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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Coming Soon: Our Autumn List Revealed

Ok, the summer may be vanishing and the days getting shorter, but it’s not all bad. In fact, we can prove without doubt that there are at least six reasons to be looking forward to the autumn.

Confectionary storms? Check. Pearls of cinematic wisdom? Check. Out-of-control biotech experiments? Check. That’s right, folks: our autumn list is here, and it has it all.

Reason 1 (to be wishing away the summer):

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In One Year Wiser, the wisdom of the world’s great thinkers is brought to life by the beautiful hand-drawn illustrations of Huffington Post blogger and Zen Buddhist practitioner Mike Medaglia. From Rumi to Roosevelt, the Buddha to Martin Luther King Jr., the meditations on Mike’s blog,, are inspiring, thought-provoking and beautifully illustrated. For your daily benefit, we’ve collected a single illustrated meditation for every day of the year. Plus, there’s a launch event at Gosh! Comics on Wednesday 9th September. Come along – there will be cup cakes!

Reason 2:

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The final volume of Frederik Peeters’ Angoulême-winning science fiction series, You Will Be Glorious, My Daughter, is mind-bending and brilliant. Following the loss of his companions in the anarchic crucible that used to be Ona(ji), Verloc Nim has merged with the rogue biotech experiment Aama. Exploring the limits of this remarkable new relationship, he sets his sights on the one place that might hold some answers: home.

Reason 3:

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Peter Kuper’s long-awaited new graphic novel is finally here – and it was definitely worth the wait. Ruins is the story of a young, creative New York couple who take a sabbatical year in Oaxaca, Mexico. For Samantha, it is the opportunity to revisit her past. For George, it is an unsettling step into the unknown. For both of them, it will be a collision course with political and personal events that will alter their paths and the town of Oaxaca forever. In tandem, the remarkable and arduous journey that a monarch butterfly endures on its annual migration from Canada to Mexico is woven into Ruins. This creates a parallel picture of the challenges of survival in our ever-changing world. It also makes for some stunning spreads.

Jules Feiffer has said of Ruins, “Kuper’s art is, page after page, astonishing.” Seriously, when you see it, you’ll agree!

Reason 4:


The second title in our Graphic Freud series, 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.

If you want to learn about the strange and fascinating characters that populate Freud and Breuer’s Studies in Hysteria, the founding text of psychoanalysis, then this is the book for you. If you want to gain an insight into the life and mind of a genius, or simply to admire some incredible artwork, this is also the book for you.

Reason 5:

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Klaxon is different. It’s also difficult to explain. Tank Girl creator Alan Martin puts it thus: ”[It's] 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.”

Three wasters, high on wax and cavity wall insulation, fall under the malign influence of their neighbours’ landlord, the grim, grinning embodiment of evil Mr Stapleton. Milk binges, metamorphoses, freak falls of liquorice allsorts ensue. I’ll say no more for now, except…this book is amazing!

Reason 6:

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In Filmish, Edward Ross uses comics to uncover the magic and mechanics behind our favourite movies. Exploring everything from censorship to set design, Filmish 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. Filmish is as much a paean to the enduring medium of cinema as it is is a lucid and lively guide to the stars and stories that have shaped our lives for more than a century.

Of course, there are other reasons to be looking forward to the end of summer – Thought Bubble, The Lakes, Christmas – but these are six of the best.


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SelfMadeHero at the Edinburgh Book Festival

It’s that time of year again: the Edinburgh International Book Festival is nearly upon us. It begins this Friday, 15th August, and as ever there’s plenty to whet the appetites of graphic novel fans.

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This year’s Stripped 2015 programme features Andrzej Klimowski and Danusia Schejbal (Behind the Curtain), Rob Davis (The Motherless Oven), Jean-Pierre Filiu (Best of Enemies) and Martin Rowson (The Coalition Book). Here’s what they’re up to:

Friday 28th August, 14:00: Andrzej Klimowski and Danusia Schejbal

When Poland Made its Mark (Baillie Gifford Corner Theatre): The 1970s was a dramatic period for Poland. While many East European citizens traveled west, two young art students went the other way. Behind the Curtain is the story of Andrzej Klimowski and Danusia Schejbal’s formative years, spent studying and working within an artistic community that flourished despite the realities of the Communist State.

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Separately, Klimowski and Schejbal will lead a Reading Workshop focussed on The Master and Margarita (Fri 28th, 11:00), which they adapted into graphic novel form for SelfMadeHero, as well as taking part in Amnesty International’s Imprisoned Writers event on the theme of Crime and Unusual Punishment (Fri 28th, 17:30).

Friday 28th August, 19:00: Rob Davis and Karrie Fransman

Unique Voices Telling Strange Stories (Baillie Gifford Corner Theatre): Rob Davis discusses his Eisner-nominated graphic novel The Motherless Oven - an unsettling and fiercely original coming-of-age story. In a world where there are no birthdays – only deathdays – and household appliances have souls, three teenagers strike out into the unknown.


Rob Davis is joined by Karrie Fransman. Her latest book, Death of the Artist, is published by Jonathan Cape. It’s an innovative and surprising book – you should buy it immediately.

Sunday 30th August, 17:45pm: Martin Rowson and Jean-Pierre Filiu

Taking a Strip Off Governments (Garden Theatre): Illustrated by David B., Jean-Pierre Filiu’s Best of Enemies is a graphic history of US and Middle East relations – a series of graphic novels which documents with clarity and conviction the tense relationship between the two regions since 1783.

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Filiu is joined by the Guardian cartoonist Martin Rowson, whose The Coalition Book is a cartoon catalogue of Britain’s worst government in 200 years. Learn how the era of Cameron and Clegg inspired some of his most successful and scathing satire.

To find out what else is happening at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, visit their website.

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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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