Win an Illustrator’s Table and a copy of One Year Wiser: The Colouring Book!

We’ve teamed up with our friends at Make Design and The Huffington Post to give away a bespoke illustrator’s table (worth £249) and a copy of Mike Medaglia’s beautiful One Year Wiser: The Colouring Book. All you need to do is fill out this very simple form by 3rd August.

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Created by Make Design, The Illustrator is a desk for people who draw. Beautifully and ergonomically designed, it has an adjustable desk angle and comes supplied with a pencil dock, a set of coloured pencils and a heavy duty brass sharpener. With pencils neatly forming part of its structure, this flat-packed, easy-to-assemble desk is both sleek and smartly designed – the perfect tool for makers and creators.

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One Year Wiser: The Colouring Book collects 52 beautiful hand-drawn illustrations by Mike Medaglia, creator of The Huffington Post’s Meditation Comic and Medaglia illustrates the words of thinkers from Gandhi to Virginia Woolf with expressive black-and-white drawings, leaving you to colour them in. It’s a book to fire your imagination, improve your focus and help you stay creative, positive and relaxed.

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So, head over to The Huffington Post‘s Facebook page before 3rd August to win big!

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ILYA visits San Francisco’s Comix Experience to discuss Room For Love

On Wednesday 29 July, ILYA will visit San Francisco’s finest comic store, Comix Experience, to discuss Room For Love. Open to all, the event takes place at their Divisadero St. store from 6-8pm.

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Room For Love is the first book to be selected for Comix Experience’s Graphic Novel of the Month Club. An honour indeed – and the first chance for US-based readers to hear from ILYA in person. (Learn more about the Graphic Novel of the Month programme and the reason it was set up here - it’s fascinating.)

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Room For Love follows the story of Pamela Green, a middle-aged, middle-class romance novelist who, under extraordinary circumstances, invites a ragged young homeless man to live with her. Two lives collide, and an intense hothouse drama ensues.

“With ILYA’s clever color scheme and quietly poignant artwork driving the tale, Room For Love is a markedly original work, with questions of identity and intimacy woven into the penumbra of a raw and authentic relationship.” The Boston Globe

“A story that subverts our expectations of what a romance should look like.” The Huffington Post

FrankFor those with the misfortune not to be in San Francisco, the event will also be live-streamed by Comix Experience. Details will be posted on our Facebook and Twitter feeds as soon as we have them.

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One Year Wiser: The Colouring Book

For a while now, Mike Medaglia has been bringing tales of Zen and modern life to readers of The Huffington Post. Spanning topics from presentness to self-doubt, his brilliant monthly meditation comic is essential reading for anyone interested in the art of mindfulness.

In January, he began posting weekly illustrated meditations at The idea was simple: to bring wise and inspiring words to life through his distinctive Japanese- and Chinese-inspired artwork. Like this:


And this:


Now, SelfMadeHero has collected 52 of Medaglia’s beautiful hand-drawn illustrations into one elegantly produced black-and-white paperback. Black and white? That’s correct – we’ve left it to you to colour them in! One Year Wiser: The Colouring Book will leave you inspired by the words of thinkers from Gandhi to Virginia Woolf and soothed by the meditative act of colouring.



So, if you’re looking for a slice of calm and creativity, grab yourself a copy. It’s available from Amazon, Foyles and Waterstones. Even better, order it from Hive and pick it up at your local independent book shop. It looks like this:


One Year Wiser, a collection of 365 full-colour illustrated meditations by Mike Medaglia, will be published in September.

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ELCAF Returns: SelfMadeHero in Hackney

This weekend, 20th & 21st June, we’re heading to Hackney for the East London Comics and Arts Festival. This year’s event takes place across two venues: SPACE on Mare Street (for the talks and workshops) and The Laundry on Warburton Rd (for the expo).

We’ll be bringing our wares to the Laundry (table 31) on Saturday and Sunday, 10am-7pm. There’ll be exclusive discounts on all titles, signed book plates, fine company and much, much more. We’ll also be debuting something special: End of a Century by Run Wrake, edited by Andrew Collins.

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This beautifully produced rocket trip through the nineties collects the visually incendiary, satirically acute album review illustrations of the late Run Wrake, who was a mainstay of the NME between 1988 and 2000.

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We’ll also have copies of I. N. J. Culbard’s bestselling adaptation of Robert W. Chambers’ The King in Yellow, Andrzej Klimowski and Danusia Schejbal’s Behind the Curtain, and Julie Birmant and Clément Oubrerie’s acclaimed graphic novel biography of Picasso, Pablo. Plus, every copy of Seconds by Bryan Lee O’Malley, The Motherless Oven by Rob Davis and The Sculptor by Scott McCloud will come with a free signed, limited edition book plate.

So, jump on the 55, get off at Mare St, browse, buy and chat. A full programme of events is available here.

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End of a Century: Nineties Album Reviews in Pictures

Later this month, we launch End of a Century: Nineties Album Reviews in Pictures by Run Wrake. Edited by Andrew Collins, End of a Century is a rocket trip through the last decade of the Millennium via the NME album review illustrations of the late John Matthew Charrosin Wrake, who traded as Run.

The book launches on Friday 26th June at The Crate, 3 Dunworth Mews, London, W11 1LE, starting at 6.30pm. Want to come? Just RSVP to

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End of a Century collects the visually incendiary, socially charged, satirically acute artwork of Run Wrake. Specifically, his illustrations for the album review pages of weekly music bible the NME. These regular commissions collectively describe the shifting musical, cultural, political and artistic trends of the 1990s. Together, they form an exhilarating visual guide to a musical decade remembered for its heady mix of guitar-driven grunge and Britpop acts, gangster rappers and manufactured popstars.

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From U2, Blur and the Wu-Tang Clan to Nirvana, Kylie Minogue and PJ Harvey, these striking images mutate from monochrome, fanzine-style cut-out Xerox collages to more sophisticated, full-colour computer-generated fantasias. What unites them is Run’s unique wit and invention, borne out of a deep love of music and the multimedia world around him. From the perspective of the next century, they seem brighter still.

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Run Wrake studied graphics at the Chelsea School of Art and animation at the Royal College of Art. His graduation film, Anyway, won the BP Expo prize, the first of many international awards over a varied animation career, including a BAFTA nomination for Rabbit. (You can watch the latter below.) An avid music fan, he provided distinctive illustrations for the reviews and features pages of the NME between 1988 and 2000. As a filmmaker working across music, video, advertising and TV, he created visuals for tours such as PopMart by U2 and the Rolling Stones’ 50 & Counting… He died in 2012.

End of a Century is released on 25th June.

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Andrzej Klimowski and Danusia Schejbal at the Stoke Newington Literary Festival

Andrzej Klimowski and Danusia Schejbal will discuss the creative life with Sydney Padua at the Stoke Newington Literary Festival on Sunday 7 June at 4pm. The conversation will be chaired by Resonance FM presenter Alex Fitch. Tickets are available here.

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Two recent graphic novels show how artistic and inventive lives can flourish in extraordinary, often difficult circumstances. Andrzej Klimowski and Danusia Schejbal’s collaborative biography, Behind the Curtain, explores their formative years as artists in 1970s Poland. Sydney Padua’s The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage takes us back to the 1830s and an alternate reality in which Ada Lovelace, often credited as the world’s first computer programmer, avoids her untimely death to realise Charles Babbage’s plans for the world’s first computer.

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So, if you’re interested in hearing about two of the spring’s finest graphic novels, get yourself on a bus to Stokey on Sunday afternoon! The event takes place at Stokey Stop, 176 Stoke Newington High Street, London N16 7JP, at 4pm on Sunday 7 June.

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TCAF 2015: SelfMadeHero and Barbara Stok take on Toronto!

It’s that time of year again: we’re off to Toronto for Canada’s finest convention. This weekend, the Reference Library will transform into the comic book Mecca that is TCAF, and SelfMadeHero will be centre stage (tables 142-43), offering handsome graphic novels, tolerable staff, staggering discounts and giveaways to cherish.

What’s more, Barbara Stok will be flying from The Netherlands to join us! Fresh from her appearance at MoCCA and the Met Museum in New York, the author of Vincent will be signing on SelfMadeHero’s stand throughout the weekend, as well as talking to Barbara Postema of Ryerson University about her acclaimed biography of Van Gogh (Sat May 9, 11am, The Marriott 50).

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If that’s not enough, TCAF will mark the comic-con debut of two of the spring’s best European graphic novels in translation. The first is Pablo, Julie Birmant and Clément Oubrerie’s award-winning graphic biography of Picasso. Stunningly drawn, and focussing on Picasso’s early years, Pablo has been lauded by The New York ObserverBooklist and many others. You should buy it. It’s ace.

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The second is Aama: The Desert of Mirrors, the third volume in Frederik Peeters’ mind-expanding science fiction series, which Sci-Fi Now has described as “Prometheus reimagined by Hayao Miyazaki”. We’ll have it on sale for a mere $20 Canadian - a bargain.


You’ll receive a signed book plate with every copy of Rob Davis’s Eisner-nominated graphic novel, The Motherless Oven, Oscar Zarate’s The Park, Glyn Dillon’s The Nao of Brown, and many, many more books.

So, stop by early and get your hands on some fabulous printed goods, some of them cheap, some of them free, and all of them beautiful.

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Behind the Curtain Launches at the RCA

Behind the Curtain, Andrzej Klimowski and Danusia Schejbal’s much anticipated collaborative autobiography, launches at the Royal College of Art on Monday 27th April. The event takes place at 6.30pm in the Senior Common Room, Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2EU – and everyone is welcome! If you’d like to come, RSVP here.

Behind the Curtain cover (for blog)

Andrzej Klimowski and Danusia Schejbal’s previous collaborations include adaptations of The Master and Margarita and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde for SelfMadeHero. In Behind the Curtain, Klimowski and Schejbal’s unique styles combine to create a beautiful and intriguing portrait of their formative years as artists in Poland.

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During the 1970s, many East European citizens dreamed of going West. Behind the Curtain is an autobiographical account of two young art students who travelled the other way. Studying and working in Poland, they found themselves part of a vibrant community producing visionary work across the arts – even as prices rocketed, trade unions drove social unrest and, finally, tanks appeared in the streets .

A unique collaboration interweaving two distinctive styles, Behind the Curtain combines life, art and politics to reveal the cultural environment that flourished despite the harsh realities of the Communist state. When toilet paper is worth its weight in gold, what price do you put on expression?

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Can’t make the launch? Never fear: Behind the Curtain is available now in all good book shops!

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This Saturday: Martin Rowson’s Satirical Battle Bus Stops At Somerset House

This Saturday, Political Book Award-winner and Guardian cartoonist Martin Rowson will visit Somerset House to discuss the history and function of visual satire over the last 32,000 years. The event, which forms part of Pick Me Up Festival‘s “Points of Contention” programme, takes place at 11.30am. Festival passes are available here.

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Later, Rowson’s satirical battle bus travels south of the river to the Hill Station in New Cross, where an evening of election entertainment awaits the venue’s politically engaged punters. Organised by Lewisham’s finest, People Before Profit, the event kicks off at 8pm. Full details are available here.

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So, if you’re in London this weekend, join us in laughing at the powerful incompetents currently working so hard to win our vote. You never know, we may not have the adorable Cameron and Clegg to amuse us for very much longer!

“Rowson is a master of inky invective.” Ralph Steadman

“Martin Rowson’s cartoons aren’t just all sorts of comic genius – their exposure of the wrongdoings of those with power make you want to have a revolution and thus pose a mortal danger to the status quo.” Owen Jones

“Sending excoriating Exocets straight down at our current leaders, Martin Rowson is a great draughtsman and a sharply well-informed political critic.” Polly Toynbee

The Coalition Book, SelfMadeHero’s collection of Martin Rowson’s cartoons from the era of Cameron and Clegg, is available now from all good book shops.

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