Solipsistic Pop 4 stamp design by Katie Green
I created Solipsistic Pop – the UK comics anthology – in November 2009. In the space of the following year, I edited and published 3 volumes before taking a break last November to focus on my own comics and have a bit of time to reconsider how to make Solipsistic Pop a financially viable, self-sustaining publishing endeavour.
With Solipsistic Pop 4 I’m ordering a bigger printrun of 1,000 and investing in barcodes – hopefully solving a few distribution problems, making sure the comics are getting to a wider, larger audience – and also reducing the unit cost. Still, all this requires a bit more collateral than I’ve been used to and thus, Solipsistic Pop 4 needs some help.
I’ve decided to launch a crowd-sourcing campaign for this money through IndieGoGo – opening up the chance for people to pre-order the book and also support the anthology. There are all sorts of other incentives with original art and printing plates available depending on how much one invests.
If the target is reached – not only will I be able to make sure the book is printed without any financial risk on my part, but it will also allow me to invest any profits into future editions of the book and start paying the artists who contribute (who are currently supplying artwork for free which, as a freelancer myself, always makes me feel guilty).
The IndieGoGo campaign is here. Spread the word and tell everyone you know about it! I’m already overwhelmed by the support everyone has shown it – Becky Cloonan inparticular made me feel privileged to be working in this profession – which genuinely seems to attract some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. Becky says it best when talking about the long hours of comics freelancing:
What makes it worth it though, is I love drawing. I LOVE IT. I love making comics. I love starting a new page and buying new paper, ink and brushes. I love telling stories! I love the people I work with, I love the people I meet. I love thinking about the syntax and language of comics. I love esoteric discussions about the comic book industry. I love the opportunities I’ve had in life because of comics. The second I stop loving it I will find something else to do. Comics are hard work. Comics are relentless. Comics will break your heart. Comics are monetarily unsatisfying. Comics don’t offer much in terms of fortune and glory, but comics will give you complete freedom to tell the stories you want to tell, in ways unlike any other medium. Comics will pick you up after it knocks you down. Comics will dust you off and tell you it loves you. And you will look into it’s eyes and know it’s true, that you love comics back.
The lovely promotional video was shot and edited by the exceptionally talented Ben Lavington Martin.
One of the many reasons for irregular updates of late is Solipsistic Pop 3. The UK comics anthology that I edit and publish. I also contribute a short comic to each volume. Because I’m the editor. And I’m nothing if not nepotistic.
Below is a tiny preview of my contribution to SP3. It is called Have You Swung Over The Top? and is based on a short story by Anne Holiday. I’m really quite proud of this short and have to say SP3 is shaping up very nicely…
It occurs to me now that I never blogged much of my contribution to SP2. This, again, was based on a short story by Anne and was our first collaboration. Here’s the first page:
I edited this and also contributed a short two page comic to it. For more info check out the Solipsistic Pop website.
Hope some of you can make it along – it should be a great evening!
COMEDY FROM ROBIN INCE // LIVE DRAWING
BUY THE BOOK AT A REDUCED PRICE
MEET THE ARTISTS // FREE SCREENPRINTS FOR THE FIRST 20 CUSTOMER
SOLIPSISTIC POP 2
Contains 64 pages of sequential art from some of the best comic artists, illustrators and designers working in the UK today. With a 12 page newspaper insert, gorgeous gatefold cover and specially designed tote bag, it’s a must have for any comic fan.
Kristyna Baczynski, Becky Barnicoat, Adam Cadwell, Stephen Collins, Joe Decie, Marc Ellerby, Sally Hancox, Anne Holiday, Tom Humberstone, Philippa Johnson, Daniel Locke, Lizz Lunney, Jack Noel, Mark Oliver, Luke Pearson, Octavia Raitt, Anna Saunders, Julia Scheele, Matthew Sheret, and Matilda Tristram.
PRE-ORDER SOLIPSISTIC POP 2
If you are unable to make the launch night, you can pre-order the book here.
REVIEW SOLIPSISTIC POP 2
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to acquire press copies, arrange interviews, or for more information.
STOCK SOLIPSISTIC POP 2
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These are the first six pages of the eight page short story I produced for book one of Solipsistic Pop. It’s my first full colour comic and my first real attempt at fiction. Buy the book here to see the final two pages and to see it in print.
It’s been a busy few months. Which, I suppose, came to fruition when Solipsistic Pop – the anthology of alternative British comics that I edited and published – launched at the ICA. I’d been working hard on the book since September and it was wonderful to finally see what everyone made of it. You can read more about that and the reasons I wanted to publish Solipsistic Pop here.
(this illustration was later used to accompany a Guardian write-up of the day)
The next event Solipsistic Pop will be a part of is Josie Long’s Lost Treasures of The Black Heart on December 8. More details here. I asked SP contributor Anna Saunders to draw the flyer for the night and I coloured it.
It’s been quiet on the blog here but I’ve been extremely busy working on a number of things. One of which, I can now talk about…
Solipsistic Pop is a new anthology of alternative UK comic artists that I have been preparing for a few months now. I wanted to create something similar to RAW!, Mome, Sturgeon White Moss, Kramers Ergot and the comics issue of McSweeneys – something that would give some of the amazing small press work out there a platform. Those of us wanting to create alternative comics in the UK don’t have a whole lot of options when it comes to publishers so this seemed like a perfect way to kickstart something that I think most people interested in comics would like to see.
With the carefully picked contributors busy working on their comics for the first volume (due for release in November), I’ve been preparing the website and working on my own contribution. Here’s the logo, PR, and self-portraits of the artists involved:
Solipsistic Pop is a biannual anthology designed to spotlight the best in alternative Comic art from the UK.
It features diverse, beautiful, twisted and peculiar Comics that you won’t be able to find anywhere else. Comic artists old and new are encouraged to contribute. Solipsistic Pop intends to provide a support structure and outlet for UK alternative Comics.
Each book of Solipsistic Pop will be a boutique, tactile product. An interactive, unique artefact designed to suit the content of each edition with an extremely limited printrun.
This website will be updated with previews of artwork from the first book, essays, news and related live events.
Book one arrives November 2009
The website went live last week with a manifesto that I wrote with Matthew Sheret which was written as a brief statement of intent for the anthology and for what we want to see from comics in the future. For many creators and readers of comics, the points will be blindingly obvious but it felt worthwhile and useful to gather our thoughts about the state of comics like this.
Some people will undoubtedly get rubbed up the wrong way by it. That’s what manifestos do. Obviously it is intended to provoke debate but I genuinely agree with every single point on there. The manifesto is not attempting to dictate what anyone should write or draw. Rather, the manifesto is intended to be inspiring – to urge people to feel that there are no rules to creating comics and that we should reclaim the term from those who would have us be embarrassed by it. Anything that is rejected or denied by us is specifically designed to open the possibilites – not reduce them. It’ll sadden me if people read it differently but I imagine I can’t do much about that.
The manifesto and announcement of the anthology aside, I’ve been working on a new eight page, full colour comic for the anthology called Special Guest Appearance. It is my first proper attempt at fiction and I’m really excited about how it’s coming together. Here’s a sneak peak: