After the very enjoyable Super Wedge Zine Fair last weekend, we’ve made our latest donation to St Christopher’s hospicein 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 bit.ly/ourhospice.
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!
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.
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…)
Ahem. Sorry for that brief interruption. It recently occurred to us that we hadn’t posted anything on here for the past 18 months. So we’d now like to start to rectify the situation. And as luck would have it, we’ve got some ready-made long reads for you, thanks to the amazing coverage we’ve been given by the tireless Andy Oliver at Broken Frontier.
Given my, um, patchy record at seeing things through to completion, I’m surprised and delighted at how the Colossive Cartographies have turned out (although the vast majority of the credit for that obviously lands at the feet of the fantastic creators who signed up).
The idea came about after I started tinkering about with bookbinding. One of the small projects I came across was the Turkish Map Fold. It’s an A4 sheet that folds up very efficiently into an A6 cover and then pops open.
Suddenly my imagination ran away with me, and I thought it’d make a nice little format for something in print akin to a series of 7-inch singles. I had in mind things like the Study Series produced by Ghost Box (a label whose approach and aesthetic are always a bit of an influence here at Colossive). Other influences that sprung to mind were Czap Books’ Ley Lines and the unstoppable mini kuš! series of international A6 mini-comics, for a wide range of material within a tactile and hopefully collectible format.
I pinged out the idea to a few creative friends and acquaintances, and was blown away that they were all very keen to collaborate. Some of them are familiar names from the small press comics scene, but I’ve also been keen to look beyond that, aiming for an unpredictable mix that includes comics, photography, illustration, collage, word art and visual poetry. The ‘map’ concept might lend itself to explorations of place, journeys, etc, but it’s entirely the creator’s choice. Then I get them produced in colour on decent stock (and do the folding, sticking and – when necessary – setting alight myself). I was hoping that each individual issue wouldn’t be too much of an ask of the creator, but that the series as a whole would create a bigger synergy.
Series One (the first six issues) are now available – £2 each or £10 for the set. I was absolutely thrilled with the quality and variety of the work that came in. Here’s the cast list:
Stoic Soup by Olivia Sullivan
Fire Purges by Sean Azzopardi
Bobby Branstone’s Gloves by Jane Gibbens Murphy
Rest in Peace by Victoria Sellar
50.9165° N, 0.7235° E by David Bray
The Grapple by Lucy Sullivan
Series Two is currently percolating. I’ll announce creators and titles – and subscription details – when we’ve got one or two in the can, but I’m still absolutely thrilled at the people contributing. I’m even having a stab myself. And beyond that, I’m already drawing up my hit-list of talent to approach for future series. Huge thanks to everyone involved – the project obviously couldn’t have happened without you.