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.

Four comics about empty places & the people who live there + extras, now available in print. 176 beautiful black and white pages, created by me and brought into the physical world by Comic Printing UK.

Includes: Looking Glass Heights, Labyrinths, the Alasdair Gray adaptations of Beyond Whiles and a brand new comic called Raptor, which brings the LGH sequence to a close.

You can buy the print edition here and the digital version here. Nae extras in the PDF version, and it can’t sit on your shelf making you look damn attractive like the book can, so weigh both options accordingly.



PRAISE FOR NOT BECAUSE OF THE PEOPLE

The best haunted house comic you’ve never read” – Dan White, artist of Cindy and Biscuit and Sticky Ribs.

Classic British indie small press pamphlet, and a sharp burst of mood and ideas. It’s very much comics as poem – it’s the sort of work that Douglas Noble has been known to do” – Kieron Gillen, writer of The Uncanny X-Men and The Wicked + The Divine

A spooky zine… Liked this a lot. The writing is really strong and the art suggests just enough to make you uneasy” – Sarah Horrocks, artist and creator of Aorta and Goro

***

If you enjoy Not Because of the People or have enjoyed any of the individual LGH comics in the past, please consider giving some time or money to Living Rent (Scotland’s Tenants Union) or another similar group closer to home –

thanks,

David

KOMISK! KOMISK! KOMISK!

October 1st, 2018

As debuted at Thought Bubble, KOMISK, the Ikea themed comics anthology, is now available from Fraser Geesin’s webstore!

Featuring strips by Geesin, Kathryn Briggs, Gareth A. Hopkins, Tom Mortimer, Paul Jon Milne and David Allison (that’s me – hi mum!), KOMISK exists at the point where mild domestic ambition blurs into existential terror and where novel shelving solutions seem to mock you in your dreams.

“Darkly humorous… really very, very funny”Andy Oliver, Broken Frontier

“Includes Fraser Geesin’s THE INCREDIBLE EVERYDAY, the best thing I’ve read all weekend”Colin Bell, Thought Bubble 2018

As a wee taster, you can download an alternative version of one my contributions to the anthology, Spegelvärlden, RIGHT HERE!

The finished version of the strip is shorter, less oblique and packed full of words cos yer man Geesin was keen on providing value for money for paying punters, but I still quite like this version and hopefully it’ll give you a flavour of the ruined good that await you in the anthology itself!

A collaboration with Edinburgh based artist and ghost merchant Shaky Ghost, Cut-Out Witch contains twenty five pages worth of lost souls and lo-fi monster magic – imagine a teen goth Terminus and you’ll be on the right track.  Shaky Ghost provided the pictures, I added the words, but if you want to cleanse yourself with holy water after reading then I’m afraid you’ll have to bring your own bottle.

“Cut-Out Witch is really good… Lovely creepy stuff” – Twitter’s own James Baker

Almost every page made me laugh or smile or feel things” - comics’ own Ales Kot

“You do seem to be able to dash such things off quite easily, I kind of wish I could do that…” - A Trout in the Circus’ very own Plok

You can buy the print edition here if you want to make a couple of lost souls happy, but Cut-Out Witch is now available for FREE in PDF format!

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD CUT-OUT WITCH!

If you read the comic and enjoy it, please have a look at the Young Leith Ghost
site
for more of Shaky Ghost’s work and consider donating some cash to the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH).

Click here for a preview!

Fresh from Thought Bubble 2014, it’s the one chapter preview of THE FUNCTION OF THE FILTH, my forever delayed book on Grant Morrison and Chris Weston’s best comic, The Filth, to be serialised in five posts corresponding to the five positions of The Hand!

CLICK HERE TO PEEL BACK THE MONITOR SCREEN AND PLAY WITH THE GOOPY MONSTER UNDERNEATH

Prismism

July 28th, 2014

With Grant Morrison’s Multiversity finally on the (candyfloss)horizon, he’s been doing some interviews in support of the book on The Comics Internet. You remember The Comics Internet, right? That place you used to go to discuss comics after you got sick of chopping up old issues of Wizard and randomly inserting snippets of inane commentary underneath pictures of classic (#classic) alt comics in TCJ, but before you resorted to gnomic twitter commentary and/or listening to a seemingly endless supply of podcasts while wanking/doing your housework/riding the bus?

The topic of the Prismatic Age of comics came up during one of these press adventures, with only a little bit of prompting from the interviewer from Comics Alliance:

Grant Morrison: Unlike Seven Soldiers… that was a lot more modular. This one is more of relay race, that was the structure we built because each universe is reading the comic books from the previous universe, and that’s how they learn about the threat, basically. It’s more like a chain. It doesn’t have the same intricate jigsaw pattern as Seven Soldiers. It’s quite linear, this one. I wanted to do something quite linear and simple and everyone could “get” this time. This one is for people who’ve never read DC before but want to get into this gigantic maelstrom of characters and versions of characters; the prismatic world of DC.

Comics Alliance: They call it the “prismatic age.”

GM: Yeah!

As long time Mindless readers will already know, this term originated in a couple of posts by our own Botswana Beast.  Good little virus that it is, the idea of The Prismatic Age has infected comics fans and academics alike, and if you’ve so far managed to avoid contagion, I’d recommend you do what all the cool kids were doing six years ago and expose yourself to the Bottie Beast!

Here’s a pre-amble, in which BB talks useless taxonomy in A Hall of Mirrors!

And here’s the main event, in which The Prismatic Age is… well, if not born, then at least recognised for what it was!

A tasty wee taster, just to get you started:

The ideology of the Prismatic Age, what it insistently moves toward, is that all parts are active, all of the time. While not necessarily visible monthly, nor are they hidden or overwritten – this was the notion of Hypertime, never fully realised but approached in the much-loathed-for-rule-breaking Kingdom. Summary of all incarnations, a distillate. This is partly what I find so terribly aggravating about the PopMatters piece that set me on this path many moons ago, apart from its attempts to cloak in inscrutable terminology a daft enthusiasm for two largely consequenceless and really quite markedly shit event-books from last year, is the lack of understanding of either superheroes or, really, the postmodernism it touts. Postmodernism is largely about (oh-ho-ho, I am going to tell you what postmodernism is “largely about” on a comics blog,) textually, shifting loci on a subject, a lack of definitiveness in portrayals and readings – to read Civil War(!!) as somehow having achieved a permanent destabilisation of the superhero archetype because it wasn’t about a binary black & white bone of contention?! No: that ship had long since sailed, it was a pirate ship in a comic read by an African-American child beside a fire hydrant, and the sole difference was that it was big duopoly franchise comic events that were dealing, ham-fistedly of course, with the supposed issues: none of which were terribly worldly, one of which was sort of, if you squinted, slightly topical. Boring, kneejerk Dark Age scions, really – Civil War literally ordains the Keene Act, for Rao’s sake! The spirit of this age seems to me throughout to have been essentially one of recapitulation and of remixing, in this case 2006 remixed 1986 badly – but this is also how you end up with Batmite as a Jungian portent of impending demise.

Check back tomorrow from more Multiversity pre-amble, because apparently I quite like The Comics Internet, when I remember that it still exists!

Like the text says, there’s more from me and Mister Attack at The Weegie Board dot wordpress dot com! If you’d rather read Scott’s comics without all my stupid words on top, he’s got exactly the thing for you at his own site.

If, on the other hand, you were hoping to find out about actual Weegie Boards (for contacting dead weegies), you might have to take your business elsewhere

Merry Christmas?

LOOKING GLASS HEIGHTS

November 30th, 2013

Fresh from Thought Bubble 2013, it’s the zine full of comics and essays about suicide, hubris and social housing that everyone – well, at least one person! – is talking about, Looking Glass Heights!

This first issue features:

  • THE BLOWNDOWN OF BARRY BROWN – a comic about a man who goes up a a building then comes back down again, though whether the man or the building are the same in the end is up to you to decide.
  • REALITY WAR – US vs. THEM – an essay on social housing and the customer service reflex.
  • FLOWERS IN A FOREGROUND – another essay on Frank Miller, Eddie Campbell, and art vs. reality.
  • BREAKDOWN OF A BLOWDOWN – a deconstruction of the method used to create the art for Looking Glass Heights #1 (“a comic drawn by someone who can’t really draw, using a tool that wasn’t meant for the job”).
“David Allison has produced something of a winner here, combining comics and essays into a powerful zine… one comic, one essay into the sociopolitical message behind it, one essay that critiques comics that have influenced the comic, and a critique of the comic itself. Jesus christ, if more comic creators did this I would be an extremely happy bunny! Though I’d also be out of a job…”Laura Sneddon, The Beat 

“…made me feel thing with a limited size and toolkit”Twitter’s own James Baker

UK & Europe £2.00 + £1.50 postage & packing:

BUY NOW!

International £2.00 + £2.00 postage & packing:
BUY NOW!

Click here for a three page preview!

December 17th, 2012

C&B3COVER(2)

Cindy & Biscuit no.3 is done, dusted and available for purchase now! Just in time for Christmas too…

And it’s the biggest issue yet – 56 pages! It includes the singe longest C&B story I’ve ever done, Abducted Again which clocks in at a whopping 37 pages! It also includes the stories Cindy & Biscuit and the Camera and Cindy & The Fever (previous published here at Mindless Ones).

Needless to say, I’m super pleased with this and can safely say it’s the best work I’ve ever done. I hope you like it too.

Click below for some sample images, and then head over to my shop to get yourself a copy. While you’re there you can pick up issues 1 and 2!

Read the rest of this entry »