30.11.11

Art Heroes



Who are you?
Art Heroes.

Art Heroes is the trading name of Daniel Clifford and Lee Robinson, a writer and artist team publishing comic books and offering a range of creative workshops.

What are you doing?
The Canny Comic Con will be the North East launch of Art Heroes. The first Art Heroes comic, Halcyon & Tenderfoot, will be previewed in the budget #0 comic - packed with clues for almost every story that will appear in the 4-times-a-year ongoing series.

The Art Heroes boys will also be sketching, signing, giving tips on how to make comic, selling subscriptions to the Halcyon and Tenderfoot series and running a create-a-character competition.

What have you done?
Daniel Clifford is the writer and co-creator of Newcastle's very own costumed crime-fighter, Sugar Glider, which has been a critical and sales success. As well as writing and publishing comics, Daniel had been running comic book workshops for two years under the name 'Jack and Daniel's Comic Book Workshops' before setting up Art Heroes with Lee.

Lee Robinson is a Hexham-based artist. Over the last few years he has completed a number of illustration projects and worked with young people and vulnerable adults. His first comic book work was the 12-page mini comic, Anthony, included in Sugar Glider 2. Sugar Glider Stories 2 will feature a 4-page strip by Lee, 'Costume', which reveals an important piece of the Sugar Glider origin story.

Why comics?
The Art Heroes lads have always been interested in comic books. Comics are great entertainment (a vibrant, visual storytelling medium), a wonderful aid to learning (a fantastic resource for getting youngsters passionate about reading) and can be incredibly cathartic to make and read.

Further info:
You can find the Art Heroes website at www.artheroes.co.uk. It's not finished yet, but when it is it will look great! You can also buy Halcyon & Tenderfoot issue 0 at http://artheroes.bigcartel.com.

Gordon Robertson


Who are you?
Gordon Robertson. Writer. Fan of Morrissey, Herge, Powell and Pressburger, Ealing Comedies and a probably mythical time when the best thing in the world was to be British.

What have you done / what are you doing?
Co-creator of the world's number one webcomic with the word 'Arse' in the title. It's a slightly surreal take on my experiences as a bowel cancer sufferer and wonderfully drawn by co-creator Cuttlefish.

Founder of the Glasgow League of Writers - a comic book writer's collective in Glasgow who meet to discuss, workshop and chat about writing. Our first anthology is coming soon, to be quickly followed by our second one and then…well you get the picture. The League has been a fantastic success and is something I would like to see reach out to other writers across the UK and beyond.

Comic book editor for GEEKChocolate. I do reviews and news for this upmarket geek site. Not as often as I should, or would like to, but that's the pain of the day job for you.

You can find some previous comic book stuff in Bulletproof Comics' Bomb Scares anthology and I have some previous convictions I would like taken into account in the world of film and TV.

Why comics?
Comics were my first love. I was a precocious child and I clearly remember the first book I ever borrowed from the library, when I was round about 5 - The Crab With the Golden Claws. I was hooked from that moment on.

Tintin, Asterix and the UK Mighty World of Marvel weeklies fuelled my over active imagination as a child and made me the man I am today.

I love the collaborative process of creating comics. Seeing someone take what you've written and turn it into images is a buzz like no other. Particularly when, as is the case with Arse Cancer, the artist takes your words and turn them into something way beyond what theywould otherwise have been.

Further info:
Visit our webcomic http://www.arsecancer.co.uk/
Follow the Glasgow League of Writers on Twitter: @GLoWriters

29.11.11

Lee Robson


Who are you?
Lee Robson. Word alchemist, tea drinker, ne'er do well.

What have you done / what are you doing?
I'm a writer of stuff, based in the north east, trying to make a go of it. I've written for the Eagle Award nominated FutureQuake, its sister publication Something Wicked and the series of themed anthologies from Accent UK (Robots, Western and Predators are out now, and Zombies 2 and Victoriana are due to follow in 2012/2013). I've also written for the 2000AD fanzines Zarjaz and Dogbreath, and have more anthology work in the pipeline. Also, I will write for money.

My debut graphic novel, Babble (with Bryan Coyle) is due to be released by Com.X in 2012.

Why comics?
For the tears and the laughter.

Further info:
http://www.imaginarystories.co.uk
@lee_robson

Steven Finch


Who are you?
Steven Finch: graphic designer, letterer, and production artist working under the studio banner ‘Fonografiks’.

What have you done / what are you doing?
A number of Image Comics books, most notably the Eisner and Harvey award-winning anthology series Popgun. People might also know my series of retro paperback comic covers. Currently working on: Severed with Scott Snyder, Scott Tuft, and Attila Futaki; Justin Jordan and Tradd Moore's The Strange Talent of Luther Strode; and the upcoming Brian K. Vaughan/Fiona Staples series, Saga.

Why comics?
Because lines and colors and words on paper hold a unique power, and so captured my imagination that I had to learn their secrets.

28.11.11

Paul Regan


Who are you?
My name is Paul Regan, but y'all can just call me Regan (like Madonna, or Cher). I'm a comic book writer and co-founder of the wee label O.G. Comics.

What have you done / what are you doing?
Myself and co-visionary, artist Gavin McPhail, have for the past few years been pummelling all of our efforts into a book entitled Trenchfoot: the tale of three super-villains living and working in the Lake District.

Thus far we've published 3 issues of Trenchfoot, along with a bumper-sized annual and two one-shots: The Biscuit Maker and The Blood.

We aim to continue publishing the tawdry tales of John Trenchfoot and company, whilst expanding and branching out into new and surreal avenues.

Why comics?
Why not? What's better? Music? Literature? Personally, I find nothing more enjoyable than serialised comic-book fiction. It's a sick little addiction that crawls under your skin and can't be removed. I am as compelled to continue writing them as I am to continue reading them. Comics are like cocaine, but they don't (or shouldn't) make you sneeze. Xanadu!

Further info:
http://www.ogcomics.com
Or search on Facebook for Trenchfoot Comic

Doug Braithwaite


Doug Braithwaite is an award winning artist who started his professional comics career working for Marvel UK and 2000AD, he has worked on many of the industry’s flagship titles, and has drawn just about every major character for both Marvel and DC comics.
A few of his career highlights include: Punisher Kills the Marvel Universe, Thor, Universe X , Brave and the Bold, WolverineJourney into Mystery and the Justice series for DC comics.

Who are you?
My name is Doug Braithwaite, I am an artist and have been working in the comic business for over 20 years.

What have you done / what are you doing?
See bio above!

Why comics?
Because I love art and telling stories and I believe comics, as a medium, can be one of the greatest forms of communication. Or, looking at it another way, I also enjoy drawing men in tights having fights.

Further info:
I can be found on Facebook, but a site I would recommend for people interested in the finding out more about this fantastic medium would be Paul Gravett’s site: http://www.paulgravett.com/ - it's fun and insightful.

27.11.11

Lydia Wysocki


Who are you?
Lydia Wysocki, a perfectly respectable young lady who draws pictures and make things. Usually with a sense of humour. And who won't get offened if you mispronounce my name.

What have you done / what are you doing?
I've drawn and self-published two adult colouring books so far. Not adult in the sense of 'ooh that's saucy', just adult in the sense that 'maybe colouring in is a good thing for everyone, not just for children'. I've also draw and self-published two small books. The first one is a flippy-over book called Coffee/Tea that caused lots of confusion at the printers. The second involves googly eyes and sequins but is still definitely a book.
I'm currently drawing lots of pictures of houses and trying to work out what I'll do with them.

Why comics?
Because I think it's unfair to make people choose between being an artist, a writer, a craft-er, an explainer-of-ideas, and having a day job. So for me comics are a way to do all this. And to meet people and/or make them laugh.

Further info:
http://HelloLyd.wordpress.com/
http://www.etsy.com/shop/HelloLyd

24.11.11

Paul Thompson


Who are you?
Paul Thompson. I’m an artist and writer, working in digitalart, photography and comics.

What have you done / what are you doing?
In comics: Tales of the Hollow Earth is now in its third issue: Dark goings on in a coastal city of peculiar institutions, paperfolding, weird tales, dangerous catering and unreliable narrators. In addition to comics, I've had several exhibitions of digital artworks and photography, and I occasionally write and draw for other people. I'm currently working with Cuttlefish Comics on several top secret projects.

Why comics?
Placing pictures in sequence will create a story for the viewer, whether it was intended or not. Putting words too close to an otherwise unrelated picture will set a world in motion. Most of it happens in the viewers head, and it’s much greater than the sum of its parts. The comics creators I admire have supernatural control over this, and from this unstable chemistry are able to wield extremely evocative storytelling.

Further info:
http://www.hollowearth.co.uk
@paulxthompson

En Gingerboom


Who are you?
En Gingerboom (N for short!)

What have you done / what are you doing?
I draw a full-colour fantasy/sci-fi comic called Those of No Class most of the time, which is essentially about prejudice/judgement alongside self-discovery, but I also have a couple of smaller comics on the side as it were. What is it Katy? is my current project, and it's an interactive webcomic where the audience talks to the main character Katy and she responds each week in order to progress the story.

Why comics?
I have no idea in a way, it was almost accidental. I've always spent my time coming up with countless stories and drawing countless pictures. It finally occurred to me to combine the two things, and now I have discovered a magical wondrous portal to another dimension which I am completely enamoured with. I don't think I'll be giving them up any time soon. ;D

Further info:
www.nattherat.co.uk

Drink and Draw Social Club


Who are you?
We are the official UK Chapter of The Drink and Draw Social Club. We were officially sanctioned by The Founding Fathers of Dan Panosian, Dave Johnson and Jeff Johnson back in 2007 and were the first chapter to be established outside of the US. We are a loose affiliation of creative types from many different fields, all of whom gather together when the stars are right with one simple goal: to drink and to draw. It really is as simple as it sounds. Lots of like-minded individuals just hanging out in a bar with a few beers (non-alcoholic beverages are available – we wont say bad things about you behind your back) drawing some stupid stuff and enjoying themselves.

What have you done / what are you doing?
Despite the vast pool of creative juice which we collectively possess, we have done relatively little. To organize something would rub a little against the grain of out raison d’ĂȘtre. And be somewhat akin to herding cats.

Why comics?
Comics are our first, our last, our everything. They are the greatest novel, the finest picture and the best movie all at the same time. They have no limits. They are all types of awesome.

Further info:
We’re like the A-Team: you’ll find us when you need us most, otherwise we’re just an urban legend drifting through the consciousness of the underworld.

Or, we are also on Facebook. Look for a mister ‘Drink Draw’. Tell him fate sent you…

23.11.11

Forbidden Planet

Who are you?
Forbidden Planet is the world’s largest and best-known science fiction, fantasy and cult entertainment retailer and the largest UK stockist of the latest comics and graphic novels. We specialise in selling action figures, books, comics, DVDs, graphic novels and toys and we offer all the best merchandise from the cult cream of movies and television.

What have you done / what are you doing?
We’ve been selling four-colour wonders to the fantastic populace of Newcastle for almost two decades now! Many people had their first taste of the world of comics in our shop. We’ve also had lots of celebrities through our doors over the years from comic innovators to movie stars. And we’ve made a lot of kids’ Christmases thanks to our great range of toys and games.

Why comics?
Our company was first founded on a love of comics and wholly believes in them as a vital and distinct form of creative media. Our parent company, Titan, publishes and distributes some of the biggest and best comics in the UK. Our shops throughout the country strive to offer everyone the best comics we can find for them to enjoy. Here in Newcastle we have hundreds of years (well, almost…) of experience between us and if you’re stuck for something or want to try something new, just ask one of our staff members. We are all big comic readers and we want you to be too!

Further info:
You can find us in Newcastle City Centre at: Forbidden Planet, 59 Grainger Street, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 5JE. Phone us on 0191 2619173 if you need directions or have any questions.

Or you can visit us online at http://www.forbiddenplanet.com or find us on Twitter and Facebook.

Al Ewing


Who are you?
Al Ewing. I write comics at home and abroad, as well as various novels and other projects.

What have you done / what are you doing?
I'm probably best known for my 2000AD work, in particular Zombo, the first two serieses of which are out in trade paperback. In addition to that, I've done some Judge Dredd work, and at the moment I'm working on a couple of things for Dynamite Entertainment in the States, starting with Jennifer Blood #7, which I believe is out sometime in December or so.

Why comics?
You can do anything in comics. It's a unique medium - the mixing of words and pictures, the narrative and the visual - and it continues to fascinate me more than any other.

Further info:
@Al_Ewing

22.11.11

Simon Donald


Simon Donald co-founded the publishing sensation of the 1980s, Viz Comic, writing and drawing on its pages for 24 years, finally leaving in 2003. After working as a TV presenter he moved into stand-up comedy in 2008, releasing his highly acclaimed autobiography in 2010 and his first live comedy DVD in 2011.

Who are you?
Simon Donald, 'Him Off the Viz'. Viz co-founder, comedian, writer, cartoonist, media whore.

What have you done / what are you doing?
You see me, right, I invented Johnny Fartpants (1984) and Sid the Sexist (1982) amongst other toilet funnies.

Why comics?
Because I wasn't good at reading. I discovered that I'm dyslexic when I was forty.

Further info:
www.simondonald.com

21.11.11

Alex Collier


Who are you?
I'm Alex Collier. Illustrator, writer, animator, director, w*nker.

What have you done / what are you doing?
I've just finished work directing a Viz animation for Channel 4 online with Tim Searle of Baby Cow. My next job is a comic strip about vampires for SFX Vampire special.

Why Comics?
Because I didn't have any other attributes or interests which the other kids could pick on me over at school.

Further Info:
www.oddballmedia.com/BLOGBALL
www.alexcollier.co.uk

A recent BBC Comedy project:


15.11.11

Brittany Coxon


Who are you?
Brittany Coxon - Illustrator and Designer.

What have you done / what are you doing?
I once made a comic in 24 hours, it was called Not Mushroom for Thought. I also drew a strip in Food for the Dead, brainchild of the one and only Cuttlefish. You will also find my work in a handful of Paper Jam anthologies. Most recently I have been illustrating and designing through the means of paper cutting and surprisingly both my hands are still intact; these paper cut creations, along with my comic and illustration work, will be available to browse, peruse through and even buy if you feel so inclined.

Why comics?
It has become apparent to me that I like the following things:
  1. telling stories
  2. drawing things
  3. putting things in order
  4. making things
  5. sharing these things with other people
As you can see, all of this can be achieved with comics. Yay.

Further info:
http://britthub.co.uk
http://britt7094.blogspot.com/
@Britt7094

10.11.11

Nigel Auchterlounie AKA Spleenal


Who are you?
Nigel Auchterlounie AKA Spleenal, cartoonist/story-teller.

What have you done / what are you doing?
I draw for The Dandy. I also have a book out called Spleenal from Blank Slate Books with another due out first half of 2012 (if the world doesn't end).

Why comics?
It's the only thing I'm any good at. Well okay I'm not very good at comics but it's the thing I'm least bad at.

Further info:
www.spleenal.blogspot.com

9.11.11

Mack Chater


Who are you?
Mack Chater, concept artist, illustrator, comic book artist/creator...

What have you done / what are you doing?
Worked on Radical Publishing’s EARP: Saints For Sinners (pencilled first issue). Many, MANY computer games, such as Wheelman and Driver: San Franciso (PS3/Xbox/Wii out now - buy it!!!)

Also currently working on some test pages for Marvel, as well as numerous creator owned projects!

Why comics?
I love telling stories, and drawing, so they are the PERFECT combination ...plus I can tell my own stories, free of any budget constraints (obviously that will change when they all become movies!)

Further info:
http://www.mackchater.blogspot.com/
@mackchater

Other comic things happening...

We've got loads more CCC guests lined up, whose profiles we'll be posting soon, plus the events schedule is being worked on right now (it's very exciting) and we're looking forward to releasing details of that in the near future too.

However, as a brief interlude, we'd like to point out a couple of other particularly noteworthy comic-centric events happening in Newcastle (unconnected with the Canny Comic Con) which you may be interested in:

Simone, Sale and Starkings signing soon!
Gail Simone, Tim Sale and Richard Starkings will be signing at Travelling Man from 5pm on Wednesday 16th November. Exciting!

Comic films in a bar!
The Tyneside Cinema are screening several excellent comic adaptation films on Thursdays (all at 9.15 in the bar):

Ingi Jensson


Who are you?
Ingi Jensson, Icelandic cartoonist, comic maker & illustrator, with one foot in Holland and my behind firmly placed in the North East of England.

What have you done / what are you doing?
In 1998 I danced my way out of a ballet teacher’s education and turned my focus on my childhood dream of earning a living from drawing. Since then I’ve done daily newspaper comics, monthly comics for several magazines and my fair share of illustrations for various publishers.

I ran my own comic school in Iceland for three years and for the past two I’ve been offering comic workshops to schools in the North East. I am a somewhat irregular member of The Paper Jam Comics Collective and contributed a two page comic 'Do Androids Smell Electric Sheep' to the PJCC's Robots ...And That anthology project.

Since I’m the new kid on the block, I’ll be putting together a little b/w collection of my work, in English (no need to bring the English/Icelandic dictionary) and offering it for sale to any curious passers-by.

Why comics?
At an early age I was infected with the horrendous comic-flu and I’ve found that the only real antidote is to make comics myself.

Further info:
www.ingi.nl
www.teestoons.com
@ingijensson

7.11.11

A.J. Garrett


Who are you?
A.J. Garrett, artist and co-founder of D.I.Y. arts organisation the Peg Powler Gallery. Producer of various art shows, zines, events, and films, often on a budget of £0 or less.

What have you done / what are you doing?
Estelle is a comic book in zine form that I write with Alyson Agar. I do the drawing and that. The story concerns a 90 year old woman who draws a daily comic strip of a New York newspaper and hasn't missed an edition since 1935. She's very under-appreciated and lives in an apartment building populated by clichés, criminals and weirdoes. Her only true friend turns out to be an overbearing ancient spirit that lives in a toy computer. The comic is all done in a very D.I.Y. fashion - cutting and pasting and pens and photocopiers and no computers.

Peg Powler (named after a legendary monster said to live in the river Tees) is a gallery in Stockton-on-Tees dedicated to underground and unusual art. I started the gallery with Rebecca Little in 2010 and since then we've done lots of exhibitions, special events, weird workshops and more, not just in Stockton but all over the country. The aforementioned A. Agar, being a scholar as well as an artist, acts as our consultant, and we've been able to work with all sorts of excellent quirky characters from different places.

Peg Powler has always had a strong connection to zines and underground comics. We have a little comics library, we've held a bit of a table at London Zine Symposium and we've exhibited comic artists such as the lovely Jeffery Lewis.

Why Comics?
It's a question you might ask yourself at when it's 4 in the morning and you're up blu-tacking speech bubbles onto a drawing of a defecating ghost (a heart warming scene from last year's Estelle Christmas Special).

Further info:
http://sozboz.com
http://pegpowler.com
@EstelleTheComic

4.11.11

Mary M Talbot


Who are you?
Mary M Talbot, academic-turned-graphic-novelist.

What have you done / what are you doing?
I’ve worked in higher education for over twenty-five years and Dotter of her Father’s Eyes is the first work I’ve undertaken in the graphic novel format. I’ve published widely on language, gender and power, particularly in relation to media and consumer culture. My other recent books include Language and Gender (2nd edition) and Media Discourse: Representation and Interaction. I’m currently scripting a historical graphic novel.

Why comics?
It’s a great medium, where it’s still possible to do new and exciting things. I’m really enjoying using the graphic novel format to explore gender politics and women’s social history in an accessible and interesting way.

Further info:
www.mary-talbot.co.uk

3.11.11

Paul Scott

                  (picture by Bryan Coyle)

Who are you?
Hi, I'm Paul Scott, sometimes known as Paul von Scott, editor and writer of the award-winning Solar Wind and the critically acclaimed Omnivistascope.

My day job is working in a library, and my evening job is sculpting for Midlam Miniatures. Creating comics is a hobby and I've put out over 1000 pages of comics to date.

What have you done / what are you doing?
My work in comics can be divided into three easily summed-up episodes:

1. My first comic, Solar Wind, was a homage/spoof of 70's and 80's British Kids comics, the ones that you can no longer find on the newsagent's shelves. 

2. For the last 7 years I have been working on my science fiction comic Omnivistascope, a high quality book format anthology, featuring some incredible artwork.

3. For the future I will be working on stand alone collections, featuring characters and storylines I created from Omnivistascope, Solar Wind and beyond.

Why comics?
The comic 2000AD, from 1977-1987, was, unknown to most people, the greatest cultural achievement of western civilisation and it's influence has echoed through comics, books, films and beyond as a generation of fans turned onto 'thrill-power' have taken the comics influence with them into the wider world. It really was just the most amazing thing my teenage mind had ever come across, I discovered whole worlds, met strange and incredible people and I don’t think I've ever got over those levels of imagination, creativity and story telling.

Further info:
You can find me at www.omnivistascope.com and on facebook under Omnivistascope.

2.11.11

Readers of the Lost Art


Who are you?
Readers of the Lost Art, probably the longest-running graphic novel reading group in the UK, based at Newcastle City Library.

What have you done / what are you doing?
We've been meeting fortnightly since March 2004, using the Library's graphic novel stock as a basis for group discussions on all kinds of comic-related topics. We write graphic novel reviews and occasional articles which we publish on our website. Aside from borrowing the stock and discussing/reviewing it, we've also had a hand in selecting it on behalf of the library. We meet alternate Tuesdays at the library, all welcome.

At the CCC, we'll be recommending material from the library stock - so go on, read some comics free!

Why comics?
Comics (well, specifically graphic novels) are ideal for library reading groups - compared to prose books, graphic novels are quicker to read, more expensive to buy, and perhaps easier to assess and discuss. It's odd that there aren't more groups like us!

(Also: "who would win in a fight, Batman or Hulk?" never gets old).

Further info:
http://readers-of-the-lost-art.org.uk/