Alternative Stuff to do this Week in London – 6th-12th June!

Carabas This Weeks Event Recommends...

For our full months event recommendations see our London Events page and Regular Events page also – if we’re missing something (your own event or someone else’s) let us know!

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The YA Book Prize 2016!

Logo - YA Book Prize 2016 Last year the book industry’s trade magazine The Bookseller created the YA Book Prize to credit excellence in writing for Young Adults and ‘books that engage with a youth audience’ (see the shortlist nominees and winner here). Now in it’s second year the prize will be awarded at the Hay Festival in their ‘Hay YA’ programme on the 2nd June. UPDATE: Now awarded
With thanks to the Bookseller and publicists FMcM Associates we met some of this year’s nominees at the Draper’s Arms at their YA Authors event on the 26th April and thought we’d share a little of that cracking event and some photos taken by The Bookseller’s Mr Patrick Clarke (see below). You can find full details of all this year’s shortlisted titles below, and / or scroll straight down and discover the winner!

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Limbo by Dan Watters and Caspar Wijngaard – Preview!

CG - Im - Jun - Limbo We’ve been following Watters and Wijngaard’s LIMBO from the start and it really is a brilliant read. We got the kind of feeling we had all those years back when Vertigo first got going – that feeling of not knowing quite what the hell was going on but enjoying being too dazzled by the wonderful crazed ideas visualised therein to care, safe in the knowledge all would become (somewhat) apparent by the end of the ride. (Text from our June New Book Recommends page)
So we’re very pleased to have a preview to share, the first 6 pages from the graphic novel collection. Check the art, check the script – then do yourself a favour and go buy a copy.

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Angel Comedy Club review – by Tunde Dudas

CA - Angel Comedy Club It may have been going for six years but the Angel Comedy Club, run by the comedians themselves, still entertains audiences new and old every week. It was an innocent Google search that led me to Time Out, which rated the club amongst the top free things to do in London, and then to the club itself. I was prepared to be disappointed. I wasn’t – at all. Who would have guessed that above the Camden Head pub in Islington was such an incredible and uplifting event happening in their function room?

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Artist Profile: Paul Don Smith

CP - Paul Don Smith
From Twitter: London based URBAN ARTIST Est 1985


Paul Don Smith (2) When we released James Mathurin’s article on street art in Shoreditch and Brick Lane, we were introduced to a whole array of astonishing art both of and beyond the creators he highlighted. A few in particular really captured our attention, both from the quality of the visuals and subject matter that was particularly our scene: music and film, especially fantastical characters from the latter, and just brilliantly conceived original imaginative pieces. Paul “DON” Smith was one, DON being his street art name.
So here for you to discover and enjoy as a Profile of Paul / DON is a selection of his work, his pieces that most appealed to us – but there’s plenty more to discover on his website and via his Twitter account (see above). We look forward to more…

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Extraordinary London Books Jan-Jun 2016!

Extraordinary London Books Jan-Jun 16 Just what is it about London? The number of people? A history so rich it becomes a mythos also? That it’s the capital? Well all of the above and more – including the fact they say ‘write what you know’ and there’s more than a few writing types in the Big Smoke.
Here’s our page – somewhere between highlights and exhaustive compilation – of extraordinary London: fantastical and speculative, the cultural, subcultural and political, historical and mythological, steampunk and urban fantasy, the mercurial and the liminal…
Here’s to the Big City – Enjoy!

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The End of the World Running Club – Musical Influences by Adrian J Walker

CBJJ16 - DR - May - End of the World Running Club Fm Music helps me run and write, so it was only natural that it helped me write about running.
The End of The World Running Club is about Ed – an underachieving, overwhelmed husband and father – who finds himself separated from his family after the UK is devastated by an asteroid strike. With only weeks to get from Edinburgh to Cornwall before he loses them forever, his only option is to run.
Ed’s struggle is chronicled against the backdrop of a ruined country. Very few people have survived, the landscape is wiped clean, the cities are razed.
(In the words of Eddie Izzard – an inspirational runner – it’s an ‘Etch-a- Sketch’ end of the world.)

To help me create this devastation, I listened to a fair amount of ethereal, ambient music. The drones, sweeps and echoes gave me the sense of a landscape that had suddenly been emptied of life. But I also wanted to get across the feelings I associate with running – the pain, the frustration, the joy, the elation. And for that I raided my own arsenal of running tracks – I made a playlist of the music I listened to most while I wrote the book, which you can find on Spotify. Here are a few of the highlights…

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A Chat with JOHN MCCREA at LSCC 2016!

LSCC - Mythic #8
After the Miracleman panel at LSCC I manage to catch Mr John McCrea at a comparatively free moment.
I’ve been aware of John’s work from early collaborations with top writer Garth Ennis on, for example, Troubled Souls. Their partnership continued over the years with Hitman, The Boys, and Dicks, though DC have just recently re-released their run on The Demon. His latest endeavour is MYTHIC with writer Phil Hester from Image Comics and, quite aside from the fact that mythic fantasy in the present day is very much my bag, it’s brilliant to hear a bit more from ‘behind the scenes’.

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A Chat with Diego Publishing at London Super Comic Con!

LSCC - Diego Logo Since starting Carabas some Comic / Graphic Novel publishers have very much been on my radar, though with so much to do there’s not been time enough to find out more; London’s Diego Publishing were very much one of them so it was firmly inked in on the LSCC ‘To Do’ list to pop by their stand and find out more…

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Carabas March 2016 New Book Recommends!

Carabas - New Book Recommends CB - Orbit - Mar - The Last Days of Jack Sparks CB - NF - The Secret Lore of London CB - Re - Mar - Jani and the Great Pursuit Miracleman 1 Main CB - NF - Mar - Firefly The Gorramn Shiniest Dictionary and Phrasebook in the Verse


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CAMDEN ROCKS! (Various Camden Venues) – 30th May 2015

LE - Camden Rocks 30th May! Running now for 6 years, this was Mark K’s first time at Camden Rocks. A day of rock / metal / indie of some 11 bands from a menu of musical awesomeness with drinks in pubs across Camden. Maybe there are some days to beat such a proposition – but they’d have to try pretty damn hard…
(Twitter links of the highs at the bottom)

Camden Rocks has been in existence as a festival for six years, although this is the first year that I have graced it with my presence. It is essentially a rockier and more metallic version of the now defunct Camden Crawl. Well, I thought: what’s not to like??? Read the rest of this entry »

Gig Review: Black Moth + Puffer @ The Shacklewell Arms, Dalston 26/01/2015

Support band Puffer announce their arrival onstage with a storm of feedback. With continued feedback and liberal use of a wah-wah pedal (amongst others) they occasionally come on like a heavy metal version of My Bloody Valentine. They occupy the stage with an assurance that is breathtaking. One feels that in their minds they’re already headlining Wembley Stadium. They have a jamming element which brings to mind a heavier Grateful Dead. They certainly seem intent on giving Black Moth a run for their money.

CA - Black Moth Twitter If Black Moth are worried about the undoubted quality of their support band, they don’t show it. By and large the guitarists prefer Gibsons in favour of their predecessors’ Fenders, and the superiority of the Gibson ‘crunch’ shows. For all of their ‘foot on the monitor’ NWOBHMisms this band is remarkably fresh. This is by no means gonzoid heavy metal. With changing time signatures, and bars of differing lengths, some songs border on prog metal a la Rush and Dream Theater.

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The Greatest Creations of Fantastical Fiction Part 3

(In which we examine demons of fire and shadow, out-of-place police boxes, a thing from outer space, a floating city and freaky modern day fairy tale inventions…)


If you haven’t read the earlier entries you can find Part 1 here and Part 2 here.


The Balrog

Type: Creature / Antagonist * From: Lord of the Rings * Creator: JRR Tolkien

Tolkien populated Middle Earth with cannily developed races of myth and legend – goblins, dwarves, elves, dragons, but he didn’t stop there. Orcs, whether understood as a larger race of goblins, the warped descendents of elves or their own thing, were one creation and the race has entered fantasy fiction and game without heed of whether they ever were part of our shared mythological heritage to become the ubiquitous henchmen and cannon fodder they are today. But the Balrog amonsgt Tolkien’s creations, for all it likewise finds its roots in legend, partaking in its case of elements of imagined demons, stands apart.

Facing down the Balrog

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