Back from the dead!
If you’re looking to buy disturbing, adult horror comics, you’d better add the Lakes International Comics Art Festival (LICAF) in Kendal and Thought Bubble Sequential Arts Festival in Leeds to your calendar, because I’ll be exhibiting at both later this year, selling copies of Gothic-horror series La Belle Dame Sans Merci and obscene horror-comedy anthology BLACKOUT, as well as launching a new collection called LOVE WILL TEAR US APART.
I’ll be at the Lakes Festival with BLACKOUT co-creator and long-suffering accomplice Jack Fallows on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th October 2014, in the Comics Clocktower, alongside fellow GHOSTS comic-art collective member Owen Johnson. The first LICAF last year was an incredible experience where the town really embraced the spirit of a European comic festival, so I was thrilled to receive an invitation to exhibit again.
At Thought Bubble I’ll be sharing a table with (you guessed it) Jack Fallows again, creator of the misanthropic romance collection Axolotl, and we’ll be in Leeds on Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th November, in New Dock Hall. Thought Bubble was founded by my old workmate Tula Lotay and is one of my favourite events of the year. See you there!
In other news, the CULT exhibition that I put on at Orbital Comics in London with GHOSTS Owen Johnson, Andrew Tunney, Jon Lock, Mark Penman, Nich Angell, James Lawrence and John Pearson was an overwhelming success. Extended for an extra week due to popular demand and attended by some fantastic people, CULT was a chance to create dark art for the masses, and we had a ball.
Bleeding Cool called us “an extraordinarily impressive group of creators” and “seven of the best comic creators on the planet making the best comics they can”. Forbidden Planet International called us “seven extremely talented individuals”. The focal point of the exhibition was a massive party with live music and live art, which culminated in me ending up wearing facepaint at a bar in central London where Korean tourists queued to have their picture taken with me and I tried to convince the team behind Twisted Dark that Newcastle Brown Ale was nothing to turn their noses up at.
Over the summer I also acted as a juror for the British Fantasy Awards for the second year in a row. Organised by the British Fantasy Society, I acted as juror in the categories of Best Comic/Graphic Novel, for which we chose Becky Cloonan’s Demeter, and Best Artist, for which we chose Joey Hi-Fi. Both very worthy winners, and I felt privileged to read so many talented works of art in the judging process.
Lastly, and probably more important than any of the above, Brett Schwaner at Screen Door Revolution reviewed the second issue of La Belle Dame Sans Merci (which you can buy here), which he called “a morality-bending psychodrama”, saying “Issue two continues with non-stop nihilistic demonic mayhem from cover to cover, as P M Buchan’s femme fatale unravels like a cackling witch and readers are taken along for a psychotic ride with a ritualistic child killer.” This particular review meant a lot to me, because Brett supported LBDSM from the outset, and I *really* didn’t want to disappoint him with the second issue!
I’ve been quiet over the summer because I mostly stopped reviewing for Starburst, INFINITY and The Times Literary Supplement, wanting to focus on my own stories this year. You won’t be seeing the fruits of that work for a while, but I’ve been lucky enough to collaborate with some incredibly talented artists in 2014, and the future is looking pretty exciting. La Belle Dame Sans Merci Chapter Three is due out at the beginning of 2015, and The Final BLACKOUT had to go on the backburner for the sake of our sanity, but the summer has definitely not been wasted. Watch this space.