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This Friday: Nick Abadzis signing at Gosh! Comics

Following on from his appearance at The Lakes Comic Art Festival at the weekend, Nick Abadzis will be signing at Gosh! Comics in London this Friday, 24th October, from 6-7pm.

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SelfMadeHero published The Cigar that Fell in Love with a Pipe, written by French author David Camus and drawn by Nick Abadzis, earlier this year. It is a tale of love, heartbreak and tobacco starring Rita Hayworth and Orson Welles. Here’s the blurb:

On the eve of the release of his latest movie, The Lady From Shanghai, Orson Welles receives a gift: an admirer has sent him a box of cigars. Rich and full bodied, they are the finest he’s ever tasted. But then, these are no ordinary cigars: they’ve been assembled by the most famous cigar roller in Cuba, Conchita Marquez. It is an exquisite gift, though one not appreciated by Welles’ wife, Rita Hayworth. As he smokes these most coveted of cigars, he daydreams about the plump genius Conchita Marquez, whose story of triumph, despair, and love unfolds within the pages of this stunning and imaginative graphic novel.

And some praise:

“Like a fine cigar, rich, heady and ultimately irresistable” The New Statesman

“Will engulf you in a hazy Hollywood dream” Metro

“A charming graphic novel” Publishers Weekly

Nick Abadzis, who is currently working on Doctor Who for Titan Comics, will also be signing copies of his bestselling graphic novel Laika at the event, which takes place at Gosh! Comics, 1 Berwick Street, London W1F 0DR.

Coming? Spread the love by joining the event on Facebook here.

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STOP PRESS: Ricky Rouse is coming to Kendal

That’s right, folks: the eponymous hero of Ricky Rouse Has A Gun, Jörg Tittel and John Agg’s acclaimed graphic novel, will be at the Lakes International Comic Art Festival this weekend, 18th-19th October. What’s more, the authors will be in conversation with Dr Andrew Miles at the Brewery Arts Centre on Saturday (15.45-16.45). For more info – and to book tickets – click here.

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Described by some (or one) as “Die Hard in an amusement park”, Ricky Rouse Has A Gun follows the story of Rick Rouse, a US Army deserter who gets a job at Fengxian theme park, a family destination heavily inspired by Western culture, featuring Rambi (the deer with the red headband), Ratman (the caped crusader with a rat’s tail), Bumbo (small ears, big behind), and other original characters. When terrorists take the park hostage, only Rick Rouse – now employed as the cute and loveable Ricky Rouse – can save the day. In a furry costume.

Ricky Rouse Has A Gun is at once an action comedy, a satire of US-China relations and a comment on intellectual property. Introduced by Professor Christopher Sprigman of New York University, it’s been attracting a lot of attention. Here’s what Alejandro Jodorowsky had to say: “I loved Ricky Rouse Has A Gun, a comic filled with deaths and yet full of life.”

On Saturday, Jörg Tittel and John Agg will discuss this unique project, which has been supported by the existence of a life-size ripoff rodent crafted by the creators behind outfits for Captain America and Guardians of the Galaxy. Real-life Ricky, who’ll be strolling the streets of Kendal this weekend, features in this music video soundtracked by James Lavelle (UNKLE).

Intrigued? You can read 33 pages of Ricky Rouse Has A Gun by downloading this BitTorrent Bundle.

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The Lakes Comic Art Festival: The Motherless Oven by Rob Davis

Ahead of this weekend’s Lakes Comic International Art Festival, we’re blogging about some of the books and creators we’ll be bringing with us to Kendal. First up, one of 2014′s most anticipated graphic novels: The Motherless Oven by Rob Davis.

This brilliantly dark and imaginative book launches at the festival – and Rob Davis will be speaking about the book with Dr Mel Gibson on Saturday (“Teen Spirit”, 15.30-16.30, Kendal Town Hall).

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You may know Rob Davis from his Eisner-nominated adaptation of Don Quixote, for his work on Judge Dredd and Doctor Who, or perhaps for his reinvention of Roy of the Rovers. Here, he turns his talent to a moody and surreal tale of teenage life that confirms him as one of the most distinctive and inventive voices working in comics today.

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In Scarper Lee’s world, parents don’t make children – children make parents. Scarper’s father is his pride and joy, a wind-powered brass construction with a billowing sail. His mother is a Bakelite hairdryer. In this world, it rains knives and household appliances have souls. There are also no birthdays – only deathdays. Scarper knows he has just three weeks to live. As his deathday approaches, he is forced from his routine and strikes out into the unknown - where friendships are tested and authority challenged.

This unsettling and fiercely original coming-of-age story traces a journey through a bizarre, distorted teenage landscape: a world not so different from our own.

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Sound good? Here’s what the reviewers have been saying:

“Brimming with invention, Davis subverts and deepens the school adventure yarn and asks if anyone can escape their fate.” The Independent

“You’re drawn in by its strange world and you come to care about its characters, and both are so vivid that the result is an outstanding piece of work.” SFX Magazine

“A graphic novel of incredible resonance and absolute, inscrutable beauty, at once a coming-of-age and coming-to-terms tale…” The Library Journal

“Whether you choose to read it as an allegorical tale about questioning authority and defining yourself through art, as an autobiographical tale of the creator’s teenage years, or as something else completely, The Motherless Oven is a brilliant graphic novel that you will never forget.” Starburst (9/10)

For full details of what SelfMadeHero’s creators are up to at the Lakes, check out this earlier blog.

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SelfMadeHero at the Lakes International Comic Art Festival

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It seems like yesterday that we were hopping on the train to Kendal for the inaugural Lakes International Comic Art Festival. With a long list of incredible guests and an impressive programme of events, it promised to be good. But the scale of its success and the smoothness of its organisation surprised and delighted everyone. The people of Kendal embraced the comics community’s three-day occupation of their town: comics filled shop window displays, galleries and theatres; the Town Hall was renamed the “Comics Clock Tower” and taken over by the UK’s finest comic book creators and publishers. It was brilliant.

Now, just twelve months on, the Festival has already established itself as a fledgling Angoulême for Great Britain – and this year promises to be even better! It’s happening next weekend, 17th-19th October, so get those train tickets booked, drop everything, and go.

SelfMadeHero will be setting up shop in the Clock Tower (ground floor, tables 35-36) on Saturday and Sunday. Coming with us are an army of amazing creators, including Rob Davis (The Motherless Oven), I. N. J. Culbard (Celeste), Jörg Tittel and John Aggs (Ricky Rouse Has A Gun), Barbara Stok (Vincent) and Nick Abadzis (The Cigar That Fell In Love With A Pipe). Aside from signing on SelfMadeHero’s Clock Tower tables throughout the weekend, they’ll be taking part in a number of events and workshops. Here’s a roundup of what’s happening:

Saturday 18th October

10am-6pm: Creator signings on SelfMadeHero’s stand in the Comics Clock Tower (ground floor, tables 35-36). Venue: Kendal Town Hall. Entry: FREE.

10.30am-12pm: Workshop: Writing For Comics, with Jörg Tittel. Venue: Brewery Arts Centre, Screen 1. Entry: £7. (Tickets available here.)

12.30-2pm: I. N. J. Culbard signing at Waterstones, Kendal

2-3pm: Talk: Vincent Van Gogh: A Different Impression, with Barbara Stok. Hosted by Paul Gravett. Venue: Abbott Hall Gallery. Entry: FREE.

3.30-4.30pm: Talk: Teen Spirit, with Rob Davis. Hosted by Dr Mel Gibson. Venue: Comics Clock Tower, Kendal Town Hall. Entry: £7. (Tickets available here.)

3.45-­4.45pm: Talk: Ricky Rouse Has A Gun, with Jörg Tittel and John Aggs. Hosted by Dr Andrew Miles. Venue: Brewery Arts Centre Screen 1. Entry: £7. (Tickets available here.)

Sunday 19th October

10.30am-5pm: Creator signings on SelfMadeHero’s stand in the Comics Clock Tower (ground floor, tables 35-36). Venue: Kendal Town Hall. Entry: FREE.

12.30-1.30pm: Love And Comics, with Nick Abadzis. Hosted by Joelle Bernard. Venue: Brewery Arts Centre Screen 2. Entry: £7. (Tickets available here.)

3-4pm: Barbara Stok signs copies of Vincent at Waterstones, Kendal

In addition, original artwork from Glyn Dillon’s Angoulême-winning graphic novel, The Nao of Brown, will be on display as part of the Festival’s Drawing on Japan exhibition in the Brewery Arts Centre.

The Lakes International Comic Art Festival runs from 17th-19th October in Kendal Cumbria. For a full programme of events, click here.

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SelfMadeHero to Publish Scott McCloud’s The Sculptor in the UK

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Finally, we can shout it from the rooftops: SelfMadeHero will be publishing The Sculptor by Scott McCloud in the UK!

Of course, you’ll know Scott McCloud as the author of Understanding Comics, Making ComicsZot! and many other fiction and nonfiction comics spanning thirty years. His first graphic novel for almost a decade, The Sculptor is 2015′s most hotly anticipated graphic novel. And it is incredible: a spellbinding urban fable about a wish, a deal with Death, the price of art, and the value of life. Neil Gaiman has said of the book, “The Sculptor is the best graphic novel I’ve read in years. It’s about art and love and why we keep on trying. It will break your heart.”

Here’s the blurb:

David Smith is giving his life for his art – literally. Thanks to a deal with Death, the young sculptor gets his childhood wish: to sculpt anything he can imagine with his bare hands. But now that he only has 200 days to live, deciding what to create is harder than he thought, and discovering the love of his life at the eleventh hour isn’t making it any easier.

This is a story of desire taken to the edge of reason and beyond; of the frantic, clumsy dance steps of young love; and a gorgeous, street-level portrait of  New York City. It’s about the small, warm, human moments of everyday life… and the great surging forces that lie just under the surface. Scott McCloud wrote the book on how comics work; now he vaults into breathtaking, funny, and unforgettable fiction.

You can take a sneak peak at some of the artwork over at Boing Boing.

Stayed tuned for news of some very, very exciting promotional activities! In the meantime, check out Scott McCloud’s website and follow him on Twitter.

The Sculptor will be published in the UK on 3rd February 2015. It will be published simultaneously by First Second in North America.

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Video Blog: Bryan Lee O’Malley talks Seconds with Alex Fitch at The British Library

Did you miss Bryan Lee O’Malley’s sell-out talk at The British Library in August?

Well, never fear: we captured the whole thing on film so you can enjoy it at your leisure. The creator of the bestselling Scott Pilgrim series was in town to discuss his brand new standalone graphic novel, Seconds, with the journalist Alex Fitch. Here’s what happened:

Seconds by Bryan Lee O’Malley is published by SelfMadeHero and available now from all good book shops (£15.99). Here’s what the world’s been saying about it:

“In Seconds, Bryan Lee O’Malley plays the angst of youth against the fabric of a larger epic. In doing so, he enriches both. A great ride!” — Guillermo Del Toro

“Perfectly pitched, paced and pictured.” — The Independent

“O’Malley’s morality tale is well observed and full of life.” — The Guardian

“Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Seconds is adorable, haunting, funny, and beautiful. A perfect recipe for a great graphic novel.” — Scott McCloud, author of Understanding Comics

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Friday 5th September: Ricky Rouse Has A Gun Launches at Gosh! Comics

Next Friday, 5th September, we launch Ricky Rouse Has A Gun by Jörg Tittel & John Aggs at Gosh! Comics, 1 Berwick Street, W1F 0DR, 7-9pm.

You might’ve heard about this brilliantly bonkers action comedy, described by some as Die Hard set in a knockoff Disney theme park; you might even have seen the eponymous hero at Angoulême or COMICA Comiket; perhaps you were one of the hundreds of thousands of copyright criminals who downloaded a large chunk of the manuscript through this (unsolicited) BitTorrent Bundle; or maybe you read a review somewhere.

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Whether you have or haven’t been caught up in the web of Ricky mania over the last few months, the official launch party is not to be missed. Featuring all the usual Gosh! trimmings (free beer, amazing company), the launch also promises an appearance from Ricky Rouse himself. That’s right, the life-size ripoff rodent is coming to Berwick Street! Come along, drink beer, and take a selfie with the star of one of 2014′s most exciting graphic novels! Or just have a hug…

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To get yourself in the mood, you might like to dance along to the Ricky Rouse music video, which features an original track by UNKLE‘s James Lavelle, curator of this year’s Meltdown Festival.

Or, for the more sophisticated, check out these highbrow quotes:

“I loved [Ricky Rouse Has A Gun]. It is a book filled with deaths and yet full of life.” Alejandro Jodorowsky

“Tittel and Aggs flip our cheeriest, most-beloved icons on their heads to create a story as thrilling as it is bizarre. In their world, an amusement park is a thing of gloom, friendly cartoon characters are out for blood and the copycat “Ricky Rouse” is a hero to root for. Their story of knockoffs behaving badly is a true original itself.”
Bianca Bosker, The Huffington Post
Author of Original Copies: Architectural Mimicry in Contemporary China

Ricky Rouse Has A Gun is published nationwide on 5th September. It features an introduction by Christopher Sprigman, Professor of Law at NYU and author of The Knockoff Economy. It’s awesome; you should buy it.

Coming to the launch? Spread the love by joining the event on Facebook!

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Bryan Lee O’Malley: The UK Tour Begins!

To celebrate the release his instant bestseller, Seconds, Bryan Lee O’Malley is embarking on a UK tour that takes in events at the British Library and the Edinburgh Book Festival, and signings at COMICA Comiket and some of the finest comics shops across the land.

And it all begins tonight with a good old knees-up and signing at Gosh! Comics in Soho, from 7-9pm!

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HERE’S WHAT’S HAPPENING OVER THE NEXT WEEK

Thursday 14th August: Gosh! Comics (signing and drinks), 7-9pm

Friday 15th August: The British Library (talk and signing), 6.30-8pm

Saturday 16th August: COMICA Comiket (signing on SelfMadeHero’s table), until 2pm

Sunday 17th August: Forbidden Planet International, Edinburgh (signing), 12-1pm

Sunday 17th August: Edinburgh International Book Festival (talk and signing), 4.30-5.30pm

Monday 18th August: Page 45, Nottingham (signing and celebration of the 10th anniversary of Scott Pilgrim), 5-8pm

Tuesday 19th August: Travelling Man, Leeds (signing), 3-5pm

Tuesday 19th August: Travelling Man, Manchester (signing), 7-9pm

Wednesday 20th August: Forbidden Planet, Dublin (signing), 5-7pm

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SOME SPECTACULAR REVIEW COVERAGE

“O’Malley’s morality tale is well observed and full of life.” The Guardian

“In Seconds, Bryan Lee O’Malley plays the angst of youth against the fabric of a larger epic. In doing so, he enriches both. A great ride!” Guillermo del Toro

“Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Seconds is adorable, haunting, funny, and beautiful. A perfect recipe for a great graphic novel.” Scott McCloud

“Richly imagined and vibrantly drawn, Seconds is a funny, surprising, and enchanting read.” Publishers Weekly

Seconds arrives with high expectations, and it meets them all, delivering the style and humour of O’Malley’s past works with greater emphasis on mood, detail, and complex character relationships.” The A.V. Club

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This Weekend: Celebrate Tove Jansson’s Birthday in Covent Garden!

This weekend, something special is happening in the Covent Garden Piazza: the Moomins are coming to celebrate the 100th birthday of their creator, Tove Jansson. From 12pm on both days, there’ll be free face panting, music, stories and more. Organised by the fabulous Moomin Shop, it’ll be a fun-filled celebration of the life of one of the world’s best-loved artists.

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Philip ‘Beardy’ Ardagh, the award-winning author of the Eddie Dickens adventures, will read some of his favourite extracts from the Moomin books. Benny Törnroos, a Finnish entertainer best known for singing the Moomin animated theme song, will be accompanied by Moomin costume characters. Also in attendance are the Moomin puppets from the Polka Theatre’s production Moominsummer Madness!

For a full timetable of events, click here.

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Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Seconds Gets an Early Release!

You’ll have heard that SelfMadeHero are the enormously proud UK publisher of Seconds, the brand new standalone graphic novel from the creator of Scott Pilgrim, Bryan Lee O’Malley. Since its Stateside release a couple of weeks ago, the noise and anticipation has been building amongst UK readers. Well, we can reveal that fans on this side of the Atlantic need wait no longer: WE’RE RELEASING SECONDS THIS WEEK! 

Copies of the book, lauded by Guillermo del Toro and Scott McCloud (amongst others), have left the SelfMadeWarehouse and are on their way to the finest book shops across the land. This weekend, you’ll be able to get your hands on this object of beauty:

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AND AS IF THAT WASN’T ENOUGH…

In mid-August, Bryan Lee O’Malley will embark on a nationwide tour, taking in the British Library, COMICA Comiket, the Edinburgh Book Festival, and loads of amazing comic book shops. Here are the dates for your diary (click on the links for details):

Thursday 14th August: Gosh! Comics (signing and drinks), 7-9pm

Friday 15th August: The British Library (talk and signing), 6.30-8pm

Saturday 16th August: COMICA Comiket (signing on SelfMadeHero’s table), until 2pm

Sunday 17th August: Forbidden Planet International, Edinburgh (signing), 12-1pm

Sunday 17th August: Edinburgh International Book Festival (talk and signing), 4.30-5.30pm

Monday 18th August: Page 45, Nottingham (signing and celebration of the 10th anniversary of Scott Pilgrim), 5-8pm

Tuesday 19th August: Travelling Man, Leeds (signing), 3-5pm

Tuesday 19th August: Travelling Man, Manchester (signing), 7-9pm

Wednesday 20th August: Forbidden Planet, Dublin (signing), 5-7pm

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WHAT THE CRITICS ARE SAYING

“In Seconds, Bryan Lee O’Malley plays the angst of youth against the fabric of a larger epic. In doing so, he enriches both. A great ride!” Guillermo del Toro

“Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Seconds is adorable, haunting, funny, and beautiful. A perfect recipe for a great graphic novel.” Scott McCloud

“Richly imagined and vibrantly drawn, Seconds is a funny, surprising, and enchanting read.” Publishers Weekly

Seconds arrives with high expectations, and it meets them all, delivering the style and humour of O’Malley’s past works with greater emphasis on mood, detail, and complex character relationships.” The A.V. Club

 

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