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.
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?)
New year, new blog post! (We’re going to try and keep this a bit more regular from now on…)
If you’re anywhere round East London on Sunday February 12th, come and say hello at the inaugural Super Wedge Zine Fair, at the ubertrendy venue of Two More Years in Hackney Wick. It’s been co-organised by the legendary Wedgely Snipes – the mind behind the South London Review of Hand Dryers and plenty more ziney goodness – and artist Lorella Bianco. It looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun – as the poster promises, “somewhere to go, something to do”.
And we’ll be rushing straight home afterwards, because that evening we’re recording our first-ever podcast appearance, courtesy of the Awesome Comics Podcast. Watch this space for more details!
We were incredibly honoured – albeit utterly terrified – when the wonderful Wallis Eates invited us to talk all things Colossive at January’s LDComics online meet-up.
We’d never done anything like this before, but we somehow managed to wax lyrical about some of our favourite topics – including comics, street art and loss – using a decades-old comic story by Tom (below) to kick things off.
Our ‘set’ also saw the unveiling of the Colossive Manifesto, which we’ve now had printed on to postcards. We’re sending them out with every order and will be leaving them in pubs and foisting them on unsuspecting punters at zine fairs. So you’ll all get a copy soon enough – whether you want one or not.
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.
Friends of Colossive! Sorry we haven’t been very vocal on here of late, but if you keep an eye on our Twitter and Instagram, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what we’ve been up to.
Anyway, as the days are getting shorter, colder and – let’s be honest – considerably more miserable, we’ll be fighting the gloom by firing up the XR3i and taking the Colossive Experience on the road again to the following events:
Sunday 27th October: DIY Space for London Zine Fair(London SE15): We really enjoyed tabling at this fab venue back in the balmy days of summer, and we’re looking forward to heading back. DSFL is a brilliant venue that does fantastic work in giving everyone a voice. There’s always a fascinating collection of exhibitors, and we’re particularly looking forward to seeing how the print collective is shaping up.
Saturday 16th November: St Christopher’s Christmas Market (Kingsdale Foundation School, London SE21): This is obviously one that’s very close to our hearts, given our connection with St Christopher’s. A word to the wise: you can save yourself a quid by buying an entrance ticket in advance (£2).
Sunday 1st December: Made in Croydon (Boxpark, Croydon): Taking place in the shadow of the NLA Tower (‘No 1 Croydon’), this is a bit of a homecoming in our roles as custodians of the history of Croydon Spaceport. We’re really excited about this – as well as the usual Colossive goodies, we’re hoping to be launching a (small) range of new Croydon Spaceport merch!
Sunday 8th December: Catford Comic and Zine Fair (Blythe Hill Tavern, London SE6): Thanks to Henry and Stan Miller for inviting us back to the most convivial comic and zine fair in the calendar, held in one of London’s friendliest and most acclaimed boozers. It’s a little show that punches way above its weight in terms of the talent it crams in, and it’s a fantastic opportunity to come and blow the froth with some exceptionally pleasant and talented people (and us).
We had a splendid time at Northwest Zinefest last week – especially considering some of us had slightly lost the run of ourselves at a friend’s landmark birthday party the previous night…
Anyway, moving swiftly on… Admittedly we’ve only done four zine fairs so far, but this was by far the busiest and the salesiest. It probably helped that it was in a destination venue anyway (the very stirring People’s History Museum), and the biblical rainfall may have driven more people inside. However, it was really nicely organised and <grimace> curated, and we had a thoroughly enjoyable time.
One of the nicest things that happened was a visit from Elena and Nicola of the Wellcome Collection, who bought copies of Emergency and 3:52 AMfor their burgeoning zine collection. Here’s an article about some of the zines in their collection. If you’ve got anything you’d like to suggest or donate to them, I’m sure they’d be very pleased to hear from you: email address on the flyer.
We also had a lovely conversation about Emergency with a man with autism and dyspraxia, who clearly related to it a great deal and said he was going to send a copy to his mum and dad, to show how much he appreciates the degree to which they supported him and fought for him during his childhood.
Huge thanks again to Iestyn and VJ Sellar for letting us publish such powerful and personal work, and thanks to Wellcome for picking it up.
Thanks to anyone who popped by the Colossive table at the DIY Space for London Zine Fair yesterday.
The venue’s location – doughnutted by evangelical churches on a backstreet industrial estate – pretty much precluded any ‘passing trade’.
However, there was a good atmosphere inside the venue and a couple of flurries of activity during the course of the day. We chatted with some very nice people (on both sides of the table) and sold a few bits and pieces. You can check out the list of exhibitors, with links, here.
Thanks to Peter (Books Peckham) and Gabriel (1831 Shop) for arranging the fair, and to all the volunteers at DSFL – an valuable hub for creative activity.