Oxicomics Relaunch Digital Service at Raptus ’11 – NI Comic To Reach Wider Audience

The Norwegian based Oxicomics are planning a re-launch tomorrow (September 9th), to coincide with Norway’s major Comic Con “Raptus” in Bergen.



The Oxicomics Digital Comics Distribution Platform (OCDCP) “gives the users the ability to download comics as PDF, add comics to a “cloud library” where they can access their comics through any web-browser as well on mobile devices like iPhone, Android phones and tablets etc.”

Morten F Thomson, CEO of Oxicomics, stated the Webshop where comics can be sold was facilitated for payment done using PayPal Digital Goods payment flow enabling both one-click purchase and Shopping Cart support. This includes an integrated HTML5 reader, with support for iOS apps, and browsers like Chrome and Safari. There is also forthcoming support for native apps (distibuted through the AppStore/Android Market).

Each comic title has a fan wall allowing users to post comments, and replies from publishers. Publishers will have access to an early alpha-version of the webapp for iPhone, as well as a real-time sales spreadsheet.

Thomson announced other plans to follow after the launch. These include:

– Blog syndication / original blog entries attached to a Comic Title (optional)
– News feed for each Comic Title (like a “mini-Twitter” feed for information about the Comic Title
– Subscription system for users to receive information (news feed) and any free issues from Titles they subscribe to
– Mobile HTML5 WebApp for reading and purchasing comics (not just integrated as part of webshop)
Detailed reporting of sales, earnings etc for you as Publisher



In the run-up to the relaunch, Oxicomics removed most of their stock from the Apple store for re-alignment. Some free titles still remain, such as the Northern Irish comic about epilepsy, Absence, which incurs no administration cost. Absence will also be available on the new OCDCP platform.

The Raptus festival is Norway’s major comics convention and runs from 9th-11th September in Ludwig’s Academic Quarter. In it’s 16th year, the event attracts many thousands of attendees.

Ballymena Waterstones hosts Comic Book



The evening of Wednesday 10th August involves a display of comic books and graphic novels, with a local bent, and a panel talk followed by Q & A. The event takes place between 7-9pm.

Among the guests are the Absence team of Andy Luke and Stephen Downey, and the similarly acclaimed Paddy Brown, author of The Cattle Raid of Cooley.

Luke will be appearing on a panel at Oxford’s Caption Austerity festival earlier that week, and following it with a Black Market Belfast appearance. The author denied concerns that he will be taking a seizure.

“I feel it won’t really benefit the book.”

He’ll also be in the final planning stages of the communally run Comics Barcamp, an innovative event which challenges the standard convention approach, and has been applauded by IT pioneers globally.

It’s an exciting time too for Stephen Downey, co-author of Jennifer Wilde. My moneys on the mini-series being a hot topic of talk around the web, and his growing recognition as eligible for a raised page rate. His famous April Fools announcement that he had been hired to work on X-Men looks less and less a fiction.

And Paddy Brown. Is there anyone better qualified to converse on Northern Irish comics? Rumours have reached me that he’s been in talks with Navan Fort about funding and distribution on Cattle Raid of Cooley. It may be that we see both his and Downey’s work in Waterstones, as organiser Emma Graham explains,

“Waterstones has recently been bought over and the new owner is trying to take a new approach to the company.  They are trying to have each store run as an independent bookstore so then we are focusing on what our customers are interested in.  My main section that I have to work on is graphic novels and this is why I am wanting to hold the event.  We have had a huge interest in graphic novel section so I wanted to try and promote it more locally now the concept of graphic novels is catching on more.  Plus my manager loves promoting local work.“

The event takes place at Waterstones, Unit 20/21 of Fairhill Shopping Centre, Ballymena, County Antrim.

McCloud in Belfast, Misfits Mouth, Colin Batman, Absencion


Not yet on his website, but a glance to the Build Design event reveals Scott McCloud, is to come to Belfast.

Many  attendees of the 9th November lecture already have their places at Conor Hall. Hosts, Build design conference, have sold out of tickets which include passes to the Fringe events.

Andy McMillan, organiser of Build, had this to say:

I’ll be making a small amount of tickets available for non-conference pass holders in the next few weeks. I’d recommend signing up to the mailing list (in the footer of the Build website), or adding @buildconf on Twitter, to find out when these tickets will be released, as they’ll likely go quite quickly.

I wonder if he’ll be at Comics Barcamp.


Misfits joins Who, Sherlock, South Park and other cool pop TV with a new series this winter, although we may not be in with such a long wait.

Ben Stoll, Channel 4 script editor, confirmed a ten-minute web-only episode linking Series 2 and 3. He revealed “it won’t appear on TV..and features the departure of one of the cast, who has got tired of the role and wants to move onto other things.”

Stoll didn’t say who, but interwebs gossip consensus reveals it to be Robert Sheehan, who plays Nathan. No word yet on a replacement, though it would seem that Ruth Negga, who plays heart-transplant patient Nikki, is already in position by narrative.

As to how Nathan departs, would he really be so dumb as to test whether his old power and his new power mix?

The conversation was part of a “Drama with the Networks” panel hosted by NI Screen yesterday. Stoll also spoke with pride about the Misfits website, and quite rightly too. It’s dolly mixtures.


Also at the event was author of Divorcing Jack, Colin Bateman. During our brief chat, Colin told me he’s always loved comic books and would love to write a graphic novel. On his bio, Colin says,

“Then it was on to Bangor Grammar School where I managed to shine in no subjects at all, but read a lot of Marvel Comics and Science Fiction.”


Bateman’s work, is to my mind, a globally certifiable reason to be proud of Northern Ireland. A safety net in the crap abyss a bad day. His novels have a dark humour and life-affirming humanity commonly found in the better work of Garth Ennis.

So to see his work in comics would be great. If he survives the experience.

Lap him up.


“It’s a pleasure to read a story that is a fine piece of comic art with a touching, personal aspect to it. Even more importantly, it’s a piece of work that can give comfort and insight to those who struggle with epilepsy.”  – Dan Jurgens on Absence

Jurgens was one of the first high profile comics creators to pick up on Absence, a comic by Stephen Downey and myself, currently enjoying distribution across Northern Ireland. Supported by the grassroots British and Irish scenes when first released last February, Downey’s art has helped it catch the eyes of Mike McMahon, Glenn Fabry and others, who have also had high praise for the work.

They’ve now been joined by Leonard Rifas (most famous for his championing of Barefoot Gen), and Professor Owen Barr of The University of Ulster. The Head of the School of Nursing has included the comic as a recommended resource for students.

You can read Absence in its entirety at http://absencecomic.com

Employers, I’m available for script-writing, and Stephen’s art skills also get better by the day.


Comicking (news tidbits)

A re-blog from the archives of my regular column for Alltern8; Comicking.

 Walking On Broken Diamond

I raised an eyebrow at the serious empathy shown Diamond Distribution when they raised their minimum unit number recently. The cat’s out of the bag though, from this very long story about Checker Comics cutting ties, tweeted by the impressive and often Geoffrey D. Wessel.

People will be keeping an eye to see if this could threaten to dissolve the time-space continuum of comics distribution as we know it.
(Rich Johnston on Steve Geppi’s house-sale)
Solipstic Pop Takes London

Out soon. New work by loads of people.


“Book two of Solipsistic Pop 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.”

Check the website for details. The images above were put together by Luke Pearson.


Comics Festival Fortnight Ireland

Ireland has two comics festivals coming up. In the north, Derry hosts the wildly popular 2D festival, now in its fourth year. Special guests announced include Pat Mills, Leigh Gallagher, Rufus Dayglo, Garry Leach, Jamie McKelvie, Kieron Gillen, Gary Erskine, Colin McNeil, Ilya, Will Simpson, Davy Francis, Bridgeen Gillespie, Phil Barrett, Maeve Clancy, Paddy Brown and this one. For starters. 2D is made possible by the Derry Verbal Arts Centre, David Campbell and a host of hard working volunteers. It caters for the academic nerd and the whole family and does so quite well. Phew. Taking place this year from Thursday 3rd to Saturday 5th June.

The Point Village in Dublin, if this brochure is anything to go by, is a spanking new exhibition centre, a bit big and shiny like Birmingham’s ThinkTank.On Saturday 12th June Hilary Lawler (Longstone Comics, SuperHillbo!) is putting together a special comics festival. I’ll be there with Paddy Brown and many other well-known stars of the Irish comics scene. Special guest Jenika from London will also be there. Jenika is known for creepy lovely vampire goth comics. Also for having a chair at festivals in the hall part of her table for weary travellers to sit. Stylish. Tables are free, contact  02villagefreetable(at)gmail(dot)com for details.

More news on both these events as they emerge over the coming month.

Four Colour Love

Comics Tutor Steve Bissette of the Centre For Cartoon Studies to the comics frat as the cartoonist behind Alan Moore’s ground-breaking run on Swamp Thing and author of the self-published Tyrant, chronicling the early life of a tyrannosaurus rex. Also as publisher of Taboo, the anthology which kick-started From Hell. Oh, and 1963, which with Moore and a host of mainstram and alternative artists brought us the most wonderfully fun superhero comics series of all time.

Retired from the industry, Bissette has no wish to invoke the Moore scotch but wishes to leave a legacy for his children and students. To that end, 1963 characters N-Man, The Fury, The Hypernaut, and Sky Solo are to appear in Tales of the Uncanny – N-Man & Friends: A Naut Comics History, Vol. 1 from About Comics. This 200 page volume  features new work from Bissette and accompanying-universe characters from his students. Contributions are on a work-for-hire contract, Bissette retaining the trademark for characters he has designed and students apparently retaining theirs for new work in the book.

Worth a sponsor I suppose. The book is ready at the end of the year and the preview given out at Mocca can be ordered via paypal from Mr. Bissette while stocks last.

The Above News Story Via Rantin’ Rich Johnston.

Oh, and eventually CBR and TCJ

Why Is Everyone Ignoring Paper Tiger Comix: War – The Human Cost ?

Seems I was wrong on my initial predictions that pre-orders necessarry for publishing this book would be reached within the month

There are still about two weeks left to get a comic that contains a host of professionals such as Spain Rodriguez, an album containing a host of professionals such as  Michael Franti and the Spearheads, and donate to Campaign Against Arms Trade.Pre-subscriptions are required for printing costs. See Paper Tiger Comix and IndieGoGo.

Free Runaway Who

Oli Smith, revolutionary mini-comics dealer has his first Doctor Who book, The Runaway Train, imminent. This Saturday the audio version, voiced by Matt Smith and Karen Gillen, is being given away free with Britain’s Telegraph paper. This is sure to disappear very quickly and probably highly ebayed, launching Oli’s career nationwide. No delays to that platform then.

And hopefully, he’ll not end up looking like Tom Baker when he’s old.


The new eye-in-the-stalk from Victory of the Daleks, Mid-April.

(Image Missing)

The new comic by Ralph Kidson, Early March.

(Image Missing: The story refers to “Dalek Home Guard”, which was created around about the same time as production on “Victory of the Daleks”. Both featured Daleks serving tea from eye-stalks uttering, “Would you like some tea?”)

Hate to say I told you so.

A Comic In 366 Frames

Warsaw cartoonist Dennis Wojda writes,

“I’ve decided to make a comic. I will draw one frame each day during one year plus one day. That’s 366 frames. I have no script and I have no story. It’s an experiment. It’s a flow.”

But who will review all these comics?

Matthew Murray is “Reviewing zines and minicomics every day.” on his 365zines blogspot. He has a stack of unread gear, but is welcoming to trades. (Source: Matt Badham)


Matt sent me a copy of ‘Filmish’ by Edward Ross, which appears to be degree assignments on film theory essays in comic strip form. As such it reads too McCloudian on occassion, but for all its flaws I’m very happy that work like this exists. 24 A5 pages of black and white comic book for only £3 plus p+p. Now available with Paypal for UK, European and U.S. customers!

Irish Cthulu

Talesofthe.com is worth a mention. Featuring Stephen Downey and Andrew Croskery of Insomnia in Irish arts freeform. The new site contains comics, paintings and music. Featuring Downey’s debut directing short films with a brilliantly disturbed Malachy Coney in the lead role. Worth a see.


In Absentia

The print version of my new comic launched in London and Belfast last week.

Number 25, Quarter Centennial. Check it out in the display in the Hoxton district in London’s East End at Bookart Bookshop before the end of the month. Look for it to appear in Belfast’s Black Market, Derry’s 2D festival and Dublin’s Point Village Market. Interested retailers get in touch.

Contact me for news stories, stuff and things at drew.luke(at)gmail.com or join us on the forums.


Comicking: March 2010

A re-blog from the archives of my regular column for Alltern8; Comicking.

Welcome to an occasional collection of comics art, news, snippets and stories of note. Once a month, I’ll bring the easter egg extras that don’t make it to my regular columns, but are a tasty treat nonetheless.
Last month, I wrote of BBC’s Eggheads’ revenge on comic’s creators, and Sean Azzopardi‘s appearances everywhere.
This time round, reviews of some comics I’ve enjoyed and themes of cinema and mental disorders. The times we’re living in…

First though, I enjoyed some great comics last night. Oliver East’s 2005 “The House of Fire To Black Hill”, a clever piece on hill walking and map musing. Richard Cowdry at Bugpowder writes East’s  “new comic is now online and free to read in your own time. It’s REALLY good.”



Liz Greenfield’s “Stuff Sucks” also arrived in the mail. A neat little CD sized comic in a little CD sized slipcase. A bargain at only £4. Contact Liz on her website to find out if there are any left. Such pretty pictures!


Oliver Lambden was at the Angouleme Festival earlier this month with other British Artists Standing Tall And Reaching Distant Shores.Amusing and insightful blog report here.

Lambden’s BLOC featured the work of an artist at an evolutionary acceleration point. This usually bodes well as is. His new project is with co-creator ofThe Rule of Death and Master of Film-like Comics Douglas Noble.

noble lambden

I prodded the lads for further details. Douglas writes, “It’s a series of theatre reviews from the 1930s. It starts on Thursday. And, right now, that’s all you need to know.” My gut feeling looking at their combined output above is that this is going to be fantastic. Keep an eye to http://thesequential.com

Every time I turn away from Livejournal I miss something great. Usually though, when I need my fix of all that is great about the webs I turn to the Internet Monkey King, Benchilada.

There you can find Ben’s F*ckbrain Comix, an account of life within his “brainmeats” including Tourettes, OCD and Bipolar Disorder. It’s probably the worst drawn comic on the web and so brilliant, I’d like to see it in print form. Ben takes amusing photos of his toys in bookstacks and manages to make eating messed up weird food look genuinely entertaining in “So You Don’t Have To“. I might have a go at that.

Particularly eye-catching recently is his brother Nathan’s Modern Family series: eleven photographed reproductions of classic paints.

Most of all, what I like about Benchilada’s livejournal is the brilliant sense of community that permeates the gaff. Never a dull moment.

Darryl Cunningham, author of Psychiatric Tales received a disheartening email this week from someone who thought he was ‘making fun’ of mental illness. Oh right, this is a news column.Darryl Cunningham has produced a colour chapter for the second volume of Psychiatric Tales. The subject matter is Electroconvulsive Therapy, and it blends years of Darryl’s experience as a psychiatric nurse with his own problems and first-hand account of someone who has actually experienced the process.

Darryl will be attending the University of London Conference on Medical Narrative in Graphic Novels, along with Paul Gravett, Brian Fies, Marc Zaffran and Philippa Parry mid-June this year.

This week I made the mad dash into relaying my experiences with epilepsy through the 24 Hour Challenge. Check out Absence, I think it’s a great piece of work.

leekennedyLee Kennedy makes marvellous strips about weight gain, couch loafing and cinema dreams which revel in pride rather than wallow. I’m sure she’s screwing with our misplaced collective guilt. Although States-born, her style tugs at something reminiscent of trad British children’s comics Beano and Dandy. Recently, she’s been happy and audible over the acquisition of a scanner, so keep an eye on Lee’s livejournal over coming months for stuff like that opposite.

And if you get through that, there’s a huge archive courtesy of the folks at Factor Fiction
Worth hurdling the livejournal blockades for.

Oh yes, and EVERYBODY is about to link to Muppet Wicker Man. Check it out, before it vanishes.

If you have an area you’d like to see covered, or a story to share, I can be emailed at drew.luke(at)gmail.com on correspondence marked ‘Comicking’. I’m also on Twitter Facebook and right here on Alltern8.com My webcomic, Don’t Get Lost, is updated Thursdays.