If you’re in Harrogate for Thought Bubble this weekend, why not stop by to say hello to Mindless Men at tables 27b-28, Comixology Originals Hall?

THIS IS A TEST!  Those who are in attendance but who do not want to stop by our table must submit their answer as to why in the form of an essay.  2000 words on the button.  Those who fail will be subject to sanctions so foul they would make Darkseid wince.

This goes double for SILENCE! to Astonish Live, which will be held from 15:30-16:15 at ROOM 2 on Saturday 13th November, and will feature special guests Al Ewing, Becky Cloonan, Hannah Berry and Rachel Stott alongside your usual hosts Al Kennedy, Gary Lactus and The Beast Must Die.

Anyway, if you want to stop by our table, here’s who’ll be lurking there and what they’ll have in store for you…

DAN WHITE AKA THE BEAST MUST DIE

You read it here first, but from tomorrow onward you can carry it around with you like an unusually lush grudge.  We’re talking words, we’re talking pictures, we’re talking a series of gag comics that might curdle the very milk in your eye – that’s right people, we’re talking about the new hardcover collection of Terminus.

As discussed on SILENCE!: Inside the Wanker’s Studio, Dan’s reworked some of these old strips to tighten up early episodes, which have been bound in a beautiful package by the legendary Comic Printing UK.

Dan’s also returned to comics’ favourite double act with Cindy and Biscuit: Year One, a newspaper format comic detailing the early days of our heroes in a series of neat, Bill Watterson-inflected adventures.

Here’s what Broken Fontier’s Andy Oliver, who you still worship as a god despite prior warnings, had to say about it:

With previous Cindy and Biscuit editions all available digitally, Cindy and Biscuit: Year One is a perfect print edition entry point into their world and is entirely accessible for new readers. This time White has adopted a Sunday Comics broadsheet format to take us back to an earlier point in Cindy’s life when she was not much older than a toddler and her relationship with Biscuit was just beginning. As such, these six stories are mostly far more light-hearted in approach, stripped of much of the ever lurking melancholy to be found in her (chronologically) later misadventures and paced more to build up to punchline endings (small excerpts of strips only here!). For those more versed the Cindy and Biscuit universe, though, the foundations for what is to come are very much in evidence in a one-shot that both parodies and celebrates the whole “Year One” comics publishing stunt.

One day the whole world will want to hold this comic.  You can do so tomorrow – what a treat!

FRASER GEESIN AKA GARY LACTUS 

In his top secret alter-ego of Big Massive Genius Fraser Geesin, Gary Lactus has created Purple Hate Balloon in collaboration with Laurie Rowan.

Since I am still obliged to crawl to Andy Oliver as the whole town of Bedford Falls was obliged to crawl to Potter, I will once again quote from his Broken Frontier review:

Purple Hate Balloon is the story of Roger and his pet Susan, the first of a breed of new genetically engineered floating animals known as Labralloons who feed on anger. Given this, Roger has had a valve fitted to his head to let off the excess pressure of being in a state of perpetual rage to satiate Susan’s hunger. Susan’s soothing flatulence on digesting anger though is manifested in the comforting aromas of fabric conditioners, freshly baked bread, and satsumas at Christmas, providing a sense of catharsis for those around her…

You can certainly look for social commentary in Geesin and Rowan’s story, or even project some on it if you want. I’m sure there are parallels and analogies to be drawn. Or you could just absorb it at face value as a self-contained tale with a darkly comedic appeal that is both sublime and delicious in its delivery. This is also some of Geesin’s very best cartooning to date with often cramped panels and slightly distorted characters adding to that skewed sense of a world like ours that has gone off-kilter.

Fraser’s art has been getting better and better over the past few years, and this looks to continue that trend in a suitably ludicrous style.

Best to find out about the fuss and ruckus before it finds out about you!

ANDREW HICKEY AKA ANDRE WHICKEY 

Fresh from his appearance on BBC’s Top Gear, Andrew will be in town to podcast live into the faces of friends and enemies alike.

Know him.  Love him.  Fear him.  Support him on Patreon.

DAVID ALLISON AKA ILLOGICAL VOLUME

In an effort to avoid becoming so bland that he stopped registering on the average taste bud during lockdown, Illogical Volume (stop writing about yourself in the third person! – ed)  has kept himself busy making comics and zines.  The following three projects will be making their Thought Bubble debut this weekend…

Not Because of the People 

Four stories about abandoned places and the people who live there.  Walk around a series of landscapes that may or may not seem familiar, maybe even real.  You are not alone.

Previews available here, here, here and here.

Future Crimes #1

If the plague era has taught us anything, it’s that the power of raw delusion should not be underestimated. Future Crimes #1 proves that anything can be a holiday from yourself. Building a new bookshelf can be an erotic adventure.  Being grilled by your boss can be a gateway to conspiracy.  Actually going on holiday can be a dull day staring at yourself in the bathroom mirror.  Believe.

Bad Poetry

Like good poetry, bad poetry knows no boundaries. Unlike good poetry, bad poetry doesn’t really have any sense of what it’s doing.

One for the true aesthetes in the audience, we’re sure.

DAN COX AND JOHN RIORDAN AKA THE HITSVILLE BOYS

Fresh from their adventures through heaven and hell, Dan and John are back in the building to flog Hitsville UK, the cult musical-pop-art-soap-opera comic book collected in 240 pages of psychedelic colour.

Follow a carnival of angel-voiced grotesques, monster-hunters, imaginary robots, hip-hop agitators, faded 80s starlets, 60s throwbacks, drug-addled producers and demonic accountants as they try to hit the big time.

“Like comics and music? Then get Hitsville UK” – Stuart Maconie, BBC 6 Music

John will also have copies of his gorgeous illustrated guide to Music’s Cult Artists on sale if you really feel like treating yourself this weekend.

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