Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Have Yourself a Robo Little Xmas

Hey there, I've just heard Paul Collicutt will be signing copies of his new book at Dave's Comics in Sydney Street Brighton this coming Saturday from 12. There will be free prints, free limited edition badges, free signed book plates and also Robot Christmas Cards as well as more books by him for sale! Sounds like the ideal place to pick up a last minute Crizzy present to me…


Tuesday, 15 November 2011

New news

Smoke and Mirrors: A Sound of Drowning Miscellany from Paul O'Connell collects together solo and collaborative work that has appeared in various anthologies and other publications. Paul's work is always worth checking out and this issue looks like it's a good starting point for new comers as well as providing existing fans with an opportunity to see work they may have missed else where. Go get yourself a copy from his website

In other news Steve Silverwood (Upside Comics), has overhauled his website, you can check it out here:

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

' Creators of dark, sarcastic comic mag, Velocity, from the late 80s to the mid 90s, Gary and Warren Pleece have made a mark that can’t quite come out of the dish-cloth comics map of Britain. '  That's a self-penned quote from the two excellent guys who are our guests at our next Cartoon County meeting on Monday, 26th September, from 6 onward, upstairs at The Cricketers, Black Lion St, Brighton.  They'll be talking for podcast about their new collection of past material,The Great Unwashed - blurb below - and showing some pages of it, plus stuff from Montague Terrace, and much more, and talking generally about their work from 7.30.  Do not miss it!
The Great Unwashed by Gary and Warren Pleece, a new anthology coming out soon from Paul Gravett's Escape Books, collects some of the best early material from the Pleece Brothers' dark, sarcastic comic magazine, Velocity, through to the washed out water-coloured tales for magazines like Crisis and Revolver.
Re-discover or be introduced to noirish stories of failed comedians, self-indulgent rock stars, dysfunctional double acts and not forgetting an excessive dose of Pig Custard. A must! 

Monday, 5 September 2011

From the desk of Paul Stapleton

I've finally finished Facebook The Comicbook 2: Achievements, and very nicely it has come out as well. The recurring theme of the book is chasing obscure achievements that don't matter while your life goes down the toilet. In addition it also touches on people 'liking' conversations for no reason, Bejewelled Blitz addiction, punctuation pedants, and the real reason Facebook keeps mucking about with our privacy settings. There's even a spanky set of "cut out and lose" fact cards about the differing types of Facebook freak.

It's even got a nice review from Geek Syndicate, which I shall take the liberty of reproducing here (ahem)...

"In a second slice of the pie, Stapleton returns with more of the same: a social critique of the social networking site and the way it works.

If you are a fan of part one you will be a fan of part two as Stapleton's razor sharp wit returns with more of the same. Stapleton uses the same tactic as he did before by showing how absurd some of the traits of Facebook are like in the real world. Stories such as gaming addiction and the grammar Nazi are brilliantly executed. Yet the standout story of the book has to be the man that likes everything. This story will definitely make you LOL. The stories are split up well, leaving you wanting more in the right places and happily surprised when they return for their next installment. Further the differing Facebook users is ingenious, focusing on Stapleton's biggest strength: his satire.

Facebook: The Comic Book 2 is the perfect companion to part one. It is a witty commentary on the social network that is worth taking a look, just like its predecessor." 

Proper comic size, and 48 pages all in full colour, Facebook The Comicbook 2 will set you back £7.50 post paid. You can buy it directly from me either through Paypal (my account name is, bank transfer (I can email my details), or a cheque/cash to Paul Stapleton, 105 Tivoli Crescent north, Brighton, Sussex, BN1 5NA - if you're buying from overseas add a couple of pounds extra for postage though.

Alternatively, if you live in Brighton you could wander down to any of these outlets and grab one:

David's Comics (Sydney Street)
Punker Bunker (Sydney Street)
Amnesty Books (Sydney Street)
The Evening Star (Surrey Street)
Edge World (Kensington Gardens)
City Books (Western Road)

And no doubt several more once I've done my rounds.

Also, if you're equipped with the necessary technology, you can also buy it for Amazon's Kindle by going here -

All best!


Tuesday, 23 August 2011

The Stool Pigeon

The Stool Pigeon is delighted to present an exhibition of comic art at Orbital Comics, London, from August 19 to September 18, featuring full-page strips, cartoons and visual gags from throughout our six-year history alongside original artwork, line drawings and sketches.

The Stool Pigeon is a bi-monthly, free, fully independent and award-winning music newspaper based in London and available across the UK. Each issue contains an exclusive eight-page comics section, recognised for producing some of the best underground comic art in Britain today. This exhibition is a chance to put that work in its own context, away from the paper’s music journalism, and included in the show are all our regular comic strip writers and cartoonists — Krent Able, Paul O’Connell and Lawrence Elwick (Charlie Parker ‘Handyman’), Martin Kellerman (Rocky), Richard Cowdry (Down Town), Luke Pearson, Moochowski, Babak Ganjei (Hilarious Consequences), Dave The Chimp, Mickey Gibbons and others.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Events Dear Boy, Events

Hello there,

This coming weekend the Comics & Conflicts event at the Imperial War Museum promises to be interesting. There's a conference on Friday 19th and loads of events on Saturday 20th.  Cartoon County readers might want to get along to the panel with Brightonians and CC fellows Sean Duffield, Daniel Locke and Ben Naylor talking about the anthology War: The Human Cost that they have all contributed to (and Sean has heroically edited and brought to print). This is an excellent book and worth getting whether or not you can get to the Museum next Saturday. Word has it that Francesca Cassavetti is going to bring along her mother who kept a diary during the war - Francesca created a beautiful comic based on this.

Info from Alex Fitch at panelborders ticktets at: (scroll down to find tickets for individual events)

Article and links from Paul Gravett here:

Hope to see you there.

In other news,

Tom Humberstone is looking for a little help realising the latest issue of his excellent bi-annual anthology Soplosistic Pop. This one looks to be a doozzie, with glow in the dark ink, screen printed folders and a contributors list to die for.

This from Tom:

As most of you know, I've been publishing Solipsistic Pop for three volumes and I'm currently putting the fourth volume together now for a November release.

It's extremely ambitious - involving glow-in-the-dark ink, hand screenprinted folders and pull-out dustjackets - and has a much larger print-run of 1,000. Because of this, I'm going to need some help getting it printed this time around.

So I've set up an indiegogo fundraising page for Solipsistic Pop 4

There are all sorts of incentives involving exclusive content and original artwork. Plus an introductory video in which you can all have a laugh at how uncomfortable I am when a camera is in my immediate vicinity.

Really appreciate any help you can give.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Busy Paper Tiger

Things are looking busy over at Paper Tiger, the sussex based alternative comics outfit. Not only has their editor in chief Sean Duffield finished the excellent War: The Human cost, but they also have a new website and blog.

The new anthology features great work by an international crew of artists, many of whom are based in the Brighton area, people such as Lawrence Elwick, James Parsons and Paul O'Connell to name but three. The edition runs only to 750, so go get yourself a copy before they all disappear. Also £1 of every purchase goes to the Campaign Against the Arms Trade, so you can indulge in comics and do something good at the same time, what more could you ask for!

In other news this interesting project fell on my desk the other morning:
Call for Papers: Sculpture and Comic Art
Conference, Wednesday 16th November 2011

As historical and theoretical interest in comic art continues to grow, we plan to explore the relationship between sculpture and comic art, looking at how formal and thematic concerns migrate, and have migrated across the last hundred years or so, between these practices.

Comic figuration, like caricature, is a regular influence on much modern and contemporary sculpture - allowing the body to be reinvented and restaged in new and fantastical ways beyond anatomical norms.

By the token we can also find the direct appropriation of comic and cartoon characters (often animals or superheroes) in recent installational practices, including those of McCarthy, Cattelan, Dion and Schütte. The role of narrative (sculptural and sequential) is significant here, between the 'gutter' and the gallery,  and such co-options are, in turn, echoed in sculpture's intriguing place in many comics and graphic novels, where it is often given special powers and dynamic plot-determining roles within the visual sequential narratives constructed. It has also been caricatured since the earliest cartoon strips and tensions between high and low emphasised.

Finally, as sculptors have turned to comic art, so comic artists (such as Robert Crumb, Chris Ware and David Shrigley) have turned to three-dimensions. This move also reminds us of the power and popularity of the small-scale figurine, and in turn the collectible, to stand as a three-dimensional demonstration of characters articulated in two dimensions, whether on the page or in animated film.

We invite proposals for 25 minute conference papers, from academics and artists from all fields, that focus on any aspect of the above. Please submit a 250 word abstract and short CV to Kirstie Gregory,

Deadline for submissions is Monday 18 July 2011.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Sounds Like a RuRuRuRuReview

Paul O’Connell is the mastermind behind The Sound of Drowning, the comic he has been producing and publishing from his Brighton residence since 2000. I first encountered Paul’s books in 2004 when I picked up the ‘Adler’ issue in Brighton’s Dave’s Comics: I was hooked by the great sense design and the slightly refracted, otherworldly feel to the story inside. Paul has recently released a new edition of his book, issue 13. It builds on the reoccurring theme within his work of collaging and reusing old and found images in new contexts and juxtapositions.

Since purchasing that first copy Paul has become one of my favourite artists, and a good friend (full disclosure). His books are never predictable, by turn’s bitingly satirical, laugh out loud funny, or achingly heart felt (one of my very favourite comics of all time is Paul’s mini masterpiece ‘Love is War’, a simple, poetic exchange between feuding lovers, try and get a copy of you can).

If every action has an equal but opposite reaction then The Sound of Drowning is the proof that this rule also stands for comics, situated as it is against the corporate, content controlled franchises that dominate the comics world. And Paul’s latest issue is a wonderful example of this.

In issue 13 Paul has taken Woody Allen’s conceit of redubing an already existing film to make a new comedy (What’s up Tigerlily) and applied it to comics. Using art work from what looks like 1960’s and 70’s genre comics Paul has made an at times hilarious and often darkly funny book that lampoons the post colonial, misogynistic world of the mid 20th century.

Paul has been kind enough to answer a few of my questions about his project and it’s latest incarnation:

Would you mind talking about the creative impetus behind the latest issue of Sound of Drowning?

Initially it came from someone giving me a pile of old comics and finding the stories in them almost unreadable, just really naff and dated. So I had a go using the artwork from one of the comic strips -'Dan Dakota: Lone Gun' - to tell a different story which became 'Johnnny Three N's'. I had fun with it so thought I'd try with some other comics and the more strips I did I decided to eventually collect them all together in a themed issue. They were all done over a two year period. My mental health hasn't been so great over this time and the project was also a way to continue to be creative at a level my brain was capable of dealing with.

It seems to me that SoD 13 has in part set itself the challenge of lampooning male stereotypes in genre comics from the 60’s and 70’s, were you consciously pursuing this theme or was it more a case of the theme arising from the source material?

A bit of both. I just couldn't relate to the original characters in anyway. Yeah the artwork looks great, but they're horrible to read. I also wanted to satirise old comic genres as well as projecting my own fuck ups onto the characters.

Can you talk a little bit about the role of appropriation and collage in your comics?

When I first started making comics, it was never even a thought that I would try and make the visuals myself. But I didn't know anyone to work with so had a go myself.  I hate drawing and so it was a means to an end - a way to make comics in a way that I found enjoyable. Using photography and a multitude of other peoples images, for me, is also a way to try and remove 'the hand of God' effect that you can get with comics where style takes precedence over content and comic artists become almost deified. When I used to read comics it was the stories and the worlds they created that made the most impression on me, more so than the artists or writers responsible.

How does working collaboratively differ from your work on SoD?

Eventually I met people who wanted to work with me! I love working with other people. I find it really satisfying. It's like when I used to play music. Making music with other people is so much more fun than doing it all by yourself. You might have to give up some of your unique creative vision but most of the time the work is better because it's two people being uniquely creative rather than one and both appreciating and complementing the others' input. That's when it works. I'm really lucky to have found people it works with.

What are your future plans for SoD?

I started off making The Sound of Drowning with the idea that I'll keep doing it as long as I enjoy doing it and it can be whatever I feel like making it. I don't know if I'll keep on making them. At the moment, if there is another issue, I have no idea what it will be like.

Thanks for taking the time out to answer these questions Mr O.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Welcome, Welkom, Benvingut, Dynnargh dhis, Bienvenue, Willkommen

Hurrah and welcome one and all to the new Cartoon County blog.

For those that don't know the Cartoon County, we are a collective of cartoonists, strip cartoonists, and graphic novelists united by a love of words and pictures and the fact that we all reside in the beautiful county of Sussex.

This space will be used to promote the various exciting activities, and comics and cartoon related projects that go on in the county. As well as pointing out, and hopefully stimulating discussion around interesting cartoon and comics news.

So please drop by from time to time and feel free to leave your comments when you do.

'HRH The Prince Regent Awakening the Spirit of Brighton' 
by Rex Whistler