Thought Bubble is the big end of year comic convention happening this year on 23rd & 24th November, and as such, it’s become the place to launch new books. Over the next few weeks we’ll bring you as much news as possible of these new releases, but right now, let’s start with Blank Slate
Blank Slate have 6 new releases, plus a reissue, all set to première at Thought Bubble. We thought you may fancy a little look at them…
Kochi Wanaba by Jamie Smart
128 page colour hardcover
Kochi Wanaba is a quiet kid who loves nothing more than to draw secrets in his sketchbook. When the day of the annual Bee Festival falls upon his town, Kochi’s loud, hyperactive girlfriend Lhys can barely contain herself. Unfortunately for Kochi, tolerating Lhys’ excitement becomes the least of his problems as supernatural chaos breaks out all around them, threatening to change their lives forever. Featuring a foul-mouthed cast of misfit school kids discovering how badly wrong friendship can go, events spin horrifically out of control as reality as they know it is turned upside down. Rendered in Jamie Smart’s characteristic illustration style that straddles the cute and the grotesque, Kochi Wanaba is a pencil-drawn graphic novel that combines all-out comedy with genuine, captivating emotional range. Kochi Wanaba is filled with mysteries that must be read to be decoded. What lies behind this madness? What is the hidden significance of the festival? Why does Kochi attract so many bugs?
Love Looks Away by Line Hoven
96pages, b/w, softcover
Line Hoven’s first graphic novel tells a tale of three generations of her family, with stories from the past interwoven deftly with those of the present to show how with time and willingness, cultural barriers and prejudice can be overcome, because Love Looks Away. The story begins with her grandfather Erich – a boy obsessed with his radio and the music of Jewish composer Mendelssohn, yet also a loyal member of the Hitler Youth. How can he reconcile these conflicts? Later, his own son Reinhardt finds himself equally out of place as he falls in love with an American woman and has to choose. Where will they live? What language will they speak? How do they deal with the differences in their cultures? Incised into scraperboard, the daughter of an American mother and a German father tells the story of how two families across two continents became one. Love Looks Away is a quiet and touching family chronicle that ties snapshots of private and public historic events into a contemporary memoir.
Awarded the ICOM prize for Best Independent German Comic of 2008, this is one of the most celebrated of recent German graphic novels.
Pimo & Rex by Thomas Wellmann
We’re excited to announce that we’ll be co-publishing the amazing Thomas Wellmann’s upcoming comic Pimo & Rex with our friends at Rotopol. We’ve been huge fans of Thomas (and Rotopol) for a long time, and so it’s great to be helping bring his brilliant work into English.
But – aside from working with great people – why co-publish? By teaming up with Rotopol, it means that we can unleash German and English versions of the book upon the world at the very same time! This October, Anglophones will be able to read the comic in English at the very same time as German-speaking readers are first getting their hands on it. Pretty neat, huh?
If you follow Thomas on Tumblr, you’ll already know the book will contain two stories about Pimo, a struggling novelist and Rex, a successful chef. Stay tuned to the Blank Slate and Rotopol Twitter accounts for more info as we approach release.
Take Away by Lizz Lunney
128 pages, 4 spot colours, softcover
Lizz Lunney draws surrealist animals, household objects and items of food, all endowed with the sometimes questionable gift of consciousness, exploring various concepts of life and death in a humorous setting. Sometimes she draws humans. Take Away is a specially comissioned book for Blank Slate that collects all of Lizz’s favourite work from the last eight years, presented alongside lots and lots of brand new content. It’s designed with four sections in four different tasty spot colours for extra dazzle, to give you the best possible experience of Lizz Lunney’s world of existentially silly and serious situations!
Featuring two of her longest stories yet, starring Romantic Bison in an epic tale of love and misunderstandings, and Depressed Cat in a globe-trotting adventure into ennui. Plus lots of short strips, interludes and strange moments with other recurring characters. As if that isn’t enough, unfold the cover and peek under the flaps and you’ll find even more pert and punchy comic strip goodness. Take Away is absolutely packed with comics!
Uncle Bob Adventures Volume 1 by Darryl Cunningham
68pp, colour, flexicover
Prepare yourself for a roller-coaster ride through strangely familiar territory as Darryl Cunningham brings us these curiously direct yet subtly dark stories related by his man-of-action hero ‘Uncle Bob’. Soldier, adventurer, explorer and personal envoy to Her Majesty Queen Victoria, Bob is intrepid, fearless and more than a match for any of the bizarre foes he encounters in his incredible adventures on land or at sea, in the air or deep at the centre of the earth. Terrific fun for all ages, these deceptively simple tales will put a smile on everyone’s faces.
Famous for his highly acclaimed books Psychiatric Tales and Science Tales, this is an altogether different side of Darryl, as he indulges in these stories for children of all ages which allow him to abandon fact and embrace wild fantasy.
There will also be a few advance copies of Darryl’s Uncle Sam Adventures Volume 2 available at their stand.
Weak As I Am by Nigel Auchterlounie
124pp, colour, softcover
Nigel Auchterlounie’s protagonist Spleenal, last seen in his own book of the same name returns in Weak as I Am. An off-kilter exploration of a world just like this one except for an extra class of people for whom the usual rules don’t apply; those with powers. Powers which make them more than human and remove them from the grey everyday world, into a vividly technicolour wonderland of limitless possibilities. They live how they please, taking whatever they want, they don’t age, they don’t get up at six and spend three hours a day commuting to and from work, and nobody tells them what to do.
Spleenal, frustrated with his routine existence, longs to be one of them, and when he accidentally gains superpowers it’s the best day of his life… until he finds that his new upgraded existence might end violently at any moment. Suddenly it’s not such a great deal. How long is Spleenal going to survive when all the heroes are suddenly turning into villains?
Finally, there’s a reprinted, expanded edition of Darryl Cunningham’s Psychiatric Tales
Darryl Cunningham delves inside the mysteries and misconceptions of mental illness in this acclaimed, bestselling exposé drawing on his experience as a psychiatric nurse. Frank, hard-hitting and moving, Cunningham recounts his experiences working on an accute psychiatric ward. A sufferer of depression himself, he presents matters in a forthright and instantly accessible way from both sides of the picture. Topics covered include Bi-polar disorder, self harming, suicide, depression and how famous sufferer’s illnesses may have been part of what made them great, before a final chapter detailing the author’s own struggle and recovery. Darryl Cunningham’s Psychiatric Tales is a moving, engaging examination of what is, at its root, the human condition.
This expanded edition presents an updated version of Psychiatric Tales, including two new chapters.