A Cultural Exploration of the Pig in Contemporary Music (honestly)

Last year, as we launched Sentient Zombie Space Pigs Issue 1, we reflected on the cultural significance of the humble swine in the realm of the motion picture. (Yes, we really did. And yes, we should get out more.)

pigsThis year, we thought we would take you on a musical journey. All rights obviously belong to those who own them and we are grateful for the opportunity to share them with you.

Where to start? Continue reading

Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner… Again…

pig2August 2013. An unsuspecting farmer unleashed a plague that no-one could have predicted.

They were feral.

They were hungry.

They were somehow quite intelligent.

They were the Sentient Zombie Space Pigs – and they are coming back!

Yes, we’re delighted to announce that Issue 2 of Sentient Zombie Space Pigs will be launching on 30 August at Melksham Comic Con, one year on from the debut of Issue 1. And we can confirm that we’re holding the cover price steady at just £1. Yep, 100 pence for 20 whole pages of porcine panic, bacon brutality and downright Ham-a-geddon.

Once again, dear readers, we are giving you the chance to leave your bloody hoofprint on our comic. After the success of last year’s competition – and because we can’t think of anything different – here’s The Very Same Competition!

What to do? We have always been impressed by comics and books that have marvellous quotes on them to tell you how good they are. “A tremendous piece of work!” “A bold new direction for comics!” “Not bad!” – that sort of thing.

We’d like you to provide us with a quote. Two conditions: one, you don’t get to read the comic first (!) and two, it must feature a pig-based pun.

The top three quotes will feature on the back cover of SENTIENT ZOMBIE SPACE PIGS 2 and win a signed copy of Issue 2 of SENTIENT ZOMBIE SPACE PIGS. Our favourite quoter will also win a character sketch from the comic by the world’s finest zombie pig artist: Conor Boyle.

How to enter: simple – add a comment to this blog or enter via Twitter to @DisconnectedPrs.

Closing date: midnight on Wednesday 13 August 2014.

Spread the word. The SENTIENT ZOMBIE SPACE PIGS are coming – back!

Bristol, you were great!

Last weekend saw Disconnected Press at our third Bristol Comic Expo.

Bristol 2012 was the site for launching our first comics – Disconnected Vol 1 and Lost: Boys. We got such a warm welcome and a positive reception from people that it’s been a delight to go back each subsequent year.

We did the maths yesterday and realised that – in our two years of existence – we have produced seven books and worked with 38 creators. It seems a lot longer than two years (in the nicest possible way), and we’re truly proud to have worked with some great people, a number of whom are embarking on professional comics careers with major publishers (details soon – can’t let cats out of bags) and all of whom have gone on to produce great work within the UK small and independent press. At some point, I promise to do a “where are they now?” blog…

This year, we introduced Bristol Comic Expo to Disconnected Vol 3, Do Aliens Play Basketball? and the inimitable Sentient Zombie Space Pigs. The Pigs are on their second print run and are our best-selling comic to date (and don’t worry, folks, Issue 2 is due out in August. And we can confirm there will be four issues in total. And that the price per issue will never go above £1 plus postage. Phew.).

For some reasons, they also let both Conor and I speak to people this year. I had the great honour of interviewing Arthur Suydam - the Zombie King – who produced much of the great artwork associated with Marvel Zombies and has some stunning zombie riffs on classic American art. And I said my bit in the Small Press: Passion or Pain panel, where I talked getting started, marketing, motivation, digital, and purple porcupines with Nich Angell, Jess Bradley, Jon Lock and Ian Matthews. Conor for his part spoke in the panel on panels (very meta) – talking technique, page layout, panel design and the importance of white space with Ian Matthews and others.

Next official stop for the Disconnected wagon is Melksham at the end of August; however, we’re looking at convention opportunities before that and we will have BIG NEWS about a new book very soon indeed….

Artists wanted (and writers too!)

TeaserWe’re plotting and planning the year ahead here at Disconnected Press.

We’re working with some incredible, up-and-coming comic writers (and remain on the lookout for more), and we’re most decidedly on the hunt for artists.

Have a look at the pages for each of our publications (see the navigation at the top of the page).

AllRoadsLeadToHell TeaserThe main outlet is Disconnected, our periodic anthology of small town stories, weird and wonderful things that happen in small towns that don’t make the big city press.

TeaserWe’re open to a wide variety of styles  – the thumbnails give you an indication of some of the artwork we have featured – and to teams of artists working together.

 

RMN 2We love to showcase new and emerging UK comics talent, bringing people together on creative projects and hopefully launching them on to bigger and brighter things.

If you’ve submitted artwork to us before, send us an updated link and we’ll happily look again.

Simply email samples of your work or a link to your portfolio / DeviantArt page to lizzie@disconnectedpress.co.uk.

Happy New Year from Disconnected Press!

Welcome to 2014, one and all.

A quick update with new news for you: we have now confirmed that we will be attending Bristol Comic Expo (May 10-11th) and Melksham Comic Con (August 30-31st). More details – and info about other con bookings to follow…! I expect we’ll be at a London show in the near future, and that we’ll be experimenting with an MCM somewhere this year too. We’d also love to go back to the Lakes and to ThoughtBubble, and to try some new smaller conventions.

The response to Sentient Zombie Space Pigs last year was phenomenal, and we’re now working on Issue 2 and ordering a reprint of Issue 1. We’re also planning to launch a digital version in the not-too-distant future (along with the long-promised digital version of Disconnected Vol 1).

More news as we gear up properly for the year ahead. If you’ve submitted work to us over the last couple of weeks, we’ll be reviewing it this weekend and we’ll be back in touch. Thanks for your interest in Disconnected Press!

Introducing Vashti Hallissey – if you can find her!

This weekend, we’ll be launching Do Aliens Play Basketball? Written by Lizzie Boyle and drawn by Vashti Hallissey, it promises to cover the major mysteries of the universe in just 20 pages. It may also make you cry.

We first met Vashti when she got in touch after a call for submissions on Twitter (See? It does work!). The story for Do Aliens Play Basketball? was in need of an artist who could capture something very deep and moving in a style that was still innocent and playful. Vashti’s artwork immediately caught our imagination.

When I said we “met” Vashti, that was an exaggeration. We’ve never met Vashti, as she’s been travelling around South America for the whole period of the book’s gestation. We asked here, therefore, to tell us about her travels. Here’s what she said:

Continue reading

First Contact! Cover image for our next comic!

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DAPB page1Yes, here it is: the cover for Do Aliens Play Basketball? – out next week from Disconnected Press.

Written by Lizzie Boyle and drawn by Vashti Hallissey, Do Aliens Play Basketball? tells the story of Mason, struggling with his new job at NASA, and Eddie, a boy who only wants the answer to one question.

We’ll have a blog feature from Vashti in the next couple of days, charting her globetrotting adventures during the creation of this comic (she’s currently here). And we’ll have more information and insights about the book very very soon.

The most important thing to know is that Do Aliens Play Basketball? launches at ThoughtBubble in Leeds in about ten days’ time! You can buy a copy from the Disconnected Press table in New Dock Hall (Table 7) or order from our sophisticated online Shop.

Cover art by Conor Boyle, by the way :-)

La La Lakes!

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internationalcomicartfestival_1357908023_17Disconnected Press are back and (almost) fully recovered from the Lakes International Comic Arts Festival, which took place in Kendal last weekend.

And what a festival! The town had absolutely embraced the curious and the strange. Shops carried comic art posters in the window. Bars were rebranded and festooned with comic pages. The receptionist at our hotel was dressed as Supergirl. Kendal let comics come into town and run wild: everywhere you turned, there was another one…

The other thing that was incredible was the sheer diversity of comics on display. You could buy comics about mythical pop stars, comics about vampires at school, comics about dragons or bunny rabbits or war. Probably the hardest thing to buy was a comic about a superhero….

Disconnected 3 Cover ImageComics. That reminds me: we launched one. Yep, Disconnected Vol 3 hit the metaphorical shelves on the Saturday. As always, a HUGE thank you to the writers, artists, letterer and others who made the book possible. I am always awestruck by how talented our creators are and by how generous they are with their time and support.

It was a delight to see so many of them at the weekend: Verity Glass, Own Johnson, Mike Garley… We also caught up with some alumni of Disconnected Vol 2, including PM Buchan, Jon Lock and Martin Simmonds.

Reaction to Disconnected Vol 3 was great – as was the ongoing response to SENTIENT ZOMBIE SPACE PIGS (seriously, the title just keeps on giving). If you haven’t read it yet, you really should.

Next stop for the Disconnected tour: ThoughtBubble in Leeds on 23 and 24 November. We’re in New Dock Hall, Table 7 (here’s the floor plan) – as you come through the main doors, turn left and head for the wall. Before you hit the wall, you should hit us. We’ll have Disconnected 3, Sentient Zombie Space Pigs and other comics for sale (though if you can’t wait that long, you can order from our Shop). And we’ll also be launching another book: Do Aliens Play Basketball? by Lizzie Boyle and Vashti Hallissey… more on the blog soon including sneak previews….!

“Creating comics is boring”

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When we started work on Disconnected 3, one of our first thoughts was “I wonder if Mike Garley would write for us.” He’s a busy fella, what with organising an incredibly successful Kickstarter for the Dead Roots zombie anthology, publishing and promoting VS Comics, and corralling most of the UK small press scene into meeting its deadlines.

Thankfully, when we asked him, he said “yes please”.Teaser

Our next challenge: find an artist who could do his story justice. We prayed to the gods of comics and they sent us Peter Mason as we pimped our wares at DemonCon earlier this year.

We asked the pair of them some questions about their work:

How did you get into creating comics?

Mike: I’ve always loved comics and storytelling but never thought it was something I could actually make a living in until a few years ago. I had been working as a manager for various restaurants, and I was desperate to start doing something creative, so I decided to write a comic. I attended a creative writing course and one thing led to another and I ended up doing an MA in writing.

Peter: I’ve been drawing since I can remember. I’ve loved comics since I watched those old Marvel cartoons of X-Men and Spider-Man and said “I wanna do that!”

What’s your process for creating comics? How do you work?

Mike: It’s fairly boring, I’m afraid. I write an idea as a paragraph or two in Word, then I’ll flesh that out into page segments, before copying and pasting it into Final Draft where I’ll format and redraft the hell out of it. I will also drink all the coffee.

Peter: Do you really want to know because its really boring… Really I just draw or colour whatever looks kool. [Ed: do you know how much it hurts me to leave Peter's original “k” for kool?]

What’s your comics dream?

Mike: I’m enjoying what I’m doing at the moment to be honest. Things are going pretty good with the creator owned stuff that I’m working on. I’d like to get a chance to work on some big titles at some point, but for now I’m happy.

Peter: My dreams is to do comics, webcomics, sell my own stuff, get published with the big guys, for example, Image, IDW, Dark Horse, Marvel…maybe DC.

Mike Garley has written a six part comic for the award-winning beActive Entertainment, Wallace and Gromit for Titan and The Sun and The Anniversary for OFF LIFE. He has self-published several other comics, most notably Eponymous for VS Comics. He is the editor in chief for the zombie comic anthology Dead Roots.

Peter Mason‘s artwork features in Unseen Shadows volume 2, Zombies 2 for Accent UK, the webcomic Thonk!, A Dreams Story and Block of the Dead. He did the colours for Cancertown 2, published by Markosia.

You can read their story The Writer’s Retreat in Disconnected Vol 3, out later this week. Find us at the Comic Art Festival in Kendal, or at ThoughtBubble in Leeds next month, or order from our amazingly high-tech Shop.

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