Alternative Press

I must give a mention and thanks to the organisers of last month’s Alternative Press Festival. The Festival involved several different events held over five days in London, and launched the Alternative Press anthology ‘Publish You’. Publish You is a great, glossy, nicely-bound and smartly-designed paperback including work from a variety of artists working in small press – some of my favourites being Hugh Raine, Scott Jason Smith, James Nash, Banal Pig, Kate McMorrine- actually, there are too many to list here. But it’s well worth taking a look for yourself and it’s available from a lot of bookshops in London (see here), or online here.

I went to two of the week’s events, Collaborama held at a cool arty pub called the Miller in London Bridge, and the Alternative Press Fair at St Aloysius Social Club near Euston. It’s always invigorating to see the diverse creative wares on show and to get a good reaction for my own work, and it’s given me a renewed enthusiasm for producing my own comics.

While the Fair was a more traditional day of selling behind tables (and a successful day it was), the Collaborama was as its name ought to suggest, an event designed to encourage collaborative work in small press. Leeds’ Footprinter collective brought their Risograph machine and copied 300 issues of a zine created on the day by small press makers and fair attendees.

I drew an animal for the zine… though as some pointed out I could have drawn a Tibetan leader.

llama

llama

The event also included live music from London’s own Antifolk collective, who were as to be expected great in parts, and the evening ended with the Resonance FM orchestra playing a selection of laptop improv and a composition based on the character of Fu Manchu, which was appropriately sinister and melodramatic (I particularly enjoyed the comical guitar riff played each time the criminal’s name was spoken, cutting in like a violent fanfare). The music was accompanied by visuals from a selection of artists, interpreting what they heard and projecting live onto the walls. As a live experience this was especially effective and dramatic to watch when some started colouring over what they had already done, thereby destroying previous work – working only for the moment instead of creating a piece of work to keep. Adding live music, or live poetry / spoken-word performance as the organisers had at an earlier evening, and encouraging the audience to participate, really opens up the creative potential and the audience appeal of these festivals.

Keep an eye on comicsandzines.wordpress.com to see what’s next in store, and get involved!

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3 Responses to “Alternative Press”

  1. andrewwales Says:

    You have a really great style. I loved your cover on the “Covered” blog. Keep up the great work!

  2. Sian K Says:

    omg i remember you! and that llama! i was the girl sitting next to you at that table, drawing that bears and balloon picture.
    your stuff is really good!

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