A Return to Mini-Comics

Herewith a couple of recent mini-comic publications. Well, actually neither of them are new strips, but I’m re-presenting and reworking these 1980s strips in an A5 8-page format. I used to put out xerox zines this size quite a lot, so for me it’s a welcome return to a favourite form. I’m planning to publish more titles this way.

The Recolte is a science-fiction love story from 1987. My penchant for bleak, clipped writing may have led to the story being less than clear, but I think it’s a semi-poetic way of producing prose that suits the strange subject matter. Originally it appeared in the Belfast comics anthology with anarchist leanings, Blast. The story might not be as well known in this ink-and-wash version which I prepared at some point many years ago. I can’t stop revising and reworking, evidently.

The Lion Sleeps Tonite is an even more extensive reworking. It was drawn for Tom Tiffin in 1989, as part of his one-shot A5 compilation Bizarro True Crime Stories. In May 2024, I added these colours and devised a cover by collaging around in the computer. For most of this year, I’ve become obsessed with trying to replicate the halftone printing you used to get in 1960s American colour comics; some call it “Ben Day dots”. I’ll probably explore this subject in another blog post, but suffice to say I believe I have found a way to approximate the halftones, and the four-colour printing process, using The GIMP (the open-source alternative to Photoshop). For Lion, I just used yellow and red, but even so I’m delighted with the gorgeous orange and pink screens. How will I fare with four colours? Watch this space!

Neither comic is available for sale from my website as yet. But I will be bringing them to my table at Pushkin House in June and BrewZine in July, this year. Come along and buy one in person.