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.

Farewell Ellerbisms

Sad, but not unsurprising news over at Marc Ellerby’s Ellerbisms, but like today’s ‘Stuff No One Told Me’ says; “Sometimes quitting is the bravest decision”.

I’m being glib to join up dots – Marc isn’t quitting. He’s putting to bed one of the most consistently entertaining, heartbreaking and heartwarming webcomics of the last five years. There are a wave of creators like himself and Adam who are or will be wrapping up these diaries and long term projects, moving on with a whole book of lessons learned in public, which is a very very brave thing to do.

Ongoing projects are really hard. The sense of perspective and success is so endlessly changeable, with no barometer for measurement beyond your own interest in the project. The fact that any of these things get beyond two months is an unbelievable success, the idea of them continuing as long as three years simply staggering.

I could thump Marc for depriving me of one of my high points in the internet week. I probably will, current events notwithstanding. But I’m really really excited to see what he comes up with next. In the meantime lets enjoy these last couple of months, before Ellerbisms wraps up.

Ellerbisms @200

John Allison's Ellerbism #200

John Allison's Ellerbism #200

The lovely Marc Ellerby, drawer of my face, is having a bit of a celebration this week as his Ellerbisms web-comic reaches strip #200.

He’s roped in a bunch of friends, fans and villains to contribute words and pictures to the fun, including “The Polaroid Press-erbism” from myself. That I’m up alongside some of Liz Lunney‘s lol-icious cats and Emma Vieceli‘s frankly gorgeous Emmabism – which really happened – is quite an honour.

Check it out, and stay tuned this week for more of the birthday party. “Ellerbisms vs The Fans” drops tomorrow, and I can’t wait.

This Is A Souvenir


Panel from Marc Ellerby’s ‘I Went Away’

A couple of friends have pieces in the new Spearmint anthology from Image Comics, well worth checking out, but mention it as I’m very amused by this on Marc Ellerby’s lj:

…not that many people have actually heard of Spearmint and I must admit to being one of them. I popped into Gosh! yesterday and chatted to a clerk and they’re all convinced that Spearmint don’t actually exist and they’re made up. Which, sounds like something Matt Sheret would put together – an anthology based on song lyrics by a band that doesn’t actually exist.

See, the thing is, I actually have a whole folder of those. I wrote lyrics for band called onemillionjones for a couple of years, and have since kept them, edited them and added to them, building up a store of material I can dip in and out of when I’m writing.

On top of that something I’d love to do in the future is run a record label without any actual music, just beautiful sleeve designs, posters and t-shirts and some amazing press releases.