Self Made Hero logo


Paperback with flaps, 112 pp, $19.99

Edited by Ayoola Solarin
Cover art by Sajan Rai
Designed by Txabi Jones

Stories by Asia Alfasi, Charlotte Bailey, Jason Chuang, Dominique Duong, Catherine Anyango Grünewald, Shuning Ji, Pris Lemons, Sonia Leong, Calico N.M., Tyrell Osborne and Woodrow Phoenix.

Collecting stories from a range of artists of colour across the UK, this comics anthology unites their voices under a single theme: 'catalyst'.
In one story, the accidental witnessing of a horrific scene turns a regular day into a nightmare; in another, the truth of what it really took to put a man on the moon is revealed. From tales of misplaced memories to battles with the id, Catalyst offers a look at the consequences of big and small acts alike.

Showcasing a mix of established and emerging artists, this collection imagines the myriad ways in which a chain of events might end in either euphoria or catastrophe. Sometimes both. 

Sonia Leong

Sonia Leong won Tokyopop's Rising Stars of Manga competition in 2005 and went on to illustrate Domo: The Manga (Tokyopop), Bravest Warriors: The Search For Catbug (VIZ/Perfect Square) and the Eisner Award-winning Comic Book Tattoo (Image). Leong is also the author of a number of how-to-draw titles, including Draw Manga: 101 Top Tips from Professional Manga Artists and Manga Your World. As a freelancer, she has worked on projects for Toyota, CNN, the BBC and Marie Claire, among many others.

Charlotte Bailey

Charlotte Bailey is a Birmingham-based cartoonist, whose work explores Black British heritage and potential futures. She has published, edited and collaborated on a range of zines and journals, and wrote episode two of the sci-fi webcomic Planet DIVOC-9. An associate of the international graphic novel forum LDComics, she has hosted workshops with Afrofutures UK. Her work has been widely exhibited, including at the Angoulême Comics Festival and London’s Cartoon Museum, and was published in the celebrated anthology The Inking Woman.

Woodrow Phoenix

Woodrow Phoenix is a writer, artist and graphic designer based in London and Cambridge. His work has appeared in national UK newspapers, in magazines and comics collections internationally and in television projects for Walt Disney and Cartoon Network. His books include the critically acclaimed Rumble Strip and Crash Course, the award-winning anthology Nelson and the experimental She Lives, a gallery installation that is also a graphic novel. Woodrow is a Visiting Lecturer in Graphic Novels at Middlesex University.

Asia Alfasi

Asia Alfasi is an award-winning British Libyan graphic novelist. Born in Libya in 1984, she spent her formative years first in Tripoli, and then in Glasgow, Scotland, after migrating there with her family. Upon discovering and falling in love with comics and manga, she realised their immense potential for humanising issues and bringing the plight of often marginalised peoples to the fore and therefore furthering understanding. Ever since, she has represented the Muslim and Arab voice through her work with the ultimate aim of harnessing the medium as a tool for cross-cultural dialogue.

Jason Chuang

Born in Taiwan, Jason Chuang moved to the UK at 15, pursued an illustration degree at Falmouth University and subsequently completed an MA in Visual Communication at the RCA. He is interested in the exploration of human emotions via symbolic imagery coated with elements of the absurd and the poetic. Passionate about narrative, Jason often ponders impossible situations within alternative universes, constantly searching for new ways to tell stories in which the unreal comes closer to the truth.

Dominique Duong

Dominique Duong is an illustrator and comics artist living and working in London. Her work has been published by Imagine FX, The Covent Gardener, The Psychologist and AppBox Media, and she was one of Broken Frontier’s “Six Small Press Creators to Watch” in 2020. Fascinated by the macabre, the surreal and the magical, and influenced by mythology, fairy tales, nature and folklore, Dominique creates diverse, queer fantasy and horror stories. She also runs art workshops on bookbinding, drawing and inking.

Shuning Ji

Shuning Ji studied illustration as a postgraduate at The University of Edinburgh. She is a comicbook artist and character designer, and is currently working on a comic about Chinese slang, which will be published in July 2021. Born in China, Shuning now lives and works in Edinburgh.

Pris Lemons

Pris Lemons is a queer comics artist from the Cayman Islands, who now lives in Scotland. Their work is autobiographical, focusing on gender and sexuality through character design. Colour, symbolism and humour are key elements of their work, which explores sensitivity and vulnerability via difficult narratives drawn from their own queer experience. Inspired by film, animation and real life, Pris highlights the feeling of living between worlds, rendering the internal contradictions in their culture and upbringing both tangible and beautiful.

Calico N.M.

Calico N.M. is a comics artist, illustrator and animator, and is currently studying at Kingston University London. Born in Egypt and now living in the UK, they have created a number of small, self-published zines and webcomics, as well as being featured in community-based illustration anthologies under the pen name Neomints.

Tyrell Osborne

Since graduating with a BA in Illustration from Middlesex University in 2020, Tyrell Osborne has continued to add to his skill sets, both digital and traditional, incorporating pen and ink, printmaking, life drawing and visual storytelling. He is interested in exploring both personal and commercial projects, and has previously created protest posters for recent political and global events, a graphic novel, an illustrated biography, film posters, intimate family portraits and a panoramic narrative. Tyrell lives and works in London.

Catherine Anyango Grünewald

Catherine Anyango Grünewald, a published graphic novelist and teacher, taught at the RCA in London for  10 years and is now a Senior Lecturer in Illustration at Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm. She illustrated a graphic novel adaptation of Conrad’s Heart of Darkness for SelfMadeHero in 2010, and in 2019 was awarded the prestigious Navigator Art on Paper Prize. In 2021, Phaidon’s Vitamin D3 included her among the 100 best practitioners of contemporary drawing.

Ayoola Solarin

Ayoola Solarin is a TV writer, comics editor, critic and arts journalist. She has written for television for Disney and Netflix and has worked with numerous award-winning creators. Her byline features include The Guardian, Dazed, Vulture, i-D and Hyperallergic. She is currently working in production on Netflix’s DEADENDIA, based on the graphic novels of which she was the editor.


"Strong and eclectic... this is the sort of thing we need a lot more of."
— Bryan Lee O’Malley, creator of "Scott Pilgrim and Seconds"
"Filled with new and vibrant work... Catalyst truly lives up to its title in every way possible."
— John Jennings, illustrator of "Parable of the Sower: A Graphic Novel Adaptation"