Zine Workshop

Last night was the Bookmarks artist’s book and zine fair at the ECA, organized by Lucy Roscoe. It went really well and was pretty consistently busy for at least three and a half of the four hours it was on. Got a chance to chat with lots of nice folks, and I hope some of them get involved in the cool comics and zine projects happening in Scotland right now. I had TGC comics, a bunch of TYCI zines, and a few copies of Don’t Make a Scene, a new zine that’s just come out about DIY music production.

Here’s a quick before and after of the zines I had one the table. Everyone sold something, I think at least half the huge pile of TYCI zines I had were picked up, and there was quite a bit of interest in the Unconference coming up in Feb. Not bad going!

before & after

As well as chatting to folks about zines in general, and some of the great self-published stuff coming out of Scotland, I was manning the table displaying the work the illustration masters students created from the workshop I gave over the past ten days. First off, I want to say a huge thank you to Bev Hood, Michael Windle and all the students.

After giving an introduction to zines and zine culture, as it has progressed over the decades, I then got to meet with all the students one-on-one to help them create a zine of their own to show at Bookmarks. On Monday, one week from my original introductory talk, we got back together for a group crit to show everyone each others projects, get feedback, share the snags we ran into along the way and discuss practicalities such as pricing, materials and editioning of work.

I was impressed at the work everyone produced in such a short amount of time. For some, the pieces are continuations of their overall practice, while others used the short turn-around time as an excuse to experiment with different formats and content.

Last night we collected everyone’s zines together to display, while many of the individual zines were for sale on the student’s own tables. This photo doesn’t do the work justice, but gives you some idea of how varied the output was. There’s linocut, screen printing, postcards, hand-sewn books, concertinas, scrolls, photocopied zines, and spinning paper wheels involved.


I had a really wonderful time working with the students and hope they got as much out of the process and I did. And I’m looking forward to doing a slightly different version of this zine workshop with the graphic design students in 2015.

Comics Forum 2014


Just back from Leeds and my first time attending Comics Forum. I really enjoyed all the talks I attended in the two days, as well as getting a chance to see some of my favourite comics academics and catch up with most everyone. I missed a few folks, but that always happens.

I did a whole bunch of live-tweeting, for as long as my phone’s battery allowed, so you can catch up on the panels if you missed it by searching #comicsforum14.

My talk was first thing on the first day. I haven’t seen any documentation of it, as everyone was scrambling because the wifi in the library was down. But I heard from a few folks that they really enjoyed it, and it seemed well received, which is what matter most!

Here is my revised abstract:

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Zine Fair in Edinburgh


The Edinburgh College of Art is having a zine fest at the end of November. I’ll be doing a workshop with the masters in illustration students to make some comics and zines for a table, and should have a table myself. If you’re in the area, you should definitely come along!


I’m officially a published academic now! My first peer reviewed journal article is now available online, and soon in the Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics. This is an expanded version of my conference talk from 2013’s Graphic Novel and Comics Conference: Jason Shiga’s Meanwhile and digital adaptability of non-traditional narratives in comics

The demand for digital comics has increased steadily with the growth of the mobile market. This has led many comic authors to consider the importance of the physicality of their work. While many comics are being digitally converted using existing delivery channels, comics that push the boundaries of narrative find this transition more difficult. Many of the current distribution channels either attempt to emulate books, or guide the reader from panel to panel, but many non-traditional narratives require greater engagement than is allowed for under these models. Jason Shiga’s ‘choose-your-own-adventure’-style comic Meanwhile (2010. New York: Amulet) serves as a valuable example of such a story. Shiga co-developed a stand-alone iPad app for his book, which incorporates the interactive elements of his physical comic. I discuss how the app translated the experience of the book object to the digital realm, and touch on other experimental attempts to engage with readers digitally.

Poster for gigs I can’t attend

There’s something bittersweet about making a poster for a gig that sounds amazing but you can’t go to because you’ll be back in the US, visiting friends and family. These two shows sound amazing, so if you’re local and can get to them, please do, just so I feel slightly less sad I wasn’t there myself.

Just Joans poster_sm Colour Me Wednesday-sm

I have mostly been in London

Went down to London before IGNCC 14 so have been bumming about King’s Cross/St. Pancras


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sipping coffee


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and being a tourist


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with a side-trip to Brighton thrown in


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but I got home last night, so I guess I should get back to work…

Work in progress

I’m turning a desk into a tank


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And have been putting together a booklet to document the exhibition from April


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It’s got so many gatefolds that I am glad I am the one having to make the damn thing!


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Barcelona fun-times!

So we went to Primavera


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We saw some art


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And visited Barcelona’s Sleazys


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Would totally go again!