5 Question Interview #111

We put 5 Questions to Dan & Lisa, the brains behind Spa Town Comics and Leamington Comic Con...

What's the secret origin story of Spa Town Comics and how did it all come together?

Dan – We’d previously kick-started and run two comic conventions (Leam Comic Con) in the Town, so knew people had a passion for comics and community events. We had talked about how cool having our own store would be - we even had the name (Spa Town Comics) but it was in 2016 when things fell into place.

Lisa - We both wanted something for ourselves and to create something special for the Town we love, so I quit my job. We’re very clear about what we want Spa Town to be, which is more than your average comic book store - we’re about comics, creativity and community. The sad truth is there’s not much money to be made in comics, you have to create a brand and give people a reason to believe in you. We won’t and can’t compete on price, but we can be 100% better when it comes to offering a personal service and creating a community hub for our Town.

Since you started, what moment has been your highlight so far?

Lisa - Hands down it’s the amazing people we have met and the friends we have made. Despite being a pop-up stall in the local shopping centre at present, the support we get is unbelievable. We recently asked our customers for some feedback and 100% said the thing they’d miss most if they couldn’t buy from us anymore is us! So when you have those odd days when you doubt yourself or things seem a little hard, I like to remind myself that we’re making a difference.

What's your favourite thing about what you do?

Lisa – Being your own boss. If I want to stand around and talk to customers all day then I will. I see it as research - we’re listening to our customers all the time, so if they tell us they want more Manga then we order it in, if they want a comics and cocktail night then we’ll arrange one! We’re not fixated on selling just the types of comics we like, we’re open to suggestions.

This is your first year at True Believers, what can people expect to find at your table on the day?

Dan - We’ll be bringing a selection of comics, back issues and graphic novels, but we’ll also be bringing a few things that you can’t buy elsewhere too! We’re passionate about support creativity within the industry and that means helping other independent businesses too. We have an awesome selection of hand turned wooden bats made locally for us which go down a storm – no one can resist picking up our Lucille or Goodnight! We’ll also be bringing some handmade mini figure pictures, art from local artists, oh and our good selves ;-)

If you could pick one line or moment from a comic, which would it be?

Dan – It’s got to be my cameo appearance in Mike Garley’s Killscreen – what comic fan wouldn’t want to feature in a comic, even if I was wearing a blue jumpsuit, with a green diamond on my face and was blown up with everyone else in a bunker!

Thanks guys.

You can find Spa Town Comics on Facebook and Leamington Comic Con on Facebook too.  And don't forget to stop by the Spa Town Table at #TBCF2017 and say "Hello" (don't kill any of their men though, they have a Lucille).

5 Question Interview #110

We delved into the Psychedelic Journal and asked 5 Questions...

What’s the secret origin story of The Psychedelic Journal and how did it all come together?

It was a dark and stormy night, although actually it was about ten in the morning July 14th, when the Quantum Capybaras first appeared to us.  Harnessing the cosmic powers from their own dimension, they planned on destroying all life as we know it and re-shaping the planet in their own image. They were literally going to carve the Earth into the shape of a capybara, unless we could prove to them that people were worth saving.  So we created the Psychedelic Journal to showcase the best art and writing that the small-press scene has to offer, and so far we’ve managed to avert total annihilation of life as we know it. 

What inspires you to create? 

Mostly the threat of destruction from the capybaras, but the opportunity to gather together and showcase some amazing small-press talent also plays a part.

Since you started, what moment has been your highlight so far?

Patrick Stewart is a big fan! He came up to our table at one convention, riding on a steam-powered Segway and wearing a dinosaur costume, told us the comic was the best thing he’d ever read, handed me a Caramac bar and then wheeled away. Actually I may have dreamed that.

This is your third year at True Believers, what can people expect to find at your table on the day?

Our latest issue, The Psychedelic Journal of the Wild West, will be there in all its glory, as well as all of our time-travel themed previous issues.  If you’re really lucky you might find our giant electric hermit crab, his name is Small Iain and we love him.

If you could pick one line that inspires you from a comic or nerd culture as your life motto, which would you choose?

"Do not meddle in the affairs of wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger,” is something we learned the hard way compiling The Psychedelic Journal of General Wizardry (out later this year) but it’s also just generally good life advice.  

Thank you.

You can find more of The Psychedelic Journal on Facebook and Twitter @Psych_Journal and stop by their table at #TBCF2017 and say "Hello".  

Not bought your tickets yet? Head to our Tickets page now to get yours.

 

5 Question Interview #109

We put 5 Questions to Ricky and Adam from The Swansea Comic Collective...

What’s the secret origin story of Swansea Comic Collective and how did it all come together?

Adam and Ricky Psionically implanted the idea of gathering the artists and writers of the Swansea area into the minds of Pete and SoK despite having never met them or even each other at that point.

Or

The Swansea Comic Collective was founded in September 2008 by two blokes in a comic shop. Fed up with talking about creating comics but not putting pencil to paper often enough, Pete and Mark decided to start a group where local artists and writers could meet to collectively pursue this goal. 

What inspires you to create?

Both Ricky and Adam have shown an interest in writing since they were kids, and they have been reading comics for as long as they can remember. (Which is tricky to work out in Adam's case due to the repeated blows to the head that he has received over the years).

Inspiration for their work comes from their rabid love of all things geek. Being kids of the eighties they were, of course, raised on pop rocks and rad cartoons; all of those e-numbers and opening credits filled with power ballads ensured that they grew up to be fully functioning kidults.

Since you started, what moment has been your highlight so far?

Getting to interact with other comic creators independent and professionals, also some of the actors and wrestlers like Billy West, Robert Picardo, Tommy Dreamer and...Goldust that we have met at conventions around the country. We should probably also mention that publishing our comic Copperopolis here too.

This is your third year at True Believers, what can people expect to find at your table on the day?

A fat ginger guy and a bald vegan, selling a comic book called Copperopolis, that is set in a fictional version of Swansea with dragons, magic, and adventure. You can also stop by and have a chat with the guys they are always happy to chat about nerdy topics. 

If you could pick one line that inspires you from a comic or nerd culture as your life motto, which would you choose?

'With Great Power comes Great Responsibility so Don't Get Cocky Kid; after all We're Going to Need a Bigger Boat because Bread Makes you Fat and In Space No-One Can Hear You Scream but Welcome to Jurassic Park, and If it Bleeds we Can Kill It so Who You Gonna Call? DRAAAAGGGGOOOOO!!

- Hail to the King, Baby,

Sincerely yours,

The Breakfast Club

 P.S. I'll be Back'

Thanks guys!

You can find more of The Swansea Comic Collective on their website and on Twitter @SCCassemble and be sure to stop by their table at #TBCF2017 and say "Hello".

Not bought your tickets yet? Head to our Tickets page now to buy yours.

5 Question Interview: Guest Edition #16

We put 5 Questions to TBCF2017 Guest, Jessica Martin...

What’s the secret origin story of how you entered the world of comic creation?  

I was bitten by the drawing bug after a family visit to the Tate Modern a few years ago.  It was a book called "The Creative License. (Giving yourself permission to be the artist you truly are) which I bought in the gift shop that set me on the path. This lovely hand drawn and hand lettered book advocated a daily practice of drawing anything, anywhere without judging your efforts or erasing and simply drawing what you see. 

Within a year I had a sketchbook overflowing with sketches of evolving skill and of objects that would never have interested me in drawing before.. like cars, houses, chairs!

I am a musical theatre actress by profession and after a quiet spell, with a lot of drawing, I got cast as Lady of the Lake in a tour of Spamalot. I took my sketchbook along and our leading man, Phill Jupitus who is a die hard comic fan took one look at my sketches and declared "You should try creating a graphic novel."

I'd never created a comic strip let alone a graphic novel but that was my epiphany. I immersed myself in reading graphic novels and was really excited by authors like Posy Simmonds and Alison Bechdel who really were achieving illustrated works with literary merit. 

I also found myself drawn to the realistic and beautifully rendered artwork in the mainstream comics of DC and Marvel which prompted to buy an entire series of the DC How to ... technical guides for comic making. 

Within a few months of teaching myself and a couple of online courses, I had outlined a graphic novel and completed 25 pages. The story "Elsie Harris Picture Palace" which has now been published was in embryonic form but I went to my first comic con in 2012 and bravely showed those pages to the editor of Titan Comics at the time, Steve White. He was very encouraging and introduced me to a network of other writers and artists. At my next comic con, I met Mark Buckingham the highly successful DC comics artist most known for his work on the Vertigo series " Fables". He was also very encouraging and offered to mentor me with my graphic novel and has been a good friend and adviser since that day.

I created my first self published comic " It Girl" about the life of Clara Bow in 2013 which I launched at Thought Bubble Comic Con. Corinne Pearlman from Myriad Editions saw my work and invited me to submit my graphic novel work in progress to the Myriad Editions First Graphic Novel 2014 competition. " Elsie Harris Picture Palace" was in the final shortlist of six. 

The book was picked up by Miwk Publications and published in 2015.

What inspires you to create? 

As people can see from the subject matter of my comics and art prints and indeed " Elsie Harris", I am obsessed with classic film .. the aesthetic, the stories of the stars and the genius of the creatives. 

I am inspired by the beautiful styles of golden age illustrators like Alex RAYMOND, Alex Toth, Jack Kirby and modern comic artists Mark Buckingham, Mike Kaluta, Bryan Talbot and Eddie Campbell. 

What's your favourite thing about what you do? 

My favourite thing about creating comics is the pure autonomy of being able to express something that is in your head in an immediate literary and visual way. After years in the profession of theatre where things are so dependent on the outcome of an audition or financial backing it is refreshing to find a much less obstructive route to one's own creativity.

Since you started, what moment so far has been your highlight? 

There are many highlights for me but one of the defining moments on my 'road to comics' was when I showed Mark Buckingham my early pages for "Elsie Harris Picture Palace" and watched his smiling face as he looked over the work and said " This is lovely!"

That for me, was the moment that gave me confidence and the hope that one day, I could be a contender!

If you could pick one line from comics... what would be your motto?

My motto is from the wonderful Vertigo series Madame Xanadu by Matt Wagner.  The heroine is a psychic and tarot card reader.  On the windows of her establishment are the words, " Enter freely and unafraid"... could be my mantra for entering the comics industry!

Thanks Jessica

You can find more of Jessica online at her WEBSITE, on TWITTER & on IMDB and don't forget to stop by her table at #TBCF2017 and say "Hello"

Not bought your tickets yet? Head to our ticket page now and buy yours.

5 Question Interview #108

We put 5 Questions to the folks at Frisson Comics...

What’s the secret origin story of Frisson Comics and how did it all come together?

Two socially awkward horror fans in Liverpool came together to create a unique horror experience in comic form. 

What inspires you to create?

Both of us have the physical need to create but neither of us want children. 

Since you started, what moment has been your highlight so far?

Seeing the support we’ve received on our 2 Kickstarter campaigns!  

This is your first year at True Believers, what can people expect to find at your table on the day? 

Our debut graphic novel ’Take Only Photographs, Leave Only Footprints’ plus our horror compilation zines ‘Knock Knock’ plus somewhat out of the current theme ’The Little Book of Mermaids’  

If you could pick one line that inspires you from a comic or nerd culture as your life motto, which would you choose?

'I am a horror maniac who prefers to stay at home’ - Junji Ito

Thanks Folks.

Be sure to check out the Frisson comics website and stop by their table at #TBCF2017 and say "Hello!"

Not bought your tickets yet? Buy them from our website now.

5 Question Interview #107

We put 5 Questions to the brains behind Mad Robot Comics...

What’s the secret origin story of Mad Robot Comics and how did it all come together?

We are a guy who loves comics (Matt Hardy) and a guy who loves drawing (Edward Bentley) who went from doing comics for fun to actually discovering people wanted to read them! MRC combines Matt's vast knowledge of comics with Ed's cinematic style of art. As well as our successful line of self-published books, we are now branching out to solo projects and new books involving collaborations with new artists and writers. 

What inspires you to create? 

Matt says that if he doesn't regularly wash the blindingly creative ideas out of his brain then his head will slowly start to melt. Edward is in it for the money. Or maybe, just maybe we love creating new concepts and ideas, watching them take on a life of their own and bring joy to people. But money and melty heads are also in the mix. 

Since you started, what moment has been your highlight so far?

Most likely the response to our latest book - Cadavers 1: Doppelgänger.  Both the Kickstarter and the comic receive massive interest and we are exceptional proud of how it turned out. And then getting our own art studio. A perfect place to drink beer and store all the toys! And er make comics. 

This is your first year at True Believers, what can people expect to find at your table on the day? 

We will have signed copies of the 32 page first issue of Cadavers (including the alternate cover by Warrick Johnson Cadwell). We will also have Madhouse and Last Exit to Brighton Graphic Novels and original prints/artwork by Edward Bentley. And maybe free sweets if Matt doesn't eat them all.  

If you could pick one line that inspires you from a comic or nerd culture as your life motto, which would you choose?

"If you're Guilty...you're Dead" - from the 1987 Mike Baron/Klaus Janson character defining Punisher series? Bit much? How about 'No matter what our differences we are all Ponies" from My Llittle Pony: Friendship is Magic? 

Thanks guys.

Be sure to check out Mad Robot Comics online at their website and on Twitter, and stop by their table at #TBCF2017 and say "Hello!"

Not bought your tickets yet? Buy them from our website now.

5 Question Interview #106

We put 5 Questions to Illustrator Matilda Dawes...

What’s the secret origin story that led to you becoming an illustrator and how did it all come together?

I've always found the best way to communicate the ideas in my head is to draw them. I wanted to find a job that revolves around communicating visually, drawing is my natural language, I wouldn't be me without it.

What inspires you to create?

My inspiration comes from everything around me; from funny animals on social media to environmental issues, life experiences, all kinds of stories, other illustrators and movies. 

Since you started, what moment has been your highlight so far?

Getting my first commission, it felt like a confirmation that I would be able to make a living from being a creative and doing what I love.

This is your first year at True Believers, what can people expect to find at your table on the day?

I shall be selling prints of my artwork, some mini zines, stickers, badges and a first print of the preview for 'Garbage Striders', set in the year 2984.

If you could pick one line that inspires you from a comic or nerd culture as your life motto, which would you choose?

" DON'T PANIC " - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams

Thanks Matilda.

You can find more of Matilda online at her website and by following her on Twitter @matilda_dawes and make sure you stop by her table at #TBCF2017 and say "Hello!"

And if you haven't bought your tickets yet, you can buy them from our website now

5 Question Interview #105

We put 5 Questions to Lynne from Flutterby...

What’s the secret origin story of Flutterby and how did it all come together?

I have been creative all my life and always wanted to work in this field, Flutterby took off quiet a few years back when I was out of work due to illness. 5 years ago Flutterby was turned from just a hobby to my own little venture and I used the money I got off my gran when she died so it would be more meaningful. I picked Flutterby because I love butterflies and its the symbol of my illness.

What inspires you to create?

Peoples love for my owls and creations inspire me as well as movies, tv, music and comics. I get ideas from cosplay to.

Since you started, what moment has been your highlight so far?

I get highlights all the time when hearing what people say about what I make and reviews I get.

This is your first year at True Believers, what can people expect to find at your table on the day?

People will expect fun and creative handmade items from my own creation THE SUPER OWL, which are cute, fun owls inspired by movies, comic, tv, music characters and people. I make aprons, capes, hair accessories, decoupaged items and much more.

If you could pick one line that inspires you from a comic or nerd culture as your life motto, which would you choose?

‘This time next year, we’ll be millionaires’ - Del Boy, Only Fools & Horses

Thanks Lynne.

Don't forget to stop by the Flutterby table at #TBCF2017 and say "Hello".

And if you haven't got your tickets yet, don't forget to buy them from our website now.

5 Question Interview #104

We dived into the world of Bubble Tea and put 5 Questions to the brains behind Manhua Cha...

What’s the secret origin story of Manhua Cha and how did it all come together?

We've always loved comic books and bubble tea, so we decided to combine the two. We have created our own comic book universe which goes hand in hand with our bubble tea menu. Each flavour has its own associated superpower, so instead of picking what flavours you want, you create a super hero using the super powered menu. 

Since you started, what moment has been your highlight so far? 

Our highlight is the fact that customer love our drinks so much, we've had to expand into products that allow the customer to make our drinks at home. We're in the process of launching pots of juice balls which can be added to any drink or dessert. These have their own associated powers too. True Believers 2017 is actually going to be the first event we'll be selling these at.

 What’s your favourite thing about what you do?

The best thing about what we do is travelling the country to different comic conventions and meeting new people. We've been going to comic cons for years but this business has given us the opportunity to go to more than we ever could have dreamed of. 

This is your first year at True Believers, what can people expect to find at your table on the day?

You can expect to be thrown into the Manhua Cha universe. We'll have our table full of boxes of super powered juice balls. Buy these and add them to your favourite drinks or desserts to add a unique popping twist. We'll also have bubble tea kits and our limited edition issue #0 of our comic book. You can also expect to be able to chat to us about comics and all things geek.

If you could pick one line or moment from a comic, which would it be?

My favourite comic book series is The Walking Dead, and I love Negans journey that has taken place in the comic book universe. I have an abundance of favourite quotes I could give you from Negan, but a lot of them aren't family friendly with his gracious use of colourful language. This quote still isn't 100% family friendly, but I did my best.

Hi... Rick, is it? I’m Negan and I do not appreciate you killing my men. Also, when I sent my men to kill you for killing my men, you killed more of my men. Not cool. Not fucking cool!
— Negan - The Walking Dead #100

Thanks folks.  

You can find more about Manhua Cha on Facebook and Twitter and don't forget to stop by their table at #TBCF2017 and say "Hello!"

And if you haven't bought them yet, don't forget to buy your tickets from our website now.

5 Question Interview #103

We put 5 Questions to Andy Bloor...

What’s the secret origin story of Andy Bloor: Comic Creator and how did it all come together? 

I've always liked drawing and creating characters, doing comics seemed like a good fit for both. 

What inspires you to create? 

That itch you can't scratch, when you know you have to do this book as no-one else will.

Since you started, what moment has been your highlight so far?

Being asked to contribute two pages to Image Comics' 'Phonogram: The Singles Club' 

This is your third year at True Believers, what can people expect to find at your table on the day? 

I'll have copies of both 'Midnight Man' and 'Andy-Thology' prints, original art and I may do sketches on the day if asked nicely or bribed with chocolate.

If you could pick one line that inspires you from a comic or nerd culture as your life motto, which would you choose?

"I am not a number, I am a free man!"

Thanks Andy.

Be sure to check out Andy Bloor online on his website and by following them on Twitter @andybloor. And don't forget to stop by his table at #TBCF2017 and say "Hello". 

Not bought your tickets yet? Head to our ticket page now and buy yours.

5 Question Interview #102

We put 5 Questions to Leon & Stuart from The Inheretic...

What’s the secret origin story of The Inheretic and how did it all come together?

Well, it all started with a beer or two…

“Shall we do a comic?” 

“Yeah, why not?”

“What do you know about comics?”

“Bugger all, but it’s only drawing and making up stories!”

Five years and 320 illustrations later… 

“Crikey, that was a lot harder than I thought it would be.”

“You’re not kidding, shall we do another one?”

“Yeah, what the hell. You get ‘em in, I’ll get a pen and paper!”

What inspires you to create? 

It must be an inherent thing, If you have to draw, you can’t help yourself, you just have to draw and you find yourself reaching for a pencil.

Since you started, what moment has been your highlight so far?

As well as Orbital in London and Komix in Melksham agreeing to stock us, earlier this year a very nice chap named Kit Ben, a regular contributor on www.thelostlighthouse.com wrote a review of “THE INHERETIC” that he’d bought at TBCF2016. He managed to summarise the story really well and scored us favourably. We were over the moon, very kind words indeed. Thanks Kit we owe you a beer.

This is your third year at True Believers, what can people expect to find at your table on the day for 2017?

Well we have our 128 page graphic novel “THE INHERETIC” available digitally and in print and we will be launching our new comic “LOLLIPOP & TEN” This time a more sensible 32 page, full colour comic with 108 illustrations and as with “THE INHERETIC” it’s a complete story. We daren’t give too much away as it’ll spoil the story for readers, but needless to say it’s weird and has a few twists and turns. We’ve put a lot of work into it and we’re really pleased with how it looks. We think you’ll love it.

If you could pick one line that inspires you from a comic or nerd culture as your life motto, which would you choose?

We think it should be our own “BE CAREFUL WHO YOU PUSH AROUND!”

Thanks folks. Be sure to check out The Inheretic online on their website and by following them on Twitter @TheInheretic. And don't forget to stop by their table at #TBCF2017 and say "Hello". 

Not bought your tickets yet? Head to our ticket page now and buy yours.

5 Question Interview #101

We put 5 Questions to the brains behind Good Comics...

What’s the secret origin story of Good Comics and how did it all come together?

Good Comics was founded at the end of 2015 by Paddy Johnston and Samuel C. Williams, initially as a venture for publishing their work and collaborating on zines. We realised quite quickly that we both had big ideas about publishing, distribution and generally bringing great work by up and coming cartoonists into print and about things in the small press comics world that we wanted to address. Early in 2016 we were joined by Pete Hindle, and since then the three of us have been focusing on building our business as a new micropublisher, releasing anthologies, zines and exciting new comics from up and coming UK artists.

What inspires you to create?

In terms of our publishing, we just want to tell unique stories, and to publish people whose work in comics really stands out. We aren't restricted to a particular genre or format - we're just looking for really unique work. We're also very driven by making a positive contribution to independent comics as an industry and culture, and encouraging new and up and coming artists to get into making and printing comics. More than anything, we want small press comics to be bigger and better and more encouraging and inclusive.

Since you started, what moment has been your highlight so far? 

We released volume one of Robin William Scott's Every Life I Ever Lived at Thought Bubble this year, which collects the first 100 strips of his diary comics. Robin has been posting his strips quietly on Twitter for years, without fanfare, and his unique visual style has helped him to gain a decent online following. However, we weren't fully prepared for the overwhelmingly positive reception his book got from fans, critics, and the whole scene - everyone has been so nice about it and working with Robin has been such a joy, and his book selling so well has been a real vindication of the strength of his work and our choice to collect it in print. I hope every publisher/creator relationship can be similar.

This is your first year at True Believers, what can people expect to find at your table on the day?

We'll have Robin's book, of course. In terms of brand new comics, we'll have Paddy Johnston's Ballgame #2 zine, and the third volume of our Dead Singers Society anthology zine, which collects comics and art all about Dead Singers. We'll be joined by Rozi Hathaway too, who we're working with on new and exciting projects. She's also contributed to both volumes of Dead Singers and has been a champion of our work from the outset, so it'll be cool to have her along. We may also have some other new work or some new distribution clients too, so our table is likely to be overflowing with great UK small press comics! If you follow us on Twitter you can keep up with what we'll have.

If you could pick one line that inspires you from a comic or nerd culture as your life motto, which would you choose?

It's perhaps not fully comics or nerd culture, but I think often about how D. Boon of The Minutemen always used to shout "start your own band" at the audience at the end of their shows, as well as practicing their ethos of "jam econo." The Minutemen always made the records that they wanted to make, and we want to see cartoonists making the comics and art that they want to make and expressing themselves. Our slightly tongue-in-cheek slogan is "our comics are good," so perhaps that becomes "make good comics" when you turn it in to a motto.

Thanks folks. Be sure to check out Good Comics online on their website and by following them on Twitter @Good_Comics. And don't forget to stop by their table at #TBCF2017 and say "Hello". 

Not bought your tickets yet? Head to our ticket page now and buy yours.

5 Question Interview #100

We put 5 Questions to Amy and Oliver from Wobbly Rock...

What’s the secret origin story of Wobbly Rock and how did it all come together?

Wobbly Rock started in 2013 when we decided to work collaboratively and joined forces. We both wanted to work creatively and decided to journey into comics together. The name Wobbly Rock still remains a mystery.

What inspires you to create? 

An impending sense of mortality! 

Since you started, what moment has been your highlight so far?

Dave McKean buying a copy of ‘Egg' at Lakes Comic Art Festival 2015!

This is your first year at True Believers, what can people expect to find at your table on the day?

A small range of prints alongside our first two books ‘Egg’ and ‘Trumpet’ and our latest work ‘The Program’ and ‘In The Shadows'

If you could pick one line that inspires you from a comic or nerd culture as your life motto, which would you choose?

'All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy' 

Thanks Amy and Oliver.

You can find more Wobbly Rock on their website and by following them on Twitter @wobblyrockbooks and be sure to stop by their table at #TBCF2017 and say "Hello!"

And don't forget to buy your Tickets to True Believers 2017 now.

5 Question Interview #99

We put 5 Questions to Grayham Puttock...

What’s the secret origin story that led to you creating comics and how did it all come together?

I've been creating my own comics since I was very young, inspired by reading material of the time: Buster, Cor!, Battle, Lion -Another huge inspiration was the mighty cartoonist and thoroughly decent bloke Murray Ball, who for a few years lived down the road from me. Then, of course, came 2000AD... 

What inspires you to create? 

It sounds pretentious. but I cannot not create. My head is chockful of stories. For some years, in early adulthood, I gave up comics and turned my mind to writing prose fiction. But I really missed the visual element of comic storytelling, so picked up my pencil once more. Also, I am a colossal fan of other creators and find myself inspired to get better with every new comic that I read.   

Since you started, what moment has been your highlight so far?

Since producing my first small-press comic about a decade ago and attending my first comic con as an exhibitor, I have been lucky enough to meet and befriend many, many fellow creatives and always look forward to catching up with them at every show I can attend. The true high point for me, though, was completing and publishing my first full-length graphic novel 'Closely' -a book I am incredibly proud of... 

This is your first year at True Believers, what can people expect to find at your table on the day?

'Closely', the graphic novel, a mind-spinning horror noir, centered around an investigation into murder by D I John Closely, and packed full of nightmares, weirdos, plague doctors and femmes fatales... Also at my table, will be original art, sketches and hopefully a teaser of my next project....

If you could pick one line that inspires you from a comic or nerd culture as your life motto, which would you choose?

"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be." - Kurt Vonnegut

Thanks Grayham

Be sure to check out the Closely website and follow Grayham on Twitter @GrayhamPPuttock. And don't forget to stop by Grayham's table at #TBCF2017 and say "Hello!" 

Not got your True Believers 2017 tickets yet?  Head to our ticket page now to book yours.

5 Question Interview #98

We put 5 Questions to James from Ash Pure...

What’s the secret origin story of Ash Pure and how did it all come together?

Ash Pure first manifested in this local sector of space time, in what we now call ‘London’, in 1977. However it was many years before his presence would be felt, even by his unsuspecting human host.

Hidden in the dorsolateral profrontal regions of a little boy’s brain, Pure survived on a diet of large format, reduced palette, UK comics that were instrumental in warping  and reconfiguring the host DNA (A process known to sequential scientists as the Zarjaz Effect) to allow Pure to finally emerge, fully formed, in the most futuristically apocalyptic of years - 1999.

This is the year Pure conceived his ongoing urban mythic sci-fantasy series The Lion & The Unicorn, although it wasn’t until 2012, when the world disappointingly didn’t end - Again! - that the series was finally realised in its current deluxe, signed and numbered, limited edition magazine format.

What inspires you to create?

A perhaps misguided belief that I can actually save the world, can effect a change with words, pictures and stories.

Since you started, what moment has been your highlight so far?

When I was elected as ambassador of Earth to greet the Xl^T#U - An Extra Dimensional alien race who communicate purely in comics. Oh wait, that hasn’t happened... Yet.

Linear time is such a drag.

In that case it will have to be The Lion & The Unicorn being nominated for best comic in The British Comic Awards 2014.

This is your first year at True Believers, what can people expect to find at your table on the day?

As my universal mandate of ultimate cosmic truth is a little too complex for your primitive mammalian cerebellum to process, I compress it into sequential word and image strings, folding it down into solid paper forms that you call ‘comics’ and ‘prints’. I’ll probably have some of those. That and stickers, people love stickers.

If you could pick one line that inspires you from a comic or nerd culture as your life motto, which would you choose?

BE PURE. BE VIGILANT. BE EXCELLENT TO EACH OTHER!

Thanks James.

You can find more of Ash Pure online at their website and on Twitter @AshPure and be sure to stop by their table at #TBCF2017 and say "Hello!"

Don't forget to buy your advance tickets from our website now to get your exclusive TBCF2017 Lanyard.

5 Question Interview #97

We put 5 Questions to Andrew Richmond from Wrench Productions...

What’s the secret origin story of Wrench Productions and how did it all come together? 

A fun creative partnership formed through a mutual love of a particular type of storytelling - formalised and focused to become Wrench Productions.

What inspires you to create? 

We have a strong commitment to telling horror, sci-fi and high fantasy stories, and forming meaningful creative partnerships with our contributors. We believe that comics should be hard hitting, fast paced and above all fun!

Since you started, what moment has been your highlight so far?

Everytime a fresh new title comes back from the printers!

This is your first year at True Believers, what can people expect to find at your table on the day?

High quality, independently produced comic books, prints and original artwork. 

If you could pick one line that inspires you from a comic or nerd culture as your life motto, which would you choose?

Small press - Big ambition!

Thanks Andrew.

Be sure to stop by the Wrench Productions table at #TBCF2017 and say "Hello"! 

And don't forget to buy your True Believers 2017 tickets from our website now.

5 Question Interview: Guest Edition #15

We put 5 Questions to True Believers 2017 Guest Cam Smith...

What’s the secret origin story that led to you working in comics? 

After a few years being in a punk band, trying to change the world by having a strange haircut and shouting a lot,  I remembered that comics were my first love and I just decided that if I really had to make money it would have to be that for me. So I worked and worked and knocked on doors until someone let me in. Richard Starkings at Marvel UK was the first to offer me work. Paid work that is. I never looked back and am forever grateful for that first break and for the subsequent work I was given in those early Marvel UK days. 

What inspires you to create?

How can Anyone not? It seems to me that creating  (in any way that you can) is the purpose of life. At least, it's the only purpose I can find in a chaotic universe that cares nothing for petty human concerns!!!

What’s your favourite thing about what you do?

I'm involved in telling stories, I get to work with some super-talented people, I get to do it on my own terms and don't have to share an office with anyone unpleasant! And....COMICS! Just....what's not to like?!

Since you started, what moment – so far - has been your highlight?

That's tough. It's nearly always the newest thing to be honest. A new script, a new page to ink, a new commission request. A constant challenge and a constant joy. There are lows, of course, but the highs put them to shame. 

If you could pick one line that inspires you from a comic or nerd culture as your life motto, which would you choose?

two favourites; 

The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt - Bertrand Russell.

The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently - Friedrich Nietzsche.

Thanks Cam. 

Be sure to stop by Cam's table at #TBCF2017 and say "hello".

And don't forget to buy your advance tickets from our website now.

5 Question Interview #96

We put 5 Questions to Stu Perrins...

What’s the secret origin story that lead you to creating comics and how did it all come together?

Like most kids my age, I grew up reading stuff like The Beano and The Dandy, but one day when I was about 9, my Mum picked up from school with a copy of 2000ad under her arm for me and from there I started getting massively into stuff like The Sleaze Brothers, Death’s Head and (of course) Batman, and all that inspired me to create my own comic called ‘Cyborg Squad’ which I would get my Mum to photocopy for me and then I would give it out to the kids who lived on my street. I can’t remember a great deal about it other than it was the sort of shameless rip off Transformers that only a nine year old could create. The rest, has the cliché goes, is history.

What inspires you to create?

So so much. I mini-series I wrote for Insane Comics called ‘Whatever happened to the Archetype?’ was massively inspired by my Grandad and his passing ten years earlier. It’s a story I’m incredibly proud off, and I just hope he would’ve approved.But, if you’re talking about people that you’ve actually heard off, then people like Terry Pratchett and Terry Gilliam are a huge influence on me.

Since you started, what moment has been your highlight so far?

Having a reviewer favourably compare ‘Whatever happened to the Archetype?’ to ‘Watchmen’ is something that still stuns me, and being nominated for a British Comic Award a few years ago was equally humbling.

This is your first year at True Believers, what can people expect to find at your table on the day?

I’ll be there with ‘Whatever happened to the Archetype?’, ‘Prime’ and ‘Demonic Advisory Centre’. And I’ll also have a few prints for sale and maybe, just maybe one or two surprises.

If you could pick one line that inspires you from a comic or nerd culture as your life motto, which would you choose?

‘If I’m not back in five minutes, just wait longer.’ – Ace Ventura, Pet Detective.

Thanks Stu.

You can follow Stu on Twitter @stuperrins and don't forget to stop by his table at #TBCF2017 and say "Hello"!  Not got your tickets yet?

Head to our Ticket page now to buy yours.

5 Question Interview: Guest Edition #14

We put 5 Questions to TBCF2017 guest John Higgins...

What’s the secret origin story that led to you working in comics?

Spiderman origin - Steve Ditko

What inspires you to create?

A yearning for immortality.

What’s your favourite thing about what you do?

Creating impossible realities.

Since you started, what moment - so far - has been your highlight?

Creating Razorjack.

If you could pick one line that inspires you from a comic or nerd culture as your life motto, which would you choose?

To remember "... Democracy is not for the people ... " Judge Dredd, writer John Wagner.

Thanks John! 

You can find more of John online at the links below;

WEBSITE / TWITTER 

Make sure you stop by John's table at #TBCF2017 and say "Hello".

And don't forget to buy your True Believers 2017 advance tickets from our website to get your exclusive TBCF2017 Lanyard.

 

5 Question Interview #95

We put 5 Questions to Steve Sims...

What’s the secret origin story that led to you creating comics and how did it all come together?

Its not really a secret, I have been obsessed with monsters, beasts and fantasy worlds since I was a tiddler. My sketch books have always had little stories and short comics in them, and over time I have just tried my very best to make them a bit more like the comics I love and the pictures a bit neater. 

I suppose it came together when I decided to start printing them up and seeing if anyone was interested in buying one.

What inspires you to create?

Anything that acts as a window into a different world. Also seeing people working freely in there own style and really putting their all into their creative idea.

Since you started, what moment has been your highlight so far?

Working on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles back in the days when it was still owned and run by Mirage studios. Being able to swap art with Jim Lawson and illustrate strips by my all time favourite comics writer Steve Murphy was amazing. 

This is your second year at True Believers, what can people expect to find at your table on the day?

Sketches, original art, copies of my other self published books "Kaiju: Fire and Grimstone" and "The Wyrm and the Well", and of course Issues 1 and 2 of the "Beast Hunting Battle Badgers". Those beast bashing bros are back for some more furry fun.

If you could pick one line that inspires you from a comic or nerd culture as your life motto, which would you choose?

Well I'm not sure if it really counts as comic or nerd culture but there is a line from an old Queen song that always rolls around in my head "You can be anything you want to be, just turn yourself into anything you think that you could ever be".

Thanks Steve!

You can find more of Steve online at his WEBSITE and don't forget to stop by his table at #TBCF2017 and say "Hello". 

You can read Steve's 2016 5 Question Interview HERE

And don't forget to buy your True Believers 2017 advance tickets from our website to get your exclusive TBCF2017 Lanyard.