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The Secret Origin of Colossive Cartographies!

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
Stoic Soup by Olivia Sullivan (Colossive Cartographies) Fire Purges by Sean Azzopardi (Colossive Cartographies) Bobby Branstone's Gloves by Jane Gibbens Murphy (Colossive Cartographies)
Rest in Peace by Victoria Sellar (Colossive Cartographies 4) 50.9165°N 0.7235°W by David Bray (Colossive Cartographies) The Grapple by Lucy Sullivan (Colossive Cartographies)

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.