Safari Festival 2017 is almost here!
As usual, the event will take place from 11am to 6pm on Saturday 12th August at Protein Gallery in London's Shoreditch. We have some very special guests this year, including Anya Davidson, Lane Milburn, Charles Forsman, Anna Haifisch, and many more. You can find a complete list of exhibitors and venue details at safari-festival.com
On the Wednesday before the event, Gosh Comics will be hosting an interview with Safari guest Charles Forsman, where he'll be discussing the production of the Channel 4/Netflix adaptation of his graphic novel The End of the Fucking World with director Jonathan Entwhistle and writer Charlie Covell. More info here.
On the Thursday before the event, we'll be hosting the spawning ceremony for Berserker 1 and John's Worth 3 at Shoreditch's Lo & Behold, with many of the artists and editors in attendance, an instillation from Lando, exhibition of work from John's Worth 3 by Jon Chandler, performances from Alexander Tucker and Joey Holder & Dane Sutherland, and much more. More info here.
See you there!
We have a veritable bonanza of new releases coming this August for Safari Festival 2017!
Good News Bible: The Complete Deadline Strips of Shaky Kane finally collects all of the inimitable Shaky Kane's work for Deadline magazine from the late '80s and early '90s, along with extensive annotations and essays.
Showtime is the new graphic novel from Antoine Cossé, charting the career of the mysterious "M", the world's most famous magician, and his last and greatest trick.
Berserker 1 is a new anthology of contemporary science fiction comics from some of the genre's most compelling practitioners, alongside essays and interviews with the likes of Robert Beatty (who's also supplied the cosmic cover).
Conditioner is Liam Cobb's follow up to his 2016 ELCAF Audience award winning Shampoo, made up of a series of surreal shorts.
Klaus Magazine 3 is the latest Klaus Kompendium from Richard Short, containing the epic story “It's A Lush Life, Klaus” and a raft of new material, including guest bits from Brie Moreno, Anna Haifisch, Lando and many more.
John's Worth 3 is the new instalment of Jon Chandler's Cronenbergian scorched-earth sex-nightmare.
All six books will be available at Safari Festival on August 12th, and can be pre-ordered now at our online store.
Safari Festival is back for 2017! Check out our amazing poster from Safari 2017 exhibitor Anya Davidson. You can find more information about this year's festival, and a full list of exhibitors, at safari-festival.com
Safari Festival is a celebration of the new wave of alternative and art comics from the UK and beyond. Taking place on Saturday, 12th August, the festival is an opportunity for a curated group of cartoonists and publishers to exhibit and sell their artwork, prints and, primarily, comics, and for attendees to experience the best of UK comics’ avant-garde. The artists exhibiting have been selected for their innovative, fearless, diverse approaches to making comics; approaches to cartooning that Safari intends to champion.
Sorority’s debut EP will also be available to purchase on the night. The EP comes on 12" heavyweight vinyl and is accompanied by a Riso booklet featuring work from some of the world’s best cartoonists: Amanda Baeza, Antoine Cossé, Brie Moreno, Connor Willumsen, Conor Stechschulte, Elliott Batten, Joe Kessler, Richard Short, and Zoë Taylor.
Please be aware that the Breakdown Press webstore will be closing for Christmas at the end of this week. Current orders will be mailed out this afternoon, so any international orders among them should arrive in time for Christmas. UK orders made by the end of this week will be mailed out early next week, and should also arrive in plenty of time for Christmas. For those of you making personal or otherwise unfestive orders, we may get another chance to send mail out before the end of the year, but cannot guarantee it, so your patience is appreciated.
Thanks very much for all your orders this year. Your continued enthusiasm for the books we publish means a lot to us!
“Fantagraphics is proud to announce a new partnership with London-based publisher Breakdown Press. As of the November 2016 Diamond Previews Catalog, issue #338, Fantagraphics will be distributing a selection of Breakdown Press titles to comic book specialty stores.
Breakdown Press was founded by Simon Hacking, Tom Oldham, Josh Palmano and Joe Kessler in 2013. Their goal was to put out the work of cutting edge cartoonists and some of the very best alternative manga. Since then, Breakdown Press has become a curatorial publishing force, releasing books by Conor Stechschulte, Lale Westvind, Seiichi Hayashi, Antoine Cossé, and many others.
“Breakdown is the UK’s most ambitious, progressive, and editorially risk-taking comics publisher, so it was logical to partner with someone we considered a kindred spirit.,” said Fantagraphics President Gary Groth. “We look forward to getting their books and authors the wider readership in the US that they deserve.”
“Fantagraphics are known for working with the best cartoonists in the world and so Breakdown’s books will be a perfect fit” said Breakdown Press editor Tom Oldham “We’re excited to be working with Fantagraphics to bring our books to a wider audience in North America”.
Fantagraphics is offering two Breakdown Press books through Diamond in the November issue of Previews: The Artist by Anna Haifisch, and Red Red Rock and Other Stories 1967–1970 by Hayashi Seiichi.”
We’re very excited to be collaborating with Fantagraphics, one of the most inspiring comics publishers and certainly a great influence on us, to bring Breakdown Press’s books to a wider audience in the US. The Artist by Anna Haifisch and Red Red Rock by Hayashi Seiichi, editied by Ryan Holmberg, are available to order from the Fantagraphics section of November’s Diamond Previews now.
Breakdown Press is very excited to announce that this November we will be releasing The Artist, a complete collection of the first year of Anna Haifisch’s hilarious, touching strip, originally published at vice.com. The book will be available to pre-order from our online store from mid-October.
Haifisch’s idiosyncratic, episodic comic chronicles the experiences of a young artist in his formative years, satirising the exclusive, ephemeral and frequently absurd world of fine art. Plagued by doubts and anxiety, the artist is confronted with constant setbacks punctuated by occasional, surprising glimpses of recognition.
Safari Festival 2016 is almost here!
As usual, the event will take place from 11am to 6pm on Saturday 27th August at Protein Gallery in London's Shoreditch. We have some very special guests this year, including Simon Hanselmann, Joan Cornella, Anna Haifisch, and many more. You can find a complete list of exhibitors and venue details at safari-festival.com
On the Thursday before the event, we'll be hosting an exhibition of work by Decadence Comics at Peckham's Sassoon Gallery, featuring the work of Lando, Stathis Tsemberlidis, Emix Regulus, Jon Chandler and Leon Sadler. Decadence will be launching Decadence 11, and Breakdown will be launching Picnoleptic Inertia by Stathis Tsemberlidis and John's Worth 2 by Jon Chandler. More info here.
World in the Forcefield by Alexander Tucker is available now from our online store!
The book sees Tucker return to comics with a tale of existential boredom set in a fantastical universe. The book explores perception and inter-dimensional reality in a tale of two estranged brothers sharing a world populated by giant godheads who seek a era of perfect boredom, and strike out with random acts of cruelty to create chance events that spark their fellow inhabitants’ destinies.
“I use improvisation to develop structured storylines and automatic processes like cut-ups and unconscious image-making to trigger future events within the comic. I wanted to create a universe where the mundane and the epic sit side by side. I was inspired by Steve Ditko’s meta-beings and Gary Panter’s deconstructed worlds, as well as a deep love for the engravings of Gustav Doré and William Blake’s drawings” - Alexander Tucker.
Known in the comics world as co-founder of the arresting comics anthology Sturgeon White Moss alongside Sylvia Farago (the name of the collection came to Tucker in a dream), Alexander Tucker has also released six critically acclaimed solo albums with Thrill Jockey Records and ATP Recordings, is co-founder of experimental pop duo Grumbling Fur and one-half of radiophonic tape loop project IMBOGODOM. He has collaborated with musicians Charlemagne Palestine, Stephen O Malley of SUNNO))), and fine artists Mark Titchner and Marvin Gaye Chetwyn.
Red Red Rock and other stories 1967-1970, a career-spanning collection of comics by Hayashi Seiichi, one of Japan’s best known alternative cartoonists, is available now from our online store.
As ever, the translation comes courtesy of Ryan Holmberg, who also has an extensive essay in the book, along with almost 250 pages of work by the great Hayashi Seiichi.
“Discovering Hayashi Seiichi’s work was a revelation - it’s an astonishing blend of sensibilities, steeped in a graceful melancholy” - David Mazzucchelli
After many weeks of transit, Dôme is finally in the building!
Dôme is a comics anthology made as a collaboration between Lagon and Breakdown Press as part of the 2016 FIBD d'Angoulême with the sponsorship of Risograph. All 500 copies of the 40 page, 280 x 335 mm book were printed and finished at the festival with the help of all the artists, but especially Alexis Beauclair, Sammy Stein and Joe Kessler. The book contains work by Lando, Amanda Baeza, Simon Hanselmann, Jeremy Perrodeau, Bettina Henni, Sammy Stein, Dash Shaw, Hugo Ruyant, Antoine Cosse, Michael DeForge, Zoe Taylor, Amandine Meyer, Olivier Schrauwen, Alexis Beauclair, Jean-Philippe Bretin, Joe Kessler and Richard Short.
As we have very limited copies of Dôme, having sold most of them at the festival itself and Lagon’s subsequent launch party in Paris, we’ve decided that our copies of the book will only be available at comics shows we’ll be attending, while stocks last. This means we should have copies at the upcoming Millionaires’ Club in Leipzig, TCAF in Toronto, ELCAF in London, Safari Festival in London, and possibly several more in between.
You can read a review of Dôme at Just Indie Comics.
by Conor Stechschulte
Welcome one and all to a peek behind the curtain of my process used for the creation of the newest volume of Generous Bosom from Breakdown Press. Most of what you’ll see here I developed in the making of the first volume of GB. The idea from the beginning has been to make the book in a manner that builds in layers of editing and to allow for further editing by using (mostly) the same grid. This way, I can move panels around or chop two pages in half and graft them together, things like that.
Part I: Tools
I use this fella for all the rough drawings and almost all the writing and planning as well. It’s .9 which is the biggest they come and I like to use 2B cuz that’s the softest that’s available. Originally this was because I was roughing and finishing the pages on the same piece of paper (see more on this below) and found that when I used harder lead, I pressed harder and left indentations in the paper that showed through if I tried to draw over them. Now I use it simply because I like the feel of it.
I use these pencils for all the finished final drawings. Prismacolor Ebony pencils, not to be confused with their far inferior cousin, the Strathmore Ebony pencil. I tried out a lot of different pencils at the beginning of this project (I used to live between two art supply stores) and found these to be the most versatile. I started out drawing with woodless pencils of varying hardnesses but quickly figured out that I’d drive myself crazy trying to stay consistent with what thing of what level of darkness I’d drawn with what pencil and decided to keep it simple. They’re great in that they’re the cheapest softish pencil (somewhere between $.50 and $.60) I could find and you can get a real diverse range of value out of them. I’ve gone through close to 200 of them thus far (not kidding).
All the finished drawings are on this paper. Not much to say about it. Good paper.
Part II: Planning
This is where it all started folks. I did a one-page outline and then quickly began writing out dialog as often happens. As with the previous volume, I knew what was going to happen in what order though not exactly how. Also, didn’t know at exactly which point this book would end (note the “END?” note at the bottom of the left-hand page) when I first began planning. Some notes have been redacted to avoid “showing my hand” too much.
After the overall outline is in place, I generally work in chronological order in about 10-15 page chunks. I write out the dialog (see above) and determine the page turns and then break down the panels from there. I focus a lot on timing in this project overall so I try to time each page turn with some sort of question or reveal to make the reading compelling (I hope) on a page-to-page basis.
Then I thumbnail out the pages themselves. I usually don’t put more than one page of the comic on a page in the plan book like in the image above but when the pages have color separations I have to plan them a couple times just to wrap my brain around everything that’s going on. My whole process, I’ve come to realize, has grown up around my only having to make a limited number of decisions at any given stage.
I broke down what I was going to draw in the thumbnails above so I only had to decide what was going to be what color when I made the second round of plans for these pages.
Part III: Roughing It
Here is a picture of what the roughs look like for the above planned pages. This is the stage where I actually tape paper up on my drawing table (see below), measure out panels and layout the final pages. These are scratch sheets that I lightbox to make the final drawings. This leaves me to be very free in the drawing and I often make little notes like an arrow (see bottom right of above image) to move an element around without having to redraw it. Sometimes like in the bottom left page above, I’ll leave a panel blank when I’m redrawing, or only slightly changing the image from another panel.
Part IV: Finishing
Here’s what the finished separations for the above pages look like.
Here’s my glass-top desk with clamp-lamps that I use to lightbox. Since the two color layers on this particular page are different overlapping images, there are two rough drawings and two final drawings as opposed to one rough drawing and two final drawings as with the color pages above.
This is what it looks like when I’m tracing the rough page to make the final drawing.
Part V: Photoshopping and Printed Pages
Here’s what the above page looked like when I Photoshopped the separations together. I knew I was going to invert (turn black to white and white to black) some of the panels in the green layer but it didn’t look right when I saw it how I originally planned it so I changed the top four panels so that they’d interact with the purple layer better. I tend to like working in meatspace with the drawings as much as possible and try to avoid computer work when possible but in the case of this page and a handful of others in the book, they needed a little cyber-finessing.
And here’s what those earlier pages look like in their printed form.
If you made it this far, thanks for reading! Feel free to message me (crepusculararchives.tumblr.com) if any of this is confusing or if you have further questions.
To acquire these books go here to Breakdown’s store,
Finally the finest comics of the season can be yours!
Breakdown Press and To Do present the launch of Windowpane 3 by Joe Kessler and Klaus Magazine 1 by Richard Short.
This will be the first chance to buy Joe's book, which will be fresh from the Risograph at Victory Press in Deptford.
We'll be displaying the original artwork from both books, for one night only before the art travels to Bologna with Joe and Richard for an exhibition at BilBOlbul festival. Alongside the books, we'll have some screenprinted posters to buy, designed by Joe and Richard and printed by Joe.
Join us at To Do, Peckham Springs, 22A Blenheim Grove, London SE15 4QN this Friday 13th November from 7pm.
Safari Festival 2015 was another banger! Thanks so much to everyone that came to check out the comics and prints, and to the exhibitors without whom it would, of course, not have been possible. All the work on display was of the highest caliber and proved the quality of the UK's alternative and avant-garde comics better than we could have ever hoped. Special thanks are due to Helen from Protein for single-handedly running the venue and solving every problem thrown her way, and to our crew of volunteers for soldiering on despite the heat. See you next year!
Below are a bunch of photos from the event. Click the arrows for more.
Photos courtesy of Franke Pike.
We’re very excited to announce that we’ll be releasing Ding Dong Circus and other stories 1967-1974 by the great avant-garde Japanese artist Sasaki Maki this December.
This collection presents, for the first time in English, the best of Sasaki Maki’s work, mainly from alt-manga super magazine Garo. Drawn between 1967 and 1974, the fifteen stories here follow Sasaki’s groundbreaking exploration of collage methods in comics storytelling, weaving through references to R&B, rock ‘n’ roll, the Vietnam War, Andy Warhol, the Summer of Love, the Beatles, British humour, and the wacky world of Japanese consumerism. Ding Dong Circus demonstrates what manga fans already knew: that in Sasaki Maki, Japan can claim not only a pioneer in experimental comics, but one of the world’s masters of Pop Art and a trenchant avant-garde critic of the Sixties.
Translator and editor Ryan Holmberg has just published an extensive essay about Sasaki at The Comics Journal, which is the perfect thing to keep you going until the book’s release!