New for Thought Bubble!

here’s another new poster which, all being well, will be available for thought bubble this weekend. it’s the father of science fiction, HG Wells, riding on a pig. I just thought of it the other day, and i fancied drawing it. Along with this and these I’ll have 5 posters for sale in total, which is a new thing for me really but i’m enjoying doing the big images. Also available will be these fine badges below, representing some of my best loved characters (and chris sandwich). i recommend buying the chris sandwich badge, as it will be the collector’s item of the future due to it’s unpopularity at the time of release.

Of course i will be selling a selection of my comics, plus gareth brookes’ masterwork The Black Project and i will be sharing a table with Hugh Shug Raine, which means you may as well not go to any other stand, but you probably still can if you want…

Stevo’s Review of the year 2010

Yes, the customary and traditional review of the year by me of the things that I have done, mostly ignoring cultural and social advances in the rest of the world (apologies in advance for loads of text and no pictures). The year started off disruptedly as we upped sticks from Bristol and moved to Leeds, firstly living with my mum and dad before getting our own place. Because of this I was doing bits and pieces, but not really committing to anything resembling a coherent book. As the weeks went on I was mindful of the fact that the web and mini comix thing was looming in march, and as I always like to put out something new for the big cons, I knocked up an office chair dog minicomic, packaged along with a fridge magnet. This sold about as well as a fart in a sock, and the day itself was disappointing, and this was to be the last web & mini comix thing, which went out on a bit of dull note. I always liked doing it, but I think the setup of having quite a high entrance fee which subsidised an overly expensive anthology was a mistake, especially as there are now a lot more similar events which are free to attend (and the anthologies have always been a bit shit). Anyway, it remains to be seen what will fill the gap around easter which the web and mini occupied for quite a few years.
So where are we now? April and May, again I was doing bits and pieces, a Mr Wobbles strip for tiesplanet.com which would end up in banal pig’s showcase, plus the strip for the comix reader which I was really pleased with and not only ruined the previous untitled cat strip I was doing (because it was similar but a lot better), but it became the basis for 2 pages in bp showcase and the epic tale I will be publishing online as I do it (more of which later…).
I was also trying to dip my toe into illustration work, which hasn’t gone that well so far, (so gizza illustration job) but I was doing drawings that were a bit different to the comic work, so I created an illustration section to display this stuff.
About this time Hugh “Shug” Raine and I did the Bradford Zine Fayre, which was a small event but we did alright, as each person took time to look around each table properly, which just doesn’t happen at bigger events. This cemented this idea with us of putting on a similar comics fair in leeds (also taking onboard the model of the alternative press fair in London) but having a vaguely northern agenda.
So while Me and Hugh were planning the coarser details of the Leeds Alternative Comics Fair, I decided on the format of my next publication, which became banal pig’s showcase. The original idea was to have a bit of prose and full page images mixed with strips, but that was partly because I didn’t have enough strips to fill a comic, but in the end it was quite liberating to start something and just working on it until I had enough stuff to finish it without everything exactly planned out. It was also nice to get back to simple black and white comics with a bit of cross hatching- I did mix it up with a bit of greyscale, but nothing like the scale of Ethel Sparrowhawk’s Terrible Hangover, it was really nice to scan something in and have it print-ready almost immediately.
So, into September and it was our big day, the first Leeds Alternative Comics Fair which was great, and ultimately really easy to organise (see the report here). We’re gonna do another one in spring all being well, so we’ll see if it was beginner’s luck or not.
October was Banal Pig Comics’ 5th anniversary, so I decided to do a few competitions to celebrate/ generate a bit of interest/ waste a bit of my money. I was finishing off bp showcase though, so the competitions waited til after Thought Bubble. It’s strange to think I have been doing this for 5 years, and although I’ve come on loads in terms of skill and presentation (so I reckons anyway), I’ve still not made much of an impact in the wide world, or made any money whatsoever. Maybe i shouldn’t think about it in these terms, after all, if I was in it for the money I’d have jacked it in ages ago, but I would like to have a nice hardback, or something tangible outside of the comics niche market to show for my efforts. I can’t believe that people buy a book by the meerkat off an advert (for £10!) but there’s no money for me. Fair play to whoever does that, but I’d like a bit of that pie. I could probably do with a business manager or something, as I still feel like I’m stabbing away randomly to see what works, but don’t know if I’m giving up too early or wasting my time completely in the first place. Who knows how this works? Give me a ring please.
Good job I’m an optimist eh?
I finished off Banal pig’s Showcase at the beginning of November, and I’m pretty pleased with it, I’ve had a lot of positive feedback and its good to have something new out after a year. This was ready for Thought Bubble– really enjoyed it this year (last years was a bit ruined by the fact I was recovering from food poisoning), sold well and as usual it was well organised and I had a great time with all of my comics chums.
My 5th anniversary celebrations consisted of three competitions which weren’t as popular as I’d hoped, but it was probably worth marking the occasion (wasn’t it?). Maybe I could do a bit more on the internet, Twitter and that but I cant be arsed and my phone doesn’t do it, life’s too short to be kissing arse just to get more followers I reckon.

Anyway, that’s us about up to date, into 2011 I will be publishing my new untitled cat and untitled ape adventure online as I do it. This’ll be a new thing for me, and I think it’ll be interesting to do a linear narrative in chronological order and have a commentary about my working processes as it goes along, especially as I’m not sure of the ending yet or how many pages it will be or whether its in colour or not. We’ll soon see- I intend to start at the end of January and keep going til its done. Hopefully by the time it’s finished I’ll have a publisher and thousands of followers……………….cough…
Also something that will actually see print is the follow up to the best-selling Manly Boys Annual, Comely Girls, which will be more of the same good stuff from myself and Gareth Van Brookes.

As usual, humble thanks for your ongoing support.
kindest regards and fondest best wishes,
Steve xxx

Competition Winners!!!

congratulations to this lovely lad, ralph barker from weybridge who has won the big prize, the lovely watercolour drawing of banal pig as previously mentioned, along with a copy of banal pig’s showcase– the ideal xmas gift for ages 8 to 80 (probably not 8 actually).

honourable mentions to kelly walton from plymouth, above and Andres González Szamocki from bristol, below, for their efforts. i’ve decided that they can have a copy of banal pig’s showcase a piece for being such good sports.

well, that concludes the fantastic 5th birthday celebrations, unless i think of any more. I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as me, thanks everyone who took part and here’s to the next 5 years (raises 3 litre bottle of white lightning), Sante!

competition closing sunday!

thats right! the competition to win the watercolour picture that’s the cover to the portrait anthology, and the header to this blog ends tomorrow night, sunday 5th december at 7pm. so far there have been precisiely zero entries, so if you want to win, just send us a pic with you and a banal pig thing, just like ol’ cary grant here and his dog, and i’ll chuck in a bp showcase too if you havent got one already. email them to banalpig@googlemail.com– if you enter you’ll have an excellent chance of winning, as its likely you’ll be the only one.

newsround

so thought bubble was last saturday, and what a fine time it was! now that i live in leeds and there are zero overheads, it was quite the profitable experience as a vendor, and also good to see all the old faces- shout out to U Raine, Ben Clark, Lando and of course banal pig vice president, Gareth Van Brookes.

here’s a view of my plain display (maybe i should jazz it up one of these days?). As usual, many thanks to everyone who came and bought stuff or chatted, and well done to clark, lisa and everyone else who was organising- job was a good’un.

There was also a pleasant surprise at Thought Bubble as Gareth had got hold of some of the first copies of the comix reader, a fantastic 24 page newspaper anthology of comics in colour, featuring myself, and a plethora of excellent small pressers, all of which you should know about- check the links on the website for more info.

Here’s the cover by Richard Cowdry, who has also edited and compiled it, and done a great job, and the information on the cover is not fooling, this is available for just £1! it’ll be available from the website soon, ive got a couple, or they’re in stock at OK Comics in Leeds.

Speaking of which, i also put some copies of Banal Pigs’ Showcase in OK Comics, so get ’em while they’re hot.

Even more information and pictures to follow….

it’s still in its planning stages, but here’s a sketch idea for my next book. it will feature an epic journey by untitled cat and untitled ape across untold sublime landscapes and so far my research has included giant salmon, woolly mammoths, noah’s ark, the flooding of paris and the mississippi and will probably also have a yeti, an axolotl, a jumbo jet a rainforest and a castle, and maybe the underworld. this is one of those things that i will probably look back and laugh at as the finished book may well have none of the above in it. we’ll see.

also in the works is a long-awaited follow up to manly boys, comely girls which will be the same sort of thing as manly boys, only for girls. Me and Gareth were discussing it at the weekend and hopefully it will see the light of day in the spring/summer, although this may be a bit ambitious, we’ll see about this as well.

lastly, don’t forget to send me a picture of yoursen with a banal pig comic, to win a prize!

thought bubble thought bubble thought bubble!

i’m excited about thought bubble tomorrow! come along and pick up a copy of banal pig’s showcase, bring a copy of a banal pig comic you own, i’ll take your photo and you’ll get a quid off! thats bp showcase for just £2!!! omfg!!! alternatively, the comic is now up for sale on this very site- point your eyes rightwards or click here for details and a few preview pages!

competition time number 3!

For the last competition i wanted to do something a bit different, but also reward everyone who enters. So, for this one what you have to do to enter is send me a picture of yourself with one or more of your banal pig comics and products- you can be as creative as you like with the photos and the one i like best will win! The prize is the original watercolour painting that was the cover to the portrait anthology, and also the header to this blog! better than that, everyone who enters will receive £1.50 off the cost of banal pig’s showcase* !

the contest will run until the end of November, but if you’re coming to thought bubble this weekend and want to get in there early, send me your photo by friday night on email, or bring a photo  with you and i’ll give you the bp lovers discount on saturday. email your photos to banalpig@googlemail.com, also feel free to email if you want clarification of the rules (please note i intend to publish the entries on this blog).

*£1.50 off includes postage and packing based on cost of comic at £3.75 (discount price £2.25), £1 off the comic if not posted (discount price £2)

ANOTHER WINNER!!!

congratulations to TIM KERRY who’s won another advance copy of bp showcase and a canvas tote bag as below. look out for the last and bestest competition later this week!

chiffo has two children of course- chiffo jnr and chiffella!

Competition Time Number 2

Thats right!

Up for grabs this time is a another copy of banal pig’s showcase along with a canvas tote bag with a hand drawn banal pig design on it. the question you need to answer this time is:

How many children does Chiffo have?

email your answer to banalpig@googlemail.com by 6pm on Sunday 14th November. Good luck!

here’s a clue

update– here’s the bag- i hadn’t done it when i posted originally. i’m gonna iron it and tidy it up, but you get the idea: