Little Comics

I’ve made a couple of comics publications for Little Printer.

Brilliant Wren

Bird Bath Birds is 12-part series of illustrations by Holly Swain, showing off the secret lives of garden visitors. One a week, every Tuesday.

Chloe Noonan Little Printer

Chloe Noonan by Marc Ellerby is a short story featuring the titular grumpy Monster Hunter on a day off at ATP. Every weekday for 16 days.

I’m dead chuffed about these two. Bird Bath Birds is a really gorgeous collection – the Wren in particular is a joy – and I love Holly’s drawings. Chloe‘s an older story – something Marc made for Paper Science – but the panel format seemed to work and I’m genuinely curious to see how people react to the narrative (a gag strip) spread out over a couple of weeks. Marc’s stuff looks great on a thermal printer too, just as it looks lovely on e-ink.

If you have a Little Printer, you should subscribe to them! You can find them now in the New Publications tab on remote, or you can get Chloe Noonan and Bird Bath Birds on their own pages.

About a year ago I said I’d learn enough about the internet in 2013 to make a Little Printer publication. It still feels like the most ‘me’ way of combining two of the internets I’m part of; the comics one and the one from Old Street. Getting around to that has taken far longer than anticipated.

Part of that was material – I’d asked a bunch more illustrators to get involved, but it’s (absolutely understandably) hard to motivate people to make original work for free for a publication format they’ve only seen videos of. A Little Printer is a tiny luxury good, and many of the people I know outside of one particular corner of the internet think it’s mad that such an object exists.

But by far the bigger blocker was anxiety. I can have a fair reckon at copy for pretty much anything, but I worry about who to register a domain with, how hosting works, what code should look like and where to turn for help. So I found excuses not to start.

In the last seven days I brute-forced through that and basically sat with Russell to set up hosting and nagged Phil over email to get the code running. I made basic, embarrassing mistakes doing both. But it was all okay, and it works. Now to do it again.

Tiny threads, barely noticed

I rarely read single-issue comics these days. The main thing I miss every month are the tiny moments of continuity.

Back in November, the BERG lot got (understandably) excited that Little Printer made a cameo in Avengers Assemble.

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(nicked from Matt’s Flickr feed – sorry Matt!)

For those who don’t know their Avengers, that’s Tony ‘Iron Man’ Stark talking to a few heroes including Carol ‘Captain Marvel’ Danvers. It was written by Kelly Sue DeConnick, a favourite of mine since I read her Osborne miniseries a few years ago.

DeConnick also writes the excellent Captain Marvel series, which I’m just catching up with in the collected editions. An issue was published in January revolving entirely around the schedule spat out by Danvers’ own Little Printer.

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It’s a neat, self-contained tale. So far as I’m aware, it’s the only other time the device has appeared. I love the idea of Stark buying a bunch of LPs, farming them out to various Avengers and quietly running their lives for them through a tyranny of till receipts. The idea of heroes responding to them in ways not a million miles from how I use mine is a wonderful, subtle way of bridging the human/hero, reader/character divides.

This, for me, is continuity working at its best. Not another Crisis, or Death Of The Family; just Wayne Enterprises satellites and Sisko’s baseball. Tiny pieces in a joined-up world that allow readers to imagine so much more.