Category Archives: news

Full details – exhibition to raise money for Vietnamese charity combating child trafficking

Full details have now been announced on the exhibition I mentioned in a previous post.

Reminder – A friend of mine (livormortiszine) mentioned they were contributing to a charity sale to raise money for Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation, a charity working in Vietnam to help rescue and care for victims of human trafficking, street children, and other young people.

The event is being organised by Livy Nelson.

The call out is asking for artworks that can be sent digitally and reproduced as A3 prints, although it is possible that they will also accept physical items through the post, but it’s best to talk to the organiser before arranging that.

Here are the details –

if you are on instagram you can follow her account here
facebook – here

all content copy right their respective owners


Planned exhibition to raise money for Vietnamese charity combating child trafficking

A friend of mine (livormortiszine) mentioned they were contributing to a charity sale to raise money for Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation, a charity working in Vietnam to help rescue and care for victims of human trafficking, street children, and other young people.

The event is still in the planning stages yet, but I thought it would be good to let people know now so that they can express interest or follow organiser, Livy Nelson on social media to be kept up to date with plans.

The call out is asking for artworks that can be sent digitally and reproduced as A3 prints, although it is possible that they will also accept physical items through the post, but it’s best to talk to the organiser before arranging that.

Here are the details so far –

if you are on instagram you can follow her account here
facebook – here

NOTE – amount shown below is a typo – they’ve rescued 1,000


Just for fun I usually do a personal version of #inktober that I call #metalinktober – but this year I thought, what the hell, let’s start #rockinktober and set some art challenges for the group (or anyone else for that matter) and also take the chance to put some focus on bands and albums that I like.

Here are the prompts and I’ll be posting up the images at 00:01 UK time each day. Where there’s a band and album, I’ll be posting the album cover for you to be inspired by.

Feel free to email through the contacts page and share far and wide if you’re so inclined!

The Short List – Russell Mark Olson SKRAWLLORD

Martin Simpson - SKRAWL 1 COV TITLE_small
Martin Simpson – SKRAWL 1 cover

SKRAWL can be found on Kickstarter


Anyone that’s followed zinelove or iesorno on any kind of social media knows I’m partial to a few creators including Phil Elliott and Nick Prolix who have both featured on the site and who I might have banged on about a bit…

When I saw Russel Mark Olson dropping hints about a magazine that would feature both, as well as his own work I was immediately interested, even more so when I saw the names of the others involved, many of them creators I was checking out on social media already. Then they blew through their Kickstarter goal on day one and added in Lucy Sullivan and Mark Stafford whilst also putting out a rallying cry dropping the names of some mighty UK anthologies that I love.

So, I thought I’d followed up with some questions to dig into it and flesh out their plans and ethos. You can see more details about the anthology and contributors at the end of the interview!



ZL – You mentioned that the SKRAWLLORDZ formed after meeting up and chatting at the Lakes International Comic Art Festival and I was wandering what it was at that meeting that galvanised you as a group to get together and put out SKRAWL?

RMO – Away from the con, we were sharing an Airbnb. While individually, most of us knew each other, none of us knew everyone. But we all knew of each other’s work. I took my laptop and a microphone along in the hopes that at some point during the weekend-long convention we’d get a chance to all sit down together and talk comics. The Friday night before the con we recorded over an hour’s worth of discussion on topics ranging from individual process to the ins-and-outs of printing. From that conversation, and many more over the weekend, we bonded and formed the SKRAWLLORDZ. For the particulars, you’ll have to ask the group’s chronicler, Pete Taylor. We kept in touch and over the coming months the idea for a joint publication developed. Looking back, it was a pretty natural progression. Put a bunch of comic makers together in a room full of chimps on typewriters and eventually the chimps type out a note to the comic makers reading “Make a damned comic together, morons!”.

ZL – You’ve mentioned Escape, Revolver and Pssst! as inspirations, what is it you see in these that’s common to what you hope to achieve with SKRAWL?

RMO – Firstly, the magazine format allowed these great publications to stay nimble, agile. To bring in topical work that could address issues quickly and not get bogged down in exposition. The format allows for comics, journalism, prose, and the kitchen sink to sit side-by-side without being a jarring read. These magazines could capture a moment in comics and culture so quickly and effectively. We’d really like to be able to bottle that lightning.

Secondly, we loved the freedom to think about short form and long form comics. That’s the beauty of anthology mags. Ongoing stories and one-offs. If say, Nick Prolix hit on an idea that we wanted to run with, he could produce 5-8 pages every issue of a single thought or storyline while still being able to focus on his personal body of work. If say, he decided that he wanted to change tack for one issue, the melting pot magazine allows that. If he wanted to run with a political space thriller and dropped it into an issue of Slang Pictorial and had to elbow out the residents of Bouveray Town, readers might be a bit confused. The mag allows for that freedom of experimentation and for quick directional changes.

Tertiarily, collaboration. In future, we plan on doing much more of it. We’re all cartoonists, meaning we write and draw, and can letter, colour, do product design, the whole kit-and-kaboodle. We’re all confident with each other to send scripts around, share inking work, do colours here, or letter there. Many hands make light work.

Fourth, the opportunity to invite some incredible talent to add to the mags. To give both industry stalwarts and up-and-comers a chance to explore, or maybe dust-off stuff that’s been sitting around for years which has yet been able to find a home. At the moment, everyone is UK-based. But it’d be great to run with the international ethos of LICAF and bring Europeans, South Americans–hell, the world— to SKRAWLEscape did that brilliantly. Something Pete said recently has really stuck with me. “I’m a fan of good comics. If it’s a good comic, we want it in SKRAWL.”

Lastly, they all had a bit of an edge. Hard to define, harder to capture. I suppose it boils down to risk. Risk in many forms. I think we’re all pretty comfortable with risk. Pssst!, Escape and Revolver were definitely happy taking risks.

Gustaffo Vargas The Oak Tree
Gustaffo Vargas – The Oak Tree from SKRAWL

ZL – As you’ve already blown through your first target and will definitely be putting out your first issue, what are your plans, if any, for the future?

RMO – The short answer: there will be more SKRAWL. The longer answer is a bit inchoate. We’re ironing out the details at the moment, but the things that we’re sure of, is that we have loved putting this together and want to do more. More contributors, more collaboration, wider reach. What we’re not sure of is output. Ideally, we’ll put out two a year. That might mean making the individual issues leaner, maybe 3 SKRAWLLORDZ per issue + guests, or the SKRAWLZ will do more collaborative pieces while guests can show off what they do best, or a combination of these things. We’re all involved in other projects, so we have to cut our cloth to measure, but we’re staying forward thinking. That’s not necessarily a hinderance. Ultimately, SKRAWL, as Pete said above, is about good comics. It wouldn’t surprise me if it naturally evolves. It probably will several times. But at its heart, we’ll do our best to take risks, explore, collaborate, and lift other voices.


ZL – I’m always banging on about money, so I have to ask whether any of you will be making anything from this anthology and whether your future plans include paying contributors or using additional money to widen distribution or anything else you may have thought of?

RMO – Possibly not the soundest business model, but almost all of the money will be going to pay our guests and cover print costs. Anything that’s left over we’ll be using towards the magazine. That may mean figuring out distribution channels (we’d love for SKRAWL to act as an ambassador for the UK scene (even though we do plan on widening our net and bringing in international voices), so possibly translated editions), convention representation, promotional materials, marketing, or plugging back into guest rates for the next one. Ideally, we’d get to a place of self-sustainability. But print markets are increasingly tumultuous, new and established magazines bite the dust daily.  We might move towards a subscription model if we can get a few issues out on a trackable schedule, but these are all questions that we’ll be deliberating on once the first issue is in circulation. It’s exciting, wild stuff. Possibly a little mad. But no one stays in comics for the money.

Russell Mark Olson - Goldhorn from SKRAWL
Russell Mark Olson – Goldhorn from SKRAWL

ZL – Last question, I promise, what do you hope Skrawl will bring to the current marketplace for comics and the history of comics?

RMO – Maybe it’s just because we’re in the shadow of Covid-19, but this “feels” like one of those Moments in Comics. Distribution has been partially/temporarily disrupted. Books have been canned, pushed back, mothballed. Artists and writers are roaming the prairies, tasting the dust, listening to the ground for the tell-tale signs of buffalo, dipping their tin pans in streams new. Retailers have scrambled onto their rooftops, their eyes scanning the horizon for the arrival of the airlift helicopters. When we started planning SKRAWL, Covid had yet to hit the news, but by coincidence, we feel we’ve tapped into something, a moment, which is bigger than your average occurrences. How SKRAWL fits into that moment, we’ll have to wait and see. But there have been anthology periodicals which have managed to be more than just a genre vehicle, more than just a single-topical-issue-mag-of-the-hour. This is possibly–as were books like those mentioned above or RAW or Rubber Blanket–a time capsule of what was going on in the UK indie scene at this point in time.

Let me add a caveat to that. The UK indie scene is massive and has talent of which no single mag could possibly hold. The last thing we’d want to do is self-proclaim ourselves to be the keepers of the keys. Lemme tell you. Give us a set of keys and we will lose them faster than a hot minute. But our camaraderie, and our combined network means that all of those creators currently delivering gold are an email away from joining in on the fun. I guess we’re all at a point in our careers where we’ve been around long enough to have a decent grip on the ins and outs of book production but aren’t so swamped with phone calls from the big leagues that has allowed us to confidently produce something which we feel is a good and necessary addition to the indie market. How does that sound? Time will tell. Finger’s crossed in twenty years from now an aspiring UK cartoonist will find a bundle of SKRAWLS in her local Oxfam for a tenner, and she’ll take them home, read them, and then feel inspired to call her friends and say, hey, let’s make something special. That or “Christ, people didn’t know how to draw back then.” I’d be happy with either. Being remembered is being remembered, right?

Rosie Packwood – Ascend from SKRAWL

ZL – I’m sure they will be inspired! On which note, tell us some more about the details of the anthology.

RMO – Continuing in the tradition of Escape, Pssst!, and Revolver , SKRAWL is a comic anthology magazine featuring cartoonists, artists, and writers primarily from the UK’s independent comic scene. The magazine was launched on Kickstarter on August 1st and met its goal in under 24 hours. With a long list of up-and-coming UK talent as well as established professionals, SKRAWL promises to be one of the most exciting comic anthologies of the year.

The core of SKRAWL are the SKRAWLLORDZ (Mark Hughes (Silverbeard), Russell Mark Olson (Gateway City; Tripwire Award Best New Talent 2018; Yancy Street Award Best UK artist 2018), Nick Prolix (Slang Pictorial), Martin Simpson (Needleman, Pipedream Comics Top 10 Indie Comics of the Year 2018), Pete Taylor (Silverbeard) and Gustaffo Vargas (Manu, Pipedream Comics Indie Comic of the Year winner, 2019)) who formed during last year’s LICAF. The magazine will also feature guest spots by their chums, including UK-indie royalty Phil Elliott (Tales from Gimbley), Rosie Packwood (Bun), Jessica Lucas (Yours, Yesterday), Matt Simmons (Bastard Galaxia), and the Cartoon Museum’s Artist-in-residence, Mark Stafford(The Bad Bad Place). To further accentuate the magazine-ness of the anthology, John Reppion (Conspiracy of Ravens) and Lucy Sullivan (Barking) will provide an illustrated short folk horror story.

The SKRAWL Kickstarter campaign offers backers the chance to get on board the publication either as a fully digital or print edition, with retailer tiers for comic shops and bookstores. The magazine will be US format, (a bit bigger and a lot wider than a US comic– at 280 x 210mm) perfect bound, and currently sitting at a page count of 84… but we’d like to expand outwards a bit through stretch goals.

The campaign can be found on Kickstarter. Funding began August 1st and ends on Thursday, August 20th at noon BST. Digital backers can get the full magazine for £5, while the physical magazine is £12 (plus shipping). Retailers in the UKand EU can take advantage of the retailer tier which offers 8 copies for £48 (plus shipping). For more information, please email

Gallery of contributors


all art copyright and trademark it’s respective owners.

content copyright iestyn pettigrew 2019

Covid-19 coping round-up

Begin with a digressions then get to the point, that’s my way right?

Digression – you all know that Covid-19 is keeping many people home (and bored) so I thought, why not steal an idea from the great Comic Reporter and do a rolling round up.


So here we go  –

online libraries

Solidarity! Revolutionary Center and Radical Library (hosted by University of Kansas)

Comic Book Plus (public domain comic books and strips)

free reads – downloads

Download Judge Dredd Case Files vol.5 for free  – you need to sign up to get it

Colin BellDungeon Fun & Pirate Fun

Colossive PressColossive Records 2019

Dave Cook –   twitter   –   Comic Pack download

David Cooper – twitter    –  Bruce

Phil Elliott –  facebook art page     –    Mammy, Rodney & Wonders of Science   –   Tales from Gimbley (read online)   –    (go here and you can order In His Cups and (w/ Glenn Dakin – Beyond Finity)

Anthony Ez Esmond    –    The Whore Chronicles

Gareth A Hopkins –   twitter – (w/ Eric Blagsvedt) – Found Forest Floor

Nicole Little  –  website   – downloads    – facebook

Chris Mole –   twitter –   Brigantia (w/ Nikki Foxrobot and Melissa Trender)

Ken Reynolds   –  website   –   Cognition   –   Sliced Quarterly   –  My Life as a Cartoon   –   In Trouble

ShortBox   – they have 8 different comics available here  including work from

Emily Carroll    Lucie Bryon    Niv Sekar     Anatola Howard     Nicole Miles     Jean Wei

Sam Wade    and the Pingu Zine by many

Lucy Sullivan –   website   –   Barking download

Brian Talbot  –  website (sidebar has download links)

Artyom Trakhanov – twitter    –   patreon    –    inprint   –   original art     –    shop – free digital copies – you can also purchase here

Andrew White – website     twitter      Downloads –  Yearly 2018   –   Yearly 2019   –  Drowned River Lores

Jim Zub  –   twitter    –   patreon    –    Skullkickers & Wayward downloads

free read – webcomics & online comics and zines

Warren CragheadKids Comics

Diabolik   –   well known and long running Italian comic

Pete Doree –    twitter  –    The Kids From Rec. Road     –    Stan & Jack #1



Dave NiceMake Your Own Stickers

Tillie Walden – still has On A Sunbeam up online – excellent – you can buy it from Avery Hill, who are also excellent

Tom Woodman  –    twitter    –    Future

go buy

Broken Frontier are running a tag on twitter #brokenfrontierboost to help those who have lost out from closed events

Take a look at Colossive Press – they’re increasing their efforts to raise money for a local hospice

Gareth Brookes – tweet here  –  website    – also see this


Delaine Derry Green   –   twitter   – Not My Small Diary

Drawn Chorus Collective  –  shop

Happy Clamshop


Microcosm Publishing – particularly This Zine Has Issues #2

Miller Town – that’s art and zines from Henry and Stan Miller – both great

Olivia Montoyazines and handmade objects

Danny Noblebig cartel

Small Zine Volcano – Not actually buying – free zines for the cost of the postage

Mark Staffordonline shop

Olivia Sullivan  –  shop

Robert Wells – I know he missed out on a kickstarter, so think about buying something from his big cartel– he’s lovely and talented

Amy Wike – supporting US artists by selling prints of people hugging – A Hug or Something Like It

Shannon Wrightshop (digital comics for $1 and a free zine)

virtual cons and activities

Zara Slattery   –   twitter   –  has a couple of mask to print ans colour in

Don’t Hide PR are offering a boost to small press creators – press release list

open calls

kus! s! – announcement – closes 13 May 2020


Already happened but still viewable is #kitchenconnights the most recent version of #kitchencon     ** UPDATE** Another one is planned for  19th April


Geek Asylum Virtual Con (26th April)

Stay Home Comic Con (28th-29th March)   –  Already happened, but still loads of resources and details available

Xerox Days



be a good fan

I’ve started thinking about how to make social media work for those people whose work I admire and how to get it to raise their profile

I’ve put together a few tweets already, and have now turned them into a moment that you can find here

⚡️ “Being a good fan on twitter”