Upcoming Zine Fairs

I’m giving a shout out to two upcoming zine fairs, both held on the 25th of September 2011 – an unfortunate clash, alas.


When: Sunday 25th September 2011, 12pm – 6pm
Where: Start the Bus, 7-9 Baldwin Street, Bristol, BS1 1RU (map)


The Bristol Comic and Zine Fair brings UK self-publishers together for a one-day market, offering a wide array of comix, zines and other alternative publications. There will be stalls from individual creators, and a communal table full of work from across the small-press underground.”

It’s run by Bear Pit Zine, who describe issue 1, “Upheaval” as a “collection of comics, narrating various disruptive possibilities, imaginations, and alternative futures for the city of Bristol.” This strikes a chord with the sort of themes Proboscis have explored in the past, and aim to do in the future. I’ve just ordered a copy, as we visited Bristol as part of the City As Material series – it’ll be interesting to see an insider perspective.

There’s also…

THE SHEFFIELD ZINE FAIR, at Brezza, 10-14 Wellington Street, Sheffield, S1 4HD, from 11am to 6pm. Get in touch via


Diffusion Archive Highlight: A Sort Of Autobiography by Warren Craghead

I mentioned this set of Storycubes briefly in one of my first ever blog posts, “Comics, Cubed”, but it’s elaborate concept deserves another shout-out. Warren Craghead, an artist and curator, created ten Storycubes depicting a fictional autobiography, each representing a decade of his life (the last, in a touch of dark humour, simply shows an urn). Starting with his birth in 1970, and ending with his “death” in 2060, the cubes are drawn in different style and tones, the surreal, abstract illustrations portraying the world view and imagined future of a man who, in his own words, “is constantly drawing”. Warren’s cubes have received some pretty positive reviews from the comic scene as well – Matthew Brady described it as “a sweeping, fascinating portrait of a life” on his blog.

Download and make “A Sort Of Autobiography” for yourself here.


single sheet zine

I’ve been focusing on zines with unconventional formats recently, so I thought I would go the reverse way, and share a simple, traditional method of making a mini-zine from a single sheet of paper, with no glue or binding methods needed, just like Bookleteer. I’ve used A4 in this example, which makes a tiny 8 page booklet, perfect for short comics; each page is around the same size as a traditional comic book panel. You can make a 16 page book if you use both sides, but the reader needs to unfold and reverse the paper to read it all.

Start by folding the sheet of paper in half lengthways, then unfold and fold in half the short way, so the creases are along the dotted lines as shown above.

Then fold the edges in towards the center crease, and unfold. There will now be eight panels on the sheet, each one a page.

The bottom left panel will be your back cover, the next along your front cover. The layout of pages one through six are outlined above. Create your work on this template, then photocopy, or scan and print copies, and fold each sheet in the exact same way as the template.

To assemble, cut a slit lengthways along the middle, spanning two panels, as shown. You can use a scalpel, or simply fold the paper in half and cut the length of of one panel with scissors.

Fold the sheet lengthways so the bottom panels are in front, and bring the edges in so it takes the shape of a book.

Ta-dah! Now share.


Comics, Cubed

In my last post I looked at how handmade zines could be made in ways that were impossible to recreate digitally, which led me to discover a handful of comics that exist in three dimensions.

Warren Craghead’s  “A sort of Autobiography” is a comic spanning ten StoryCubes, each detailing a decade of his life, and possible future life. Its interesting that this was reviewed as a comic in its own right by Warren Peace, despite being hosted online by Diffusion, rather then distributed in print.

“Pandora’s Box” by Ken Wong, retells the Greek Myth on a cube which readers must open to continue the story.

Contending with the rise in popularity of web comics, and the theory of the “infinite canvas” (i.e the size of a digital comics page is theoretically infinite, allowing an artist to display a complete comics story of indefinite length on a single page),  these works make use of space, a concept that can be imitated, but not recreated, on a computer screen. Whilst web comics allow readers to digitally interact, readers can physically interact with and manipulate three-dimensional comics; an entirely different reading experience.


PU&P with We Are Words + Pictures

Yesterday we held the first Pitch Up & Publish of the year with seven of the members of We Are Word + Pictures, a “team running comic and ‘zine themed events throughout the UK” – Matt Sheret, Michael Leader, Mark Higgins, Anne Hollowday, Emilie Chalcraft, Tom Humberstone and Julia Scheele

It was really inspiring for us (myself, Karen Martin & Stefan Kueppers representing the bookleteer team) to see just how enthusiastic they were about picking it up and using it for different purposes. In not time at all half a dozen eBooks and StoryCubes had been made with bookleteer as we talked about different contexts and types of use the Shareables could be put to.

Matthew Sheret has posted some pictures from the evening on his Flickr site:

Here are some other images of the things they made:

StoryCube by Emilie
eBooks by Matt, Tom & Mark
eBooks by Matt, Tom & Mark
StoryCube by Anne
StoryCube by Anne
StoryCube by Julia