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We launch ‘A Trial Death and Other Stories’ – a new selection of ‘Abe’ comics by Glenn Dakin

A Trial Death and Other Stories: Abe by Glenn Dakin (Colossive Press)Colossive Press are very proud to announce the launch of A Trial Death and Other Stories, a new selection of ‘Abe’ comics by Glenn Dakin. The book – hand-sewn into a risograph cover printed by PageMasters – made its debut at the Lakes International Comic Art Festival on 30th September and 1st October and is now available on our site.

Glenn Dakin emerged as part of the UK small press comics scene that coalesced around Paul Gravett’s ‘Fast Fiction’ table at the legendary Westminster Comics Marts of the 1980s. He was part of a tight group of creators that included Phil Elliott and Eddie Campbell, who provides a foreword for this edition. As well as appearing in influential anthology titles such as Escape, Deadline and Fast Fiction, they developed the Harrier New Wave line of comics, with other creators including Warren Pleece, Rian Hughes and Trevs (Woodrow) Phoenix.

A Trial Death and Other Stories: Abe by Glenn Dakin (Colossive Press)Although Abe started life as the alter ego of a satirical superhero – Captain Oblivion – in a city of the future, he was always more interested in wry commentary on the world around him than fisticuffs with supervillains. By the mid-1990s (the period from which most of these stories date), he had developed into a vehicle for altogether more reflective takes on life, in what Eddie Campbell refers to in his foreword as “a kind of visual poetry of the night, faraway
places and half-remembered dreams”.

“The Abe strip became a strip about life – both the inner realm as well as the outer universe,” Dakin recalls. “I thought a comic could be like a great song you’d hear on the radio. I didn’t want to be tied down by plot and other conventions. They’re a bit dream-like, freewheeling. I’m sort of following my spirit where it takes me.

A Trial Death and Other Stories: Abe by Glenn Dakin (Colossive Press)“Looking at these strips now I feel the fun in them, as well as the thoughtful side. the experimenting, the cheeky use of guest stars. There are references to Ghostbusters, Snowy, Tolkien, Rupert Bear and even Superman hidden away in there.”

Dakin’s scratchy, energetic cartooning has stood the test of time. “Drawing-wise, it’s easy to be critical of your own stuff,” he says. “But looking at these I’m glad I drew things the way they felt, rather than aiming at more realism. It means it all stays fresh to you, and I think the tales here will feel fresh to new readers too.”

The work showcased here includes: ‘Abe Inherits the Moon’, in which an unexpected legacy comes with complications; ‘We Have All the Time in the World’, a bittersweet Greek travelogue; ‘A Dream England’, where a hike into “the beautiful England that is no longer seen and talked about” leads to encounters with an anxious alien and King Arthur; and the uplifting title story, in which Abe takes a positive approach to dealing with life’s hammer blows.

A Trial Death and Other Stories: Abe by Glenn Dakin (Colossive Press)“I love that Colossive Press just wanted a collection of the more poetic strips,” says Dakin. Probably I would have found it hard to leave stuff out, so I just went completely with the great selection made by Colossive’s Tom Murphy.

“I’m especially pleased I had the chance to tweak my strip ‘The Hobbit,’ as I overthought one caption and have always wanted to revise it. It was the starting point of the whole strip too. Curious readers can compare it with the old version!”

Part of the appeal for Colossive was the opportunity to present Dakin’s work in a larger format than the previous collection, Abe: Wrong for All the Right Reasons, published by Top Shelf Comics around the turn of the century.
Dakin adds: “I was going for quite sketchy, evocative art in some of these, and at A4 size you can sort of feel the light and air in them, the English rain and the Greek sunshine. I drew a new cover, and with the silver print on dark blue it looks like I just sketched all the covers in pencil. It’s lovely to get some Abe out there again for hopefully a new audience.”

A Trial Death and Other Stories: Abe by Glenn Dakin (Colossive Press)Tom Murphy of Colossive Press says: “I’ve been a fan of Glenn since the Fast Fiction days; I used to have a photocopy of ‘Abe Inherits the Moon’ on the wall of my student bedroom, and I’d never have imagined that 35 years later I’d be able to publish a collection of this fantastic work. In an increasingly fraught and frantic world, the gentle whimsy and insight of Glenn’s work is a soothing treat.”

The publication of A Trial Death and Other Stories is part of a revival of interest in the small press comics of that fertile period. Dakin’s work has also appeared recently in two crowd-funded issues of !GAG!, alongside Campbell and Elliott, while their contemporary (and former Fast Fiction editor) Ed Pinsent has also returned to the comics frontline, including his contribution to the Colossive Cartographies series, Astorial Cutaway.

Glenn Dakin is a cartoonist and writer, known for his autobiographical comic Abe: Wrong For All The Right Reasons (Top Shelf) and Temptation (Penguin & Active Images). He has also written for Marvel Comics (Plasmer, ClanDestine, Motor Mouth). His novels include the Candle Man fantasy series from Egmont. As an animation writer he has worked on Shaun the Sheep (Aardman). Recent humour books include Mr Spock’s Little Book of Mindfulness and
Be More Batman. He is currently writing a new fantasy trilogy for Scholastic.

For more information, editorial opportunities, interview requests or review copies, please get in touch:

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Fractures reviewed on Broken Frontier

Fractures by A Wolfgang Crowe (Colossive Press)

Huge thanks to the peerless Andy Oliver of Broken Frontier for reviewing Book One of Fractures by A Wolfgang Crowe:

“Strong and vitally important work from an artist and project I suspect we will all be hearing about a lot more in the months to come.”

Check out the full review here, and make Broken Frontier your first stop for keeping on top of creative and socially progressive comics work, in the small press and beyond.  

(And you can check out all the coverage we’ve received on BF here.)


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Colossive Press on the Awesome Comics Podcast!

As you can probably imagine, there’s absolutely nothing we like better here at Colossive Press than hearing our voices droning on.

And now you can experience the same sensation by tuning into Episode 398 of the Awesome Comics Podcast!

Over the space of an hour or so, you can hear us chinwag about a range of things, including the origins of Colossive and our early experiences with comics; drawing on our personal experience and the things around us; the now legendary Colossive Manifesto; and working as an editor with A Wolfgang Crowe on Fractures.

Huge thanks to Vince, Dan and Tony for inviting us on to the show and making it so much fun. If you’re not familiar with the ACP, it’s feisty, often irreverent and not afraid to push the boundaries of good taste, but it’s shot through with a love of small press comics and their creators, and a desire to celebrate them. They’re recording Episode 400 live at the weekend – congratulations to everyone involved on reaching such a landmark.

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Colossive Press fundraising for St Christopher’s hospice passes £4,000!

  • A gallery showing the Colossive Press titles that raise funds for St Christopher's hospice in Sydenham, South-East London

After the very enjoyable Super Wedge Zine Fair last weekend, we’ve made our latest donation to St Christopher’s hospice in Sydenham (SE London) from sales of our books and zines. And we’re thrilled to announce that our running total has zoomed past the £4,000 milestone to £4,017.30!

Thank you all so much for your support. And a special BIG THANKS to those creators who have donated the royalties from sales of their Colossive Cartographies to the hospice.

But are we stopping there? Are we ‘eckers like! Please spread the word and keep buying at

And if you want to know a little more about why St Christopher’s means so much to us, check out this lovely piece on the St Christopher’s website about Jane, her dad (Gordon Gibbens) and the passion for street art and photography that eventually led to How Graffiti Saved My Dad’s Life (At Least for a While). Or just buy the book!

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Hear it, See it, Show it: taking inspiration from songs to create a comic (online sessions with Wallis Eates)

Friend of Colossive Wallis Eates is running a series of online sessions (Saturdays, 1030-1300 GMT, until 25th March) on taking inspiration from songs to create a comic.

You can dip in week by week: the event page lists which songs will be covered each week (with further info on the sessions).

Each week we will listen to a different song or piece of music, exploring it to create a comic, zine, or series of illustrations. Through guided activities, you will build a visual language inspired by a diverse range of sounds across different genres, voices and eras, varying in lyrical content – and sometimes with no lyrics at all! Stories, mood and movement are all conveyed in music, song and comics, so let’s see where we go…

If you haven’t already, you should consider signing up to Wallis’s mailing list. She does a lot of good stuff.

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A Wolfgang Crowe (Fractures) at Gnash Comics/New Lion Brewery Drink & Draw in Totnes, Weds February 15th

Poster for the Drink & Draw Event at the New Lion Brewery, Dartington, Totnes, with guest A Wolfgang Crowe

This is very short notice, but if you’re at a loose end around the creative hotspot of Totnes on Wednesday night, drop into the community-owned New Lion Brewery for some froth-blowing and illustrative japery between 7pm and 9pm.

The amazingly talented A Wolfgang Crowe, creator of Fractures will be the guest artist at the latest drink and draw event put on by local comic shop Gnash Comics.

Three quick rounds of drawing different suggested themes. It doesn’t matter if you a “can’t draw, won’t draw “ or a professional artist or anywhere in between this is fun time to explore different approaches to drawing.

Unleash your inner artist, share ideas, create and drink. All you need to do is get yourselves down to New Lion Brewery for a fun super casual evening . We provide pens and paper.

Have fun!

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Lucy Sullivan launch party at Jam Bookshop (February 9th)

The wonderfully talented writer/artist Lucy Sullivan, who created one of our very first Colossive Cartographies, is having a launch party for her latest comic, Shelter: Early Doors, at Jam Bookshop (in Shoreditch, London) on Thursday Feburary 9th.

She’s also got an exhibition of her stunning watercolour and carbon pages from the book at the shop, running until February 15th.

In EARLY DOORS we follow Ealga Culhoun who has fled her life in Ireland and onto the boats for London. She arrives in Shepherds Bush at the tail end of 1969, when the world has begun to move in new directions and all was changing in this pocket of London.

Luckily Ealga has landed on her feet thanks to her British cousin, Tommy, who’s set her up with a bedsit and a barmaid’s job at the local pub. For a wee while all seems to be go swimmingly. But soon Ealga learns that everything has its cost and finds herself seeking shelter at Mammy Magee’s. Will she be willing to pay the price for Mammy’s help and avenge herself in the process?

We were thrilled that Lucy produced one of our first Colossive Cartographies – The Grapple – back in 2020, and we’re looking forward to joining her to celebrate her latest achievement – a series that has already won the Broken Frontier award for Best New Periodical Series. See you there!

The Grapple by Lucy Sullivan (Colossive Cartographies)

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Ed Pinsent completes Series Seven of Colossive Cartographies with his Astorial Cutaway

Astorial Cutaway by Ed Pinsent (Colossive Cartographies)

You may have seen this already on our socials, but after a bit of a gap we’re very excited to have concluded Series Seven of Colossive Cartographies with Astorial Cutaway, by small press godfather Ed Pinsent. It’s a disquieting guided tour of a room in the mysterious Astorial Hotel – a venue whose hidden depths Ed has been exploring for decades. All modern conveniences? Not quite…

It’s a real thrill publishing Ed, as some issues of his Astorial Stories were among the first small press comics I picked up in the (gulp) 1980s, at the short-lived but way-ahead-of-its-time comic shop Meanwhile… in Camden.

If you want to read some process stuff about Astorial Cutaway, Ed has written a very illuminating blog about its development. And while you’re there, check out Ed’s site for a treasure trove of UK small press comics history, including his time running the hugely important Fast Fiction distro service and editing the influential anthology of the same name.

As always, we’re doing our bit to fight the cost-of-living crisis by selling Astorial Cutaway for just £2. And It’s an even better deal when you pick it up as part of the six-for-a-tenner Series Seven set, alongside a stunning variety of work from Mel Gale, Doug Shaw, Maria Teresa Chiapparino, Rachael House and Ali Hodgson.

Colossive Cartographies Series Seven
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LBGTQ+ Zine Fair at Brixton Library (feat. Rachael House)

Brixton Library LGBTQ+ Zine Fair

Brixton Library will be hosting an LGBTQ+ Zine Fair on Saturday 11th February, as part of Lambeth LGBTQ+ History Month. Find full details and a list of participants here.

Among the exhibitors will be the tireless and multi-talented Rachael House, creator of You Are Safe Here, our best-selling Colossive Cartography (so far…). We were lucky enough to be at the Readers & Writers Zine Fair at the same venue last year, and it’s a great place to meet people.

(It’s also the day before the Super Wedge Zine Fair, so if you’re in London, why not make a zinetastic weekend of it?)

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A new exhibition by David Bray (Colossive Cartographies)

Here’s something else for your diaries: long-time Friend of Colossive David Bray has got a new exhibition of his paintings (and a couple of exclusive prints) at the StolenSpace gallery on Brick Lane, London. 

StolenSpace Gallery is pleased to present ‘You Are Here’, a solo exhibition by the artist David Bray, that distorts perceptions of belonging between the real and imaginary.

As a child, Bray would draw images of space travel, depicting himself and his friends visiting other worlds and planets. This matured into his exploration of ambiguous, abstract landscapes, which question the notion of being present and atoned to where ‘you are’.

His close connection to nature influences his atmospheric style. ‘You Are Here’ places the viewer into this atmosphere of new surroundings, questioning whether they be physical or imaginable, as the landscape plays with duality.

And don’t forget you can also buy David’s Colossive Cartography, 50.9165°N 0.7235°W, for just £2. Each copy is lovingly set alight and then quickly extinguished by Sausage Fingers, our now legendary chief technician, to produce a burn mark that makes it a true one-off. (Look, it seemed like a good idea when we first came up with it – and it keeps the neighbours entertained…)

50.9165°N 0.7235°W by David Bray (Colossive Cartographies)