A Coffee with… Deborah Install at the London Book Fair!

CBJJ16 - Feb - A Robot in the Garden I’d spotted The Robot in the Garden in the Bookseller previews and made sure to include in our February Book Recommends. When I caught on Twitter that its author Deborah Install was attending the London Book Fair today I dropped her a line to see if she had time for a coffee and chat and we arranged to meet.
It turns out we’re both sitting in the London Book & Screen  Week area – just different one’s. Usefully they’re opposite across from one another on the National Hall Gallery so a wave from one of the pod chairs to the especially pink area where I’m sat and we’re good to go.

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Macaque Attack – The Song of the Book by The Boy from Space

11183_JKT CBP - Macaque Attack We’re all about alternative music here, and SFF as well of course. So when Gareth L Powell tweeted that a band called The Boy from Space were releasing a tune based on his cult hit Ack Ack Macaque books we were all over it.
Check out what The Boy from Space’s Guy Thompson had to say on it all… 

Some of my earliest memories involve watching TV shows and films such as The Boy From Space, Planet of the Apes and Marine Boy – Sci Fi has always been a huge part of my life. I always loved music and the first link between the two major influences in my life would be the theme music to these programmes. Music that has haunted me throughout my adult life. Read the rest of this entry »

A Coffee with… LEAH MOORE!

CA - LM - Electricomics ASPE Seeing that Leah Moore was at 2015’s LBF I was hoping she might have time for a coffee after the Comics Go Digital panel. Fortunately she did; less fortunately those outrageous slings and arrows one faces when launching a website can set things back and, with the great stuff we talked about, this was one casual interview I wanted to give proper time to. Besides which what we talked then is no less relevant now, so we’re pleased now, belatedly, finally, to present A Coffee with Leah Moore.

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SURFACE TENSION – Musical Influences by Jay Gunn

CGJJ16 - Ti - Feb - Surface Tension We’re all about the music at Carabas, and all about the comics. So when I got chatting with writer-artist of SURFACE TENSION from Titan Comics JAY GUNN at the London Super Comic Con and was told he worked to a ‘soundtrack’ in it’s creation I nearly bit his arm off to get the inside story (track) – Here it is…
I’m sure many creators listen to music for inspiration when writing or illustrating, music helps to enable us to conjure up images and stories and thus it can become the soundtrack to our art. The soundtrack to Surface Tension was provided by the Bradford based band, New Model Army.

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Street Scene: A Tour of London’s Street Art 1 – Shoreditch, Brick Lane and more by James Mathurin

I love street art. I always used to look forward to the pages near the back of Hip-Hop Connection (HHC) magazine, where they’d show pieces from around the UK. When I started getting more into photography, I started visiting places like Shoreditch, and particularly up and around Brick Lane. Those are areas that take a more relaxed view of graf, so artists are able to take their time, and express themselves more.

Paul Don Smith (1) Paul Don Smith (2) It’s not a coincidence that I was introduced to street art through HHC. Graffiti is inextricably linked to hip-hop. Along with Deejaying, Emceeing, and B-Boying / Breakdancing, it was one of the “4 pillars” of hip-hop when it originated. Its roots were also firmly working class, originally, as spraycans were a cheap and available way to find self-expressions for youth in New York. You could ‘bomb’ a train, and have it go around the city like a mobile gallery, showing off your artistic skills to more people than would ever see it otherwise. Paul Don Smith (6) Paul Don Smith (7)
As London artist Paul “Don” Smith put it in a 2013 interview:
“There’s the wonderful hip hop movement that picked a lot of us up. There was music, dance and art – creativity for people who needed to do something. It goes back to New York. You have loads of kids, some a little upset and they found themselves through this incredible movement. Writing music, poetry, dancing… how much energy is being vented? It’s just saved so many people. I think graffiti is the darker side of all of this. You had to go into places you shouldn’t be. It was all quite rock and roll, drink and drugs coming a bit hand in hand with it.”

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A Chat with Christian Ward at LSCC!

CGP - Jun - Ody-C After a busy Con I’ve got just one last name on the ‘To Do’-slash-‘visit’ list. Finally I make it over to A124 and catch Christian Ward, artist and collaborator with Kieron Gillen (Marvel’s Young Avengers), Nathan Edmondson (Olympus, Image Comics), Nick Spencer’s (Infinite Vacation) and Matt Fraction on current ongoing series ODY-C

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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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From Judges to Dogs – Unofficial but brilliant 2000 A.D. films made and in progress!

This has only just come to our attention – and via info on their latest project – but a fantastic group of film-makers produced this unofficial Judge Dredd adaptation of classic story!


And their next project? The clever sneckers are only having a go at one of our all time favourites: STRONTIUM DOG!

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A Coffee with… KARRIE FRANSMAN! At the London Book Fair 2015

CPP - Karrie Fransman Until the panel I’d just attended, of which Karrie Fransman was part, I was rather unaware of her broader work beyond her first and second graphic novels. What had intrigued me most, which I’d heard about in a meeting with one of her editors at Jonathan Cape, was her work for the Red Cross which, I later discovered, won Broken Frontier’s Best One-Shot 2014 award.
Karrie was good enough to agree to a post-panel coffee and interview and, amongst many other things, this was something I was particularly keen to hear about and the first subject we talked about.

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Why the Graphic Novel? Panel coverage from The London Book Fair 2015

CA - Why the Graphic Novel Why the Graphic Novel? What Comics can do that Other Forms Can’t. 
The panel are very much from the literary side of the graphic novel spectrum – and understandably so. Of course the possibilities of the format have been explored by pioneers in the mainstream but the indie / literary scene is where experimentation and new methods of storytelling is encouraged. We have mainstay of the comic’s scene and Escape Books publisher Paul Gravett chairing, and on the panel: Julie Birmant and Clement Oubrerie, creators of Pablo (a biography of Picasso, Self Made Hero), Karrie Fransman (Jonathan Cape – The House that Groaned and Death of the Artist) and Paul (B) Rainey (There’s No Time Like the Present, Escape Books).

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A Panel and Chat with TPub’s Neil Gibson – The London Book Fair 2015

CA - Neil Gibson I’d been very intrigued about TPub having encountered them for the first time just before Christmas so, seeing founder, owner and writer Neil Gibson was running a panel at the LBF’s Interactive Theatre, I decided to pop along. Aside from a very interesting talk and Q&A (over headphones!), Neil was good enough to spare some time for a chat and interview afterward…

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The London Book Fair: An Author’s Perspective by Chele Cooke

chelecooke Two weeks ago Olympia opened its doors to the London Book Fair. A trade fair at heart, the London Book Fair (or LBF,) is a hub of British publishing in the second week of April and is where you’ll find some of the biggest deals in the UK publishing industry.
As an author (or aspiring author,) most of the fair is cut off from you. Whilst you can wander and browse all the different publishers and companies with a stake in the publishing industry, you will find little information or help from these busy professionals.

There are tales of authors wanting to speak to agents and publishers, hounding them through the book fair. Well, I can tell you now, that is pointless and won’t get you anything except, perhaps, a restraining order if you are particularly persistent.

What will get you somewhere, on the other hand, is the Author HQ, the hub of most author directed information at LBF. Sponsored by Amazon KDP and Midas PR, Author HQ is designed to give authors a rounded look at the publishing industry and information on how to move forwards. Read the rest of this entry »

The YA Book Prize 2015! Thursday 19th March…

CA - YA Book Prize Established by The Bookseller magazine in association with Movella’s, the inaugural YA Book Prize is due to be awarded to a talented author writing for young adults on Thursday 19th March. Read on for more!

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Award Profile: The Kitschies

CPP - The Kitschies www.thekitschies.com
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On Twitter – @TheKitchies
The annual award for the most progressive, intelligent and entertaining genre literature. Sponsored by Fallen London from Failbetter Games.

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From ocean city to dystopian world: writing The Osiris Project by E.J. Swift

CBP - EJS Jan 15

With the concluding part of The Osiris Project trilogy just published, author E.J. Swift talks of her writing process and tells us how the series and individual books came together…

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