14 August 2022

Creatives Creating Comics In The UK

It was a little over a year ago that the UK comics scene lost one of its great unsung heroes, Dave Evans. The encouragement that he provided to so many aspiring writers and artists was immense, and he left a huge gap in the UK comic-making environment. Whilst Dave could never be replaced, the Discord server 'Comic Creatives UK' - started in January 2022, inspired by Dave's ethos - has proven a really supportive new place for UK comic creators to chat, support each other and share tips. Now, thanks to the efforts of CCUK moderators/editors Owen Watts and Lady Geoffery, there's a fantastic anthology made by the creators from the Discord! And you can read it free!

(cover by Winston Chan)

Alexi scripted two stories in this fine publication: 'Another Mystery Solved' is a daft Sherlock Holmes spoof, art by Craig Munro...

and 'Rules As Written' is a D&D-inspired horror tale, with art by HesitantDoodle and Orphicdusk...

Alexi was delighted to work with such talented artists - and those collaborations only occurred thanks to the existence of the Discord and the community that has developed there. There's a load of tremendous comic stories in the anthology, so why wait - go and check it out now! Read it on Tapas, Webtoons or download as PDF from Itch.io

FURTHERMORE, if you're into making comics, and particularly if you're based in the UK, then do check out the CCUK community - it's friendly and supportive and they're already starting to plan the next anthology, so get involved!


In other news, Alexi was delighted to get his grubby mitts on 'tarot puzzletale' The Light In The Mist by Rita 'PostCurious' Orlov and Jack Fallows - a unique narrative puzzle experience based around an ingenious tarot deck. Alexi had provided some playtesting and (a very small amount of) narrative/structure input during the development of this incredible project, and seeing the finished thing, looking so cool and full of amazing puzzles was a delight. The kickstarter has finished, but if you like puzzles, you may still be able to get a copy of this wonder from the link above.

23 August 2021

Guards At The Nexus Of All Worlds

Having dabbled in boardgame design and creating narrative-led puzzles, and having played and enjoyed RPGs, and being fond of a creative challenge with just the right amount of limitations, Alexi decided to take part in One-Page RPG Jam 2021.

The theme of the jam was 'borders', which prompted Alexi to develop a game inspired by Planescape D&D setting, and other settings like this, where worlds are metaphysically connected by portals of some type, allowing travel between very different worlds.

Guards At The Nexus of All Worlds was the result. It plays really quickly, no messing about with stats or a GM, but there is structure to it; in some ways, it's a sort of improv party game (with elements reminiscent of Taboo and Whose Line Is It Anyway?). You can read more about it and download it for free over on Alexi's itch.io page.

There are loads of really interesting little games in the jam, very much having a look through them all.

27 June 2021

Alexi talks a little bit about Dave Evans

It was with great shock and sadness that I heard of the passing of Dave Evans a few weeks ago. There's not much I can add to the many moving tributes already written, but wanted to at least write something about one of the largely unsung heroes of the UK small press comics scene.

I couldn't claim to have been close to him, but it had always been a pleasure and privilege to work with him over the years - indeed, as editor/publisher of FutureQuake Press (along with Richmond Clements), he published the majority of my the comic stories I've scripted - in FQP titles FutureQuake, Something Wicked, Zarjaz, and Dogbreath. As well as an editor and letterer, he was an accomplished artist (I still have several of the little sketches he'd do on squares of paper during conventions) and I was chuffed when he drew one of my stories for FutureQuake himself.

Ever since I started getting into small press comics and going to comic cons, Dave was a fixture of the scene, an unfailingly positive and welcoming presence - to the extent that whenever I arrive at any comics convention, one of my first thoughts is always 'is Dave here? I should pop by for a chat and pick up the latest FQP issues'.

I remember being pretty new to cons, sat in the bar at Hi-Ex in Inverness, and Dave insisting that no one should be sat separately, urging everyone to sit together and join in the chat and doodling; it was a lovely experience, and that attitude was typical of Dave - friendly, inclusive, enthusiastic about comics.

I think Dave published about thirty issues of FutureQuake, plus the many issues of other FQP titles, and I've found myself reflecting on the thousands of people that must have enjoyed reading a comic he helped create - and about the many writers and artists who got a break and grew creatively thanks to Dave publishing their work.

In an under-appreciated sector (small press) of an under-appreciated medium (comics), Dave did some of the most under-appreciated graft (editing/publishing/sending-a-zillion-emails) in making comics happen and getting people involved - which I find pretty inspirational. I wish I'd told him that more clearly. I hope he knew how many people he'd had a positive influence on. He certainly had a positive influence on me and on my comic-making and on how I view the small press comics scene. RIP.