happy to report that I'm currently back at the rock face), and as regular Meanwhile... readers already know, my good pal Frazer Irving stepped in to take the pressure off by contributing his own outlandish take on Strangehaven in issue 9.


As for other notable occurrences this past year, know that I contributed a full colour six-page strip to Image's fabulous Where We Live benefit book which was published in late May, and is still available from all good comic shops and booksellers.

In October I made my only two professional appearances of the year. Firstly giving a two-hour talk at the local art group Metal's culture lab's Inkhead event and secondly taking the train up to Cumbria for this year's very wet but enjoyable Lakes International Comic Art Festival.

I also somehow managed to continue my daily morning walks around Leigh-on-Sea and continued to post a single image every day on my Instagram account, but sadly my year-long project fell a day short of a whole twelve months because of my gallbladder operation on day #364.

Sim City

My annual seasonal illustration this year shouldn't really need any explanation (but here it comes anyway)...Alistair Sim's incomparable performance in 1951's Scrooge, the first and best film adaptation of Charles Dickens' classic A Christmas Carol. Essential viewing at this time of year, of course.

As we go rushing into another year of Trump and Brexit, let's all hope for a Scrooge-like Damascene conversion in the people in power on both sides of the Atlantic. And remember that things don't always turn out as good as we might hope, but they are rarely as bad as we fear.

As always, thank you for your patient, continued support, it’s greatly appreciated.
Wishing you a very happy holiday, and good health and success in 2019.

Peace and Love,

--Gary Spencer Millidge

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.

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