Blank Slate Books

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  • Published: Apr 15th, 2011
  • Category: News
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This week’s Blank Slate news-

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Hello and Happy Friday-

Quite a bit of news- but let’s kick it off with some videos.

Nigel Auchterlounie posted a video earlier this week of him flipping through his artwork for the new Spleenal book Megg.
(Coming along nicely- can’t wait to see the finished product!)

Oliver East did a video for Elbow’s new single “Open Arms”- you can watch it below-

He’s also been painting mural over the last few weeks and has been documenting his progress on his Flickr account.

Kenny did an interview with SFX.co.uk discussing challenges faced by independent publishers, the soon to be released Luchadoras and future projects/ releases.

You can read the entire interview here.

Kenny also teased us with a few covers this week-

Here’s the cover (without bar code etc) for the first part of Luke Astorigin’s “Pablo Apple Tree” which is part of the Chalk Marks imprint comics.

pablo 300x206 This weeks Blank Slate news

The Forbidden Planet Blog did a little write up about it here.

He also showed us the cover rough for the upcoming Collected Hugo Tate by Nick Abadzis.

hugo 300x167 This weeks Blank Slate news

You can read a bit more about this via the Forbidden Planet Blog over here.

It’s also quite important to vote for Bob Etherington and our very own Warwick Johnson Cadwell’s Tag-Team-Tastic before tomorrow- April 16th- to keep this fantastic comic in The Dandy.

You can vote here- just look for this icon:
vote This weeks Blank Slate news

You should also check out Warwick’s blog as he’s been drawing DC characters and there’s some real gems!

Wonder Woman This weeks Blank Slate news

That’s it for this week-

Have a great weekend!

K

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  • Published: Apr 1st, 2011
  • Category: News
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This week’s Blank Slate News

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Here we are your Friday re-cap-

Luchadoras has received it’s first review from Paul Gravett.
Though much shorter at 97 ages, Luchadoras is a concise, focussed gem that deserves to sit up there alongside epics like Los Bros Hernandez’ Love & Rockets and Jessica Abel’s La Perdida as another empathic, perceptive portrayal of troubling aspects of contemporary Mexican society.”
You can read the entire review in his May Previews.

Avoid the Future interviewed the lovely Madéleine Flores discussing The Girl and the Gorilla, her process, what we can expect next and her favorite books. You can read the full article here and don’t forget to vote for theStumptown Comics Award.

Darryl Cunningham’s Psychiatric Tales continues it’s long list of reviews- this time from Comics Worth Reading and PsychCentral.com.
And if you haven’t already- have a listen to the recent interview for Inkstuds. Really good stuff.

I forgot to mention before that Nigel Aucterlounie posted a How To- session for The Dandy’s Bogies.

And as it is April Fools today- Please check out Warwick’s “I pity the April Fool”.

K

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  • Published: Mar 25th, 2011
  • Category: News
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This week’s Blank Slate related news-

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Just a quick post directing you to some things that happened this week.

First up- Martin and Judith over at Avoid the Future! have posted a lovely interview with Peggy Adam discussing the soon to be released Luchadoras. They have an interesting relationship with this book as they translated the work- you can read the full article here.

As you may know Blank Slate are going to be attending the Toronto Comic Arts Festival May 7-8th- an official announcement has been released on their website (and mailing list) about all the British comics guests. Take a look at that here.

Darryl Cunningham has received another fantastic review of Psychiatric Tales over at The Hungry Reader.

Kenny posted some panels from Nigel Auchterlounie’s upcoming release MEGG via twitter earlier this week. You can see those here, here, and here.

Oliver East has some really nice original art currently for sale in his online store. Definitely worth a look- especially for any Elbow fans.

Warwick posted a particularly amusing Sweary Bear mid-week- you can take a gander via his blog.

And finally, if you haven’t already- please fill in your ballot for The Harvey Awards- The deadline is Monday so time is running out.

Hope you have a lovely weekend-
K

No longer Blank – our Slate for 2011

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2010 has been the year Blank Slate started to get itself organised. We managed to put out 5 books having taken 14 months for our first 4 and we’ve found our way around production and distribution issues that we had to learn our way through. We’ve also had a decent size ‘hit’, well in relative terms, with Darryl Cunningham’s Psychiatric Tales that has meant the strain on my pocket getting books to print has been lessened somewhat. We’ve also seen the UK comics channel expand with the fantastic efforts of Self Made Hero and NoBrow – which now sees the market and distributors primed to be more knowledgeable about comics in general – which can only benefit us all. We shouldn’t forget Fanfare or Knockabout either – Fanfare garnered 5 Eisner awards last year which is unprecedented for a UK publisher and Knockabout, long a dormant ‘giant’ of UK comics, have woken from their slumbers and now have editions planned of Maarten Vande Wiele’s collected Paris and the brilliant Pinocchio by Winshluss. All this activity is a bit of a surprise given the economic picture but a raft of publishers covering all ends of the comics spectrum is what the UK scene has needed for a long time. I think some of us who have worked in the business a long time have always thought it would emerge before this but barring some excellent attempts like Slab-O-Concrete it never really happened.

Now, almost spontaneously, there are a load of new publishers all working at it at the same time. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a time when it seemed more possible a coherent scene could emerge which is interested in producing comics of quality in the UK, without hoping the moment they got their break they would be on a plane to the DC offices. The surprise is that the major book publishing houses haven’t been the catalyst for this – they have access to the cream of the US production – but someone like Cape, who should be dominating and growing the UK market aggressively, seem to have paddled their canoe up the cul-de-sac labelled ‘would-be literary progressive’. So those who care about the narrative and visual splendour of comics have decided to get on with it themselves.

The next step for me has to be the establishment of some of our published authors as International stars – to take away that West looking focus watching for the next works of Ware, Clowes, Burns, Barry et al and produce a cadre of British ‘stars’ and innovators who make us look at our own creators on an equal basis, and has the world looking at Britain. I think that’s beginning – there are some supremely talented illustrators/cartoonists delivering both craft and innovation Oli East, Stu Kolakovic, John McNaught, Rob Davis, Stephen Collins, Ian Culbard and many more and if you watch the coverage of sites like Drawn, The Comics Reporter and Journalista you will see that people are beginning to start looking towards our creators to see what they are going to produce next. What will finally tip the scales I think is if the UK creators start to see their books appear in America and in foreign languages. They will start to join a ‘pantheon’ of comics creators seen as the ‘best’ – they will be on lists which also include Clowes, Spiegelman et al. and by dint of that association raise both their own profiles and that of the scene – UK cartooning – which has spawned them. To this end I’m very glad that this year we sold rights to Darryl’s book to both Bloomsbury in the USA and Canada and to Coconino Press in Italy. Hopefully there will be much more of that to come.

Our ‘plan’ was always to have a list put together before we made a ‘big push’ to grow our company. We always had 10 books in print as our target and now we have 9 we are going to jump the gun a little. Here’s an idea of what is coming in 2011 – it’s arguable if they will all make it into print by years end but we start with the best intentions.

Feburary

My Skateboard Life – Ed Syder
Luchadoras – Peggy Adam (translated from the French by Judith and Martin of Avoid the Future)

802883 gf No longer Blank   our Slate for 2011

April

Trains are Mint #3 – Oliver East – limited edition facsimilie – this will be produced directly from the only existing copy – limited to 500
Uncle Bob – Darryl Cunnigham
The Band – Mawil (translated from the German by Iz Rips)

June
Hector Umbra – Uli Oesterle (if you love Mike Mignola’s Hellboy – translated from the German by Iz Rips)
Megg – Nigel Auchterlounie (Nigel’s 2nd Spleenal book – just Nigel’s pitch had me laughing my head off)

August
Love is Blind – Line Hoven (translated from the German by Iz and hopefully Line herself)
Gungle – Warwick Johnson Cadwell
Stalin’s Spy in Tokyo – Isable Kreitz (a big, robust historical story – with Kreitz’s highly individual all-pencil art – this is one we hope can draw in people who aren’t normal comics readers – translated from the German by Iz)

October
Psychiatric Tales II – Darryl Cunnigham
Children in Need – Mawil (collected short stories – and the first colour Mawil work we’ve published)

9783938511817.interior041 218x300 No longer Blank   our Slate for 2011

Other books in the development stage but not yet scheduled

Untitled – Laurie Proud
Lichen – Stuart Kolakovic
Video Nasties – Chris Doherty
Art book – Peter Diamond
The Latecomer – Barbara Yelin

That’s quite a lot of books for us to get out – we’ll be thrilled to see the debut’s by Ed Syder and Warwick Johnson Cadwell two British cartoonists who will be around for a long time to come, we hope. Ed’s book has been in development for a while now – and I’ve had nearly finished artwork since the summer, it just needs a little tweaking to finish. Warwick’s book possibly has as much anticipation from the UK comics community as anything we’ve done until this date – big, bold, amazing art – Gungle will surely make people sit up and realise what a talent he is.

Lightning season1 212x300 No longer Blank   our Slate for 2011

We also will be making good on a long term promise to find a way to do a limited run of Oli East’s Trains are… Mint 4 – which is his travel diary of his walking and camping in Norway. As this book never had artwork produced for it – Oli worked straight on to the page of another book it is going to be a big job of photography to produce the art files. This will look a little different from previous TAM’s and will be a more expensive edition of only 500. Oli also has 2 or 3 other books in the works – and whilst we have no signed deals for those (in fact Oli and I have always just had a handshake deal) we hope that those will also be Blank Slate releases – perhaps one will even see print in 2011 although 2012 seems more likely.

Darryl Cunningham’s Uncle Bob is also very widely anticipated and it shows the playful side of Darryl in contrast to his real world work like Psychiatric Tales and his Science Myth stories. It’s going to be our 2nd all-ages book and we think it will be one that kids will love with its adventure and horror tales that aren’t as kiddie as they might be. Darryl’s also promised a 2nd volume of Psych Tales and we’ve every expectation that it will be as well received as the first.
Uncle Bob 300x272 No longer Blank   our Slate for 2011

Our other returning author is Nigel Auchterlounie – creator of Spleenal and currently all over the pages of the new Dandy. For now Nigel’s work seems still to be something of a secret (given not many of you have bought a copy – what’s wrong with you!) but this is going to be another laugh out loud funny book featuring comicdom’s most misanthropic husband and dad – Spleenal. Nigel’s pitch was great – we laughed just reading the usual Spleenal nonsense – SO looking forward to this. We know that if we keep publishing Nigel’s work at some point the whole world will recognise his comedy genius.

I’m also very pleased to see 3 more women cartoonists added to our list with Isabel Kreitz and Line Hoven from Germany and Peggy Adam from France. It means we will have 4 women cartoonists on our small roster a % I hope to maintain as we go forward as I think women may be the great untapped creative and readership part of comics. Individual female voices are likely to bring more female readers and if we want our market to grow among readers who aren’t primarily comics readers we are going to need them. Furthermore the German comics scene is thriving and it seems to me at least 50% of the creators are women, many coming from ART backgrounds – it’s making for some spectacular work. It’s time we had some UK female cartoonists on our list but until now we have had few submissions – if you think you are up to a book length comic please get in touch we want to publish your work if it is good enough.

As well as the books above we will be starting our Chalk Marks project and we have 2 solidly lined up and hope that the highly talented Will Morris will be joining us with his tale of fish and fishermen (BTW the title of Will’s work isn’t established yet I just made that up for our running schedule).

Chalk Marks – May

Pablo Apple Honey – Luke Astorigin
Everday Stories – Joe Decie
Time and Tide – Will Morris

We’ll need your support – we need to keep selling books to keep printing them – and I want to print SO many. I know you always have lots of choices when spending your comics shilling but do try to give our books a look, I think we will be producing quality material throughout the year.

We also are working away secretly on a couple of other projects which we hope will come out in 2010 – both are VERY exciting – more news when we have something solid to tell you.

Thanks to everyone who bought a BSB book in 2010 and we hope you will love where we are going next year.

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  • Published: Sep 8th, 2009
  • Category: News
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Spleenal – The Cover

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Nigel’s book is all here in the office now – we may go to the printers a little earlier than we first thought. This isn’t the final cover but it’s close. Can’t wait, can you?? Text needs lining up and fiddling etc but it gives you an idea of what to look out for early next year. Price here is provisional – with the Euro appreciating against the £ it may change a little – and this is for the hardcover version of which we will only print 300 and probably sell them directly through this site – at least at first. Paperback will be under a tenner.

spleencov 765812 300x205 Spleenal   The Cover

Spleenal

Spleenal

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spleenal cover 791458 216x300 SpleenalSo, here’s the thing, what do you do when someone sends you a comic which is both beautifully drawn and very funny but at the same time about as lacking in political correctness as you can get. That’s Spleenal, Nigel Auchterlounie’s fantastic, totally misanthropic comics creation. At first I wondered about it, too many years of reading the Guardian obviously oversensitising me to some of Spleenal’s more endearing moments – like the constant use of bitch when referring to womenfolk, general obsession with sex or rampant obnoxiousness. More I thought about it though I realised how much I enjoyed the cartooning and manic energy of it all. Then Isobel, our translator and editor, read it and laughed her socks off. Right, deal done then, we’ll publish that. So in February the first Spleenal book will roll into stores – just in time to be a Valentine’s Day present like no other. It’s going to be quite a big book – I’d guess around 140 pages – and will feature two previous stories that Nigel has shown in episodic form on his blog plus a 40 to 50 page, all new, story which sub divides into Young Spleenal, Teenage Spleenal and Student Spleenal and acts as a sort of commentary and link for the other stories. In which you see baby Spleenal, very Old Spleenal and more. A whole lot of Spleenal. It’s going to be colour and I’m currently trying to convince Nigel to expand this cover rough so it will turn into an all bells and whistles wraparound.

therapy misogyny 756020 214x300 SpleenalNigel has been around the UK comics scene for a good few years now and I reckon that Spleenal sees him finding his true voice. He already has an established fan base for his work via his blog and we hope this first book will find many more readers and this will be just the first of many Spleenal books to come. Every company needs a cartoonist who pushes the boundaries a bit, a Johnny Ryan or an Ivan Brunetti for instance. We think Nigel is that man for BSB. Look for more info on Spleenal nearer to release or via Nigel’s blog.

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