BugPowder Weblog
Regular slugs of news for the UK Small Press Comics Nation (huh?)
September 25 2014

Honestly, I can’t imagine how you settle down and try to make sense of Previews if you don’t have a strong working knowledge in the history of adspeak, a study of Naomi Klein’s No Logo and George Orwell’s 1984 and the attitude “Okay, how are they going to try to get us to overorder ourselves into bankruptcy this month?”

Over at FA Online: Nevs Coleman's insightful piece on the perils of Funnybook retailing.

# Posted by John Robbins
September 14 2014

Phil Barrett's course in comic making returns. More details on Visual Storytelling at Blackshapes.

# Posted by John Robbins
September 11 2014

Strange sounds emanating - Listen at Salvo's Salvo.

Meanwhile, Fugger knots the tees and crosses the eyes...

"(Dieter) and Annabelle had two children. The first was a girl they named 'First' and the second was a boy they named 'Third'. They were trying for a Second."

# Posted by John Robbins
August 20 2014

From Blackshapes.com:

You can get your own 'note' as part of the Double Deal over on Blackshapes Books. This offer won't be available after the end of August so act now if you want to take advantage!

# Posted by John Robbins
August 15 2014

A tumblr with Balls - courtesy of Rory McConville and Phil Barrett.

# Posted by John Robbins
August 9 2014

To End All Wars is now available: a 320 page collection, it features 27 tales from comixers of 13 different countries. Well researched, it tells untold tales of the Great War.

 In addition to featuring the Bugpowder blogging two-some on strip 'Bottomley - Brand of Britain', it also features Brit luminaries such as Brick (New Internationalist), Selina Lock (The Girly Comic), Sean Michael Wilson (Operation Iraq Corporate Takeover), Arthur Goodman (Favourite Crayon Stories), Joe Gordon (Forbidden Planet International Blog) and that legend of UK underground comics on WW1, Stan Martin (Terrible Sunrise)

 Interested press are welcome to contact publishers, Soaring Penguin Press, for details.


Links: Book websiteForbidden Planet International, AmazonBBC News, The Independent, Soaring Penguin Press

# Posted by Andrew Luke
August 6 2014

Rory McConville and George Gousis go old school with The Face at Rory's tumblr.

# Posted by John Robbins
July 28 2014

Blackshapes Books, a new publishing imprint for alternative comics in Ireland, is celebrating the launch of its first two titles with an attractive offer: for a limited time get both books - Unlucky Unlikely and In Bits - plus a personalised note for only £10.

Find PDF extracts, note samples by one of Ireland's most respected cartoonists - Phil Barrett - and further details at the Blackshapes Books shop.

# Posted by John Robbins
July 25 2014

From the John Robbins Limited tumblr.

# Posted by John Robbins
July 19 2014

This way, please, for Salvo's Salvo. Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.

# Posted by John Robbins
July 7 2014

Interviews and images galore at the Rhizome tumblr...

"I’ve always been fascinated by apocalyptic civilization-ending scenarios. Maybe it’s my Pentecostal upbringing. I was raised to believe that the end of everything I’d ever known was always right around the corner." - Tyler Stafford

"I’ve got a short graphic novel very slowly coming into being. It deals with issues of energy scarcity, and subsequent food scarcity. As things stand, it doesn’t have a happy ending." - Nick Soucek

"I just draw coward or victim characters in the same way –they’re just fatter versions of me." - Dave Huxley

# Posted by John Robbins

The Monday Room, an eleven-page comic by Rory McConville and Ken Mahon.

# Posted by John Robbins
June 29 2014

BBC Radio 4's website is hosting twelve comic strip co-commissions to mark the WW1 centenary. Steve Bell, John McCrea, Posy Simmonds, Ralph Steadman, Woodrow Phoenix and a bunch more.

# Posted by Andrew Luke
June 17 2014

From the blog of Rob Jackson: 'RhiZome Volume 2' has just arrived back from the printers and is now on sale at my website shop. It's priced at £4.50 with free postage in the UK. Please add £2 postage for the rest of the world. It's 48 black and white pages with colour covers, halfway between A4 and A5 in size. It looks really good!

It's got stories by S Tyler Stafford, Kyle Baddeley-Read, and Rob Jackson. A text story by John Robbins. A story and back cover by Dave Huxley. A story from Nick Soucek, and an interview with Tony Husband about Oink!

# Posted by John Robbins
June 10 2014

Day 9 of Phil Barrett's thirty-day drawing challenge - from his tumblr.

# Posted by John Robbins
June 9 2014

From the tumblr of Irish writer Rory McConville, two comics...

The Red Skeleton (by Rory McConville and Adrian Bago Gonzalez)

The Babymaker And The Belgian (by Rory McConville, Ryan Cody and Deirdre deBarra)

Writes Rory: I’ll be using this as a spot to keep people updated on any comics projects I’m working on. There’ll be a new comic every month as well as bits and pieces about other projects I’m working on.

# Posted by John Robbins
May 30 2014

RhiZome #2 is to have a June release. It's 48 pages of comics and related content by Kyle Baddeley-Read, Rob Jackson, Tyler Stafford and others. Keep your eyes on- and your nitrous oxide mask attached to- the Rhizome tumblr for sneak-peeks and further details.

# Posted by John Robbins
May 29 2014

The deckchairs are in storage, Punch & Judy are hibernating, there's not a candyfloss in sight - life in an off-season seaside town can be glum-enough, lad. But even in the coal-mining hands of Rob Jackson there's a chance the sea will deliver the soft sand early this year. Get your paddling feet on for Knott End.

# Posted by John Robbins
May 19 2014

News at Blackshapes about Buzz, a deadly new comic based on the audio recordings of Dublin city kids. Buzzin'!

# Posted by John Robbins
May 18 2014

FA got it goin' on.

# Posted by John Robbins
May 16 2014

Subscription details for the line-up of summer titles from Cardboard Press.

# Posted by John Robbins
April 26 2014

One of Lee Kennedy's Inner City Pagan strips in colour for the first time, at FA the comiczine. Exquisite!

# Posted by John Robbins
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