Adam Cadwell drops us a line with some absolutely cracking new: he and Marc Ellerby are launching a brand new British Indy comics publisher, Great Beast. It will be “for professionally self published, creator owned comics”, with an unashamed embracing of pop culture (and why not?) influences and happy to take in comics for all ages, including younger readers, something we’re especially keen on here, partly for altruistic reasons – getting young kids interested in reading is one of the greatest gifts you can grant them, partly for pragmatic reasons – where else would our next generation of comics and book readers and creators come from otherwise? Besides, younger readers especially need their imagination and sense of wonder stimulated and that’s something the comics medium can deliver in spades. Here’s an excerpt from the first blog post:
“Great Beast aims to provide the most fun and creative stories to as wide an audience as possible. All of our titles will be creator owned and professionally self published; these are comics brimming with passion.
We launch with the work of two creators who bring their successful self published and award nominated comics to Great Beast; Marc Ellerby‘s Chloe Noonan: Monster Hunter series, and the vampire slacker series Blood Blokes by Adam Cadwell. Both creators will also be publishing long-awaited collections of their previous web-comic work, Ellerbisms and The Everyday, later in the year.
We believe that there should be a place for every genre of comic in the thriving British industry, and that we can offer the comic-buying public something new. So with that in mind…
We want to build a new audience of comic readers. We’ll make comics aimed at a wide range of ages, including children and teenagers. We make comics that aren’t afraid to be funny and are proud to be cartoony. Our comics will be brimming with pop culture, but still retain their heart. We don’t think ‘pop’ is a dirty word.
We will put as much thought into production values as any other publisher to make the best printed books possible. AND we fully embrace digital distribution. We want you to read our comics in the format you want to read them.
We’ve never been as excited about making comics as we are right now, and that’s why we’ve decided to launch Great Beast. It’s a banner for like minded creators who want to get their work to every person who wants to read it, regardless of format or location. More creators will join the line-up throughout 2012, but for the time being check out the comics we have on offer and take a chance on something new. We think you’re going to love them.
Just a few short years ago when we first started this blog we use to bemoan the fact that although we had great success with UK creators in major US publishers and some large professional publishers like Cape, and a vibrant small press, self-published scene, we in the UK simply didn’t have any publisher that sat properly inbetween those levels – where was our equivalent to Top Shelf, D&Q, Fantagraphics, Sparkplug etc? Tony Bennet had flown his freak flag with Knockabout for years, but we needed more. Then in the last few years the rise of Blank Slate Books, SelfMadeHero and Nobrow and gods but how we loved it. We love comics from all over the world, but we were especially happy to see good work being published right here by great British Indy comics houses. We’ve covered them and their works extensively on the blog (and will continue to do so) and it isn’t just us – a browse through our annual guest Best of the Year posts from dozens of writers and artists yields numerous selections from those publishers; they’ve made a real impression with good work and given UK comics creators something to aim for. Hard to imagine the UK comics landscape without them now, isn’t it?
And now here we have two creators we’ve enjoyed a lot on the blog launching a new Brit Indy comics publisher, kicking off with two books we’ve praised pretty highly on here too. Isn’t that just fantastic? Just how fantabulously amazing is it being in Brit comics right now? Creators, reviewers, bloggers and, most importantly, readers – we’ve never had it so good. I’m sure many of you will join us in wishing Great Beast the best of luck and look forward to these first two releases and more to follow. Marc and Adam will both be at Comiket this weekend in London and the official launch for Great Beast is tomorrow morning, so do bookmark them, like on Facebook, follow on Twitter and spread the word around because just like Blank Slate and SMH they need the support of the Brit comics community to do the sorts of things we want to see.