It's been quiet on the blog here but I've been extremely busy working on a number of things. One of which, I can now talk about...
Solipsistic Pop is a new anthology of alternative UK comic artists that I have been preparing for a few months now. I wanted to create something similar to RAW!, Mome, Sturgeon White Moss, Kramers Ergot and the comics issue of McSweeneys - something that would give some of the amazing small press work out there a platform. Those of us wanting to create alternative comics in the UK don't have a whole lot of options when it comes to publishers so this seemed like a perfect way to kickstart something that I think most people interested in comics would like to see.
With the carefully picked contributors busy working on their comics for the first volume (due for release in November), I've been preparing the website and working on my own contribution. Here's the logo, PR, and self-portraits of the artists involved:
Solipsistic Pop is a biannual anthology designed to spotlight the best in alternative Comic art from the UK.
It features diverse, beautiful, twisted and peculiar Comics that you won't be able to find anywhere else. Comic artists old and new are encouraged to contribute. Solipsistic Pop intends to provide a support structure and outlet for UK alternative Comics.
Each book of Solipsistic Pop will be a boutique, tactile product. An interactive, unique artefact designed to suit the content of each edition with an extremely limited printrun.
This website will be updated with previews of artwork from the first book, essays, news and related live events.
Book one arrives November 2009
The website went live last week with a manifesto that I wrote with Matthew Sheret which was written as a brief statement of intent for the anthology and for what we want to see from comics in the future. For many creators and readers of comics, the points will be blindingly obvious but it felt worthwhile and useful to gather our thoughts about the state of comics like this.
Some people will undoubtedly get rubbed up the wrong way by it. That's what manifestos do. Obviously it is intended to provoke debate but I genuinely agree with every single point on there. The manifesto is not attempting to dictate what anyone should write or draw. Rather, the manifesto is intended to be inspiring - to urge people to feel that there are no rules to creating comics and that we should reclaim the term from those who would have us be embarrassed by it. Anything that is rejected or denied by us is specifically designed to open the possibilites - not reduce them. It'll sadden me if people read it differently but I imagine I can't do much about that.
The manifesto and announcement of the anthology aside, I've been working on a new eight page, full colour comic for the anthology called Special Guest Appearance. It is my first proper attempt at fiction and I'm really excited about how it's coming together. Here's a sneak peak: