Join the shady throng!
Heralding the imminent arrival on bookshop shelves the world over, former drinking companion (one night down the Escape bar in the late 80s), ex-NME reviewer, and once disciple of the old Velocity mag (he quite liked it a bit), nice guy Andrew Collins (BBC 6 Music, Radio Times, et cetera) has penned a very favourable review of our eagerly awaited (over a year) anthology, The Great Unwashed from Escape Books in this month’s Word magazine (actually came out last month, but in the great scheme of Pleece scheduling, that was way ahead of time!)
Indie-trousered comic strip siblings get all anthologisedEmerging from a revitalised small-press UK comics scene 25 years ago, their doleful, monochrome strips found in magazines like Crisis, A1 and Escape (now a book publishing imprint), Brighton-based Gary and Warren Pleece chimed with the Oxfam-tailored, fanzines-in-Tesco-bags, C86 Indie culture. The Great Unwashed collects early, parochially low-key triumphs from under their 80s, Enterprise Allowance Scheme-funded Velocity umbrella with fighting-fit new collaborations. Warren’s fluid, minimalist inkmanship and geometric panelling give life to Gary’s understated, arch scripts (“several frames of inconsequentiality pass”), absorbing pop culture like a dual sponge with titles like Native New Yorkers, the wordless Dead Souls, Bertrand de Plastique and family saga The Higsons. Mixing seafront sleaze, the American nightmare and post-modern voyages into period drama, this one-stop shop is a joy, inducing dewy-eyed nostalgia in the grown-up comix fan who still pines for Los Bros Hernandez. With Warren now very much overground, it’s pleasing he and Gary have not “done a Gallaghers”. ANDREW COLLINS
I’ll be attending the Illuminate opening evening at The British Library from 7 p.m. on Friday night, March 2nd exhibiting work from the newly polished up version of Oscar Zarate’s “It’s Dark in London” published by Self Made Hero. I illustrated short story The Court written by Neil Gaiman and there’ll be pages from the original and re-edited versions on show.
There’ll be lots of contemporary illustrators, comic artists and cartoonists doing drawy things and showing their ‘stuff’ amongst the illuminated texts and Mr. Scruff on the diskette, apparently. Should be, er, illuminating?
I’ll be signing copies the excellent new book, Nelson at Forbidden Planet, 179 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2H 8JR tomorrow, Thursday 24 from 6-7pm. For anyone that doesn’t know by now (where have you been?!?), Nelson is the brand new book edited by Rob Davis and Woodrow Phoenix, featuring over 50 artists telling the story of Nel, from birth to the present day, published by the excellent Blank Slate Books.
There’s a whole host of great artists (too numerous and great to list here) and, er, me, as well as great storytelling and all profits from the first 4000 books sold are going to the homeless charity, Shelter.
It’s had really good reviews from The Guardian and The Observer and is now on sale through the Blank Slate site and at all good comic and book shops.
Those rag-tag, Brighton dwelling brothers of ill repute, Gary and Warren Pleece, once again tread the boards of comic promotionalisation with a lightning visit to the esteemed meeting place of Cartoon County, tonight at 7.30 p.m., upstairs at The Greene Room in The Cricketers pub in Brighton. Hear them talk about their latest books and projects, The Great Unwashed and Montague Terrace, as well as chucklesome reminisces of the Velocity years and what made/ makes them tick in a comicy fashion. Free sandwiches and nearby vicinity to a bar, make this event a must, even if you have to listen to those goggle-eyed bastards blowing their own trumpets!
Had a great time last weekend as a guest of the Helsinki Comics Festival, that also featured a healthy (?) contingent of Brit comics bods, Bryan and Mary Talbot, David Peter Kerr, Sam from Nobrow and the Comica Festival gang, Paul Gravett, Peter Stanbury and Megan Donnolley, alongside an impressive array of talented and enthusiastic Finns. Kiitos Puljon to Otto Sinisalo, Janne and Marie and everyone else at the festival involved with chaperoning us through the lovely city of Helsinki, from main tent to main bar and back again.
You can see pictures of the various events and peebs here.
Special thanks to Lottie and Saskia Pleece for making me so welcome!
Apologies to the ‘fan’ for not posting for bloody ages, but that was mostly down to a very busy period of trying to finish the forthcoming Montague Terrace book for Jonathan Cape, out next year, and contributing to the new Pleece Brothers anthology, The Great Unwashed, coming out very soon from Paul Gravett and Peter Stanbury’s Escape Books.
As a precursor to that, I’ve been invited to the Helsinki Comics Festival this weekend, 16-18th September where I’ll be doing some signings and giving a talk entitled ‘Self-Publish and be Damned, or How not to make it in Comics’, covering the early Velocity years, so, hopefully not too po-faced, through to the latest web publishing ventures.
Tons more stuff to come soon, so watch this space.
You know who you are. Do I?!
Two posts in one day must be a record and an added treat to my legions of followers, both of you.
If having two exhibitions wasn’t enough for my ego this year, along comes “That’s Novel”, as part of this years collaboration between The Comica Festival and The London Print Studio. Me and brother Gary are exhibiting our old Velocity strip, Pig Custard, soon to be featured in our new (but old) anthology, The Great Unwashed from Escape Books, alongside a great line-up of British and international comic types.
The show starts tomorrow, October 22nd (opening party tonight from 6 p.m.) and runs until December 19th at The London Print Studio in Westbourne Park. Details and info here.
Square Fish Books, an imprint of Macmillan, have just released a new version of Life Sucks with extra pages, chapter breaks and for only $8.99 (not sure what that is in pounds yet, but it’s a bargain!). They’ve also done a brilliant job, so if anyone out there is yet to be convinced to pick up a copy, wait no more. You can find out more here or buy it online at Amazon of course.