BugPowder Weblog
Regular slugs of news for the UK Small Press Comics Nation (huh?)
April 17 2014

Great news for alternative comics in Ireland - from Paddy Lynch's tumblr: The new Cardboard Press site is starting to come together. Summer titles to be announced soon!

# Posted by John Robbins
April 1 2014

Wednesday's Independent has a feature on To End All Wars: WW1 Graphic Novel due out from Soaring Press this Summer.

Contributors include Selina Lock, Charlie Adlard, Sean Michael Wilson, Jenny Linn Cole, Russell Wall, Kate Charlesworth, John Robbins, Ruairi Coleman, Jessica Martin, John Maybury, Joe Gordon, editors Jonathan Clode and Brick, and many many others. Me too. Web article online.

# Posted by Andrew Luke
March 25 2014

Trailer for Digital Story Engine's 'Graphic Novel Man' docu about the work of Bryan Talbot.

Wildseed Studios and Ralph Kidson: God and Jesus

A new update on the Belfast Comics Blog.


# Posted by Andrew Luke
February 18 2014

Ralph Kidson is a minimalist cartoonist and one of the funniest people in the land.
I'm very priveleged to be able to call him a mate.
Well, Wildseed Studios have agreed to produce some of Ralph's work as animations, starting with "The Battle At Serengeti" and "A Welcome to Wildseed Studios from God Himself!"

# Posted by Andrew Luke
January 14 2014

This January Phil Barrett will be commencing to teach an 8 week evening course in comic making entitled Visual Storytelling. The course will consist of 8 weeks of 2 hour classes. The overall cost for the course is €80. Sign-up for the course is Monday 20th and Tuesday 21st January at Marino College (Dublin 3) from 5-8pm - more details on sign-up and the postal enrolment form here.

# Posted by John Robbins
January 8 2014

FOXES - short film from LORCAN FINNEGAN on Vimeo.

From a script by Gar Shanley (co-founder of Windell Comics and Mayhem comics).

# Posted by John Robbins
December 18 2013

Bob Byrne: I´ve given people´s attitudes to creativity and learning a lot of thought during my hibernation in Spain and have boiled it down into a presentation on the new site. It starts by me answering ´when did you start drawing?´ with the inevitable reply:


Fittingly for a 2000AD creator, Bob Byrne provides a good jumping-on point for those readers new to his online whoring.

# Posted by John Robbins
December 14 2013

irish comics - 2013

At Irish Comic News, David O'Leary casts a light back across Irish independent comics released in 2013.

The Year That Was, Part 1
The Year That Was, Part 2
The Year That Was, Part 3
The Year That Was, Part 4

# Posted by John Robbins
December 11 2013


THEM, Tommie Kelly's metaphysical examination of a damaged individual's struggle to establish a foothold in life, is available free in PDF format for a limited time at tommiekelly.com.

My feeling is that Tommie's fine-tuned sequential storytelling is hindered a little by an excess of maudlin intimacy in overstated scripting, but with this scripting an authorial presence imparts a tense cathartic urgency, which adds another dimension to the comic. Actually, this is the antithesis of those cute, deceptively aimless comics that are always doing-the-rounds online - in THEM, earnest ambition fuels the portrayal of a conflict between a philosophy of futility and the resilience of the human spirit. Vitally, the universality of THEM's themes - the protagonist's emotional responses are distorted in the prism of chemical despair - make it an affecting, resonant read.

# Posted by John Robbins


24 pages and counting, Rob Jackson's funny comic Bradley The Tea Leaf (a league of extraordinarily random objects) is a thing of beauty.

# Posted by John Robbins
December 8 2013


Holy Numbers! Tommie Kelly presents something wonderful for sale not far down the information superhighway: The Christmas Bundle - 8 digital comic PDFs optimized for tablet reading. Pay what you want!


# Posted by John Robbins
December 1 2013


More candle-lit than flare-lit - Dave Huxley’s other-wordly back-cover for RhiZome #2. The anthology is due for release in early-2014. Keep up-to-date at the Rhizome tumblr.

# Posted by John Robbins
November 30 2013


"Hello, I have a particular liking for hummus, do you? You could send me some."

Over at Time Warriors, Owen Quinn talks to Andy Luke - about bringing Doctor Who to Belfast, and about writing, collaboration and comics. Andy cites Doctor Who episode The Rings of Akhaten as a favourite, which, coincidentally, is the only Who I've seen since Tom Baker. At least, I think that's the episode I saw. I just remember it being an insufferably overblown mess of craft inspired by the kind of affected elements of drama designed for blockbuster movies. Sickening stuff, really. And there's me thinking you were meant to feel better after seeing the doctor.

# Posted by John Robbins
November 22 2013

Long-time BugPowder chum Matt Badham writes ...

Thought Bubble is my favourite comics convention and so I'm very pleased to be hosting a panel there on Sunday 24th November at 10.40am.

The panel is called 'Comics For Everyone' and I think it's going to be great. Here's its description from the Thought Bubble website:

We here at Thought Bubble believe that comics should be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of their age, and that great kids' comics should be read by everyone! So if you're a young comic fan, or one who never grew up, and want to hear about some great stories to read, please come along and get the low-down from some of the best creators out there!

Well, I don't know about you but that's sounds to me like THE. BEST. PANEL. EVER!

(I might be slightly biased…)

Especially as those aforementioned creators are Neill Cameron, Meredith Gran, Nathan Fox, Roger Langridge and Maris Wicks.

(Seriously, make sure you check out their work even if you don't make the panel. It's fab.)

I hope to see you (yes, you!) on Sunday for what I think is going to be a fascinating panel, at which you'll get tons and tons of recommendations of groovy comics to read. (What could be better than that?) Please come along. It's gonna be a blast (as is the whole convention)!


# Posted by Jez Higgins
November 10 2013


Andy Luke reminisces on family-dog Charlie.

# Posted by John Robbins
November 8 2013


Irish Comic News announces the winners of the ICN Awards 2013.

# Posted by John Robbins
October 28 2013


Hola Mariquita, a three-person team which includes Ghost Of A Doubt creator Greg O'Brien, has created a 60-page interactive graphic novel for iPad and Android Tablets. Find out about the making of Little Details at the Hola Mariquita site.

# Posted by John Robbins
October 23 2013


The Comic Cast celebrates its fifth birthday with “The Inevitable Clip Show”, and Fugger hits 400 posts, burping-up another dollop of bilious satire.

# Posted by John Robbins
October 16 2013


As ever, Paddy Brown's visceral Cuchulainn has the reader weather-beaten, vigilant, and knee-deep in pre-Christian times. If Lorenzo Mattotti did Irish mythology...

# Posted by John Robbins
October 1 2013

Irish cartoonist Phil Barrett continues to do his stuff:
… on his tumblr (above), and at his blackshapes site (below).


# Posted by John Robbins
September 27 2013


Over at the Birmingham Mail's Speech Balloons: Paul H Birch speaks exclusively with Scots writer Jim Alexander, breezily picks through his colourful career, gets some insights into his independent publishing imprint Planet Jimbot, and generally discovers what makes the man tick. Good read, this.

# Posted by John Robbins
August 29 2013


RhiZome is now on sale at Rob Jackson's website shop. It's a science-fiction and fantasy anthology of comics by Max Mose, Kyle Baddeley-Read, Rob Jackson, Pete Batchelor and me. Also contained in the premier issue is an interview with David Huxley (Nasty Tales).

Check out the anthology's tumblr for comics samples, interviews and more.

# Posted by John Robbins
July 1 2013
# Posted by Andrew Luke
June 7 2013


July 1 is the deadline date for submitting to Dadsville, a comic anthology organised around the thread of fatherhood. Works already submitted are posted online at http://www.behance.net/Dadsville, my own included (page 1 of which is below). Have a goo, and have a go.


# Posted by John Robbins
April 25 2013

Debra Boyask was a friend and cartoonist in the New Zealand and British indy comics scenes and passed away on Tuesday at far too young an age. She contributed to the NZ anthology Funtime Comics and Factor Fiction in the UK, and in both places she performed the organising role in the Midwinter Comics Retreats: events which cemented those friendship-as-family bonds. Debra was a Caption festival regular for many years, also a weaver, a teacher, a blogger, a cook and mostly a friend: amusing, curious, direct and inspiring.

via Dylan Horrocks here's a wonderful interview between Debs and Jason Brice, hosted on the NZ comics wiki, and a few pieces of her work are up on the Factor Fiction website. I'm sure there will be more to come.

# Posted by Andrew Luke
March 5 2013

Panel Nine write to say, "We're delighted to be releasing a deluxe iPad version of Terry Wiley's VerityFair, bursting at the seams with extras, including a delightful audio commentary by the author on almost every page. And for the first two weeks we have a special introductory offer of just $4.99 / £2.99." The deluxe edition will be out on Friday.

Charles Cutting has launched an Indiegogo campaign to publish a full-colour anthology by three artists on three intriguing tales. Sketches, original art and advertisements are on offer along with a likely smart product. This month only at Black Cloud's Indiegogo page.

I recently discovered Stan Martin has a page on the Zum website. Terrible Sunrise was one of the great self-published brit-comics of the mid to late 90s, chronicling the outbreak of the Great War, and other tales from the war based on diligent research.

I suspect these are no longer available to buy through Zum. Fortunately, there are about 14 pages there in e-form (Clicking the images to the right), as well as an introduction by Stan. [Link]

# Posted by Andrew Luke
February 18 2013

Sticking with Ireland, Anto Dillon of the long-running Loserdom zine has announced that date of the hugely popular Independents Day: Dublin, Sunday 23rd June. Recommended.

# Posted by Andrew Luke

Trinity College Dublin is hosting a lecture as part of Irish comic book month featuring Robert Curley, Robert Carey, Ciaran Marcantonio, Darrin O'Toole and Declan Shalvey.

The event is on Thursday March 14th from 7:15pm. You can find out more about the various speakers at thefreebirdswing podcast or by visiting the facebook .event

# Posted by Andrew Luke
February 15 2013

For a brief time, Department of the Peculiar #1 is available for free on Comicsy. The creatives are UK SP stalwarts, Bugpowder favourites Rol Hirst and Rob Wells, so, y'know do.

# Posted by Andrew Luke
February 11 2013
# Posted by Andrew Luke
February 10 2013

The FPI weblog continues to shine with a series of focus on creator-chosen comics selections spotlighting choices by Steve Tillotson, Graham Johnson, Rob Jackson, Lucy Knisley and Luke Pearson, to name but a few. Comics gold - spread the link: http://forbiddenplanet.co.uk/blog/.

# Posted by Andrew Luke
February 9 2013

Karen Rubins is running workshops for 8-12 year olds in London for CityRead 2013. From 19th-22nd February she'll be at Chipping Barnet Library with a Making Manga class for 12-18yr olds. Cost is £24
and bookings must be made through the Futureversity website.

Also, the West Dean College Comics and Graphic Novels Short Course, running from 7 – 9 June 2013. Located in "an unspoiled country manor house set in beautiful gardens and parkland. Topiary! Mosaics! Stuffed animals! Surrealist objects! It is a truly unique location, and a great experience just staying there."
More details here.

# Posted by Andrew Luke
December 14 2012

From out of the past Ben Oakes says "I've put some of my small press comics online". And he's right.

# Posted by Jez Higgins
November 29 2012

The 2012 Belfast Comics Fayre is happening on December 9th at Haymarket Arcade, organised by Avalon Arts. Guests include Paddy Brown, Paddy Lynch, Gar Shanley and Lightning Strike Comics and you can find out more about what they've been up to on DownTheTubes.

# Posted by Andrew Luke
November 6 2012
# Posted by Andrew Luke
August 2 2012

Caption 2012 is fast approaching! Here's the itinery, direct from the Captionites to your face!

Guests include: Hannah Berry, Richy K. Chandler, Jade Sarson, David O’Connell, Al Davison, Hunt Emerson, Patrice Aggs, Robin Etherington, Woodrow Phoenix, Darryl Cunningham and Nicola Streeten.

Saturday 18 August

Doors open 10 a.m. Bar open from 10 for coffee, 12 for drinks.

12:00. PANEL: Good, Clean, Knockabout Fun! Publisher Tony Bennett joins artists Hunt Emerson ('Lady Chatterly's lover'), Krent Able (' Big Book Of Mischief') and Brick ('Depresso') to talk about 32 years of the controversial British comics company. 

13:30. WORKSHOP with Al Davison. ‘The Alchemist's Easel: a rough guide to drawing the unconscious’

14:30. PANEL: Shedding Light on the Dark Art of Editing Comics. Woodrow Phoenix ('Nelson'), Corinne Pearlman (Myriad), John Anderson (Soaring Penquin) and Hannah Berry (First Fictions judge) discuss editing and commissioning comics and graphic novels.

16:30. PANEL: Myriad Editions. Myriad commissioning editor Corinne Pearlman discusses the output of the company alongside Woodrow Phoenix ('Rumble Strip'), Darryl Cunningham ('Science Tales'), Nicola Streeten ('Billy, Me & You') and Gareth Brookes ('The Black Project'). 

21:00. QUIZ by Tony Hitchman, ‘Dangerous when wet!’

Doors close 23:00

Sunday 19 August

Doors open 10 a.m. Bar open from 10 for coffee, 12 for drinks.

11.00. BOOK GROUP: Comic Gosh!p Book Club (escaping from London) discuss Maus (Art Spiegelman) & My Cardboard Life (Philippa Rice). Try to (re)read one or both of these before the informal discussion in the bar, so you can join in! 

12:30. PANEL: Playing in Someone Else’s Sandbox. Cartoonists discuss the benefits of working on creator owned vs. pre-existing characters, featuring Richy Chandler ('Wallace & Grommit' in The Sun) , David Baillie (via video! - Russian 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles'), Charles Cutting (' The Dream Quest of Randolph Carter') and Robin Etherington ('The Phoenix' / 'Transformers').

14.00. PANEL: The Phoenix - A Gallimaufry of Graphical Goodness. Daniel Hartwell (writer, ‘Pirates of the Pangaea’), Neill Cameron (artist, ‘Pirates of the Pangaea’), Adam Murphy (‘Corpse Talk’), Robin Etherington (writer, ‘Long Gone Don’), Patrice Aggs ('Blimpville')

15.30. PANEL: America is not the Only Fruit. Manga influenced (and Manga Jiman shortlisted) small press creators Rebecca Burgess, Sarah Burgess, Jade Sarson and Joe Morgan discuss looking outside Anglo-American comics for inspiration with David O'Connell (Tozo, the public servant).

Doors Close 17:00

18th / 19th August 2012, East Oxford Community Centre, Cowley, Oxford OX4 1DD (Near to St. Clements 'Oxford Tube' stop)
More info at www.caption.org 
The website includes info on how to order the limited edition T-Shirt designed by Sarah MacIntyre, which you can pre-order and pick up at Caption. Also, exclusively available at the event is the Caption 2012 programme featuring a brand new jam comic - 'How I spent my summer holiday' - by Hannah Berry, Richy K. Chandler, Brick and more...

# Posted by Dan Fish1000
July 19 2012

The MKomix Milton Keynes Comics Fair is tonight, from 6 until 9 at the MK Gallery in Central Milton Keynes. With all these exhibitors and this spectacular sounding exhibition, it looks like it will be a lot of fun.

# Posted by Jez Higgins
July 1 2012


Bob Byrne's clamnuts.com gets a streamlined incarnation.

# Posted by John Robbins
June 30 2012


Irish cartoonist Phil Barrett is interviewed by Liam Geraghty on The Comic Cast - about Where's Larry and his comics work.

Phil is also one of the cartoonists corralled by Paddy Lynch into the anthology Stray Lines - give the book a kickstart, why don't you?

# Posted by John Robbins
June 21 2012


Competitions galore over at ICN! Up for grabs: original artwork by PJ Holden, Stephen Mooney and Nick Roche; and a virtual hamper of PDFs from Irish Independent Comics Creators. Check it out!

# Posted by John Robbins