Thought Bubble 2015: SelfMadeHero in Leeds!

In the autumnal gloom, a ray of sunlight: Thought Bubble is upon us!

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That’s right: this weekend, we’re jumping on the train to Leeds for what is always the highlight of the comic book calendar. Joining us in The Royal Armouries’ New Dock Hall will be Edward Ross (Filmish), Si Spencer and DIX (Klaxon) and Rob Davis (The Motherless Oven). Plus, the best table-neighbour a publisher could wish for: Mike Medaglia (One Year Wiser). To get your hands on signed books, exclusive prints and complimentary liquorice allsorts, stop by tables 90-92 on Saturday or Sunday (10am-5pm). There may even be popcorn.

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A chance of some bling: on Friday evening, we’ll be heading to the British Comic Awards. Run in association with Nottingham’s Page 45, and judged by a panel of aficionados including Kate Beaton and Scroobius Pip, the BCAs are the principal and most prestigious accolade for British comics artists – and the 2015 nominees are a testament to the rude health of our scene. SelfMadeHero’s very own Rob Davis is shortlisted in the Best Book category for The Motherless Oven. There will be whoops and hollers.

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Hangover cure: at 12.10pm on Saturday, Film4‘s Mike Leader will lead a Q&A with Edward Ross, the creator of Filmish: A Graphic Journey Through Film. Join them in the Royal Armouries’ Newsroom to learn about Ross’s unique visual guide to cinematic history. The Guardian praised Filmish in a review this Saturday, calling it ”thoroughly enjoyable… a wonderfully breezy read.”

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Si Spencer and DIX will join Rob Davis and Edward Ross in signing on our table throughout the weekend. So, get yourself a train ticket and come find us in New Dock Hall. We’re right by the entrance!

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Filmish By Edward Ross Launches at Gosh! Comics

This Saturday, 7th November, Filmish by Edward Ross launches at Gosh! Comics in London. Join us in raising a glass (or bottle) to this brilliant visual guide to cinema between 7 and 9pm.

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Not only will you be able to grab a signed copy of the book – you’ll also get your hands on this beautiful limited edition book plate, which is exclusive to Gosh!

gosh plateAnd the book itself? Well, in Filmish, Edward Ross takes us on an exhilarating ride through the history of cinema, using comics to uncover the magic and mechanics behind our favourite movies. Exploring everything from censorship to set design, he spotlights the films and film-makers that embody this provocative and inventive medium, from the pioneers of early cinema to the innovators shaping the movies of today, from A Trip to the Moon to Inception and beyond. For further info, preview material and more, visit

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The launch takes place on Saturday 7th November at Gosh! Comics, 1 Berwick Street, London W1F 0DR, 7-9pm. Sold? Join the event on Facebook and let everyone know!

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Halloween Celebration: Klaxon Launches at the Lord Clyde in Islington

This Saturday, we’re celebrating Halloween with the launch of Si Spencer and DIX’s disturbing urban horror story Klaxon. Join us for a good ol’ knees-up at Islington’s finest, The Lord Clyde on Essex Road, from 1.30-3.30pm. There’ll be booze, bands and liquorice allsorts. All you need to do is let us know you’re coming by joining the event on Facebook or rsvping to

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Turn up on time to catch musical adventurer Paul Mosley with his band. ”A honeyed voice and a garage orchestra of sometimes disturbing magic realist folk-pop. Excellent.” So wrote Q Magazine of his latest album, A Chattering of Birds. Joining Mosley at the Lord Clyde are the mighty Kung Fu Vicar.

So, what’s Klaxon all about? Well, it’s difficult to explain. Tank Girl creator Alan Martin has called it “an urban nightmare of finely balanced dialogue and artwork, as if Raymond Briggs teamed up with Daniel Clowes and they dropped the bad brown acid. Which is my idea of an evening well-spent.” And our idea of a brilliant graphic novel.

klaxon for blog 2Here’s the blurb:

Carlisle, one of three slackers high on wax and cavity wall insulation, finally has a reason to leave the house: new neighbours. But his offer to help Carol and her weeping mother move in incurs the wrath of their landlord, the grim, grinning Mr Stapleton, and his halfwit minion son. As Mr Stapleton’s malign influence begins to plague both houses, the residents are afflicted by milk binges, metamorphoses and indoor confectionary storms. Inspired by the unspoken wisdom of a giant porcelain cherub, Carlisle realises he must take the fight to his enemy – only then will he have a chance of saving his friends and neighbours.

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And here’s the object in all its glory:

klaxon book shot for blogThe Lord Clyde is located at 340-342 Essex Rd, London N1 3PB. It’s close to Angel, Highbury & Islington and Essex Road stations. Join us in Jeremy Corbyn’s heartland from 1.30-3.30pm!

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SelfMadeHero at the Lakes Comic Art Festival

The Lakes Comic Art Festival is now so firmly ingrained in the cultural calendar, its guest list so illustrious, its festival mascots so deeply rooted in our collective consciousness, that it’s difficult to believe this is only its third year. If you haven’t been already then now’s the time. Imagine Glastonbury in 1982; these are the glory days. There’s always a lot of rain, but you don’t have to sleep in a tent – and there are lots of creators, publishers and punters to brighten up your weekend. It takes place on Friday 16th, Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th October across various venues in the beautiful Lake District town of Kendal.

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We’ll again be exhibiting our wares in the Comics Clock Tower (Sat, 10-6; Sun, 10.30-5). Our two tables (30-31) are on the first floor, just as you walk in. Joining us in Kendal will be special guests Si Spencer and DIX, whose graphic novel Klaxon debuts at the festival.

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Reinventing the Horror Comic: Si Spencer and DIX in conversation with John Freeman. Time: 1.30-2.30pm, Saturday 17th. Venue: Comics Clock Tower.

Si Spencer and DIX’s brand new graphic novel, Klaxon, is a mould-breaking, intensely weird and inscrutably beautiful graphic novel about three wasters who find themselves on the wrong side of their neighbours’ landlord. Milk binges, metamorphoses and indoor confectionary storms ensue. John Freeman joins the authors to discuss this bizarre and brilliant creation. For full details (and to book tickets) click here.

Also at the festival is One Year Wiser creator Mike Medaglia, whose work is currently on show in Kendal’s branch of White Stuff. Look out for his illustrated meditations among the slippers and the socks and the jumpers. You might even find some loose pages from One Year Wiser: The Colouring Book to sneak into your bag. Mike will be signing and sketching in store from 2-3pm on Saturday and 12-1pm on Sunday. Click here for directions.

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Mike Medaglia will also be selling prints, comics, greetings cards and copies of both editions of One Year Wiser in the Comics Clock Tower. You can’t miss him – his table’s right next to ours.

And that’s not it: Mike will also be giving a workshop, Illustrate Your Mantra, in which he’ll walk attendees through the process of adapting a favourite quote, song lyric or aphorism into a full-colour illustration. This takes place in the Brewery Arts Centre (Room 2) on Sunday 18th, 1.30-3pm.

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There is, of course, so much more going on throughout the weekend, including appearances from SelfMadeHero favourite Steven Appleby, who recently created this wonderful reimagining of the Lake District postcard.

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The Lakes Comic Art Festival takes place from 16th-18th October in Kendal, Cumbria. View the full festival programme here.

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Hysteria launches at The Freud Museum

This coming Wednesday, 14th October, we’re celebrating the launch of Hysteria by Richard Appignanesi and Oscar Zarate, the long-awaited second book in our Graphic Freud series. The launch takes place at the Freud Museum, 20 Maresfield Gardens, London NW3 5SX, 6.30-8.30pm. There’ll be free booze, fine company and lots of signed books – and everyone is welcome. What’s more, there’ll be an exhibition of Oscar Zarate’s artwork from Hysteria.


Hysteria follows the early career of Sigmund Freud, from his training in neurological research to his establishment of a therapeutic practice in Vienna. Taking in the psychoanalyst’s earliest clinical experiences, his studies alongside Charcot at La Salpêtrière and his interest in the work of his friend and colleague Joseph Breuer, Richard Appignanesi and Oscar Zarate introduce the characters and case histories that inspired the development of a revolutionary new clinical therapy.

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Drawing on the case histories of “Anna O.”, Fräulein Elisabeth von R. and others, Hysteria shows Freud and his contemporaries developing ideas that would transform the intellectual landscape of the Western world. With a foreword by Deborah Levy, this is a masterful visual guide to the strange and fascinating characters that populate Freud and Breuer’s Studies in Hysteria, the founding text of psychoanalysis.

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Here’s what people are saying about it:

“What a wonderful book: clear and witty; beautifully drawn; by turns both disturbing and enlightening. Whether you know Freud or not, this will speak to your inner shrink.” Rachel Cooke, The Observer

“Dark, delightful and deep, this brilliant graphic novel not only brings Freud’s case history to life but also raises crucial questions about contemporary approaches to human suffering. An inspiring and thought-provoking book.” Darian Leader

“[An] incredible graphic novel, magically brought to life with delicacy and complexity in the drawings of Oscar Zarate.” Deborah Levy

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Hysteria launches on Wednesday 14th October at the Freud Museum, 20 Maresfield Gardens, London NW3 5SX, 6.30-8.30pm. If you’d like to join us for a good ol’ Freudian knees-up, RSVP to

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In Conversation: Peter Kuper at the Strand Book Store in NYC

On Tuesday 22nd September, fresh from his appearances at SPX and the Brooklyn Book Festival this weekend, Peter Kuper visits New York City’s finest book store for the official launch of his hotly anticipated new graphic novel Ruins. The event takes place at 7pm in the Strand Book Store‘s beautiful 3rd floor Rare Book Room.

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Kuper has created over a dozen graphic novels, including The System, Sticks and Stones and an adaptation of Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis. He is co-founder of the political graphics magazine World War 3 Illustrated and, since 1997, has written and drawn “Spy Vs Spy” for MAD Magazine. His comics have appeared in TIME, The New York Times and many other publications. He has been teaching comics courses for over 25 years and is a visiting professor at Harvard University.

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Ruins tells the story of a New York couple who launch into a sabbatical year in the quaint Mexican town of Oaxaca. In tandem, the remarkable and arduous journey that a monarch butterfly endures on its annual migration from Canada to Mexico is woven into Ruins, creating a parallel picture of the challenges of survival in our ever-changing world.

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Here’s what Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Jules Feiffer has to say: “With a monarch butterfly serving in the role of all-seeing observer flying poetically above it all, the constantly remarkable Peter Kuper details the travels and travails of a creative NY couple who move to Oaxaca to find inspiration and revitalize their lives. Kuper’s art is, page after page, astonishing.”

And Publishers Weekly: “Magnificent… a beautiful, epic roman à clef about the importance of seeking the new and questioning the old.”

Peter Kuper will be joined at the Strand by Karen Green, librarian of both Graphic Novels and Ancient and Medieval History at Columbia University. To attend the event, you’ll simply need to buy a copy of Ruins or a $15 Strand gift card.

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SelfMadeHero to exhibit at CanalCon, Kings Cross

This Sunday, 20th September, we’ll be exhibiting at our very first canalside comic con. Our friends at Comica Festival have teamed up Floating Cinema to create the wonderfully named CanalCon, which is happening from noon until 6pm on the canalside steps at Granary Square in Kings Cross, just minutes away from SelfMadeTowers.

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The event marks the finale of a weekend of science fiction-themed events, Extraterrestrial London: Humans in Space!, which will feature open-air screenings, live music and more.

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Expect the full SelfMadeHero spread: new titles (RuinsAama 4. One Year Wiser), limited-edition book plates and an SF & Horror flavoured selection from the backlist. In addition, there’ll be House of Illustration workshops, an interview with Comics Laureate Dave Gibbons and more – all for free! For more information, check out COMICA’s blog.

Hope to see you there!

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Frederik Peeters & Peter Kuper join SelfMadeHero at The Small Press Expo

In just over a week, we’ll be heading to Bethesda, MD for SPX - the USA’s premiere small press convention.

At tables W21-W22 you’ll find the full SelfMadeHero spread: new releases, limited edition prints, discounted masterpieces from the backlist… Plus, we’ll be joined by two very special guest creators, Frederik Peeters (Aama) and Peter Kuper (Ruins).

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Following his event at Busboys & Poets Takoma on Thursday evening (details here), Frederik Peeters will visit SPX to mark the launch of the fourth and final volume of his Angoulême-winning series AamaYou Will Be Glorious, My Daughter.

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He’ll be signing all day Saturday, as well as joining Jennifer Hayden (The Story of My Tits) and Derf Backderf (My Friend Dahmer) on a panel. “Life, Death, Comics, & Everything in Between“ takes place on the Sunday, 12.30-1.30pm, in the White Flint Auditorium.

What’s more, we’ll be giving away this rather lovely series book plate with every copy of Aama:

Aama Book Plate for blog (new)

Peter Kuper, whose brand new graphic novel Ruins we publish this month, will also be joining us. Jules Feiffer, last year’s guest of honour at SPX, has said of the book, “With a monarch butterfly serving in the role of all-seeing observer flying poetically above it all, the constantly remarkable Peter Kuper details the travels and travails of a creative New York couple who move to Oaxaca to find inspiration and revitalize their lives. Kuper’s art is, page after page, astonishing.”

ruins_cover for blog

Kuper will also appear alongside Ted Rall (Snowden) and Chris Kindred (The Response) on a panel: “Drawing the News: Comics Journalism” takes place on Saturday, 5.30-6.30pm, in the White Flint Auditorium.

The aforementioned butterfly features on these two beautiful book plate designs, created by Peter Kuper and available for the first time at SPX. We’ll be giving away a signed, numbered plate with every copy of Ruins.

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The Small Press Expo takes place on Saturday 19th (11am-7pm) & Sunday 20th (noon-6pm) September at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel. See you there, I hope!

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In Conversation: Frederik Peeters to visit Busboys & Poets, Washington DC

This month, Frederik Peeters visits Washington DC to launch the final volume of his award-winning science fiction series Aama. Ahead of his first US convention appearance at The Small Press Expo, the Swiss graphic novelist will discuss his work at an exclusive book store event.

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On Thursday 17th September, he’ll be speaking at Busboys & Poets Takoma at an event co-hosted by Washington’s finest book store Politics & Prose. Chaired by SPX coordinator and Comicosity writer Sam Marx, the event takes place at 18:30 and will be followed by a signing. Full address: Busboys & Poets Takoma, 235 Carroll Street NW, Washington, DC, 20012. Nearest metro: Takoma (Red Line).

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Frederik Peeters has received five nominations in the Best Book category at Angoulême. In 2013, he won the Best Series prize at the same event for the first two volumes of Aama. Peeters is also the author of Blue Pills, Pachyderme and Sandcastle (with Pierre-Oscar Lévy). The event marks a unique opportunity to see one of Europe’s most gifted comics artists discuss one of the landmark series of recent years.

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A gripping blend of existentialism, mystery and action, Aama follows the story of Verloc Nim, an amnesiac and addict, who wakes up in the middle of nowhere. As Verloc begins to piece together the events of his recent past, the misery of his former life reveals itself – but also the beginnings of something new and unexpected. Because on the last inhabitable planet to be discovered, at a forgotten scientific colony, impossible things are happening. 

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Culminating in an incredible final volume, You Will Be Glorious, My DaughterAama is a beautifully realised and intriguing vision of the distant future.

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Watch this space for more information on SelfMadeHero’s activities at the Small Press Expo, which is happening at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel on Saturday 19 (11am-7pm) and Sunday 20 September (12pm-6pm).

For more information about the book store event, and to order your copy beforehand, click here.

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Launch Party: One Year Wiser by Mike Medaglia

Our first release of the autumn, One Year Wiser by Mike Medaglia, is hot off the press – and it looks beautiful! You can join us at Gosh! Comics to celebrate its release on Wednesday 9th September, 7-9pm.

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Mike Medaglia is the creator of, where he’s been posting weekly illustrated meditations since January this year. A practicing Zen Buddhist, Medaglia also tackles subjects from presentness to self-doubt in a Meditation Comic for The Huffington Post.

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One Year Wiser collects 365 of Medaglia’s illustrated meditations, bringing the wisdom of the world’s great thinkers to life through beautiful hand-drawn illustrations. From Rumi to Roosevelt, the Buddha to Martin Luther King Jr., the meditations that fill this book will help you beat stress, be positive and appreciate the moment.

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So, join us from 7pm at Gosh!, 1 Berwick Street, London, W1F 0DR. There’ll be all the usual Gosh! trimmings – free booze, incredible company – but also… cupcakes!

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